Results tagged ‘ Orlando Cabrera ’

In Milwaukee

And Scott Rolen is back in the Reds lineup “in Milwaukee” as he predicted Sunday.

“You guys can stop asking me now,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Monday.

Monday lineup vs. MIL

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

*No Reds hitter has a more extensive history vs. Brewers LHP Randy Wolf than Orlando Cabrera, who is 13-for-41 (.317) with four doubles, one homer and six RBIs.

*Cabrera has also been one of the hotter Reds hitters in general. He has hit safely in nine of his last 11 games (17-for-45, .378).

*Phillips has been in a slump for much of July. He’s batting .180 (16-for-89) in July and is 3-for-his-last 25. (.120). Hence the reason for Cabrera going back to leading off, a move that ignited the offense once when he was there May 7-June 23. Phillips’ last 26 starts have been from the leadoff spot.

“Brandon has been struggling some and Cabrera has been hot,” Baker said. “I flip-flopped them the first time because of that reason. Now I’m re-flipping them a second time for that reason.”

*Rolen was glad to be back in the lineup, naturally. Had he gone on the DL, he’d still be out.

“I’m cutting five days off if we had done the DL,” Rolen said. “So I’m glad it worked out and went the direction that it went. Dusty and Walt and everybody were patient as well. There was no timeframe and I wasn’t under the gun to make a decision. I probably would have made the wrong one last Thursday.”

*Homer Bailey is scheduled to make a rehab start tonight with Class A Dayton.

*Through seven games of his rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville, Dickerson is 8-for-20 (.400). The prediction here is that Dickerson will be given the full 20-game rehab assignment. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s optioned to Louisville after that. As evidenced by the Gary Matthews Jr. situation, there is no apparent desire to shake up the current outfield situation, especially the bench with Laynce Nix and Chris Heisey.


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Postgame: New Leake pitch count?

Following a 4-0 loss to the Astros, there could be a change in tactics in how the Reds manage Leake’s pitch count going forward. Today, he was at 84 pitches through six innings and then had trouble getting through the next 10 pitches.

It was 1-0 when Leake gave up three-straight hits in the seventh with one out — including Chris Johnson’s home run, a Jason Castro single and pinch-hitter Jason Michaels’ double. Both runners scored on Michael Bourn’s double off Arthur Rhodes.

The Leake line: 6.1 ip, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR….94 pitches/53 strikes.

“Maybe we’ll have to start watching him around that 90-pitch count,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It was 100 but maybe we’ll bring it down to 90. They flared that one in there, no problem. He’s got that sinker. He’s the best double play almost that we’ve got. That’s why we let him face Michaels. A sinker on Michaels came back over the plate and a sinker on Johnson came back over the plate.”

Leake also ran into trouble in the seven-run ninth inning at Philly when he was at 83 pitches coming in and started giving up hits.

*With a little better luck, you have think Leake would have double-digit wins by now and more consideration for NL Rookie of the Year votes. He was hosed from a win against the Astros on May 30 when he pitched seven scoreless and didn’t get a win because the Reds were blanked 2-0 in 10 innings. The Reds are 11-8 when he pitches. There were three losses by one run, two by two runs and six in the opponent’s final at-bat. There of course were the two heartbreakers in Atlanta and Philadelphia.

“It happens I guess. It’s frustrating. Then again, they’re not trying to do it,” Leake said. “You just have to battle, make your pitches and try to keep it low on your part.”

The good —

*The defense had some sparkling moments. In the fourth, left fielder Jonny Gomes made a fantastic diving catch towards the line to rob Jason Castro and save a run. In the seventh, Orlando Cabrera took a hit away from leadoff batter Jeff Keppinger with a pick and leaping throw from the hole.

The not so good —

*Today’s loss was the Reds’ MLB leading 12th shutout this season. They’ve been blanked six times on Sundays, including the last three in a row.

*The Reds have also been shutout five times in the last 16 games.

“That is strange. I guess when we’re good, we’re very good. When we don’t score, we don’t score at all,” Baker said.

*Wandy Rodriguez, who had a 5.11 ERA coming in, gave Houston one-hit ball over seven innings.

More quotes —

“I think those zeroes up there weren’t telling the whole story. I wasn’t locating well the whole game. I felt like I couldn’t really throw it where I wanted to today. I don’t know why.” — Mike Leake

“Wandy has been throwing the ball good, according to our reports. He’s thrown his fastball up and out of the zone away a lot and bouncing his breaking ball. And that’s what he was doing today.” — Dusty Baker on Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez

“I wish I could but I’m glad I can’t. It means it doesn’t happen very often. This game is interesting. I think we’ve done pretty good against Wandy the last couple of outings.” — Jonny Gomes on the inability to explain all the shutouts.

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Friday by the lake

Thumbnail image for wrigley field 070210.jpgHope everyone has a nice, and safe, holiday weekend.

