Results tagged ‘ Yonder Alonso ’

I’m back, and Alonso is back in LF

Good to be with you from the ballpark again…

Reds lineup vs. Nationals

Stubbs 8
Renteria 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Hernandez 2
Alonso 7
Frazier 5
Leake 1

*Interesting that Yonder Alonso is back in LF today. While I was out, it seemed from my reading as if the Reds had scrapped the idea that he could play there in the Majors. His last game there was Aug. 6 at Chicago.

*An MRI taken on LHP Dontrelle Willis’ left forearm came back normal. He is expected to make his start on Saturday at PIT as scheduled.

*If you were asleep late last night, here is my story on two last minute signings of top Draft pick Robert Stephenson and LHP/hoops prospect Amir Garrett.

*Homer Bailey, Logan Ondrusek and Dave Sappelt visited troops at the National Naval Medical Center.

*Today is Ryan Hanigan’s 31st birthday.

Heisey to get most time in LF

Fans have been clamoring for Yonder Alonso to get promoted but the clamoring has been louder and for longer that Chris Heisey should play regularly.

My man Tyler Jett will have a notebook item on this on the main Reds site…it was Heisey who started in left field on Wednesday vs. the Mets. Heisey will likely get a majority of the starts going forward as manager Dusty Baker still has some question marks about Alonso defensively in left field.

“I’ve heard he’s OK. I’ve heard he needs some work, and we’ll see. Everybody can’t play left field. There was a point where everyone was hollering for Heisey in left. Now Yonder’s here and everybody wants Yonder to play, and what are we going to do with Heisey? Yonder is more of a first baseman than he is a left fielder; speed is the question, and range. We’ll see how it works out.

“We did need some left-handed help off the bench, and we know he can hit. But right now, probably most of the time it’s going to go to Heisey.”

Heisey came in batting .250 with 12 homers and 35 RBIs in 89 games. He’s fourth on the club in homers with only 196 at-bats. Here’s something interesting: he  batted .221 with a .299 OBP as a starter and .321 with a .344 OBP as a sub. Heisey has definitely earned the chance to show what he can do however and now is his time.

“Any time you get to start the majority of games, you have to feel bless, especially kind of taking the road I have. But I’m not expecting to be out there every day. We’ve got some other guys. Freddy [Lewis] is going to play. I’m sure Yonder is going to play some. It’s good to know they have the confidence in me to run me out there.”

“Up until the last couple of years, I had been an everyday player coming up. It is still something I’m used to. I’m not going to change my approach. I will go out there and give it my best every day whenever I’m in there and keep doing what I’ve been doing.”

**UPDATE — Something I should have articulated but didn’t is this: The Reds, namely GM Walt Jocketty, said Alonso’s bat was wanted here to boost the offense. If that’s the case, it would seem odd to make Alonso a role player…especially since he’s a prospect that needs to play. Even if his defense isn’t good…isn’t his bat the main reason he’s up here?

At the Futures Game

Greetings from Chase Field and the All-Star game experience in Phoenix. When I landed last night, it was 104 degrees. But what was really strange was that later in the evening, it actually rained.

(This post is coming literally at the very moment Francisco Cordero blew the save and the game at Milwaukee. Yeesh, that’s three-straight blown saves in a row. That was one rough road trip to end the first half with.)

I will be trying to blog and tweet from here and provide pictures if opportunity arrives. Today is the XM All-Star Futures Game with Minor Leaguers from the U.S. and World squads.

Three members of the Reds are here. Catcher Devin Mesoraco, 1B/OF Yonder Alonso and Triple-A Louisville manager Rick Sweet, who is a coach on the U.S. team. Look for a detailed story later today on Reds.com/MLB.com

“It’s kind of a taste of the big leagues a little bit,” Mesoraco said of the experience. “We’re staying at a nice hotel downtown. We have a nice locker room with a lot of media around. It’s a cool experience.”

The U.S. team was using the D-Backs home clubhouse while Alonso and the world team was housed on the visitor’s side. Alonso has mostly played left field in Louisville but is playing first base today. He was thrilled for his friend and shortstop Zack Cozart, who was called up earlier in the week.

 “I was pumped,” Alonso said. “It’s good for him to get called up. I’m really happy for him. He’s done a good job. It’s even better when he’s doing so well. It shows what type of team we have at Triple-A. He set everything  up – him and Sappelt – batting first and second. All the other guys would come up – like myself, Hermida and Mesoraco – and most of the time get them in.”

While I was talking with Sweet, I asked about the arrivals of shortstop Paul Janish and pitcher Edinson Volquez, who were both sent down this week.

“They both reported and both were in pretty good spirits,” Sweet said.

Janish is working on his hitting with coach Smokey Garrett and roving instructor Ronnie Ortegon.

