Results tagged ‘ Ryan Hanigan ’

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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Trying to salvage Seattle

Sunday lineup vs. SEA

Cabrera 6
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Gomes DH
Bruce 9
Stubbs 8
Heisey 7
Miller 2

Harang RHP


*Catcher Ryan Hanigan [fractured left thumb) could be getting closer to a return. On Saturday, did some catching in the bullpen — one of the last hurdles for him will be catching without pain.

“I warmed Sam [LeCure] up for a little while. It’s going to be sore but it’s close to tolerable. It gets a little better every day. We’re just trying to keep it from getting blown up now. I’m pretty optimistic I’ve turned the corner. We’ll see how it feels today from catching.”

*Scott Rolen started Sunday, even though it was a day game after a night game. That doesn’t happen very often.

“It all depends on how he feels, how many consecutive games we have coming up,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “We’re facing a lefty today. He’ll probably get Wednesday off. I don’t want to give him Sunday and Wednesday off. We’re off Thursday, so that will give him two days off.”

*Finally, Happy Father’s Day to all the fellow Dads out there. Hope it’s a good one.

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Smith up, Del Rosario down

In an effort to get bullpen help, the Reds reached down to Double-A Carolina and called up RHP Jordan Smith on Tuesday. Enerio Del Rosario was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.

At 1-3 with a 5.08 ERA in 27 games with 38 hits allowed over 28 1/3 innings, Smith’s numbers don’t look all that impressive but is a hot hand right now. In his last six appearances for Carolina, Smith posted a 1.13era (8ip, 1er). Dusty Baker also liked Smith in Spring Training.

Del Rosario had a 2.08 ERA in nine games but allowed seven of his nine inherited runners to score. Not good.

*Before this season, Smith had 74 Minor League games since he was drafted in 2006 — all were as a starting pitcher. The Reds told Smith he was becoming a reliever in Spring Training. Much of lofty numbers might reflect the adjustment.

Smith felt he was starting clicking once he improved his pitch selection and not just offering a first-pitch fastball.

“Since I’ve taken on the reliever role, I had to adjust my game just a little bit – different pitches at certain times,” Smith said. “I was trying to be too aggressive with my fastball at certain points. If you look at my hits, if you were there, probably half of those hits were infield hits, bloop hits that I was kind of getting unlucky. I started getting into a rhythm a couple of weeks ago and kept the ball down real good and it was moving. I feel better now.”

Smith got the good news of his first big league promotion from Carolina manager David Bell. He was napping and missed the call and had to call back.

“I called him back and he said ‘I have some good news but I can’t tell you over the phone. I have to tell you in person,'” Smith said. “I actually met him at a bank close to my apartment in Carolina. I got out of my truck and he said ‘you’re going to the big leagues.’ It was one of the most exciting feelings I’ve ever had. It was great.

“It’s starting to sink in now that I’m here. Yesterday, I couldn’t sit down. I was pacing so much. I couldn’t sleep. I finally fell asleep at six in the morning and woke up at seven to pack my stuff up in the clubhouse. I’m running on adrenaline right now.”

*Here’s what Dusty Baker said about Smith:

“We liked him at spring training. David Bell said he was throwing the ball real well, especially lately. We don’t know if this is temporary or permanent. It depends on him and depends on how we might revamp our rotation some in order to strengthen our bullpen some. We’re still at the drawing board on some of that stuff.”

My hunch is they’re considering either Sam LeCure or Homer Bailey for that spot. I asked Baker what options were on the table though.

“I can’t tell you that. We’ll see,” Baker said. “Some depends on how Smith fits in. Most of the pitchers are going six and a fraction. That seventh inning, it’s so very important. We’re looking for somebody to close that gap there. [Logan] Ondrusek has done a good job closing the gap but he can’t do it by himself.”

*Brandon Phillips was back in the lineup after being diagnosed on Monday with a mild strain of his right hamstring. Phillips came in during the off day for treatment and it didn’t take any great lobbying to get back in the lineup after being scratched Sunday.

