Results tagged ‘ Robert Manuel ’

It's a trade

Sorry I’m late with a post today. I had to come to the ballpark late. I guess the first Reds trade before the deadline wasn’t exactly Earth shattering.

I’d love to tell you I know lots of stuff about OF Wladimir Balentien, whom the Reds acquired in a trade Wednesday for Robert Manuel. But I can honestly say I never heard of him before I saw the transaction e-mail from the Reds.

“I got some calls from people in Seattle,” Dusty Baker told reporters before I arrived. “He’s real strong, has some tools. He’s a better corner [outfielder]. Strong arm. Average speed. He’s a bit rough.”

The rough Baker could have been referring to: Lifetime in the Majors, Balentien is a .209 hitter with 122 strikeouts in 401 at-bats.

Balentien will be here on Thursday or Friday. On Friday, he will step into the cage against Edinson Volquez during his scheduled simulated game. He appeared in 56 games this season for the Mariners and batted .213 with four home runs and 13 RBIs. Seattle designated him for assignment on Sunday.

Follow updates on Twitter at:

Crowded DL, Lehr next up?

A lousy road trip was compounded by the loss of two more players to the disabled list on Monday. The Reds placed starting pitcher Micah Owings on the 15-day DL with a tight right shoulder. Outfielder Chris Dickerson joined him there with a bruised right rotator cuff.

“I don’t have to have surgery. I’ve been down that road already,” said Dickerson, who said he was told he had a small tear in his rotator cuff also.

“Dickerson could probably be ready in 5-6 days but we’ve been playing short most of the year,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We can’t afford to go short.”

The Reds called up reliever Robert Manuel and utility player Drew Sutton to fill the 25-man roster.That means Friday’s starter is TBA vs. the Rockies. It just so happens that RHP Justin Lehr is Triple-A Louisville’s scheduled starter that same day. Lehr, who is 13-3 with a 3.31 ERA this season was just named the International League’s pitcher of the week (2-0, 1.88 ERA in two starts). Lehr isn’t on the 40-man roster that would require a second move if he is the one. Lefty Matt Maloney, who has already been up once earlier this season, is scheduled to pitch tonight for Louisville.

As for the outfield situation, the Reds are down to Willy Taveras, Laynce Nix and Jonny Gomes. Jerry Hairston Jr. can play all three spots and Sutton played right field for the first time last week in Los Angeles. Gomes was 2-for-16 on the last road trip and Nix, who just snapped a 0-for-11 skid, has struggled the last few weeks.

Baker was asked about Chris Heisey and Drew Stubbs.

“They need to play,” he said, meaning they should remain in the Minors.

Currently on the DL for the Reds are: Jay Bruce, Ramon Hernandez, Edinson Volquez, Mike Lincoln, Wilkin Castillo, Danny Richar and Jared Burton.

Lincoln made his first appearance in the clubhouse since having cervical disc replacement surgery earlier this month. Other than a band-aid in the front of his neck, he didn’t look like a guy that just had a major surgery in that area.

As he often does each day, reliever David Weathers was hitting grounders to his young son, Ryan. But he called out to me and asked if I had heard anything new about him in the rumor mill. I hadn’t.

“I’d like to stay,” said Weathers, who has a one-year deal for this season and zero no-trade clauses. “I don’t want to go anywhere. But I have no control over it.”

Weathers didn’t believe the Reds were in full sell mode yet.

“If we get a sweep [of the Padres] or win three of four, that might make them think again,” Weathers said. “And what if the same people in front of us lose three or four in a row?”

Reds lineup:

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

Follow updates on Twitter at:

Big win, two moves

Before heading west to Los Angeles, the Reds needed a win and series split in a big way. They got it with a 5-3 victory on Sunday because Jonny Gomes came through with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth.

“It’s a big road trip coming up, a tough road trip. Everybody knows how tough at home,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Especially on the Reds, who are 0-9 at Chavez Ravine since 2006. The last win came courtesy of Brandon Claussen on July 28, 2005 — that’s almost four years.

“As a team, we need to soak up that win and get it into our system. We need to try and start a little run,” Gomes said.

The Reds got the bad news about Ramon Hernandez that seemed expected. After Sunday’s game, Hernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He will have surgery to clean out his left knee on Tuesday and miss 4-6 weeks. In the earlier blog post, was wrong about Corky Miller, which I should have realized since he’s not on the 40-man roster. Craig Tatum is and he got the call-up from Triple-A Louisville.

“He’s here to learn and play at the same time like a lot of the guys we have here,” Baker said.

With Wilkin Castillo out for the season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder, the only remaining healthy catcher on the Reds’ 40-man was Tatum. He was batting .239 with three homers and 21 RBIs in 64 games this season for Louisville and this will be his first call-up to the Majors.

Another roster move also came down post-game. Reliever Jared Burton has been recalled and RHP Robert Manuel is going back to the Bats. Bats. Since being sent down on July 1, Burton was 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA in seven games.

Catch you on Monday from one of the coolest ballparks in the league.

Follow updates on Twitter at:

Bullpen help for Reds

After the Reds bullpen has put together 11 1/3 innings over the last two games, a little reinforcement was summoned on Tuesday. The Reds called up RHP Robert Manuel from Triple-A Louisville.

Manuel was 3-3 with a 2.51 ERA and eight saves in 32 appearances for Louisville.  In 43 innings, he allowed 33 hits, 12 earned runs, nine walks, two homers and struck out 33. Opponents batted .209 against him and curiously, it was lefties that fared worse by hitting .169 (10-for-59).

