Results tagged ‘ Pedro Viola ’

Weds lineup, no Stubbs

Reds Wednesday lineup vs. Dodgers

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

*Drew Stubbs is taking a seat again. He is mired a career high 0-for-18 skid, with nine strikeouts.

“I just though Dickerson had a better chance of hitting Kuroda with all that stuff he throws,” Baker said.

*Aroldis Chapman will make his next start for Triple-A Louisville on Thursday at Indianapolis. First pitch is at 7 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on MLB.TV.

*The Orioles claimed Pedro Viola off waivers from the Reds on Wednesday, then optioned the him to Triple-A Norfolk.

*Joey Votto has four steals in six attempts and seems to have been running more in the past week. Votto is tied with Stubbs for the team-lead in stolen bases. Whether this is team planning or Votto is running on his own, the manager isn’t revealing.

“It’s something I don’t want to expand on,” Baker said. “The other team reads this. It’s something I encourage. It’s something we’ve all been working on. We have guys here with the ability to steal. Joey had the ability last year. He was sliding too early and sometimes didn’t get to the base. He’s worked on sliding hard, leads and jumps.”

Votto was caught stealing in the seventh inning on Tuesday.

“Last night, they tricked Joey a little bit,” Baker said. “He did a real high leg kick the first pitch and the second pitch, he slide stepped. That’s a sign they thought he might run too. Now it’s up to Joey to recognize when they do these things.”

 
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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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Thursday afternoon notes

The Reds are up to a .500 spring record after a 3-1 win over the Brewers on Thursday. They were outhit, 7-6, and committed two errors but there were many positives.

*Joey Votto snapped a 0-for-9 skid to start play with a long home run to the grassy knoll in right-center field. His long ball provided the go-ahead run in the sixth inning.

“It was just a matter of time because Joey can hit,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “It was nice for him to hit one on that bank over there.”

*Starter Johnny Cueto pitched three scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and one strikeout. He had made some mechanical tweaks he seemed to be pleased with.

“I wanted to bring my leg up and stay in a straight line and keep my shoulder in,” Cueto said through an interpreter. “I threw fastball, two-seamer – no curveball. I threw a slider and changeup.”

*A throwing error by pitcher Jared Burton led to a run scoring on a double play in the sixth. The run was still earned and ended a streak of 15 scoreless innings for Reds pitchers.

*After Burton, Enerio Del Rosario, Pedro Viola and Logan Ondrusek combined for three scoreless innings.

*1B Yonder Alonso was charged with his third error of spring when missed a catch in the ninth.

“We’ve got good pitching today but we still made a couple of errors, which was not pleasing,” Baker said. “We have to keep working on it.”

*Chris Dickerson is 4-for-11 (.364) through five games. Dickerson hit two-out, RBI triple in the fifth inning.

*One funny thing I saw before the game this morning was Aroldis Chapman trying to hit in the cage. Chapman fouled back his first three offerings and people in the field were laughing. Chapman was a good sport and smiled his way through it before he got some knocks into the field to sarcastic cheer. Jamie Ramsey took a little video but what I saw wasn’t included in the clip.

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7189381

*Reds great Barry Larkin was scheduled to start as guest instructor today but I didn’t see him. His familiar No. 11 jersey was hanging in a locker with his name on it in the coaches room this morning. Larkin is expected to be in camp for about 10 days. 

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Viola called up

The Reds promoted LHP Pedro Viola from Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday. IF Danny Richar was moved to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster.

In 54 relief appearances, Viola was 2-2 with a 5.47 ERA and converted eight of 11 save chances (49.1ip, 48h, 33bb, 57 K, 7 HR, .251 opponents’ BA).

“They said he was some days very good and some days a little sporadic,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “But that’s a part of youth. He looks great. He looks like he got stronger even since we saw him in Spring Training.”

The Reds have a a string of 17-straight games ahead and Atlanta and Colorado have left-handed hitters throughout their lineups. Baker wanted some lefty bullpen depth to back up Daniel Herrera and Arthur Rhodes.

