Results tagged ‘ Sam LeCure ’

Postgame extra: questions?!

The good from the 3-0 Reds loss to the Giants on Tuesday –

Sam LeCure gave the Reds the kind of start they needed, but it wasn’t enough against Matt Cain’s seven-hit shutout. LeCure allowed one run over six innings on Juan Uribe’s long homer in the fourth.

Arthur Rhodes  — another two-thirds scoreless when he got the final out of the seventh and the first out of the eighth. That’s 26 scoreless appearances in a row for 23 1/3 innings.

The decision for Sunday’s start — Bailey or LeCure?

During his rehab start at Triple-A Louisville, Homer Bailey pitched 4 1/3 innings and allowed five earned runs and six hits vs. Syracuse while throwing 86 pitches. The rotation spot’s turn comes up again Sunday.

LeCure is 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in his three starts. In his 17 1/3 innings, he’s allowed 17 hits and 12 walks with 12 strikeouts. He’s also faced Chris Carpenter and Matt Cain in his two losses.

“It remains to be seen. We have to check that out,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s a little too early right now after this loss to come up with that kind of answer.”

The not so good —

*It was another lousy night for the non-Arthur Rhodes portion of the bullpen. Logan Ondrusek got two outs in the seventh before allowing a double and a walk. That forced Baker to turn to Rhodes again.

*After Rhodes, Nick Masset had two outs in the eighth and gave up two runs on three hits and a four-pitch walk. The eighth and ninth hitters — Bengie Molina and Matt Cain — drove in the insurance runs that turned a one-run game into a three-run game on ice.

“We just have to figure out which guys, other than Arthur, can do what they’re supposed to do,” Baker said. “If not, we’re going to kill Arthur.”

*In 31 games, Masset has a 7.20 ERA and has given up 20 earned runs in 25 innings. It equaled his earned runs allowed from all of last season when he pitched 76 innings over 54 games.

Questions of the night —

*Who’s your starter for Sunday — Bailey or LeCure?

*What’s the answer for the Reds bullpen? Could Bailey or LeCure move into a relief role or is there another fix? There really isn’t a lot of consistent work being done down in Louisville’s bullpen either.

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Bailey to pitch for Louisville

Sam LeCure will still start Tuesday’s game vs. the Giants. Homer Bailey has been sent on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville and will start Tuesday at Syracuse.

“He had a real good ‘pen the other day. This is more of a tune-up,” manager Dusty Baker said. “I’d rather have him tune-up there than tune-up here.  He thought he was ready for here but we wanted to make sure.”

Baker anticipated that Bailey would be limited to around 80 pitches. Bailey’s next turn for the Reds would come again on Sunday vs. the Royals but there was no committment that he would be activated from the disabled list.

“Let’s get through Tuesday first. He’s champing at the bit, that’s good,” Baker said. “A lot depends on Homer. A lot depends on how LeCure pitches this time.”

Bailey went on the DL May 24 with right shoulder inflammation and was eligible to be activated Tuesday. 

Baker was also anticipating a tough four-game series against the Giants this week. Their first three starters — Zito, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez all have ERAs at 2.78 or under.

“It’s no secret. They’ve got one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and we’re not even facing [Tim] Lincecum,” Baker said. “We have to play good baseball. The chances are we probably won’t have a bunch of scoring opportunities. So we have to capitalize on that, stay away from the big inning against them and just play good baseball. Play the way we’ve been playing and better.”

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Bullpen help, Votto back

The Reds have bullpen reinforcements for Tuesday’s game vs. STL.

RHP Mike Lincoln went to the disabled list with a straight right latissimus dorsi muscle (on his side). RHP Carlos Fisher was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Both guys got pummeled yesterday and Lincoln allowed 12 runs over his last 7 2/3 innings. 

Recalled from Louisville were relievers Enerio Del Rosario and Logan Ondrusek

1B Joey Votto is back in the Reds lineup as well…

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

*Dusty Baker said that Lincoln had been dealing with this injury for a while.

“He doesn’t complain, alibi or cry about anything,” Baker said. “Last year, he had that neck problem. He had been on the DL so much in his career, that’s the last thing he wanted to do. When he gets healthy, he still has good stuff.”

*Ondrusek had eight of his last 10 outings at Louisville be scoreless but was roughed up for four runs in the two other games. He believed he made some adjustments to be back better this time.

“It’s just making sure I’m locating the fastball early, and getting ahead,” Ondrusek said. That’s the  big thing where I got hurt here. I was falling behind and having to throw more over the plate. Guys just started crushing me.”

*It was asked why Jared Burton wasn’t considered for the call-up. Burton had four-straight scoreless outings for Louisville…but had only had five outings since coming off the DL.

“Burt is throwing the ball but they thought he needed some more time,” Baker said. He hasn’t been back that long. It might have been Burt if he was pitching more. He has to get his endurance up. They say he’s looking pretty close to where he was last year. We want him all the way back.”

*Homer Bailey threw from 120 feet today. He is scheduled to have a bullpen session on Thursday. He hoped to return to start when he is eligible to come off the DL June 8.

*Sam LeCure was amped for his start on Wednesday, his second in the big leagues. He grew up a couple hours away in a small town near Jefferson City, MO. He already has 20 tickets set aside for family, and expected more people to attend.

“I even thought to myself after the first one, I might even be a little more nervous for the second one,” LeCure said. Growing up in this area – not that I was necessarily a Cardinals fan – it was always a dream to play in this stadium.”

*Here’s some interesting info — Baker’s teams are 88-90 all time vs. Tony LaRussa, entering today.

SF vs STL, 34-32
Cubs vs STL, 37-34
CIN vs STL, 17-24

Overall, 88-90

*In the 2002 NLCS, the Giants defeated the Cardinals, 4-1, which pushes Baker ahead 92-91.

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Postgame extra: Quote parade

What was said following a 15-6 blowout of the Astros, which put the Reds nine games over .500 at 29-20.

“He threw the ball well and kept the ball down. He made some big pitches when he needed to make them. You could tell they nubbed a couple of balls off the end of the bat. He masked his pitches very well. Everything looked the same coming out of the same spot.” — Dusty Baker on Sam LeCure, who earned his first MLB win.

“I never pitched before but I’m assuming it’s a lot easier to pitch with the lead – especially when the guys score early. He battled. He gave up the bomb to Hunter but got the next ball from the umpire and threw downhill. He kept his chin up.” — Jonny Gomes, on LeCure.

“I feel really good about it. I believed in the fact that the game is still the same, just a little bigger stadium. I went out there and executed pitches and I had thrown to Hanigan before and felt really comfortable with him back there. We had a good little groove going.” — Sam LeCure.

Winning your first big league game can be rough on the guy who gets it. What happened to LeCure is pretty common outcome for a rookie first-time winner

“I got some shaving cream,” LeCure said. “They made me sit down in the shower in my uniform and they poured beer all over me. I got quite a bit of Pert Plus in my eyes. But it’s pretty cool. Any time that you’re able to not just get to the big leagues but get a win and it’s against the team in your division, it’s a big night for everybody.”

No Votto, roster move made

Fri lineup vs. HOU

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

*Joey Votto is missing from the lineup for the third-straight day (stiff neck).

Asked about whether the disabled list was possible for Votto, manager Dusty Baker couldn’t really say.

“I don’t know. I ain’t no doctor. I hope not,” Baker said. “I hope it’s just a stiff neck. It was better yesterday than the day before. We’ll wait as long as we can.”

*Miguel Cairo is 5-for-9 with a homer over the previous two games in Votto’s place, which has been a solid picking up of the slack.

“You want to contribute and do the little things that help the team win games,” Cairo said. “You don’t play every day so when one of the big boys, the regulars, gets a day or something happens to them, you’ve got to be ready to go out there and help the team.”

