Results tagged ‘ Walt Jocketty ’

Reds re-sign Hernandez

The Reds re-signed catcher Ramon Hernandez to a one-year contract, worth $3 million.

Hernandez’s return wasn’t too stunning since the club indicated it was interested in having him back. He was just as interested. Talking on the phone from his home in Miami, he seemed very pleased.

“I wanted to come back,” Hernandez said. “We’ve got a great group of guys, a great pitching staff and I like to be around good people. I can trust them and they are loyal.

“Anyone wants more than one year but it is what it is. I didn’t want bounce around from team to team.  I like Cincinnati. At least I am back next year. It’s the same [money]. I’m happy with what I’ve got and back with the team. We all know each other. We know what it takes to be a winning team. We got a taste and know what we have to do to get to the next level.”

Below is the release from the Reds:

            “We wanted to provide our young pitching staff with some continuity. We felt all of our pitchers were comfortable pitching to Ramon,” Jocketty said. “We also like his production at the plate. Our catchers were very solid last year offensively.”

            Last season, Reds catchers led the National League with 168 hits and a .296 batting average while ranking second with 91 RBI and third with an on-base percentage of .375.

            Hernandez, 34, was acquired by the Reds from the Baltimore Orioles, along with cash, during the 2008 Winter Meetings in Las Vegas in exchange for IF/OF Ryan Freel, IF Justin Turner and IF Brandon Waring. In the last 2 seasons he hit .278 in 178 appearances, including .297 in 97 games last year.

            In 2010, Hernandez led the Reds with 85 starts behind the plate but also made 2 starts at first base. He hit .311 in his last 40 appearances of the season and for most of the year led all National League catchers in fielding percentage.

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Three Reds Gold Glovers

The 2010 National League Gold Glove Awards were revealed Wednesday afternoon.

The winners from the Reds are:

P Bronson Arroyo —  0 errors, 31 assists, 5 DPs (1st Gold Glove)
3B Scott Rolen —   8 errors, 28 DPs, 10.6 UZR (8th Gold Glove)
2B Brandon Phillips — 3 errors, 90 DPs, 9.7 UZR (2nd Gold Glove)

Left out were

OF Jay Bruce —  3 errors, 7 assists, 20.2 UZR
1B Joey Votto — 5 errors, 97 DPs, 1.6 UZR

Total list

C – Yadier Molina
1B – Albert Pujols
2B – Brandon Phillips
SS – Troy Tulowitzki
3B – Scott Rolen
OF – Carlos Gonzalez, Shane Victorino, Michael Bourn
P – Bronson Arroyo

This is the story I wrote for ….  Below are some extra quotes that didn’t make the story.

Of all the people left off, I thought Jay Bruce was a big oversight. He’s one of those guys who had good attributes beyond the numbers — the biggest one being how many runners didn’t advance because of or in fear of his arm?

“I think you’ll have a conference call with a lot of other guys here in the future as far as Stubby in center field and possibly Joey and Jay Bruce,” Rolen said. “They play unbelievable defense across the board as well. They’re young in the league. There are a couple of other guys that have established themselves. I think you’ll be talking to those guys for a lot of years.”

One of the controversies surrounding the Gold Glove Award is the extrememly subjective process of the vote — which is done by the league’s managers and coaches. Reds skipper Dusty Baker said he doesn’t go by stats too much, especially the sabermetric advanced stats.

“Stats don’t show a lot of times if guys get to balls or not,” Baker said. “Sometimes guys get errors on balls they can get to that other guys don’t get to. When I put my ballot together, I think about fielding percentage. I think about range. I think about how many runs that person might save their ball club, about how guys in the middle of the infield turn the double play, how they throw the ball across the diamond and try to come up with the best person at that position.”

Rolen has the third-most among all players at his position behind only Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson (16) and Mike Schmidt (10).

“Walt was talking about six-to-eight year extension for me for unlimited dollars,” Rolen joked.

