Results tagged ‘ Walt Jocketty ’

No deal with top pick yet

UPDATE at 10:21 pm: Still no deal…

“We’re hopeful  but we can’t tell if it’s going to happen or not,” Reds director of amateur scouting Chris Buckley said. “‘Cautiously optimistic’ is the phrase.”

And in case you’re wondering, LHP Jeremy Sowers in 2001 was the last Reds first round pick to not sign. He went to college and eventually signed as a first-round pick of the Indians.

****

It’s getting down to the zero hour before the 12:01 am ET deadline to sign 2011 top draft pick RHP Robert Stephenson.

As of right now, a deal does not appear to be close with the 27th overall selection.

“If we sign him, it won’t be until later,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty said. “Hopefully, we’ll get it done. Right now, we just don’t know. We haven’t gotten any positive sign from their side.”

A team that does not sign its first- or second-round pick will receive a compensatory pick in the 2012 Draft. That selection will come at the same slot, plus one spot.

Stephenson has a contingency plan since he is enrolled to play for the Univ. of Washington. Either way, I will let update you when I hear something later tonight.

*In other news, Jay Bruce was named the NL Player of the Week. Here is a portion from the MLB press release:

In seven games last week, Bruce led baseball with 15 RBI, a 1.120 slugging percentage and 28 total bases, and tied for the Major League-lead with five home runs and nine runs scored. The 24-year-old collected the second-most hits among National Leaguers while his .440 (11-for-25) batting average ranked third and his .481 on-base percentage ranked fourth. Bruce had five multi-hit performances on the week, including four multi-RBI efforts.

*Also, I’d like to thank Barry Bloom for covering the Reds during the home stand and staying on top of everything while I was on vacation.

No Reds trades at Deadline

The deadline came and went Sunday afternoon just after the Reds completed a three-game sweep of the Giants with a 9-0 win.

There will be a more detailed story on MLB.com/Reds.com soon….but Reds GM Walt Jocketty didn’t have any deals close to fruition on Sunday.

“We thought we were maybe yesterday. In the end, it probably was not as close as we thought it was,” Jocketty said. “We tried working on a number of big deals and some of the guys that were traded, we were in on most of them. Some of the requests for us, we felt were ridiculous and a lot more than we were willing to pay.”

The big issue was that team were asking for some coveted Reds prospects.

“Not just one or two,” Jocketty said. “It just didn’t make good sense for us in the short term or the long term. So we pulled back. We still believe we have enough talent here to win the division. I think we have to play better and I think this weekend was a great indication of what this team is capable of doing.”

Jocketty believed that talks with Houston fizzled over the Astros’ reluctance to deal within their division.

“I think that was a big part of it,” he said. “I think that’s why they asked for a lot more from us than what they got.”

Hernandez staying put?

There will be a more detailed story coming … but Reds GM Walt Jocketty is not changing his Trade Deadline strategy in light of the rough week his club has had (swept four straight by the Mets to go 50-55).

“We are not selling,” Jocketty said.

One of the players prominent in rumors of a sell has been catcher Ramon Hernandez, especially with top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco on the cusp at Triple-A Louisville. However, Jocketty said he has not listened to offers for Hernandez.

“I haven’t no, and I don’t know if I would,” Jocketty said. “I still think he’s a guy that can help us with this year. I think his value is greater to us now than if we were to move him. You’re not going to get the value in return for him that he gives our club. That’s why we would hold on to him.”

Gomes, Jocketty on the trade

As if it wasn’t obvious enough from the corresponding roster move that came with the trade of Jonny Gomes to the Nationals, Reds GM Walt Jocketty confirmed that the move was made specifically to get the bat of Yonder Alonso to the big leagues.

 “We actually had a couple of clubs that inquired about Jonny’s services but Washington was probably the most persistent,” Jocketty said. “For us, it’s a tough move to make in some ways. Jonny was a big part of our club last year and he’s obviously a guy we all think highly of as a person and as a player. It gives us an opportunity now to bring up a player like Alonso and start looking at some of our younger guys that we feel we need to give an opportunity to.”

The plan appears to use Chris Heisey, Fred Lewis and Alonso in left field. Alonso has played 62 games in the outfield this season and the organization believed he’s shown a lot of improvement since the switch from first base.

“He’s improved a lot,” Jocketty said. “He’ll be able to spell Joey [Votto] from time-to-time at first base and he’ll play some left field. He’ll be a left-handed hitter off the bench. The one thing we do know about Yonder is he can hit. He can flat out hit. That’s what we want to see. That’s what we need.”

Jocketty said this deal wasn’t a chance in trading strategy leading up to the Trade Deadline on Sunday.

“We’re still buying,” he said.

Gomes was sad about leaving but very grateful for the chance to play for the Reds.

“What a great opportunity to play for such a baseball-rich city, a baseball-rich organization. I definitely don’t take any of it for granted. In 2008 at the end of that season, individually, I was kind of left in the weeds. Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker gave me the opportunity. 

