Results tagged ‘ Paul Janish ’

Nice days for Bailey, Francisco

The Reds were handed an 11-4 trouncing by the Cubs on Saturday in Mesa but most the damage was done beginning in the fifth inning when most of the regulars were gone.

*3B Scott Rolen was, as they say in hockey, a healthy scratch from the Reds lineup vs. the Cubs on Saturday. There was no injury issue that took him out of the original lineup.

“He’s been playing a lot and plus we have a tough schedule next week,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

The Reds have an “A” and “B” game scheduled for Sunday, a road trip to Tucson on Tuesday and day-night split-squad games on Wednesday.

Rolen’s replacement, third base prospect Juan Francisco, provided ample fill-in work. In his first two at-bats, Francisco crushed home runs. In the second inning, he hit a 3-2 pitch deep into the right-center field seats. On a 2-0 pitch in the fourth, Francisco went the other way with a long ball to left-center.

“He had a huge day. He has some tremendous power,” Baker said. “He blasted those balls.”

*Francisco is 4-for-11 (.364) in five games.

*Paul Janish also got into the power game with a solo homer in the top of the fifth.

*It was a very good afternoon for Reds starter Homer Bailey, who allowed one earned run and three hits over three innings with no walks and two strikeouts. In the third, Bailey gave up a one-out double to Jim Adduci. He scored on Darwin Barney’s seeing-eye single under second baseman Brandon Phillips’ glove.

“It took me a little while to get loose. The last two innings, I felt a lot better,” Bailey said. “I think it’s just getting back into games and stuff. You can throw all of these bullpens but you’re never ready for game situations until it happens.”

Bailey had thrown two scoreless innings in his previous outing, a ‘B’ game vs. Milwaukee. He also worked in the team intrasquad game and looked good.

“Homer threw the ball excellent,” Baker said. “He had good velocity today and very good location. He’s throwing as well as I’ve seen him.”

It’s been a quiet spring for Bailey, in terms of the attention he’s gotten. All of it has seemingly shifted to the latest young pitcher to arrive, Aroldis Chapman.

“I’m glad I’m done with that period now and focus on the game and the results,” Bailey said. “He’s going through a lot and he’s throwing really well. That’s good to see. I don’t know what the plans are for the fifth spot and it’s none of my business. He is definitely going to help this team out very soon.”

*After Bailey departed, fifth starter candidate Micah Owings gave up three earned runs and four hits over two innings with one walk and one strikeout. His big mistake was a two-out walk in the fifth. The next batter, Bryan LaHair hit a three-run homer.

*It was a rough afternoon for non-roster pitcher Jon Adkins, who lasted only one-plus innings but was tapped for five earned runs and seven hits with one strikeout. During the three-run Cubs sixth, Adkins gave up four-straight hits.

*Pedro Viola was also touched up for two earned runs and three hits in his inning.

*The Cubs used a lot of younger players in the split-squad game. Many of their regulars were playing the White Sox in Las Vegas. Chicago outhit the Reds, 18-5.

“A lot of guys over there are calling home — I’m ready Dad,” Baker said.

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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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No winter ball for Bruce

Busy news day all around the clubhouse, beyond Dick Pole being out as pitching coach.

Jay Bruce has changed his mind about playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Bruce has batted .316 (12-for-38) with four homers and 16 RBIs since returning from a fractured right wrist, but said that had little to do with the decision.

“I didn’t think I would get back and get this much playing time,” Bruce said. I don’t feel like winter ball would benefit me.”

Bruce, who was saying as recently as last week he would head to the Dominican for a month in late November, entered the night with 378 plate appearances and batting .220 with 22 homers and 57 RBIs. He’s played 15 games with nine starts after his activation from the eight-week stint on the DL.

“It has to do with feeling comfortable,” Bruce said. “It definitely helps that I’m having quality at-bats, playing a lot and getting that done. I’ve gotten some considerable at-bats since I got back.”

If you were wondering why reliever Arthur Rhodes hasn’t pitched since Sept. 22, there is a reason. Rhodes has a broken big left toe, Dusty Baker said. Apparently it happened way back on Sept. 4 in Atlanta when Rhodes jumped for a ball during batting practice.