To make room for Manuel, IF Drew Sutton was optioned to Louisville.

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Hairston Jr. 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Bruce 9
Encarnacion 5
Harang 1

As usual, there was a unique story to Manuel getting the word from Louisville manager Rick Sweet that he was moving up. It happened to come just as players were watching highlights from the 22-1 loss.

“It was real weird,” Manuel said. “There were too many people in the room and they were all around me for some reason. I was just paying attention to the highlights. He said they might need somebody to pitch in Cincy. I looked around and every one of the guys standing up were position players and starters. [Sweet] was looking at me. I thought he was talking to somebody behind me and was joking around.”

Manuel throws a fastball, slider and changeup. In the minors, he could work multiple innings, set-up or close.

“He throws strikes. The big thing is he’s gotten left-handers out better than right-handers,” Dusty Baker said. “They said give him a shot. He’s not going to pop your eyes out but he gets people out, which is what it’s all about.”

When the writers came into Baker’s office for the daily meeting, he had the right attitude needed to overcome a loss that, quite frankly, had him looking shellshocked on Monday night.

“The sun came up today,” Baker said. “It’s a new day. It’s baseball.”

Reds vs. Astros 4/28/09

The tarp is on the field at GABP and it’s been raining most of the day in the area. Showers and thunderstorms are in the evening forecast. If there is a window in the forecast to play, I’m sure the Reds decision makers will wait for it.

After getting clocked in the head last night during the Tejada collision, Chris Dickerson isn’t starting today. But that likely has as much to do with Astros using a lefty starting pitcher in Wandy Rodriguez. Dickerson was scheduled for more tests today after feeling woozy last night. Struggling Edwin Encarnacion was dropped from sixth to seventh. Encarnacion is on a 0-for-12 skid and is 1-for-his-last-28.

More details later when I have it.

After the 7-3 road trip, the Reds really need these last two games vs. the Astros so they can finish 3-3 on the homestand.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF
Hairston  LF
Votto 1B
Phillips 2B
Bruce RF
Hernandez C
Encarnacion 3B
Gonzalez SS
Harang P

Minor League news from the Reds’ Jamie Ramsey:

IF Adam Rosales (Louisville) last night vs. Indianapolis collected 3 more hits to lift his batting average to .426…he’s currently riding a 10-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in all 16 of his games…since 8/3/08, he’s reached base safely in 27 straight games he’s played for Louisville…he ranks among IL leaders in most all offensive categories.

Daryl Thompson (5.2ip, 4h, 3r, 1bb, 1hr) earned his first victory, at any level, since 7/13/08…Robert Manuel with 2.0 perfect innings of relief … Yonder Alonso hit a grand slam yesterday for Class A Sarasota.

Don’t forget that you can also get Reds updates on Twitter.

Masset struggles, Red Sox rout Reds

It was not a stellar Saturday night for the Reds, who were handed a 16-5 rout by the Red Sox.

Fifth starter candidate Nick Masset did not get out of the gate very well as Boston dropped a four-spot in the bottom of the first. The right-hander used 31 pitches (18 strikes).

The basic rundown of the inning:

Following Julio Lugo’s leadoff hit, Brad Wilkerson hit grounder back to the mound. In what should have been a routine double play, Masset’s throw to second base was wide for an E1. After bouncing a changeup for a wild pitch, he walked David Ortiz on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Second baseman Danny Richar saved a run with a nice diving stop to his left that went for a fielder’s choice. Jason Bay smoked a lined RBI single to left field and Jason Varitek followed with a two-run double to left-center field gap. Another gaffe came as Chris Carter was hit by a Masset 0-2 pitch and Nick Green singled to re-load the bases. Ninth batter Gil Velazquez 3-6-1 double play ended the first.

“It’s Northeastern all over again,” joked a Boston scribe. A split-squad Red Sox team beat Northeastern Univ., 14-0, in the afternoon.

Masset didn’t return for the second inning and was replaced by Robert Manuel.

Masset’s line: 1 IP, 4H 4R 3ER, 1 BB 0 K 1 HB 1 WP

Manuel didn’t fare any better and was on the hook for six earned runs, including Wilkerson’s two-run homer to right field. He was pulled with one out after facing nine batters. A total of 11 Red Sox batted in the second and the score was 10-0.

Here’s what Masset had to say. On the error throw, he said he actually threw it straight to Richar instead of Hairston at SS..

“That really started things off right there. I make those plays all day in practice. I’ve made them 100 times in games before. I think things were going just a little too fast for me. I picked up the wrong fielder right there and from there I really needed to slow things down. It got out of hand.”

 It was Masset’s first start since April 30, 2008 for the White Sox.

“I think nerves were going a little too fast today,” Masset said. “I needed to slow things down and I really didn’t. I just let the game take over. I really wasn’t making my pitches.

“First time out in Spring Training, first game of the season, my nerves were a little worked up.  I was trying to do more than I needed to do. I really was just throwing through my pitches and not letting them move and do the work themselves. When that happens, you get behind the count.”

Reds manager Dusty Baker on Masset:

“He might have been a little over amped today. He was throwing the ball hard. He was wound up. Hopefully, he will do better the next time out. I know he’s disappointed.”

And in an unrelated note, I’d like Reds fans that bombarded me with Andruw Jones emails all winter to please click on the story below from my colleague, T.R. Sullivan. In a nutshell, Jones is 1-for-9 this spring with eight strikeouts. I know you can’t put much stock in Spring Training stats but yeesh…


%d bloggers like this: