Results tagged ‘ Orlando Cabrera ’

Cabrera, Bruce getting breaks

Tuesday lineup vs. PIT

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

A lefty is going again for the Pirates in Paul Maholm, which explains Bruce not being in there.

Bruce is 2-for-12 (.167) lifetime vs. Maholm — but those two hits were both homers.Cabrera is 1-for-2 against Maholm.

Brandon Phillips is the Reds best weapon tonight since he is 14-for-37 (.378) with four homers and nine RBIs.

UPDATE: The match-up issue was one reason Bruce was off tonight but not the only one, according to Dusty Baker.

“Plus, he’s played every day,” Bruce said. “I have a couple of guys during this long streak here that need some time. A day does wonders. Cabrera has been playing a lot. He’s a little sore.”

Bruce has played in all 45 games this season. His last non-start was May 3.

Baker is also looking to find rest breaks for Joey Votto and Phillips.

“I just don’t know when,” Baker said. “[Votto] doesn’t want it — like Jay Bruce. He didn’t want it today either. These guys want to play. This is what you like. I have to not ask them sometimes. I have to tell them.”

*On the field before batting practice, injured outfielder Chris Dickerson was playing catch for the first time since his right wrist and hand surgeries May 3. Although he throws left-handed, throwing wasn’t an easy task.

“The first five throws were comical,” Dickerson said. “It was the first time I threw a ball in three weeks. I was getting my release point back and the motion. The balls were all over the place. It turned out all right. The ball was actually coming out of my hand really well. It’s a matter of getting the strength back and squeezing the glove.”

Dickerson had surgery to remove a broken hook on the hamate bone in his hand and arthroscopic surgery to clean out his wrist. He is still working on range of motion but if playing catch goes well, he could start swinging a bat by the end of this week or start of next week.

“We underestimate the shock of catching a ball, that jolt back and controlling the motion. The incision is still sensitive when the ball hits the palm of my glove. It was just nice to be out there doing baseball activity, I’m excited about that. It’s such a small thing at this stage but we’re definitely going in the right direction.”

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Postgame extra: Walk this way

The Reds have made their opponents pay for intentional walks three-straight games now.

After the previous batter was walked  intentionally to get to him, Drew Stubbs burned the Cardinals with a two-run triple on Saturday. Bronson Arroyo did it to St. Louis with a two-run single on Sunday.

On Monday, the Brewers’ Todd Coffey gave Jay Bruce a free pass with two outs to put runners on first and second for Jonny Gomes. Gomes took notice.

“When you get that guy in front of you intentionally walked, not really to set up a double play or a special match-up, you dig down,” Gomes said. “It’s a little character-check for yourself.”

Gomes sent a first-pitch 95 mph fastball over the left-field fence for a three-run homer. It made the big five-run inning for the 6-3 win.

“You know you’re going to get power from Todd, whether it’s a power slider or power heater,” Gomes said. “He locates it well. I just wanted to be ready early. I didn’t want to go deep in the count with runners in scoring position with him. It worked out well.”

Other items from Monday:

*Orlando Cabrera boosted Johnny Cueto with a nice play in the first inning. With Escobar on third with a triple, Cabrera threw him out at the plate on Ryan Braun’s sharp grounder to shortstop.

*Also a nice play by Drew Stubbs to throw out Greg Zaun trying to score on fly ball by Gallardo. It was one-hopper to Ramon Hernandez that beat Zaun by two steps. Hernandez also did a textbook job blocking the plate.

*The Reds’ errorless streak ended at 11 games with Jody Gerut’s fourth inning grounder going between Brandon Phillips legs.

*After giving up the Gomes homer, Coffey drilled Stubbs in the back with his next pitch. Both benches were warned to prevent retaliation.

“We don’t have any time for that to escalate right now,” Gomes said. “We’re focused on winning ballgames. I don’t know if it was intentional or not. You’d have to ask him. we’re not really going to waste much energy thinking about that stuff.”

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Cabrera leading off

Reds Friday lineup vs. Cubs

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

Dusty Baker foreshadowed change at the leadoff spot following Wednesday’s game. Drew Stubbs hasn’t gotten going with 30 strikeouts in 92 ABs, while batting .174.

Question of the day: Something had to be done, but what do you think of this move? Do you like Orlando Cabrera in the top spot? If not, who would be better among the in-house options?

Some quotes from the principals involved:

“It’s reassuring for me to know that even when things aren’t going your way, Dusty and those guys still have confidence in me to get back where I need to be. It’s illustrated by their moving me down a little bit, taking the pressure off like they did earlier. Hopefully, it will allow me to get it going again.” — Drew Stubbs, who met with Dusty Baker in the office today.

“We’ve been through this before. I need Stubbs’ defense in there. He’s the best center fielder I’ve got. Hopefully his offense comes around.” — Baker

“I don’t think it is [a big deal]. You only leadoff once in the first inning and that’s it. After that, everybody is the same. Hopefully, we keep winning. That’s the whole point of the situation – to change the lineup. We’re trying to get some people on base for the people behind us.” — Cabrera on leading off. He did 35 times last season 251 times for his career.

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Postgame extra: wild, wacky series

It was a wild, wild series with the Mets and it was capped by a 5-4 win in 10 innings on Orlando Cabrera’s walk-off home run off of the left field foul pole. That meant Cincinnati won two of three and moved to 14-14.

This series featured:

*Three games decided by one run and on a home run.
*11 homers combined by both teams — all solo shot. There were 8 by the Reds.

*All three games were tied in the ninth inning.

“As long as we win, that’s the objective,” manager Dusty Baker said. “This was some series here. We walked off. They walked off. We walked off again. Good thing we’re not playing them tomorrow or it would be their turn to walk off again. That was a great series.”

*The Reds have nine wins in their last at-bat this season. That’s just nutty.

“This is special,” Cabrera said. “I don’t think I’ve been on a team like that – that wins so many games in the last at-bat. It’s good and it’s bad. We put ourselves in some crisis situations sometimes. The good thing is we bounce back. Hopefully we can stay focused and keep a lead.”

The good from Wednesday:

*Brandon Phillips infield single to first base in the first inning. He hustled hard and beat the pitcher to the bag with a head-first slide.

*Miguel Cairo snapped a 0-for-13 skid. It was a soft roller past the shortstop.

*Jonny Gomes was 2-for-4 with a single in the fourth and a solo home run in the fifth that gave the Reds a 4-2 lead.

*Another nice outing for Nick Masset, who pitched a perfect eighth inning with two strikeouts.  He got David Wright to fan on a 95 mph fastball and then got Ike Davis to whiff on an 82 mph changeup.

*Cabrera got his team-leading 16th RBI with his home run.

Not so good:

*Ramon Hernandez ran through a stop sign from 3rd base coach Mark Berry on Cabrera’s two-out RBI single to right field. Hernandez was easily nailed at the plate by Gary Matthews’ throw for the third out with Joey Votto on deck.

“Maybe he thought he was Speed Racer all of a sudden,” Baker said. “He didn’t see the stop sign and he didn’t hear anything. Sometimes that happens but it shouldn’t happen with Joey on deck.”

*Drew Stubbs was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. In 92 ABs, Stubbs is batting .174 with 30 Ks. Baker is considering change at the leadoff spot.

“I may have to re-think things now with Stubbs struggling some,” Baker said. “He came to me today and said his legs were feeling good again. He was having a little problem earlier.”

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Deep in the Heart of Texas

For those who have clamored to see Brandon Phillips bat second, you will be placated for one night, at least.

Reds lineup

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

*For some reason, Astros 1B Lance Berkman is known as “The Puma.” For good reason, he sharpens his claws when playing the Reds. Check out these lifetime stats vs. Cincinnati.

327 AVG, 48 HRs and 133 RBIs .444 OBP .699 SLG.

*I know you many of you have been pining to see Phillips bat second. But does this concern you about the top of the order tonight?

Drew Stubbs: team leading 21 strikeouts, .273 OBP
Brandon Phillips: 13 strikeouts, .296 OBP

*Orlando Cabrera, the usual No. 2 hitter, is the team leader with 13 RBIs but is batting .239 with a .267 OBP.

“He asked me how I felt hitting sixth,” Cabrera said of Baker. “I said ‘whatever you decide to do, I don’t care.’ It’s only for one reason – to see if it works, to do something different.”

This was Baker’s take on the lineup change:

“I’m just trying to figure out a way to get Brandon started and maybe hitting in front of Joey will help. Rolen has been good. They’ve been pitching around Joey lately, throwing him tough pitches. Cabrera has been real good in the clutch driving in runs.”

“I called them in and spoke to both of them about it. It’s all good.”

*The last time Phillips batted second for the Reds was April 21, 2008, vs. the Dodgers. He also did it April 20, 2008, vs. the Brewers but not at all in 2009.

*This season, right-handed hitters are batting .303 vs. Astros starter Bud Norris and lefties are hitting .167.

*The University of Michigan baseball team will retire Barry Larkin’s No. 16 jersey before a May 1 game vs. Ohio State. Larkin played at Michigan from 1983-85 and was a two-time All-American. He will be the sixth player to have his number retired by Michigan baseball.

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Camp open; Chapman, Janish

When they weren’t taking physicals, many Reds players were getting lost or just looking around at their new Spring Training place. Camp has opened and the pitchers and catchers’ workout is due to begin shortly.

Only two pitchers aren’t here on time — Enerio Del Rosario and Pedro Viola. Both had flight issues getting out of the Dominican Republic. Both are expected in town later.

