Results tagged ‘ Orlando Cabrera ’

No arb offers to Rhodes, Cabrera

One surprise, one went as expected.

Before the midnight deadline, the Reds did not offer arbitration to free agents Arthur Rhodes and Orlando Cabrera. I expected Rhodes, a type A free agent, to get the arbitration offer since he could have yielded draft picks as compensation by going elsewhere. Cabrera is a Type B free agent and I didn’t expect he’d get the offer.

Even though arbitration was not offered, both players are still eligible to re-sign with the Reds.

More soon on the web site.

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No surprises on Reds options

The Reds picked up the $11 million club option for 2011 on RHP Bronson Arroyo and the $1.75 million option on OF Jonny Gomes Wednesday. Not picked up were the $4 million option on SS Orlando Cabrera ($1M buyout) and the $12.75 million option on RHP Aaron Harang ($2M buyout). Both Cabrera and Harang become free agents.

None of these moves come as a shocker. Arroyo has been one of the Reds’ most consistent pitchers since he joined the club in 2006. He won a career high 17 games this season and has 200 innings pitched in six-straight seasons.

Gomes drove in a career-best 86 RBIs while batting .266 with 18 homers.

I have a call into the voice mail of GM Walt Jocketty. I expect he will still pursue Cabrera at a lower price, which he indicated he’d do when asked last month. There’s no word yet on progress towards a contract extension on Arroyo.

As for Harang,who was 18-38 in the last three seasons after he was 32-17 over 2006-07, this is the expected end of the line of his long tenure in Cincinnati. He certainly seemed to see this coming as he was emotional following a final start on the last day of the season.

UPDATE — I just got off the phone with Jocketty about the different decisions. Here are some of the quotes:

On Arroyo:

“We’ll certainly continue to work on doing a multi-year extension with him. I don’t want to go into the season negotiating. We’ll try to [get it done] before the start of the season.”

***I got a text back from Arroyo, who said he was “definitely” optimistic an extension could still get done with the Reds.

On Cabrera:

“It was a tough decision. We’re trying to protect ourselves with payroll and all the arbitration guys we have and the things we need to do. We’re not ruling out the possibility of bringing him back but it will be a while before we know.”

Jocketty said that Paul Janish stands to be the regular shortstop at this point, but obviously that would depend partially on what becomes of Cabrera.

***I talked to Jonny Gomes, who is at his home in Arizona. He was very pleased to know he would be returning to the Reds

“This saves my forehead,” Gomes said. “Last off-season, I banged it into every wall of my house being confused.”

Gomes was referring to being non-tendered and unemployed all of last winter until he signed the day the full squad reported to Spring Training.

“I have six years in [the Majors] but last year was my first time with 500 at-bats,” Gomes said. “Hopefully, I get another opportunity to do back-to-back years. It’s looking like it. Every year has been a battle with nothing guaranteed. I’ve always had a camp invite or a split contract. I’ve had pretty good numbers and success without a job guaranteed. I will battle for a spot at Spring Training and keep putting the pedal to the metal.”

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Game 3

Reds lineup

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Bruce 9
Janish 6 Cabrera 6
Cueto 1

Phillies lineup

Victorino 8
Polanco 5
Utley 4
Howard 3
Werth 9
Rollins 6
Ibanez 7
Ruiz 2
Hamels 1

6:15pm update — Cabrera will play. He took BP and grounders with no issue. Cabrera saw a therapist at his home and he felt well enough to go.

“It feels good. No pain at all,” Cabrera said after leaving the cage. “This could be my last night in the postseason. I’m trying to take advantage of it and not take it for granted.”

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Cabrera not better, Valaika?

This is from Dusty Baker, who updated the situation with SS Orlando Cabrera.

Q Can you give us an update on Orlando Cabrera and if he isn’t able to go tomorrow, will you look to replace him on the roster?

 DUSTY BAKER:  We’re waiting to see him now.  Actually, he called my trainer and said he wasn’t any better, and it’s been bothering him for a while now.  Then he’ll get better and then it bothers him again.
 I think it’s going to be tough for him to play and it’s tough for us, too.  We have to make a decision, of course, but it’s tough for us to anticipate, is he going to be well by tomorrow.  We’re going to wait as long as we can to see, but it’s tough for us to play short, too, which we did a lot this year.
 We had a pool of guys that went to Arizona for this situation.  So Chris Valaika is coming here, so if Orlando can go or is available, he’ll go.  If not, then we’ll put Valaika.  But the thing about it, if we do that, then Orlando isn’t available for this round.  And but we got to get to this round before we get to the next round?