“He actually called me as soon as he got to the airport in Milwaukee,” Sweet said of Janish. “He said ‘I’m sorry to say this but I will be seeing you shortly.’  We have a plan for him. He reported that next day and played well. His attitude has been great. He knows he got a chance, it didn’t work out and now he has to get ready for the next opportunity. He’s a good kid. He’s a professional. It is what it is. That means he just has to get back to work. His attitude is great.”

As for Volquez?

“Obviously, he would have preferred to be there,” Sweet said. “He felt this time he should have stayed there. But all that being said, he came back, got his work in and threw a side. He’s starting today.”

The pre-game introductions at the Futures Game

Heisey looking good

It was another wild offensive day in the Cactus League for the Reds. This was a 9-8 victory, which has moved the spring record to 14-9-1.

The good:

The Reds collected 17 hits in the game.

*Chris Heisey went 3-for-6 with two RBIs, including a solo homer to left field in the top of the eighth. He was a double shy of hitting for the cycle. Heisey is batting .325 (13-for-40) this spring and has hit safely in 9 of his last 12 games. He seems to have all but claimed a reserve outfielder’s spot. Heisey started in center field again and despite a throwing error today, has shown that he can play all three spots.

*Todd Frazier cranked a three-run homer to left field in the  fourth inning off of Brewers starter Chris Narveson. It was his second long ball since Thursday. Frazier got off to a slow start and seems to be coming on.

*The Dave Sappelt hitting show had another strong day. Sappelt was 2-for-4, which actually lowered his average from .536 to .531.

*Dontrelle Willis pitched well in the game, despite giving up a three-run homer to George Kottaras in the bottom of the fifth. A one-out walk to Casey McGhee two batters before Kottaras hurt.

“Willis made one bad pitch on a breaking ball to George Kottaras and what got him in trouble was the walk also,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

*Aroldis Chapman pitched two scoreless innings with two walks. Chapman also batted for himself in the eighth and slapped a single the opposite way through the left side.

“I turned to him and said ‘are you ready to hit?’ He said ‘oh no.’ And he got a hit. I’m glad for him,” Baker said.

Not-so-good:

*Reds pitchers combined to allowed 11 walks. Five came via Edinson Volquez, including four in the bottom of the third. Volquez walked two runs in and was removed after 2 1/3 innings. He was charged with five earned runs.

“I had a little bit of problem with control. It’s nothing big,” Volquez said. “It’s nothing but mechanical. I was jumping from of the rubber to home plate. … My arm is good, my body, everything is fine.”

Volquez believes he’ll be ready for the Brewers again on March 31.

“I have a good idea now of what they’re looking for,” he said. “It will be a good game.”

*Playing first base in the eighth inning, Yonder Alonso had his foot stepped on accidentally by former Red Chris Dickerson as he ran out a groundball. Alonso needed a couple of moments and was looked over by trainer Paul Lessard and Baker. But he was able to continue.

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Quick Winter Meetings update

Some quick notes from a session with Reds GM Walt Jocketty.

*The Reds have had talks with the agent for Miguel Cairo. Jocketty was optimistic Cairo could be re-signed this week. It would be for a big league contract.

*Talks are planned this week with the agent for LHP Arthur Rhodes

*Joey Votto’s agent, Danny Lozano, is here at the hotel. But Jocketty did not indicate talks were set up yet. As for getting deals done with Votto, Jay Bruce or other arbitration eligible guys…

“I don’t see anything happening on any of that stuff here,” Jocketty said.

When asked whether his reception to inquiries about Yonder Alonso are affected by Votto’s status…

“I think right now, Yonder is a guy that still figures in the organization,” Jocketty said. “It gives us protection. He believes that he’s working this winter to come in and compete for a spot on the bench next year to play some first and left field and be a left-handed hitter off the bench.”

*Asked about speculation of the Reds interest in Royals ace Zack Greinke:

“I haven’t had any discussions with them,” Jocketty said.

Otherwise, the Reds suite at the Swan & Dolphin Resort Hotel hasn’t been too busy.

More later…

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Votto out again, Alonso in

Weds lineup vs MIL

Phillips 4
Cabrera 6
Bruce 9
Rolen 5
Gomes 7
Alonso 3
Stubbs
Hernandez 2
Cueto 1

*Jim Edmonds was hobbling around the clubhouse with a protective boot on his right foot — but the news on his Achilles wasn’t awful. There is not a tear, according to tests.

“He’s not as severe as originally thought,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “So I think he’ll be in a boot for a couple of days and let it calm down.”

*Joey Votto got another day off after missing Tuesday’s game with a sinus infection.

“He’s doing a little better,” Baker said. “We thought it was best to wait until Friday, especially since we have a day off tomorrow. He was going to be off today but he was feeling so bad yesterday, he didn’t play yesterday.”

*Laynce Nix, who hasn’t played since Aug. 23 because of a sprained left ankle, appears to be available tonight. Nix has been taking BP for a week and has been running without problems.

“Hopefully I can get an at-bat tonight or the next couple of days,” Nix said.

Nix wasn’t worried about the one month layoff affecting him being ready for the postseason.

“I’m not concerned so much about playing as I am feeling comfortable running around,” Nix said. “I’ve played all year and have been healthy all year. I have enough at-bats where it would only take a couple of at-bats to get back into it and feeling comfortable.”

*This is Yonder Alonso’s first career start in the big leagues.

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Reds, Mariners not serious yet

It appears that discussions between the Reds and Mariners about pitcher Cliff Lee have yet to hit the serious stages.A baseball source told MLB.com Thursday that no formal proposals have been exchanged between the two teams.

“It’s just been the parameters and the types of players that they are looking for or not looking for,” the source said. “It’s been quiet lately.”

The first-place Reds are one of several teams in the hunt for the left-handed Lee, an ace-quality starting pitcher, who is earning $8 million this season with Seattle. He would essentially be a “rent-a-player” for Cincinnati since he can become a free agent at season’s end.

It’s been widely reported that the Mariners are seeking multiple big league ready prospects, which is an area where the Reds have some chips they could deal. Triple-A Louisville first baseman Yonder Alonso is blocked in the Majors by Joey Votto and Alonso’s teammate, third baseman Juan Francisco, is blocked by Scott Rolen.

The Reds also have young left-handed pitchers like Travis Wood and Matt Maloney, who have both recently been called up.

Laynce Nix update

Outfielder and left-handed bench player Laynce Nix is unlikely to be available tonight or will only be used in a “dire emergency,” as manager Dusty Baker called it. Baker still wasn’t saying what Nix’s injury was and neither was Nix.

“It’s just a tight muscle hindering me from playing,” Nix said. “I will be back in a couple of days. It’s nothing too serious. I haven’t been able to swing that bat but it’s getting a lot better.”

Baker said he didn’t anticpate making a roster move. Besides, there really are no left-handed hitters at Triple-A Louisville. Danny Dorn just broke his hand and Juan Francisco is out for four weeks after his appendectomy. Yonder Alonso was just moved up from Double-A to take Dorn’s place.

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Alonso to Carolina, play LF

The Reds have assigned their 2008 first-round Draft pick Yonder Alonso to Double-A Carolina, where he will primarily play left field, according to minor league director Terry Reynolds. Alonso will still get some time at first base.

Alonso was 2-for-16 (.125) in nine spring games and played either first base or DH. The Reds began exposing Alonso to left field in workouts and Reynolds told me on my last day in Goodyear that he was playing well there after he got sent out.

I will try to get more later…

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Thursday afternoon notes

The Reds are up to a .500 spring record after a 3-1 win over the Brewers on Thursday. They were outhit, 7-6, and committed two errors but there were many positives.

*Joey Votto snapped a 0-for-9 skid to start play with a long home run to the grassy knoll in right-center field. His long ball provided the go-ahead run in the sixth inning.

“It was just a matter of time because Joey can hit,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “It was nice for him to hit one on that bank over there.”

*Starter Johnny Cueto pitched three scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and one strikeout. He had made some mechanical tweaks he seemed to be pleased with.

“I wanted to bring my leg up and stay in a straight line and keep my shoulder in,” Cueto said through an interpreter. “I threw fastball, two-seamer – no curveball. I threw a slider and changeup.”

*A throwing error by pitcher Jared Burton led to a run scoring on a double play in the sixth. The run was still earned and ended a streak of 15 scoreless innings for Reds pitchers.

*After Burton, Enerio Del Rosario, Pedro Viola and Logan Ondrusek combined for three scoreless innings.

*1B Yonder Alonso was charged with his third error of spring when missed a catch in the ninth.

“We’ve got good pitching today but we still made a couple of errors, which was not pleasing,” Baker said. “We have to keep working on it.”

*Chris Dickerson is 4-for-11 (.364) through five games. Dickerson hit two-out, RBI triple in the fifth inning.

*One funny thing I saw before the game this morning was Aroldis Chapman trying to hit in the cage. Chapman fouled back his first three offerings and people in the field were laughing. Chapman was a good sport and smiled his way through it before he got some knocks into the field to sarcastic cheer. Jamie Ramsey took a little video but what I saw wasn’t included in the clip.

http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7189381

*Reds great Barry Larkin was scheduled to start as guest instructor today but I didn’t see him. His familiar No. 11 jersey was hanging in a locker with his name on it in the coaches room this morning. Larkin is expected to be in camp for about 10 days. 

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