The Reds will be holding a press conference with Aroldis Chapman on Monday. So that will be the first time we hear from him directly. Manager Dusty Baker, of course, has met with him already.

“I had a nice chat with Chapman and some other guys,” Baker said. The conversation, he noted, was in Spanish.

“I like his makeup, body type and he understands pretty well what you’re saying,” Baker said. “It seems like when guys do speak to him in English, he comprehends. You can tell when a person doesn’t understand.”

Pitching coach Bryan Price is in charge of the Spring Training plan for Chapman.

“There’s always a plan. It’d be hard to imagine not seeing him in games,” Baker said. “Talking to Bryan, he usually has two weeks off the entire year. This is probably the longest he’s been off in his life.

“We’re going to do a combination of what he’s been doing and also what we think is best from the way we do things.”

Other goings ons on Day 1 of camp:

More position players arrived early — namely Jay Bruce and Paul Janish.

On not being the shortstop now that Orlando Cabrera is signed:

“It was a little disheartening,” Janish said. “If you had asked me in November if we would probably sign somebody, I would have said yes. Obviously the timing of this was so close to Spring Training. I went through the offseason thinking of something else. It is what it is. It’s the way it works. I’m a pretty positive guy. I have the mentality that as long as I’m on the team helping us win, that’s a good thing. What else can you do?

“It’s just change of mentality. I have to get into the mindset of being a utility guy again, a guy that comes off the bench later in the game or if something happens. That’s really it. The writing was on the wall. Orlando is obviously a pretty decorated player that has been in the big leagues a long time. He’s a good player. Anything that makes the team better means we’re going in the right direction.”

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Busy Monday for the Redlegs

Remember when everyone complained about the lack of Reds hot stove activity from October through mid-January?

Since then — Aroldis Chapman, Miguel Cairo, Orlando Cabrera have been added. And on Monday, fan non-favorite center fielder Willy Taveras was subtracted. Jonny Gomes could be returning any day with a Minor League deal if the two sides can come together.

What did you think of the latest moves?

Personally, I was not overly wowed with the Cabrera signing but I understand why the Reds felt they had to make it. To them, the lineup wasn’t strong enough to wait while Paul Janish developed as a hitter. The front office wanted more of a sure thing.

Cabrera won’t be a defensive liability but he won’t nearly as sound as Janish, who I think would have come around offensively — eventually. I also think Janish’s defensive ability is so good that he would have saved more runs to make it worth starting him. Is the offense Cabrera might provide worth all the extra money? I would have pocketed it for later in the year when more tweaks might be needed.

You can debate the merits of the signing but you can’t debate the motive. The Reds have to feel they have the pieces in place to contend.

As for the trade, I was amazed the Reds found a way to trade Taveras and not have to eat any of his salary. That’s a huge plus. Anything Aaron Miles can do is pretty much a bonus at this point. I’m not expecting much but I’m also not expecting him to struggle as bad as he did last year.

When you add up the money — Taveras’ $4 million salary compared to $2.7 million for Miles and the difference that went to pay Cabrera — the Reds could have done much worse under the circumstances.

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Reds have offer to Cabrera

The Reds remain in the running for free-agent shortstop Orlando Cabrera, and it appears there are only two other suitors — the Rockies and Nationals — a Major League source told on Thursday night.

I’ve learned that Cincinnati has definitely made an offer to Cabrera. He is trying to decide between Cincinnati, Colorado and Washington.

Nothing was likely to be done tonight. Stay tuned.

No Damon, maybe Cabrera?

Reds GM Walt Jocketty was on his way to Batesville, Indiana on a Reds caravan bus when he called me back and multiple topics were brought up.

Despite a report of there being a potential fit on Wednesday, the Reds are not in on free agent left fielder Johnny Damon. The Reds were talking to the Scott Boras agency about another player recently and Damon is also epresented by Boras.

“They talked about Damon but it doesn’t fit financially,” Jocketty said. “I don’t see us pursuing it.”

How about the possiblity of adding free agent shortstop Orlando Cabrera?

“He is more realistic,” Jocketty said. “We’re still talking to a number of free agents. We’ve really exceeded where our budget should be. We’re still trying to upgrade the club if we can manage it financially.”

If the Reds add anyone, it would probably be under a minor league contract.

“We don’t have a roster spot right now and it will be tough to find one,” Jocketty said. “But it will be tough to get many of the people out there to take a Minor League contract.”

Next week, the Reds will have a scout to check out free agent lefty Noah Lowry, who will throw in a public workout. Lowry has not pitched since 2007 because of multiple injuries, including something called thoracic outlet syndrome.

“We’ll probably watch him to keep an eye on him,” Jocketty said. “We inquired about him in the past. We sent someone to look at Ben Sheets too but knew he wouldn’t be in our price range. But we wanted to keep track of him.”


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