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Errors sting big time, down 0-2

The Reds gave away their 7-4 loss to the Phillies in Game 2 of the NLDS, no bones about it. They had a 4-0 lead. They had knocked out their nemesis in Roy Oswalt. They had control of the game. It slipped out of their hands.

Seven unanswered runs — five were unearned because of four errors. It’s the salt that stings the defeat all the more.

The Jay Bruce missed catch on Jimmy Rollins’ fly ball in the seventh was the big one. Bruce catches that ball and the Reds can still hang on.

This is my game story

Here are some quotes:

“It was in the lights the whole time. I tried to stick with it to see if it would come out. It never did. It’s pretty helpless. It’s embarrassing. I take a lot of pride in my defense. There’s really nothing I can do about it. I wish for my team more than anything that it didn’t go into the lights or that it came out and I could have caught it. It didn’t happen.” — Jay Bruce

“Well, you could tell it was in the lights, because Jay’s played Golden Glove outfielder, and he didn’t come close to catching that ball.  From being an outfielder, you can tell when the ball gets in the lights.  Yeah, definitely that ball got in the lights at the wrong time.” — Dusty Baker

“It’s hard to give a lineup like that four extra outs and not expect to get beat.” — Bronson Arroyo

“Things happen. This team has battled the entire year. We play such great defense. It’s unfortunate. We are trying our best. It seemed like we’re swinging the bats better. Hopefully on Sunday we can bounce back.” — Orlando Cabrera

“You leave the door open that many times to those guys and they’re going to keep putting pressure on you. Then things start happening. The balls were hit to us. We had plays and we didn’t make them.” — Scott Rolen

Postgame notes —

*Orlando Cabrera left after the fourth inning with a sore left oblique. He hoped to be able to play on Sunday.

“I saw the doctor and he said it didn’t look that bad. We’ll see tomorrow how I feel,” Cabrera said.

*The debacle of the seventh inning started when Chase Utley acted his way through a hit-by-pitch from Aroldis Chapman. The pitch was 101 mph, Utley didn’t sell it that well but it was enough to be awarded first base.

“I don’t think at any time that the ball hit him. I don’t think he ever got hit,” Chapman said.

“It was pretty close,” Utley said. “At first I thought it was going to hit me in my head.  Fortunately, it didn’t.  And he throws so hard.  I felt like I thought it hit me, so I put my head down and I ran to first.”

 Q.  Did it hit you?  CHASE UTLEY:  “I’m not sure.” 

*Scott Rolen is 0-for-7 with five K’s in the two games so far.

*Brandon Phillips’ leadoff home run in the first inning ended a 30-scoreless innings streak at

Citizens Bank Park going back to July 9. Phillips had only the second leadoff postseason homer in Reds history. Pete Rose also did it in World Series Game 5 at Oakland on 10/20/72.

*The six errors were a League Division Series record. The Reds four errors tied the record for most errors in a single LDS game.

See you Saturday from Cincinnati. Workout at GABP in the afternoon.

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Cabrera to return Saturday

Fri lineup vs. MIL

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Bruce 9
Hernandez 2
Janish 6
Wood 1

*SS Orlando Cabrera didn’t start for the third game in a row. He is trying to keep his tender left oblique muscle from barking. He did pinch-hit on Wednesday and he plans to play Saturday and Sunday.

“I just want to be as close to 100 percent as possible for the first game on Wednesday,” Cabrera said. “Because it was hurting me, once we clinched I told Dusty to give me a couple of days.”

*The deliberation over the post-season roster continues. Nothing has been announced either for the roster or the rotation.

“A lot depends on the health of Nix and a lot depends on the health of Edmonds too,” manager Dusty Baker said of the roster makeup. “It’s never an easy decision. You want to kepe everybody and pitch everybody but you have to make a decision. Someone is invariably going to be left out or left off.”

*For players not making the roster, some will travel with the club. Others could be sent to the team complex in Arizona to workout. If someone is injured during the NLDS, the Reds could add a player of the same position. They can also add and subtract from the 25 man roster before the NLCS.