“I’m trying to give you a chance to catch up to him,” GM Walt Jocketty replied.

Said Rolen more seriously: “Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt – to be in those sentences, especially coming up in Philadelphia, I heard that name quite a bit. I think Mike Schmidt was the best third baseman to ever play the game. To be lumped with those guys obviously is a compliment.”

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No surprises on Reds options

The Reds picked up the $11 million club option for 2011 on RHP Bronson Arroyo and the $1.75 million option on OF Jonny Gomes Wednesday. Not picked up were the $4 million option on SS Orlando Cabrera ($1M buyout) and the $12.75 million option on RHP Aaron Harang ($2M buyout). Both Cabrera and Harang become free agents.

None of these moves come as a shocker. Arroyo has been one of the Reds’ most consistent pitchers since he joined the club in 2006. He won a career high 17 games this season and has 200 innings pitched in six-straight seasons.

Gomes drove in a career-best 86 RBIs while batting .266 with 18 homers.

I have a call into the voice mail of GM Walt Jocketty. I expect he will still pursue Cabrera at a lower price, which he indicated he’d do when asked last month. There’s no word yet on progress towards a contract extension on Arroyo.

As for Harang,who was 18-38 in the last three seasons after he was 32-17 over 2006-07, this is the expected end of the line of his long tenure in Cincinnati. He certainly seemed to see this coming as he was emotional following a final start on the last day of the season.

UPDATE — I just got off the phone with Jocketty about the different decisions. Here are some of the quotes:

On Arroyo:

“We’ll certainly continue to work on doing a multi-year extension with him. I don’t want to go into the season negotiating. We’ll try to [get it done] before the start of the season.”

***I got a text back from Arroyo, who said he was “definitely” optimistic an extension could still get done with the Reds.

On Cabrera:

“It was a tough decision. We’re trying to protect ourselves with payroll and all the arbitration guys we have and the things we need to do. We’re not ruling out the possibility of bringing him back but it will be a while before we know.”

Jocketty said that Paul Janish stands to be the regular shortstop at this point, but obviously that would depend partially on what becomes of Cabrera.

***I talked to Jonny Gomes, who is at his home in Arizona. He was very pleased to know he would be returning to the Reds

“This saves my forehead,” Gomes said. “Last off-season, I banged it into every wall of my house being confused.”

Gomes was referring to being non-tendered and unemployed all of last winter until he signed the day the full squad reported to Spring Training.

“I have six years in [the Majors] but last year was my first time with 500 at-bats,” Gomes said. “Hopefully, I get another opportunity to do back-to-back years. It’s looking like it. Every year has been a battle with nothing guaranteed. I’ve always had a camp invite or a split contract. I’ve had pretty good numbers and success without a job guaranteed. I will battle for a spot at Spring Training and keep putting the pedal to the metal.”

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Arroyo for 2011 and beyond?

The Reds will pick up the $11 million option for pitcher Bronson Arroyo, GM Walt Jocketty said on Saturday afternoon.

“We’re definitely picking up the option,” Jocketty said. “We’ll try to extend him but I don’t want the focus on that right now.”

More later on…

Here is the full story, with quotes from Arroyo:



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Bruce, Volquez updates

*Jay Bruce took about 50 swings off of a tee today and reported no problems with his sore right side.

“Good. Pain free,” Bruce said of the session.

The plans for now, is Bruce will take batting practice on Wednesday.

“The biggest thing is how I bounce back tomorrow. We’ll go from there,” Bruce said.

*Edinson Volquez was recalled from Class A Dayton since the Dragons season ended. No word yet on how he’ll be utilized. He made two starts for Dayton, including one on Monday. Volquez could be ready to pitch Saturday at the earliest if need be.

“I feel very strong and more comfortable. I think I can throw more strikes,” Volquez said of the Dayton stint. He posted a 1.38 ERA with 4 R (2 ER), 11 H, 4 BB, 19 K in 13 ip.

“I feel very strong and more comfortable. I think I can throw more strikes,” Volquez said.

No doubt, the Dragons will miss Volquez since he was pretty generous. He treated the young players to some nice dinners — steaks, ribs, wings, etc.

“Nobody wants to go down. I knew I had to pitch somewhere to find my rhythm,” Volquez said. I was happy with those guys down there and had a good time.”

Both Dusty Baker and Walt Jocketty said no decision has been made about Saturday’s start vs. the Pirates — Volquez or Aaron Harang.

“To be honest, we didn’t get the chance to talk about it today,” Jocketty said. “We’ll talk more about it when we get back. We’ll see what happens.”

Baker wasn’t worried about Johnny Cueto starting tonight after being in the Dominican following the death of his uncle. Cueto got his running and throwing in while away.

“He did that. I wasn’t worried about Johnny,” Baker said. “He has seen what success running has given him. I knew he was going to throw when he got home. He said he did. I talked to him last night at the hotel. He’s got plenty of homies to throw to. And he seemed rested for a guy that’s come that far.”

Jocketty also said there were no immediate plans to call up an outfielder while Bruce is out.

Harang likely bullpen bound

To anyone following Aaron Harang’s progress during his two-start rehab assignment, this likely won’t be a surprise. But it looks like that Harang will pitch from the bullpen when he returns to the Reds. It hasn’t been determined exactly what the next step is for Harang — like whether or not he will get another outing at Triple-A Louisville.

“We’re going to get that figured out by [Tuesday],” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Monday. “We’ll probably use him as a long man.”

In his two starts for Louisville, Harang was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA, with 14 hits and 11 runs surrendered over 11 innings.

*I also asked Jocketty if there were plans to add a player via trade or waiver claim before Aug. 31 when playoff rosters must be set.

“I don’t think so,” he said.

Below is my view from the press box at AT&T Park during the first inning. It’s one of the lower views we get in the league. Fans walk right past us and you get to soak up the atmosphere pretty well. It’s easily one of the top ballparks in baseball and like Dodger Stadium, I highly recommend you add it to your travels if you’re out this way.

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Grandal in town, has taken physical

The deadline to sign Draft picks is 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday night. By the looks of things, the Reds should be able to get their deal done with 12th overall pick, Yasmani Grandal.

Reason No. 1 — Grandal is already in town. The former Univ. of Miami catcher has spent the last two nights watching the Reds-Marlins games from general manager Walt Jocketty’s suite, seated next to suspended manager Dusty Baker.

Reason No. 2 — Grandal has already taken his physical.

“They’re progressing,” Jocketty said of the talks with Grandal’s agent, Greg Genske. “We had him in [Saturday] for a physical. We wanted to get it out of the way so we didn’t have to wait until the last minute.”

If the Reds are unable to sign him before 11:59 p.m. ET Monday, they lose their rights to him and he goes back into the draft pool. Cincinnati would receive a compensatory pick for the 2011 Draft in the same slot where Grandal was picked.

Jocketty flew to Phoenix Sunday morning ahead of the upcoming Reds road trip against the Diamondbacks and planned to watch the organization’s rookie-level team play Sunday night. It also makes him available to negotiate throughout the day during the Reds’ off day on Monday.

“It’ll go until tomorrow and we hope to get it done by tomorrow,” Jocketty said of talks

I asked Jocketty if a 40-man roster spot was in play for Grandal during the talks. The Reds have a full roster and little maneuverability in that regard if that is part of the proposals.

“I don’t want to comment on that yet. Not until everything is done,” Jocketty said.

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Edmonds trade: They said it

Here are some quotes from inside the Reds clubhouse:

“It’s been a quick six or seven hours to go from kind of the bottom of the standings to the top in a hurry. And show up here playing the Cardinals, it’s going to be a little nuts. I’m looking forward to the challenge. The respect I have for the guys on this team after playing against them for so many years, it seems like a good group of guys that are very talented. It’s nice to be on this side for once.” — Jim Edmonds

“We thought Edmonds would add a veteran, playoff experienced guy who’s had a pretty good year with Milwaukee. He’s actually a guy I thought about signing over the winter and we didn’t. I kind of regretted the fact that we didn’t. I think he’s going to help us a number of different ways.” — Reds GM Walt Jocketty

“Anytime you add Jim Edmonds to the mix, he’s been helping teams for what, 15 years? It’s obvious he’s still able to help us. I’m excited to have him here for what he’s done and how he goes about his business. He’s an unbelievable outfielder. In his prime, he was one of the best outfielders in the game. I think he will help us tremendously. He’s a veteran guy that knows what’s going on. He’s been in this situation before. He knows how to handle it. You can always use more of that.” — Jay Bruce

“I think it will be good for Stubby and his career and Heisey and his career. The guy can still play like we just saw in Milwaukee.” — Jonny Gomes

“Any time you can add a guy that’s been in a World Series or the playoffs and has 15 years in the big leagues with such a great career like Edmonds, of course it will be a help.” — Orlando Cabrera

And from the St. Louis side:

“We had heard about it. I think Jim told a couple of our guys that it was going to happen. He’ll help them. When [Rolen] is healthy, he’s proven what kind of player he is. Jim is in a different part of his career. But like I said, I think he’ll help them.” — Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa 

*Another nugget about Edmonds. He is a .274 hitter in 118 career games against Cincinnati with 32 homers and 85 RBIs.

*One NL scout expressed surprise that the Cardinals did not try to block the Reds by putting a waiver claim on Edmonds.

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Wood optioned to Louisville

To make room for OF Jim Edmonds, the Reds optioned LHP Travis Wood to Triple-A Louisville. Obviously, Wood has pitched well and was 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA in eight starts, including a nice one Sunday in Chicago.

The Reds have off days coming up on Thursday and Monday, which means the club doesn’t need five starters right now. GM Walt Jocketty explains:

“With off days, he’s going to miss one start,” Jocketty said. He’ll go down and make one start and if all goes well, we’ll bring him back in 10 days. He’s pitched terrific and has done a great job for us. But the way the pitching is set-up for the next 10 days, he probably wasn’t going to get a start. This way he can go down and make a start and come back. That’s what we told him.”

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Initial thoughts on Edmonds

I like today’s trade by the Reds for a few reasons.

1. I think Jim Edmonds still has it. Remember that game-winning PH homer he clobbered off of Bronson Arroyo in Milwaukee on July 26? He can still be big in clutch moments.

2. Edmonds is another guy in the clubhouse that’s been there and done that. He has World Series experience. That can only help a mostly stretch-run untested group of young guys. He’s a .274 hitter with a .361 OBP in seven years worth of post-season play, mostly with St. Louis.

3. I think Chris Dickerson and his injuries made the Reds impatient. He’s a good guy with lots of talent, but this trade is about now. If they wanted him here, he would have come up a while ago. He showed he was ready.

One reason to worry about the trade:

Edmonds wasn’t able to play much during the last Reds-Brewers series because of a sore Achilles tendon. It’s nagged him much of the summer. A 40-year-old center fielder with a bad wheel is certainly a concern. Obviously, he can still hit but running is an issue.

But apparently, Edmonds is well enough to start tonight. He’s in the lineup against the Cardinals.

Phillips 4
Nix 7
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Edmonds 8
Bruce 9
Hernandez 2
Janish 6
Leake 1

*No 25-man roster move to make room for Edmonds has been revealed yet. Walt Jocketty and Edmonds are meeting with the media at 4 p.m. ET.

*And this from the Reds: Major League Baseball today made a scoring change in the bottom of the second inning of Tue’s 7-6 loss at Pit…the hit by Lastings Milledge originally ruled a double has been changed to an error on Reds 3B Scott Rolen…that scoring change adjusts
the number of earned runs charged to Reds pitchers from 6er to 0er.

 That change lowered Mike Leake’s ERA from 3.86 to 3.43 entering tonight’s start. 

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