“I gave it a great run. I’m bitter about leaving because I really love these guys. I love where this team is at. I love where they’re about to go. As we see right now, it’s a business. On the other token, a team reached out and wanted my services. I take that as a compliment as well.”

Gomes acknowledged his offensive results, namely the .211 batting average, played a part in his being moved. But he was still surprised.

“This is a results driven industry, if you will,” Gomes said. “When the results aren’t there, it might be time to move. Just the average, it really killed me. If you look at everything else, everything is there. The name of the game is on-base, if you can get it 100 points higher than your average, it’s great. I had that. I had 11 homers in 220 at-bats, I think that’s good. 30 RBIs is pretty good. Runs scored were there. The first thing there is average and that’s what everyone looks at. It would have been nice to have an opportunity to turn it around.”

Reds won’t overpay in trades

The non-waivers Trade Deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Sunday and the Reds and general manager Walt Jocketty have not gotten into the serious stages of talks about any potential deals as of yet.

“I wouldn’t say nothing is going on. We’re talking a lot but nothing is even close,” Jocketty said on Tuesday afternoon.

Rockies ace starter Ubaldo Jimenez has been a frequent subject in rumors and connected to the Reds. Word in the industry is that if anyone has the wealth of prospects and the potential to deal them – it’s Cincinnati.

The demands in return on any Jimenez deal are believed to be extremely high and Colorado is hoping that a team will blink and give in. Right now, the Rockies won’t take less than everything they ask. According to the Denver Post, the team asked the Reds for top catching prospect Devin Mesoraco and Cuban lefty Aroldis Chapman.

UPDATE – MLB.com also hearing that Rockies desire LHP Travis Wood, RHP Homer Bailey and either Mesoraco OR Chapman. Yonder Alonso was also discussed within Colorado but that was before Alonso got promoted upon Jonny Gomes being traded.

If that’s what it takes to get Jimenez, don’t expect the Reds to be a team that blinks.  According to a baseball source, Cincinnati has no plans to blow other teams away with its proposals. If there is a fair deal that can help the club, they would discuss it. The Reds aren’t going to overpay in a trade, however.

There have also been reports that the Reds might be interested in dealing starting pitcher Edinson Volquez, who is currently at Triple-A Louisville. A source says the Reds are not making him available but there are clubs that believe they can get him on the cheap because he has been struggling.

Jocketty would not address any rumors about Volquez.

“I’m not going to talk about individual players,” he said.

Jocketty: No shake up

So after all the speculation earlier this afternoon, the Reds roster is no different. General manager Walt Jocketty said that Dontrelle Willis is slated to pitch in relief tonight behind Travis Wood.

“It’s Wood day to start and I wanted to keep Wood on [his turn].  We didn’t want to deviate,” Jocketty said.

The mixed messages over Wood and Willis were good reasons to wonder if the Reds might make a change in their rotation, especially with the struggling Edinson Volquez scheduled to start Sunday.

When asked if the Reds still planning to go with Volquez, Jocketty said “yeah.”

The Reds haven’t played well heading towards the end of the first half, but the usually patient Jocketty isn’t seeking a move to shake things up.

“I don’t normally react that way,” Jocketty said. “If I make a move to do something, it’s not to shake things up. It’s to make the club better.

“I’m not going to sit here and predict what’s going to happen. I can’t. We only have a few days left before the break.”

The organization has a collection of young players at Triple-A Louisville doing well — whether it’s Zack Cozart, Devin Mesoraco or Yonder Alonso. Asked if they could make this club better, Jocketty declined to discuss.

“I’m not going to answer a question like that so stop asking,” Jocketty said.

Below .500

There haven’t been many nights when the Reds seemed to have no life and little chance to win after an early deficit. But they were flat, flatter and flattest during an 8-1 loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday.

“Nothing went right tonight. Bad night. Terrible, actually,” manager Dusty Baker said.

That is four losses in the last five games, all of the defeats coming with two runs or less scored by the Reds.

It’s not uncommon for GM Walt Jocketty to be in the clubhouse postgame. But he was behind closed doors in the coaches locker room with the staff and Baker after this one. Could roster changes be a foot?

Brandon Phillips had some interesting comments after the game.

“If you look at our team up and down the lineup, we have some of the best talent as any team. Right now, we’re just not putting it all together,” Phillips said. “I know it’s very frustrating for our fans. It really is. We just have to find a way to put it together because the ball that we’re playing right now, it’s unacceptable.”

Notes:

*Edinson Volquez didn’t really have it, which was disappointing after his solid outing in Tampa Bay. Volquez gave up three homers, including back-to-back shots by Holliday and Berkman with two outs in the first inning. He lasted only 5 1/3 innings and threw 94 pitches with seven runs (six earned) allowed on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

*In six starts since his return from a demotion at Triple-A Louisville, Volquez is 2-2 with a 5.29 ERA. It was 6.35 in the 10 starts before going down. He has a 12.38 first inning ERA for the season.

