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Thread: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

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    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    Monday, March 6, 2006

    Reds notebook
    Burns makes statement; Waiver claim throws strikes
    BY JOHN FAY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

    SARASOTA, Fla. - Reds manager Jerry Narron wants to dispel the notion the roster is set, particularly when it comes to pitching.

    "We're begging for someone to step up and dominate," he said.

    That is to say any of the young pitchers the Reds run out in the spring training games could end up on the roster come April 3.

    Mike Burns, 27, a right-hander signed off waivers from Houston, has stepped to the head of the class.

    "The thing that stands out about him is he's going out and throwing strikes," Narron said. "We're looking for guys to command the baseball, not miss by three feet, miss by three inches."

    Burns was 0-0 with a 4.94 ERA last year. He allowed only 29 hits and eight walks in 31 innings.

    He was dominant - 2-1, 2.10 ERA, 13 saves, 34 strikeouts in 30 innings - at Triple-A before the promotion.

    Burns says what the Reds have seen so far is what they'll get.

    "That's pretty much the way I pitch," he said. "I've never gotten by on stuff. I rely on command and throwing strikes."

    Burns was scheduled to throw an inning against the New York Yankees on Saturday, but he was so efficient in the inning that coaches allowed him to throw another inning.

    "My arm strength is pretty good," he said. "I don't feel 100 percent, but I'm (getting) there."

    Narron pointed to Michael Gosling as another pitcher who has looked good early. Gosling threw three shutout innings and did not walk a batter in his first outing.

    "When he missed, it was with a purpose," Narron said. "Some guys look like they've got no clue where it's going."

    DUNN IN LEFT: Adam Dunn made his first start of the spring in left field in Sunday's 7-5 loss to Tampa Bay.

    Could we see some of that in the regular season?

    "I've got to do whatever I can to keep Scott Hatteberg sharp," Narron said.

    That would mean Dunn playing left; Hatteberg only plays first.


    Hatteberg also gives the Reds a different look offensively.

    "He's an on-base guy who gives you good at-bats," Narron said.

    Left fielder Wily Mo Peņa isn't an on-base guy, and he doesn't always give you good at-bats. But he does have awesome power.

    Narron says Dunn is OK with playing first and the outfield.

    BUCK ON GRIFFEY: Here's what Buck Martinez, coach of the USA Team for the World Baseball Classic, had to say about Ken Griffey Jr.:

    "Junior is having a blast here. His personality is infectious. Many of these younger players have never seen the Junior we know, the player of the decade in the 1990s. They were standing around watching some of the balls he was hitting yesterday, and you could see the wide-eyed look like, 'This guy's pretty good.' They haven't seen Junior play at the level we've seen him play. It's good to see him bouncing around like a kid again."

    IN PRAISE OF EDWIN: Narron first saw Edwin Encarnacion in 2001 when Encarnacion was 18 and in camp with the Texas Rangers. Narron knew then that the kid had it.

    "He hasn't changed one bit," Narron said. "When he stepped on the field, you saw he was sure of himself even then."

    Encarnacion drove in the Reds' first run Sunday with a single.

    He's hitting .600 (6-for-10) with three home runs and seven RBI this spring.

    "I was a little disappointed he took a third strike (Saturday) with the bases loaded," Narron said. "He's got to put the ball in play there. That's nitpicking with someone who hit three home runs in two days."

    NO TIMETABLE: Paul Wilson, coming back from shoulder surgery, threw to hitters for the first time Sunday.

    "It went well," trainer Mark Mann said, "Really well."

    Said Narron: "I've never put a timetable on it. I hope he's ready April 1, if not April 1, April 2 ..."



    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...372/1071/SPT04
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    I'm giddy with excitement of Wilson coming back
    Can't win with 'em

    Can't win without 'em

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    Member Cedric's Avatar
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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    That's very nitpicky Jerry.
    This is the time. The real Reds organization is back.

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    Who is keeping Hatteberg sharp such a big deal?

    Wouldn't we..you know..want to keep our 1st basemen sharp?
    Go Gators!

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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    Publication date: 03-08-2006
    Control pitcher gets close look
    Burns can work in variety of roles
    By Marc Lancaster / Post staff reporter


    DUNEDIN, Fla. - As offseason jobs go, Mike Burns probably could have found an easier gig than substitute teaching.

    But the money was right, and the schedule provided him the flexibility to get in some workouts during the winter, so he decided to give it a try.

    "In the minors, you're looking for a part-time job, and that was pretty much the best job that I could find," said Burns. "I had my degree, and I got my emergency teaching certificate. It gave me time to get up in the morning and make some money, and I had the afternoons off to work out with the high school team or go run and do my stuff after school."

    It wasn't exactly what he had in mind when he earned a criminal justice degree from Cal State-Los Angeles, but when you're a 30th-round draft pick, you've got to pay the bills somehow. So, from his first offseason after beginning his professional career with the Astros organization in 2000 through last winter, Burns filled in anywhere and everywhere at a handful of schools near his California home.