“He came in with the trainer,” Baker said. “A lot of it depends on what the trainer says. He says he

was feeling a whole lot better. He was playing with this for a while. I told him to just play smart, that’s all.”

*Ryan Hanigan took batting practice with the pitchers today and had no trouble. But trying to catch has still been a problem.

“It’s getting better but it [the thumb] still rattles when I catch,” Hanigan said. He has not been able to fit a pad into the thumb of his mitt that works. He was hoping the pain would subside to in a few more days to where it only hurts when he catches a ball in the wrong spot.


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Bailey sore, LeCure for Sunday

 *Dusty Baker revealed that Sam LeCure will start on Sunday for the Reds. Homer Bailey was shut down because of he was sore. He will not even start on his rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville.

“Homer is not pitching. He came out a little more sore than normal,” Baker said. “We kind of anticipated that a little bit. We decided to scratch him and wait a little more.”

Bailey has been on the DL since May 24 with right shoulder inflammation. Baker did not detail the nature of the soreness Bailey was feeling. He will be examined by medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek this afternoon.

UPDATE: Here’s what Bailey had to say after a meeting with head trainer Paul Lessard:

“I threw the other day and felt great,” he said. “The last couple of days, there’s been some soreness in places where I usually don’t get soreness. We’ll evaluate and go from there. I’ll know more later once I see Kremchek.”

Bailey started feeling sore when throwing on flat ground the other day. His side bullpen session scheduled for today, was called off.

“It was just alarming, nothing life threatening,” said Bailey, who said the soreness was still limited to his shoulder, without getting specific.

Bailey pitched 4 1/3 innings for Louisville on Tuesday and allowed five earned runs and six hits vs. Syracuse while throwing 86 pitches.  

“I threw Tuesday and everything felt great,” Bailey said. “If it was anything seriously wrong, I would have felt it then. I didn’t feel it then. We’re trying to take it slow because we can nip it in the bud now or we can maybe suffer later.”

*In other injury update news, catcher Ryan Hanigan tested his fractured left thumb by hitting in the cage today. Hanigan said he was only swinging at 75 percent. He is due to get another X-ray today and his timetable will be known more after.

“It feels pretty good,” Hanigan said of his thumb.

*OF Chris Dickerson (right hand/wrist surgery) did some “dry swings” in the cage for five minutes and reported no trouble.

*OF Ryan LaMarre, the Reds’ second round Draft pick out of the Univ. of Michigan, signed today and is headed to join Class A Dayton. He is attempting to meet the team in Appleton, Wisc.

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Baker calls out Phillips

Should Brandon Phillips have had a triple in the third inning after he admired his drive to the wall a little long, thinking he had a second homer? Baker thought so.

“Probably, yeah,” Baker said. “:It looked like at first, he thought it might have been gone. Then he started running probably halfway but it was a little too late at that time.”

Phillips had to settle for a double. But if he had reached third base on the play, he likely would have scored on next batter Joey Votto’s fly ball to left field.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. A similar one occured in Houston last week when a routine fly became a three-run error and Phillips only reached second base instead of third.

There were gaffes last season also. In Kansas City, Phillips ignored a take sign on a 3-0 count and put his team out of a rally. On July 20 in Los Angeles he was thrown out at second base when he thought he had a routine sacrifce fly. He didn’t speed up until the ball fell in front of Andre Ethier, who threw Phillips out at second base. That one cost Phillips a game on the bench. There was also a stern rebuke from Baker that night.

“We’ve all talked to him until we’re blue in the face,” Baker said that night.

“I messed up,” Phillips said, also on that night in L.A. “That’s my second time not hustling this year. It won’t happen again.”

Keep this in mind: no one else on the Reds has a problem with hustling.

Moving on to some good:

*Catcher Ryan Hanigan made a nifty stretch and catch just before the top step of the Mets dugout on Angel Pagan’s fifth inning foul pop.