*The Reds are in fourth place at 43-44 and four games behind the first-place Cardinals. Cincinnati has not been below .500 since they were 14-15 on May 3.

*Paul Janish made his ninth error of the season on a routine grounder by Ryan Theriot in the fifth, which led to a three-run homer by Holliday. That will do nothing to deter the Zack Cozart fan club campaign for a promotion.

Quote:

 “I don’t know. This game sort of frustrates you.  I’m frustrated right now. The best thing to do is not talk too much.” — Dusty Baker when asked if there was hope for Volquez to turn things around.

 

Arredondo active, Leake optioned

The Reds activated RHP Jose Arredondo from the disabled list Saturday and optioned RHP Mike Leake to Triple-A Louisville. As you know, Leake skipped the Minors when he made the team out of camp last year.

Leake was 3-2 with a 5.70 ERA in nine games, including six as a starter. His last three outings were in relief after he was removed from the rotation. His demotion is as much of an endorsement of the work Sam LeCure did so far out of the bullpen and his flexibility to pitch in different situations. Leake had not adjusted as well.

“We just felt right now that LeCure is more suited and adept to the pitching out of the bullpen, whether it’s long or short,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty said. “He has experience doing that and Mike really hasn’t.”

“It’s very difficult,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “Leaky is one of our favorites and the fact he hadn’t really done anything to be sent out. It’s just a matter of numbers and again, a business decision. We had to call up Arredondo or else lose him and have to pay him anyway. It’s similar to the Fred Lewis move. Sometimes there are baseball moves and business decision moves. Not only was it a business move, they told me he was throwing the ball well.”

Leake will go into the Louisville rotation, which will enable him to be on a fixed schedule every fifth day.

Said Jocketty: “He’ll continue to do that for a while, for a couple of reasons – in the event we have a need for a starter, but there are still some things he needs to work on to get back to pitching like he did last year.”

Arredondo was signed last year even though he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. He struggled with his command during Spring Training but his numbers in the Minors while on a rehab assignment were solid. He had a 2.30 ERA in 12 games for Double-A Carolina and a 2.25 ERA in six games for Louisville with two walks and 10 strikeouts.

He will be able to fill different situations — two innings, one inning, one batter and even though he’s right-handed, Arredondo has a strong track record vs. lefty hitters.

“We’re anxious to see what he can do,” Jocketty said. “We signed him for a reason. Hopefully, we’ll see the guy we thought we did when we signed him.”

Shoulder inflammation for Cueto

 The word on Johnny Cueto is in after he had MRIs on his elbow and shoulder this morning. The diagnosis is mild inflammation on his right shoulder.

“Everything structurally is fine,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty said. “The recommendation from Dr. Kremchek is to shut him down for a week or so and give it a chance to subside and get him back on a throwing program.”

After that, Cueto could probably need at least two weeks, the club felt, to get back into the rotation. He will remain here in Arizona when camp breaks. More to come soon on MLB.com.

In light on the injury and Arroyo’s battle with the flu, the Reds rotation is as follows:

Volquez, Bailey, Arroyo and then either Travis Wood or Mike Leake in either the fourth or fifth spots.

Also — eight cuts went down. They were:

LHP Daniel Ray Herrera, RHPs Jordan Smith, Carlos Fisher, Jerry Gil
SS Zack Cozart, 1B Yonder Alonso, IF/OF Todd Frazier and IF Kris Negron

 

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Volquez delayed

Wednesday could have the makings of an intriguing matchup when the Reds meet the Padres.

Key words — could have.

Edinson Volquez is listed as the probable starter to face former Reds ace Aaron Harang in Peoria.

However, Volquez is still in the Dominican Republic trying to get his work visa situation straightened out.

“He’ll probably have it today,” Reds GM Walt Jocketty said.

Volquez, who left camp on Sunday, was originally slated to get his approved work visa at the American consulate on Monday, fly back to Arizona and be back in camp today and pitch tomorrow. Him pitching vs. San Diego isn’t “written is cement” as Jerry Narron used to say.

“Probably not, unless he can get a flight today,” Jocketty said.

Volquez could easily slot in and pitch on Thursday, if needed. Jocketty believed that Volquez would still have no issue with pitching on Opening Day vs. the Brewers March 31.

“I would think so,” Jocketty said.

UPDATE – Volquez is definitely not starting Wednesday.

“He’s not going to make it back by tomorrow,” Jocketty said.

Reds pitching coach Bryan Price has a plan in place for Volquez

“He can pitch on the 10th (Thursday) along with Arroyo and we’ll work it out somehow,” Price said. “We’ll keep everyone on their turn so Volky will have to come back on pitch on the off day on the 15th.”

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