“We didn’t want to take chance of him doing something mechanically different and hurting his arm,” Baker said.

Amazingly, Rhodes has pitched eight times since the injury — including on Sept. 4.

Edinson Volquez watched batting practice and is still unable to pick up a baseball. But he was pretty pleased with his progress from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

“It’s unbelievable the way I feel,” Volquez said. “Eight weeks later, I feel like nothing happened. I feel normal. I feel like can pitch right now but I have to wait.”

Volquez isn’t expected to pitch for the Reds again until around the All-Star break next season.

After the season, Volquez planned to remain in Cincinnati for four weeks and workout at Dr. Tim Kremchek’s clinic. After that, he will continue to rehab as the Reds academy in the Dominican Republic.

Baker and Walt Jocketty were asked about the chances for Paul Janish to be the starting shortstop next season. Neither committed to naming him the main man now but he seems to be in the running, especially if a better hitting shortstop can be found.

“I haven’t really come up with a definitive decision yet,” Baker said. “He’s shown signs of improvement, big time. We know he can play shortstop. The fact he has 20 doubles, that’s very impressive in a short period of time. Now if we can contiunue that but also try to get osme of the others in between. He’s working on it – staying out of the air, going the other way. He experimented with a heavier bat and chjoking up. He’s a bright young man and he and we will help him figure out how to be better.”

“I think he’s shown a lot of improvement,” Jocketty said. “A lot depends on our total offense. If we can pick up the offense in the other positions, maybe we can sacrifice a little bit more at short for the better defense. But we’d like to see him keep impreoving with offense.

“Our defense has always been strong on the right side. Now with Scott [Rolen] and Janish, it’s very strong on the left side. I think the pitchers like that a lot.”

Jocketty’s comment is pretty much what I thought would be a factor. To me — if the offense improves, especially at  the leadoff spot, Janish has a superb chance of being the Opening Day shortstop in 2010. But that means Willy Taveras can’t be the main center fielder and leadoff man next year. Jay Bruce has to take a step forward. You can’t have two or three guys hitting in the .220 or less range. If Ryan Hanigan can show a tad more offense or Ramon Hernandez is brought back, that would help Janish’s cause too.

Reds lineup:

Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Balentien 7
Tatum 2
Lehr 1

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29 games to go

My off day story on Thursday was about what the Reds are trying to do over the last month. Dusty Baker always wants to win but of course, he’s giving players like Drew Stubbs and Paul Janish chances to establish themselves with an eye on next season. So far, they haven’t disappointed. Nor has Homer Bailey in recent starts. If he keeps it up, you’d have to think he can lock in a rotation spot next season.

The Reds have won nine of their last 11 games and there are multiple ways to dismiss the recent hot streak — the pressure is off, they played the reeling Pirates, etc. But winning can never hurt development and it certainly isn’t bad for morale.

The Reds are 60-73 with 29 games left in the season.

What would you like to see happen over the next month? Obviously, they’re headed towards another losing season with no playoffs and more of ‘wait until next year.’ But is there anything that can happen in these final 29 games that would have you feeling more optimistic heading into 2010?

I won’t be in Atlanta this weekend but will be back when the road trip moves to Denver.

Gonzalez traded to Boston

Gonzo is the latest Reds veteran to have gone elsewhere.

SS Alex Gonzalez cleared waivers on Friday and was traded to the Red Sox for Class A Minor League shortstop Kris Negron. Cincinnati also sent cash to Boston in the deal.

“The Red Sox had interest in Gonzo and have had problems at shortstop,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “We viewed this as an opportunity for him to play for a contender in a possible playoff situation.”

This move isn’t too stunning, to say the least. Gonzalez was in the final guaranteed year of his contract and the Reds held a $6 million option for 2010 with a $500,000 buyout. It always seemed unlikely the club would have picked that up.

In 68 games this season during a woeful season production-wise, Gonzalez batted .210 with three home runs and 26 RBIs. His on-base percentage was .258.

