Results tagged ‘ Sean Casey ’

Arroyo on his start

It was one the hottest days we’ve had in Goodyear so far during camp came as temperatures reached the upper 80s on Thursday. No complaints at all, especially given all of the rain I’m hearing about in Cincinnati. Hopefully the Ohio River subsides soon before any really serious problems happen.

A bunch of Giants homers in the third inning — three to be exact — helped send the Reds to a 7-0 loss.

The highlights:

*San Francisco crushed three homers against Bronson Arroyo in the third, including back-to-back one-out shots by Andres Torres (2-run HR) and Freddy Sanchez. Cody Ross added a solo homer with two outs. Overall, Arroyo allowed four earned runs and five hits over four innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

“I felt the same as the first two times out,” Arroyo said. “I got a little tired after three innings but it’s probably expected this time of year. I haven’t felt great all spring but I haven’t felt bad at all. Command is good. They hit three off-speed pitches out of the park.”

*Arroyo said he threw all fastballs in the fourth inning to build his endurance.

*The much anticipated spring debut of Edinson Volquez finally came. Volquez, a bit jet-lagged from his long Wednesday flight from the Dominican lasted 2 1/3 innings with two runs (one unearned), two hits two walks, a hit batter and two strikeouts. There will be much more from him on MLB.com soon.

*Aroldis Chapman gave up one run and two hits in his two innings and struck out three. But he had better command than in his previous three outings.

“He looked pretty good,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He threw a real good changeup. He’s been working on that. That would give him a third pitch to keep them off his fastball. He threw strikes with it. He threw a couple of good breaking balls. He looked a lot better this time than last time and that’s the objective.”

*And it’s the not always “just spring” category, Giants starter Madison Baumgarner had a little extra motivation for the Reds. Baumgarner last faced the Cincinnati Aug. 25 when he allowed eight runs (seven earned) in 2 2/3 innings. The Giants ended up making a big comeback before the Reds won 12-11 in 12 innings.

“I definitely didn’t forget about it. It’s hard to forget about something like that,” Baumgarner said.

Today, Baumgarner worked a crisp four scoreless innings with six strikeouts. His only hit was a one-out soft single to right field by Brandon Phillips, who was caught stealing. The Reds had only five hits overall on the day.

*In part two of “it’s not just spring”, Jonny Gomes threw out Pat Burrell at second base trying for a double on a drive off the left field wall in the fourth inning. Gomes pumped his fist when Burrell was called out. Granted, Burrell isn’t fleet of foot, but it was a good throw.

*It was a busier than usual day with media and guests. Besides a slew of national writers that were over, a crew from “Rome Is Burning?” was shooting with Brandon Phillips, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo — formerly of WFAN in New York, was here with Sirius/XM radio. And James Denton of “Desperate Housewives” fame was watching the pre-game workout. Denton is friends with Sean Casey, who is here as a guest instructor.

*Finally, former Reds intern and current Triple-A Louisville employee Danny “Blue” Steele has started a new team blog called, “The Bats Signal.” It’s still getting started but it should provide ample updates once the regular season begins.

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Sean Casey on Reds TV?

During a Q&A interview by the blog Red Reporter with former Reds 1B and current MLB Network analyst Sean Casey, “The Mayor” revealed he would be doing 15 games on TV for Fox Sports Ohio this season.

UAaP2DYe.jpgSeeking specifics, I called Fox Sports Ohio today but they aren’t ready to formally reveal plans for Casey or their other talent. Obviously, I would expect Thom Brennaman and Chris Welsh to be back in the fold but as many of you know, there has been a smorgasbord of different people that also do games as well in recent seasons.

“We haven’t made any talent decisions, as far as announcing anything,” said Kate Buddenhagen, the communications manager for Fox Sports Ohio. “I would hope in the coming weeks to reveal our lineup.”

Not that you would need it, but here is Casey’s bio on the MLB Network web site. He was obviously one of the most popular Reds players in recent years when he played in Cincinnati from 1998-2005. I just missed getting the chance to cover him since he was traded to the Pirates in Dec. 2005, during my very first week on the Reds beat. But I’ve met him a few times since and (no big surprise), he’s always been incredibly nice to talk to.

It will be cool to see Casey around the ballpark doing games on TV. I’ve enjoyed his work on MLB Network and I can imagine he’d do a good job as a color analyst on FS Ohio.

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The Captain and The Mayor

Popped over to the Goodyear complex for a little while before the Reds go to Mesa for the Cubs.

One of the first people I saw Saturday morning was Barry Larkin laughing at his locker in the coaches room. Larkin is in camp as a guest instructor for about 10 days and wearing a Reds uniform for the first time since he departed after the 2004 season.

Although 45, Larkin looked like he could still play.

“Looks can be deceiving,” he replied.

One thing Larkin didn’t overlook was the meaning of wearing that No. 11 uniform again.

“It feels good. It feels natural,” Larkin said. “I was telling Joey Votto the other day about my opportunity to play with the Nationals. When I saw the Nationals uniform with 11 and ‘Larkin’ on the back, I told them I couldn’t put the uniform on. I couldn’t do it. I sat in my locker and just looked at it like ‘something is not right about this.’”

Larkin spent a few years in the Nats front office but now works for MLB Network. As does Sean Casey, who is also back in uniform for the first time on Saturday.