Friday lineup vs Cubs

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

*Orlando Cabrera is 14-for-38 (.368) lifetime vs. Cubs starter Ryan Dempster, Brandon Phillips is 2-for-18 (.111) and Joey Votto is 3-for-13 with two homers (.231).

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Postgame extra — Deee-fensssse

It was tough to count the defensive gems tonight behind Johnny Cueto during a 7-3 victory over the Phillies.

*Joey Votto picked and turned the 3-6-3 double play to end the top of the second after Cueto had a shaky start to the inning.

*Brandon Phillips snagged Raul Ibanez’s grounder and flipped to second to begin a 4-6-3 double play in the third. Ibanez looked safe but Cueto escaped having runners on first and second with one out.

*That one out in the fourth came when leadoff hitter Chase Utley was thrown out by center fielder Drew Stubbs trying to stretch a single into a double.

*SS Orlando Cabrera had two nice plays. He stopped an Utley grounder in the hole and made a nice one-hop throw to Votto at first base in the sixth. In the eighth, he made an over the shoulder catch on Ross Gload’s pop up to shallow left field.

“We’ve been lucky this year with the way our defense is playing. I appreciated the way they played tonight,” Cueto said.

*Those plays helped Cueto get eight innings and 109 pitches after a shaky start. He allowed six hits and two walks and for the first time this season — he had no strikeouts.

*Cueto has a 0.87 ERA over his last three starts (2 ER/20 2/3 innings)

*Bill Bray pitched the ninth, giving him his first big league action since the final day of the 2008 season. Bray had Tommy John surgery in 2009 while in Triple-A. He allowed a two-out homer to Ibanez when the game seemed in hand.

*Scott Rolen notched career home run No. 300 with his two-run shot off of the foul pole in left field.

More quotes —

“Those guys aren’t that easy to strikeout either. They have some quality hitters over there. Sometimes you put too much emphasis on strikeouts. If you can make them put the ball in play and use your defense, that eliminates the high pitch count that Johnny is prone to get sometimes.” — Dusty Baker

“I was concentrating on keeping the ball down to the hitter and just getting a groundball” — Johnny Cueto.

“We’re trying to get a series, we’re trying to win a series. We know theyre a good team without a doubt, and we think were a good team. So were going to go out and play good baseball. This series isn’t over, we still have work to do against these guys and obviously we have a tough road trip.” — Scott Rolen


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Postgame extra: Offense humming

Some notes out of the 10-3 Reds win over the Indians that has them on a four-game win streak:

*Jay Bruce is some kind of nice tear these days — 9-for-12 in his last four games. Bruce had two doubles, a walk, a sac fly and three runs scored. His average is up to .287.

*Orlando Cabrera was 2-for-5, which snapped his 0-for-19 skid.

*Drew Stubbs ended his 0-for-14 with a two-run homer to right field in the second inning and was 2-for-4, four RBI night. His long ball was responsible for the go-ahead runs. The four RBIs tied a career high which he set in April.

*Scott Rolen hit homer No. 16, giving him the team lead. He led off with sixth by clocking a 1-0 pitch deep to left field.

*The last few games since the Seattle debacle, the Reds have been spreading the offense around pretty well. Four players had two hits and every starting position player except for Joey Votto had at least one hit. In these last four games, the lineup has produced 23 runs.

*Aaron Harang walked five but had an otherwise decent outing. He allowed three runs and eight hits over seven innings. At 6-7, his win total is equal to what he had in both 2008 and 2009.

*And the Cardinals lost in Kansas City, which means the Reds are back in first place, a half-game up. 

Quotes —

*Dusty Baker was asked if the signing of Gary Matthews Jr. to a minor league contract would push Stubbs to better performance.

“Not really, it probably just gives us some insurance in the minor leagues,” Baker said. “I don’t think Stubbs has to worry too much about that. He’s been working hard. He’s been up and down, mostly up, the last few weeks. The thing about him is no matter what he’s hitting, he seems to drive in runs. We need that down in the seventh spot because you’re going to come up, especially with the guys we have in Gomes and Votto and Bruce getting on base – you need some RBIs down there. It’s a very important part of your lineup.”

“The season is just a course of ups and downs. You try to ride the ups as long as you can and minimize the low points. Any time that you can get a little something going you just try to keep up with it and string it out as long as possible.” — Drew Stubbs

“When you get out there and guys put some runs on the board for you early, it always makes it easier to go out there and try to pitch and not have to worry too much about making maybe one or two mistakes.” — Aaron Harang.

Have a good rest of the weekend, I’m off. See you on Monday.

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The Ohio Cup, part deux

Friday lineup vs. CLE

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

*Orlando Cabrera is 8-for-60 in his last 15 games, including a current 0-for-18 slide. He is out of the leadoff spot for now. 

