View Full Version : Saturday 4/4/09 Reds vs Reds Future Stars in Dayton

04-04-2009, 02:54 PM
Reds Futures:

Chris Heisey, RF
Chris Valaika, 2B
Juan Francisco, DH
Yonder Alonso, 1B
Todd Frazier, LF
Neftali Soto, 3B
Drew Stubbs, CF
Devin Mesoraco, C
Zach Cozart, SS

RHP Jordan Smith


Jerry Hairston Jr., LF
Laynce Nix, CF
Joey Votto, 1B
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Jay Bruce, RF
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
Wilkin Castillo, C
Alex Gonzalez, SS
Jonny Gomes, DH

RHP Johnny Cueto

04-04-2009, 02:55 PM
Listening to Dusty on the pre-game now, they are indeed concerned about Arroyo, he is being sent to see the arm docs and for an MRI, and no decisions have been made as of when they taped that interview...

04-04-2009, 02:58 PM
He's going to go on the DL.

04-04-2009, 03:08 PM
Heisey drops down a bunt single to begin the game. He went 3-for-3 last night and is already 1-for-1 today.

04-04-2009, 03:11 PM
Valaika grounded into a double play and Francisco popped out. No score after a 1/2 inning.

04-04-2009, 03:12 PM
Is Taveras going to be ready to play Monday?

04-04-2009, 03:13 PM
Most likely. Supposedly his injury wasn't too serious.

Reds Fanatic
04-04-2009, 03:18 PM
Votto doubles in a run. 1-0 Reds.

04-04-2009, 03:21 PM
Thom B talking about talking to Terry Reynolds who was effusive in his praise for Dallas Buck from last night.

Only thing is, Thom seems to think the Reds drafted Dallas Buck, rather than acquire him from Arizona.

04-04-2009, 03:22 PM
Votto's double was off the wall in left center, btw.

1-0 Reds after one inning.

04-04-2009, 03:22 PM
Now Thom is correcting himself, noting that Buck was likely the best prospect in the Dunn deal...

04-04-2009, 03:22 PM
Thom B talking about talking to Terry Reynolds who was effusive in his praise for Dallas Buck from last night.

Only thing is, Thom seems to think the Reds drafted Dallas Buck, rather than acquire him from Arizona.
He said they acquired Buck in the Dunn trade.

04-04-2009, 03:26 PM
Alonso flies out to the wall in RF, just missing a homer. BTW, Katie from 1530 is blogging live from the ballpark.

Frazier singles.

04-04-2009, 03:28 PM
He said they acquired Buck in the Dunn trade.

Took him awhile. That's not where he started out. He corrected himself. Per my post above.

04-04-2009, 03:32 PM
Soto singled but Stubbs broke his bat and grounded into a DP. 1-0 Reds after 1 1/2.

Link to the live blogging:


04-04-2009, 03:34 PM
EdE singles off the wall, Castillo advances him to second with a sac bunt, and Gonzalez doubles to right center to score EdE. 2-0 Reds.

04-04-2009, 03:34 PM
EE hit a long, hard single off the top of the wall and was doubled in by Gonzalez.

04-04-2009, 03:44 PM
Top third:

Mesoraco doubled
Cozart flied out
Heisey grounded out, apparently EdE or Gonzalez made a nice play
Valaika flied out

2-1 Reds after 2 1/2

04-04-2009, 03:46 PM
Sounds like a nice play from Alex G to retire Heisley. Glad to hear that, they need him to be healthy enough to play four or five days a week.

Mesaraco doubled and scored that inning. He's been really quite good this spring in his cups of coffee with the club. I think he's far from the bust that a few of us are trying to hang on him already.

04-04-2009, 03:53 PM
EdE just hit a 2-run homer. 4-1 Reds.

04-04-2009, 03:54 PM
Appears EE is tuning up at just the right time.

04-04-2009, 03:55 PM
EdE's homer was to dead center. 4-1 Reds after three innings.

04-04-2009, 03:56 PM
Good to hear about EE. I don't know exactly who to root for in this game. :)

04-04-2009, 03:57 PM
Juan Francisco walks to begin the 4th inning.

04-04-2009, 04:00 PM
Alonso struckout and Frazier GIDP to end the inning.

04-04-2009, 04:10 PM
Bottom 4:

Gonzalez walks and Hairston hits a 2-run homer. 6-1 Reds in the 4th.

04-04-2009, 04:10 PM
Is this still Jordan Smith struggling?

04-04-2009, 04:11 PM
Is this still Jordan Smith struggling?


Zach Stewart is warming up.

04-04-2009, 04:16 PM
6-1 Reds after four.

Votto drew a two out walk and stole second. Phillips reached on an error by Valaika but Bruce flied out to end the inning.

04-04-2009, 04:19 PM
Herrera is pitching the 5th for the Reds.

Soto flies out.

04-04-2009, 04:22 PM
Soto flied out, Stubbs flied out, and Mesoraco grounded out. A 1-2-3 5th inning for Herrera. 6-1 Reds.

Zach Stewart will pitch the bottom of the 5th.

04-04-2009, 04:27 PM
-Zach Stewart is now pitching
-Chris Heisey moves from right to center
-Sean Henry takes over in RF
-Craig Tatum replaces Mesoraco behind the plate

I think Stewart threw a 1-2-3 5th inning.

04-04-2009, 04:30 PM
Doug with a mention on the live blog.

04-04-2009, 04:39 PM
Thanks for the updates OBM.

04-04-2009, 04:42 PM
sounds like Stewart made hernandez look real bad, lots of nasty fastballs and sliders,Thom said he's being groomed to be a starter this year

04-04-2009, 04:42 PM
Stewart: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

6-1 Reds after 6.

04-04-2009, 04:45 PM
sounds like Stewart made hernandez look real bad, lots of nasty fastballs and sliders,Thom said he's being groomed to be a starter this year

Whoa, really? That's surprising.

04-04-2009, 04:48 PM
he said he's pitching at 93-94 and then Merker said that means he can reach back throw a 96 when he needs to.

04-04-2009, 04:51 PM
said something about he had 33 pitches the other day and that they wanna get him up to 60 and so on and so forth, Merker said its hard to get them up to 100 pitches, it's easier to go the other way whatever that meant.

04-04-2009, 04:51 PM
Thom said Stewert will be a starter this year, but they may not be grooming him to be a starter, just stretching him out. It is not uncommon for guys destined for the bullpen to be used as a starter in the minors. it allows them to face more batters and develop faster.

04-04-2009, 04:51 PM
Thom and Merk talking about the Twins scoring a lot of runs without hitting homers and conclude that smart ball and timely hitting works. No mention of OBP...

04-04-2009, 05:10 PM
Thom said Stewert will be a starter this year, but they may not be grooming him to be a starter, just stretching him out. It is not uncommon for guys destined for the bullpen to be used as a starter in the minors. it allows them to face more batters and develop faster.

I know I heard it, he said he was being groomed to be a starter. He also mentioned he was talking to Reynolds so that had to be where he got his info. He said he spoke to Reynolds and that the brass was very happy with Buck.

04-04-2009, 07:26 PM
It didn't really work with Sean Watson, but I still like the premise...

04-04-2009, 07:46 PM
I was at the game, and here are some observations:
Not to sound too clichι, but it really does sound different when the ball comes of Nefi Soto's bat.

Chris Heisey didn't have a particularly-good day, but he managed to get things done (bunt single, sacrifice RBI, and a walk). I saw hardly any power from him in batting practice, and he hit only one ball out of the infield in his five plate appearances (a pop-up to center). I can totally see why he's viewed as a reserve outfielder down the line.

Danny Dorn is the real deal. His swing is faster than I expected, and it looks like his frame might fill out a little more.

Sean Henry looked very weak, and he's smaller than advertised. I still can't figure out how he has hit as many homeruns as he has. He looked like a slap hitter, and he didn't impress during the game, but he's another guy like Heisey who can probably figure out ways to get things done.

Zack Cozart has improved from the last time I saw him. He's doing a much better job of going to the opposite field, but it's still very hard to say how well he will do as he advances.

Devin Mesoraco looked very good in the batting cage. The bat slipped out of his hand a couple times, which is to be expected, but he did a great job of hitting the ball anywhere it was pitched. As long as he has decent plate discipline, he should be fine as a hitter. His receiving skills seemed better than a lot of people give him credit for, but I did see some slight difficulty in communicating with Jordan Smith at one point.

It's too early for me to make any judgments on Yorman Rodriguez, but he was definitely raw. He hit a line drive homerun in BP, but you can tell that he's still learning some hitting fundamentals.

Craig Tatum impressed me quite a bit. He looks like a much different hitter from the last time I saw him. It's possible that my memory is bad or that he was just having a good day, but he was making really good contact.

Todd Frazier just looks like he belongs on a baseball field. He was 3-4 with a HR, but he got caught in a pickle following a single, so someone might need to work with him on being less aggressive. His homerun was a blast, though.

Yonder Alonso looked great, but more seasoning should be good for him.

Juan Francisco popped out a couple times, but at least he took a walk. It seemed like all three pitchers were very hesitant to give him something hittable.

Chris Valaika cost his team by hitting into two first-pitch double plays, but his homerun to left field was a nice blast.

Chris Denove was better than I expected. He's a little older than a lot of the other guys, so I think that helped his cause, but he seemed like he could hold his own at the plate. He warmed up with the Futures team, but he played for the Reds. Is Hernandez or Hanigan nursing an injury?

I saw Chris Dickerson having a good conversation with Danny Ray Herrera as they were both catching fly balls during batting practice. Dickerson showed Herrera his scars from when he jumped into a wall at Fifth Third Field a few years ago. I asked Danny Ray if he knew if he had made the team yet, and he said he won't know until tomorrow.

Jerry Hairston, Jr. picked up from where he left off. Maybe he finally made some needed adjustments from earlier in his career.

Physically, Laynce Nix looks like a beast, but he didn't do anything that jumped out.

Joey Votto looked like Babe Ruth at times. I know that may be taboo, but he stood out above the rest. Jay Bruce stood out, too, and made a great catch against the wall in right-center.

Ramon Hernandez played first base for about half the game.

Danny Richar looked very good on defense and had a nice double with the count full.

Edwin Encarnacion's homerun to center was an absolute bomb.

Luis Bolivar spelled EE at third and actually looked decent at the plate. He's a big underdog, so I'm rooting for him.

Alex Gonzalez looked slick in the field. I think he's going to be fine. He had an RBI-double and a walk.

Jonny Gomes practiced at first base, but it's obvious that he still has a bit to learn there. It looks like it might take a lot of infield practice before he's comfortable there.

Adam Rosales made a horrible swing when he was struck out by Aguido Gonzalez, but I would still be surprised if he didn't make the team.

Johnny Cueto's stuff was dynamite, and I expect him to improve this year.

Danny Ray Herrera did what he does and threw a 1-2-3 inning.

Pedro Viola has good stuff, but he was getting the ball up too high, and everyone was crushing the ball.

Josh Roenicke threw back-to-back wild pitches at one point, but he pitched well enough to get out of what could have been a nail-biter of a finale.

Zach Stewart was impressive but a little wild at times. It was fun to watch Dickerson and Hernandez try to react to Stewart's nasty stuff.

Phil Valiquette threw a first-pitch strike that looked like he might have finally turned a corner in his development, but his off-speed pitches didn't have much command, and he threw a lot of pitches over the middle of the plate that got crushed.

Aguido Gonzalez' stuff didn't jump out to me at all, but he seems like he knows how to pitch. If he ever gets behind a hitter, I could see him struggling more than most, but as long as he stays ahead in the count, I think he'll find ways to get hitters out.

Carlos Fisher looked electric. I'm really excited about him.

Darnell McDonald looked like he deserved a roster spot more than Nix, but they both seemed pretty replaceable.

Like Dusty said, Paul Janish looks stronger this year.

Wes Bankston played right field, but he didn't have a chance to do anything noteworthy other than popping out to left.

04-04-2009, 08:14 PM
That's the first bad outing Viola has had all spring. He dominated everyone he faced up until today.

04-04-2009, 08:29 PM
Great post camisa! :thumbup:

Doc. Scott
04-04-2009, 08:40 PM
It didn't really work with Sean Watson, but I still like the premise...

That's a Chris Buckley thing- to draft pitchers who have good velocity and stuff and were college relievers/closers and then convert them to starting as pros. He did it before he worked for the Reds, too (see David Bush, for example, who was a closer at Wake Forest).

The idea is that they have a lot less miles on their arms when they start pro careers. The downside (in addition to the stretching out that's referenced elsewhere in the thread) is that many of these guys had even less of an occasion to bother with developing offspeed stuff of the kind one needs to be a consistently successful big-league starter, so it's an added element of risk.

04-05-2009, 12:55 AM
Players, fans share thrills
Dayton crowd applauds Reds stars, who appreciate their days as Dragons.

By David DiCenzo

Contributing Writer

Sunday, April 05, 2009

DAYTON — The familiar smells of summer waft through Fifth Third Field. Pizza. Hot dogs. Beer.

But it's batting practice that has fans buzzing. When second-year Red Joey Votto takes his cuts, he hits a towering shot that easily clears the 402-foot sign in right-center field. The ball caroms off a rail and falls to the concrete. Many members of the red-clad crowd on the lawn scramble for the souvenir.

The day is already memorable for thousands of fans eager to watch Cincinnati's present and future crop of stars.

"It's really neat," said 29-year-old Batavia resident Christy Holcombe, decked out in a Reds T-shirt with matching necklace. "To see the future players against the current players, some of the prospects coming up through the farm system, it's going to be amazing to see them play."

A serious fan, Holcombe is carrying a folder with a sampling of the approximately 2,500 photos she shot last season.

"This is my condensed version so I can get them signed," Holcombe said, adding that Bronson Arroyo is her favorite Red.

Friends Zach Balsinger, 12, and Daniel Gnau, 11, get a close-up look at BP from a temporary seat in the second row, down the first-base line. It was a long winter for the pair from Centerville and Gnau in particular is pumped with the new season just days away.

"I'm ready," he said.

Balsinger attended about five Reds' games last season, but being able to see his team close to home is meaningful, especially because of the familiar faces of former Dragons like Jay Bruce and Homer Bailey.

"It sure beats the drive down to Cincinnati," Balsinger said. "It's great to see the old Dragons because we've had season tickets since the first year."

Hours before the game, Bruce and Votto recalled their time playing at Fifth Third Field.

"This was a big stepping stone for me here in Dayton," Bruce said. "I have a lot of great memories. I was telling guys on the way here, this place is amazing to play (in) as a minor league baseball player."

"I don't think I've ever played for a team that had such a great fan base," Votto said. "Diehard fans."

Those diehards also gave a rousing ovation to Cincinnati legends Eric Davis and Ken Griffey Sr., honorary coaches for the futures team. Longtime Reds' supporter Chad Hall, 35, said it was a treat to see Griffey throwing BP.

"Where else can you see these stars in a stadium so close?" said the New London resident, alongside his 5-year-old son Caleb, who was seeing the Reds for the first time.

"It makes for a great day."


04-05-2009, 12:57 AM
Reds defeat minor-league stars 9-6 in Futures game
Former Dragons on both teams provide fans with home runs and plenty of hits and memories.

By Marc Katz

Staff Writer

Sunday, April 05, 2009

DAYTON — Exhibition games are played for the memories, not necessarily the final score.

And there were plenty of memories at Fifth Third Field Saturday afternoon, April 4, when the parent Cincinnati Reds beat their best minor-leaguers 9-6 in a Futures game attended by 8,956 fans under cool but sunny skies.

Four homers were hit by former Dayton Dragons, two for the Reds (Edwin Encarnacion and Luis Bolivar) and two by the Futures (Chris Valaika and Todd Frazier).

• The homers by Encarnacion and Boilvar (he'll open the season with Class AAA Louisville) hit the batter's-eye screen in dead center field, while Frazier's two-run blast cleared the left-field concession stand.

"My wife and family were here to see it," said Bolivar, who lives in Vandalia. "I feel pretty good right now."

Valaika's homer accounted for three runs as the Futures scored five times in the eighth.

"It's nice to do that in front of the hometown fans," said Valaika, who played for the Dragons in 2007. "And it's nice playing against the big club."

Frazier also was complimentary.

"If I could play here every day of the week, I'd do it," said Frazier, who was here for the final week of 2007 and 30 games last season. Valaika is scheduled to begin this season at Class AAA Louisville, while Frazier will begin at Class AA Carolina.

• Starting Futures shortstop Zack Cozart matched Frazier with three hits, and 11 former Dragons in all from both sides collected hits.

• Joey Votto and Jay Bruce were the biggest names in the Reds lineup as former Dragons, and Votto used his first at-bat to knock in a run with a double off the left-field wall in the first.

• Twelve former Dragons in all made it into the lineup for the Reds, including Votto, Bruce, Encarnacion, outfielder Chris Dickerson and starting pitcher Johnny Cueto, all expected to be on the roster for Opening Day on Monday. Infielders Paul Janish and Adam Rosales also played, and at least one of them — possibly both — will be with the team on Opening Day. Pitchers Robert Manuel, Carlos Fisher and Pedro Viola also played.


04-05-2009, 01:28 AM
Chris Valaika, the Reds' minor league player of the year in 2008, hit a three-run homer and Todd Frazier had a two-run shot for the Futures team.

“I saw some good things from them,” Baker said. “I saw some good arms, quick bats and some power. This organization is going places.”


04-05-2009, 03:55 AM
• The homers by Encarnacion and Boilvar (he'll open the season with Class AAA Louisville) hit the batter's-eye screen in dead center field, while Frazier's two-run blast cleared the left-field concession stand.

Encarnacion's HR hit within 2 feet of the top of the batters eye. Easily a 450 foot HR to absolute dead center. Bolivar surprised me with his HR because it was a shot too. Frazier's HR was one of the longer ones I have seen hit by a minor leaguer in that stadium.

04-05-2009, 11:40 AM
Stewart was very impressive. He was hitting 94 pretty consistently and throwing a great slider. When he gets a little better command of that slider...

The talk of Stewart being converted to a starter has been going on for a while. He has not been able to repeat the same velocity on back-to-back days. On the second day, he is down a few miles an hour. That is the reason for the consideration.

I thought Stewart was the most impressive player on the Futures Team, although Frazier's home run was something to see. Frazier did butcher a fly ball in left. I have been saying for a while, he is going to need some time out there. He had the one base running mistake. On the other hand, he did a great job of going from first to third on a single to right center in the second that most players, even faster players, would not have done, simply because Frazier is so instinctive on the bases.

04-05-2009, 11:59 AM
Of all the relievers on the field yesterday, I think Stewart easily has the highest ceiling. It was my first time seeing him pitch live, and he did more than enough to live up to the hype.

04-05-2009, 12:19 PM
Nice report, CDG.

04-05-2009, 12:59 PM
Stewarts stuff was easily the most impressive from the relievers, but Carlos Fisher really impressed me as well. I really like his stuff.

04-05-2009, 01:00 PM
Stewarts stuff was easily the most impressive from the relievers, but Carlos Fisher really impressed me as well. I really like his stuff.

Where do you think Stewart starts out this year?

04-05-2009, 05:57 PM
Where do you think Stewart starts out this year?

Sarasota.... but Carolina wouldn't surprise me much.

04-07-2009, 12:01 AM
Zach Stewart's dad said the plan was to start Stewart at Double-A, but that was two months ago and things could have changed by now. His dad made this post over on Redlegs Baseball back in January:

Zach has not been told anything about where he will be this season, but his agent met with the Reds at the winter meetings and they told him that their plans were for Zach to start at Double-A unless he was to have a bad spring training. In that case he would start back in Sarasota at high-A.


04-07-2009, 12:33 PM
For those who haven't seen it yet, Doug has a ton of videos and pictures from the Future Stars game up on his website. Check it out: