Results tagged ‘ Tim Kremchek ’

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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Cueto headed to DL

The roster move isn’t official yet but expect to see pitcher Johnny Cueto placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday and Micah Owings to be activated to take that night’s start vs. the Pirates at PNC Park.

Team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek did not have Cueto take an MRI but diagnosed him with right shoulder inflammation.

“Johnny wasn’t happy about it, which is a good sign,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He said it doesn’t hurt necessarily. We’re going to back him off for a couple of starts. He wants to pitch.”

Cueto is 8-10 with a 4.61 ERA in 24 starts with 136 2/3 innings pitched. He also pitched in Dominican winter ball and the World Baseball Classic. While his velocity has been OK, his location has been off and he’s complained about not being able to feel the ball come out of his hands.

In his latest start during Saturday’s 10-6 loss the Nationals, Cueto gave up seven earned runs and eight hits over 2 2/3 innings. His record is 0-6 with a 10.64 ERA over his last eight starts.

The DL move would be retroactive to Sunday, which would make him eligible to return on Aug. 31 — when the Reds will really need an extra pitcher. They have a day-night doubleheader vs. the Pirates.

In other injury news, 3B Scott Rolen (concussion) will meet Triple-A Louisville in Indianapolis on Thursday to start what’s expected to be a two-game rehab assignment. If all goes well, Rolen will meet the Reds in Pittsburgh on Saturday and be activated from the DL on Sunday.

“That would be considered the plan,” Rolen said Wednesday. “Hopefully things will go well there.”

On Tuesday, Rolen took full batting practice, fielded groundballs, threw across the diamond and ran on the treadmill at 80 percent intensity. The headaches that had bothered him have gone away.

“I don’t have any symptoms at this point,” Rolen said. “I did a lot yesterday and had no trouble.”

Reds lineup:

Stubbs 8
Janish 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Gomes 9
Balentien 7
Rosales 5
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

Update: The Brewers traded IF/OF Bill Hall to the Mariners today. Hall was DFA’d last week and the Reds had some interest in acquiring him.

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Adam Dunn, Arroyo, Volquez

The uniform was obviously different and a different color but Adam Dunn hadn’t changed a bit. Dunn,the former Reds star and current Nationals first baseman/outfielder, met with the media in the visitor’s dugout for a few minutes on Thursday. He teased a couple of people including Ken Broo and Seg Dennison and checked out Great American Ball Park from his new perspective.

“This is the first time I’ve stepped out here and looked and it looks red,” Dunn said. “It’s really red out here. It’s what I remember.”

Although fans often had a love-hate relationship with Dunn (loved the homers, hated the strikeouts, fielding and the team’s losing) — but he harbored zero ill will towards anything or anyone in Cincinnati. 

Dunn.jpg“I’m not bitter at all,” Dunn said. “I got an opportunity to play here since 2001. I enjoyed my time here. I met some great people. It’s a business. I understand that. I don’t hold grudges against anything. It worked out for a reason.”

There was a time when Dunn and owner/CEO Bob Castellini were looking to extend Dunn’s stay with the Reds but that obviously changed when Dunn was traded to the Diamondbacks just over one year ago. In the off-season, he signed as a free agent with Washington.

“I understand this is a business and that’s how it goes,” Dunn said of his end with the Reds. “They obviously did what was best for the organization and I still think Mr. Castellini is one of the best people I’ve met in my life. They’ll definitely turn this thing around here. I met a lot of great people here that are hard to replace because you’re with them day in and day out for x-amount of years. That’s the main thing I miss about it.”

Reds lineup:

Dickerson 8
Gonzalez 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Gomes 9
Rosales 5
Hanigan 2
Arroyo 1

A lot of people seem to be making a big deal out of the the USA Today cover story on Bronson Arroyo out today. I like that Arroyo isn’t afraid to address any topic but I also feel like this topic was addressed on July 31 to both the Boston Herald and Cincinnati media. Even if he is taking things not on the approved list, he’s not taking anything on the banned list. He’s never tested positive for anything illegal since testing began.

UPDATE — 10 minutes after I posted this blog, USA Today has another story that MLB wants to meet with Arroyo. So, now it is a big deal whether I agree or not. 

Edinson Volquez was back in the Reds clubhouse among his teammates and wearing a rather cumbersome metal brace all the way up his right arm. On Aug. 3, Volquez had Tommy John surgery performed on his right elbow by Dr. Tim Kremchek.

“They gave me a DVD of the surgery and I saw what they did. It wasn’t good. That’s crazy,” Volquez said. “It was the first time I’ve seen that. I went back to my place and watched it on my computer. I wanted to see what they did to me.”

Always a smiling and optimistic guy, Volquez believed he could still return to pitch at some point in 2010. He should be allowed to begin throwing in December and possibly work off of a mound by March.

“Right now if everything goes good and I keep doing everything I’m doing now, I could be back in a year, maybe nine or 10 months,” Volquez said. “Kremchek I might be ready by May or June. Everything is going great right now. You can see there is no more swelling. They took the stitches out yesterday. I surprised them because they’ve seen me do a lot of stuff with my arm in exercises for the first week and a half. They’re happy now.”

I saw Homer Bailey in the clubhouse and other than a rather dark bruise in his left in-step from last night’s line drive by Albert Pujols, was moving OK. Bailey expected to be OK for his next start on Tuesday. Besides the usual ice treatments, he’s also a big believer in accupuncture.

Uniform change: Outfielder Wladimir Balentien swapped numbers. He went from No. 64 to No. 28, the former number of Edwin Encarnacion.

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Volquez done, Rolen here

Pitcher Edinson Volquez finally got the news that he dreaded would come. After all of his rehab efforts were unsuccessful, surgery is the option that remains. He will undergo elbow surgery on Monday.

All that’s left to learn is how long he’ll be out. Dr. Tim Kremchek will do the procedure, but won’t know the type needed until he has a look inside. If Volquez needs Tommy John surgery, he’s looking at 9-12 months out. If it’s the less invasive arthroscopic surgery, he could be ready by Spring Training 2010.

“It just hasn’t gotten better,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty said. “You always try to take the conservative route and a lot of times they come back without having surgery. In this case, we felt it hadn’t gotten better. It was still stiff and sore. We felt we needed to go in and see what’s going on.”

Volquez, who shut down his scheduled 80-pitch simulated game just 20 pitches on Friday in wheh he felt discomfort, showed his inner elbow off on Saturday and it was clearly swollen.

“I didn’t feel any pain,” Volquez said. “It’s really tight. Kremchek looked at it and said he could fix it. If it’s the best thing I can do, I’m going to do it.”

Obviously, Volquez is hoping the Tommy John operation isn’t needed.

“I feel bad because I’ve been working at for the past two months,” Volquez said. “I threw five bullpens and I didn’t feel anything. Then I get to the mound and see some hitters and I tried to do a little bit more than I did in the bullpen.”

While one season is ending, another is beginning anew in many ways. New third baseman Scott Rolen couldn’t have been more pleased about being traded to Cincinnati. His hometown is Jasper, Indiana, which isn’t very far away.

“Depends on who’s driving. I’d say 2 ½-3 hours away,” Rolen said on Saturday. “We might see a spike in beer sales on some of these weekends from a Southern Indiana group of folks when my buddies come over.”

The first thing that was noticeable about Rolen was his piece of locker real estate in the clubhouse. He was given one of the coveted double lockers at the end of the room, often reserved for veterans. However, this locker had previously been occupied by 22-year-old Jay Bruce. Now Bruce is using Edwin Encarnacion’s old locker after clubhouse manager Rick Stowe mentioned where he wanted to put Rolen. Bruce gladly accomodated.

“We got the big guy here so I moved over,” Bruce said. “The guy is an All-Star and Gold Glove winner. He deserves that locker.”

Rolen was also given No. 27, his old number when he was with the Cardinals. He wore 33 in Toronto. The former No. 27 on the Reds, rookie Drew Sutton, was reassigned No. 15 — Jerry Hairston Jr.’s former number.

“I’m thrilled to be here, no question,” Rolen said. “This is as close to home as I can be. My parents brought me here to watch ballgames. Where I’m from, there’s a St. Louis-Cincinnati split right down the middle. I’ve hit them both. I’m a Midwestern guy and like being here. I enjoyed my time in St. Louis with Walt and this part of the country. This is the spot I wanted to get back and be for a while.”

Rolen said he did approach Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi and requested a trade and hoped he’d get to go to Cincinnati.

“When I was in St. Louis, we grew comfortable in that area,” Rolen said. “I kind of took a leap of faith going to a new league, going to a new country, going to a new team. I have a four-year old and a two-year old and my wife. My parents travel around quite a bit. My brother lives in this area. I always wanted to try and finish up at home or get back to this area and this part of the country.”

Rolen has missed a lot of games over the years because of a problematic left shoulder. It was Kremchek who repaired his torn labrum.

“Perfect, no trouble at all,” Rolen said of his shoulder this season. He came into tonight batting .320 with eight homers and 43 RBIs. He also comes with a reputation of being a good guy and a leadership guy. He wasn’t ready to assume that mantle just yet in Cincinnati.

“That’s a tough one to tackle,” Rolen said. “I just got here and put on this uniform like everybody else. I will go out and compete as best I can. I think we have, as professional ballplayers, we have a responsibility and accountability to be professional on and off the field. I will go about my business and try to be the best I can be.”

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Bad news for Bruce, Reds

The play looked ugly when it happened and the results have now matched.

Reds right fielder Jay Bruce exited Saturday’s game vs. the Mets in the bottom of the first inning after his right glove hand jammed hard into the grass while making a sliding catch on David Wright’s short fly ball. 

Bruce was later diagnosed with a fractured right wrist. He will return to Cincinnati for an MRI and an examination with team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek. It was not known how much time he will miss.