*With Jim Edmonds, it’s unclear if he will get into a game this weekend to test his tender right Achilles tendon. He received a cortisone shot on Wednesday.

“It depends. You don’t want to get him in a game and go backwards when he is just coming forward a little bit,” Baker said. “We don’t know how far forward. We’ll have to make a decision if it would be better to wait an extra week for the next round. No matter what he’ll be traveling with us and hitting, if he can hit. You would like his expertise there because he’s been down this road many, many times. He’s already helped Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs in the outfield, with certain pitches and scenarios and stuff. It helps to have somebody around that’s been through this a couple of times.”


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Clinch today?

It’s pretty simple. If the Cardinals lose and the Reds win today, the NL Central is clinched.

Sunday lineup vs. SD

Stubbs 8
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Phillips 4
Heisey 9
Hanigan 2
Bailey 1

*Jay Bruce is getting the break today because of his right side being sore again. It’s more of a precaution than anything however.

“We just want to make sure he doesn’t hurt it again,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Plus, we want to win this thing and get guys some work in to keep everybody sharp for when we go to the playoffs.I told you he probably wouldn’t heal 100 percent until the winter time. It was just a little tight esterday. I didn’t want to take a chance of him re-injuring it with this lefty and we got a day off tomorrow. That gives him two days off. I told him not to hit today.”

“It’s sore here and there, but it’s all about management of it,” Bruce said.  “It’s not getting any worse, and Dusty and I have a pretty good line of communication and he talked to me about it.  I’ll have today off – not starting, so maybe I’ll have to go in there at some point.  [Sunday] and [Monday] off, and we’ll get back at them on Tuesday.”

*Yesterday I asked Baker about the decision to bunt Cabrera in the ninth inning before Votto was intentionally walked. The answer he gave was good but he followed up this morning. He knew that the bunt would take the bat out of Votto’s hands and defended it.

“That’s playoff stuff. That’s what you’re going to have to do,” Baker said. “We’re a team. You can’t just depend on one guy. You depend on one guy, you’re going to lose. There’s fundamental baseball. There are times when you do certain things. That was fundamental baseball.”

“I’d rather take my two chances with a runner in scoring position than a possible run at first base.”

“Now you understand why I took Bronson out. That’s playoff baseball. When you get the chance to get some runs, you go get some runs.”

Baker also pointed out that Heath Bell is quick to home plate, which reduced the chances for Drew Stubbs to steal from first base.

“He’s one of the best,” Baker said. “I don’t have these notes for nothing. He’s 1.23 to the plate. That’s pretty quick. There aren’t many closers around that quick. Coco is 1.7 -something.”

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Postgame: Volquez sharpening

Edinson Volquez had one shaky fifth inning and it cost him during a 3-1 Reds loss to Arizona. He walked the first two batters and paid for it.

But the overall vibe about Volquez’s performance was positive.

Dusty Baker was asked if Volquez had his 2008 All-Star stuff back yet after his return from Tommy John surgery.

“He’s pretty close. His endurance is up. His velocity is up,” Baker said. “Since he went down to Dayton, his location is a lot better, his tempo, rhythm and just his overall delivery is better. He’s not forcing it. He’s just letting it flow, pitching nice and relaxed.”

In two starts since returning from a tune-up stint at Class A Dayton, Volquez has given up seven hits and three walks while striking out 17 over 13 2/3 innings. He is trying to land one of the rotation spots in the postseason and likely competing with Travis Wood and Homer Bailey.

“I think I’m close now,” Volquez said of his stuff. “The last two games, I’m pitching really good. My delivery is better. I throw more fastballs for strikes than before.”

More notes —

*Orlando Cabrera snapped his four-game hit streak. He was was 8-for-21 during it. He also had five doubles during this series.

*Paul Janish has an eight -game hit streak (11-for-31, .355)

*Drew Stubbs hit safely in eight of last 10 games. Check out this notebook item I did on Stubbs before the game.

*This was game 14 of a 20-game stretch without a day off. The next off day doesn’t come until Thursday of next week between Milwaukee and San Diego.

More quotes —

“You don’t play this game for 162 games, you really don’t. You can throw them all in the trash once the playoff start. But we have to get there first. You get there by playing the way we’ve been playing. I think we’ve done a good job of keeping our eye on the prize.” — Jonny Gomes

“We knew it was going to be a tough stretch physically and emotionally, and everything especially down the stretch.” — Dusty Baker on the 20-straight game stretch the Reds are in.

One other thing —

I am off for this weekend’s series at Houston. But I will return starting Monday in Milwaukee and will ride with you until the end — whenever that may be.

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Postgame: Give Bruce the save

Francisco Cordero was more than willing to give Jay Bruce his save after a thrilling end to a 7-5 Reds victory. Bruce stopped a potential game-tying two run homer by Adam LaRoche with a great catch at the fence. Here is a link to the video of the play:

Since Bruce couldn’t have the save, Cordero gave Bruce a hug instead and possibly the quote of the night.

“I didn’t give him a kiss because that would’ve been a little bit weird,” Cordero said. “I gave him a big hug. He saved my night tonight. I really give it up to Bruce. He saved that game tonight. He got the save.”

*Both Dusty Baker and Bruce backed Cordero, who has been shaky lately. He had two blown saves in the previous series vs. the Pirates and nearly had one more tonight.

“How many guys in the league have that many saves? Yeah, some have gotten away,” Bruce said. “That’s just the name of the game. It’s baseball. It’s not easy. It’s a really tough position to pitch in. He’s our closer and I trust him 100 percent.”

*There was some concern about Homer Bailey, who departed after only three innings because of dizziness. Bailey’s velocity was way down and he was bouncing some balls in the dirt.

“I had a real big headache and stuff,” said Bailey, who threw 83 pitches in that short span. “I thought maybe my hat was a little too tight or something. I went out there and was kind of dizzy and a little off balance and stuff. How many walks was it, 20? That hasn’t been my game here of late. I was having trouble just staying balanced and stuff.”

*Big 3-for-4 night for Orlando Cabrera, who had three doubles and three runs scored.

*The Cardinals were swept by the Cubs to give the Reds an eight-game lead in the NL Central and a magic number of 10 to clinch. The Reds can finish 8-8 while the Cardinals would have to go 17-1 to catch them.

*A cluster of a few thousand bugs took in the game at GABP. Although it didn’t really reach Joba Chamberlain levels like in Cleveland a couple of years ago, it was enough to be a little annoying to the players.

More quotes —

“I didn’t think that ball had a chance to stay in the ballpark. I thought our only shot there was for the ball to go foul. It looked like it was staying straight. I don’t think anyone was looking at Jay Bruce. We couldn’t see him in the corner. The fans went crazy so I figured something good must have happened.” — Dusty Baker on Jay Bruce’s catch

“First I thought it was going to be foul and then I was like ‘that might have a chance.'” — D-Backs 1B Adam LaRoche

“I was jumping kind of more lateral than back. On balls like that, I try to get to the wall first as much as I can when I run so I can have a view of where it is. I thought it was going to be one of those foul in the seats. I didn’t think it was going to go as far as it did. He puts a lot of backspin on the ball most of the time.” — Jay Bruce

“I should have caught it. In the grand scheme of things there’s no excuses. It’s a ball that I tracked down and just didn’t finish it off.” – Arizona CF Chris Young, who made an error on Miguel Cairo’s fly that scored Jonny Gomes in the four-run Reds’ first inning.

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The Bloomquist era begins

Weds lineup vs. ARI

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Gomes 7
Cairo 5
Stubbs 8
Bloomquist 9
Hanigan 2
Bailey 1

*3B Scott Rolen is not in the lineup because of stiffness in his upper back and neck.

“It happened on a swing during my third at-bat, my first strikeout last night,” Rolen said. “It was a slider down and I caught something.”

Rolen is listed as day-to-day for a return, which will likely happen in Houston.

“I’m not worried about it,” Rolen said.

“I could tell last night when he took a couple of funky swings,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I could tell something was wrong when one hand came off the bat. Plus when he gets real, real quiet, I’ve come to learn something is not right.”

*After Miguel Cairo starts tonight at third base, Baker plans to start Juan Francisco there on Thursday.

*Chris Heisey is available to play but is still bothered by a sore left biceps. Baker is trying to rest him as much as possible.

*Laynce Nix (sprained left ankle) is jogging but not running yet. He has been hitting in the cage.

*Orlando Cabrera is 9-for-18 lifetime vs. Arizona LHP Joe Saunders. On the other hand, Willie Bloomquist is 0-for-11. 

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