Reds lineup:

Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Gomes 9
McDonald 7
Rosales 5
Miller 2
Bailey 1

It’s just a day off for 3B Scott Rolen – there is nothing wrong.

“He’s been playing and played the doubleheader,” Baker said. “We have a day off tomorrow. It’s almost like two days off. I talked to Cito [Gaston, Toronto's manager] and I talked to him when we got him. They often gave him days off for day games.”

Coming off of his three-inning save last night, the Reds could use Micah Owings more often in that type of role, especially if it can save others in the bullpen. The Reds also want to make more use of Owings’ bat to pinch-hit with him before he pitches.

Baker spoke with former Brewers hybrid pitcher/pinch-hitter Brooks Kieschnick this morning and got some advice.

“It was valuable,” Baker said. “I talked to Brooks about how to do it. I asked if he would talk to Micah. Micah, big-time wants to talk to him. Brooks was a dangerous man. I remember managing around him not to have him pinch-hit when he might be in the game to pitch. He’ll talk to Micah about how to warm up quicker as a reliever. I actually have to get him up an inning in an advance now.”

It looks like Jay Bruce and Ryan Hanigan are headed to Louisville to start a rehab assignment on Friday. Bruce was to run the bases for Baker to make sure he was ready to start playing games.

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Why Ramirez and not Viola?

RHP Ramon Ramirez arrived today to take Nick Masset’s place on the 25-man roster. Some people were wondering why Ramirez, who was 0-3 with a 5.08 ERA, was promoted when a guy like lefty Pedro Viola wasn’t. Viola is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA but he wasn’t on the 40-man roster and Ramirez was.

“We threw around Viola,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s doing pretty good. He’s a little inconsistent. He’s coming fast but we would have had to take a chance on losing someone by taking them off [the 40-man roster] in order to get Viola on. There were no names we could come up with.

“Then we said if it’s not Viola, which righties get lefties out best right now? So it was Ramon. Plus, he’s had a taste of the big leagues. He’s relieved, started, gone long and done lots of things. And he pitched well for us last year.”

Viola probably didn’t help himself by allowing four earned runs and three walks over a third of an inning during his last outing on May 15. Ramirez, who will be a swing man out of the Reds bullpen, has allowed three runs on eight hits over his last 15 innings. He threw a career-high eight innings on May 10.

Here is the adjusted rotation, which puts several guys back on their fifth day after the havoc in San Diego.

Weds: Harang
Thu:  Owings
Fri: Volquez
Sat. Arroyo
Sun: Cueto

Edinson Volquez, who had back spasms on Saturday, isn’t a lock yet. But he seemed to be doing OK today.

“We’ll see. I hope so,” Baker said.

1B Joey Votto (dizziness) is still out of the lineup. Votto and head trainer Mark Mann were still at a 2 p.m. doctor appointment. I will update later when I know something.

LATE UPDATE: No real news on Votto. He has more doctor appointments scheduled and he wasn’t talking. Here is the link to the story:

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090519&content_id=4817358&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

3B Edwin Encarnacion (left wrist chip fracture) has started swinging with one hand. No timetable yet on a return.

Monday’s Reds lineup:

Taveras CF
Hairston 3B
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF
Hernandez C
Rosales 1B
McDonald LF
Gonzalez SS
Cueto P

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Rain be gone, please

I’d love to say it’s a perfect night for baseball here at Great American Ball Park but it’s raining — sometimes light and other times cats and dogs. The Reds are usually willing to hunker down all night to wait out the weather so there’s a belief here that the game vs. PIT could be played. But the forecast calls for more rain and there’s a 1:10 p.m. game just around the corner on Saturday. Let’s hope it clears up enough, and sooner than later.

News you can use:

For the first time after three games this season, Dusty Baker could make the lineup he expected to make against a right-handed pitcher.

