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OnBaseMachine
06-25-2007, 08:06 PM
Dumatrait keeps focus on Minors
Prospect could be the next to join Reds rotation
By Patrick Allegri / MLB.com

LOUISVILLE -- Phil Dumatrait tries to live in the moment. He understands that focusing too heavily on the next step forward may take him one step back. But sometimes, he can't help it.

Dumatrait, now in his seventh Minor League season, has spent the better part of the past two seasons with Triple-A Louisville. After being drafted 22nd overall by the Red Sox in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, the 25-year-old left-hander has 120 Minor League starts under his belt.

Now, after 15 starts for Louisville this year, Dumatrait is 7-5 with a 3.43 ERA. He's come on strong as of late, giving up an average of three earned runs in his past 10 starts. And, as the Reds continue to struggle to find success on the mound, Dumatrait may soon earn an invitation to make the drive up I-71 towards Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

"If I go out and have quality starts pretty much every time, it will happen," Dumatrait said. "If something happens where I get called up, that's awesome. That's what everybody plays for, you know, to get to the big leagues. And being this close, it's exciting. But I try not to worry about it too much."

Worrying about it too much, Dumatrait said, can make the goal seem that much more unreachable. It's a dilemma he shares with all his teammates, each of whom are hoping to climb their way up to the Majors.

"I just try to take it start to start," said Louisville left-hander Bobby Livingston, who added some spice to his own Major League campaign by throwing a complete game, four-hit shutout against the Pawtucket Red Sox on Friday night. "You know how baseball is. You can't get too high or too low. You just have to stay on an even keel.

"All I worry about is throwing strikes. Other than that, I don't worry about who they're sending down or who they're calling up. It's too much to think about."

Louisville manager Rick Sweet understands that his players are hungry for something more.

"My players are really never happy," Sweet said. "Nobody wants to be here. The big leagues are always the goal. So, everything we do, everything they do, is directed at getting out of here and getting to the Big Leagues."

There is a complex dynamic in any team's clubhouse, but this truth can be magnified in the Minors, as teammates must balance their own personal goals with their dedication to the club. So, when teammates watch each other get called up, and see others get sent back down, Dumatrait said the bond of shared experiences creates a team atmosphere by outweighing players' individual itineraries.

When Dumatrait's old roomamte, Homer Bailey, made his first start for the Reds on June 8, jealousy was the furthest emotion from his mind.

"With Homer, he was our No. 1 guy, and he's got great stuff," Dumatrait said. "We actually roomed together, and we do things together. I was real happy when he got called up. Brad Salmon, he was another one of my roommates. He's up there [with the Reds], so you know, down here [in Louisville], you do your job and root for guys who get up there.

"I think everybody in this clubhouse, when a guy gets called up, we can't be happier. It's awesome to see that guy get called for the first time, or whether it's up and down all season, it's always awesome to see him go up. I hope everybody in here gets to the big leagues, and I'll be rooting them on the whole way."

As for his own potential return to the Majors, Dumatrait said that he plans to continue living in the moment, regardless of which end of I-71 the moment may bring him to.

"I don't think it seems real yet," he said. "I don't think it will until it happens, and then it will probably set in. Right now, I'm just trying to get better in every start, and help us win down here."

If Dumatrait does get his own call up this season, there is little doubt that his teammates will be happy for him. Sweet, though, will have yet another rotation spot to fill. But, he's used to the constant coming and going.

"We have a revolving door," Sweet said. "It is constant. It's never-ending. Baseball is often secondary at this level."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070625&content_id=2048383&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

KoryMac5
06-25-2007, 09:46 PM
Dumatrait has some good stuff, consistently around 90, 91 mph. However he still has some trouble finding the plate leading to some high pitch counts. I would like to see him and Votto in the bigs after the break.

Betterread
06-25-2007, 10:59 PM
Dumatrait has been through the injury gauntlent and has re-learned how to pitch. I respect that and hope he gets a chance to prove himself in Cin. this year.

corkedbat
06-25-2007, 11:04 PM
Dumatrait has some good stuff, consistently around 90, 91 mph. However he still has some trouble finding the plate leading to some high pitch counts. I would like to see him and Votto in the bigs after the break.

Take a bucket of Batting Practice balls and and a used jock strap to be named later from anybody who'll take Lohse and give Dumatrait a shot. It'd be nice to add a southpaw to Harang, Arroyo, Home and Belisle. It's not like he'll jeopardize our playoff chances.

Give him a handful of starts and if he's not cutting it give Livingston another shot, the Lizard or maybe even Richie Gardner - or maybe even better still - a young acquired arm.

I'm tired of wasting starts on arms with no Reds' future. I'm also worried we may need two rotation fill-ins. I've got a suspicion that Bronson may be headed for at least a short second half stint on the DL.

Reds Freak
06-25-2007, 11:13 PM
I had high hopes for Dumatrait ever since he was traded to the Reds a few years ago and especially at the beginning of this year. However, it is frustrating to see how terribly inconsistent he has been all year. I hope he can figure it out and would like to see him up with the big club the second half of the year.

AmarilloRed
06-26-2007, 12:08 AM
Lohse has given all our AAA starting pitchers hope that they will soon replace him in the Reds rotation(and I was one of his biggest fans).

reds44
06-26-2007, 12:21 AM
Take a bucket of Batting Practice balls and and a used jock strap to be named later from anybody who'll take Lohse and give Dumatrait a shot. It'd be nice to add a southpaw to Harang, Arroyo, Home and Belisle. It's not like he'll jeopardize our playoff chances.

Give him a handful of starts and if he's not cutting it give Livingston another shot, the Lizard or maybe even Richie Gardner - or maybe even better still - a young acquired arm.

I'm tired of wasting starts on arms with no Reds' future. I'm also worried we may need two rotation fill-ins. I've got a suspicion that Bronson may be headed for at least a short second half stint on the DL.
The Lizard has the best chance out of the forsome you just mentioned, IMHO. I just can't see Dumatrait or Livingston bein big league pitchers, and I don't know enough about Richie and haven't seen him pitch enough. People forget Elizardo is still only 24.

Sea Ray
06-26-2007, 02:59 PM
The Lizard has the best chance out of the forsome you just mentioned, IMHO. I just can't see Dumatrait or Livingston bein big league pitchers, and I don't know enough about Richie and haven't seen him pitch enough. People forget Elizardo is still only 24.

They really do need a left hander so I think Dumatrait will get his chance. That gives him an edge. Right now Arroyo is the only one of our starters who is not a power pitcher so they could use a junk balling lefty. The thing is, soft throwing lefties like Dumatrait tend to take awhile to succeed at the big league level. Look at guys like Glavine, Moyer and Randy Wolf.