“It hurt pretty bad,” said Bruce after the game, with his right arm in a wrap.  “I was in some pretty bad pain. It’s part of the game I guess. I was trying to make the play. I caught it. Once it came back forward, I didn’t have any strength in my hand. I couldn’t keep it closed.”

Immediately after hitting the ground, Bruce grabbed his wrist in obvious pain. After being looked over for a few moments by manager Dusty Baker and the trainer, Bruce walked off the field. Chris Dickerson took over in right field. In the top of the first, Bruce struck out in his only at-bat vs. Johan Santana.

“I just hope Jay is not hurt too seriously,” Baker said after a 4-0 Reds loss to the Mets. “Let’s hope we don’t lose him for the year.”

A roster move is coming for Sunday, Baker said. No outfielders at Triple-A Louisville are currently on the 40-man roster. 

Drew Stubbs is batting .279 with two home runs and 25 RBIs in 77 games for the Bats. Another option could be Chris Heisey, who was recently promoted from Double-A Carolina. In 14 games with Louisville, Heisey is batting .365 with three homers and 13 RBIs. 

Volquez, Encarnacion updates

Hopefully no one has abandoned this blog for good after I took four days away. I liked seeing the dialouge continue while I was on hiatus. I hope that keeps up, whether I’m on or off.

RHP Edinson Volquez (right elbow tendinitis) got some good news on Monday after his latest exam with medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek — he can throw again and will on Friday.

The bad news is Volquez has to start from square one again — long tossing from the relatively short distance of 60 feet.

“He checked my arm and he stretched my arm,” Volquez said of the Kremchek exam. “He turned it that way and the other way. He said I could throw. He said he’s going to check my arm every time I throw. He’ll be here to make sure everything is OK.”

Volquez said he was surprised to have been shut down over a week ago.

“I didn’t feel any pain when I threw. The MRI showed the inflammation,” he said. “It’s been hard to be at home watching the games. You get mad. I’m screaming at the umpire on TV.”

In an odd bit of news, 3B Edwin Encarnacion (left wrist) was given a day off this afternoon when Triple-A Louisville played Gwinnett County. Louisville is off on Wednesday, which makes it weirder since that wipes two days of a 20-day rehab assignment. The apparent reason was that Encarnacion had played the last nine days in a row during and it was just a break and no more. The rehab can last as late as July 10 while the Reds are playing the Mets in New York. He’s already eligible to be activated from the 60-day DL.

It wasn’t expected that Encarnacion would return before the end of the current homestand, which concludes on Sunday.

“I’m not counting on it,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Optimistically, hopefully by the road trip.”

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Hairston 5
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Nix 7
Hernandez 2
Bruce 9
Janish 6
Arroyo 1

The lineup is missing three of the Reds’ hottest hitters. Jonny Gomes is hitting .381 over his last five games and .367 over his last 17. Chris Dickerson is batted .467 over his last 11 games and Ryan Hanigan is batting .321 for the season.

“You can’t play everybody,” Baker said. “I have a plan on how to keep them sharp and productive for themselves and us at the same time. We knew that could potentially happen when we started. You don’t have a good team unless you have too many good bodies.”

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Votto has inner ear infection

The tests are back on Joey Votto and the diagnosis behind his dizziness was a left inner ear infection.

“I’m just glad they found what it was. I’m thankful and grateful,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Team internist Dr. Stephen Cleves and medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek made the diagnosis on Thursday after results from an audiologist came back.

“All other testing was normal,” Reds head trainer Mark Mann said. “The only thing that came back irregular was the audiology tests that indicated he had an inner ear infection that was secondary to the upper respiratory infection he had 10 days ago, which I get from Dr. Cleves, is a common occurance.

“The last four days Joey has felt much better. He has not had any more symptoms since he got back to Cincinnati.”

Votto first came down with the flu on May 7 and missed four starts. Then he took a flight with the club from Cincinnati to Phoenix with the team on May 10 for a West Coast road trip.

“That’s probably what set things off or started the symptoms,” Mann said. “And then flying from Phoenix to San Diego. That’s why he ended up having the symptoms again on Saturday.”

Votto was resting Thursday morning and will made available to the media following today’s game. The Reds first baseman is listed as day to day. He did a light workout on Wednesday and was scheduled to do likewise Thursday, plus hit in the indoor cage.

“Our game plan at this point is if everything goes well today, he will participate in full activity tomorrow with his teammates before the game – stretch, throw, take groundballs, take batting practice on the field,” Mann said. “If all goes well, we’ll go from there. Right now, it’s just a day by day process.”

“I’m sure he hasn’t been sleeping or resting much,” Baker said. “You’re worrying about something that you don’t know what you’re worrying about. That’s real worry right there.”

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Bray out 10-12 months

From the Reds media relations dept:

LHP Bill Bray this morning had “Tommy John” surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow (Dr. Timothy Kremchek)…he is expected to miss 10-12 months…Bray has been on Class AAA Louisville’s disabled list since 4/16.

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