Results tagged ‘ Todd Frazier ’

Frazier OK and Friday notes

Todd Frazier could have been feeling much worse this morning. Frazier took a 95 mph Aroldis Chapman fastball to his right leg and walked away with only a bruised right quadriceps. Frazier’s leg was tightly wrapped when he walked into the clubhouse Friday morning.

“You never know when you get hit, especially when the ball hits the bone,” Frazier said. “You’re always worried about it. At the same time, I walked it off which was very good.”

This was the same knee Frazier had surgery on over the winter but there were no issues. He won’t play in Friday’s game.

“I’ll be back tomorrow,” Frazier said.

I jokingly asked Frazier if he kept the ball as a souvenir, a teammate had the same thought right after the incident.

“[Laynce] Nix threw me the ball in the dugout. I tossed it and started laughing,” Frazier said. “It’s never good to get hit but making a joke about it was funny.”

*Speaking of Nix, he was scratched from Friday’s lineup. He was shaken up during the intrasquad game  trying to catch Miguel Cairo drive to left field.

“He ran into a wall on that play,” manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s a precautionary thing.”

Drew Sutton replaced Nix as the designated hitter and will bat ninth vs. Cleveland.

*Someone in the office asked Baker about what Orlando Cabrera brings to the team. One of the attributes was leadership.

“He’s a leader that doesn’t mind leading,” Baker said. “A lot of leaders are people are pushed into leadership. He’s vocal. Brandon [Phillips] gets on him and says he doesn’t understand what he’s saying, but they go way back.”

The Reds left side of the infield now has two leader-types with Cabrera and Scott Rolen. Both are different personalities, however.

“We’ve got one that’s vocal and one that’s not,” Baker said. “The one that’s not, Scott, you kind of have to figure out what he’s saying. He’ll say something that will ignite your thought process. He’ll do it with a smile, laughter or a joke and you have to figure out what he’s saying. Most times, it’s something very profound.”

*Baker said he would take it slower in getting Rolen and Cabrera ready, a right they’ve earned as veterans. The manager also says he knows when guys need to be pushed or dialed back some.

“The older you get, it takes you a little longer to get fine tuned,” Baker said. “When you get there, you keep it longer.”

Follow me on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

Monday morning notes

If you’re wondering what’s next for Aroldis Chapman, he is scheduled to throw in the bullpen today. His next camp milestone, however, should come Thursday when he appears in the Reds intrasquad game.

The list of pitchers that are to appear is as follows:

Harang, Bailey, Chapman, Del Rosario, Smith, Ondrusek, Smit, Valiquette, Viola.

*Bill Bray, working his way back from Tommy John surgery, is up to 40 pitches off of a mound in the bullpen. He probably won’t be ready to pitch when games start. The club isn’t rushing him.

*Todd Frazier has a bat that will force his way to the Majors someday soon. But exactly where remains the big mystery. Originally a shortstop, Frazier has worked out all over the diamond this spring and has played multiple positions since he was Drafted in 2007.

“He’s an interesting guy,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He can play all over and he has a really good bat. Hopefully at some point in time, we can settle on a steady position for him.”

Besides having established veterans at the big league level at every infield spot, the Reds have prospects on their way. Chris Valaika is a potential future second baseman. Zach Cozart is a future shortstop. Juan Francisco is a third baseman in waiting and as mentioned in the previous blog post,

Yonder Alonso is waiting at first base. Chris Heisey is nearing the Majors as a corner outfielder.

“There’s somebody coming at almost every position,” Baker said. “We’re trying [Frazier] at every position in case we use his value in that way.”

With Spring Training, the daily workouts usually begats the itch for exhibition games to start. But that’s mostly the writers who want to see something different. Baker wasn’t in a rush for camp to move any quicker.

“We still need to get some work in,” he said. “we didn’t get some fundamentals in because of the weather. We have cutoffs and relays today. We want to get some fundamental stuff in there.”

*And a public congratulations to Hal McCoy, who will be joining Fox Sports Ohio to cover the Reds. He will be writing stories on line for their web site and also appearing on pre-game and postgame shows. When Hal told me last week of his plans, I was naturally excited for him.

Follow me on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

Monday morning notes

It’s raining again outside (third day in a row) so we know that drills. Indoors, a much larger media contingent is in the work room today with the Aroldis Chapman press conference coming up a few hours. Chapman also has a bullpen session this morning.

Some of the highlights out of Dusty Baker’s office this morning:

With Jonny Gomes not in the fold, at least yet, a reporter mentioned there was slim pickings for right-handed hitters in the outfield that have a chance at making the team.
 
“Who’s picking the team?” Baker fired back.