When you look at the return against the three-year, $14 million contract he signed with the Reds in the 2006-07 off-season, and Gonzalez was a bust. He batted .248 over his tenure and missed all of 2008 with a knee fracture. He missed a month this season because of elbow surgery. His defense is superlative but I still don’t think it added up to a successful run in Cincinnati.

What now?

Paul Janish will get the bulk of playing time at shortstop. Adam Rosales could also play there once Scott Rolen returns from the DL to play third base.  

“I didn’t find out until I got to the yard,” Janish said about the trade. “Actually I stopped to sign autographs right before I got into the parking lot and one of the guys out there told me. I didn’t know. When I got in here, I found out. It’s bittersweet. Alex is a great dude but obviously this is a huge opportunity for me so I’m excited.”

Not Chris Valaika or Todd Frazier — both will remain in the minors for now.

“We think they should stay down and keep developing,” Jocketty said.

First baseman Kevin Barker was called up from Triple-A Louisville to take Gonzalez’s roster spot. Barker will be a left-handed bat off of the bench.

In 111 games for Class A Salem, Negron batted .264 with three home runs and 34 RBIs. The Reds will assign him to Class A Sarasota.

“We got a young player back that we like,” Jocketty said. “He has average-to-better tools in every category. We’ll see what happens.”

Since July 31, the Reds have dealt Jerry Hairston Jr., Edwin Encarnacion, David Weathers and now — Gonzalez.

Keep an eye on the Bill Hall situation with the Brewers. I’ve learned that the Reds have some interest. Hall was designated for assignment earlier this week but has yet to clear waivers. Jocketty did not want to comment on Hall, who is owed $11 million still by the Brewers. It’s likely his next team could pick him up for the league minimum.

Rolen, Gonzalez out

3B Scott Rolen was not in Monday’s lineup vs. the Cubs, one day after he was beaned in the head by a Jason Marquis fastball in the seventh inning. Adam Rosales started in his place. Rolen was to be examined again today.

“He’s got a headache,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “The doctor said there was no concussion. He’s very lucky. I’ve never seen a ball ricochet that far. That ball went all the way to third base.”

SS Alex Gonzalez was given the night off after Sunday’s game where he committed an error dropping a cutoff throw that let a run score. He also made a soft running throw to first base in the 11th inning vs. Colorado that allowed an RBI infield single. On top of that, Gonzalez is hitless over his last 20 at-bats entering Monday.

“He’s frustrated. That game yesterday was unlike him,” Baker said.

Paul Janish started at SS vs. the Cubs.

In other news, injured OF Chris Dickerson is doing well with his slightly separated shoulder and expected to be ready to come off of the DL when eligible on Aug. 11.

Hanigan's neck, Harang on rumors

Catcher Ryan Hanigan was opening mail inside the Reds clubhouse and was able to turn his head about as far as needed to reach for the next letter. As far as putting the gear on and getting behind the plate, Hanigan’s sore neck wasn’t ready. He missed his fourth-straight start and Craig Tatum was in his place.

Hanigan, who is day-to-day, recently went for an adjustment at a chiropractor.

“My spine is a little out of whack and the inflammation left over from putting it into place is taking a while to go away,” Hanigan said. “It’s just impeding my range of motion. There’s nothing I can do until I can move my head. It’s definitely getting better but it’s slower than I hoped.”

Obviously, Hanigan was moved up the depth chart when Ramon Hernandez went on the DL. For those wondering who would be the emergency catcher should Tatum go down — it’s shortstop Paul Janish.

“It’s the same guy that’s my emergency pitcher,” manager Dusty Baker said.

Starting pitcher Aaron Harang has figured prominently in trade rumors as July 31 nears. Harang said he has a partial no-trade clause but was hazy on the details about which teams.

“I don’t know which teams I put,” Harang said. “I put them down a couple of years back.”

Harang, who is starting on Wednesday, has one guaranteed year left on his contract beyond this season. He’s making $11 million this year and $12.5 million in 2010 with a $12.75 million option for 2011.

“You can’t let it bother you, especially being a veteran guy, your name is going to come up more times than not,” Harang said of the rumors. “You just can’t let it affect how you go out and play every day. I’m going to show up at my locker each day. You really don’t know. I will know if they ever call me into the office and tell me. I’m not worried about it.”