“At-bats are piling up for Cabrera,” Dusty Baker said. “Maybe getting some non at-bats, some sac bunts, some hit-and-runs and different things will take some pressure off him.”

Cabrera has a better chance to break out tonight since he  is 7-for-18 (.389) in his career vs. Cleveland starter Aaron Laffey.

“I know but when you’re not going good, track record don’t mean nothing,” Baker said. “He had a good track record against some of the guys on the road too.”

Baker was asked if the just-signed Gary Matthews Jr. could eventually fill the leadoff role.

“Matthews has got to get his act together first,” Baker said. “How do you do that without your act being together? Matthews is going to Triple-A to get his act together. If his act was together, he’d be playing somewhere and probably leading off.”

*Ryan Hanigan was 0-for-2 Thursday as the DH in his first rehab assignment game for Triple-A Louisville.

*Homer Bailey (right shoulder inflammation) said he is going to resume a throwing program on Monday — nothing too intensive at first however.

“I feel like I can probably start throwing now,” Bailey said. “I feel pretty good. But we have this plan working. It seems to be going pretty well. We’ll take our time and stick with it.”

*Reliever Mike Lincoln (strained right side muscle) hoped to begin throwing by next week.

*Tonight is Irish Heritage Night, so the Reds are donning green caps for the game vs. the Indians.

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On to Oakland

Monday lineup vs. OAK

Phillips 4
Janish 6
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Stubbs 8
Heisey 9
Cairo DH
Hernandez 2

Leake RHP


*Edinson Volquez’s next start for Triple-A Louisville was moved back to Wednesday, instead of Tuesday.

“We gave him an extra day because of the added pitch count,” Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said. Volquez is likely to throw 90 pitches in the game against Toledo.

*Homer Bailey (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to begin a throwing program by the time the Reds get home from this trip. Lessard said that Bailey’s shoulder exercise program has been intensified.

*Catcher Ryan Hanigan (fractured left thumb) did catching and blocking drills early this afternoon and later caught Johnny Cueto’s side bullpen session.

“It went very good,” Hanigan said.

*Chris Dickerson went to Louisville to take batting practice. He has not yet begun a rehab assignment. Dickerson just wanted to swing against real pitching, rather than a machine while the team was out of town.

*Orlando Cabrera gets a break today. Cabrera is 8-for-50 (.160) in 13 games since July 6 when he hurt his right ankle. He’s also 2-for-his-last 22. Dusty Baker had Cabrera for a short meeting in his office today. Baker thinks that Cabrera has been making great contact but had little luck.

“A lot of times, people just see how many hits you’ve got. They don’t see how you’ve hit the ball,” Baker said. “Jay [Bruce] was our hard-luck guy earlier and he’s been our hard-luck guy the last 10 days or two weeks. He’s been hitting the ball on the nose and has nothing to show for it all over the field. I said ‘keep swinging. Sometimes the numbers are deceiving. If you keep hitting the ball hard, you’ve got action.”

*Speaking of Bruce, he is 4-for-25 (also .160) in his last seven games and getting a break.

*I said hello to former Reds INF Adam Rosales during batting practice.  Rosales asked me if I had any Skyline Chili before making the trip. During his time in Cincinnati, I unsuccessfully encouraged him to give Skyline a try but he never made it there before the trade to Oakland.

*It’s funny how the Reds can’t seem to get three facets of the game — hitting, starting pitching and bullpen — clicking at the same time. The bullpen is finally getting it together just as the hitting takes leave. Reds relievers didn’t allow a run in any of the last four games (8 1/3 innings) and have a 0.79 ERSA over the last five games (11 1/3 innings).

*Despite the offensive void of the past weekend, the Reds remain the National League’s best team in hitting with a .274 average. They also lead the Majors with a .291 average with runners in scoring position.

*Although they came up empty against Ryan Rowland-Smith of the Mariners Sunday, the Reds are encountering another struggling pitcher in the A’s Gio Gonzalez. The lefty is 6-5 with a 4.21 ERA but is 1-2 with a 6.04 ERA in four starts in June while opponents have batted .314. He has also issued 39 walks, which is tied for third most in the American League.

*Interesting to see that the Blue Jays designated former Reds 3B Edwin Encarnacion for assignment on Monday. He was optioned to Triple-A on Sunday after batted .200 with nine homers and 22 RBIs. How does that Scott Rolen trade look to you now?

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Volquez getting close

Edinson Volquez is moving up to Triple-A Louisville to make his next rehab assignment start. Volquez pitched five scoreless innings for Class A Lynchburg against Kinston on Thursday. He allowed one hit with no walks and four strikeouts. He retired his first 11 batters in a row and reportedly reached 97 mph on the radar gun.

Volquez has three hits over eight scoreless innings in two starts for Lynchburg. He hasn’t walked a batter and struck out seven.

“The no walks are what’s big. I’d say he’s coming along quickly,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

GM Walt Jocketty figured Volquez had four more starts in the Minors. That could put him back with the Reds as soon as July 7.

“We may give him an extra day [of rest] once or twice,” Jocketty said. “We’ll just keep progressing him. We’ll keep increasing his pitch count more each time.”

It’s highly likely that Volquez will go into the Reds rotation and not work from the bullpen when he’s ready.

“That’s the best I think for him and us in the long run,” Baker said. “We’ve got some decisions to make when that happens. Those are good decisions to make. When he does come back, that’s like making a major trade getting a top-flight, quality All-Star, which he was.”

*Lefty reliever Bill Bray had another scoreless inning of relief with one allowed for Louisville on Thursday. Bray has 7 2/3 innings of scoreless work for Lynchburg and Louisville. A call-up to the big leagues was not immiment. He has only three games in Louisville so far.

“He probably needs a few more times out,” Jocketty said.

*The Reds are facing LHP Cliff Lee Friday. A free agent at season’s end with a struggling Seattle club, Lee is going to be a prime cog in the wheel of trade rumors this summer. Some outlets have already speculated that Cincinnati could be a fit because the club is contending and has a depth of prospects.

“We haven’t discussed it,” Jocketty said of Lee. “We’ll do what we can to improve our club. We’re looking at pitching. I don’t know how many bullets we’re going to have, so we’ll have to be careful how we use them. With Volquez coming back and Chapman — Wood is still down there and pitching well, and Maloney.”

*SS Orlando Cabrera has been bothered by a sore right ankle since he had contact with Josh Willingham during the Nationals series earlier this month. Cabrera is 3-for-his-last 25 (.120)

“I don’t think it will be a DL thing,” Cabrera said. “If it comes to the point where I need to take a rest for a couple of days, I will. It’s not to that point.”

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A break for Cabrera

Thu lineup vs. SF

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

Dusty Baker said last night that Cabrera would get today off. It was decided even before Cabrera’s four hit game. He did not mind at all.

“I’m an old man,” Cabrera said. “We just want to keep everybody sharp. Janish is a big piece of this team. We have to keep him sharp too.”

*The last time Brandon Phillips led off a game was April 13, 2007. This is his 12th career appearance batting first (10-for-45, .222, 3 HR, five RBIs)

*No decision has been made about Sunday’s start between Homer Bailey and Sam LeCure. Bailey has a bullpen session scheduled for Friday. He said there has been no ill-effects from his rehab assignment start for Louisville on Tuesday.

“I was sore but in all the good places. Nothing struck me as out of the ordinary,” Bailey said.

Bailey’s line vs. Syracuse was 4 1/3 innings with five earned runs and six hits allowed while throwing 86 pitches. He and the club said the outing went better than the line reflected.

“It felt, not new, but I didn’t get off the mound for two weeks. To get out there like that, it felt good,” Bailey said. “There were a few balls hit in just the perfect places that allowed runners to move over and stuff like that.”

Meanwhile, LeCure was preparing himself to pitch Sunday — just in case.

“I’ll just go about it like I am,” LeCure said. “If they tell me I am, I will be ready. I’m not too worried about it.”

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PGX: Harang, Rolen, Cabrera – all big

Look who is back to a .500 record. Why it’s Aaron Harang.

Although overshadowed by stellar performances Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Bronson Arroyo during the hot streak of the rotation, Harang has started to put together a decent stretch.

Wednesday’s 6-3 victory made Harang 5-2 with a 3.93 ERA over his last nine starts. He was 0-3, 8.31 through the first four starts of the season.

“It was definitely tough early in the season to get that far behind and climb back,” Harang said.

Harang’s only runs in seven innings came on Buster Posey’s two-run homer in the second inning. He allowed five hits and three walks with three strikeouts.

The good —

*The SF seventh inning. Harang got into a two-out bases loaded jam but got Freddy Sanchez to fly out to end the inning. Nice backup from right fielder Jay Bruce, who made a long running catch towards the gap to save three runs.

*Orlando Cabrera busted out of a 0-for-12 skid with a 4-for-5, three double game and scored the Reds first three runs.

*Scott Rolen had anothe huge night with a 3-for-3 game and he also drove in Cabrera twice with two-out RBI doubles. Rolen has five straight games with extra base hit and a nine-game hitting streak. (14-for-41, .441 during streak)

“It’s the blind squirrel theory,” Rolen said self-depricating of his success. “I’m certainly not going to overanalyze that one. I will keep looking left and hitting right.”

More quotes —

“Nobody is worried about Orlando Cabrera. He came in and had a good night. He’s a good professional and he had a great night.” — Scott Rolen

“The best thing is guys like Rolen driving guys home with two outs. That’s just big time right there.” — Orlando Cabrera

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