One of my few regrets on this job is that I never got to cover the Reds when Casey was here. I started in December, 2005 during the Winter Meetings and the first news I got to write about was Casey being traded to the Pirates for LHP Dave Williams. We know how that deal turned out for Cincinnati.

Casey, aka “The Mayor”, is about as nice as they come and I’ve gotten to talk with him a few times since he left the Reds. But for the reporters he knew when he played here, there is fond feelings.

Casey saw Hal McCoy in the hallway and engulfed him a gigantic hug with big slaps on the back. I think Hal is headed to the chiropractor in a few minutes.

In that hallway, Dr. Tim Kremchek was giving Casey some grief. Casey called Doc last night while Kremchek was at the Suns-Lakers game.

“Where’s Doc? My elbow is killing me,” Casey said. “I think I need a cortisone shot.”

“You’re retired for God’s sake,” Kremchek said.

“It’s all the pullups I’ve been doing,” Casey joked.

*The Reds had a lineup change. Scott Rolen was scratched and Juan Francisco was the replacement in the fourth spot and at third base. The Reds said nothing was wrong with Rolen.

*After two relief appearances, lefty Aroldis Chapman will make his first start on Wednesday in the split-squad afternoon game vs. the Brewers.

*Jay Bruce is off to a nice start batting .429 (6-for-14) with a homer in six games. Considering the bad year he had last season, it’s encouraging. It’s also a sign that some of the improvement he made after coming off of the DL late in the year is sticking.

“So far, what I’ve been proud of is that I’m not going up there feeling like I’m having to hit or having to swing at pitches,” Bruce said. “I’m making a decision on the pitch I’m going to swing at. It’s not so much of collision hitting this year. It’s more of having more time to make a decision. I’ve chased very few pitches. Everyone is going to chase some pitches or swing at bad pitches or strikeout. I’m trying to cut down on that as much as I can. That’s my goal.”

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Cheering in the press box

I’m guilty for violating the golden rule of media (no cheering in the press box)…couldn’t help it. My colleague and friend Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News was saluted on the field before he heads off into retirement at the end of the season. Quite frankly, anybody that works 46 years in one place — including 37 years on the Reds beat — deserves a standing O.

If a man’s wealth is measured by the number of friends he has, Hal would be a billionaire. During a reception at the ballpark, Hal’s colleagues at the Dayton Daily News, current and former Reds and sports writers all turned out. His family, including his wife Nadine, was on hand of course. 

0916_hal_nadine.jpgAnd there was former Reds star Aaron Boone. Now with the Astros, Boone caught Hal’s ceremonial first pitch (it was a one-hopper but a strong effort.) Hal credited Boone with saving him from quitting in 2003. That spring, Hal lost his vision and became legally blind overnight. Boone talked him out of giving up. He’s kept working the last six years and hasn’t let it stop him.

During the game between innings, there were video tributes from players Hal covered – such as Sean Casey, Lou Piniella, Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn.

I’ve been fortunate to have known Hal the last four years I’ve covered the Reds. He’s always been good to me and even though I’ve competed for stories and scoops with him, I’ll never stop appreciating everything he’s done for me and I count myself lucky to be considered his friend. 

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Bray close, Bench and Casey visit

Lefty reliever Bill Bray threw two innings worth of live batting practice on a back field Wednesday afternoon, totalling 40 pitches. It’s possible he could get into his first game as soon as Saturday vs. the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Bray has been behind all spring because of a sore left shoulder.

“I’m going to wait until [Thursday] to decide to see how he is and how his arm reacts,” pitching coach Dick Pole said. “If it’s good, it’ll likely be Saturday. If he’s a little sore, maybe Sunday.”

Just from my rudimentary scouting eye — but Bray seemed to be doing well while facing Drew Stubbs, Norris Hopper and Danny Richar.

“He’s throwing good,” manager Dusty Baker confirmed after Bray finished.

Bray was satisfied with the session, his third live BP stint in camp.

“I felt good,” Bray said. “I just worked on hitting my locations and throwing strikes was the biggest thing. Being the third time I’ve thrown to batters, I was throwing strikes and keeping the ball down. I’m starting to get the slider working and moving properly, which was big.”

Other notes:

  • Reds legend Johnny Bench made his first appearance of the spring. Bench put on his No. 5 jersey and watched batting practice inside Ed Smith Stadium. He is in town while the team hosts corporate partners this week.
  • Recently retired 1B Sean Casey visited the Reds clubhouse today. Casey is in town with MLB Network while it shoots video and does interviews for the 30 Clubs/30 Days series. One regret is that Casey was traded to the Pirates the day after I started on the Reds beat in December, 2005. I never got to regularly work around one of the all-time nicest guys in the game. 
  • I talked to friend and Twins pitching great and broadcaster Bert Blyleven, who is the pitching coach for the Netherlands World Baseball Classic team. The Dutch squad features Reds Minor League pitchers Alexander Smit and Juan Carlos Sulbaran – both will benefit from working with Blyleven, who had one of the best curveballs ever and 3,701 career strikeouts.

“He’s got a good arm, a live arm,” Blyleven said about Sulbaran, a 30th round pick in last year’s Draft. “He’s young though. He’s just 19.”

Sulbaran also pitched for the Dutch National team in the 2008 Olympics.

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