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Mario-Rijo
07-07-2006, 11:16 PM
Just some thoughts about what we could look forward to the next couple of weeks.

Paul Wilson- I know some don't think much of him. However he is a competitor and he wasn't getting by on "stuff" in '04. Could he help as a LR and then we dispatch Mays?

Brandon Claussen- Will he come back healthy and will it help. I think it will and frankly we will not have too bad of a Rotation for the stretch run. It's not awesome but it could work out fine (look at the rotations around the league) if everyone stays upright. If he continues (or someone else) to have problems where do we turn?

Bullpen- Well frankly that's too many if's and maybe's. But one person that could be huge if he were to come back & be healthy is Grant Balfour, in case you were not aware here is his deal. This tidbit from Mark Sheldon's Mailbag in Jan.


Before having elbow surgery early last year, Balfour had the ability to heave a 96-97 mph fastball and could mix it with a pretty good slider. He appeared to have the makings of a potentially solid set-up reliever in the late innings. But it was his inability to stay healthy enough to be on the mound the past couple of seasons that frustrated the Twins organization to no end.

Besides having Tommy John surgery on the elbow (performed by Reds orthopedist Tim Kremchek), Balfour had a rehab setback in the fall and needed additional shoulder surgery. He also missed two months of 2004 with a shoulder injury.

At $340,000 for one year, the financial risk for the Reds on Balfour was low. But to eat a spot on the 40-man roster to make room for him by signing him to a Major League contract certainly raised an eyebrow here. The right-hander is not expected to be ready to contribute for Cincinnati until at least June. But Reds management seems quite high on him to take that gamble. As for Hancock, it wasn't a total drop out of the organization. He cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Louisville.



And again a report from Feb.


Pitcher Grant Balfour is working from a different timetable. Don't expect to see him at Great American Ball Park until some time this summer.

Balfour, recovering from Tommy John surgery on his elbow and a shoulder operation that repaired a torn labrum and rotator cuff, has only just begun a light throwing program.

"It's nothing crazy, just something with a little bit on it, not too hard at all," said Balfour, who previously pitched for the Twins until this spring. "Some days it feels pretty good and some days it's stiffer."

The right-hander is playing catch at distances of 75 feet, making 50 throws per session.

Cincinnati knew what it was getting into when it signed Balfour to a one-year Major League contract in January. Team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tim Kremchek performed both of the pitcher's operations and provided a positive medical outlook. The financial risk is minimal since Balfour will make $340,000 this season.

Although Balfour took up a spot this spring, he won't be counted towards the 40-man roster once he is placed on the 60-day disabled list after camp. When the team goes north, he will remain in Sarasota for extended Spring Training.

"I'd rather be playing and getting ready for the start of the season from scratch," Balfour said. "I know the way it is. My mind is set on getting ready as quickly as I can. I just want to make sure that when I'm ready, I'm fully ready to go and everything is good. You want to make sure it's right."

If all goes well, Balfour could begin throwing off a mound by the end of March and pitching in Minor League games by some time in May.

Assuming Balfour returns to his previous form, the Reds would get someone that throws a 95-97 mph fastball with good movement. With a 5-1 record and 4.63 ERA in 55 games with Minnesota from 2001-04, there were times the pitcher was dominant. In the 2004 playoffs, he neutralized a powerful Yankees lineup with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless late-inning relief.

But there were also times that Balfour was puzzling and inconsistent at throwing strikes. The Twins coaching staff became frustrated by complaints of arm soreness and a perceived reluctance to throw every day. Minnesota did not offer the pitcher a contract this winter, but invited him to camp as a non-roster player with a Minor League deal. He turned it down once Cincinnati called.

Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky, who was an assistant GM in Minnesota until a couple of weeks ago, said he was not aware of any issues Balfour had with the Twins.

"All I'm concerned about now is Grant getting healthy," Krivsky said. "I'm not concerned about anything in the past. He's got quality stuff and a quality arm. He's well conditioned. He takes care of himself. The only thing I'm thinking about is getting him healthy and helping the Reds whenever it's the appropriate time. Hopefully, the next Major League success he has is with us."



