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OnBaseMachine
02-17-2010, 10:56 AM
It's that time again folks! Spring Training begins tomorrow! Just like last year, I'm starting a thread where we can post all the non-thread worthy ST news in this one thread.

From Mark Sheldon's twitter:

On the ground in Goodyear...

First, a sorry for the next sentence to those folks snowbound in Cincinnati and other areas of the country. I must say the weather is spectacular here in Arizona. Mid 70's during the day and 50's at night and that's the forecast for the rest of the week too, with nary a cloud in sight. Humidity is low. In other words -- perfect.

The first person I saw when I exited the airport was Charles Barkley. Of course, he's a hard guy to miss. The taxi stand guy and a few fans posed with him for pictures. His cab driver shook his hand with excitement. I thought that was the official Arizona welcome to all -- but that was reserved only for Sir Charles.

I'm still settling in but I took a brief gander of the new Reds facility in Goodyear. For those who care purely about the baseball, this place will make you forget all about what they had in Sarasota. There is no comparison, at all. I will try to provide more details and description in the days and weeks ahead. Let me know in the comments section if there is any question you want answered about the place. The last time I was out here, it was under construction but the finished product is good stuff.

The Reds have been shooting video of the complex. Here is a link to the weight room tour:

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=7168557&c_id=cin&topic_id=

I'm staying in Goodyear about 10 minutes from the yard and it seems to be a nice town so far. Obviously, there's no beach nearby and many of the restaurants you'll find are familiar chains -- which will frustrate the adventurous eater -- but I think anyone that comes out here will be pleasantly surprised. Scottsdale and Tempe are about 30-40 minutes away and both are worth seeing. And with 13 of the 15 Cactus League teams all in the metro Phoenix area, you can take in a lot of baseball.

I will be at the camp Wednesday to get started. Things begin in earnest on Thursday when camp opens.

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

Homer Bailey
02-17-2010, 11:28 AM
Ok. The preseason bug has bit me. Let's go Reds!

membengal
02-17-2010, 11:46 AM
Man am I pumped about spring training getting underway. Just signed up for Sheldon, cnati's and Fay's twitter feeds. Let news commence!

SirFelixCat
02-17-2010, 12:34 PM
Ok. The preseason bug has bit me. Let's go Reds!

Yeah, me too. It actually hit about 4 days ago, but now it's chomping at the bit!:thumbup:

OnBaseMachine
02-17-2010, 12:36 PM
I was ready for spring training a week after the season ended but the bug really hit me the day Aroldis Chapman signed.

Tommyjohn25
02-17-2010, 01:00 PM
Is it bad if they were to have a live feed from Goodyear 24 hours a day, I would watch it constantly? Even if there was nothing going on at the time?

redsfan30
02-17-2010, 02:33 PM
Is it bad if they were to have a live feed from Goodyear 24 hours a day, I would watch it constantly? Even if there was nothing going on at the time?

I'd be right there with ya.

Tommyjohn25
02-17-2010, 02:42 PM
I'd be right there with ya.

Good. I made that statement at work today and I got some strange looks. :cool:

OnBaseMachine
02-17-2010, 02:49 PM
Early arrivals

If you're the Reds front office, you have to like the early turnout. Each year, many players arrive ahead of the report date but there seemed to be more than usual.

The fresh new facility in Goodyear might have something to do with that. But there were lots of players already working out for several days. The report date for pitchers and catchers is Thursday.

The clubhouse is beyond belief, especially coming from Sarasota, and offered a very good first impression. I didn't get to see it the other day. This one is as good as the one in GABP and just as massive. Over the middle of the room are four 60-inch flat screen TVs that are connected and hang like an arena scoreboard. Nice touch.

Among the early arrivals: Aaron Harang, Aroldis Chapman, Nick Masset, Daniel Herrera, Jared Burton, Ryan Hanigan, Homer Bailey, Micah Owings, Corky Miller, Edinson Volquez, Mike Leake and several others.

"This place is great," Masset said. "They did a really good job. I'm excited. This is by far the best complex I've ever played at. It's awesome, inside and outside, the fields, the mounds. You get that feeling coming to camp, you're always excited to get in and get started. When you come into a clubhouse like this, it makes it 10 times better."

I saw guys long toss. Chapman was throwing BBs from right-center field to the right field foul line. There were guys conditioning on "Mount Krause." the grassy hill built here for drills.

There is a good, quiet work room here for the media, aka the Goodyear News Bureau. Before, we shared our work space with the media/scouts lunchroom, where it would get loud and distracting before games. Now I have one less excuse not to write well.

Back at you Thursday for the first workout.

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

OnBaseMachine
02-17-2010, 03:26 PM
Volquez brings sunny disposition to camp
Reds hurler arrives early, aims to return after All-Star break
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

02/17/10 2:35 PM EST

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Even though he knows he won't be preparing for Opening Day with the rest of the Reds, pitcher Edinson Volquez never stops smiling, never stops being in a good mood.

Volquez is rehabilitating from the Tommy John reconstructive surgery he had on his elbow in August. He has the familiar L-shaped scar on his inner elbow to prove it.

"It's my tattoo," Volquez said from a chair in the Reds' clubhouse on Wednesday.

Volquez came to town on Tuesday and was one of several early arrivals to pour into the team's brand-new complex in Goodyear, Ariz. Pitchers and catchers will hold their first workout at noon local time on Thursday.

As pitchers prepare their arms for April, Volquez's timetable is much longer. He's hoping to return after the All-Star break and is optimistic about his chances. On Wednesday, he had just returned from icing down after a long-toss session that reached a distance of 130 feet.

"They said I would feel something right here [on the forearm], but I don't feel anything there," Volquez said. "Everything has been going great right now.

"I just put it in my mind that I have to take a break to give me the time to be ready to get back to the big leagues. I'm not hurrying right now."

Volquez was last seen on the mound on June 1 in St. Louis, when he lasted only one inning. And that had come right after a two-week stint on the disabled list with back spasms.

A 17-game winner and breakout All-Star for Cincinnati in 2008, Volquez made only nine starts in 2009. In those games, he was 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA.

After the regular season ended, Volquez stayed in Cincinnati for about a month to continue his rehab. Most of the winter was spent at home in the Dominican Republic, where he would drive 30 minutes from the capital city of Santo Domingo to the Reds' Dominican academy for workouts with trainer Carlos Acevedo.

"He rode me all the time, five days a week," Volquez said. "I started at 10 a.m. and finished around 2 p.m. I lost 18 pounds. I was 240 pounds, and now I'm 222. I have to buy new clothes."

On Saturdays and Sundays sometimes, Volquez would go to the beach and swim, or hang out with his family or play dominoes with friends. On three occasions, he did venture out to see some Winter League games.

"But three games only," Volquez said. "I was away from baseball and didn't want to keep it in my mind. I went with my friends.

"One day I was there to see [teammate Francisco Cordero] pitch. I was sitting right behind the dugout and was like, 'Oh man, I want to be there.' I will be there."

Not just yet. At this point, Volquez is long tossing for about 12-13 minutes every other day. There has been no discussion yet of when he will work off of a mound again.

Every day always seemed to be a good day for Volquez when he was healthy. If he's had a bad day during the rehab process, he's not letting on.

"I feel great. I don't feel any pain, nothing," he said. "I'm hoping when I get back, I want to see the team in a good position. I want to help us compete with all the teams. That's what I want."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100217&content_id=8085840&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

SirFelixCat
02-17-2010, 03:30 PM
"He rode me all the time, five days a week," Volquez said. "I started at 10 a.m. and finished around 2 p.m. I lost 18 pounds. I was 240 pounds, and now I'm 222. I have to buy new clothes."

:confused: He was really that big? Or just after he got hurt he ballooned? I can't imagine he was as big as I am. He's a tiny guy, right?

OnBaseMachine
02-17-2010, 04:10 PM
Live from Goodyear
Posted by jfay February 17th, 2010, 3:49 pm

I’m coming to you from the press room at the Goodyear complex. The facility is beautiful — light years above what the Reds had at Sarasota. The clubhouse is as nice as the one at Great American. The training facilities are first-rate.

The fields look great. Green grass and blue skies are a welcome sight after the winter we had.

I didn’t get out here until about 1 (stopped for lunch at In-n-Out Burger). All the players had cleared out by then, except Drew Stubbs. He’s here early and ready to go.

“I’ve told people all offseason that this is the first time in my pro career that I’ve looked forward to coming spring training,” he said. “The reason being is every year leading up to this one, I felt no matter how well or badly I did, I was slotted for a position at an affiiliate in the system. Now, I come with a purpose . . . to make the team. It’s very exciting or me.”

Stubbs is a virtual lock make the team.

On the subject of outfielders, someone emailed today about the chances of Jay Bruce getting platooned in right field if struggles hitting left-handers. Not very good, I’d say. Stubbs, Wladimir Balentien and Chris Heisey are the only right-handed hitters listed as outfielders in camp. Balentien hit less against lefties than Bruce (.165 to .210).

Of course, Todd Frazier is scheduled to get a look in left. Aaron Miles, who can play outfield, is a switch-hitter.

If Jonny Gomes signs, it changes things. But the lack of right-handed hitters in the outfield mix may help Heisey’s or Fraizer’s chances.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

Nasty_Boy
02-17-2010, 04:21 PM
:confused: He was really that big? Or just after he got hurt he ballooned? I can't imagine he was as big as I am. He's a tiny guy, right?

I'm pretty sure Volquez is in the 6-4 range... So 240 lbs isn't that overweight. I would say most of that weight came on the weeks following surgery, and his DL time leading up to the TJ surgery.

OnBaseMachine
02-17-2010, 04:22 PM
I'm pretty sure Volquez is in the 6-4 range... So 240 lbs isn't that overweight. I would say most of that weight came on the weeks following surgery, and his DL time leading up to the TJ surgery.

Volquez is around 6'0" to 6'1". But he's always been a little thick. Not 240, but probably around 220. I'd say it's fairly normal to gain weight after TJ surgery.

Homer Bailey
02-17-2010, 04:31 PM
I don't know what I would have done today had I not known where Fay ate lunch.

Nasty_Boy
02-17-2010, 04:33 PM
Aaron Miles, who can play outfield, is a switch-hitter.


Is it just me or does Fay seem to really like Miles? I understand that the guy is on the 40 man and he's a "savvy/scrappy" vet that all Reds teams must have, but Fay seems to throw Miles in there like he's a steal. Maybe I'm it's all in my head, but Fay likes to throw Miles a bone whenever talking about the roster and position competition.

Nasty_Boy
02-17-2010, 04:34 PM
Volquez is around 6'0" to 6'1". But he's always been a little thick. Not 240, but probably around 220. I'd say it's fairly normal to gain weight after TJ surgery.

I'm about 6'2" and the few times I've been near Volquez he seemed a little taller than that... Thanks for the correction.

reds44
02-17-2010, 05:04 PM
Aaron Miles, who can play outfield, is a switch-hitter.
This needs to stop right now.

OnBaseMachine
02-17-2010, 05:28 PM
I'm about 6'2" and the few times I've been near Volquez he seemed a little taller than that... Thanks for the correction.

You may be right. The Reds roster lists him at 6'0" but I've always thought he was slightly taller than that, maybe around 6'1" or so.

OnBaseMachine
02-17-2010, 05:29 PM
Talking to Baker
Posted by jfay February 17th, 2010, 5:06 pm

I caught up with Dusty Baker for a few minutes after his meetings today. Here’s the highlights:

On the team in general: “I feel very good. I’m excited with personnel we have. I’m excited with the players and the quality of coaching we have here. We’re trying to get better. That’s the whole key.”

On adding Orlando Cabrera and Aaron Miles: “We’re trying to get better. Cabrera is our shortstop. Miles still has to make the team. We’ve still got competition in couple of spots. We’re not just set on who’s on the team. In the case of Miles, I think he understands that. He’s been in that situation before.”

Will Miles be in the mix for left field? “Probably not. We’ve got a enough dudes in left. There’s only so many games, so many innings. We’re already going to try to schedule some B games.”

Baker said Right-handers Mike Lincoln and Micah Owings will be in the competition for the fifth starter spot, along with right-handers Justin Lehr and Mike Leake and left-handers Matt Maloney, Travis Wood and Aroldis Chapman: “There are quite a few guys who we’re going to have to find innings for. I think the fact that we have Cleveland right next door and so convenient. I’m sure with their uncertainty, they might welcome B games as well. B games don’t count as far as stats. They count in our eyes.”

On the chances of Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey and Juan Francisco making the team: “I’ve seen guys force their way onto the team. Everybody wants answers for the future. These are questions I can’t answer or don’t want to answer. A lot is based on what guys did last year.”

Also, here’s one example of the difference between the old facility and new one: The Reds video operation in Sarasota was confined to a folding table, holding to laptops, set up in hall way that leads to showers. Here, there’s a 20-by-35-foot viedo room with eight desktop computers, two big screens TVs and four smaller screens with video feeds from the batting cages and main practice field.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

SirFelixCat
02-17-2010, 08:34 PM
You may be right. The Reds roster lists him at 6'0" but I've always thought he was slightly taller than that, maybe around 6'1" or so.

I really had it in my head that he was 6' AT MOST. I guess I was thinking Cueto = Volquez in size. Thanks for correcting me, fellas!

Will M
02-17-2010, 08:49 PM
Talking to Baker

On adding Orlando Cabrera and Aaron Miles: “... Miles still has to make the team. We’ve still got competition in couple of spots. We’re not just set on who’s on the team. In the case of Miles, I think he understands that. He’s been in that situation before...”

Will Miles be in the mix for left field? “Probably not. We’ve got a enough dudes in left. There’s only so many games, so many innings. We’re already going to try to schedule some B games.”


http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

this is good to hear!

fearofpopvol1
02-17-2010, 08:53 PM
Man am I pumped about spring training getting underway. Just signed up for Sheldon, cnati's and Fay's twitter feeds. Let news commence!

what are their twitter handles? and do you (or anyone else) have anyone else you have that you follow that dishes out good reds news?

11larkin11
02-17-2010, 09:21 PM
Definitely some nice stuff to hear there from Dusty.

MikeS21
02-17-2010, 10:22 PM
Aaron Miles, who can play outfield, is a switch-hitter.
http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

Is it just me or does Fay seem to really like Miles? I understand that the guy is on the 40 man and he's a "savvy/scrappy" vet that all Reds teams must have, but Fay seems to throw Miles in there like he's a steal. Maybe I'm it's all in my head, but Fay likes to throw Miles a bone whenever talking about the roster and position competition.

This needs to stop right now.
I said it the day the Reds traded for him, but Gomes or any other FA LF became an afterthought. Miles is a weaker version of Jerry Hairston. It is obvious the FO views Miles as a possibility in the OF.

redsmetz
02-17-2010, 10:29 PM
I said it the day the Reds traded for him, but Gomes or any other FA LF became an afterthought. Miles is a weaker version of Jerry Hairston. It is obvious the FO views Miles as a possibility in the OF.

Then Dusty failed to get the memo because he was fairly clear that Miles probably wouldn't be in the race for LF.

OnBaseMachine
02-17-2010, 11:37 PM
Reporting time for pitchers, catchers, writers
By Hal McCoy | Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 02:11 PM

PITCHERS AND CATCHERS report this week to spring training - and I’m often asked, ” Why do pitchers and catchers report before the rest of the players. Why don’t they all report together?”

Good question. Right now, if I’m an infielder or outfielder and I live in Ohio, I change positions immediately to pitcher or catcher and report right now to Arizona to get out of this two feet of winter wonderland.

As near as I can gather, and nobody has the definitive answer, pitchers need the extra few days to get their arms in shape before they start throwing to live hitters, so they report early. And they need catchers to catch them.

That may have been true way back when, when baseball players didn’t make gazillions and had to pump gas and flip burgers in the off-season to pay the bills, but it is no longer so. Players don’t work anywhere in the off-season, except on their golf games, and they stay in shape - ready to go when spring training begins.

But it’s baseball and it’s tradition.

SO PITCHERS, CATCHERS and baseball writers report this week. Baseball writers have to be there to watch the pitchers play catch with the catchers and work on PFP, the dreaded pitchers fielding practice that pitchers abhor.

If spring training were in, say, Duluth, Minn. or Fargo, N.D. in some indoor facilities, baseball writers wouldn’t be standing at the locker room door shaking hands with pitchers and catchers as they arrive.

But, in the case of the Cincinnati Reds, it’s Arizona and like the rest of my baseball brethren, I’ll be there to soak up the atmosphere (translation: soak up the sun).

I’m arriving in Arizona on Friday for a few days to bring you blogs on how Homer Bailey’s fastball looks - as delivered off a bullpen mound to a minor-league catcher - and to say, “Si, senor,” to Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman, who speaks no English.

AS IT STANDS now, the only major issues in camp for the Reds are:

Who will play left field?

Who will be the fifth starter?

Who will be the extra players?

We’ve beaten the left field issue to a pulp, with no answers. Will it be Chris Dickerson, Jonny Gomes (still unsigned), Wladimir Balentien, Laynce Nix, Juan Francisco, Chris Heisey, Todd Frazier or some mystery man yet to emerge?

The first four in the rotation are set: Bronson Arroyo, Aaron Harang, Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto. The fifth starter would have been Edinson Volquez and that question would be answered. But Volquez had Tommy John surgery and won’t be available until mid-season, if then.

That leaves the fifth spot to: Micah Owings? Matt Maloney? Travis Wood? Aroldis Chapman? Justin Lehr? Or some myster man yet to emerge?

The club appears a bit thin on the bench, which might open the door for rookie Todd Frazier. He signed as a shortstop, but has played third base, second base, first base and left field in the minors. That versatility might earn him a spot on the club to cover several positions when the inevitable injuries surface and as a back-up at several positions when the regulars need rest.

Those are the answers the Reds seek in the next six weeks. My shorts are pressed, my Tommy Bahama shirts are cleaned and folded, my suntan lotion is ready to be slathered, my portable cigar humidor is full.

Play ball - Arizona variety.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2010/02/17/reporting_time_for_pitchers_ca.html?cxtype=feedbot

RBA
02-17-2010, 11:54 PM
I don't know what I would have done today had I not known where Fay ate lunch.

When people go to IN-N-OUT, they have a habit of announcing it to the whole world. You're suppose to be impressed/or jealous. ;)

Matt700wlw
02-18-2010, 12:32 AM
Since it's officially Thursday (at least in the Eastern Time zone)...the four best words of winter now apply. PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT!

Homer Bailey
02-18-2010, 12:53 AM
Since it's officially Thursday (at least in the Eastern Time zone)...the four best words of winter now apply. PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT!

I'm here boss :cool:

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 01:23 AM
From Paul Hoynes's twitter:

#Cincinnati, #Indians new spring-training partner, will introduce Aroldis Chapman to reporters Monday at noon in Goodyear, Ariz.

http://twitter.com/hoynsie

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 01:41 AM
I don't know what I would have done today had I not known where Fay ate lunch.

If you ever ate at IN-N-OUT, you'd know why he bragged about it. :p:

Homer Bailey
02-18-2010, 10:51 AM
If you ever ate at IN-N-OUT, you'd know why he bragged about it. :p:

I have, and while it's good, I really don't understand the obsession with it.

I didn't see any updates on where Fay ate for dinner? OBM where you at??????? :D

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 11:31 AM
Talking to Janish, Volquez
Posted by jfay February 18th, 2010, 11:27 am

Here’s a little pre-workout stuff:

Paul Janish and Jay Bruce arrived this morning. I asked Janish about the signing of Orlando Cabrera:

“I spent the whole offseason thinking I was going to get a chance. More than anything, it’s a change in mentality. Obviously, I thought I was going to be the everyday guy. Now, I’ve got to go back into the utility role. That’s going to be the role.

“It is was it is. I’ve got to go back to focusing on spring training and being part of the club.”

It was a little disheartening. But, at the same time, if you asked me in November if they were going to sign somebody, I would have said yeah. The fact that it happened so late is a little different.

“Anything to make the team better. We’re all on the same page.”

–Edinson Volquez says his rehab from “Tommy John” surgery is going well.

“I was a little scared the first day I threw. But after that it’s been normal. I threw from 130 feet yesterday. It felt good.”

He’s holding out of hope of coming back earlier than the August projection.

“Some people say August,” he said. “Some people say July – right after the break. We’ll see.”

His scouting report on Cuban left-handed Aroldis Chapman: “Whoa! He’s got a good arm.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

HeatherC1212
02-18-2010, 11:34 AM
I kind of feel bad for Janish. He prepared for the season one way and with signing Cabrera so late, it had to have thrown him off. I hope he still has a good spring and makes the club easily though. He should at least be in for defense in the late innings when we have the lead.

Glad to hear Volquez is in good spirits but seriously, when is he ever in bad spirits?! LOL :laugh:

*wishes she could beam herself out of the snow and into Goodyear, AZ* :(

bucksfan2
02-18-2010, 11:40 AM
I kind of feel bad for Janish. He prepared for the season one way and with signing Cabrera so late, it had to have thrown him off. I hope he still has a good spring and makes the club easily though. He should at least be in for defense in the late innings when we have the lead.

Glad to hear Volquez is in good spirits but seriously, when is he ever in bad spirits?! LOL :laugh:

*wishes she could beam herself out of the snow and into Goodyear, AZ* :(

In all likelihood Paul Janish will make > $.5M playing baseball this year. I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for him. Besides while I am looking at 18 inches of snow in my back yard Janish will be on a baseball diamond with mountains in the back ground. Not a bad gig if you ask me.

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 11:44 AM
Info on twitter accounts and the time difference:

1.) Aroldis Chapman—We’ve heard about him, read about him and debated him, but until today we’ve never seen him upclose in a baseball uniform. The media on-hand will be zeroing in Chapman. He speaks no English, but what we all want to know and see is what he looks like in a Reds uniform and what plan new pitching coach Bryan Price has for Chapman’s development.

No one is quite sure what the Reds have in the lanky Cuban left-handed pitcher other than he throws really hard. In Sporting News Today, baseball columnist Stan McNeal rates Chapman the No. 15 most significant pitching acquisition this offseason and quotes Bronson Arroyo as saying, “Based on the pressure he’s already faced and the power arm he has, he should be more equipped to break into the big leagues even if he’s not completely culturized.

“You have more pressure pitching for the national team in Cuba than probably any team in the world. [On] no other team does the dictator of the country bring you in as an 18-year-old kid and say, ‘Don’t let our country down.’ You know if you mess up too bad, you might not eat or your family might not eat.”

With a 10-year, $30.25 million contract, Chapman doesn’t have to worry about vittles, but there will be plenty of pressure for him to rise quickly through the system. So, yeah, today is a big day for Chapman and Reds fans.

2.) The Left Field Watch—No sooner had the beat writers gotten settled into their spiffy new digs at Goodyear did Uncle Walt drop a mild bombshell—the Reds might not be done dealing. Huh? After sitting still for most of the winter?

Wednesday night, Jocketty told the beat guys that the Reds are still discussing bringing back OF Jonny Gomes and hoped to have something done by the time the regular position players report Feb. 22. But it seems as though the Reds suddenly realized, “Hey, we’ve got a shortage of right-handed-hitting outfielders.”

With Willy Taveras gone, Drew Stubbs is a lock for the center field job. That means only righty outfielders Wladimir Balentien, and rookies Todd Frazier and Chris Heisey are competing for a starting or swing role. Since Balentien hit just .165 against left-handed pitching last year, the Reds find themselves at the mercy of the rookies.

“We were talking about that today,” Jocketty told the beat guys. “We see the need as well. It’s something we might address later in spring with a trade or something.”

3.) Multimedia—Sure, this is self-serving but as a long-time advocate and participant in multimedia, it’s worth noting here on Day 1 of the season that this will be the most informed spring training Reds fans have ever experienced.

While the number of newspapers and reporters covering the Reds have shrunk to an all-time low, the sources for information have never been more extensive. In the past year, Yahoo Sports, AOL Fanhouse and Baseball Digest have really beefed up their online baseball coverages. Locally, Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News may be retired from daily work, but he’s far from retired. In fact, we’ll see more Hal—through blogs in DDN and online and TV work for Fox Sports Ohio.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Mark Sheldon of Reds.com will do their daily coverages, perhaps with a little more flair and urgency because of the 24/7 news cycle that now persists.

Then, there is the whirlwind that is Ctrent and Cnati.com.

Fans donated to pay for Ctrent’s trip to spring training and we all know what to expect from his tireless work—constant blogging, Twittering, video and lots of story content. If you have not donated to Cnati.com, you should do so now. There’s going to be lots of stuff behind the pay firewall.

For those who are lurking here at RLD, please register and join us. Once the action starts, we provide the best game thread “Starters” in the Reds blogosphere. For those who don’t know, or should know, the Reds information is all over Twitter. You should be, too. Here’s a couple of places you should be following:

* @MisterRedlegs—Because, well, that’s RLD and me, and I try to provide a fairly decent aggregation of Reds and baseball news, along with my own eccentric (old, mean, grumpy) commentary.

* @ctrent—He updates often and advances material he’ll have on Cnati.com. There’s also a private spring training Twitter account for those who have donated.

* @johnfayman—Reds lone newspaper beat reporter has grown into the blogosphere and tweeting.

* @m_Sheldon—Reds.com beat writer won’t wow you with his writing and isn’t outfront of many news stories, but he provides a lot of copy.

* @jamiereds—Reds media relations guru Jamie Ramsey is a Cincinnati native and lifelong Reds fan, and he has a fairly new blog on Reds.com called “Better Off Red.” It’s a sensational fan-centric and behind-the-scenes look at the team written with a great touch. Expect lots of terrific stuff from Ramsey this spring.

And don't forget: bookmark the local papers in Arizona. The Reds never got much play from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, but the Arizona Republic is a Gannett Co. newspaper, like the Cincinnati Enquirer, so expect some content share. The Republic is the state's largest paper and does an excellent job with spring training and baseball. You might recognize baseball writer Nick Piecoro. Yep, that's Jeff's brother. The financially troubled East Valley Tribune has traditionally done a very good job with sports and spring training.

4.) The Duds—This happens to me each year: I want one of the official Reds’ team-issue spring training workout shirts (above). I have no idea why these aren’t for public sale because each year they are great-looking duds. This year’s might top them all—a simple white Majestic tee with old-school design, like the official school P.E. shirts we used to wear back in the, er, umm, days of P.E. However, you can buy a similar version except it doesn’t say “Spring Training.” That’s what makes the shirt cool.

There’s also a new spring training/batting practice cap for all MLB teams. Gone are the black “ear flap” models everyone, including the players, hated. Now there are models from New Era with piping and the hyper-curved bill. I hate the hyper-curved bill. Look at Aaron Harang wearing the cap. He has a big head. The hyper-curved bill makes fat-headed people like Harang and old mascots look like fatter heads (literally).

Hint to cap manufacturers: not every fan is 165 pounds, and have we become too lazy to shape our own bill to properly fit our domes?

5.) Time Change—Not mentioned before, but get ready for the time difference adjustment. We’re used to Sarasota and Florida spring games being in the Eastern Time Zone with Cincinnati, so we’re used to news, information and games coming no later than 1 p.m. With the two-hour time difference, we won’t be seeing much online activity from the media until around noon and games being played around 3 p.m. Eastern.

And what today also means is many of you will be attending spring training. It’s an awesome time. If you attend, be sure to let us know, supply reports, photos and all your excitement from the adventure.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=PluckForum&plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat%3ae83314c0-a43f-4d37-8346-adfd06398875Forum%3a0ba6a39a-f69a-49a5-9437-24e98cc39cc8Discussion%3a14367f7a-5a34-4cd1-8307-be84e15afb6c

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 11:53 AM
From C. Trent:

Paul Janish walks into new #Reds spring clubhouse, says 'wow.' looks around. 'this is plus-plus' -- scout lingo for extraordinary tools

http://twitter.com/ctrent

From Mark Sheldon:

#reds pitchers and catchers are taking physicals this morning. Clubhouse is pretty empty for now. Workout due to start in just over two hrs

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

Always Red
02-18-2010, 11:55 AM
great stuff, OBM, thanks and keep it coming!

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 11:55 AM
More from Goodyear
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 18, 2010 11:49 AM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- I just got the full tour from Bob Miller of this place. I asked him if I could do it later with the video camera and he said yes, so that'll be great.

In a word, it's stunning. You may not understand it if you hadn't seen the behind-the-scenes in Sarasota.

The players keep coming in and are wowed.

Paul Janish walked in and said, "this is plus-plus" -- using the scout's lingo for extraordinary.

The players are going through physicals right now, but after that, we'll talk to Dusty and then there will be some workouts. I'll have my video camera and hope to get some video of Aroldis Chapman.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

Always Red
02-18-2010, 11:57 AM
I don't know what I would have done today had I not known where Fay ate lunch.

Fay knows he is competing with CTrent, who within a week will have a list of the best reasonably priced, home cooking joints around Goodyear (if there are any).

REDblooded
02-18-2010, 12:51 PM
I have, and while it's good, I really don't understand the obsession with it.

I didn't see any updates on where Fay ate for dinner? OBM where you at??????? :D

I agree... I used to live in San Diego, so I've had it plenty... Vastly overrated.

Give me Hodad's or a California Burrito any day of the week...

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 01:01 PM
From C. Trent's twitter:

#Reds Dusty Baker says not everyone has checked in yet

No Visa problems for #Reds, there were just flight delays for Del Rosario and Viola

http://twitter.com/ctrent

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 01:16 PM
Baker on Chapman
Posted by jfay February 18th, 2010, 1:09 pm

Dusty Baker hadn’t spoken to all the players before the first workout. But he did sit down with the most notable newcomer, Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman.

“I had a nice chat with him,” Baker said. “I like his make-up, his body type. He understands pretty well what you’re saying to him.”

Baker and Chapman spoke in Spanish.

“But it seems like when guys talk to him in English, he comprehends,” Baker said. “You can tell when a person doesn’t understand.”

The Chapman plan was set by pitching coach Bryan Chapman. I’ll get the details of it later. But it sounds like Chapman will be pitching in games from the start.

“There’s a plan,” Baker said. “There’s always a plan. It would be hard to imagine not seeing him games. I know you’ve got to ask the question.”

Chapman comes in good shape.

“Latin guys who play winter baseball (are in shape),” Baker said. “From talking to Bryan, (Chapman) usually had two weeks off the whole year. This is probably the longest he’s been off his whole life.

“I think there’s something to that. When I played Winter Ball, the guys I played with played all year. Very rarely did they have sore arms. I had teammates who ceased having arm problems when they started throwing in the offseason.”

With Chapman, the program will be a hybrid.

“We’re going to do a combination of what he’s been doing and also what we think is best from the way we do things.”

People who have seen Chapman throw are impressed.

“Throwing is not going to be his problem,” Baker said.

GOOD SHAPE: Baker was pleased with the shape players showed up in.

“Especially some of the older guys,” Baker said. “Arthur Rhodes, (Aaron) Harang. You’d expect some of the other guys. Bronson (Arroyo) probably hasn’t gained a pound in 10 years. (Jared) Burton looks good. (Mike Lincoln).”

ALL BUT 2: Everyone has reported except Enerio Del Rosario and Pedro Viola. They had travel problems out of the Dominican. They should be here

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

TheNext44
02-18-2010, 01:17 PM
I have, and while it's good, I really don't understand the obsession with it.



I guess some people have a refined palate for high cuisine and some don't. :D

Actually, that statement is what I most often hear from people not from Cincinnati about Skyline.

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 01:21 PM
Pretty much the same story from C. Trent but with a little more info:

Dusty Baker 2.18.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 18, 2010 12:57 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- We'll be meeting with Dusty every morning, and I'll bring you what we've got from there every morning.

Anyway, today was the first meeting, and we talked mostly about Aroldis Chapman.

Baker's office is about the only thing that's comperable to Sarasota. His office is very similar to what it was like in Florida. But that's OK with him.

"I don't spend much time in anyway," Baker said. "The bigger your office, the more people you can have in it."

So far, Baker, like everyone else, has been impressed with the new digs.

"This is like moving into a new house, it's exciting, very exciting," Baker said.

Beyond that, he talked mostly about Chapman, who has been here since Monday. Baker said he talked to Chapman and had a good visit.

"I just like his makeup and his body type," Baker said.

Baker speaks Spanish, and held his conversation with Chapman in Spanish, but says the Cuban is doing well with English.

"He understands pretty well what you're saying to him," Baker said. "It seems like when guys do speak to him in English, he comprehends."

As for the handling of Chapman's pitching, that'll be in the hands of new pitching coach Bryan Price. Chapman will be pitching in big league games for the Reds.

The Reds are trying to figure out the best way to handle Chapman's throwing regime, which has had what is likely his biggest layoff since becoming a pitcher. Usually, Baker said, Chapman would get about two weeks off from training a year.

"So this is probably been the longest he's been off in his life. I think there's something to that. When I played winter ball, the guys I played with played all year. Very rarely did they have sore arms, very rarely did they have any arm problems," Baker said. "I had a couple of teammates that ceased having arm problems when they threw more in the off-season rather than taking that rest and letting this stiff up and then get back into it again.

"It's like a lot of the Japanese pitchers, they don't have arm problems until they come here and they quit throwing so much. We're going to do a combination of what he's been doing and also what we think is best for him and how we do things. We'll do a combination of things, but you've got to talk to Bryan. He just sat down and talked to (Class A Dayton Dragons pitching coach) Tony Fossas and (bullpen coach) Porky (Lopez) about that a few minutes ago."

Overall, Baker said he's impressed with what he's seen from his players reporting to camp.

"I just like the shape of everyone I see at camp, they look great - especially some of the older guys, Arthur Rhodes, Harang, they're in outstanding shape," Baker said. "You'd expect some of the other guys, Bronson, he probably hasn't gained a pound in 10 years. Burton looks great. Linc looks good, some of the young guys, Leake, everyone I've seen, LeCure, looks like they're in outstanding shape."

The only players who weren't at Goodyear by 11 a.m. MST were Enerio Del Rosario and Pedro Viola. The pair missed a connecting flight trying to get to the US from the Dominican Republic. Both are in the US and aren't having any visa problems.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

dougdirt
02-18-2010, 02:22 PM
Not a Reds specific update, but one that could cause them some joy.

Carlos Zambrano is giving up throwing his cutter. It was his best pitch last year, though he apparently doesn't think so (that stats suggest otherwise).

MikeS21
02-18-2010, 02:51 PM
I am following about five different Tweets and they all are going off about the same time. Chapman is throwing a bullpen session right now.

I keep holding my breath because I keep waiting for one of them to report that Chapman is walking off the field "holding his elbow." lol!

membengal
02-18-2010, 03:08 PM
My favorite tweet came from Fay:


johnfayman #Reds' prospect Chapman throwing. It's pretty firm, as they say.

Firm! Back up the Cy Young trucks!

membengal
02-18-2010, 03:10 PM
And, joking aside, the pics of him throwing are fun. Tall dude.

MikeS21
02-18-2010, 03:16 PM
Tweets coming in about Jocketty's take on Chapman's first 10-minute throwing session.

johnfayman : Jocketty on Chapman: I was impressed with his command. Everything was right around the plate. He looked good in his fielding drills, t #reds

HumnHilghtFreel
02-18-2010, 03:27 PM
Just wanted to say thanks to OBM for all the updates in this thread, very much appreciated.

reds44
02-18-2010, 03:36 PM
My computer got cleaned out so I lost all my favorites, can somebody please link me to the blogs of Reds reporters? Thanks.

nate
02-18-2010, 03:37 PM
Yeah, Chapman throwing, that's great and all but what did Fay have for lunch?

:cool:

Hoosier Red
02-18-2010, 03:39 PM
My computer got cleaned out so I lost all my favorites, can somebody please link me to the blogs of Reds reporters? Thanks.

http://cnati.com/ -C Trent Rosecrans
http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/ -John Fay

Homer Bailey
02-18-2010, 03:57 PM
Yeah, Chapman throwing, that's great and all but what did Fay have for lunch?

:cool:

Lunch??? We never even found out about dinner last night or breakfast this morning!

nate
02-18-2010, 04:17 PM
Lunch??? We never even found out about dinner last night or breakfast this morning!

This thread is obviously going downhill!

:cool:

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 04:18 PM
Jocketty on Chapman
Posted by jfay February 18th, 2010, 3:19 pm

Reds GM Walt Jocketty was impressed with left-hander Aroldis Chapman’s first bullpen session.

“He showed good command,” Jocketty said. “Everything was right around the plate. He threw those last few pitches like he was throwing to hitters. He’s a little further along than anyone else.”

Needless to say, Chapman has major zip on his fastball. He did throw one over catcher Ramon Hernandez’s head and one in the dirt. But, as Jocketty said, Chapman wasn’t around the plate.

Another good sign: His first pitch out was very good, so he asked to throw another. It was perfect.

For early spring drama, there is none. But a $30 million signee throwing off the mound on the first day attracts attention.

Jocketty, Dusty Baker, Bryan Price, assistant GMs Bob Miller and Bill Bavasi, scouts Jerry Walker and Cam Bonifay all watched Chapman.

I’ll update after we talk to Hernandez and Price.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

Homer Bailey
02-18-2010, 04:27 PM
Jocketty on Chapman
Posted by jfay February 18th, 2010, 3:19 pm

Reds GM Walt Jocketty was impressed with left-hander Aroldis Chapman’s first bullpen session.

“He showed good command,” Jocketty said. “Everything was right around the plate. He threw those last few pitches like he was throwing to hitters. He’s a little further along than anyone else.”

Needless to say, Chapman has major zip on his fastball. He did throw one over catcher Ramon Hernandez’s head and one in the dirt. But, as Jocketty said, Chapman wasn’t around the plate.

Another good sign: His first pitch out was very good, so he asked to throw another. It was perfect.

For early spring drama, there is none. But a $30 million signee throwing off the mound on the first day attracts attention.

Jocketty, Dusty Baker, Bryan Price, assistant GMs Bob Miller and Bill Bavasi, scouts Jerry Walker and Cam Bonifay all watched Chapman.

I’ll update after we talk to Hernandez and Price.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

So Fay is officially in midseason form.

RichRed
02-18-2010, 04:37 PM
Yeah, Chapman throwing, that's great and all but what did Fay have for lunch?

:cool:

Never mind that. How did he spell it?!

klw
02-18-2010, 04:59 PM
I'm a little concerned that they had Chapman throwing in the bullpen today, isnt he supposed to be a starter? Hasn't harang missed the last season and a half because Dusty used him in the bullpen?

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 05:10 PM
From Fay's twitter:

#Reds pitching coach Price on where Chapman will start: "Maybe it’s Cincinnati. Maybe it’s somewhere else in our system."

http://twitter.com/johnfayman

Chip R
02-18-2010, 06:45 PM
When people go to IN-N-OUT, they have a habit of announcing it to the whole world. You're suppose to be impressed/or jealous. ;)

"Those are good burgers, Walter."

http://img5.allocine.fr/acmedia/medias/nmedia/18/65/08/84/18827130.jpg

westofyou
02-18-2010, 06:49 PM
When people go to IN-N-OUT, they have a habit of announcing it to the whole world. You're suppose to be impressed/or jealous. ;)

Wow!!!

Fast food!!!

I guess it's impressive if you're under 14.

Seriously though, we don't have them here, but the folks down south like em... but their shakes are just as much a calorie monster as their double cheesburger (690 calories)

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 10:07 PM
Chapman on Chapman
Posted by jfay February 18th, 2010, 6:07 pm

It’s been pretty much an all-Aroldis Chapman day. We chatted with him after his first day of camp. Here’s the the highlights. Tony Fossas, the Dayton pitching and Cuban native, interpreted:

How did the first day go? “I feel really comfortable. I had really good first day out. There are some really good guys to make me feel at home.”

How important is it to have Ramon Hernandez as your catcher? “One of better things that has happened is to have a catcher who knows Spanish.”

Bryan Price said you may start in the majors. Is that the goal? “That decision comes only from the top. But I feel I’m very capable and I’ve worked very hard for this opportunity. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I feel I’m more than capable of being a starter in the big leagues for Cincinnati.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

Tommyjohn25
02-18-2010, 10:09 PM
I like his swagger. Sure beats Paul Wilson on the cover of "Pitch to Contact" magazine.

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 10:51 PM
From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

ALL IN: All 29 pitchers and all seven catchers reported and worked out Thursday.

Left-hander Pedro Viola and right-hander Enerio Del Rosario missed connections out of the Dominican Republic, but arrived.

WHAT ABOUT LEAKE? Right-handed pitcher Mike Leake, the top pick from last year's June draft, is in camp for the first time.

But his appearances was overshadowed by Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman.

Leake could be in the major leagues quickly, pitching coach Bryan Price said.

"I don't think you're sticking your neck out by saying this kid is ready to compete at the higher levels of the minor leagues and challenge to be on a major league team quickly," Price said. "In the same breath, you've got to say: You've got to go out there and do it. There's a lot of guys you build up prematurely. That's unfair to him, a 21-year-old kid who is his first full season of professional baseball.

"I think he's a very polished kid (who could) pitch his way and force our hand."

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100218/SPT04/2190373/1071/Back+to+utility+role+for+Janish

Screwball
02-18-2010, 11:04 PM
From Fay's twitter:

#Reds pitching coach Price on where Chapman will start: "Maybe it’s Cincinnati. Maybe it’s somewhere else in our system."


Well thank goodness they cleared that up.

Fay: "Where's Chapman gonna be?"
Price: "Somewhere."
Fay: <runs to twitter account>

OnBaseMachine
02-18-2010, 11:11 PM
For those of you into twitter, Jon Adkins has an account if you want to add him to your list of followers. Link to his twitter account is below:

jonadkins96 - Had a lot of media out for my bullpen today.....or were they there to see Aroldis Chapman?? Yeah probably watchin him...great kid/great arm

http://twitter.com/jonadkins96

corkedbat
02-19-2010, 02:30 AM
nm

corkedbat
02-19-2010, 02:34 AM
From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

ALL IN: All 29 pitchers and all seven catchers reported and worked out Thursday.

Left-hander Pedro Viola and right-hander Enerio Del Rosario missed connections out of the Dominican Republic, but arrived.

WHAT ABOUT LEAKE? Right-handed pitcher Mike Leake, the top pick from last year's June draft, is in camp for the first time.

But his appearances was overshadowed by Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman.

Leake could be in the major leagues quickly, pitching coach Bryan Price said.

"I don't think you're sticking your neck out by saying this kid is ready to compete at the higher levels of the minor leagues and challenge to be on a major league team quickly," Price said. "In the same breath, you've got to say: You've got to go out there and do it. There's a lot of guys you build up prematurely. That's unfair to him, a 21-year-old kid who is his first full season of professional baseball.

"I think he's a very polished kid (who could) pitch his way and force our hand."

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100218/SPT04/2190373/1071/Back+to+utility+role+for+Janish

If all five are healthy, you gotta believe chances are pretty good that Bailey, Cueto, Volquez, Chapman and Leake are the 2011 startiing rotation (if not sooner).

dougdirt
02-19-2010, 02:34 AM
If all five are healthy, you gotta believe chances are pretty good that Bailey, Cueto, Volquez, Chapman and Leake are the 2011 startiing rotation

I can't imagine the Reds of all teams going into a season with the vets in the rotation being 25 years old (Volquez will be 27, but Bailey and Cueto will have more MLB experience by the start of 2011 if they stay healthy this season).

corkedbat
02-19-2010, 02:43 AM
I can't imagine the Reds of all teams going into a season with the vets in the rotation being 25 years old (Volquez will be 27, but Bailey and Cueto will have more MLB experience by the start of 2011 if they stay healthy this season).

Yeah DD, but with strong seasons from the youngsters, I can't see them bringing back Arroyo or Harang with that type of talent ready - especially with guys like Wood and Klinker in the wings for depth.

Maybe one of the young guns falter and they bring back Bronson OR Aaron, but their dollars could go along way toward filling a hole in LF or SS - or maybe signing Votto or Bruce.

Ron Madden
02-19-2010, 02:48 AM
If.......................

Ron Madden
02-19-2010, 02:57 AM
I'd like to thank OBM for all the updates, I'm thirsty for Reds News. :thumbup:

I hope we can keep this thread on topic so the members of RedsZone can appreciate it in the manner OBM intended.

corkedbat
02-19-2010, 03:08 AM
I'd like to thank OBM for all the updates, I'm thirsty for Reds News. :thumbup:

I hope we can keep this thread on topic so the members of RedsZone can appreciate it in the manner OBM intended.

Sorry, didn't mean to incur the wrath of the thread police. :rolleyes:

Ron Madden
02-19-2010, 03:19 AM
Sorry, didn't mean to incur the wrath of the thread police. :rolleyes:

Calm down! I'm hardly the thread police.

Just sayin' I'd rather read Reds News than a bunch of guys criticizing those reporting Reds News.

That's what The Hot Stove Report is for. ;)

red-in-la
02-19-2010, 03:34 AM
Maybe a bit off topic here....but does anybody else think that:

Bailey
Volquez
Cueto
Chapman
Leake

might all pitch in the same rotation soon, and/or that they might one day boil down to something akin to:

Hudson
Mulder
Zito

??????????????

mth123
02-19-2010, 06:17 AM
Maybe a bit off topic here....but does anybody else think that:

Bailey
Volquez
Cueto
Chapman
Leake

might all pitch in the same rotation soon, and/or that they might one day boil down to something akin to:

Hudson
Mulder
Zito

??????????????

I think it could, but I'm guessing Harang, Arroyo and Cordero will all be off the books in 2011 and the Reds will backfill with Arredondo and kids in the pen and they'll go after a big fish for the rotation. Brandon Webb has expressed a desire to pitch closer to home and putting him at the top with Bailey, Chapman, Volquez and Cueto behind him sounds pretty good. Leake will be the first alternate. I can't see the Reds entering their contention window without at least one veteran in the rotation.

klw
02-19-2010, 08:48 AM
One nice collateral benefit to the Chapman signing is that it gives a bit of a breather from the spotlight for Bailey and to a lesser extent Leake. Bailey probably would have been the initial spring lead- which Homer will show up, was his late showing a true break through. Those stories will be written this spring but it is no longer the story and will just be a one day item as opposed to the focus. Hopefully this will allow Bailey to go into the season confident and prepared and Leake can do what he needs to do in his 1st camp with minimal distractions.

membengal
02-19-2010, 08:57 AM
One nice collateral benefit to the Chapman signing is that it gives a bit of a breather from the spotlight for Bailey and to a lesser extent Leake. Bailey probably would have been the initial spring lead- which Homer will show up, was his late showing a true break through. Those stories will be written this spring but it is no longer the story and will just be a one day item as opposed to the focus. Hopefully this will allow Bailey to go into the season confident and prepared and Leake can do what he needs to do in his 1st camp with minimal distractions.

Full agreement. I made a similar point about this possible benefit to Leake amongst the squabbling over Chapman's contract in one of the Chapman threads.


A side benefit, by the way, to the Chapman interest, is that Mike Leake will go through his first camp relatively out of the spotlight. And I have high hopes for Mike Leake being a major part of this rotation to start next year. Maybe even by late this year.

And that definitely applies to Bailey as well. And Cueto. Both of those guys carry a sizable burden heading into 2010 if the Reds are to threaten .500, and they can operate out of the spotlight a bit for a few days thanks to Chapman. I rather like that.

bucksfan2
02-19-2010, 09:13 AM
One nice collateral benefit to the Chapman signing is that it gives a bit of a breather from the spotlight for Bailey and to a lesser extent Leake. Bailey probably would have been the initial spring lead- which Homer will show up, was his late showing a true break through. Those stories will be written this spring but it is no longer the story and will just be a one day item as opposed to the focus. Hopefully this will allow Bailey to go into the season confident and prepared and Leake can do what he needs to do in his 1st camp with minimal distractions.

You make a valid point, right now Chapman is overshadowing the entire Reds team. I would be willing to bet that will assume most of spring training. But when the team heads North East in a month or so, without Chapman presumably, the pressure will be back on Bailey and Cueto. I don't know if Leake ever had much pressure placed upon his shoulders. I just get the feeling that most people think he was a safe pick who has done little to disappoint.

membengal
02-19-2010, 10:31 AM
Per tweets from Fay and C. Trent, Dusty says opening day slot is up for grabs at this point.

HumnHilghtFreel
02-19-2010, 11:04 AM
Dusty on Harang and opening day:


(On Harang)
"He's too good for that, No. 1. I think he'd lost some confidence. Nothing's physically wrong, nothing mechanical or mental, which is where the confidence level comes in. Bryan saw some things that he was doing mechanically, I'm sure he'd heard some of the same things from Dick (Pole), but sometimes a different voice seems to get through. He made a conscientious effort to get his body in tip-top shape this winter by doing various things to get ready, some even not as conventional as other things. We've all been there. I don't care what your name is, other than Albert Pujols and some of these guys. Everyone's been there. The toughest years I've seen in baseball are like years four, five and six, or in there somewhere, because everyone in the league adjusts to you. They've studied you on video, they've studied your tendencies, they know what you'll do in certain counts and certain situations. It's up to you to readjust accordingly."

"When you're a No. 1, you're facing the best, you can't give up much."

(Is he still No. 1?)
"We've got to talk about, what's best for him, best for us. He's big in our equation. We tried to keep everyone here because we feel that they can still do the job."

(Is it too early to look toward Opening Day?)
"We haven't even talked about it. Me and Bryan have talked about it a little, but not much. We've got to get through spring first."

(It hadn't been a question the last couple of years...)
"We're in a performance-based occupation, like most, but probably even more. It's a big responsibility to be a No. 1, you know?"

And the 5th starter spot:


(Fifth spot?)
"Hopefully we can make our minds up pretty quickly, too, without being too judgmental on a couple of starts in spring training. It's going to be tough to get them enough starts and get them through the whole spring without making up your mind. I'd like to have our guys ready, more ready this year than any of the other times since I've been in the game simply because of how we start out, you look at the first couple of months of the season there, we've got some serious teams to start off with - St. Louis, Chicago, Florida, Pittsburgh, L.A., San Diego - which has given us fits, Houston, St. Louis again, New York Ments and then Chicago again and St. Louis again, and Milwaukee and Atlanta. That's starting off with a pretty tough schedule. I'd like to be wide-open by the time we left here."

(Who's in the mix for the 5th starter?)
"There's a lot of them. There's so many I'd probably forget some. It's true. You forget some, then ... We're looking at Chapman, Maloney, Wood's got an outside shot, Lehr on what he did last year, you've got Lincoln - who is in a similar situation like Masset was last year, Micah Owings, Wells on what he did last year, too. He finished pretty strong, Wells did pretty good. We're going to give quite a few guys the ball. Who knows, you can come out with a heck of a long man out of that group of guys. I like Adkins' stuff, too. We've got some good arms out there."

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/2010/02/dusty-21910.php

corkedbat
02-19-2010, 02:54 PM
Calm down! I'm hardly the thread police.

Just sayin' I'd rather read Reds News than a bunch of guys criticizing those reporting Reds News.

That's what The Hot Stove Report is for. ;)

Sorry Ron. I posted just before going to bed and I was tired and pissy. Just goes to show you, never post sleepy or grumpy (or any of those other dwarves for that matter). :)

reds44
02-19-2010, 03:00 PM
I'd throw Cueto opening day.

bucksfan2
02-19-2010, 03:03 PM
I'd throw Cueto opening day.

I would go with Arroyo.

OnBaseMachine
02-19-2010, 03:44 PM
Price on Harang: His best days are ahead
Posted by jfay February 19th, 2010, 2:26 pm

When Bryan Price studied the video of Aaron Harang this winter, he noticed a couple of mechanical flaws. This was not news to Harang.

“When I talked to Aaron, he was addressing these issues already,” Price said. “He was working with some really good people. He was working on loosening up his hip flexors so he has better rotation.

“The most important thing was he getting a little more break on his back leg, so he could use his legs and drive the ball to the plate. What I had noticed on the video from a technical standpoint is his foot was off the rubber and the ball was out of his hand. You lose your power source. It can not only strip you of velocity but it puts a lot more wear and tear on the body. And his stride was really short. His stride has gotten longer.”

“The thing that was great we were on the same page.”

Job 1 for Price as the Reds’ new pitching coach is getting Harang back to his 2006-’07 form. Can it happen?

“I don’t think there’s any question,” Price said ”I think he’s going to have a tremendous year. This is an established major league-innings guy with command. What I think is his best days are ahead of him. You’re going to see better stuff and better location.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
02-19-2010, 03:52 PM
Day 2 observations
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 19, 2010 1:06 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- More and more of the position players are trickling in, especially the younger guys. I talked a bit to Todd Frazier and Chris Valaika.

Frazier stayed in New Jersey during the off-season and said he was only able to get outside to workout once this winter, he was happy to be in Arizona.

Valaika was excited about the new facility as he told me horror stories of the smell of the minor league clubhouse in Sarasota. The Reds minor leaguers refer to it, not lovingly, as the "chicken coup." It did resemble that. It was worse than my junior high locker room. Valaika hadn't seen the new minor league locker room yet, and he's hoping not to.

Earlier today, the Tiger Woods "press conference' was going on right before the Reds meeting, all the players sat and watched it. There were a couple of choice off-the-record comments from guys, but, well, they were off the record. The bottom line is, there wasn't a lot of belief that Tiger was sincere or will be a changed man. I don't think that's a unique viewpoint.

Went out to the field to watch some workouts and will have video later. Saw some BP, Jay Bruce said the ball flies off the bat here with no humidity and the elevation. Bruce and Drew Stubbs hit some monster shots.

I've got an idea for a reality show -- The Bullpen: with Corky and Porky, starring catcher Corky Miller and bullpen coach Porky Lopez.

Darren Baker is in camp for the weekend. I'm seriously not trying to be funny, but from a distance with no real source for scale, you can easily confuse Baker with Daniel Ray Herrera. They wear their hats the same way and their pants kind of fit the same way.

Speaking of Herrera, his bullpens are fun to watch. If I'm a catcher, I'm not sure whether I want to catch a flamethrower like Chapman or a guy like Herrera. I think if you catch Chapman, your hand may hurt, if you catch Herrera, everything else could.

Edinson Volquez watched much of the bullpens from behind the screen, urging on his teammates. He laughed and said, "let's vamanos" as the guys had to run between drills.

Aaron Harang was teasing Johnny Cueto as they practice bunting, asking him how many hits he had last year, Cueto responded he had 8, Harang said, "what, 7 bunt singles?" It may have been.

One of the things I love watching is the individual drills. Later when I get the video all put together, you'll see bullpen catcher Mike Stefanski talking to the young catchers about catching. It's good stuff.

I tried to do more sights and sounds with the video today, we'll see how it works.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

corkedbat
02-19-2010, 04:20 PM
Price on Harang: His best days are ahead
Posted by jfay February 19th, 2010, 2:26 pm

When Bryan Price studied the video of Aaron Harang this winter, he noticed a couple of mechanical flaws. This was not news to Harang.

“When I talked to Aaron, he was addressing these issues already,” Price said. “He was working with some really good people. He was working on loosening up his hip flexors so he has better rotation.

“The most important thing was he getting a little more break on his back leg, so he could use his legs and drive the ball to the plate. What I had noticed on the video from a technical standpoint is his foot was off the rubber and the ball was out of his hand. You lose your power source. It can not only strip you of velocity but it puts a lot more wear and tear on the body. And his stride was really short. His stride has gotten longer.”

“The thing that was great we were on the same page.”

Job 1 for Price as the Reds’ new pitching coach is getting Harang back to his 2006-’07 form. Can it happen?

“I don’t think there’s any question,” Price said ”I think he’s going to have a tremendous year. This is an established major league-innings guy with command. What I think is his best days are ahead of him. You’re going to see better stuff and better location.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

If Price can turn big Aaron around and get him back close to 2006-2007 Aaron, i will be huge for this franchise.

Price has to be absolutely giddy about the raw materials he's been handed with this staff. Now let's just hope he can work wonders.

lollipopcurve
02-19-2010, 04:24 PM
I've got an idea for a reality show -- The Bullpen: with Corky and Porky, starring catcher Corky Miller and bullpen coach Porky Lopez.