*Reliever Carlos Fisher struck out the side in the eighth — but they were no pedestrian hitters. Fisher fanned Jose Reyes, Jason Bay and David Wright. The Reyes K came on three pitches with an 82 mph changeup for strike three. The Bay strikeout was a 94 mph heater.

“He threw the ball the best he has since he’s been up here,” manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s a very positive thing for us.”

The just plain odd: Leading off the game, Angel Pagan had a bunt base hit to right field. I have a tough time believing Pagan meant to do it just like that, but it worked.

And the sad: Not game related but beloved Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell died today at 92 after a bout with inoperable cancer.

“Ernie Harwell, it goes without saying, was one of the greatest in the history of our profession,” Marty Brennaman said. “More important than that, however, he was one of the finest people I’ve ever known. I was privileged to call Ernie my friend. I will miss him greatly.”

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Hernandez or Hanigan?

Tuesday’s Reds lineup vs. Mets:

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

Question of the day — Who is your preference at Reds catcher — Ramon Hernandez or Ryan Hanigan? Hanigan is generally Arroyo’s battery-mate, but he’s also catching others like Harang and Bailey. Hernandez has done well with Mike Leake. Pitchers have a 4.58 ERA with Hanigan — it’s 5.73 with Hernandez.

Hanigan enters tonight batting .389 with 10 RBIs. Hernandez is hitting .245 with four RBIs but has come on stronger of late.

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Hernandez re-signs with Reds

Back from a week’s vacation and news hits right away…

After deciding to decline his $8.5 million club option ($1M buyout), the Reds have re-signed primary catcher Ramon Hernandez to a one-year contract. The deal also includes a vesting option for 2011 that will become guaranteed if Hernandez appears in 120 games next season.

(Update: I have learned the contract is worth $3 million for 2010 and the vesting option would be worth $3.250 million if Hernandez can trigger the games played clause.)

Hernandez batted .258 with five home runs and 37 RBIS in 81 games in his first season with the Reds. His return means that Ryan Hanigan will likely return to his backup role.

“It’s a good place with great players,” Hernandez said of the Reds from his home in Miami. “I know they’ll do very good next season. That’s why I decided to come back.”

Hernandez said his agent, Eric Goldschmidt, worked on the deal over the weekend and told him that it was done on Sunday night.

Hernandez was not surprised when his option wasn’t picked up.

“I expected it to happen,” he said. “Hopefully next year, they’ll see Ramon Hernandez play the whole year.”

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Hanigan back, rotation change

The Reds made catcher Ryan Hanigan’s activation from the disabled list official on Wednesday. However, Hanigan wasn’t in the Reds starting lineup — even with favorite batterymate Bronson Arroyo on the mound. Corky Miller is getting the start.

“He flew all day to get here,” said Dusty Baker, who will start Hanigan on Thursday. “And Miller worked well with Bronson the last couple of times too.”

Hanigan had a solid five-game rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville, batting .389 (7-for-18) with two doubles, two RBIs and four runs scored. He said there were no symptoms from the concussion he suffered on Aug. 23 when he caught a foul ball off of his helmet.

“I was fortunate that it wasn’t real serious,” Hanigan said. “It was a milder concussion. I feel fine. I got some hits. [I had] a couple of days of working out and feeling fresh and trying to find my timing. I swung the bat alright. Hopefully, it will translate up here.”

The only thing Hanigan didn’t get was a foul tip off of the mask.

“Hopefully they will hit at an angle,” Hanigan said. “I think that was more of a freakish thing. Who knows why that happened. I’ve taken a million balls off of the mask like that. Just the way it hit and the fact that the mask broke is what combined for the concussion.”

Reds lineup:

Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Balentien 7
McDonald 9
Miller 2
Arroyo 1

RHP Justin Lehr had his bullpen session and had no trouble with the strained groin that caused him to miss a start. The Reds have changed their rotation for the Cubs series. Lehr will start on Friday, Johnny Cueto will go on Saturday and Homer Bailey will pitch on Sunday.