Currently, the three leading right-handed hitting contenders for left field are Wladimir Balentien, Todd Frazier and Chris Heisey. Balentien is a .190 hitter lifetime vs. left-handed pitchers, vs. .235 against right-handers — which goes against the norm. Baker doesn’t want to write off Balentien vs. lefties.

“It’s part of our job to teach him,” he said. “That’s one thing that I don’t like too much is that a guy gets labeled with what he can’t do so early in his career. You hope that you can teach him to have a varying philosophy on how to hit them. There are some guys here that can teach guys.”

Frazier is a possiblity to make the team but whether or not the club would be willing to consider him him for a utility role where he wouldn’t get regular at-bats isn’t known yet.

“That’s always a very tough question with a young player,” Baker said. “He is young in experience and professionally. Sometimes the meter runs a little quicker if you’re a college player vs. a high school player.”

There are also a lot of veterans vying for utility spots. There is Aaron Miles, Chris Burke, Miguel Cairo plus Paul Janish and Drew Sutton.

Miles reported to camp today carrying a Cubs equipment bag — his team last season. A .282 career hitter, he batted only .185 in 74 games for Chicago after signing a two-year contract.

“I’m just excited to get last year behind me and get back to the baseball I know I can play,” Miles said.

Miles explained some of the issues that set him back last season. More on that later on the main sites.

Follow me on Twitter at

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

What's going on with Gomes?

With less than two weeks before the Reds start Spring Training, outfielder Jonny Gomes seemed far from assured of being signed.

Since last week when it was learned the two sides were talking about a Minor League contract, there has been little movement.

“Nothing recently,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Friday night. “We may re-evaluate where we’re at with our roster and with the number of people we have going [to Spring Training].”

If the Reds do not end up signing Gomes, they will not try to pursue another outfielder as a Plan B.

“We’ll either do something with him or stay with what we have until we get to camp and see how it shakes out,” Jocketty said. “There’s no real deadline. We’re playing it by ear. I don’t think there’s pressure one way or the other to get it done.”

There is still a vacancy in left field that will need filling this spring. Chris Dickerson, Laynce Nix, Wladimir Balentien, Chris Heisey and Todd Frazier are among the candidates.

 

Leake, Phillips, Owings, etc.

It’s getting down to the final stretch to sign 2009 Draft picks before the Aug. 17 midnight ET deadline. GM Walt Jocketty seemed optimistic the Reds could get their first-round pick, RHP Mike Leake, signed.

“We’ve had several discussions lately,” Jocketty said. “I think we’re getting closer. Hopefully, we’ll get something resolved this week. We’ve only got 10 days.”

Last year, the Reds didn’t sign their top pick, 1B Yonder Alonso, until about 15 minutes before the deadline.

“I hope it doesn’t take that long,” Jocketty said.

Jocketty also downplayed any notion that he was considering moving 2B Brandon Phillips to shortstop because Double-A Carolina prospect Todd Frazier was moved to second base. A report on Tuesday indicated that Jocketty was open to the notion even though it hadn’t been discussed.

“He’s played left field all year,” Jocketty said of Frazier. “We know he can play shortstop. We know he can play third base. We want to see if he can play second base. We’re trying to develop players to play different positions. It has nothing to do with Phillips.”

Frazier has started Carolina’s last five games at second base.

Phillips has had no discussions with the club about switching to the other side of the infield.

“Nobody has said anything to me,” Phillips said.

Phillips was originally a shortstop as he rose through the Expos and Indians systems. He’s played there a couple of times for the Reds.

“I will do whatever the team wants me to do,” Phillips said. “I won a Gold Glove at second base. If I have to go somewhere else, I will try to win a Gold Glove there. I will let them make the decisions.”

RHP Micah Owings, on the DL with right shoulder tightness, threw a 75-pitch simulated game today and faced Reds hitters Adam Rosales and Chris Dickerson. Owings used all of his pitches and had no issues.

“I felt pretty good and keyed on working on a couple of things,” Owings said. “I feel like I got some good work in today.”

Owings said his next step was to pitch on a rehab assignment for Triple-A Louisville. Manager Dusty Baker left open the possiblity that the minor league outing might not be needed. Owings could possibly start for the Reds on Tuesday, the day he is eligible to be activated, if he doesn’t go to the Louisville since that would be his normal day.

3B Scott Rolen is back in after a two-game absence aftering beaned in the head on Sunday.

RHP Jared Burton went to Class A Dayton today for the beginning of his rehab assignment. Burton has been on the DL since July 26 with right shoulder fatigue and asthma. He is eligible to be activated on Sunday.