Personally I never knew that he had this kind of stuff. He could be a major asset in the 2nd half. :beerme: Here's to hoping this works out.

Falls City Beer
07-07-2006, 11:23 PM
Just some thoughts about what we could look forward to the next couple of weeks.

Paul Wilson- I know some don't think much of him. However he is a competitor and he wasn't getting by on "stuff" in '04. Could he help as a LR and then we dispatch Mays?

Brandon Claussen- Will he come back healthy and will it help. I think it will and frankly we will not have too bad of a Rotation for the stretch run. It's not awesome but it could work out fine (look at the rotations around the league) if everyone stays upright. If he continues (or someone else) to have problems where do we turn?

Bullpen- Well frankly that's too many if's and maybe's. But one person that could be huge if he were to come back & be healthy is Grant Balfour, in case you were not aware here is his deal. This tidbit from Mark Sheldon's Mailbag in Jan.



And again a report from Feb.



Personally I never knew that he had this kind of stuff. He could be a major asset in the 2nd half. :beerme: Here's to hoping this works out.


I'll take him staying healthy for two consecutive weeks first before I get excited.

KronoRed
07-08-2006, 01:28 AM
I'll be shocked if Wilson ever pitches for the Reds again, and if he does don't count on him for much.

Redsland
07-08-2006, 05:26 PM
That, and you can expect Balfour's shoulder surgery to carve away at the 95 mph heater that showered him the kind of glory that only a 4.63 ERA can bring.

Tornon
07-09-2006, 01:45 AM
Maybe Balfour will be one of the guys that gets a few extra MPH on his fastball after Tommy John, maybe he will be throwin 104-105. Hey, you can always hope

WVRedsFan
07-09-2006, 01:55 AM
Just some thoughts about what we could look forward to the next couple of weeks.

Paul Wilson- I know some don't think much of him. However he is a competitor and he wasn't getting by on "stuff" in '04. Could he help as a LR and then we dispatch Mays?

Brandon Claussen- Will he come back healthy and will it help. I think it will and frankly we will not have too bad of a Rotation for the stretch run. It's not awesome but it could work out fine (look at the rotations around the league) if everyone stays upright. If he continues (or someone else) to have problems where do we turn?

Bullpen- Well frankly that's too many if's and maybe's. But one person that could be huge if he were to come back & be healthy is Grant Balfour, in case you were not aware here is his deal. This tidbit from Mark Sheldon's Mailbag in Jan.



And again a report from Feb.



Personally I never knew that he had this kind of stuff. He could be a major asset in the 2nd half. :beerme: Here's to hoping this works out.

Paul Wilson will never pitch again effectively. Mark this down for future reference. Ain't gonna happen. Ever.

Pray that Brandon Claussen does come back strong. Joe Mays isn't the answer (DFA coming soon?) and no one else in on the horizon. I think if the right person told BC to just pitch and not worry about nibbling, he'd be better off. We'll see.

I watch a lot of baseball and I can tell you we have the worst bullpen in the majors--by a hair...Everyone wants middle relief help, so the cost will be dear. If Balfour comes through at least decent, it will be a big bonus, but the key this year is scoring lots of runs. This team is so inconsistent that we can score 10 one night and have to eek out 1 the next. A lot of it is lineup construction and a lot of it is the opposition knowing what to throw to us. If we score 8 runs, we're in good shape. If not, we're in trouble. If the new closer continues (after 1 game, who knows) to do well, we'll win an extra 10 games. If not, we're headed for fourth place.

GAC
07-09-2006, 06:37 AM
Sad enough - Wilson is toast. Bull pen would be his only hope (and slim at that).

Claussen's inconsitent performance, this year and last, had nothing to do with injury, so I don't expect much once he returns.

He's a capable 4-5 starter, and that's about it.

The verdict is still out on the Lizard (but he's still young, and I have my fingers crossed there).

This team needs another dependable starter until at least our kids in the farm start to show progress. I don't want to rush them one bit.