I need that to happen.

corkedbat
02-19-2010, 04:29 PM
[QUOTE=lollipopcurve;2026871]I need that to happen.[/QUOTE

Get them a small dog and call it "Corky, Porky and Yorkie"

westofyou
02-19-2010, 04:34 PM
[QUOTE=lollipopcurve;2026871]I need that to happen.[/QUOTE

Get them a small dog and call it "Corky, Porky and Yorkie"

Corky, Porky and Snorky

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_PuZoLkvmBbc/Sfd-mtMMLLI/AAAAAAAADXU/GTz8-OUUwFg/s320/Snorky.jpg

OnBaseMachine
02-19-2010, 06:16 PM
Reds' Bray feels stronger
By John Fay • jfay@enquirer.com • February 19, 2010

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Not that Bill Bray is counting but the Friday was exactly nine months from his “Tommy John” surgery.

“Everything’s going well,” he said. “I’m throwing every other day. I feel good.”

He threw a bullpen with the rest of the pitchers.

Bray has been throwing off the mound since Feb. 8. The goal is to throw a few innings in games during spring training.

Bray, the 26-year-old left-hander, has battled an assortment of injuries in his time with the Reds.

He suffered a hairline fracture of left index finger during spring training in 2007. That led to shoulder tendonitis. He was on the disabled list until July 19 of that year.

He was relatively healthy in 2008 and pitched well, going 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA over a career-high 63 games.

He was shut down in spring last year. His surgery was on May 19.

“You can’t help but feel good after all the rehab you go through,” Bray said. “I feel stronger.”

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100219/SPT04/302190076/1071/Reds++Bray+feels+stronger

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2010, 12:52 AM
The Reds have been thrilled with the early work of Aroldis Chapman. He seemed ready to face hitters on the first day of camp and has shown more polish than critics said he would. He's being shown the ropes by minor league coach Tony Fossas, a Havana native who lasted 12 years in the big leagues as a lefty specialist.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/sc-spt-0221-rogers-whispers-baseball--20100219,0,1463648.story

mth123
02-20-2010, 06:18 AM
Price on Harang: His best days are ahead
Posted by jfay February 19th, 2010, 2:26 pm

When Bryan Price studied the video of Aaron Harang this winter, he noticed a couple of mechanical flaws. This was not news to Harang.

“When I talked to Aaron, he was addressing these issues already,” Price said. “He was working with some really good people. He was working on loosening up his hip flexors so he has better rotation.

“The most important thing was he getting a little more break on his back leg, so he could use his legs and drive the ball to the plate. What I had noticed on the video from a technical standpoint is his foot was off the rubber and the ball was out of his hand. You lose your power source. It can not only strip you of velocity but it puts a lot more wear and tear on the body. And his stride was really short. His stride has gotten longer.”

“The thing that was great we were on the same page.”

Job 1 for Price as the Reds’ new pitching coach is getting Harang back to his 2006-’07 form. Can it happen?

“I don’t think there’s any question,” Price said ”I think he’s going to have a tremendous year. This is an established major league-innings guy with command. What I think is his best days are ahead of him. You’re going to see better stuff and better location.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

Love this thread but not sure whether we should comment and discuss some of the topics suggested or leave the thread for posting news. Either way, I think Harang is an interesting case. If there really have been some mechanical issues going on with Harang and these adjustments work, he could be in for a big big year. The appendix thing may end up being a blessing in disguise. Two years in a row of a somewhat reduced workload should have his arm fairly strong heading into 2010. Add the mechanical adjustments and the walk year motivation and it points to a big year on the horizon.

The Reds pitching looks very promising for the future with guys like Bailey and Cueto ready to make a move up and the arrivals of Chapman, Leake and the return of Volquez probably all occurring later this year. I also thnk that Arroyo is a solid guy and Harang could make big comeback making the 2010 staff strong as well. Hopefully some of the young position players can come through and push the offense to at least average levels. If so, contention is possible. Unfortunately, I think the Reds have too many mediocre to poor position players filling spots making it unlikely that even modest success by some of the youngsters to be enough. Bruce, Votto and at least one other guy need to have monster years to make up for the rest of the starting eight.

With so many years of poor pitching ruining the team's chances, the prospect of seeing a year with decent pitching going to wate is about as frustrating as anything we've gone through.

lollipopcurve
02-20-2010, 08:38 AM
With so many years of poor pitching ruining the team's chances, the prospect of seeing a year with decent pitching going to wate is about as frustrating as anything we've gone through.

You're beat before you've started.

mth123
02-20-2010, 08:44 AM
You're beat before you've started.

Or maybe just being realistic about how bad this team's offense looks.

lollipopcurve
02-20-2010, 08:53 AM
Or maybe just being realistic about how bad this team's offense looks.

There's a whole continuum of possibilities.

mth123
02-20-2010, 09:11 AM
There's a whole continuum of possibilities.

Always.

It was possible for Eric Milton to win the Cy Young and Willy Taveras to be MVP, but the probabilities are much different than the possibilities.

I see four guys with on base skills two of whom are part timers (Dickerson, Hanigan, Rolen and Votto) and two guys with power (Votto and Bruce). The others are more specialized types who are situational role players (Cabrera, Miles), defensive specialists (Janish, Stubbs and supposedly Hernandez), platoon hitters who are only good against LHP (Phillips) or rookies who aren't ready yet (Alonso, Heisey, Francisco). I don't see this group scoring 650 runs without a couple surprises or an addition.

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2010, 10:44 AM
Love this thread but not sure whether we should comment and discuss some of the topics suggested or leave the thread for posting news.

It's okay to discuss the topics in here but feel free to create a new thread to discuss a topic. I'm posting almost all of the blog updates in here but if I come across something that might be thread worthy and draw a lot of reponses I'm creating a new thread just for that topic. For example: the "Price hints Chapman could start in majors" thread. I figured that topic would attract a lot of reponses which is why I created a new thread for it.

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2010, 10:47 AM
From John Fay's twitter:

Arroyo would rather Harang be the #Reds' Opening Day starter. "Opening Day is hoopla. I don't like hoopla. But, if they ask, I'll do it."

http://twitter.com/johnfayman

Chip R
02-20-2010, 11:42 AM
From John Fay's twitter:

Arroyo would rather Harang be the #Reds' Opening Day starter. "Opening Day is hoopla. I don't like hoopla. But, if they ask, I'll do it."

http://twitter.com/johnfayman

Bronson knows about the Curse. :eek:

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2010, 11:44 AM
Rain in the desert?

One of the benefits of moving Spring Training to Arizona from Florida was there would be no rain. Make that not as much rain.

There are showers today and with cooler temperaturs, so it's the first less than stellar day since I got here. Of course, with this Goodyear facility much larger than the old one, there is enough space to get more work done indoors.

Aroldis Chapman is among those scheduled to throw another bullpen session today. It will just be inside instead of outside.

When asked how Chapman was assimilating with the Latin players, manager Dusty Baker indicated he's not getting involved in the process.

"I let them do their thing," Baker said. "Guys will gravitate towards each other. Guys that have something in common. You have to let things evolve sometimes. I learned being the new kid in school a couple of times that you don't want to automatically fall into groups. You want to intertwine with everybody until you find who you have the most in common with. That takes more than a couple of days."

This morning as several Spanish speaking players gathered in the center of the clubhouse, like Johnny Cueto, Ramon Hernandez and Pedro Viola, Chapman was outside the circle and seated at is locker. But he was taking it all in and smiling. It won't be long before he's joining a group and getting more comfortable.

It's obviously early but through the first two days, everyone has gotten through the workouts intact. No injuries to report.

"These guys came in shape. I love that," Baker said. "I think they know what's at stake, how much competition there are for these jobs and we're pretty deep.

"There's an increase in young depth and maturity. An organization doesn't just get good in one area. You have to commend the scouts, the minor league system and everybody for signing a certain type of player and developing that player. Then you have to give the player credit for maturity as a player and personality. It's up to us to try and put that together. In modern baseball, you have to put it together in a short period of time."

One thing I didn't mention yesterday was that Homer Bailey, Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo and Cueto had their bullpen sessions. All of them looked pretty good. Bailey was definitely bringing some velocity.

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2010, 11:46 AM
Reds spring training 2.20.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 20, 2010 11:05 AM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Third day of pitchers and catchers, not a whole lot new or exciting going on. We're supposed to get some rain today, so we'll see how it goes.

Hal McCoy came in for a few days, and Rick Stowe had the line of the day -- "Hey, it's Brett Favre -- I'm retired, not retired, retired, not retired..."

Then I spent about 10 minutes talking to Homer Bailey about his pet alligators -- he's like Crockett or something. I also saw one of the boars he killed on a hunt -- he said it was a smaller one, about 285 pounds. He said you have to get your arrow below the armpit to get to the heart.

The morning conversation with Baker was more about how happy he was the guys came in shape, nobody's gotten hurt or winded or anything. He likes what he sees from his team.

Also, he talked about Johnny Cueto and how he didn't play winter ball.

"He wanted to, but he had a lot of innings, we shut him down there for a while late in the season because he'd hit threshholds innings-wise and workload-wise that he'd never reached before. I heard he was at the academy (in the Dominican Republic) quite often and was working and running. Mario (Soto) said a lot of the guys were at the academy, which I think is a great thing to have that accessability."

On Chapman: "He's extremely shy, which is expected of him, because he's new here. There's quite a few changes. He appears very happy and he has good reason to be. He's quiet, but he doesn't do much, he observes a lot. He seems very pleasant to be around, and he has a hell of an arm and a heck of a body."

Dusty was asked if he paired him up with any of the other Latin players. "You've got to ask them that, I kind of let them do their thing. Guys will gravitate toward each other -- guys who have something in common. You have to let things evolve."

What he saw from Chapman, who is scheduled to throw again today: "I saw a quick arm, one ofhte quickest arms I've seen in a while. He's got a real quick arm. He throws easy. He has tremendous leverage, he throws downhill. I've talked to some people, the money we gave him, there were two or three teams that offered almost the same thing. They were really close, really close. I'm just glad he chose us."

"He's got some guys here whose wives can cook, they can cook. There's not going to be any shortage of rice and beans. ... There's not going to be any shortage of food here, which I think is one of the best way to make someone feel comfortable."

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

RED VAN HOT
02-20-2010, 07:33 PM
Has Maloney been observed this spring? Other than mentioning him as a candidate for the fifth starter position, I have not seen any reports on his throwing.

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2010, 09:32 PM
Arroyo would rather not start on Opening Day
Posted by jfay February 20th, 2010, 1:14 pm

If Bronson Arroyo’s vote counts as far as the Opening Day starter, it will be Aaron Harang.

“Opening Day is a lot hoopla,” Arroyo said. “I don’t like a lot hoopla. I like to focus on the task at hand. Obviously, if they give it to me, that’s what you do. After Day 1, it doesn’t make any difference. If the there’s a rainout, you could be facing a No. 5 or whatever.

“I’ve always enjoyed flying on the radar. I’ll do whatever they want, but if I have my rathers, I’d let Aaron take it.”

Arroyo went 15-13 with a 3.84 ERA last year. He was 7-5 with a big league-best 2.07 ERA from July 10 to the end of the season.

“I’ve been saying for years — that regardless of the numbers we put up – Aaron is equipped better to pitch in that role than me. Simply because I feel his stuff never changes. You’re going to get 91, 92 at the knees. He might get beat up a day but he doesn’t waver as much as far as stuff.”

It’s either Harang or Arroyo. The other choices are Homer Bailey or Johnny Cueto. They’re too young to put that kind of pressure on.

“We’ll see,” Arroyo said. “I guess it depends what kind of spring (Harang) has, or maybe it doesn’t.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2010, 09:34 PM
Saturday’s workout
Posted by jfay February 20th, 2010, 1:43 pm

Saturday’s workout was shortened by rain. The pitchers were done by 11:45. Some notes:

–Aroldis Chapman threw a bullpen session again. He was around the plate again, until he threw a pitchout. It sailed over catcher Corky Miller’s head.

“He was working on his control,” Miller said. “The other day he was really pumping it. His slider was good today. He had some downward action on it. The power’s there. He was trying to hone in on the strike zone. I don’t know how hard he was throwing; 88 and 98 look the same when you hit the glove.”

–Johnny Cueto did not pitch in winter ball at all. “I took it a little easy,” he said. “I threw some. I think it will help me.”

“That’s what we wanted and he wanted too. He had a lot of innings (last year),” manager Dusty Baker said. ”We shut him down for a while late in the season because he reached some thresholds.”

–I saw right-hander Enerio Del Rosario for the first time. He gets it up there pretty quickly for a sidearmer. He gets 3.45 groundball outs for every flyout. That suits him well for Great American Ball Park.

–Joel Sherman of the New York Post had a great observation on Twitter: “Writing who looks good throwing at this point of camp is like writing who looks good in a layup line.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2010, 09:36 PM
Lincoln logs extra work in return to mound
Bouncing back from injury, hurler excited for chance to start
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

02/20/10 4:48 PM EST

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Gradually, and for reasons that couldn't be explained at the time last season, Reds reliever Mike Lincoln was losing feeling and function in his right arm.

You think that just might be an issue for someone who depends on his right arm to throw a baseball and make a living?

After pitching only 19 games from the bullpen last season and posting an 8.22 ERA, Lincoln was placed on the disabled list with what was described as a bulging disk in his neck. There proved to be more to it than that.

"The vertebrae were basically collapsing on top of each other," Lincoln said. "The disk was basically gone and it was pinching the nerve off to my right arm and pressing on my spinal cord. I didn't know what was going on. It happened so slowly over time that I didn't really realize it was that severe. The good thing is I can say it wasn't a baseball-related injury. The doctor said whether I was playing baseball or had a different job, it was going to happen regardless."

In July, Lincoln had season-ending cervical disk replacement surgery. Not only is he back in camp and ready to pitch this spring, he is pursuing a lofty goal. The 34-year-old is competing for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Keep in mind that Lincoln's last 218 games pitched have been as a reliever. He hasn't started a big league game since 2000 with the Twins. That included a nearly four-year layoff while he recovered from two Tommy John surgeries on his right elbow from 2004-07.

"It's something I've always wanted to do. I love starting," Lincoln said. "I got out of the rotation when I left Minnesota. I always wanted to get the opportunity to start. They asked if I wanted to make a run for the fifth spot. I think I have just as good of a chance as anybody, if I'm healthy."

Obviously, health can't be something Lincoln and the Reds take for granted. And going from surgery to pitching again was far from an express lane experience.

Lincoln was well enough to make a 30-pitch bullpen session in September and throw in the fall instructional league in Goodyear. But there was still a long way to go.

"I tried to make it a normal offseason but stuff wasn't working as fast as I wanted," Lincoln said. "It was taking longer. It was more motor skills related and trying to get my scapula to move and function the way it was supposed to move. The nerve had been mildly shut down so long that it didn't function right.

"I had to do a lot of exercises of just moving my head around to get my range of motion back. I had to turn left and right. My whole right side was basically cut off. My scapula wasn't working. I lost a little bit of dexterity in my right hand. I lost touch in my index and middle finger and thumb. It took a while for it to come back. I'd stand up against the wall, put my thumbs straight out, rotate my arm in a way where I'm trying to get my scapula to rotate the same way. Simple motions you'd take for granted. Your body just does it, like walking. You don't think about walking."

When Lincoln returned from his four-year layoff in 2008, he made the Reds as a non-roster player out of camp and went on to a solid season. He threw a career-high 64 games, that included 21 appearances of over one inning and a personal-best 19-inning scoreless streak. The year earned him a two-year, $4 million contract.

In late January, manager Dusty Baker revealed that Lincoln was part of the large contingent seeking the fifth spot. Also in the battle are Aroldis Chapman, Micah Owings, Matt Maloney, Justin Lehr and Travis Wood.

"[Lincoln] is in a similar situation like [Nick] Masset was last year," Baker said.

Masset did not succeed when he tried for the fifth spot last spring but went back to a bullpen role and had a breakout season. When Lincoln last pitched for the Reds, he often entered in the seventh inning.

"I will do whatever and pitch wherever," Lincoln said. "If I'm healthy, my role will take care of itself. Do your job and get things done and they'll find a spot for you to play. It's the way it's always worked. I will concentrate on pitching the way I can pitch. If I'm healthy, I should be fine."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100220&content_id=8103936&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2010, 09:40 PM
Post-workout 2.20.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 20, 2010 1:05 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The rain plan worked fine on Saturday, as the Reds were forced to see more of their new digs, as pitchers worked on bunting and fielding drills in the team's batting cage. The pitchers got to throw some in the cages, but then used the outdoor mounds to throw off the mound. The pitchers and catchers are covered in that bullpen; the roof usually used for shade was able to keep them dry.

Aroldis Chapman threw again, and impressed. Corky Miller caught him and there were several oohs and aahs, as even some clubhouse personnel were out watching, as was most of the front office. I'll have some good video later.

"I felt really good today, the week is going better as it goes," Chapman said through interpreter Tony Fossas. "I'm feeling a lot better, especially as I'm getting to know the players better and feel comfortable with them."

Miller said he was impressed with what he saw, even if Chapman said he didn't feel as strong.

"He was working on things, it's not like he was just out there throwing," Miller said. "He knows the power is there, he's just trying to hone it in and find his release point and pump it up from there."

Miller said he couldn't really get a feel of how hard Chapman was throwing -- as long as a guy's hitting the mitt, Miller said it doesn't seem different if Chapman or Daniel Ray Herrera is throwing -- it's easy to catch them. If it's wild, that's when it's different.

Chapman threw more changeups and two-seam fastballs today. He's beginning to throw the change more and he's getting comfortable with it. The two-seam fastball is something he's used a bit in Cuba and in international ball.

I had good conversation with Yonder Alonso. He said he's really talking a bit to Chapman. Alonso lived in Cuba until he was 11, when his father moved his family to the United States. He has a unique perspective on what Chapman is going through and trying to make sure Chapman has a decent transition.

Alonso said he understands more every day what his father, a pro baseball player in Cuba, gave up to come to the United States for his children, Yonder and his younger sister.

Alonso said he noticed most of the Latin players going out of their way to make Chapman comfortable.

As we were waiting for the pitchers to stretch and get ready, hitting coach Brook Jacoby talked about the change in facilities from when he played. Jacoby's first year in the big leagues was 1984 with the Indians. He said they didn't have a batting cage the first year in spring training and to get to the one in the stadium in Cleveland, the players had to go through the concourse and through the fans. Now, the Reds batting cages in Goodyear have video cameras so that coaches can watch tape from the workout and the front-office types can even watch from Cincinnati.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

OnBaseMachine
02-20-2010, 09:45 PM
First update from Hal McCoy...

Riding with a language barrier
By Hal McCoy | Saturday, February 20, 2010, 11:16 AM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. - The first morning in Arizona was eventful, in a Latin sort of way.

My good friend, companion and pseudo-chauffeur, Jeff Gordon, and I were eating our free breakfast at the Springhill Suites in Glendale. Two young men walked into the room and one nodded my way. Because of my blurred vision, I didn’t recognize him.

After breakfast, Jeff and I retrieved some gear from the room and headed back down to the lobby. One of the young men stopped me and began rattling off sentence after sentence, all in Spanish.

I took two years of Spanish at Kent State and either the professor stunk or I stunk. Most likely I stunk and didn’t learn a thing. So I didn’t understand a word.

Just to be polite, I finally said, “Yes.” He smiled broadly and pointed toward his friend, who turned out to be lefthanded pitcher Pedro Viola, whom I then recognized.

And I figured it out. They wanted a ride to the ballpark. Viola’s companion was righthanded pitcher Enerio Del Rosario. We, of course, said yes and they scrambled into the back seat of our Dodge Journey SUV.

There was total silence from the back seat for most of the 20-minute ride. I visited the Goodyear Stadium when it was under construction, so I had a general idea where it is - somewhere off west-bound I10 between Phoenix and Los Angeles.

When I recognized something, I used the one Spanish word I remembered. “Aqui (here)?” And Viola would say, “Si.”

We made one false turn. Gordon turned into the parking lot for the Cleveland Indians and Viola said, “No, No. Indians, Indians.” I almost felt like ducking and saying, “Where are the arrows?” But I know that’s politically incorrect and I knew he meant it was the complex occupied by the Cleveland Indians.

But we made it. Now what?

ONE DAY in Arizona and it rains. Is it too late to return to Sarasota? Like Indianapolis, it never rains in Sarasota.

OK, so it is sprinkling as the Cincinnati Reds begin their spring training work outs today in the desert. If one has to stay out of the rain, the Reds spring training complex is a good place to dodge rain drops.

It is a palatial oasis in a sea of sand. One has to see it to believe it. The clubhouse is bigger than most clubhouses in major league ball parks and I’ve spent the first hour acclimating myself inside the complex. Times lost in 60 minutes? Three.

The players were able to do calisthenics indoors without breaking their arms against walls and gagging on the smell of dirty socks and jocks. And they were able to do some throwing and pitchers fielding practice (PFP) inside a building that houses six batting cages.

Then some of the pitchers walked to some bullpens just outside the clubhouse for some throwing.

PERSONABLE PITCHING coordinator Mack Jenkins, a guy who has spent 21 seasons with the Reds as a pitching coach or coordinator throughout the system, walked from the roofed cages to the bullpen and said, “We were here for five days doing winter instructional work and it rained three of the five days,” he said.

“One of the people here said, ‘Congratulations. In five days you matched our entire rain output for all of 2009,’” Jenkins said with a laugh.

Jenkins was here not long ago with pitching coach Bryan Price working with Aroldis Chapman, the Cuban pitcher in whom the Reds invested $30.5 million.

“It’ll be interesting to see how he does when he faces hitters,” said Jenkins. “Some guys get even better when they face hitters. I know catcher Ramon Hernandez told me, ‘I was just playing catch with him and he was throwing 95 miles an hour.’”

MANAGER DUSTY BAKER is pleased to have the young man wearing red and said, “A two or three other teams were right there with offers close to what we offered and I’m just happy he chose us.

“He is extremely shy, which is expected right now,” Baker said. “There are a lot of things for him to adjust to, quite a few changes. Everything. He appears very happy and has a good reason to be. He is quiet, but doesn’t miss much. He observes a lot. He has a hell of an arm and a hell of a body.”

Baker isn’t shoving Chapman toward any particular player for him to hang around with, although he is lockering next to catcher Ramon Hernandez.

“You have to let that evolve, let them do their things,” said Baker. “Guys with things in common gradually gravitate toward each other. Guys who have things in common. It’s like being in a new school a couple of times. You don’t want to fall into any group real quick. You want to intertwine with everybody until you find who you have the most in common with and that takes more than a couple of days.

“I do see the other players kidding him some and it’ll happen fast,” Baker added.

“I’ve seen one of the quickest arms I’ve seen in a long time and he throws easy,” Baker said after watching him throw a couple of times. “He is very fluid and with his body type and height and arm length he has tremendous leverage to throw downhill.”

Somebody asked Baker about the culture shock that Chapman must be going through and Baker laughed and said, “We won’t be short of rice, beans and pollo (chicken) around here. We’ll keep him well-fed in Latin food.”

With the slight drizzle persisting, Chapman had his second bullpen throwing session and it was as if a movie star was on view. There were eight pitchers throwing, but every eye was on Chapman. Photos were snapped, including some by members of the clubhouse staff. Reds executives like General Manager Walt Jocketty (who watched from about two steps next to Chapman) and Baker (two steps on the other side) watched closely. Assistant GM Bob Miller, VP Bill Bavasi, VP Jerry Walker, VP Dick Williams and special assistant Cam Bonifay watched closely.

A pop like a rifle shot exploded in the air and Miller said with a smile, “He’s the one who is popping the glove the loudest.” I thought it was somebody hunting coyotes.

And maybe Chapman will need a ride tomorrow.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2010/02/20/goodyear_ariz_the_first.html?cxtype=feedbot

OnBaseMachine
02-21-2010, 06:57 AM
Less stress for Cueto's young arm
By John Fay • jfay@enquirer.com • February 20, 2010

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – The Reds are hoping less is more for Johnny Cueto. Cueto threw less this offseason in an effort to get more innings this season.

Cueto, a 23-year-old right-hander, did not throw in winter ball at all.

“I took it easy,” he said. “… I think it will help me.”

Cueto started the season brilliantly last year. He was 8-4 with a 2.69 ERA after 16 starts. But he seemed to hit the wall at that point. He went 0-6 with a 10.64 ERA in his next eight starts.

He went on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. The theory was that winter ball, the World Baseball Classic, spring training and the regular season put too much strain on Cueto’s arm.

So the Reds asked him not to play winter ball.

“That’s what we wanted and he wanted too,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He had a lot of innings. We shut him down for a while late in the season because he reached some thresholds.”

Mario Soto, special assistant and Cueto’s mentor, urged Cueto to rest his arm.
“I’m pretty sure it will help him,” Soto said. “You need that rest. He did a lot of throwing the last few years.

“I talked to him (Saturday). I told him, ‘You don’t need to throw so much during the season.’”

Cueto came back strong after his time on the DL. He went 3-1 with a 3.63 ERA and finished 11-11 overall.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100220/SPT04/302200035/1071/Less+stress++for+Cueto+s+young+arm

icehole3
02-21-2010, 09:25 AM
the most important thing in his development to this day is he listened to their advice

Strikes Out Looking
02-21-2010, 11:35 AM
Enerio Del Rosario

I love this name. If he's a good pitcher, it's just a bonus.

OnBaseMachine
02-21-2010, 11:38 AM
Baker on Bailey, catching, Bruce
Posted by jfay February 21st, 2010, 11:32 am

Here some stuff from our 8 a.m. session with Dusty Baker:

Did yesterday’s rain put you behind schedule? “It would have some if the regulars were here. But the facility is outstanding. Usually, when you have that kind of rain, you wouldn’t be able to do much. But the cages – with the width of them – we were able to take groundballs. They were able to do come-backers. They’ll able to throw off the covered mounds. The facility already proved its worth It was a test already. It passed the test big-time.”

On today: “We have a couple of plans. One if we get on the fields, one if we can’t.”

The Reds only have two pitchers not fully participating — Bill Bray and Edinson Volquez — is that a good sign? “Bray’s a pleasant surprise. But he’s still a little behind. The guy who’s behind understandably is Volquez. But he’s ahead (of schedule) too. We just can’t rush him. It’s a good sign. A lot of these guys look like they might have played Winter Ball but they didn’t.”

On Homer Bailey (whom I will be writing about for tomorrow’s paper. I talked to Bailey yesterday): “He seems more secure in himself, more grounded. Victories do that.”

On Bailey’s youth: “A lot of them are young. He just happens to be one of the younger ones. A long time ago, Tommy Agee said the hardest part about being in the big leagues is feeling that you really belong. Everyone thinks they belong in the big leagues but until you have some success, you really aren’t sure.”

On last year’s late success: “It gave everybody confidence – us, the fans, himself – especially when you’ve heard about somebody for so long.”

On trusting his stuff: “It’s not a matter of trusting your stuff. It’s a matter of having your mechanics together to throw strikes. You can trust your stuff, but if you can’t throw it where you want it, it doesn’t matter. You have to be able to throw it where you want it most of the time. Nobody can throw it where they want it all the time. If they did, nobody would hit. But you’ve got throw where you want it most of the time. You’ve got to have yourself in the right mechanics to be able to do that.

“Like they say, sameness is greatness. If can do the same thing all the time, you have a chance to be great. Look at Greg Maddox, look at Albert Pujols. They look the same all the time.”

Will catchers Ryan Hanigan and Ramon Hernandez split time to keep Hernandez fresh: “It depends on how he hangs, how he does. It’s hard to come up with that right away. Ramon historically has been one of the clutch RBI guys for a minimum amount of home runs. In a clutch situation, you need a base hit. I think he was second to Joey (Votto) in percentages (that’s correct Hernandez hit .328 with runners in scoring position; Votto .336).That is where Hanigan really needs to improve. If he wants to play more, he’s got to hit better with runners in scoring position. What did he hit with runners in scoring position last year? (.149) We need more than that.”

Is that why Hernandez was re-signed so quickly? “We saw what we had, and what we had wasn’t 100 percent of what we needed. (Hernandez) can handle the bat. A lot depends on his health – similar to what we did with (Alex Gonzalez) last year.”

What are you looking for from Jay Bruce? “I’m looking for the Jay I saw after the injury. That was one of most amazing things I’ve seen. That shows mental strength and the kind of physical shape he was in. It’s hard to lose that much time and come back. The pitchers are as sharp as they going to be. I think was beneficial (Bruce being out). He was in that downward funnel. It’s hell getting out that funnel. I didn’t want him to get below .200. He’s still learning.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
02-21-2010, 11:50 AM
MEDIA ADVISORY: LHP Aroldis Chapman will be available to the media Monday at noon at the Reds’ player development complex in Goodyear (3125 S. Wood Blvd.)...President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Walt Jocketty, field manager Dusty Baker and pitching coach Bryan Price also will be available...

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/downloads/hotstove/022010.pdf

OnBaseMachine
02-21-2010, 12:12 PM
From Fay's twitter:

Brandon Phillips arrives in #Reds land.

http://twitter.com/johnfayman

OnBaseMachine
02-21-2010, 02:01 PM
Notes from Sunday's workout

Manager Dusty Baker hasn't decided yet how much he split Ramon Hernandez's playing time behind the plate with Ryan Hanigan. Hernandez missed two months because of left knee surgery last season.

"It depends on how he hangs, how he does," Baker said on Sunday. "It's hard to come up with that right away to determine."

Offense will play a big factor in the playing time dispersal. Baker is big on clutch players and

Hernandez's .328 (21-for-64) average with runners in scoring position was second to Joey Votto on the team. Meanwhile, Hanigan batted .149 (7-for-47) in those situations with 11 RBIs.

"You've got to admit, Ramon has historically been one of the best clutch RBI guys for the minimum amount of home runs the guy has hit," Baker said. "In a clutch situation when you need a base hit and a run scored, I think he was second to Joey in percentage.

"We have to get [Hanigan] in that mode of improvement thayt if you want to play more, you have to drive in some more runs."

Hernandez, who says his knee has felt good during the off-season was saying all of the right things about how much he might play this season.

"That's up to them. Whatever they decide, it's good for the team," Hernandez said. "I will try to do my best. Hanigan is a great player, a great catcher. If they do that, I will be happy to. It's in their hands. I know I will share my job with him. Whoever is playing that day, it's for the good of the team."

*Hernandez could be used to back up Votto again at first base but Baker believed that hurt his knee more than catching. The club is still looking for someone to play first base when Votto needs a break. It will have to be someone that won't make for too large an offensive drop off.

*More on Hernandez will be on MLB.com/Reds.com later today.

*Showers on Saturday appeared not to set back the schedule all that much.

"It would have if the regulars were here," Baker said. "The facility is outstanding. Usually when you have that kind of rain, you wouldn't be able to do much. But with the width of the cages, we were able to do groundballs, able to do comebackers, they all threw. The guys that were supposed to throw off of the mound all threw from covered mounds. The facility already proved its worth yesterday. It was a test already and it passed the test big time."

*Among those on the mound throwing today were Aaron Harang, Johnny Cueto, Nick Masset and Francisco Cordero.

*In early arrival news, Brandon Phillips was the latest position player to show ahead of Tuesday's report date for position players. Phillips, who entered through the side of the bullpens, just about hugged every player, coach and staff member he saw. Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs, Paul Janish, Chris Heisey and Todd Frazier have been around a few days. Chris Dickerson arrived on Saturday. No sign of Joey Votto or Scott Rolen just yet.

*After the workout, some players were watching the Cavs-Magic NBA game on two of the giant flat screens above the clubhouse. The topic of LeBron James came up and Bruce said he met James last year in San Francisco.

"He's my favorite athlete," Bruce said. "He was cool, a really nice guy."

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

OnBaseMachine
02-21-2010, 02:59 PM
In a span of three days, Price's early work on Aroldis Chapman's command and Aaron Harang's mechanics has been front and center in the pitching sessions. Price worked with Chapman for more than a week before pitchers and catchers reported and made an adjustment to the top hand on his curveball, taking away some loop and tightening the pitch in the strike zone. Price also found Chapman's changeup far better than he had seen in video of the Cuban national team's international competition. Price told the lanky lefthander to trust the pitch in he right sequence.

One of the great expectations of Price is fixing Harang to 2005-'07 form.

"The most important thing was he was getting a little more break on his back leg so he could use his legs and drive the ball to the plate," Price explained. "What I had noticed on the video from a technical standpoint is his foot was off the rubber and the ball was out of his hand. You lose your power source. It can not only strip you of velocity but it puts a lot more wear and tear on the body. And his stride was really short. His stride has gotten longer."

Of course, no one knows why Pole never spotted these issues . . . or if he did and Harang didn't listen . . . but we do know a major reason Pole was fired was because a good portion of the pitching staff had tuned him out.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=PluckForum&plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat%3ae83314c0-a43f-4d37-8346-adfd06398875Forum%3a0ba6a39a-f69a-49a5-9437-24e98cc39cc8Discussion%3a5d6616c8-743d-4817-a883-e6c434b4e7c9

nate
02-21-2010, 03:02 PM
Of course, no one knows why Pole never spotted these issues . . . or if he did and Harang didn't listen . . . but we do know a major reason Pole was fired was because a good portion of the pitching staff had tuned him out.


Interesting...and telling.

OnBaseMachine
02-21-2010, 03:32 PM
Votto and Sutton have arrived according to C. Trent:

Joey Votto and Drew Sutton in the house as well

http://twitter.com/ctrent

HeatherC1212
02-21-2010, 04:48 PM
Votto and Sutton have arrived according to C. Trent:

Joey Votto and Drew Sutton in the house as well

http://twitter.com/ctrent

Best news I've read all week aside from my friends skating in the Olympics last weekend, LOL :jump:

OnBaseMachine
02-21-2010, 06:58 PM
From C. Trent:

* I'm doing a Homer Bailey story today, what's not likely to make it in there is his enjoyment of the Twilight series of books. He even took good-natured ribbing about it, but said it helps with the ladies. Homer is a voracious reader, so he's read quite a few things. Aaron Harang said he's seen the Twilight movies -- because his wife made him -- but wouldn't read the books. Ryan Hanigan also saw the movies, "to see what the hype was about."

* Brandon Phillips was in camp this afternoon. Phillips said he'd been in Arizona a couple of days and had been coming to the complex in the afternoon, but came in earlier today.

Joey Votto and Chris Burke were also spotted for the first time today.

* I watched Yonder Alonso hit in the cage. It sounded different off of his bat. The ball just jumped. I'll have some video of that up at some point.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

mth123
02-21-2010, 08:43 PM
Best news I've read all week aside from my friends skating in the Olympics last weekend, LOL :jump:

Didn't know you were such a Drew Sutton fan.;)

OnBaseMachine
02-22-2010, 10:47 AM
Big day for Chapman, Gomes
Posted by jfay February 22nd, 2010, 9:57 am

I counted 15 people on the list for Aroldis Chapman press day. He has a noon press conference. ESPN, USA Today, Fox and other assorted outlets are scheduled to show.

But from a Reds’ standpoint, what happens with Jonny Gomes is bigger.

The Reds desparately need a right-handed outfield bat. Gomes needs a job. So you’d think it would get done. But you never know.

If Gomes doesn’t sign, you would think it really helps Chris Heisey or Todd Frazier’s chances. Both are right-handed hitters. Either could spell Jay Bruce against tough lefties.

The factor is the Reds are counting on two very inexperienced outfielders to play everyday pretty much no matter the matchup: Bruce and Drew Stubbs.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

HeatherC1212
02-22-2010, 11:34 AM
Didn't know you were such a Drew Sutton fan.;)

Aww how cute. I missed how funny some of you guys think you are when I was in my offseason lurker mode, LOL ;) :beerme: :p:

Hope we hear good news about Gomes today.

OnBaseMachine
02-22-2010, 11:38 AM
Baker on Gomes, Balentien, Frazier
Posted by jfay February 22nd, 2010, 11:31 am

Here’s the highlights from the early-morning session with Dusty Baker:

On the rainy weather: “You’ll be praying for rain in a couple of weeks. It’ll be that hot.”

On Jonny Gomes: “I know he probably wants to come here.”

On Wladimir Balentien’s lack of success against left-handers (.190/.254/.316) for a right-handed hitter: “That’s part of our job to teach him. I don’t like too much that guys get labeled early in their career. You hope could teach him a philosophy on how to hit him. There are some guys who can teach guys. Let’s give him opportunity and see if he can be caught.

“I’m telling you I couldn’t hit a breaking ball. I was laying in bed watching Game of the Week and Rod Carew said something that made sense. That’s how it happens sometimes. I never forget he said you’ve got to hit a breaking ball with imagination. You hit where it’s going, not where you see it. Some kind of way or another, a light comes on. That’s the joy of coaching.”

On Todd Frazier in a utility role: “That’s always a very tough question with a young player. He’s young professional experience-wise. We’ve got (Miguel) Cairo, (Aaron) Miles, (Drew) Sutton, (Paul) Janish, (Chris) Burke. I had a long talk with Burke yesterday. He was a good player in Houston, a real good player. Something happened. It’s still in there. He’s only (30).

“Look at Sutton. He gained 25 pounds. He told he was sick last year. He had mono. For a young guy, he did a good job. We’ve got (Wilkin) Castillo in the mix. He can catch and play other positions. It’s a matter of who plays the best and what we feel we’re going to need, or who needs to play.”

On Orlando Cabrera: “I know his brother. I feel like I know him. I talked to scouts and other people. I’ve heard he’s very assertive, very good on the team.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
02-22-2010, 12:07 PM
Reds spring training 2.22.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 22, 2010 11:40 AM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The media room is a little more crowded today -- we've got about every national outlet represented as Aroldis Chapman will have a press conference at noon (2 p.m. in Cincinnati).

Also, my friend from Fox 19 are the first Cincinnati TV station to show up, so that's good, too. Although, it means less CNati footage on Fox 19. Oh well.

Anyway, it's raining again today, although it's supposed to move out after today, just in time for the position players to report tomorrow.

"Just wait three weeks and you'll be begging for the rain," Dusty Baker said.

As position players file in, the clubhouse is getting a little more crowded, but it's also getting more lively, which is nice.

We're expecting, maybe, Jonny Gomes news today, but I don't see it as any deadline.

Baker was asked about it and the team's need for a right-handed hitting outfielder, which Gomes would be. The RH outfielders in camp are Chris Heisey, Drew Stubbs and Wladimir Balentien.

Balentien has struggled against lefties, so he's not a tradition RH bat. However, Baker said he wanted to avoid pigeon-holing Balentien, who has 25.

"It's part of our job to teach him. It's one thing I don't like to do too much, a guy gets labeled what he can't do so early in his career," Baker siad. "You hope you can teach them a theory and philosophy on how to hit him. There are some guys here that can teach guys. Everyone says what you can't do, let's give them an opportunity, let's give this guy a chance to see if he can be taught, that's part of coaching.

"Maybe someone will say what he's been told in a different way and he'll get it. I'm telling you, I couldn't hit a breaking ball and then I heard Rod Carew on the game of the week, while I was laying in bed watching the game of the week and he said something that made sense to me. That's how it happens. Rod Carew, I'll never forget, said you have to hit a breaking ball with imagination, hit it where it's going, not where you see it. That made more sense to me than anything anyone had said to me about it."

* Dusty noted Drew Sutton had mono last year and has put on 25 pounds. I talked to Sutton and will have more on that later.

* From the "small world" category, Dusty Baker's sister, Tonya, was a missionary in Orlando Cabrera's town in Columbia when Cabrera was a kid.

Apart from that scouting report, he likes what he hears about him.

"I played against him for a long time, I know his brother, I feel like I know him. He's always been cordial from the other side," Baker said. "He's very assertive. I think my sister did some missionary work in his town when he was a little boy. I think we talked about it, I talked to Jolbert about it."

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

OnBaseMachine
02-22-2010, 12:29 PM
Sutton’s season of fighting illness
By Hal McCoy | Monday, February 22, 2010, 11:15 AM

It isn’t often a utility player is the center attention. Usually he is in the manager’s peripheral vision, barely visible until the manager says, “Hey, what’s your name? Go pinch-run.” Or, “Hey, Bud (not his name), grab a bat and pinch-hit.”

Such was not the case when Cincinnati Reds utility infielder Drew Sutton walked into the clubhouse. That’s utility player Drew Sutton, not center fielder Drew Stubbs.

Sutton walked into camp 30 pounds heavier than when he left for his Houston home after last season. And rest assured, Sutton’s weight gain has nothing to do with funny pills or any salve that swells your biceps, thighs and head.

It is called health. Good health.

Sutton was a victim of mononucleosis last year - the kissing disease. But he couldn’t kiss it good-bye, fighting it the entire season, steadily shedding pounds he couldn’t afford to shed.

“It started last spring training when I was still with the Houston Astros,” said Sutton, a solid 200 pounds now after finishing last season at 170. “The third week of March I got sick. When we broke camp, I was sent to Triple-A. I played and got sick and came back and played and got sick and came back and played.

“I was weak and run down and couldn’t shake it,” said the 26-year-old infielder. “I was just about to ask the Astros to put me on the DL when they traded me to the Reds (April 16 of last year to complete a trade that sent Jeff Keppinger to the Astros).”

Being with a new team, Sutton said nothing about his condition, played through it all year.

But he was placed on the Triple-A disabled list and spent a week of rehab in Sarasota. He came back to Louisville and became dehydrated and earned himself a room in a hospital.

He was up and down between the Reds and Louisville three times, making his major-league debut with the Reds.

“With my health, it was tough, very tough,” he said. “I never told anybody but my wife, family and a few close friends how miserable I felt all year. I was pretty proud, though. It was my first year in the majors and I was playing at 50 percent, so hitting .212 may not sound like much, but I was pretty proud of it, especially it being my first time ever as a pinch-hitter.”

So when a fully healthy Sutton and his regained 30 pounds walked into camp, manager Dusty Baker was amazed.

“Last year was a challenging year and a great experience,” he said. “Nobody realized how sick I was last year until Dusty and the coaches saw me this year. You can’t believe how great it feels to come here feeling good.”

In addition to finding a left fielder and a fifth starter, the Reds are looking for bench players and from what Baker has seen so far Sutton is deep into the mix.

ONE MUST be pliant and flexible and I am that, even at my age. So when something better comes along, I’m ready to adjust.

Something better came along Sunday night - a fantastic meal at Donovan’s Steaks & Chops in Phoenix. I had a scrumptious peppercorn filet mignon after eating the best split pea soup I’ve ever had.

So I’m revising my Top Three Out of Town Steak Houses: 1. Donovan’s, Phoenix, 2. The Saloon, Chicago, 3. John Q.’s, Cleveland.

When I made my reservations for Donovan’s, a hostess asked me all kinds of questions. She asked me what I was doing in town and I told her.

When we got to the restaurant, Shane Gladden, the captain of the service people, seated us in a nice banquette. He asked about baseball and the Reds and asked to see my Hall of Fame ring.

The meal was nearly over when I looked below a piece of art on the wall at our banquette and saw a gold-plated name tag slid into a holder. It said, ‘McCoy.’ I thought, ‘Wow.’

I was impressed and they said they seated me there purposely, but the name tag was not in my honor. It was for Al McCoy, a long-time play-by-play announcer for the Phoenix Coyotes of the NHL.

Manager Richard Schumacher even stopped by the table to thank us for coming in and actually walked us out the door (maybe he thought we weren’t going to pay). Anyway, great service, great people, great meal.

IT IS hours before a scheduled press conference with Cuban pitcher Aroldis Chapman begins and the national baseball media is gathering - Jerry Crasnick, Tracy Ringolsby, Danny Knobler and Ray Ratto so far.

Arizona? So far you can have it. It has rained every day since I’ve been here and the temperature continues in the low 60s. When I said, “Arizona my butt,” manager Dusty Baker said, “Just wait. In about two weeks it’ll be so hot you’ll be begging for rain.”

I’ll take his word for it - for now.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2010/02/22/suttons_season_of_fighting_ill.html?cxtype=feedbot

Jpup
02-22-2010, 12:58 PM
So Cabrera dated Dusty's sister. ;) Reminds me of the Patterson jokes. :)

OnBaseMachine
02-22-2010, 01:14 PM
From C. Trent:

More players trickling in. We expect Gomes later today. Nix, Dickerson among the guys coming in

http://twitter.com/ctrent

And from Fay:

Spotten Laynce Nix. Everyone's here excpet Cairo, Cabrera, Francisco, Balentien and Rolen, I believe.

http://twitter.com/johnfayman

OnBaseMachine
02-22-2010, 01:46 PM
From C. Trent:

Jonny Gomes -- and his mohawk -- is in the house

http://twitter.com/ctrent

OnBaseMachine
02-22-2010, 01:53 PM
Talking to Aaron Miles
Posted by jfay February 22nd, 2010, 1:42 pm

I talked to Aaron Miles upon his arrival. The Reds got him from Oakland in the Willy Taveras trade:

Did the trade surprise him? “No, I was told when Oakland acquired me that I’d possibly be traded. I was looking for the trade.

On for coming to the Reds: “I know being with Walt Jocketty before and being with a team that’s in the Central that they’ve seen me play and seen what I can do. It’s easier to come here with some familiarity.”

On his role: “Obviously, I’m second baseman, utility infielder. I can play shortstop, third base, come of the bench and pinch-hit. I don’t expect to be whole lot different than the player I’ve been and am. I’m prepared to do the things I’ve done.”

On last season when he hit .185: “I had a shoulder injury last year that was tough to play through. I didn’t have a whole lot of at-bats once I got into the season. Other guys were playing better than me. It was a tough year – one that I look forward to bouncing back from.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
02-22-2010, 02:37 PM
Just a heads up, Walt Jocketty will be on the MLB Network's Hot Stove tonight ay 6:00.

Will M
02-22-2010, 06:11 PM
Infectious mononucleosis (mono) usually is very bad for ~2 weeks. You get fever, terrible sore throat, swollen glands & fatigue. The fever, sore throat and swollen glands go away after 2 weeks but the fatigue can linger on and on and on. It doesn't suprise me that it wrecked Sutton's 2009 season. The good news is that if he is healthy he has more upside as a bench infielder over Janish (good glove, no stick) or Miles (no glove, no stick)

gm
02-22-2010, 06:29 PM
Wow!!!

Fast food!!!

I guess it's impressive if you're under 14.

Seriously though, we don't have them here, but the folks down south like em... but their shakes are just as much a calorie monster as their double cheesburger (690 calories)

Heard so much about them from the Socalies that when were on the Disneyland vacation a few years back we tried them out. (Been there, got the bumper sticker) My kids thought they were great. My wife and I were like "meh"

My older son still likes grabbing Krispy Kremes whenever we're over by Sunset Hwy or up at the Tacoma mall. It wasn't too long ago that KK was an urban legend like "In and Out" around these parts

gm
02-22-2010, 06:51 PM
Infectious mononucleosis (mono) usually is very bad for ~2 weeks. You get fever, terrible sore throat, swollen glands & fatigue. The fever, sore throat and swollen glands go away after 2 weeks but the fatigue can linger on and on and on. It doesn't suprise me that it wrecked Sutton's 2009 season.

I thought Sutton looked awfully skinny last year, but I just figured he had Jim Coates' ailment (very obscure Ball Four reference)

corkedbat
02-23-2010, 12:08 AM
Hate that Sutton had the struggle with mono, but it's nice to know that it could be at least partially (if not mainly) responsible for his numbers.

A switch-hitting reserve IF with some pop would be a very handy commodity on the bench. Hope he bounces back strong.

OnBaseMachine
02-23-2010, 11:51 AM
From C. Trent:

Dusty said all the position players are here and accounted for -- as far as he knows right now

http://twitter.com/ctrent

_Sir_Charles_
02-23-2010, 11:56 AM
Heard so much about them from the Socalies that when were on the Disneyland vacation a few years back we tried them out. (Been there, got the bumper sticker) My kids thought they were great. My wife and I were like "meh"

My older son still likes grabbing Krispy Kremes whenever we're over by Sunset Hwy or up at the Tacoma mall. It wasn't too long ago that KK was an urban legend like "In and Out" around these parts

Both are "urban legends" here in Houston, but then again so are White Castles. Man I miss White Castle. *sigh*

OnBaseMachine
02-23-2010, 11:58 AM
Baker on the left field, etc.
Posted by jfay February 23rd, 2010, 11:53 am

The morning session with Dusty Baker mostly revolved around left field in the wake of the signing of Jonny Gomes.

“(Left is) going to work itself out. Gomes has been in the mix the whole time. We just had to come to terms.

“The biggest decisions are the extra players. That’s the always the case.”

Josh Anderson, Chris Heisey, Wladimir Balentien, Danny Dorn and Laynce Nix are all in the competition for left field.

“I don’t know much about Anderson. I’m curious about Heisey.”

“We’ve got tremendous talent. We’ve got Dickerson. Gomes is a heck of a hitter. Nix did a good job for us. Balentien, I heard he had a good (winter). Heisey was our (minor league) player of the year. I heard good things about Heisey.

“We’re going to go North with the best team we can have.”

Todd Frazier and Juan Francisco will be in the mix eventually.

“Initially, they’re going to learn the infield plays,” Baker said. “You want to make sure they’re fundamentally sound on the infield. We’ll give time in outfield, too – both of them.”

Baker cited the Will Clark and Steve Howe factor, young players who came out of the lower minor leagues and made the team.

“There could be a Will Clark up there,” Baker said. ”That’s why you just don’t say this is set completely. You don’t really have a choice if a Will Clark comes along. Rarely does that happen. But I’ve seen it happen.”

Francisco and Heisey have more time than Frazier at Triple-A.

“Is (time at Triple-A) necessary? Sometimes, it is. Sometimes, it’s not. You hear the competition is better Double-A than Triple-A.”

There will also be time in center for some of the aforementioned.

“Stubbs ain’t going to play everyday,” Baker said. “This is spring training. Dickerson is going to play center. That’s his best position. I talked to Anderson. That’s his best position.”

But Stubbs is starter for now.

“I think so,” Baker said. “I ain’t going to tell him that.”

So you want him to think he has something to prove?

“He does,” Baker said. “Step 1 is a lot of times the easiest step. He’s the kind of kid that he knows that. It takes time to establish yourself.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
02-23-2010, 12:47 PM
‘I must be in the front row…’
By Hal McCoy | Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 11:44 AM

Walked into Don & Charlie’s Monday night, a popular sports-oriented restaurant in Scottsdale that is stuffed with baseball memorabilia, including autographs on baseballs of Hall of Fame players, including Babe Ruth.

I was barely in the door when somebody yelled, “Hey, Captain.” It was Chicago Cubs assistant GM Gary Hughes, formerly a special assistant with the Cincinnati Reds. I call him Mr. Baseball and he calls me Captain Greyhound because we spent a few hours together at the Sarasota Kennel Club wagering a dollar or two on the puppies and checking up on our racing namesake, a faun greyhound named Gary’s Real McCoy, which made the spring All-American team, but made us little money.

Hughes, who knows everybody in baseball, introduced me around at Don & Charlie’s and even brought the owner, Don Carson, to my table while I chewed on barbecued ribs. And it got me free dessert.

As I was leaving, I ran into Bob Uecker in the lobby and one of my companions said, “Hey, I must be in the front row,” a reference to a Miller beer commercial Uecker did years ago where he walked into a ball park holding some tickets and says, “I must be in the front row.” Then it shows him in the top seat of the upper deck, drinking a beer as he says to a guy sitting next to him, “Hey, great seats, huh pal?”

After dinner, it was time for a trip to Casino Arizona in an attempt to retrieve some of the cash I left there Sunday to help the state economy. After a long, long run of bad hands, a dealer named Christopher showed up and it was if he was my best friend - blackjack after blackjack, a string of 20s and some successful splits and double downs.

I not only retrieved my losses, I made some money. As I went, I kept tipping Christopher for the good hands and when he left the table he leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Thanks for the tips. You made my night.”

Later he saw me leaving and ran up to me and stuck out his hand to shake and again said, “Thanks for the tips.” No, no, Christopher. Thanks for making MY night. And in all my years of casino visitations, I’ve NEVER had a dealer thank me or chase me down to shake my hand for a few tips.

Refreshing.

THE REASON I’m rambling right now is that it is late morning on Tuesday and the entire Cincinnati Reds team is in camp, but they are engaging in physical examinations and the workouts don’t start for another two hours.

Brandon Phillips, Scott Rolen and Joey Votto showed up and manager Dusty Baker said, “I’m glad to have everybody in camp. Now we feel whole as a team.”

BAKER ON signing Jonny Gomes: “He was in the mix all winter for left field. It was just a matter of getting all the terms of a contract worked out.”

When talk turned to left field and who might be there, Baker said, “It will work itself out. I don’t know much about Josh Anderson (in camp on a minor-league contract after playing at Detroit and Kansas City last year) or Chris Heisey, but we’ll find out.

“I remember in 1986 when Will Clark showed up in our camp with the Giants,” Baker said. “Everybody said, ‘Who is this guy?’ Well, he led the Cactus League in hitting and home runs and pretty soon everybody knew who he was. We might have a Will Clark come along here. Rarely does it happen, but you have to keep your eyes open.”

Baker didn’t include Todd Frazier and Juan Francisco in the left field mix, but only, he said, “Because we have to have them get down all the infield drills and learn the infield stuff. Then they’ll get some time in the outfield.”

Asked if Drew Stubbs is the center fielder going in, Baker said, “Yeah, I think he is our center fielder, but I ain’t gonna tell him that. What he’s done so far is only Step One. He has a lot to learn and accomplish and he knows that.”

Baker also said Chris Dickerson will play some center field this spring, “Because that’s his best position and Stubbs isn’t going to play every day. It’s just spring training.”

So what does all this mean?

Uh, left field is in flex, but it looks as if it will be Dickerson against righthanded pitchers and Gomes against lefthanded pitchers - with Laynce Nix, Chris Heisey and Wladimir Balentien part of the cake badder. And Baker said, “Balentien had a very good winter ball season.”

AARON BOONE told me a couple of weeks ago when he was in town to do our Fireside Chat for the Dayton Heart Institute at the Marriott that he was retiring from the playing field and moving to the press box.

It was officials today. Boone will be a baseball analyst on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.

Boone, a former Reds third baseman, played 12 years in the majors. He worked for ESPN Radio as a guest analyst during the 2009 National League Division Series.

I’ll be leaving Goodyear after today, but I shall return for three weeks just before the exhibition games begin in early March.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/cincinnatireds/entries/2010/02/23/i_must_be_in_the_front_row.html?cxtype=feedbot

OnBaseMachine
02-23-2010, 01:02 PM
Votto on Votto: I’m making progress
Posted by jfay February 23rd, 2010, 1:02 pm

I’m writing about Joey Votto for tomorrow’s paper. We’ll get into the whole OPS conversation (he finished third in the NL in most important hitting stat) and he where he thinks fits in as a hitter.

But the most important issue for Votto is his health. He, of course, missed 31 games with anxiety/depression issues that stemmed from the death of his father.

Votto said the offseason was good and he had no incidences. But he wouldn’t go so far as to say he has gotten past all his problems.

“A lot of people want miracles,” he said. “Life’s not like that. I’m making progress. I’m going in the right direction.”

It’s hard not to root for Votto. He’s a stand-up guy, who works extremely hard at his craft. He’s also honest. It would have been easy to say: I’m OK. It’s all in the past.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
02-23-2010, 02:51 PM
From Fay:

Balentien is here. Tony Phillips, Ellis Burke are here as guest instructors.

http://twitter.com/johnfayman

Chip R
02-23-2010, 03:09 PM
From Fay:

Balentien is here. Tony Phillips, Ellis Burke are here as guest instructors.

http://twitter.com/johnfayman


I wouldn't be surprised if Dusty tries to activate them. ;)

OnBaseMachine
02-23-2010, 04:57 PM
Afternoon update
Posted by jfay February 23rd, 2010, 4:21 pm

Just got finished watching the Reds first full-squad workout. Some quick notes, impressions:

–Wladimir Balentien is here. He was last player to show. He was a bit late (travel problems) but he did join the workout.

–Saw Yonder Alonso in the cage. He stung some balls. “You’re following him tomorrow,” Chris Burke said to Chris Valaika. Alonso hit two in a row out to center, one just right of the batter’s eye in center.

–Todd Frazier and Juan Francisco were working out at third with Scott Rolen. Francisco looks pretty smooth there, but it’s hard to get around those 39 errors he made last year.

–The Reds will begin live batting practice tomorrow. “I always hated that day,” Dusty Baker said. “You better bring a lot of bats.”

–No rain today. No clouds, in fact. It was in the 40s when the workout started but it felt warmer with the sun.

–Assistant GM Bob Miller said early popup drills are always a treat in Arizona. The high sky and wind make it interesting. “They might catch two of five,” he said.

–The crowds are very sparse for the workouts. There were nine people at the start; around 30 at end. With 15 teams, including the Diamondbacks training out here, that’s to be expected.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

reds44
02-23-2010, 05:09 PM
I can't wait for live batting practice, I wish I was there to see that.

OnBaseMachine
02-23-2010, 07:12 PM
Smooth day

Tuesday's first full squad workout seemed to have no incidents or issues. All 59 players in camp participated.

There was a lot going on at one time. I watched Yonder Alonso hit in the cage for a little bit. Juan Francisco hit a couple very deep shots over the fence -- to both sides of the field. Joey Votto, Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce all hit in the same group.

GM Walt Jocketty used a speedy golf cart to get around to watch everything. He humorously honked at me to get off of the path when I wasn't paying attention while I was on the phone.

Funniest sight of the day came after the workout. Aroldis Chapman was walking across the front sidewalk of the complex to leave and talking on his phone. Two autograph seekers camped at the entrance walked over to get him to sign. Once he did, about a dozen other guys sprinted across the lawn and surrounded him like seagulls looking for snacks. Honestly, I don't know if Chapman ever escaped.

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

OnBaseMachine
02-23-2010, 07:18 PM
Votto: 'I'm doing better'
By C. Trent Rosecrans, CNATI.com Posted February 23, 2010 6:35 PM ET

GOODYEAR, Ariz. - A few days ago, Reds pitcher Kip Wells came up to Joey Votto and asked, "are you happy?"

It's a simple question with a not so simple answer. Last season Votto missed 21 games due to depression and anxiety related to the death of his father in Aug. 2008.

Votto also missed several games with dizziness and migrane headaches, but still lead the team in most offensive categories -- batting average (.322), runs (82), home runs (25), doubles (38) walks (70) and total bases (266).

"I feel like I'm progressing and I feel like things are getting better," Votto said on Tuesday as Cincinnati position players reported to spring training. "I'm a long way away from where I was last year. But last year was tough and last year's last year. I'm here now and I'm doing better. That's all that matters."

Votto doesn't duck the subject of his depression, but he also doesn't want to dwell on it.

"I'd really like for it to be part of my past and forget about it," Votto said. "Not only is that the healthiest way, you don't need to rehash it because it's not good for it."

When asked if people were understanding about his problems, Votto said, "to an extent." The question was rephrased - "have people around you and in the organization been understanding." Again he answered, "to an extent."

"I'm not saying that with a chip on my shoulder," Votto said. "It's an experience that you don't understand until you go through it."

Teammate Jonny Gomes echoed that sentiment.

"The only one who can truly understand that is him, even if you went through something on your own, it's still different," Gomes said. "In this game, with his skills, he's going to have a long career. He knew, from Day 1 back, that we had his back. He addressed the team. He's a strong kid. A lot of great players don't have to deal with adversity, they're good right away, and for him to deal with that the way he did says a lot."

What Gomes said he does understand is that Votto has emerged as one of the best hitters in the National League. He finished in the top five in the league in batting average (5th), slugging (5th, .567) and on-base percentage (4th, .414) and OPS (3rd, .981).

"It's a breath of fresh air and is good for the game to see that the best hitter is also the hardest worker," Gomes said. "There are guys in this game that are born with the talent to be a baseball player. You can go to the dish, be out of shape and hit a 94 mph sinker, that's just what you're put on the Earth to do. Can Joey do that? Probably, but it's so good to see him put the work in."

During the off-season, Votto worked hardest on his defense. With the signing of Orlando Cabrera last month, Votto became the only member of the projected starting infield without a Gold Glove award. Cabrera has two, second baseman Brandon Phillips has one and third baseman Scott Rolen has seven.

"I've noticed that. I'm sure they'll let me know. But that's not a bad thing. I worked really hard in the off-season on my defense. I was aware of that," Votto said. "When you're the one guy on the team that doesn't have an accolade like that, these guys are clearly good defensive players. You've got to keep up with it. I'm not saying I'm trying to go out and win a Gold Glove, but I have a responsibility to keep up with my teammates."

http://cnati.com/spring-training-2010/votto-im-doing-better-001330/

OnBaseMachine
02-23-2010, 07:23 PM
BTW, Walt Jocketty was on MLB Network's Hot Stove tonight and talked about Chapman. They are currently showing a repeat of Hot Stove for those of you who missed it. He came on during the halfway point of the show so he should be on in about five minutes.

More Reds 2.23.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 23, 2010 6:43 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- What seemed like a nice, big, spacious clubhouse got a little more cramped today as the position players reported to camp. I think I said -- and was told -- "excuse me" more times today than the rest of my stay combined.

But that's a good thing, it means things are getting there. Tomorrow pitchers will throw live batting practice and soon enough, games will start.

* It was a beautiful day in Goodyear, a little cool, but clear skies. It was about anything you could ask for if you're a player.

It was good to see guys going through BP and all that, too. There's only so many bullpens you can watch. In about two days, I'll likely be saying, "there's only so much BP you can watch." But for now, it's a welcome change.

That seems to be the rhythm of spring training -- you're waiting for pitchers and catchers to report, then after two days you're waiting for position players, two days after that you're waiting for games, about a week after that, you're ready for the regular season.

But at the end of the year, the World Series was there too soon.

* The folks at Topps dropped off a box of cards today, and quite a few packs were opened.

Josh Anderson said it was the first time he'd opened a pack since he was a kid -- and then he opened about five.

Drew Stubbs was pretty happy with his card -- it's a shot from the first base side after he hit his first home run, a walk-off at GABP. It's a great card.

The best I saw, though, was Prince Fielder's -- it's of the celebration where all his teammates fell down around him. It's a cool, cool card.

There was a pie of all the Reds cards pulled out from the opened packs. Joey Votto placed one of his on Mike Lincoln's locker as a gift.

* I mentioned earlier about Todd Frazier and Juan Francisco playing infield before LF, but I forgot to mention yesterday about Frazier practicing his scoops at first base with Yonder Alonso. The Reds are still searching for a backup first baseman, and if either Frazier or Francisco can play there (Frazier played 20 games there last year) it would help them as a utility guy to get some at-bats.

* Just some regular BP today, the one "that was crushed, who hit that?" ball I noticed was from Orlando Carbera, which I found interesting.

* More importantly, Cabrera is a high-socks guy. So is Chris Burke. I told Burke I appreciated it, but would prefer stirrups. He said the problem with that is he'd have to go sanitary and he likes a thick sock, so he'd need three sanitaries under the stirrups to be comfortable.

* Some stuff from Votto interviews that I didn't get in the story...

Votto: "I feel like I'll do better this year. Between working and taking advice from the guys on the infield because I have a wealthy of knowledge beside me. I'm just going to work through it. I feel like defense is something you can really work at to get better at."

Votto: "I noticed, and this is no knock on Edwin, I noticed an immediate difference when Scott came to the team. I learned a lot last year from the short stint I had with him last year. I think I'm going to learn a lot in the future."

Gomes on Votto: "Some guys say they want to be in with the game on the line, but when they're in the box you can see their knees shaking. That's not the case with Joey. It's always fun I can sit back and they bring in a lefty and Joey just hits them over the fence.

Gomes on Votto: "You put a guy behind a Joey the whole approach His at-bat determines the at-bat in front of him and behind him. You put Joey ahead of a guy and the whole approach to that at-bat changes, you put Joey behind a guy and the whole approach to that guy changes. There's very few players in the game that can do that."

* Aaron Harang's younger brother Daryl will be in Reds minor league camp. The Reds signed him to a minor league deal. Harang said his little brother will be staying with him.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

OnBaseMachine
02-23-2010, 07:46 PM
Joey knows about OPS! :D

But stat gurus will tell you that the best measure of offensive excellence is on-base percentage plus slugging percentage or OPS. Does Votto know what his was?

“Of course: .981?” he said. “Believe me, a lot of people have reminded me.”

Votto finished third the in National League to Albert Pujols (1.101) and Prince Fielder (1.014) in the category. Pujols was the MVP and Fielder finished fourth in the voting.

Votto doesn’t consider himself in that class – yet at least.

“With those guys? No,” he said. “Those are the elite players. I’m in my third year. I’ve got to prove I belong in that class.”

But that’s the goal.

“He wants to be great,” Baker said. “He wants to be the best player around. He’s very confident internally and humble externally.”

Votto doesn’t show much emotion on the field (except on the occasional called third strike).

“I asked him why that was once,” Baker said. “He told me he didn’t want to show up his teammates.”

Votto is very conscious of such things. He’s old-school in a new-school world.

“Someone gave me good advice a couple of years ago,” Votto said. “He said, ‘Feel your way.’

“That’s what I’m doing. I’m trying to establish myself as an everyday player. It’s a process.”

Just like getting well.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100223/SPT04/302230113/1071/Votto+arrives+relaxed+and+ready+

Ron Madden
02-24-2010, 04:13 AM
Silly question...What are the dimensions down the lines, up the power alleys and to straight away CF in Goodyear?

I'm too tired to look it up. ;)

Nasty_Boy
02-24-2010, 07:12 AM
I don't like the fact that Dusty is still questioning Stubbs... He made every excuse in the world for Taveras' 2008 season, but he doesn't seem have much confidence in Stubbs. Maybe because Stubbs strikesout at a higher rate than he hits weak groundballs to SS leads Dusty to overlook his what Stubbs does bring to the table.


I don't like the fact that Dusty is still questioning Stubbs... He made every excuse in the world for Taveras' 2008 season, but he doesn't seem have much confidence in Stubbs. Maybe because Stubbs strikesout at a higher rate than he hits weak groundballs to SS leads Dusty to overlook his what Stubbs does bring to the table.

I agree that the support for Taveras was too much, but in Stubbs case Dusty is right on. The guy had a .715 OPS in AAA and even with a couple hot months at the end of the season with over 25% of his PAs againts a weak Pittsburgh staff still only managed a ho hum .762 in Cincy.

In spite of the flash that Stubbs most certainly has, that doesn't scream that he's locked up the job. If the Reds had no alternatives, Stubbs would surely rate a long look, but Dickerson has real on base skills and hits well against RHP on a team that is overlaoded with guys who only hit against lefties. If the team finds a productive combination that can provide some mid order power in LF, then the team would be nuts not to at least consider getting Dickerson in there against RHP by playing him in CF.


I agree that the support for Taveras was too much, but in Stubbs case Dusty is right on. The guy had a .715 OPS in AAA and even with a couple hot months at the end of the season with over 25% of his PAs againts a weak Pittsburgh staff still only managed a ho hum .762 in Cincy.


His "ho hum" .762 bested the major league average of .749. I think it's fair to question whether or not he'll be able to produce at a similar level again this year (I suspect his OBP will be higher and his SLG lower), he unquestionably held his own with the bat relative to his peers.


His "ho hum" .762 bested the major league average of .749. I think it's fair to question whether or not he'll be able to produce at a similar level again this year (I suspect his OBP will be higher and his SLG lower), he unquestionably held his own with the bat relative to his peers.

Maybe so, but my idea of winning the job is more than a little better than a low bar average. I'd think winning the job would include something along the lines of a .900 OPS. A .762 with over 25% of his PAs against one of the weaker teams in the league on the heels of .715 in over .400 AAA PAs isn't winning anything IMO. Add that his splits showed over .800 vs. LHP and only .740 vs RHP while his main competition hits RHP fairly well would seem to at least suggest a platoon should be considered.

Handing Stubbs a job based on 2009 just doesn't seem like a good decision based on the personnel involved in the competition and on the rest of the team. In fact, I'd say his AAA season should have probably eliminated him from consideration with only his decent showing in the majors earning him a shot.


Maybe so, but my idea of winning the job is more than a little better than a low bar average. I'd think winning the job would include something along the lines of a .900 OPS. A .762 with over 25% of his PAs against one of the weaker teams in the league on the heels of .715 in over .400 AAA PAs isn't winning anything IMO. Add that his splits showed over .800 vs. LHP and only .740 vs RHP while his main competition hits RHP fairly well would seem to at least suggest a platoon should be considered.

Handing Stubbs a job based on 2009 just doesn't seem like a good decision based on the personnel involved in the competition and on the rest of the team. In fact, I'd say his AAA season should have probably eliminated him from consideration with only his decent showing in the majors earning him a shot.I'm glad pros are in charge of his development. Under message board rule, he'd be buried under a blizzard of snark in high A ball this season.


Maybe so, but my idea of winning the job is more than a little better than a low bar average. I'd think winning the job would include something along the lines of a .900 OPS. A .762 with over 25% of his PAs against one of the weaker teams in the league on the heels of .715 in over .400 AAA PAs isn't winning anything IMO. Add that his splits showed over .800 vs. LHP and only .740 vs RHP while his main competition hits RHP fairly well would seem to at least suggest a platoon should be considered.

Handing Stubbs a job based on 2009 just doesn't seem like a good decision based on the personnel involved in the competition and on the rest of the team. In fact, I'd say his AAA season should have probably eliminated him from consideration with only his decent showing in the majors earning him a shot.

I think you're setting the bar a bit high.

Put another way, I think you're setting the bar higher than anything the Reds have access to.


I'm glad pros are in charge of his development. Under message board rule, he'd be buried under a blizzard of snark in high A ball this season.

Not at all. He'd be in spring training competing for a job with a number of other candidates. I'm glad one of the pros seems to want him to earn the job and hasn't written his name in pen.

Funny it was me who was agreeing with the team's manager when other posters were complaining that the pros wanted him to win the job. So I guess I'm glad that pros are handling things so that snarky message board posters aren't busy preparing his plaque for Cooperstown.


I think you're setting the bar a bit high.

Put another way, I think you're setting the bar higher than anything the Reds have access to.

Not at all. He's in the mix but hasn't slammed the door shut. He would have to do a lot more than he has done for that to be the case.

Funny what qualifies for winning the job these days. It may be that no one distinguishes himself any more than he already has, if so let him play based on what he's done. But last season certainly shouldn't signal the end of any competition.


Not at all. He's in the mix but hasn't slammed the door shut. He would have to do a lot more than he has done for that to be the case.

Right. That's not the argument I'm making though.


Funny what qualifies for winning the job these days.
I didn't establish any qualifications other than saying your criteria are a bit high.


It may be that no one distinguishes himself any more than he already has, if so let him play based on what he's done. But last season certainly shouldn't signal the end of any competition.Right. But a .900 OPS is a lofty goal. I'm happy with a .330-ish wOBA and great defense. It would be far beyond anything the Reds have had out there since Jr. was actually capable of playing CF.


Right. That's not the argument I'm making though.



I didn't establish any qualifications other than saying your criteria are a bit high.



Right. But a .900 OPS is a lofty goal. I'm happy with a .330-ish wOBA and great defense. It would be far beyond anything the Reds have had out there since Jr. was actually capable of playing CF.

What started all this was earlier in the thread there was a quote from Dusty saying that Stubbs hasn't won the job yet and still is in compettion for PT in CF with Chris Dickerson among others. Some posters complained about Dusty and seemed to suggest that Stubbs be handed the job at this point. I'm merely pointing out that there is a lot of logic to what Dusty says. Stubbs hasn't done anything for him to be written in stone in CF.

I agree that a .900 OPS is a lofty goal, but if some one wants to suggest that a rookie who hasn't really done that much in AAA has already won the job, then those are the types of numbers I would have expected to have seen.

Somehow agreeing with Dusty seems to suggest that I should leave Stubbs decision to the pros which is laughable since it would seem that the team's manager would be the pro who will be the primary decision maker.


What started all this was earlier in the thread there was a quote from Dusty saying that Stubbs hasn't won the job yet and still is in compettion for PT in CF with Chris Dickerson among others. Some posters complained about Dusty and seemed to suggest that Stubbs be handed the job at this point. I'm merely pointing out that there is a lot of logic to what Dusty says. Stubbs hasn't done anything for him to be written in stone in CF.

I agree that a .900 OPS is a lofty goal, but if some one wants to suggest that a rookie who hasn't really done that much in AAA has already won the job, then those are the types of numbers I would have expected to have seen.

Somehow agreeing with Dusty seems to suggest that I should leave Stubbs decision to the pros which is laughable since it would seem that the team's manager would be the pro who will be the primary decision maker.

I can dig it.


I agree that a .900 OPS is a lofty goal, but if some one wants to suggest that a rookie who hasn't really done that much in AAA has already won the job, then those are the types of numbers I would have expected to have seen.

You want elite defenders only on the MIF, you want a minimum of 3-4 .900 OPS bats in the lineup and you expect that it should take a .900 OPS to convincingly sew up CF when the ML CF average is below what he even done. I think it would take far less than a .900 OPS to sew up a CF position on almost any team in major league baseball. Maybe the Yanks or Red Sox could field that team but rarely anyone else.


You want elite defenders only on the MIF, you want a minimum of 3-4 .900 OPS bats in the lineup and you expect that it should take a .900 OPS to convincingly sew up CF when the ML CF average is below what he even done. I think it would take far less than a .900 OPS to sew up a CF position on almost any team in major league baseball. Maybe the Yanks or Red Sox could field that team but rarely anyone else.

Not after .715 in 400 PAs in AAA. Winning the job with less is fine, but knocking down the door and sealing the deal before spring training is something else. Especially on an offense starved team where one of its best on base guys plays the same spot and hits with the opposite hand. Stubbs hasn't done enough IMO and frankly, I'd be pleasantly surprised with an OPS above .700 from him this year if he's exposed to major league pitching every day.

While ideally I'd like to have big bats on all the corners and gold gloves up the middle, I never said I wanted elite defenders only in the MIF. I said average is the minimum acceptable. I don't think Jeff Keppinger or Todd Walker would start for me up the middle no matter how much they hit. Most of these posts have been in refernce to Todd Frazier who would need to prove he's capable of average defense before we start projecting him as a 2B like many of the prospect lists have apparantly already done. I think the odds are against him being a starting middle infielder in the major leagues. Playing defense at a position every day is completely different than being able to play a position on a spot basis. I think when some one says that a player "can play there" we take that to mean what we want it to mean. I think a guy who is as close to the big leagues as Frazier is should have already shown that he can play a spot every day by doing it in the minors. The fact that he hasn't may be mishandling by the Reds or maybe there is a different way to interpret the tea leaves. I'm guessing the Reds know that multi-position guy with a decent bat is the spot that would make Frazier special and putting him at any spot regularly would make him a guy with a ho hum bat in a corner spot or make him a defensive compromise up the middle.

As for 3 or 4 .900 OPS bats in the line-up, I'm saying when you have next to no offense up the middle then you need that if you want a chance to win. This team projects to have offensive holes at C, SS, CF and of course on the mound. 2B will be pretty bad vs. RHP. 3B can carry his own weight but not really compensate for the weaknesses elsewhere. Average in LF won't cut it no matter how much Votto and Bruce hit. You can win with an average joe in LF, but teams that do usually have a strong bat in one of those defensive spots.


Not after .715 in 400 PAs in AAA. Winning the job with less is fine, but knocking down the door and sealing the deal before spring training is something else. Especially on an offense starved team where one of its best on base guys plays the same spot and hits with the opposite hand. Stubbs hasn't done enough IMO and frankly, I'd be pleasantly surprised with an OPS above .700 from him this year if he's exposed to major league pitching every day.

While I agree to some extent with you on the subject I also believe sometimes you just got to throw them in the deep end and as long as they aren't outright drowning they should be allowed to learn how to swim (or the opportunity to prove they never will). With a kid who has such vast potential I'd hate to see him handicapped by not exposing him to his weakness. It's time to see if Drew can swim so that is why I disagree with ya.



While ideally I'd like to have big bats on all the corners and gold gloves up the middle, I never said I wanted elite defenders only in the MIF. I said average is the minimum acceptable. I don't think Jeff Keppinger or Todd Walker would start for me up the middle no matter how much they hit. Most of these posts have been in refernce to Todd Frazier who would need to prove he's capable of average defense before we start projecting him as a 2B like many of the prospect lists have apparantly already done. I think the odds are against him being a starting middle infielder in the major leagues. Playing defense at a position every day is completely different than being able to play a position on a spot basis. I think when some one says that a player "can play there" we take that to mean what we want it to mean. I think a guy who is as close to the big leagues as Frazier is should have already shown that he can play a spot every day by doing it in the minors. The fact that he hasn't may be mishandling by the Reds or maybe there is a different way to interpret the tea leaves. I'm guessing the Reds know that multi-position guy with a decent bat is the spot that would make Frazier special and putting him at any spot regularly would make him a guy with a ho hum bat in a corner spot or make him a defensive compromise up the middle.There are many discussions in there but I'll leave it at this. Your "average" and most everyone else's seems a bit different to me.


As for 3 or 4 .900 OPS bats in the line-up, I'm saying when you have next to no offense up the middle then you need that if you want a chance to win. This team projects to have offensive holes at C, SS, CF and of course on the mound. 2B will be pretty bad vs. RHP. 3B can carry his own weight but not really compensate for the weaknesses elsewhere. Average in LF won't cut it no matter how much Votto and Bruce hit. You can win with an average joe in LF, but teams that do usually have a strong bat in one of those defensive spots.On a team who can field arguably as good or better defense than anyone in baseball, with a pitching rotation who is solid, young and improving and a bullpen that was excellent last season I don't believe you have to have an offensive juggernaut to win, especially now in the post ped days. Having more than 2 .900 OPS bats is just that IMO almost regardless of what the rest of the team looks like. I mean sans the elite teams are there any teams who have more than that? Neither of the other 3 contenders in our own division have more than 2 and you could definitely argue that our non impact players are just as good as theirs overall when considering everything. And someone has to win the division.


While I agree to some extent with you on the subject I also believe sometimes you just got to throw them in the deep end and as long as they aren't outright drowning they should be allowed to learn how to swim (or the opportunity to prove they never will). With a kid who has such vast potential I'd hate to see him handicapped by not exposing him to his weakness. It's time to see if Drew can swim so that is why I disagree with ya.

I thnk there is plenty of time for Stubbs. His first cup of coffee was last year and he needs to conquer AAA IMO.



There are many discussions in there but I'll leave it at this. Your "average" and most everyone else's seems a bit different to me.

Average in a COF spot is a pretty high bar. This is a spot with tons of good bats. I als think the projections some have for Frazier are pretty rosey. IMO, he's a .770 to .820 OPS guy in the big leagues. As COF go, that's ho hum.




On a team who can field arguably as good or better defense than anyone in baseball, with a pitching rotation who is solid, young and improving and a bullpen that was excellent last season I don't believe you have to have an offensive juggernaut to win, especially now in the post ped days. Having more than 2 .900 OPS bats is just that IMO almost regardless of what the rest of the team looks like. I mean sans the elite teams are there any teams who have more than that? Neither of the other 3 contenders in our own division have more than 2 and you could definitely argue that our non impact players are just as good as theirs overall when considering everything. And someone has to win the division.

I think run prevention only takes a team so far. At some point you have to score runs. The top run prevention teams in baseball missed the play-offs last year. The top runs scored teams won every division but one, the wild cards were near the top and the one team that scored the most runs in its Division and missed the play-offs (MIL) was pretty bad on the mound.

And what's wrong with wanting the Reds to be an elite team? The goal is to build a team that can win, not fill all the holes with guys who aren't glaring weaknesses and finish third.


Average in a COF spot is a pretty high bar. This is a spot with tons of good bats. I als think the projections some have for Frazier are pretty rosey. IMO, he's a .770 to .820 OPS guy in the big leagues. As COF go, that's ho hum.


I'm curious what you think the average COF's OPS is. You say it's a "pretty high bar" and then project Frazier as being a guy who's going to put up an OPS of somewhere between .770 and .820, a "ho hum" OPS for COFs.

Here are the major league OPS for COFs last year.

LF: .781
RF: .791

Is "ho hum" a "pretty high bar?"


And what's wrong with wanting the Reds to be an elite team? The goal is to build a team that can win, not fill all the holes with guys who aren't glaring weaknesses and finish third.

Nothing is wrong with wanting them to be elite, but what you are doing goes into expecting it and I do think there are some flaws with that mindset considering the circumstances. IMO it's just completely unrealistic to expect us to be built "ideally". Until Castellini and company start acting like the elite I am not gonna pretend that we are. Yes the goal is to build a team that can win pitching, defense, intelligent baserunning and timely hitting is my thinking and that is the kind of team that the Reds brass seem to favor as evidenced by what holes they have filled and with what.

And as I have said a few times we don't need 3 or 4 .900 OPS bats to win, nobody else in the division has more than 2 and beyond maybe Philly I am having a tough time thinking of anyone else in the NL who does. Are we a bit short on offense sure but I think we are making strides in those other areas to make up for some of that. It's not ideal but under the circumstances it as optimal as I think we could hope for.

Homer Bailey
02-24-2010, 09:38 AM
I don't like the fact that Dusty is still questioning Stubbs... He made every excuse in the world for Taveras' 2008 season, but he doesn't seem have much confidence in Stubbs. Maybe because Stubbs strikesout at a higher rate than he hits weak groundballs to SS leads Dusty to overlook his what Stubbs does bring to the table.

I don't see it as anything more than a motivation factor. Stubbs is going to be the opening day centerfielder. I just don't think he wants Drew to know that. He wants him to feel like he still has to earn it, which he should.

Spring~Fields
02-24-2010, 09:57 AM
I don't like the fact that Dusty is still questioning Stubbs... He made every excuse in the world for Taveras' 2008 season, but he doesn't seem have much confidence in Stubbs. Maybe because Stubbs strikesout at a higher rate than he hits weak groundballs to SS leads Dusty to overlook his what Stubbs does bring to the table.

Has anyone in the outfield proven themselves beyond their fielding at the major league level ?

Maybe Baker doesn’t have any surety or strong confidence in any of them for that reason. Yet.

Baker pretty much spoke the same way about Bruce and other players as they came up, a lot of window dressing in words and about teaching etc. But often you witnessed them following that up by going out and finding whatever veteran experience they could get their hands on.

If their Patterson/Tevaras choices had not failed so obviously and miserably, you or we would not even be thinking of what Stubbs will or will not do.

Centerfield bats first, shortstop bats second, even if they are young and have limited experience, should they be tossed into the swim or drown pressure of that to begin with? Even if a SS or CF can’t find first base enough, is that reasonable?

Spring~Fields
02-24-2010, 10:30 AM
I agree that the support for Taveras was too much, but in Stubbs case Dusty is right on.

In spite of the flash that Stubbs most certainly has, that doesn't scream that he's locked up the job. If the Reds had no alternatives, Stubbs would surely rate a long look, but Dickerson has real on base skills and hits well against RHP on a team that is overlaoded with guys who only hit against lefties. If the team finds a productive combination that can provide some mid order power in LF, then the team would be nuts not to at least consider getting Dickerson in there against RHP by playing him in CF.

I think that you make an obvious, good and reasonable point under the current circumstances. I also think that we should keep an alert and maybe critical eye on just how that is played out, and if what you reasonably suggest is actually done. Yet we know that in the past while there was players who appeared to be able to get on base and to field a position, that other’s such as a Patterson or a Tevaras were given longer and longer rope while the obvious might have been ignored, such as you are suggesting or implying above.

Nasty_Boy
02-24-2010, 10:33 AM
I agree that the Reds could benefit from playing both Stubbs and Dickerson in CF, and I don't believe that Stubbs is anywhere near a finished product... I guess it just amazes me how Dusty is so selective with praise with veterans that he wants and the type of player that gives him "the speed that he needs." He went over and above to laud both Willy and CPat, while he finds little things to pick at with Stubbs and CD who both while young outperformed both Dusty favorites at the plate and in the field... although CPat did play a good defensive CF. I guess figuring out the Dust is something I should quit trying to do.

Spring~Fields
02-24-2010, 10:42 AM
I guess figuring out the Dust is something I should quit trying to do.

Watch his words, but listen very closely to his actions, always check the results and outcomes in follow up.

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2010, 10:50 AM
Reds 2.24.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 24, 2010 10:26 AM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Today's the day hitters really get to see Aroldis Chapman. The Cuban left-hander will throw live batting practice.

There's a chart in the front of the clubhouse and it appears that Chris Heisey, Yonder Alonso, Chris Burke and Chris Valaika are scheduled to face him. Of course, I saw a different way to read it and it said Danny Dorn, Josh Anderson and Zach Cozart.

We asked Jonny Gomes to read the chart and he seemed to be pretty sure it was the first group. I asked Jay Bruce just to double-check and he said, "I don't know, this thing is impossible to read... it might as well be in Brazillian. Oh, wait, they speak Portugese..."

Either way, it'll be something to see.

"I"m pretty excited to see how he throws," said Heisey. "Well, maybe against somebody else."

Either way, you're not going to see a veteran in there.

I kidded Gomes that he kills lefties, he should be facing him today. He said there's no chance. Veteran hitters get to skip the guy who is rumored to throw 100 with control problems, that's stuff for kids.

However, Gomes said he faced former No. 1 pick David Price in his first live BP with Tampa. "0-1 change, took him over the batter's eye. Ask him about it. Over the batter's eye."

Dusty Baker said he's tempered, he's more excited to see his pitchers throw against another team.

"This is one of the most unfair days in all of baseball," Baker said.

The pitchers have been working for about a week now and the batters are in their second day. It's not really a fair fight.

I talked to one pitcher who said he'd much rather face veteran hitters early, because they're more likely to be tracking pitches at this point in camp rather than trying to impress people.

* In our morning meeting, Baker started to talk about Ben Jukich, but didn't know he was taken in the Rule 5 draft by the Cardinals.

* Dusty also mentioned that Travis Wood had been working out with Cliff Lee in the off-season, and didn't think that could hurt.

* One of the big TVs in the clubhouse had MLB Network on, and they were showing highlights from Reds history. As Pete Rose put 4,192 into left-center, Jonny Gomes was watching, pantomined tipping his cap and said, "the King..."

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

lollipopcurve
02-24-2010, 10:52 AM
* Dusty also mentioned that Travis Wood had been working out with Cliff Lee in the off-season, and didn't think that could hurt.

Coupla Razorbacks.

klw
02-24-2010, 10:53 AM
‘I must be in the front row…’
By Hal McCoy | Tuesday, February 23, 2010, 11:44 AM

Asked if Drew Stubbs is the center fielder going in, Baker said, “Yeah, I think he is our center fielder, but I ain’t gonna tell him that. What he’s done so far is only Step One. He has a lot to learn and accomplish and he knows that.”



I loves this. Qoute of the Spring so far.

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2010, 11:38 AM
Baker on Leake, Wood, Miles and Dickerson
Posted by jfay February 24th, 2010, 11:22 am

Here’s some stuff from the early-morning session with Dusty Baker:

On the chances of No. 1 pick Mike Leake and minor league pitcher of the year Travis Wood: “Leake just came out of college. That would be a long shot right. There’s not many guys who come out of college and spend no time in the minor leagues. Wood had been hurt. Let them pitch.

The Reds can do that with their depth as far as starting pitching: “I think you can afford to d o it even if you don’t have depth – for their sake. If it was determined they were ready, it would be no problem. But that’s rare. They’ve got to go pitch. Let’s not get in too much of a hurry to rush them up here. I’ve seen too many ruined by rushing them. I’ve seen a few make it but not many. The No. 1 thing they have to get used to is pitching every fifth day for six months. It’s not like college.”

More on Wood: “The reports have been good about Wood. I had never seen until here. People here like his stuff. I talked to him. He’s been working out with (Cliff) Lee in Arkansas, which has got to be good for him.”

On Aaron Miles: “He’s a scrappy little player. He’s a tough out. He can play around different position. Our team played against him a lot when he was younger in Colorado.

His role? “I’ve got see what kind of range he’s got. What kind of speed he’s got.

On Chis Dickerson: “I don’t want to put guys roles yet. Get bats and balsl and go play. Dickerson has as much ability as anyone around. It’s just a matter of him staying healthy. It’s the same thing as last year. People wonder why he didn’t play every day. That’s because I was trying to keep him healthy with his history of injuries.

“He’s an athlete. There’s nothing he can’t do out there. There’s some things he has to improve. He worked hard this winter with Brook Jacoby. He drove an hour and some change a couple days a week to work with Brook. I’m glad we have this kind of talent and athletes to choose from. He can do a lot of things.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2010, 11:40 AM
Live BP, Chapman

Petty soon, the Reds will be holding their first edition of live batting practice. Their pitchers will throw to their own hitters/teammates.

"It's probably one of the most unfair days there are in baseball because the pitchers are far ahead of the hitters," Dusty Baker said. "This is mostly for the pitchers."

At to that -- Some guys might have their hands full with Aroldis Chapman, who is throwing in the session. If the board was read correctly, Chapman will face Yonder Alonso, Chris Heisey, Chris Burke and Chris Valaika.

"I'm ready. It'll be interesting," Alonso said. "I faced Stephen Strasburg in the fall league too. I went 1-for-3. Obviously, this will be lefty-lefty."

Jonny Gomes has some experience facing a ballyhooed prospect. When with the Rays, he took live BP when David Price was pitching for the first time in camp.

"A 1-0 changeup and dumped it over the batter's eye in center field," Gomes said. "True story, ask him."

As for Chapman?

"I can go all of camp without facing him," Gomes said.

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

Chip R
02-24-2010, 12:43 PM
I loves this. Qoute of the Spring so far.


I guess he better hope Stubbs can't read or Hal doesn't spill the beans. ;)

OnBaseMachine
02-24-2010, 01:59 PM
Chapman just completed his first live BP session. Some tweets from Fay, Sheldon, and C. Trent:

Fay:

Chapman faces four hitters. Only one made solid contact.

Burke on Chapman: This kid's got a good reportoire. Someone should sign him.

http://twitter.com/johnfayman

Sheldon:

Chapman threw live BP. Hitters had their hands full figuring him out

http://twitter.com/m_sheldon

C. Trent:

heisey and Burke argued whether chapman's change or slider was more impressive

http://twitter.com/ctrent

gm
02-24-2010, 07:12 PM
Right. But a .900 OPS is a lofty goal. I'm happy with a .330-ish wOBA and great defense. It would be far beyond anything the Reds have had out there since Jr. was actually capable of playing CF.

Cough, Hamilton, cough


I forgot to mention yesterday about Frazier practicing his scoops at first base with Yonder Alonso. The Reds are still searching for a backup first baseman, and if either Frazier or Francisco can play there (Frazier played 20 games there last year) it would help them as a utility guy to get some at-bats.

Good to hear that the starting catcher isn't necessarily the de facto backup 1b

nate
02-24-2010, 07:58 PM
Cough, Hamilton, cough

That's true. He's good...

...for about half the games.

:cool:

corkedbat
02-24-2010, 09:53 PM
Cough, Hamilton, cough



Good to hear that the starting catcher isn't necessarily the de facto backup 1b

Sutton could probably fill in for the few ABs @ !B that Joey doesn't scarf up when healthy. If he's injured or down for any lengjth of time they can call Alonso, Frazier or Francisco.

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 12:46 AM
Miles happy to have fresh start
Infielder sees Central return with Reds as perfect fit
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

02/24/10 5:59 PM EST

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- If there was a machine that could eradicate an entire season from a player's career and wipe it from memory, utility infielder Aaron Miles would be all too happy to press the button.

Spring Training is always full of players seeking fresh starts, and as a new player in Reds camp, Miles is certainly one of them.

"I'm just excited to get last year behind me and get back to the baseball I know I can play," Miles said.

After he signed a two-year, $4.9 million contract with the Cubs on Dec. 31, 2008, Miles did not fulfill expectations and batted .185 in 74 games last season.

The campaign also included two trips to the disabled list -- for a strained right shoulder in May and a hyperextended right elbow that caused a nearly six-week stay that began in June.

And there was more on top of that.

"I had some personal problems, too, with my marriage," said Miles, who was going through a divorce that's still not finalized. "But for the most part, the injuries were hard to overcome early in the year. Once I started to get a little healthy, I didn't have that many at-bats under me. I didn't get a whole lot of playing time at the end of the year when I could have come on."

Over his seven big league seasons with the White Sox, Rockies, Cardinals and Cubs, Miles is a .282 career hitter with a .322 on-base percentage. He was part of the 2006 Cardinals World Series winner under then-St. Louis general manager Walt Jocketty.

Manager Dusty Baker has managed against Miles' teams often and knows him well. Baker doesn't yet know exactly how he will make use of Miles off the bench.

Miles can play second base, third base, shortstop and even some outfield if needed.

"He's a scrappy little player that gives you what he has. He's a tough out," Baker said.

On Feb. 1, the Reds acquired Miles and a player to be named from the A's for Willy Taveras and Adam Rosales. Miles had been traded from the Cubs to Oakland only in December.

"Initially, I was excited to get traded to Oakland because I'm from the area," Miles said. "I could play and keep my kids there. But right away they told me they were planning on trading me. After finding out it was Cincinnati to play for Walt Jocketty and Dusty Baker, I was very excited and knew it was a better fit for me. It's a team in the NL Central that has seen what I can do."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100224&content_id=8132590&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 12:51 AM
From Mark Sheldon's blog:

Yes -- other pitchers threw too

With all of the hoopla about Aroldis Chapman, you might have wondered if anyone else pitched on Wednesday. They certainly did.

On the field I was watching, I saw Carlos Fisher, Jordan Smith, Logan Ondrusek, Phillipe Valiquette and Pedro Viola. On the other field included Mike Leake, Sam LeCure, Matt Maloney. I heard that Jonny Gomes took Leake deep with a homer. But I don't believe anyone else left the field with one.

Ondrusek is listed as 6-foot-8 but looks much taller in person and was definitely more imposing from the mound. I had never seen Valiquette before -- he was a very hard-throwing lefty pitcher.

"I like the fact that everybody was around the plate," pitching coach Bryan Price said. "These guys showed up to compete for jobs on the team. That's been very apparent from the first workout. Guys seem to have an idea that they need to come in commanding their stuff with their arms in good shape. They've done that instead of trying to impress by overthrowing or doing things that get you into trouble. This is a pretty polished group."

Like mentioned in the previous post, Price had pitchers not use a screen. He didn't want them to get into a bad habit by changing delivery to drop behind it. It only became an issue once when Chris Heisey hit a screamer off of Smith's leg. Smith was able to continue pitching.

Among the other hitters I watched -- Todd Frazier, Juan Francisco and Yonder Alonso. It's hard to gauge how they did. They really were at a disadvantage so early in camp. Some had some good hits, including Alonso that last few swings in the cage.

One other quirky moment happened during fielding drills. On a bunt play with Chapman on the mound, the catched yelled "three" meaning Chapman was supposed to throw to third base. But with the language barrier, he didn't understand. He was told three meant "tres" and got the play right on the next try.

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 12:53 AM
From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

ALL GOOD: Jocketty was pleased with how the pitchers looked on the first day against live hitters.

“I thought the whole group looked good,” he said. “I tried to see all of them. (Travis) Wood looked good. So did (Enerio) Del Rosario.”

The pitchers worked without a screen and the catchers called the pitches.

“The hitters don’t like it,” Jocketty said. “But today is more for hitters.”

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100224/SPT04/302240106/1071/Chapman+befuddles+Reds+hitters

mth123
02-25-2010, 01:14 AM
I'm curious what you think the average COF's OPS is. You say it's a "pretty high bar" and then project Frazier as being a guy who's going to put up an OPS of somewhere between .770 and .820, a "ho hum" OPS for COFs.

Here are the major league OPS for COFs last year.

LF: .781
RF: .791

Is "ho hum" a "pretty high bar?"

Well, it would make him a ho hum regular guy which is my point. He's being touted as a core building block with his top prospect ranking and some of his projections. Its a fairly interchangeable part when so many guys like this are available on the free agent market each year. But those numbers in a super sub who can spot in at all 4 IF spots as well as both OF corners make him pretty special. That is something that doesn't come along every day. Why make him into an interchangeable part by settling into the corner OF or why make him a defensive compromise by trying to shoehorn his defensive limitations in as a MI? In either case his value takes a huge hit. As a supersub, he'd be a huge advantage.

Boss-Hog
02-25-2010, 07:46 AM
Well, it would make him a ho hum regular guy which is my point. He's being touted as a core building block with his top prospect ranking and some of his projections. Its a fairly interchangeable part when so many guys like this are available on the free agent market each year. But those numbers in a super sub who can spot in at all 4 IF spots as well as both OF corners make him pretty special. That is something that doesn't come along every day. Why make him into an interchangeable part by settling into the corner OF or why make him a defensive compromise by trying to shoehorn his defensive limitations in as a MI? In either case his value takes a huge hit. As a supersub, he'd be a huge advantage.
I attempted to merge this post and the previous ones on the subject into a separate thread, but for whatever reason, it didn't work, and the posts appear to be gone. Moving forward, let's keep this thread for the updates that OBM and others have been posting. Should you want to discuss the topic, you are encouraged to start a new thread. Thank you.

Nasty_Boy
02-25-2010, 07:54 AM
"He's a scrappy little player that gives you what he has. He's a tough out," Baker said.

Well it looks like Miles has made the team! :D

Can't have a Reds team without some scrap!

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 11:38 AM
Reds 2.25.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 25, 2010 10:53 AM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. - The subject was Drew Stubbs, and Dusty Baker thought back to the scoreboard video spotlights on minor league players that are shown between innings. Baker said he watches those intently.

For Stubbs, he remembers hearing the outfielder as having a rare combination of speed and power - "up until that point we'd only seen the speed."

When Stubbs made the big leagues, we saw the power. He hit eight home runs in 180 at-bats. In 1,588 at-bats in the minors, Stubbs had just 28 home runs. The power emerged at the big league level. Baker knew Stubbs had it, because he heard Stubbs say it.

Baker enjoys taking them all in, he remembered another one of those interviews, with right-hander Sam LeCure, and brought it up to LeCure in their meeting the other day in Arizona.

"Sam LeCure, I found him interesting, because they asked him about his repertoire and all that and he said the best pitch is a well-located fastball. That's how I was taught," Baker said. "Usually you hear guys talk about their slider, curveball, changeup, no, the best pitch in baseball is a well-located fastball. I called him in the other day, I told him I heard him. I heard someone else say they're a good outfielder, they've got speed and never once did they mention hitting. I asked that young man why? You don't think you're a good hitter? Why did you mention everything but the No. 1 thing. I guess that means you're going to be a bench player."

LeCure said he was surprised to hear Baker bring up an interview he'd done in spring training a year before.

"It was cool that he noticed me and what I said," LeCure said. "So many times with this many guys and so many prospects, sometimes you feel like you go unnoticed and just to have a guy who has been around as long as he has be struck by something I said."

LeCure also noted that he things it may have been repittion that drilled him into Baker's head.

"A lot of the guys who were in Louisville last year got called up and their wives would text my wife and say that I was on, I guess I came up on the screen a lot. I guess he had a lot of opportunities to see me. We all look at different things between innings, some guys look for girls, some guys look for other stuff."

The Reds will shoot the same kind of scoreboard features again this year, and LeCure is feeling pressure to live up to his reputation as a smart pitcher, at least with Baker.

"Now he's watching and watch me say something complete different," LeCure said. "Now I know people are listening to the things I say."

* RHP Jordan Smith was hit by a ground ball from Chris Heisey in live batting practice on Wednesday, and Baker had to suppress an "I told you so." Baker said he'd told Smith, a Southern League All-Star in 2009, that he needed to do live batting practice without a screen to help him field his position. As a sinkerball pitcher, Smith is at-risk for balls hit up the middle.

Smith's a decent sized guy at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, and despite a bruise on his right leg, he said he's fine.

"He'll have to hit me in the teeth for it to bother me," Smith said.

Getting hit wasn't the only thing Baker noticed about Smith, who has seen his fair share of TV time throwing in the same group with Aroldis Chapman.

"Hate to see him get hit. I didn't want to be right, either," Baker said. "He's got some nasty stuff, he's going to be nasty."

* A veteran of many Arizona springs, Baker said it's not necessarily the place to evaluate players.

"Pitchers will have to be patient with their breaking balls because they don't break as much here in this dry air with a lack of humidity. The balls are chalkier and slicker because of the lack of humidity. A couple of guys have commented on it already," Baker said. "It's tougher to judge pitchers here. It's generally easier to hit here, too, high sky, hard surface. Big, wide fields. The fields are a lot larger than normal to off-set how the ball carries. It's tougher to judge a sinkerball pitchers. It's going to get smoking and those infields, you can't water them every inning, you're going to think you're on highway 10 out there. It's hard to judge sinkerballers because the ball gets through more than usual and it's tough to judge fly ball pitchers because it carries more. You're going to see some high batting averages and some pretty high ERAs. You have to take that into consideration when you're evaluating someone, offensively and defensively."

* On Jay Bruce, Baker said, "He has a long way to go and he's a long way ahead, already. He's a young freshman playing against advanced seniors right now. But he's too good to play with his own class."

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 11:47 AM
From Mark Sheldon's blog:

Thursday morning notes

The players had their annual closed-door meeting with MLB security this morning, which limited the access a little. But workouts are scheduled to begin shortly and on schedule.

Fifth starter candidate Travis Wood had a nice situation during his off-season workouts in Arkansas. He got to train with fellow lefty Cliff Lee, who lives only a few miles away. Lee starred for the Indians and Phillies last season and is now with the Mariners.

"He's a great, a good mentor and a great guy," Wood said. "It was nice to have somebody of his stature to workout with and pick his brain. He's a soft spoken guy. If you talk to him, he'll carry on a conversation like he's your best friend. He likes to keep things pretty low key and mellow."

*Each spring, the Reds video crew will shoot young players for "down on the farm" segments that are shown between innings at Great American Ball Park. The videos are for the fans but someone else apparently has been watching -- Dusty Baker.

"I remember all of those guys' things," Baker said. "It's interesting to hear kids' evaluation of themselves. [Pitcher] Sam LeCure, I found his interesting. They asked him about his best repertoire of pitchers and he said the best pitch in baseball was a well-located fastball. That's how I was taught.

"I heard one guy say 'I'm a good outfielder and I've got speed' and never once mention hitting. I asked that young man why? You don't think you're a good hitter. You mentioned everything but the No. 1 thing. I guess you're going to be a bench player."

Baker has just given the younger players one more thing to be worried about as they try to impress their way up the system.

"I don't look for stuff. I just don't miss much," the manager said.

*The temperatures are headed back into the 70s today as pitchers do another session of live BP. If history is any guide, it appears that the desert weather is going cause some issues for pitchers this spring.

"The pitchers are really going to have to be patient with their breaking balls," Baker said. "They don't tend to break as well down here in his dry air and lack of humidity. The balls are chalkier and slicker because of the lack of humidity. Guys that haven't been here before commented on it. it makes it a little tougher to judge pitchers here than in Florida.

"It's easier to hit here generally. High sky, hard surface, big wide fields. The fields are a lot larger than normal to offset the way a ball carries. It's a little tougher to judge a sinkerball pitcher.

"It's going to get smoking. Those infields - you can't water them every inning - you're going to think you're on highway 10 out there. It's hard to judge sinkerballers because balls will get through that don't normally get through. It's hard to judge fly ball pitchers because the ball carries tremendously. You'll probably see some pretty high batting averages and high ERAs. You have to take that into consideration when you're evaluating somebody, offensively or defensively."

*Homer Bailey, Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Nick Masset and Francisco Cordero are among those who throw live BP today.

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

Always Red
02-25-2010, 12:12 PM
Reds 2.25.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 25, 2010 10:53 AM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. - The subject was Drew Stubbs, and Dusty Baker thought back to the scoreboard video spotlights on minor league players that are shown between innings. Baker said he watches those intently.

For Stubbs, he remembers hearing the outfielder as having a rare combination of speed and power - "up until that point we'd only seen the speed."

When Stubbs made the big leagues, we saw the power. He hit eight home runs in 180 at-bats. In 1,588 at-bats in the minors, Stubbs had just 28 home runs. The power emerged at the big league level. Baker knew Stubbs had it, because he heard Stubbs say it.

Baker enjoys taking them all in, he remembered another one of those interviews, with right-hander Sam LeCure, and brought it up to LeCure in their meeting the other day in Arizona.

"Sam LeCure, I found him interesting, because they asked him about his repertoire and all that and he said the best pitch is a well-located fastball. That's how I was taught..."
http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

Not sure if I am just mellowing, or it's the offseason, and I haven't watched him manage in a while, but I am actually starting to like Dusty Baker. Seriously, he's growing on me a bit. Do I need therapy? ;)

Homer Bailey
02-25-2010, 12:18 PM
Not sure if I am just mellowing, or it's the offseason, and I haven't watched him manage in a while, but I am actually starting to like Dusty Baker. Seriously, he's growing on me a bit. Do I need therapy? ;)

It's the offseason. I'm guessing by the first week in April you will have a different feeling.

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 01:21 PM
From Fay's twitter:

Heisey went deep twice on Cordero. Video to come, hopefully. #reds

#Reds' Chris Burke got hit the finger by a flyball, going xrays.

http://twitter.com/johnfayman

Tom Servo
02-25-2010, 01:22 PM
#Reds' Chris Burke got hit the finger by a flyball, going xrays.

We should probably just forfeit the season, there's no way we can compete now.

membengal
02-25-2010, 01:42 PM
Apparently Heisey followed up by also hitting two out against Harang.

Chris Burke was born under a bad sign.

edabbs44
02-25-2010, 01:43 PM
From Fay's twitter:

Heisey went deep twice on Cordero. Video to come, hopefully. #reds

#Reds' Chris Burke got hit the finger by a flyball, going xrays.

http://twitter.com/johnfayman

Hit by a flyball? Assuming he muffed a pop-up. Not good.

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 02:21 PM
From today’s workout
Posted by jfay February 25th, 2010, 2:15 pm

From today’s workout:

–Chris Burke was hit on the right hand by a fly ball during popups drills. He was taken for xrays of his right ring finger. I’ll update when we get the results.

–Chris Heisey had quite a day in the cage. He hit two out against Francisco Cordero and two more out against Aaron Harang.

–Owner Bob Castellini arrived. “Everyone’s optimistic this year,” he said. “I was the only one optimistic last year.”

–Johnny Cueto, who skipped Winter Ball, was still in form. I didn’t see anyone hit anything off him.

–Paul Janish was hit by a Homer Bailey fastball. He’s OK. “It’s got more shirt than me,” he said.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 02:58 PM
More Reds 2.25.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 25, 2010 2:21 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- More live BP today, but it was more of the veteran guys going out and pitching than yesterday, which was mostly younger pitchers.

One player locked in, apparently, was Chris Heisey, who hit two out against Francisco Cordero and two out against Aaron Harang.

"It's just practice, it means nothing," Heisey said. "It feels good to put good, solid contact on the ball but all you can take out of it is my swing feels good right now, but it doesn't matter how it feels now, it matters how it feels in a couple of weeks and ultimately in April."

Still, it could be worse.

"It's better than swinging and missing 10 times, but I'm not going to call my whole family tonight and tell them," Heisey said.

When asked if it was two homers against Francisco and two against Harang, Heisey said he really didn't know.

* Random sighting of the day, former big league lefty (and I mean "big") Ray King was among the fans watching live BP today. He looked smaller than he did in a baseball uniform.

We were just talking about King the other day when discussing Austin Kearns. Kearns was never the same after King fell on his shoulder.

* The team's having a cookout today upstairs in the complex on the deck. We smelled the meat as we came in and it smelled good. Oh well, In-And-Out here I come.

* I watched some of infield practice and talked to Brook Jacoby. I mentioned there were 10 Gold Gloves out there between Scott Rolen (7), Orlando Cabrera (2) and Brandon Phillips (1). He said he thinks another one's coming soon -- from Joey Votto. That could take a while with the way Gold Glove voting goes (it's done by coaches and managers). Too often, Gold Gloves are based on reputation. It's also tough that he plays the same position and in the same league as Albert Pujols.

* My favorite part of the day was the older fan who had a conversation with just about every Red who took BP -- he was from "right by where Joey's from, he's from Toronto and I'm from Winnepeg." Unfortunately for my stereotypes, he didn't say "eh" but he did talk some hockey and had great pride in Toronto and Canada. I think I got some video of it.

* I've had a lot of questions about Aroldis Chapman and his contract, specifically about the clause that says if he's in the big leagues before sometime in May, his deal goes from six years to three. While that's technically true, what doesn't change is the Reds have his rights for six years. Instead of being paid what the contract stipulates for those other years, he would then be arbitration eligible. So, in real world terms, it's not like it would hurt the Reds either way.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

lollipopcurve
02-25-2010, 03:11 PM
When asked if it was two homers against Francisco and two against Harang, Heisey said he really didn't know.

Smart

HeatherC1212
02-25-2010, 03:14 PM
* My favorite part of the day was the older fan who had a conversation with just about every Red who took BP -- he was from "right by where Joey's from, he's from Toronto and I'm from Winnepeg." Unfortunately for my stereotypes, he didn't say "eh" but he did talk some hockey and had great pride in Toronto and Canada. I think I got some video of it.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

I wonder if that guy realizes that Toronto and Winnepeg really aren't that close together. In fact, they aren't even in the same province (Toronto = Ontario, Winnepeg = Manitoba), so I can't see how they're from the same place unless he just means they're both Canadian. And just for the record, I knew that information long before I was a fan of Joey's, LOL :p:

*puts nerdy Canadian knowledge away* :D

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 03:43 PM
I had a couple of my questions answered in a Baseball Prospectus chat today:

Brandon (Charleston, WV): Aroldis Chapman is turning some heads early in spring. Do you think he makes the team out of ST?

John Perrotto: I would not be shocked to see him begin the season in the major-league rotation. I know the Reds would prefer that he start off in the minors but his talent might be too much to keep off the big-league roster.

Brandon (Charleston, WV): Mike Leake will be in Cincinnati by _______

John Perrotto: September, at the latest.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/chat/chat.php?chatId=713

RedsManRick
02-25-2010, 04:08 PM
I would really like to see the Reds start Chapman off in the bullpen. He's so young that it would save his arm and it would give him less pressure while he's still in the process of acclimating.

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 04:45 PM
Good days for Cueto, Heisey

The second wave of live batting practice went down on Thursday.

Johnny Cueto broke a couple of bats and I don't think anyone did anything spectacular against him. It was good for the Reds to see Cueto that sharp considering he was not allowed to pitch in winter ball.

Homer Bailey was bringing some heat and came in hard and brushed Paul Janish's windbreaker chest high. He was fine but Janish's eyes were opened a little wider as he gathered himself.

Chris Heisey had the most success as a hitter. Heisery homered twice against Francisco Cordero and did likewise against Aaron Harang.

"They're out there trying to work on things and I was trying to put some wood on the ball," Heisey said. "I don't take any stock in it. it's better than swinging and missing 10 times. I'm not going to call my whole family tonight and tell them."

Heisey said he didn't even remember how many long balls he hit.

Before live BP, everyone took pop fly drills. Louisville manager Rick Sweet put a ball in a machine and sent them way up. The high sky and bright sun made it adventurous. At least there was no wind.

Guys had trouble tracking the pop ups and there was the occassional miss or two players getting a little two close converging on the same ball.

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

corkedbat
02-25-2010, 04:48 PM
Hit by a flyball? Assuming he muffed a pop-up. Not good.

I'll bet he was pointing at it saying, "Here it comes!" abd then BAM! I hate when that happems. :p:

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 05:17 PM
There was one casualty from the session. Infielder Chris Burke, a non-roster invite, suffered a dislocated right ring finger when a ball kicked off of it. X-ray showed a small fracture. He will be re-examined in a couple of days after the swelling goes down.

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

gm
02-25-2010, 07:45 PM
I wonder if that guy realizes that Toronto and Winnepeg really aren't that close together. In fact, they aren't even in the same province (Toronto = Ontario, Winnepeg = Manitoba), so I can't see how they're from the same place unless he just means they're both Canadian.

I knew that and I live on the west coast and haven't studied the Canadian provinces since junior high.

It reminded me of a line from Fiddler on the Roof. Tevye and Lazar Wolf are getting ready to leave their village and they ask each other where they're headed. One says "New York, USA" and the other says "Chicago, USA" and Tevye says "great, we'll be neighbors!"

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 08:01 PM
Dickerson wants a shot in CF
By C. Trent Rosecrans, CNATI.com Posted February 25, 2010 6:22 PM ET

GOODYEAR, Ariz. - Chris Dickerson knows this isn't going to sound right.

He doesn't want it coming of as whiny or unhappy - but he is frustrated. Dickerson's a competitor, he's always competed and prevailed. He wants to be the best and works hard to be the best. He's proud of what he did last season as a rookie and that's why it's hard for him to understand why nobody is mentioning him as a contender for the starting job in centerfield.

"I don't understand why that is. Why, maybe it's just because, I don't know. I have no clue," Dickerson said. "I can understand that I struggled some last year, but it's funny because people forget that before I got hurt I was hitting, I hitting close to .350 over the last month-and-a-half. My on-base percentage was close to .389."

Dickerson started off the 2009 season slowly, dipping below .200 in May and was at .234 as late as June 14. But he rebounded, hitting .318 in the next 43 games to raise his batting average to .277, and ended the season at .275. He also played well n centerfield and was the team's best leadoff hitter, hitting .298 with a .365 OB in 29 games in the leadoff spot.

"If you want me in the leadoff position, that's what I did. I got on base last year," Dickerson said. "I did everything I was supposed to do."

Except the one thing he can't control - staying healthy.

Since being called up in August of 2008, Dickerson has been on the disabled list three times, twice last season and once in 2008. He also spent time on Class AAA Louisville's disabled list in 2008.

"Dickerson has as much ability as anybody, it's just a matter of him staying healthy, the same thing I said last year," Baker said. "People want to know why he didn't play every day, and that's because I wanted to keep him healthy with his history of injuries."

But that's still frustrating to Dickerson - who understands his rant can come off wrong, and doesn't want to sound unhappy or like a jerk.

"It's kind of angry and it's frustration and I know it's going to come out that way, I know," Dickerson said.

Drew Stubbs is the favorite to be in centerfield on Opening Day.

Stubbs impressed in his short time in Cincinnati last season, hitting eight home runs in 180 at-bats, while hitting .267 and playing outstanding defense.

What strikes Dickerson is that his numbers weren't that different when he came up in 2008. Dickerson also came up in the middle of August and he hit six home runs in 102 at-bats, while batting .304. Like his 2009, it was cut short by a trip to the disable list.

Instead of giving him a chance to win the centerfield spot last spring, the Reds signed Willy Taveras. No further explanation is needed to remind Reds fans how that turned out.

With Taveras playing more than he wasn't, Dickerson played all three outfield positions, starting 27 games in left, 19 in center and 13 in right. He produced, too, finishing sixth among National League rookies in batting average (.275), fourth in stolen bases (11), third in on-base percentage (.379), sixth in walks (39) and tied for third in outfield assists (5).

"I'm not trying to make this as a stab at the general audience, I don't understand how I get written off," Dickerson said. "Drew's a great player, but you know, when I was in center, I don't remember a whole lot of balls falling out there. Everyone's wanting to put me in left, that's OK with me, I'm comfortable in all three positions."

Centerfield is like shortstop, the players that play there are usually a little defensive about their turf - it's the most important position of the outfield defensively, it sets a tone and it takes a certain attitude to want to be in the most crucial position. Dickerson says he's fine playing any of the other positions, but he's a centerfielder. According to Ultimate Zone Rating, it's also his best. His UZR/150, which measures how many runs above or under average a player is over the course of 150 games, was 45.5, while he was minus-21.5 in right and 21.8 in left. Small sample sizes can make advanced fielding stats notoriously unreliable and variable from year-to-year, but needless to say, it means he played a mean centerfield (Stubbs' UZR/150 in CF was 28.5)

"I've played that my entire career since I've been with the Reds," Dickerson said. "Now I've been slated as left field and even then it's not maybe he'll take over center, nope, no, he's battling for left. I don't understand it. You can ask anyone I've played with what my best position is and they'll give you a clear-cut answer. It's not even a question for them, it's centerfield."

Stubbs, for his part, says he isn't taking anything for granted. He's certainly got a claim to the centerfield spot, too. He's consistently be healthy since he was the first-round pick of the Reds in 2006 and led the Reds in home runs (5) and stolen bases (7) in September. In 40 starts, he had 15 multi-hit games.

"I'm looking at this spring as, obviously I had a time up and was up there, I still feel like I have a lot to prove," Stubbs said. "I haven't had a full season yet. I'm looking at this as if I have as much to prove as anyone else."

It's Dickerson, though, who is feeling the pressure. And he knows the antidote is simple. "I guess I'll just have to go out and hit .450 this spring," he said.

http://cnati.com/spring-training-2010/dickerson-wants-a-shot-in-cf-001356/

OnBaseMachine
02-25-2010, 08:04 PM
Stubbs out to prove '09 was no fluke
After strong finish, center fielder aims to hold onto starting spot
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

02/25/10 7:24 PM EST

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Based on just over six weeks in the Major Leagues with the Reds last season, Drew Stubbs put himself on the inside track for the regular center fielder's job this spring. It's now his job to lose.

That was some six weeks.

"I don't know many young men that come to the big leagues and do better than they did in the Minor Leagues," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Stubbs, 25, was the Reds' first-round Draft choice in 2006 and earned his first call up to the Reds on Aug. 19 when Willy Taveras was injured. In only 42 games, Stubbs batted .267 with a .323 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot but also had eight home runs and 17 RBIs.

After his promotion, Stubbs led the team in homers, stolen bases (10) was second in total bases and runs scored. In 107 games at Triple-A Louisville before the call up, he had three homers, 39 RBIs, 46 steals and a .268 average.

"It was huge. I proved to myself that I could play at that level," Stubbs said. "I think it showed me and the organization that I am capable. Coming into the spring for me, I used last season as a springboard into the offseason to get myself ready mentally and physically to play."

Stubbs, who spent his offseason in Austin working out at the University of Texas, with Cardinals All-Star slugger Matt Holliday and Rangers catcher Taylor Teagarden, already had a leg up on the center field spot. The Reds' trade of the disappointing Taveras on Feb. 1 further solidified the move.

But six weeks does not a big league career make and Stubbs knows it. With other talented outfielders in camp, namely a natural center fielder in left fielder Chris Dickerson, it's not a situation written down in pen, yet.

"I definitely have to go out and win the job," Stubbs said. "Things worked in my favor with the trading away of Willy. But at the same time, I'm looking at it as an open campaign. I need to win the job and earn it. I need to have a good spring in order to do that."

The leadoff situation was a disaster last season when Taveras struggled to get on base or draw walks. With Stubbs a still unproven entity, it will be a question mark heading into the season. One reason for optimism though is the Reds went 28-16 after Stubbs' promotion.

Stubbs, who had three leadoff homers for Cincinnati, also had 15 walks and 49 strikeouts and 51 walks with 104 strikeouts at Louisville. The club likes the power but is working with him to draw more walks and improve his bunting so he can use his speed more.

"We're trying to help with his full-phased game right now," Baker said.

"You didn't know what you were supposed to see because that's the best he's done. But that also shows you what he can do. If you can do it once, you can do it twice and you can do it better -- if you have the aptitude and the will and desire to get better, which I think he does."

Stubbs once said in an interview that he had a rare combination of speed and power. He realizes he's not prototypical leadoff-hitting center fielder but the mold has also changed in recent years. Last year, Curtis Granderson was a 30-homer hitter from the leadoff spot. The Indians' Grady Sizemore hit 33 homers from the top spot two seasons ago.

"I feel like I've worked counts but at the same time, I'm aggressive if I get a good pitch to hit and try to drive it," Stubbs said. "Curtis Granderson and Grady Sizemore can do that also. Those are two great guys to follow. They do a lot of things well. They get the extra base hits and home runs and also get on base and stir up the base paths a little. Seeing their success is something I can try to emulate."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100225&content_id=8141022&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

Always Red
02-25-2010, 08:26 PM
I like Dickerson.
I like Stubbs.
I like Heisey.
I like Gomes (sometimes)

it's a good problem to have.

11larkin11
02-26-2010, 02:19 AM
I like Dickerson.
I like Stubbs.
I like Heisey.
I like Gomes (sometimes)

it's a good problem to have.

I like Bruce

Ron Madden
02-26-2010, 03:40 AM
I like 'em all but I can understand Chris Dickerson's Frustration.

I honestly believe Dickerson plays CF just as good as Drew Stubbs and that Dickerson is the better offensive player.

But that' a discussion for another thread.

membengal
02-26-2010, 04:08 AM
I hear what Dickerson is saying, but it's sure not like he seized the opportunity when it was presented to him last season.

redsmetz
02-26-2010, 06:02 AM
I like 'em all but I can understand Chris Dickerson's Frustration.

I honestly believe Dickerson plays CF just as good as Drew Stubbs and that Dickerson is the better offensive player.

But that' a discussion for another thread.

Someone said it earlier, it's a good problem to have. And Dusty said some time over the off-season, that he likes players to have a chip on their shoulder driving them. Dickerson said it himself, he'll just need to go out and prove himself and force the issue. And Stubbs is saying the same thing. Everyone of those guys hungry (and this would include Balentien) can only be a good thing. Even with some grousing.

mth123
02-26-2010, 06:33 AM
Dickerson AAA in 2008: OPS .862, wOBA .387, ISO .192
Dickerson Majors 2008: OPS 1.021, wOBA .432, ISO .304
Dickerson 2009: OPS .743, wOBA .339, ISO .098

Stubbs AAA in 2009: OPS .713, wOBA .344, ISO ..092
Stubbs Majors in 2009: OPS .762, wOBA .335. ISO .172

Dickerson hits lefty and is good against RHP which is a team need.
Stubbs hits righty and is better vs. LHP like most of the rest of the team.

Dickerson with his 2008 season couldn't win the job and the team went out and signed Willy T in response.

Stubbs with his 2009 season seemingly has everyone's endorsement and management rid themselves of Willy in response.

Dickerson's wOBA in his disappointing 2009 is higher than Stubbs wOBA when he supposedly slammed the door on the job.

I see why Dickerson is confused. I'm confused too.

Nasty_Boy
02-26-2010, 06:35 AM
I would love to see a Dickerson - Stubbs platoon in CF, but that might make too much sense. I don't like CD taking up ABs in LF while hitting in the 8 hole, because that's a waste of his talents and a waste of an offensive position.

Nasty_Boy
02-26-2010, 06:40 AM
Dickerson AAA in 2008: OPS .862, wOBA .387, ISO .192
Dickerson Majors 2008: OPS 1.021, wOBA .432, ISO .304
Dickerson 2009: OPS .743, wOBA .339, ISO .098

Stubbs AAA in 2009: OPS .713, wOBA .344, ISO ..092
Stubbs Majors in 2009: OPS .762, wOBA .335. ISO .172

Dickerson hits lefty and is good against RHP which is a team need.
Stubbs hits righty and is better vs. LHP like most of the rest of the team.

Dickerson with his 2008 season couldn't win the job and the team went out and signed Willy T in response.

Stubbs with his 2009 season seemingly has everyone's endorsement and management rid themselves of Willy in response.

Dickerson's wOBA in his disappointing 2009 is higher than Stubbs wOBA when he supposedly slammed the door on the job.

I see why Dickerson is confused. I'm confused too.

I totally agree... This was yet another reason I was so ticked off about the Willy signing last year. There was nothing to indicate that he would outproduce the in-house options. It was a poor judge of talent and a big waste of prescious resources. Dickersons perfromance in 08 should have been more than enough to go into spring training with him as their CF.

membengal
02-26-2010, 06:42 AM
mth, I was right there on the Dickerson bandwagon and pushing him for a position a year ago, leading the charge, as I recall. But when given the opportunity, albeit in LF, or to step to it in CF when Taveras inevitably gagged, he really was not able to answer the bell. And that's why he is behind Stubbs, at least at this point.

Stubbs stumbles, as so many on here seem to expect/hope, Dickerson will be up again in CF. Heck, he may be up in LF if he goes out and does something this spring. But he sure hasn't earned default starter, either. And Stubbs' glove in CF, for all the protestations to the contrary from a lot of really good posters on this board whom I respect, makes him a good first choice, even if he OPS around .725.

Always Red
02-26-2010, 07:57 AM
I like Bruce

Well, I do too, and penciled him into RF all by himself.

OnBaseMachine
02-26-2010, 11:02 AM
Update on Burke
Posted by jfay February 26th, 2010, 10:42 am

Chris Burke is probably out for at least two weeks with the broken right ring finger.

“I’m going to have to stay off it for at least a week or so,” he said. “Then I’ll start feeling my way. It’s a matter of the stability of the joint.”

A ball hit off his finger during a popup drill.

“I was going to catch it with two hands, like you’ve been taught since you were 5 years old,” he said. “I put that hand in there a little too quick. It tipped off the finger. It caught me square.”

Arizona is notorious for being tough at far as popups.

“This wasn’t a crazy popup,” Burke said. “I was right underneath it. I took it for granted and put my hand in there too soon.”

It’s a tough break for someone trying to make the team.

“Very tough break,” Dusty Baker said. “I was talking to him today about how to stay ready. . . work on your legs, come back in great, great shape. Keep your other arm strong, which is lead arm for hitting.”

Actually, Baker said now is good team to get hurt, if you’re on the bubble.

“It’s better to get hurt early than in the middle or late,” he said. “He still could be in our plans. This guy was a good player in Houston.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

OnBaseMachine
02-26-2010, 11:30 AM
Talking with Rolen
Posted by jfay February 26th, 2010, 11:12 am

I’m writing about Scott Rolen for tomorrow’s paper. He’s an interesting guy to talk to. Here’s a little preview:

The restructuring of his contract was in the works since the last day of the season. Walt Jocketty approached him and told him that the Reds wanted him here long-term. Rolen got extended for two years — but his 2010 salary was reduced from $11 million to $6 million with other $5 million, deferred with no interest.

“You’ve got to be careful talking about money with an organization,” he said. “But they were looking to free up some money to go out and be more competitive, to become a better ballclub. I was certainly more than willing to do that, so pushed some money back. It’s a negotiation. They said, ‘we’ll extend you if you do this.’ It worked well for both of us.”

That $5 million allowed the Reds to add to Orlando Cabrera ($2.27 million), Jonny Gomes ($800,000) and Aroldis Chapman ($1 million) to this year’s payroll.

Rolen was brought in as much to lead the way as he was to play third base and hit fifth.

“He knows how to win,” Dusty Baker said. ”I didn’t know his personality is the way it is. He never said nothing on the baseball field. But he likes to needle guys and have a good time and keep guys loose.

Rolen has a dry wit. His best lines are always delivered with a straight face.

But his leadership style goes beyond gags — in a quiet way.

“I’m not going to jump up on a chair and scream,” he said. “I’m not going to embarrass anyone. But if something’s not going right – it’s never about ability – if somebody’s doing something stupid, I’ll say something. You don’t show up your guys or the guys in the other clubhouse. Those are important things. It’s important to play the game right for other players and the fans. When someone’s not, there’s a way to handle it – not in boisterous way.”

Rolen obviously saw potential in the young players on this team to make the long-term commitment.

“There’s no doubt,” Rolen said. “The one thing I talked about with some of my buddies is our young guys are in the middle of the lineup, our young (pitchers) have the ball in their hand. The Yankees, the Red Sox, their veteran guys shoulder the load. Our young guys are our success. It’s a great thing. It’s our future. It puts everyone under the fire and challenges them right away. There’s some pressure there. But it’s good pressure.”

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

HeatherC1212
02-26-2010, 11:42 AM
I like Scott Rolen and I think he's going to be great for the young guys this year. I'm really glad I got to meet him at Redsfest. :)

KoryMac5
02-26-2010, 01:24 PM
I wonder if Rolen's troubles with previous managers have been due to injuries or not being that "Rah Rah" type guy. He's been a pretty model citizen here and his fellow players seem to love playing with him. Glad the Reds picked him up.

corkedbat
02-26-2010, 01:52 PM
So we're still paying Rolen $11M, it's just the other $5M are deferred sans interest?

OnBaseMachine
02-26-2010, 03:26 PM
Reds 2.26.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 26, 2010 12:20 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Morning, running a little behind today, but still here and about to step out on the practice fields.

Anyway, not a whole lot new in Dusty's morning meeting, except for the Chris Burke update.

Dusty was asked about Scott Rolen and if his addition added to the Reds' winning ways down the stretch.

"At the same time we got Rolen, we got Joey back, we got Jay Bruce back. He has Golden Glove, he's got Silver Bats, he's an All-Star," Baker said. "He throws a ball as true to first base as I've ever seen. He throws to all the bases. When he does commit errors, you can't believe it. When they get their hands on it, you're out. They rarely throw it away. He's one of our best baserunners. He knows how to play the game. I didn't know his personality is the way it is, because he doesn't say anything on the baseball field. He likes to needle guys, keep guys loose."

On Walt Jocketty bringing him back, it was vote of confidence: "There are certain guys you'd take on your team and there are certain guys you wouldn't take back on your team. A lot of times what you see - there are guys I coveted on the other side of the field, you get them and it wasn't the guy you thought you were getting. Then there are guys on the other side of the field, you say you'd have that guy on your team for nothing in the world and the next thing you know, he's on your team and this guy is totally the opposite of what you thought about him on the other team. This guys a great teammate, and I thought he was an *******. He may have been an ******* over there, but he's a heck of a guy over here."

Dusty said he really likes Rolen, it's just that he's different than he expected.

"Guys can be different on the field, especially football players. Look at Troy Polamalu, he's a good, Christian man off the field and on the field, I'll kill you. ... I was the same way."

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

OnBaseMachine
02-26-2010, 03:28 PM
More Reds 2.26.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 26, 2010 2:01 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A pretty uneventful day. The pitchers were given a day off of throwing, so they had some BP and the team worked on rundown drills.

Funny part of the day, the outfielders are running in the rundown drills that were more for the infielders and pitchers than runners, and at one point, Corky Miller runs down Drew Stubbs. Miller's excited and starts bragging that he "ran down the fastest guy on the team." I think I have it on video, so I'll see later when I'm putting that together.

At that point, Eric Davis can't take that. Davis, who is an instructor this spring, said, "I know we're running half-speed to get their work in, but you better not get run down by no catcher. Especially Miller." He probably had a couple more colorful words in there to go with it.

* I was watching one pitching group take BP and on the last pitch he saw on the day, Matt Maloney went deep.

* There's a high, probably 30 foot fence/batter's eye in center on one of the fields, and Yonder Alonso hit it about halfway up there and complained it was pretty unfair that that'd be a double. It'd be out of GABP. Easy.

* It's only batting practice and doesn't really mean anything, but Brandon Phillips was hitting everything on a rope -- it was like everything was a single or a double. And they were all smoked.

* Aroldis Chapman didn't look lost with a bat.

* Chris Burke was out, but he was still watching his BP group and urging them on.

* Tomorrow the Reds will workout at the main stadium. I haven't been there yet, so I'm looking forward to checking it out. I'll make sure to take video and photos.

* Also tomorrow, Reds single-game tickets (besides Opening Day) go on sale.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

OnBaseMachine
02-26-2010, 03:30 PM
Tough break for Burke
By C. Trent Rosecrans, CNATI.com Posted February 26, 2010 12:10 PM ET

GOODYEAR, Ariz. - Chris Burke jokingly blames his father for the fracture in his right ring finger, suffered Thursday at Cincinnati Reds spring training. If his dad hadn't taught him the proper way to catch a popup, he wouldn't be sitting on the sidelines in Goodyear, Ariz.

"I told my dad, 'thanks a lot for teaching me to catch it two handed, if I'd hot dogged it, I'd never have broken my finger.'" Burke said on Friday.

Granted, he'd probably not be here if his dad hadn't taught him baseball as a kid. Burke finished the 2009 season in the Braves system after parts of six seasons with the Astros, Diamondbacks and Padres. Burke signed a minor league deal with Cincinnati in December.

"For me, it's always been a dream to play for the Reds because of where I grew up, in Louisville, Ky., in the shadows of Cincinnati. When they had an interest, my interest had always been there, so I jumped at the opportunity."

Burke was a first-round pick by Houston in 2001 out of Tennessee. As a rookie in 2005, his solo home run ended the 18-inning National League Division Series game against the Braves, leading the Astros to the World Series. In 2006 seemed to be on his way to stardom, hitting .276 with nine home runs, 40 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in just his second full season.

However, his production fell off, hitting .229 in 2007 and was traded to Arizona before the 2008 season. He struggled in Arizona, too, hitting .194 in 86 games. In 2009, Burke signed a minor league deal with San Diego, was traded to Seattle and then was traded back to San Diego less than a month later. The Padres outrighted him in June after 32 games for San Diego, where he hit .207 in 82 at-bats. He finished the season with the Class AAA Gwinnett Braves.

"He killed us when he was in Houston, he was a pretty good player," said Reds manager Dusty Baker. "At the University of Tennessee, he was one of the most highly-touted guys around. At 29, he's certainly not old, he's interesting to me. I was asking him what happened, because I know he can hit. He said he was hurt. Most of the time if a guy can hit and he doesn't hit, there's something wrong psychologically or he's hurt."

Burke has played every position other than catcher and pitcher in the big leagues, giving the Reds a possible utility player they could plug in anywhere. Although he came up as a middle infielder, when he got to Houston, Craig Biggio was there, so he's played 218 of his total 477 big league games in the outfield.

The Reds starting infield is set, but just about every bench spot is up for grabs. For Burke, he could find a way to backup just about anyone on the field.

Now, though, his hopes of making the Reds are in trouble because of a simple popup drill on Thursday. Burke said he was drifting back on the ball and put his top hand up a split-second too soon, it landed on the tip of his finger. X-rays on Thursday indicated there was a fracture in the base of the finger. Burke said he doesn't know how long he'll be sidelined.

"They're not really sure, it's just a matter of it being stable enough to stay in place," Burke said. "I guess it's concern for the stability of the joint. As they were trying to pop it back in place, it was sliding in and out."

For Burke, it's especially disappointing not to be on the field, considering he's new to the organization and trying to make the team and a good impression.

"It couldn't be worse, but here I am," Burke said. "The timing couldn't be worse, but it's my reality and I'm going to have to deal with it. I'm just going to have to stay in shape and get back as soon as I can."

http://cnati.com/spring-training-2010/burkes-dream-derailed-001362/

OnBaseMachine
02-26-2010, 06:20 PM
Baker warns players of Cactus effect
Expect higher batting averages and ERAs in Arizona clubs
By Tom Singer / MLB.com

02/26/10 5:08 PM EST

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds play their inaugural Cactus League game next Friday against their camp co-tenant, the Indians.

Manager Dusty Baker is already cautioning his Grapefruit League veterans to pack a lot of chill pills: hitters, to keep from getting big heads; pitchers, to ignore those big ERAs.

"This is a hitters' league," Baker warned. "The pitchers are going to have to be patient with their breaking balls, which don't break as well in the dry air. And the batted ball carries. We're going to see some high averages and ERAs."

As a player, Baker trained in both places, in Florida with the Braves and the Dodgers, and here later in his career with the Giants and the A's. So he knows how the Arizona heat and dryness play havoc with statistics.

As a manager, he has to filter everything through those factors.

"It makes it a little tougher to judge pitchers," Baker said. "It's just easier to hit here. The fields are bigger because of the way balls carry, but that just opens up more gaps.

"And the infields get hard quick. You can't keep watering them. Sometimes you feel like you're playing on the freeway. The balls also feel slicker.

"You've got to take all that into consideration when you're evaluating players."

A snapshot from Spring Training 2009 validates Baker's perception: Fourteen of the top 16 preseason averages (15-plus at-bats) were compiled in the Cactus League -- as were the top nine ERAs (10-plus innings).

"It does make hitters feel a little better than maybe they should about themselves -- but there's nothing wrong with taking a good feeling into the season," Baker said with a grin.

As a former outfielder still with a hitter's mindset, Baker can appreciate the therapeutic effect of taking swings in the Arizona sauna.

And again as a manager, he embraces the close-knit Cactus League's biggest advantage over the sprawling Grapefruit League: the relative proximity of camps. Even with the D-backs and Rockies spending a final March in Tucson, there are 13 other teams within a radius of 50 miles.

"So you get to practice much more on fundamentals," Baker said, explaining: "On away-game days in Florida, most days you have to get going early and spend a lot of time on the road. Here, you have the luxury of having full workouts at your complex even on days you play on the road. Big difference."

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100226&content_id=8172702&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

Ron Madden
02-27-2010, 03:44 AM
Wow, It seems like on days that Chapman doesn't pitch Reds beat writers have a hard time coming up with any interesting material to write about.

This is spring training for gods sake! I'm sure there are plenty of great stories to be found and relayed to Reds Fans. Seems like these guys wait for an article to be dropped in their lap.

membengal
02-27-2010, 07:19 AM
Didn't help that yesterday was base-running day with no live bp.

Eric_the_Red
02-27-2010, 08:25 AM
Didn't help that yesterday was base-running day with no live bp.

Man, MLB Network didn't feature 30 minutes devoted to THAT?? :p:

Heath
02-27-2010, 10:00 AM
Man, MLB Network didn't feature 30 minutes devoted to THAT?? :p:

Naw, the Yankees and Red Sox were having bunting practice.

JaxRed
02-27-2010, 10:12 AM
Yep, and there were no interviews with Baker, no tour of the facilities, no profiles on Chris Heisey, no discussion with Ondrusek on why he thought his AFL numbers were so much higher, or what he might have learned. etc......

membengal
02-27-2010, 11:11 AM
Yep, and there were no interviews with Baker, no tour of the facilities, no profiles on Chris Heisey, no discussion with Ondrusek on why he thought his AFL numbers were so much higher, or what he might have learned. etc......

For the record, I am with you on this. Even if its not 30 minutes, a quick 10 minute check-in on the various camps and whose hitting it well etc. should be doable. No reason not to have every team talked about at least once in some depth every day on MLBN.

OnBaseMachine
02-27-2010, 11:23 AM
Morning Reds 2.27.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 27, 2010 11:05 AM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds are headed over to the game stadium today to do some infield and sign autographs. The Reds will go first, followed by the Indians.

"It's more for the city and the fans," Dust Baker said. "We're going to be there an hour, take some infield, sign some autographs and then come back and do our work."

Pitchers will throw live batting practice again, with Aroldis Chapman throwing live BP for the second time. It looks like the same batters will face him.

"Probably the hitters are a little better than they were," Bakre said. "You hope the pitchers are a little sharper. You want them to get a little sharper every time."

* Baker was also asked about Chris Dickerson's comments to me the other day about feeling like he's not getting an opportuntity in centerfield.

"He had the job before Stubbs. He's in the running, he's going to play. But you can't take away what Stubbs did at the end of the year last year. You can be disappointed all you want to, but he allowed Stubbs to get his foot in the door.

"The performance and injuries. It happens. Sometimes you've got to wait for your next opportunity. What did Stubbs do, hit eight home runs in probably half the at-bats Dickerson had, what did Dickerson have, two? Reality's reality.

"He was disappointed he didn't play against left-handers last year. I have a guy who hits left-handers pretty good in Jonny Gomes. ... Jonny hit 20 home runs and in our ballpark we need some sock. Everyone plays, but you can't play everybody at the same time, but everyone's going to play. Nixy did a good job too. What he hit, 14? They all bring something different to the table on a given day for what we're going to need. I told Dick last year, the reason was to keep you healthy and still didn't work.

"Nobody said he wasn't in the running. Maybe he feels that...

"You can't discount what Stubbs did that last month, but you don't know if he's going to do it again, but you can't discount what he's already done. Dick, I mean, he was there before Stubbs even got to the organization, wasn't he?

"We've got to see what adjustments they make to Stubbs, just like what adjustments they made to Jay Bruce."

* Yesterday I got a haircut and the beard trimmed, I walk into the clubhouse and Jonny Gomes starts picking on me. I responded, "I'm getting **** about my hair from the guy with the mohawk?"

Gomes conceeded it was a good point.

That said, the haircut is a little shorter than I'd like, so I'm wearing a hat. I'm wearing a red Georgia hat and Chris Burke said something about how ugly it was, and I pointed out that how could a guy who wore traffic crew orange pick on my red hat? The former Tennessee All-American noted the versatility of the Vols' color -- you can pick up trash on Friday, go to the game on Saturday and go hunting on Sunday, all without changing. Such is a Vol.

And Micah Owings, who played at Georgia Tech (and Tulane) and is the son of a former Georgia Tech football player, has already refused to talk to me when I'm wearing a Georgia hat. He just shook his head at me today. I noted that this was different than my black hat with a bulldog on it, because this one is red with the G -- the same logo his high school used. Owings went to Gainesville High School in Gainesville, Ga., home of the Red Elephants. I haven't seen Darren Bragg yet, but the Reds outfield and baserunning coordinator has given me grief in the past as well. He's a member of Georgia Tech's athletic hall of fame. Days like this I miss Jeff Keppinger.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

Edd Roush
02-27-2010, 05:38 PM
. I told Dick last year, the reason was to keep you healthy and still didn't work.



http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

No way Dusty honestly calls Chris Dickerson "Dick"

11larkin11
02-27-2010, 06:55 PM
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100227&content_id=8397108&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin&partnerId=rss_cin

Update on Chapman's second Live BP, with a video of the MLBN guys discussing Chapman and Strasburg, including Harold Reynolds and Barry Larkin

TheNext44
02-27-2010, 08:41 PM
Welsh on Chapman
Posted by jfay February 27th, 2010, 2:45 pm

Chris Welsh is out here doing some segments for Fox Sports Ohio. He saw Aroldis Chapman throw for the first time. Here’s his semi-independent expert opinion:

“He’s got a special arm,” Welsh said. “His fastball seems to pick up an extra gear about halfway to the plate. He’s tall and has a long stride, so that put him closer to the hitter. His fastball seems faster than it is.”

Chapman had another impressive session. He threw three fastballs right by Juan Francisco. I haven’t seen anyone make solid contact off Chapman. It’s early but I’ll stick to my prediction that he makes the club.

Here’s a link to some Chapman video: http://twitvid.com/6C7E7. It’s not great. There was a crowd there, so I didn’t get a prime videoing spot.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/2010/02/27/welsh-on-chapman/

corkedbat
02-27-2010, 09:37 PM
No way Dusty honestly calls Chris Dickerson "Dick"

Maybe he wasn't talking to Chris. :evil:


Say hello to my leeltel friend!

OnBaseMachine
02-27-2010, 10:00 PM
Afternoon Reds 2.27.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 27, 2010 2:52 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Another day, another Aroldis Chapman update.

The Reds pitchers threw to batters again today, but instead of straight batting practice, they used a count and players had a full at-bat. Chapman struck out Juan Francisco, who was taking huge cuts, and got Todd Frazier way ahead of a changeup.

"His fastball is heavy, it's got a lot of velocity on it and makes his changeup - which is what I swung and missed on, his changeup - that much better," said Reds prospect Todd Frazier. "He looked really good out there for sure. It was a good pitch, there's nothing I can say about that. He can throw, that's for sure."

Frazier, Francisco, Wladimir Balentien and Drew Sutton faced Chapman. Still doesn't look like anyone's hit him hard. Fracisco did't get cheated on his swings, but he never got bat on ball when I was watching him against Chapman.

Frazier said he was excited to face Chapman, just so he could see it first-hand.

"To get a chance to face him was fun, to see what he's all about," Frazier said. "He's got great stuff, he's proven it to me."

* Chapman wasn't the only young pitcher impressing, Mike Leake and Travis Wood were very good.

Leake throws harder than I'd been led to believe and has excellent command and presence. He had a nice K of Brandon Phillips. Wood broke Phillips' bat in one at-bat.

It should be noted that many of the veteran hitters are working on tracking the ball and practicing a lot of patience so they can see as many pitches as possible, so not to read too much into the actual results. But when they take bad swings, it's a good sign that there's pretty good stuff there.

* As they were finishing their round of live BP, Joey Votto remarked that Jonny Gomes "looks like he's going to hit 55 this year."

* Several Reds were giving Josh Anderson, a Kentucky native, grief about the Wildcats' loss to Tennessee.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

OnBaseMachine
02-27-2010, 10:09 PM
Reds find plenty of support in Arizona
Hundreds enjoy FanFest at new Spring Training facility
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

02/27/10 6:55 PM EST

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Transplants from Ohio don't just relocate to Florida. On Saturday, the Reds found hundreds of fans -- many of them former Ohioans living out west -- eager to see the team and its new Spring Training stadium.

The Reds and Indians both held a fan festival at Goodyear Ballpark, which they will share in hosting Spring Training games. Fans were admitted for free to watch the teams work out, with Cincinnati's players first up, playing catch before taking infield practice.

Reds fan Rona Kreamer is a native of Colerain Township near Cincinnati but now lives in Tucson. Kreamer was standing along the railing behind first base waiting to get autographs.

"It's perfect. I like Arizona a lot better than Florida," Kreamer said. "There's no humidity until monsoon season. If only we didn't have to share the place with the Indians, it'd be even better."

Kreamer did take in an Indians game at the 10,000-seat Goodyear Ballpark last season and believed other Reds fans would enjoy themselves. She sat on the grassy knoll beyond the left-field wall, which is a feature the Reds former Sarasota, Fla., ballpark did not have.

"You can just put a blanket out there. and we drank some beer and margaritas and had a great time," Kreamer said.

The Reds had been in Sarasota the previous 12 years and had trained in Florida since 1923, with the only exception the years during World War II. For many used to heading south, the shift to Arizona will be an adjustment. But it's a welcome one for Californian Mike Long.

To attend Saturday's FanFest, Long drove 3 1/2 hours from Palm Springs on Friday night. He is a native of Washington Court House, Ohio, which is between Cincinnati and Columbus.

"I am extremely excited," said Long, who plans to attend three or four games this spring. "I saw them back in Plant City, Fla., in 1994 when I still lived in Ohio. I moved here 11 years ago. Selfishly, this couldn't have worked any better for me. It's an incredible stadium."

Before and after the workout, Reds players signed autographs and posed for pictures. Fans were allowed to tour the stadium, the press box and clubhouses. Following the Indians' workout, fans were given chances to run the bases and play catch on the field.

For everyone with the Reds, it was the first chance to get on the stadium field since camp opened.

"I like it. It's nice," Reds pitcher Aaron Harang said. "It's definitely different and bigger than Sarasota. With all the grass beyond the field and kids stuff to the side, it kind of a little bit reminds me of [the Phillies ballpark in] Clearwater."

"It looks great," infielder Todd Frazier said. "I can get used to something like this, for sure."

The Reds will host their first Cactus League game on March 5, when they play against the Indians.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100227&content_id=8435314&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

gm
02-27-2010, 11:13 PM
No way Dusty honestly calls Chris Dickerson "Dick"

Well, now that Pole's gone...

gm
02-27-2010, 11:35 PM
He is a native of Washington Court House

Which reminds me, I wonder if Jeff Shaw is still in shape and contemplating a comeback?

OnBaseMachine
02-28-2010, 10:21 AM
From C. Trent's twitter:

Mike Lincoln will get the start for the #Reds on Friday

http://twitter.com/ctrent

:(

I hope Chapman makes an appearance later in the game. Of the list of pitchers I wanted to see pitch on Friday, Mike Lincoln was at the bottom of the list.

OnBaseMachine
02-28-2010, 10:29 AM
Lincoln to start the spring opener, other notes
Posted by jfay February 28th, 2010, 10:25 am

From the early morning session with Dusty Baker:

–Mike Lincoln will start Friday’s exhibition opener. “We want to see how he warms up,” Baker said. The rest of the order is still being set.

–Baker said Brandon Phillips will continue to hit fourth. “He’s the best selection I’ve got,” Baker said. “Power and speed, especially now that he’s become an RBI man. I like (Scott) Rolen fifth better than fourth.”

–Baker had a long talk with Chris Dickerson, who expressed his disappointment over not being in the race for the center field job to the media. ”My thing is always if you have a beef come to me,” Baker said. Things are OK between the two.

–It rained hard over night and more rain is forecast. Baker wasn’t sure if the Reds will get on the field today. They can do a lot under cover at the facility here.

http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/

I guess that means Jay Bruce will hit 6th. Sigh.

kbrake
02-28-2010, 10:31 AM
Would it kill them to throw us a bone? I was planning on calling it quits a little early Friday cause I just want to see baseball on TV. Mike Lincoln though? Unreal.

Tommyjohn25
02-28-2010, 10:42 AM
Would it kill them to throw us a bone? I was planning on calling it quits a little early Friday cause I just want to see baseball on TV. Mike Lincoln though? Unreal.

For shizzle.

OnBaseMachine
02-28-2010, 11:25 AM
From C. Trent:

#Reds send Micah Owings home on Saturday with the flu. He's not here today

http://twitter.com/ctrent

TheNext44
02-28-2010, 12:51 PM
Would it kill them to throw us a bone? I was planning on calling it quits a little early Friday cause I just want to see baseball on TV. Mike Lincoln though? Unreal.

Every pitcher pitches one, maybe two innings this early. Rose used to start spring games with his closers so they would see better hitters. Starting a spring game this early is rather meaningless.

At least now, you don't have to call leave work early. By the time you get home, Lincoln will be out of the game. :)

OnBaseMachine
02-28-2010, 01:09 PM
Lincoln to start spring opener
By C. Trent Rosecrans, CNATI.com Posted February 28, 2010 12:43 PM ET

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds right-hander Mike Lincoln will get the start in the team's exhibition opener on Friday against Cleveland, manager Dusty Baker said on Sunday.

Lincoln hasn't started a game since 2001, when he was in Class AAA in the Pittsburgh system, but the team approached him this off-season about moving back into a starter's role. Lincoln is part of a large group of pitchers trying to make the Reds rotation as the fifth starter. The first four spots are locked up by Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey, but the fifth spot is still up in the air.

Baker said he was hoping to get most of the pitchers in competition for the fifth spot to throw in exhibition games early in the spring and try to decide that spot sooner rather than later. Along with Lincoln, veterans Justin Lehr and Kip Wells are in the battle, as well as younger pitchers like Aroldis Chapman, Matt Maloney, Mike Leake and Travis Wood.

"We're going to start Lincoln first, we want to see how he handles having time to prepare and warm up as a starter," Baker said. "He knows how to warm up as a reliever. We'll see how guys handle the get-up quick better than they handle having a day or two to think about it, it's all part of the adjustment period.

Lincoln has appeared in 83 games in the last two seasons for the Reds, all out of the bullpen. He missed most of last season with a bulging disc in his neck. He was out of baseball from 2005-07 after undergoing surgeries on his right elbow.

Lincoln, 34, has 19 career major league starts, 15 in 1999 with Minnesota and four with the Twins in 2000, but made the move to the bullpen in 2001.

"It was in AAA with the Pirates and then the Pirates needed someone in the bullpen and they asked me if I could throw out of the bullpen and pitched for two weeks out of the pen and I'd been a reliever ever since," Lincoln said.

The Reds approached Lincoln about starting during the instructional league last fall after he'd recovered from his neck surgery and he readily agreed.

"I enjoy the fact that I can have a routine," Lincoln said. "I've always liked to have a routine. Coming out of the pen, you never know, you might throw one day, you might throw four days in a row. You never know. But as a starter, you know you throw every fifth day, so that'll be nice."

http://cnati.com/spring-training-2010/lincoln-to-start-spring-opener-001383/

mth123
02-28-2010, 05:55 PM
Not optimistic about Lincoln in any way, but starting him in the first spring training game gives the Reds and other teams that may be willing to take him off their hands more chances to see him.

I also think the reasoning of seeing how he does in a starter's role with time to prepare before the game is sound.

Nothing to complain about here.

OnBaseMachine
02-28-2010, 07:34 PM
Afternoon Reds 2.28.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on February 28, 2010 3:27 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Jonny Gomes spends his off-season in the Phoenix area and as we were sitting around the batting cage, he said today was the coldest day since he'd gotten here in October.

The team did go outside and take live BP.

Today was more veteran day. I watched a bit of Daniel Ray Herrera, who had some nasty pitches going. He got Joey Votto swinging on something really slow -- it may have been the screwball, but it was about as bad a swing as you'll see Votto take. Then on the next pitch he busted him inside on the hands with a fastball for a called third strike.

Votto also had a nice rip against Herrera for what would have been a double.

Gomes hit one earlier (I think it may have been of Justin Lehr) that I don't think has landed yet. None of the guys in the outfield moved.

* The desert wind rolled in and that's Marty Brennaman. Marty made his debut at the complex today. There was a group of Reds employees on the Delta flgiht that gets in around noon. You'll see an influx of people around 1 p.m. quite often.

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

OnBaseMachine
02-28-2010, 07:42 PM
From Fay:

ON THE FIELD: It was cold, windy and wet Sunday but the Reds were able to get on field for live batting practice.

Drew Stubbs took Lincoln deep during their sessions.

Daniel Ray Herrera looked good in his outing. He went against Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Jonny Gomes and Scott Rolen without giving up any hard-hit balls.

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100228/SPT04/302280030/1071/RHP%20Lincoln%20to%20get%20first%20spring%20start% 20for%20Reds?GID=cz1Xbe/ona0Pk5HapsqfVzOX2rh2CENMGm9YesVJ+Ec%3D

Raisor
02-28-2010, 08:35 PM
Brandon Phillips, RBI Man.

I hope he gets that written on his business cards

OnBaseMachine
03-01-2010, 10:40 AM
Morning Reds 3.1.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on March 1, 2010 10:24 AM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- If you're here for the intrasquad game on Thursday, you'll get to see Aroldis Chapman throw to hitters. Should be interesting.

Also throwing in Thursday's intrasquad will be Aaron Harang, Homer Bailey, Enerio Del Rosario, Jordan Smith, Logan Ondrusek, Alexander Smit, Philippe Valiquette, Pedro Viola and Aroldis Chapman

For Friday's game, Mike Lincoln wil start, followed by Matt Maloney, Justin Lehr, Carlos Fisher, Sam LeCure and Jon Adkins.

Baker said Lincoln looked good yesterday.

He also liked what he saw from Bill Bray. "He's doing good. He had a nice pen yesterday, it's coming together. He's trying to build his arm up and not have any set-backs or relapses or anything."

Todd Frazier will play several positions this spring. "He's an interesting guy, he can play all over and he has a real good bat. Hopefully at some point in time we'll settle on a position for him, a steady position. There's some areas there, you've got Valaika coming at second, Cozart at short, Francisco at third. You've got young guys like Heisey and Dorn coming at the corner outfield. We've got Alonso coming at first base. There's somebody coming at every position, we're trying him at every position in case we use his value in that way."

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

Wow, the in the first televised game of the spring we get to watch Mike Lincoln and Justin Lehr pitch. Awesome. Oh well, it's still live baseball.

membengal
03-01-2010, 11:35 AM
Lincoln and Lehr! That's what gets ones heart racing as a fan!!!!!!!

OnBaseMachine
03-01-2010, 01:29 PM
Monday morning notes

If you're wondering what's next for Aroldis Chapman, he is scheduled to throw in the bullpen today. His next camp milestone, however, should come Thursday when he appears in the Reds intrasquad game.

The list of pitchers that are to appear is as follows:

Harang, Bailey, Chapman, Del Rosario, Smith, Ondrusek, Smit, Valiquette, Viola.

*Bill Bray, working his way back from Tommy John surgery, is up to 40 pitches off of a mound in the bullpen. He probably won't be ready to pitch when games start. The club isn't rushing him.

*Todd Frazier has a bat that will force his way to the Majors someday soon. But exactly where remains the big mystery. Originally a shortstop, Frazier has worked out all over the diamond this spring and has played multiple positions since he was Drafted in 2007.

"He's an interesting guy," manager Dusty Baker said. "He can play all over and he has a really good bat. Hopefully at some point in time, we can settle on a steady position for him."

Besides having established veterans at the big league level at every infield spot, the Reds have prospects on their way. Chris Valaika is a potential future second baseman. Zach Cozart is a future shortstop. Juan Francisco is a third baseman in waiting and as mentioned in the previous blog post,

Yonder Alonso is waiting at first base. Chris Heisey is nearing the Majors as a corner outfielder.

"There's somebody coming at almost every position," Baker said. "We're trying [Frazier] at every position in case we use his value in that way."

With Spring Training, the daily workouts usually begats the itch for exhibition games to start. But that's mostly the writers who want to see something different. Baker wasn't in a rush for camp to move any quicker.

"We still need to get some work in," he said. "we didn't get some fundamentals in because of the weather. We have cutoffs and relays today. We want to get some fundamental stuff in there."

*And a public congratulations to Hal McCoy, who will be joining Fox Sports Ohio to cover the Reds. He will be writing stories on line for their web site and also appearing on pre-game and postgame shows. When Hal told me last week of his plans, I was naturally excited for him.

http://marksheldon.mlblogs.com/

cincrazy
03-01-2010, 01:37 PM
Lincoln and Lehr! That's what gets ones heart racing as a fan!!!!!!!

Towards a heart attack, anyways.

OnBaseMachine
03-01-2010, 03:19 PM
Lehr feels like his stuff has returned
By John Fay • jfay@enquirer.com • March 1, 2010

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Baseball is a numbers game. ERA, RBI, on-base percentage, WHIP are all used to judge players.

And going by the numbers, right-hander Justin Lehr had his best year ever in 2009. He went 13-3 with a 3.31 ERA in Triple-A before getting called up to the Reds. He went 5-3 with a 5.37 ERA. The five wins were pretty good considering Lehr had a total of four big league wins in his previous 10 years in professional baseball.

But Lehr was getting by with smoke and mirrors, well, not really smoke. Lehr’s fastball was topping out at 85, 86 mph.

“I felt like I had to put good numbers over time to get an opportunity,” Lehr said. “But stuff-wise, it was an all-time low.”

The numbers Lehr put up did lead to an opportunity. The Reds signed him to a one-year major league contract on Nov. 6. He was immediately outrighted to Louisville, but the contract meant the money was guaranteed.

That meant Lehr could skip Winter Ball and collect a check. But Lehr didn’t take the winter off.

“I’ve pretty much been here (in Goodyear) since a week after the season ended working in the weight room,” Lehr said.

With the help of trainers Sean Marohn and Zach Gjestvang in the weight room, Lehr has worked on rebuilding his base.

“I worked to get stability back in my lower half,” he said. “From the beginning of the season, I was pretty much pitching on one leg. I hurt my groin in January in Venezuela. I really hadn’t recovered from that.”

Lehr thinks that will help get the zip back on fastball. Before the groin injury and wear and tear off playing year round, Lehr threw in the low 90s.

He thinks he’ll be back to that.

“I definitely feel that way,” Lehr said. “We’ll see when I get in the game. I’d definitely be disappointed if I have the stuff I ended the season with. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Lehr is in the competition for the fifth spots with a cast of plenty. Right-hander Mike Lincoln, Kip Wells, Micah Owings and Mike Leake and left-handers Aroldis Chapman, Matt Maloney and Travis Wood are also in the running at least nominally.

Lehr’s numbers were the best of the bunch last year. But he knows the decision will be made on more than numbers.

“Obviously, I feel like they’re going to take a serious look,” he said. “I feel like if I came in with the same stuff I was featuring at end of last year, I wouldn’t have a good shot – even though I won five games in 11 starts. I think if I show them I have better stuff – and they already know I can compete and win games – I’ve got a good shot.”

Lehr feels like his stuff has returned.

“I’m throwing the ball the way I want,” he said. “I’m working on a couple of things I think will help over the long haul of the season.”

New pitching coach Bryan Price is familiar with Lehr because of all the time Lehr spent in Goodyear.

“He’s going about it the right way,” Price said. “He’s working on his mechanics to get his lower half more involved. He’s not going to go from throwing 86 to 93. But he wants his best fastball if that’s 89, 91 whatever.”

Again, last year was a breakthrough year for Lehr. He led the International League in wins. He got better as the year wore on. He was 8-1 with a 2.51 ERA in 12 games after the Reds got him in a trade from Philadelphia.

But his transformation goes back further.

Lehr returned to starting after he was sent to Triple-A in May of 2006. He went 4-7 with a 3.94 ERA that year.

But he’s gone 26-6 in Triple-A the last three years.

“I felt like I kept getting better,” he said. “But I felt like I had a good in year in ’07 and ’08. Stuff-wise, I was better in ’07 than ’09. Last year, I had better numbers cumulatively.”

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100301/SPT04/303010104/1071/Lehr+feels+like+his+stuff+has+returned

OnBaseMachine
03-01-2010, 03:58 PM
Afternoon Reds 3.1.10
By C. Trent Rosecrans on March 1, 2010 2:50 PM

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Aroldis Chapman threw another bullpen today, taking the day off from live batting practice. He'll likely throw on the side before Thursday's intrasquad game.

"I'm ready, I feel comfortable and I'm anxious for the games to get started," he said Monday through interpreter Tony Fossas.

Fossas was asked what he's seen from Chapman through two live BP sessions and four or so bullpens.

"His progress is tremendous, mechanics are better," Fossas said. "As you've seen, he's around the plate with about everything."

* I noticed his teammates had found a copy of Reds Report with him and Walt Jocketty on the cover -- someone had added a goatee and blacked out some of his teeth and hung up the new version of the cover on his locker.

That's not as good as when Adam Dunn found the cover of Jay Bruce on the cover with the headline "The Next Big Thing" and made his sign copies for everyone in the clubhouse and then go and give a signed copy to Dusty Baker.

* As I walked back to the media work room, I saw Yonder Alonso in right field shagging BP balls. That said, it shoud be noted he was still wearing a first baseman's mitt and there were also catchers in the outfield shagging balls. But he was taking angles and attacking the ball like an outfielder and not like a shagger.

I watched Alonso hit a bit and after crushing a ball over the fence in right, someone asked him when his hand started to feel better, he joked, "today."

* If you didn't see it, I updated my Alonso story with a comment or two from Walt Jocketty.

Here's what he said about Alonso: "We'll work him at third base and left field." He said Alonso may get to play in some games at those positions.

As for moving Votto to the outfield, "I can't see moving Joey. He's worked hard on his defense."

* This morning, Dusty talked a lot about defense.

On Votto: "He works at it, he really works at it. That was the knock on him when I first got here. He works, he went out earlier and worked with Jackson down in Florida because he saw Rolen and Cabrera and Brandon out there. He didn't want to be left out of that excellent infield."

"Everyone talks about the Big Red Machine's hitting, the Reds had Gold all over the field. The best teams I had had Gold on the field. I'm big on defense. Biggest thing I'm most proud of, the awards I've won, is the Gold Glove. That's work. Hitting's fun. Playing defense is work. It's something you've got to take pride in. You go out to a Little League field, everyone wants to hit, once they hit, they go home. They're ready to go in. How many kids do you know who like to shag? They like to hit. I look at Concepcion and Morgan and Geronimo and Bench and Pete -- most people don't know he has a couple of Gold Gloves -- and Griffey. If nothing hits the ground in the outfield and nothing gets through the infield, you're not going to score runs, it makes your pitching better. You've got to catch the ball."

"(In the outfield) You look up there, I've seen Anderson, he looks good going to get that ball. Anderson, Bruce, Nix, Stubbs, Heisey, Balentien, Gomes is working at it. I don't know much about Dorn. Jonny works. All those guys, they've got some speed. (Nix) is very good to me. He looks easy to how he gets to it and he's got something to throw with. What we may lack in some areas, we're extremely good in other areas."

http://cnati.com/blogs/ctrent/

corkedbat
03-01-2010, 05:10 PM
Juan Francisco is a third baseman in waiting and as mentioned in the previous blog post,


The Reds may still be running him out there at 3B, but he is not anwil never be a major league 3B. They should work him exclusively in LF or find an AL team that needs a DH. He meakes EdE look like Brooks Robinson.

OnBaseMachine
03-01-2010, 10:36 PM
Reds' Frazier almost too versatile
Reds notebook
By John Fay • jfay@enquirer.com • March 1, 2010

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- While the Reds are looking for a position -- other than first base -- that Yonder Alonso can play, they've got the opposite problem with Todd Frazier.

With Frazier, it's a matter of narrowing it down to one. He can play all four infield positions as well as left and right field.

"He's an interesting guy," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He can play all over, and he has a real good bat. Hopefully, at some point in time, we settle on a position for him - a steady position."

Frazier has been all over the place during camp.

"It's enjoyable - to be honest," Frazier said. "I still don't know what position they want me at. It's kind of cool bouncing around. Tony Phillips says, 'Hey, Fraze get over here.' (Sunday), I worked at first base, moved to short for a little bit for double plays, then me and (Chris) Valaika were switching back and forth."

It's interesting that Tony Phillips is here as a guest instructor. Phillips made a career of being a super utility guy. He played at least 97 games at six different position - short, second, third and all three outfield positions.

"Ultimately, that's the goal, to be settled into one position and see where it goes from there," Frazier said. "But I would be open to any type of utility role. That's a goal, getting to big leagues."

The Reds have players who seemed destined for certain positions, down the down the road.

"We have (Chris) Valaika coming at second," Baker said. "We've got (Zach) Cozart coming at short. We've got (Juan) Francisco coming at third. We've got young guys like (Chris) Heisey and (Danny) Dorn coming at the corner outfield positions. Then you've got (Yonder) Alonso at first base. We've got somebody coming at almost every position. That's why we're trying (Frazier) at every position, in case we use his value that way."

PITCHING LINEUPS: Aaron Harang, Homer Bailey, Enerio Del Rosario, Jordan Smith, Logan Ondrusek, Alexander Smith, Philippe Valiquette, Pedro Viola and Aroldis Chapman will pitch in an intrasquad game on Thursday.

All eyes will be on Chapman's debut.

"I'm ready," he said through interpreter Tony Fossas. "I'm starting to feel anxious for the games to start."

As announced Sunday, Mike Lincoln will start the spring opener against Cleveland on Friday. Matt Maloney, Justin Lehr, Carlos Fisher, Sam LeCure and Jon Atkins will follow Lincoln.

"Linc looked pretty good (Sunday) throwing the ball - very good," Baker said.

BRAY UPDATE: Rehabbing left-hander Bill Bray continues to progress. "He's been doing good," Baker said. "He had a nice 'pen yesterday. Things are starting to come together. He's working on some things, trying to build his arm up without having any setbacks."

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100301/SPT04/3020351/1071/Frazier+almost+too+versatile

Nasty_Boy
03-01-2010, 10:42 PM
Isn't it almost certain that the Reds are going to have to start moving some guys? Whether that happens this season or in the offseason, they are going to have to start getting some value out of these guys whether it be in a Reds uniform or via trade.

gm
03-01-2010, 10:49 PM
For Friday's game, Mike Lincoln will start, followed by Matt Maloney, Justin Lehr, Carlos Fisher, Sam LeCure and Jon Adkins.

That's a whole lot of dreck and meh. But it's live Reds baseball for the first time since the end of September

Mario-Rijo
03-02-2010, 02:00 AM
Given that there is no position that the Reds really need to be readying Frazier for in the near future, would any one be seriously opposed to Frazier making the team as a utility guy this year and getting spot starts all around the field or is still more advantageous to let him play everyday at AAA?

I hope his future is at third and I believe it will be. Having said that I think it would be in the teams best interest for him to be the "6th man" so to speak to use a basketball term. We need offense from the bench in the late innings and as a guy who can step in and make a start at various spots.