Dickerson can also return from the DL on Tuesday. Having him, Burton, and Owings return would give the beat-up Reds some much needed reinforcements.

“It would help, big time,” Baker said.

In the minors, Alonso began a rehab assignment with the GCL Reds on Tuesday. Alonso broke the hamate bone in his right hand with Carolina on June 19 and had surgery on June 23.

Reds lineup:

Taveras 8
Gonzalez 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Balentien 9
Nix 7
Hanigan 2
Lehr 1

Follow updates on Twitter at:

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

Frigid in Milwaukee

The thermostat is still turned way down in Milwaukee and we’re all thankful again for the Miller Park roof.

The aforementioned frigid output of Ramon Hernandez (2-for-19) and Alex Gonzalez (0-for-16) has prompted a lineup change. Ryan Hanigan is catching and Paul Janish is the shortstop. Here is the full Reds lineup:

Taveras, cf

Hairson, lf

Votto, 1b

Phillips, 2b

Bruce, rf

Encarnacion, 3b

Hanigan, c

Janish, ss

Arroyo, rhp

 

News you can use:

 

Gonzalez and Hernandez took extra BP this afternoon to work on their swings. Gonzalez found his session to be productive.

 

“Everybody wants to get a hit,” Gonzalez said. “When you’re in that situation, you try to get the first hit. I will keep working. I worked today and tried to fix what I saw in the video. I’m opening up too quick and that’s why I miss a lot of pitches. I will be ready for tomorrow. I will go out there and try to do what I did in BP.”

 

Dusty Baker said that starting pitcher Micah Owings would bat ninth on Wednesday, but unlike some comments Baker made last week, he seems open to batting Owings higher in the order down the road.

“Maybe,” Baker said. “He’s a pretty good ace in the hole in that ninth spot, too.”

Edinson Volquez will be working with pitching coach Dick Pole between starts to tighten his delivery and improve his command

 

“He couldn’t get to his secondary pitches because he couldn’t control his primary pitch – his fastball,” Baker said. “He didn’t throw hardly any changeups. He threw a few breaking balls. It’s hard to throw your changeup if you’re not locating your fastball.”

  

In Minor League news from Jamie Ramsey, Adam Rosales hit another homer (a 435-foot two-run shot) for Triple-A Louisville Monday to extend his hitting streak to five games. Rosales has opened the season batting .412 (7-for-17) with two homers and seven RBIs.

 

Double-A Carolina’s Todd Frazier had three hits last night at Mississippi and raised average to a team-best .455 (10-for-22, 5rbi).

 

Carolina OF Chris Heisey is hitting .412 (7-for-17, 2hr, 4rbi, 2 2B, 6r, 6bb, .583obp)

Late update — Homer Bailey was ejected from tonight’s game vs. Toledo in the top of the third inning when he hit a batter immediately after allowing a home run. Bailey’s line was: 2.2ip, 3h, 3r-2er, 3bb-3k, 2hr. He threw 53 pitches, 30 strikes.

First roster cuts, lineups vs. NYY

The first roster trim came down and there were no surprises. Most of the top prospects were sent to the Minor League camp. Here’s the list:

Optioned to Class AA Carolina  was 1B Yonder Alonso; reassigned to minor league camp were C Humberto Cota, C Chris Denove, INF Todd Frazier, C Devin Mesoraco, OF Drew Stubbs and INF Chris Valaika…the Reds have 56 players remaining in camp.

Reds lineup:

Dickerson CF, Gonzalez SS, Bruce RF, Phillips 2B, Barker 1B, Encarnacion 3B, Nix LF, Hanigan C, Bankston DH

Masset – P

Yankees lineup:

Gardner CF, Damon LF, Nady RF, Matsui DH, Ransom 3B, Molina C, Miranda 1B, Berroa SS,  Pena 2B

Chamberlain – P

Obviously, this will be a good test for Gonzalez’s knee to finally play the field. Look for a story postgame on that. More later once the Reds’ bus arrives at Steinbrenner Field.

6pm Update:

  • Dusty Baker said that Gonzalez would play four or five innings at shortstop tonight.
  • 3B Edwin Encarnacion said his left wrist felt better after he took BP on Monday. Encarnacion has been sore since a check swing the other day.

“But I tried to stay with a pitch inside, that’s what hurt me more,” Encarnacion said.

  • 1B Joey Votto is on a flight that should land in Sarasota tonight but Baker said he’s giving him Wednesday off. The team has a scheduled off day on Thursday, which gives Votto two days to regroup after the World Baseball Classic.

“With traveling and his family and Toronto, I’m sure he’s probably exhausted,” Baker said.

  • RHP Johnny Cueto is OK after twisting an ankle on Sunday. He did his running on Monday.

Here’s what Baker said about the roster moves. Three of the players (Alonso, Mesoraco and Stubbs) were the organization’s last three first round picks.

“They’re all good players. They’re good young men at the same time,” Baker said. “They worked hard, did what was asked of them. It was a matter of ABs getting tight. We’re going to get some guys back [from the World Baseball Classic]. They all got pretty good look-sees, especially for the first big league camp for most of them. Most guys don’t get that many ABs and innings.”

  • The decisions were all made before Monday’s game. Chris Valaika hit a grand slam vs. the Phillies and Yonder Alonso hit a homer to center field, his first of spring. A fan retrieved the ball and returned it to Alonso.

“You hate to send them out when they did something so spectacular. I was hoping Stubbs would hit one out,” Baker said. “I’d rather have them go out on a high note.”

 

 

 

 

I like long walks on the beach…

One of the true perks of getting to cover Spring Training in Florida is Siesta Key. Last year was the first time I stayed on the island and I returned to the same spot this year. I’m not exactly a beach person, but it’s certainly nice to have it close by — especially when you can watch some of the best sunsets around.
 My cellphone camera that took this shot Monday night probably doesn’t do it justice.

 
Thumbnail image for PhotoQ022309Q001.jpg

Later today, the Reds will be playing in what’s being termed an afternoon workout. Aaron Harang will be pitching to hitters. There will be three outs per inning and no batting cage being used. But it’s not technically a game.

The first game is on Wednesday at the Rays’ new facility in Port Charlotte.

“Now you’ll have something to write about, and talk about,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Definitely. In my nine seasons of covering baseball, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a more serene camp. There have been no major injuries — with only precautions being taken with Alex Gonzalez and a little soreness for Bill Bray. There has been no drama. No superstars mean little national coverage. USA Today has been around twice and someone from SI.com made an appearance today. With games starting, performances can be evaluated and news can hopefully start flowing.

As mentioned last week, second baseman Brandon Phillips will be batting fourth. He acknowledged that he isn’t your prototypical cleanup hitter but embraces the role.

“I will go out there and do my best to hit fourth,” Phillips said. “I’m not really a No. 4 hitter so I’ll try my best. If I was on any other team, I know I wouldn’t be out there hitting fourth. Me hitting fourth and having the year I had last year, I was very happy. I’m not complaining. I understand I hit .260 with 20 jacks but those are beautiful stats for a second baseman. I’m not a home run hitter but I have to be that guy that’s going to drive in runs. I wish I could have drove in more but I missed three weeks of the season.”

Phillps broke his right index finger while bunting in September at Milwaukee. He said he’s had no issues since coming to camp.

With Joey Votto one of several players leaving camp for the World Baseball Classic soon, Baker plans to have a plethora of players manning first base. Expect to see Daryle Ward, Jeff Keppinger, Kevin Barker, Todd Frazier, Yonder Alonso, Adam Rosales, Wes Bankston, Jacque Jones and Jonny Gomes all get chances.

The Reds have agreed to terms on one-year contracts with four more 0-3 year players: OF Chris Dickerson, C Ryan Hanigan, IF/OF Jeff Keppinger and IF Danny Richar. That means 11 players remain unsigned.

More later from the afternoon workout — please check back.

 

On the ground in Sarasota

I just landed less than an hour ago — the Florida air feels good at first contact when walking out of the airport.

I made a bee-line for the Reds complex and picked up my credential, said hello, etc. The report date for pitchers and catchers is Saturday and for position players, it’s Tuesday — but there were a bunch of players already ready to go.

Jay Bruce got to camp on Thursday and I talked t him for a little bit — it’s going to be a different camp for him. Last year he was trying to make the team and knew his chances weren’t great once Corey Patterson was signed. This year, he is the right fielder.

Chris Dickerson, Francisco Cordero and Bill Bray are also here and I saw prospects Todd Frazier, Matt Maloney and Devin Mesoraco. The first workout on Saturday is at 1:30 p.m. ET after the physicals.

One thing that struck me as weird was walking into the clubhouse and not seeing the big black trunk that belonged to Ken Griffey Jr., even though it’s been gone since July 31. He was the only one that had it and he sat on it everyday to talk and poke fun of people. Griffey was the only player at camp to get two lockers – now everyone has one.

The report day is usually without drama, but not always. During my first spring of covering the Reds in 2006, the late Josh Hancock was cut on the first day because the club said the reliever came in overweight. 

Everything gets rolling Saturday — hopefully you will check in here from time to time to get updated.

 

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 407 other followers

%d bloggers like this: