Pitcher search continues
Volquez throws for first time as Red
BY JOHN FAY | JFAY@ENQUIRER.COM
SARASOTA, Fla. – Reds manager Dusty Baker says the club still is pursuing a starting pitching.
“Everybody I know is looking for one,” Baker said. “Maybe except Boston. But they might be looking for one with (Curt) Schilling hurt.”
The Reds have talked to the Oakland A’s about right-hander Joe Blanton. But Blanton remains with the A’s. Cleveland left-hander Cliff Lee reportedly is available.
Free agents like Kyle Lohse, Josh Fogg and Odalis Perez are still available.
But Baker says there comes a time when you go with what you’ve got.
“There are some late (free agents to sign) out there,” Baker said. “But you’ve got to move forward with who you have here. You don’t want the guys here thinking: ‘They’re looking at somebody else. Are they dissatisfied with me?’ You’ve got get rid of that notion.”
The Reds’ plan is to fill the final two spots in the rotation from a field of five young starters – right-handers Homer Bailey, Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez and left-handers Jeremy Affeldt and Matt Maloney.
Volquez, acquired in the Josh Hamilton trade, threw for the first time Monday.
Javier Valentin caught Volquez.
“He needs to work on his off-speed stuff,” Valentin said. “It was his first day. Maybe he was trying to impress. But he’s got a good arm. His fastball moves. He’s got a real live arm. That’s what you need. Put him in the bullpen or whatever.”
BRAY HURTING: Left-hander Bill Bray is being held back because of shoulder soreness. That’s not a good sign given all the trouble he had last year. Bray broke a finger in fielding practice during spring training. That led to a shoulder problem.
Bray spent the first half of year rehabbing. He finally joined the Reds July 20. He went 3-3 with a 6.23 ERA.
He thinks his current problem stems from rehab.
“I overcorrected,” he said. “Now, I have to go back and correct that.”
Bray also had appendicitis last month. That kept him from training for two weeks.
He’s confident he’ll get over this in short order.
“Once I get past this little hiccup, I’ll be in a better place,” he said.
HATTY TO SOX? The Providence Journal reported that the Red Sox inquired about trading for Scott Hatteberg before signing Sean Casey.
“It wasn’t a good year to be a free agent first baseman,” Hatteberg said.
ALL BETTER: Second baseman Brandon Phillips was in camp Monday. He’s over his recent bout of flu.
“I’m good,” he said.
RELYING ON POLE: Baker is seeing a lot of pitchers throw for the first time.
It helps him that Dick Pole returns as pitching coach. Pole worked with Baker in Chicago and San Francisco.
“It helps a lot,” Baker said. “It takes time to learn guys – physically, emotionally and mentally. That’s one reason I was glad I kept most of the staff here. We don’t all have to learn about everybody.”
Baker wants to know more than what a pitcher throws.
“Coaching is a lot more than Xs and Os, philosophy and stop watches,” Baker said. “You have personalities that you have to mesh together.”