“We’d rather have Cueto pitch Saturday to get an extra day of rest,” Baker said.

LHP Daniel Herrera leads the Reds staff with 62 appearances entering Wednesday. His professional high was 64 games, set last season between Double-A, Triple-A and the Majors. In his last eight appearances, Herrera has a 7.04 ERA.

“He’s a little worn.,” Baker said. “He is still doing well against lefties. He just has to figure out how to make the adjustment against righties. Those guys have hit him hard. But this is a period that you have to get through. You have to get through uncharted waters and places that you haven’t been through before in order to know how to do it when you get back there, which is next year.”

In the eighth inning on Tuesday, Herrera gave up a leadoff double to right-handed pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs, who later scored on a sac fly.

“I still feel really strong,” Herrera said. “I think I’m still throwing some pretty quality innings and getting some outs. As far as health goes, my arm feels really good. I might be a little fatigued at this point, but so is everybody else. It will be good to finish the year strong. … They hit me a little bit, obviously last night.”

LHP Matt Maloney doesn’t have a starting assignment yet after he came out of Tuesday’s game with a blister on his left middle finger. It derailed the best start of his big league career after five innings.

“He came in today to apologize,” Baker said. “I said you don’t have to apologize. He wanted to keep pitching so we could win. It just got to the point where he couldn’t pitch anymore without tearing it. If he tears it, he’s probably through for the year.”

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Digging the 6:40 start

Thirty minutes earlier than usual doesn’t sound like much but the 6:40 p.m. (MT) start for Tuesday and Wednesday’s Reds-Rockies games is pretty cool in my book. Colorado has been doing it for a few years now. As far as I know, only the Rockies and Diamondbacks start weeknight games at 6:40 p.m. local time.

I’d love to see the Reds experiment with that. Games that start earlier could often mean an earlier conclusion. That wouldn’t hurt fans that have school or work the next morning. Plus for downtown folks, it’s less idle time between the end of the work day and first pitch. On the negative side, people would have less time to get home from work (especially in the suburbs), scoop up the family and get down to GABP.

Would you want to see a 6:40 p.m. start be a regular thing at GABP? Or, would you prefer something later? The Braves start their games at 7:35 p.m. Or — do you like it just the way it is?

Put me down for 6:40 starts. I like it.

Reds lineup

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

News of the day:

Jay Bruce likely won’t be back before the end of the road trip in Chicago this weekend. The plan is to have Bruce be with Louisville for the entire first round of the best-of-five International League playoffs.

Dusty Baker talked with Bruce on the phone today.

“He said he was swinging better,” Baker said. “He stole a couple of bases. His legs were feeling fine. His wrist was a little tight in the beginning but once it loosens up, it’s fine. Last night he said he faced some guy throwing 95-96 mph. The first at-bat, he was a little bit tardy and then he caught up and got a base hit. He said that was the first real high octane fastball test that he had.”

All expectations are that Ryan Hanigan will be off of the DL on Wednesday. Even though Louisville could use a catcher, the plan is to carry three up here with Hanigan, Corky Miller and Craig Tatum.

Miller, by the way, has done a bang-up job since he’s been up. The pitching staff has a 7-2 record and a 2.66 ERA when he catches.

Kip Wells will be the Reds starter on Thursday vs. Colorado. The Reds had left it TBA because they were watching the status of Justin Lehr, who missed a turn in the rotation with a strained groin.

Lehr is scheduled to throw off of a mound on Wednesday. If all goes well, he could start this weekend vs. the Cubs. Lehr said he wasn’t in pain but obviously the 30-40 pitch session here will be a test.

“I haven’t got on a mound yet but it was the only place where I felt it, or it at least got my attention,” Lehr said.

Pitcher Micah Owings, who suffered a perforated eardrum when he was beaned on Sunday, will rejoin the team in Chicago and workout on Friday. He was cleared to fly today.

Former Reds pitcher Matt Belisle was among four September call-ups made today by the Rockies. He’s been up with Colorado previously this season.

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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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