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Gonzalez 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Encarnacion 5
Nix 7
Gomes 9
Tatum 2
Arroyo 1

RF Jay Bruce, on the DL with a fractured right wrist, had his full-length cast cut below the elbow on Monday. He will wear that cast on his non-throwing arm for another 10 days before he is evaluated again.

“I’m pretty much back to normal activity as far as physical stuff – throwing, running, lifting,” Bruce said on Tuesday. “I’m just getting ready so when I do get the cast off, the only thing I’d have to do is get my arm ready and not anything else.”

1B Joey Votto enters today batting .350 but remains 29 plate appearances shy of qualifying for the National League lead. The current NL leader in the Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez at .348.

IF Danny Richar had season-ending left shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum. Dr. Tim Kremchek performed the procedure today. Richar is expected to be ready by Spring Training 2010.

So much for that Pete Rose reinstatement stuff. The same columnist who “broke” the story yesterday that Rose’s exile might end followed up with a story that’s a total 180.

Reliever Daniel Herrera was parked in a chair on Tuesday that kind of small, even for him. It was a toddler-sized chair from the movie “Cars” and it had replaced his regular folding chair. It wasn’t even a prank — Herrera spotted the chair in a storage area at GABP on Monday.

“We’re 1-0 with the chair,” Herrera said. “I’m the only one that can fit in it.”

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Leake, Boxberger updates

It’s been pretty quiet on the top Draft pick front with the Reds but that could be changing soon. Progress has been made in negotiations with the top two selections — No. 8 overall pick Mike Leake and No. 43 overall Brad Boxberger.

“It’s going very well with both of those guys,” Reds scouting director Chris Buckley said by phone on Wednesday. “We haven’t been in a super duper rush because both guys pitched a lot and were tired. Hopefully, we’re pretty close.”

Both players happen to be representing by the same agent, Dan Horwitz. He is the agent for five of the Reds picks overall this year.

If Leake and Boxberger signed soon, neither would likely get a tremendous amount of work — especially Leake. This season, he has 142 innings pitched and he is less than a month removed from the College World Series.

“We haven’t pressed him too hard,” Buckley said. “The kid wanted some time off and we thought he should take the time off.”

The deadline to sign Draft picks is Aug. 17

Reds lineup:

Dickerson 8
Hairston 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Hernandez 2
Bruce 9
Encarnacion 5
Bailey 1

Chris Dickerson is playing mostly because Philadelphia is starting right-hander Rodrigo Lopez. Dusty Baker said that Willy Taveras would be back in the lineup Thursday when the Phillies start Jamie Moyer. Baker said that he was not platooning Dickerson and Taveras.

Ramon Hernandez is batting .250 this season but is hitting .333 with runners in scoring position. He is fourth on the team with 34 RBIs. He was the clutch dude with a game-winning RBI single off of Brad Lidge in Tuesday’s 4-3 win.

“Everybody has to like those situations,” Hernandez said. “You have nothing to lose and a lot to win.

You contribute and make your team win. You always want to be in that spot. I don’t mind.”

As a follow-up on Brandon Phillips’ sac bunt Tuesday — the Elias Sports Bureau said he was the first MLB player to produce two home runs and a sacrifice bunt in the same game since Arizona’s Conor Jackson did it Aug. 10, 2007, vs. the Nationals. Aaron Boone was the last Reds player to do that on May 28, 2002, at Florida.

And a two day’s later follow: Paul Janish is the first Reds position player to pitch more than once in the same season since Mel Queen did it seven times in 1966.

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If only “Comic Book Guy” from The Simpsons could have been at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night.

“Worst Reds defeat, ever,” he would have said correctly.

A 22-1 loss to the Phillies broke the 140-year franchise’s record for largest margin of defeat. On July 26, 1892 the Reds lost to these Phillies, 26-6 in Philadelphia. 

“That’s the worst beating I can remember on a baseball field,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Johnny Cueto looked nothing like the pitcher people felt was snubbed by the All-Star selections. He was terrible and lasted just two-thirds of an inning and allowed nine earned runs and five hits. He threw 49 pitches and faced 11 batters. His ERA went from 2.69 to 3.45.

Of course, no blowout would be complete without Paul Janish pitching an inning. After last pitching on May 6 in a 15-3 loss to the Brewers, Janish worked the eighth and gave up six runs — including a grand slam. His ERA, in case you wondered, is now 49.50.

“I was really hoping to lower my ERA but that didn’t happen either,” Janish joked. “I kind of picked up the team. On a serious note, in that situation when it comes down to it, we had to get through the game anyway we could. For me to pick up that inning, you have to do what you have to do.”

The Reds will need bullpen help after two-straight big beatings. Baker indicated a roster move was coming.

At 40-41, the Reds are now in a fourth-place tie with the Astros and 3 1/2 games out of first place. It certainly doesn’t mean the season is over but this game will have to be forgotten fast. Jonny Gomes indicated it would.

“This is the highest level of baseball,” Gomes said. “We’re professionals in here. We’ve gotten our butts kicked since we were 10 years old and all the way up. Win or lose, we will chew on it for 30-45 minutes and leave those double doors and come back tomorrow with a clean head.”

Did anyone watch or listen to the whole game?

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Return delayed for Volquez

The Reds recently learned that they will be without Edinson Volquez for longer than expected. Volquez was shut down from throwing after a second MRI revealed there was still inflammation on the flexor mass muscle that connects the forearm to the bone by the elbow. The first MRI taken in early June when Volquez went on the DL with tendinitis didn’t reveal as much because he still had some swelling.

“I guess they found things that were more serious than anticipated,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s in good spirits so I guess that’s where it starts. It’s not serious enough to operate.”

Team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek will examine Volquez again on Tuesday but Volquez was told not to throw until the inflammation completely subsides. That will push back his return date, significantly.

“With a starting pitcher, you need time to build back up and rehab starts,” head trainer Mark Mann said. “You’re probably talking beyond the All-Star Break.”

“It just means it will take a little longer but we still expect a full recovery,” GM Walt Jocketty said. “You have to make sure it heals completely. Those things generally do.”

The Reds have still not named a starter to pitch on Saturday at Cleveland, which was the spot Volquez and first replacement Matt Maloney occupied.

“Nah, you guys name him,” Baker said.

OK, paging Homer Bailey. He is scheduled to pitch on Saturday for Triple-A Louisville so it lines up perfectly.

In five June starts, Bailey is 4-0 with a 0.47 ERA. In 38 1/3 innings, he’s allowed just seven walks with 38 strikeouts. With the news that Volquez will be out, this could be the best extended chance Bailey will get to prove he belongs in the Majors.

“Whoever starts on Saturday needs to give us some quality,” Baker said.

Reds lineup

Dickerson 8
Hairston Jr. 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Gomes dh
Bruce 9
Hernandez 2
Richar 5
Arroyo 1

Other news of the day:

Jocketty is keeping an eye out for some offensive help on the trade market but it’s been quiet.

“There’s not a lot of action going,” Jocketty said. “There are too many clubs that feel they’re still in it.”

Baker spent today working again in the cage with Willy Taveras, who did not start on Wednesday.

“If we have to go down there every day, he’s going to get it,” Baker said. “We weren’t wrong in our assessment of what we needed.”

Danny Richar got a start at third base, partially because he’s an extra left-handed hitter for the lineup against a right-handed pitcher. Baker said that Paul Janish would likely get a start at shortstop on Thursday and Jerry Hairston Jr. would move to third base.

Finally, Baker mentioned a chance encounter he had at lunch with former NHL player Shayne Corson at his Toronto restaurant. Why is that interesting? Because Corson had a long battle with anxiety attacks brought on by the premature death of his father at the age of 45. Corson played from 1985-2004, mostly with the Canadiens, Oilers and Maple Leafs.

“We had a really good conversation,” Baker said. “He had to skip a playoff game. I guess he went through it for a while.”

Obviously, the Reds have a player going through a similar issue in Joey Votto — who revealed his depression and anxiety issues on Tuesday.

“It’s very coincidental. It was almost planned,” Baker said of the Corson encounter.

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