Taveras CF, Dickerson LF, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Encarnacion 3B, Hernandez C, Gonzalez SS, Cueto P

“It wouldn’t be new if everyone was healthy and fresh. We haven’t had it like that,” Baker said.

  • Jerry Hairston Jr. (tight left leg) says he could play tonight. Hairston wasn’t in the lineup, partially because Baker’s platoon has Chris Dickerson hitting vs. right-handed pitchers like Pittsburgh’s Jeff Karstens.

“It feels a lot better today,” Hairston said. “I could have played today but they wanted to give me an extra day.”

  • Entering tonight, Arthur Rhodes and David Weathers have combined to retire all 13 batters faced with a total of 42 pitches, 35 strikes. Rhodes has 31 pitches/27 strikes while Weathers has 11 pitches/8 strikes.
  • A closed door team meeting was called for about 10 minutes during the afternoon. Players were informed that the mother of pitching prospect Pedro Viola, Teresa Contreras, had surgery today to remove a tumor from her face. The surgery went without complications.
  • In the former Reds department, former pitcher Matt Belisle had his Minor League contract purchased by Rockies today. Belisle, who was 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA, seven strikeouts and two walks in Spring Training, will work from Colorado’s bullpen.

If Belisle does well for the Rockies, what is the over/under on how long it will take for comments and e-mails to flow about the Reds letting him go? Every year when an ex-Reds had a good week elsewhere (Justin Germano, Cody Ross, Brandon Harris come to mind), the inbox gets heavy. I don’t think these were guys the Reds have really missed in the big picture. I have no doubt Jeff Keppinger’s name will come up soon too.

  • In the get to know him department, Baker is a big fan of the Weather Channel and calls it his favorite stop on the dial.

“I watch it at home – the five day forecast to see how accurate the weather guy is,” Baker said. “It’s a tough job. I don’t second guess them. You’re trying to predict what God is making and creating and changing.” 

Game on.

Today is the first day of the rest of the season…really. Grapefruit League action starts today and if we’re thinking alike — it’s a very welcomed date on the calendar.

For now, here is the Rays’ lineup. (See earlier post for the Reds)

Bartlett SS, Crawford LF, Longoria 3B, Burrell DH, Aybar 1B, Navarro C, Zobrist 2B, Gross RF, Perez CF   P Hernandez.

In transactions — LHP Bill Bray, SS Paul Janish and C/IF Wilkin Castillo agreed to one-year contracts. The Reds have eight players unsigned.

In other notes from the clubhouse:

Castillo and LHP Pedro Viola were not selected by the Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic but no reason was given. Manager Dusty Baker did not rule out carrying three catchers so Castillo could benefit from the D.R.’s decision.

“For Castillo, it’s a chance to show more what he can do,” Baker said. “His chances were increased by not going without being selected.

“If you’re going to have a third catcher, you’d like him to be more versatile. He could play a lot of places.”

“I’m trying to make the team and I’m working hard,” Castillo said. “I am ready to play everywhere — wherever the manager needs me.”

The Reds’ lineup appeared to be similar to what you will see on April 6 for Opening Day.

“Pretty close,” Baker said. “It depends on who we’re facing. On Opening Day, we’ll see [Mets lefty ace Johan] Santana so it might be a little different.”

The lineup will be together for the next four days since Joey Votto, Willy Taveras, Jerry Hairston and Ramon Hernandez are leaving March 1 for the WBC. Baker used a DH in Jacque Jones and doesn’t plan on having pitchers hit until at least March 10. 

This is the first time big league baseball has been played in Port Charlotte since 2002 when the Rangers were in the facility. They moved to Surprise, Ariz., the following year. Since then, a $27 million renovation was done here and the ballpark looks like a very nice place for fans to watch baseball.

 

Sunday's cornucopia

Nothing like forgetting to set your alarm to drop a jolt into your morning. I woke up at 7:15am on my own. I usually pick up fellow writer Hal McCoy to ride over to the complex at 7:30. So I had to cut some corners to get going but we still made it on time.

And because of that, here is your daily roughage of Reds news:

After a lousy 2008 where he was cut from two teams, outfielder Jacque Jones is hungry to prove himself. He got laser eye surgery and played winter ball in Mexico to find his stroke. He hit well down there.

“I wasn’t under contract with anybody. No one told me to go anywhere,” Jones said of winter ball. “I knew what I needed to do to play the game. I’ve never needed anyone to send me in the right direction for things I needed to do. I know what it takes.”

Jones is only 33 years old, which to manager Dusty Baker, means there should be plenty left. 

“Jacque can play,” Baker said. “He can play all three outfield positions. He can run. He hustles. He had a down year last year just like [Jonny] Gomes. But they have some track record of excellence. Just because you fall down for a while doesn’t mean you’re through, especially at the ages of those guys.”

More on that on MLB.com/Reds.com later Sunday. In other news:

Baker said he hasn’t decided if SS Alex Gonzalez will play in the first exhibition game on Wednesday. Gonzalez is still doing well but the club is taking it easy with him as I wrote yesterday. During the season, the manager said Gonzalez would likely hit seventh or eighth because there is too much running on his left knee needed for him to bat second.

It’s possible that catcher Ramon Hernandez could get some time at first base to spell Joey Votto against a tough lefty. It would also open up some chances for backup Ryan Hanigan.

Non-roster catcher Humberto Cota finally straightened out his visa issues and reported to camp. It will be a short stay since Cota is expected to leave to play for Mexico in the WBC.

The Dominican Republic classic squad asked the Reds on Saturday for the services of pitching prospect Pedro Viola.

The Reds will have enough pitching for Tuesday’s intrasquad game to last five innings.

Between now and Wednesday’s Grapefruit League opener at the Rays, Baker still has some things he’d like to get done — namely sliding drills.

“You probably get more injuries sliding than any other thing,” he said. “We have cut-off relays, pop-ups. You never get everything in because there are not enough days before the games. You try to get the most important stuff done early and add on as you play the games.”

Also highlighted was a comparison between the current camp location and the future one in Goodyear, Ariz.

“One drawback with Florida vs. Arizona is teams out there are so close that you can do a lot of your fundamentals and take your batting practice before you go [to road games],” Baker said. “You just go play the game. Here with the length of some of the trips, you’re lucky to have batting practice at their park. That’s about it. You do your work only at home games. Arizona, you work every day, home or road.”

And in the “they said it” department: Pitchers and infielders were working on situational stuff on a practice field. After Francisco Cordero was given a runner on first, two-out scenario, David Weathers was handed a runner on second with nobody out.

“You think that’s a sign of things to come?” joked Weathers. 

Phillips to bat cleanup, more news

Heard there was ice back at the ranch in Cincinnati. Sorry folks — mid 70s down here again. But don’t worry — we’re going to get ours Friday when it will get no higher in the 50s. So it’s not all sun and surf in Sarasota.

Here’s some stuff to keep you updated:

Dusty Baker said that Brandon Phillips will be his cleanup hitter this season.

images.jpg“Oh yeah. He’ll be better,” Baker said. “Brandon will have a good year. Everybody struggles sometimes that third or fourth year. Now Brandon will re-adjust to what they’re throwing him. Sometimes, they wouldn’t throw Brandon a lot of strikes. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of it, you can’t see it. But when you’re smart like Brandon and take some time away from it, you can step back and see things.”

Also — reliever Bill Bray has started throwing in the bullpen after missing a couple of days with a sore shoulder.

Outfielder Norris Hopper has reported no trouble with throwing. Hopper is coming off Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He began his throwing program in January.

There was another session of live BP for hitters. Francisco Cordero, Bronson Arroyo, Nick Masset, Micah Owings and Jared Burton were among those who took the mound. Hitters particularly had their hands full with hard-throwing lefty prospect Pedro Viola. Masset has dropped about 15 pounds since last season.

Owner/CEO Bob Castellini arrived at the complex Thursday.

 

 

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