Cairo will be making his fourth start this season at first base, a position he hasn’t previously played since 2008 with the Mariners. Of his 727 career games in 14 seasons, 131 have been at first base.

*Arthur Rhodes, who has had been bothered by a sore foot the last couple of days, said he was ready to pitch tonight.

*To make room for Sam LeCure on the roster, Enerio Del Rosario was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.

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Votto better, but still out

Thurs lineup vs. PIT

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

*Joey Votto seemed relaxed at his locker but walking around, he didn’t look quite as good. A stiff neck has kept him out another game. It appeared doubtful Votto would be available to pinch-hit.

“It’s better than yesterday,” Votto said. “Yesterday wasn’t a very good day. I really didn’t feel that well. I came and talked to Dusty and ran in by Paul [Lessard, head trainer]. They came to the conclusion that I should take the day off.”

*Sam LeCure arrived from Louisville today and was ready to get started. He was handed his No. 63 jersey and cap as reporters were at his locker.

“This is what everybody works for,” LeCure said. “Anybody who has ever put on a uniform, this is the pinnacle. It’s taken some time and some bumps in the road. I know it’s so cliché and I promised myself I wouldn’t say it, but the closer it gets, the anxiety starts to build. I’m sure it won’t really set in until I get out there and I’m warming up tomorrow.”

LeCure was picked over Matt Maloney and Travis Wood to replace the injured Homer Bailey in the rotation.

“He’s been pitching the best,” Dusty Baker said. “Houston generally does better against left-handers than right-handers. Maloney has been pitching well too. Chapman has the blister. You want to go with who’s been pitching and throwing the best. You try to have a guy here that’s earned it as often as possible. You can’t always do it.”

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Series opener vs. Pirates

Monday lineup vs. PIT

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

Notes:

*Homer Bailey found out he was going on the DL when he saw Enerio Del Rosario in the clubhouse, and asked trainer Paul Lessard what was going on. He was not happy.

“I just found out from Paul that they’re DLing me,” Bailey said. “They didn’t ask my opinion. I guess that’s where everything stands.

“I could understand missing one start but I’m not a doctor.”

“The recommendation is for him right now is to not doing anything for a week,” general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He could pitch with it but it’s going to get worse, not better. The best thing to do is shut it down, let the inflammation subside and then he can start throwing again. It’s tough because I know he’s competitive and he wants to be out there. Sometimes, it’s better to take a step backwards so we can go forward.”

*The contenders take Bailey’s turn in the rotation on Friday are Sam LeCure, Matt Maloney or Travis Wood.

“We haven’t decided who yet,” Jocketty said. “We’ll probably make that decision the next couple of days.”

*Aroldis Chapman, whose start was scratched today for Triple-A Louisville, will throw on the side Tuesday. If all goes well, he could start Thursday for Louisville.

*Johnny Cueto is still on track to start for the Reds on Thursday, despite his blister issue from Saturday.

*After he threw 60 pitches yesterday, Micah Owings is only available to pinch-hit the next couple of days.

*If you’d like to learn more about how Del Rosario reached the big leagues beyond what was written today, check out my March 9 Spring Training story. I talked to minor league pitching coach Tom Brown, who was credited with turning Del Rosario into a sidearm pitcher.

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Spring game No. 1 in the books

The Reds first Cactus League game wasn’t one for the time capsule. Cincinnati fell behind 9-0 and wound up losing by a 9-2 score to the Indians.

Tough day for starter/5th spot candidate Mike Lincoln, who gave up four earned runs and seven hits in 1 1/3 innings. Most of the hits were solid shots, including the leadoff homer by Asdrubal Cabrera in the top of the first. Lincoln started Cabrera 3-0 and surrendered the long ball on a 3-2 fastball.

“The very first inning, I still had some nerves I was settling down. I felt good,” Lincoln said. “I felt really under control. I was just missing a little bit and then sure enough, next thing you know I was down 3-0 to the first hitter and then came back into him and he took me out of the park.”

It was a better day for another fifth spot contender, Matt Maloney. Taking over from Lincoln with one out in the second inning and runners on second and third, Maloney worked out of Lincoln’s mess and tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

“Maloney did very well,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He came and got us out of trouble and then had a clean inning the next inning. He threw the ball well today.”

Other notes –

*Baker has been impressed with the camp performance of Ramon Hernandez, who smoked a leadoff double to right field in the third inning.

*After replacing Joey Votto, Yonder Alonso had a tough afternoon defensively with two errors. There was one moment when Alonso made a nice diving stop but committed a two-out E3 with a bad toss to pitcher Sam LeCure covering the bag.

*LeCure followed Alonso’s first error by allowing a three-run home run to Nick Weglarz. All three runs were unearned.

*Miguel Cairo prevented the shutout. Cairo hit a RBI double to center field in the eighth inning that scored Ryan Hanigan. Cairo scored on a Paul Janish sacrifice fly.

*Only 4,631 fans turned out for the first game. My early review of Goodyear Ballpark is positive. It seems like a nice place to watch a game. Bring your sunscreen because shade is a premium but the sun does go behind the home plate area earlier and cools things off. It was a perfect weather day though…sunny and 73 degrees at first pitch.

 

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Thursday morning notes

The players had their annual closed-door meeting with MLB security this morning, which limited the access a little. But workouts are scheduled to begin shortly and on schedule.

Fifth starter candidate Travis Wood had a nice situation during his off-season workouts in Arkansas. He got to train with fellow lefty Cliff Lee, who lives only a few miles away. Lee starred for the Indians and Phillies last season and is now with the Mariners.

“He’s a great, a good mentor and a great guy,” Wood said. “It was nice to have somebody of his stature to workout with and pick his brain. He’s a soft spoken guy. If you talk to him, he’ll carry on a conversation like he’s your best friend. He likes to keep things pretty low key and mellow.”

*Each spring, the Reds video crew will shoot young players for “down on the farm” segments that are shown between innings at Great American Ball Park. The videos are for the fans but someone else apparently has been watching — Dusty Baker.

“I remember all of those guys’ things,” Baker said. “It’s interesting to hear kids’ evaluation of themselves. [Pitcher] Sam LeCure, I found his interesting. They asked him about his best repertoire of pitchers and he said the best pitch in baseball was a well-located fastball. That’s how I was taught.

“I heard one guy say ‘I’m a good outfielder and I’ve got speed’ and never once mention hitting. I asked that young man why? You don’t think you’re a good hitter. You mentioned everything but the No. 1 thing. I guess you’re going to be a bench player.”

Baker has just given the younger players one more thing to be worried about as they try to impress their way up the system.

“I don’t look for stuff. I just don’t miss much,” the manager said.

*The temperatures are headed back into the 70s today as pitchers do another session of live BP. If history is any guide, it appears that the desert weather is going cause some issues for pitchers this spring.

“The pitchers are really going to have to be patient with their breaking balls,” Baker said. “They don’t tend to break as well down here in his dry air and lack of humidity. The balls are chalkier and slicker because of the lack of humidity. Guys that haven’t been here before commented on it. it makes it a little tougher to judge pitchers here than in Florida.

“It’s easier to hit here generally. High sky, hard surface, big wide fields. The fields are a lot larger than normal to offset the way a ball carries.  It’s a little tougher to judge a sinkerball pitcher.

“It’s going to get smoking. Those infields – you can’t water them every inning – you’re going to think you’re on highway 10 out there. It’s hard to judge sinkerballers because balls will get through that don’t normally get through. It’s hard to judge fly ball pitchers because the ball carries tremendously. You’ll probably see some pretty high batting averages and high ERAs. You have to take that into consideration when you’re evaluating somebody, offensively or defensively.”

*Homer Bailey, Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Nick Masset and Francisco Cordero are among those who throw live BP today.

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