    "I did a range of everything, from special ed in elementary to Spanish in high school," Burns said. "It wasn't too bad. When I first started doing it, I was 21 and just out of college. I think they thought I was close enough to their age to where I was, I guess, cool enough."

    Burns had fun with the job, but it was never intended to be a long-term occupation. He just had to save up enough money to be able to devote his offseasons exclusively to baseball, and that finally happened this winter.

    A half-season's worth of big-league paychecks helped that cause quite a bit, and after breaking through to the majors with the Astros last season, Burns is hoping it will be a while before he has to worry about supplementary income again.

    Joining the Reds probably will help that cause.

    When Cincinnati picked Burns up off the waiver wire last November, the Reds focused more on the right-hander's minor league numbers the past two seasons than the respectable 4.94 ERA he compiled in 27 appearances for Houston in 2005.

    In a full season of Class AA ball in 2004, Burns went 11-3 with a 1.67 ERA in 56 appearances, walking 15 and striking out 94 in 80 2/3 innings. During his time in Class AAA last season, Burns racked up a 2.10 ERA and 13 saves in 25 appearances, walking four and striking out 34 in 30 innings.

    Those are the kind of control numbers the Reds want to see, and Burns has followed through on them in his spring training appearances. He allowed his first run of the spring Tuesday, a solo homer by Eric Kratz, but otherwise has sailed through with little trouble. His command, in particular, has drawn praise from manager Jerry Narron.

    "The one thing that makes Mike Burns really stand out is that he's thrown strikes," said Narron, who values that ability above all others when it comes to evaluating pitchers.

    Fortunately for Burns, control is the key to everything he does on the mound.

    "It's just a matter of throwing strikes, that's pretty much my game," Burns said. "I locate my pitches and throw strikes. If I don't, I'll be in a lot of trouble."

    Aside from a rough 2003 season in Class AA (2-13, 6.13 ERA), during which he made the transition from starter to reliever at the pitching-rich Astros' behest, Burns generally has stayed out of those messes.

    Along the way, he's held every job a pitcher can have - from ace starter (14-9 with a 2.49 ERA in Class A four years ago) to closer and everything in between. He worked mostly in long relief for the Astros last season, and considering the quality of Houston's starting staff, that meant a lot more time sitting around in the bullpen than pitching in games.

    Still, Burns feels he's ready to contribute in the big leagues, and he hopes the Reds will share his confidence in his ability to perform any number of tasks on short notice.

    "I'm not sure actually where I'm going to fit in, it's just wherever they need somebody," he said. "In the past, in the minors, I've showed I can start. I've also showed I can throw in long relief, as a setup guy or a closer. I've pretty much thrown in every position, so I'm just here to help out wherever they need."

    It worked as a substitute teacher, so he might as well give it a shot in baseball, too.

    http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs....603080313/1027
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    When Cincinnati picked Burns up off the waiver wire last November, the Reds focused more on the right-hander's minor league numbers the past two seasons than the respectable 4.94 ERA he compiled in 27 appearances for Houston in 2005.
    Since when is a 4.94 ERA respectable?
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    Bunn-O-matic max venable's Avatar
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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    Burns, baby Burns!

    The next Jimmah?

    Shourek?

    Harnisch?

    Fat Joey?

    Should be fun to watch
    For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    "That's pretty much the way I pitch," he said. "I've never gotten by on stuff. I rely on command and throwing strikes."
    ...said Aaron Harang, Brandon Claussen, Paul Wilson, Eric Milton, Dave Williams, etc.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    Quote Originally Posted by max venable

    Fat Joey?
    That's a band name if I've ever heard one.

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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamBoone
    Monday, March 6, 2006

    "I've got to do whatever I can to keep Scott Hatteberg sharp," Narron said.

    That would mean Dunn playing left; Hatteberg only plays first.


    Hatteberg also gives the Reds a different look offensively.

    "He's an on-base guy who gives you good at-bats," Narron said.

    Left fielder Wily Mo Peña isn't an on-base guy, and he doesn't always give you good at-bats. But he does have awesome power.

    Narron says Dunn is OK with playing first and the outfield.

    http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.d...372/1071/SPT04
    Man, I was all for moving Casey at the time, but looking at what has happened since, I think I would've held on to him to see what we might get for him at the deadline if he came out hot.

    I mean really, is there that much difference between having Sean @ $8.5M or having Williams, Womack, Aurillia, McCracken, Rhodes and Hatteberg and what they're making (all of which I could've done without) - plus the $$$ that went to the Pirates? I wanted payflex or solid ptching, not dreck. I'd rather have Casey.
    Last edited by corkedbat; 03-09-2006 at 07:05 PM.

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    Member red-in-la's Avatar
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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    Quote Originally Posted by corkedbat
    Man, I was all for moving Casey at the time, but looking at what has happened since, I think I would've held on to him to see what we might get for him at the deadline if he came out hot.

    I mean really, is there that much difference between having Sean @ $8.5M or having Williams, Womack, Aurillia, McCracken, Rhodes and Hatteberg and what they're making (all of which I could've done without) - plus the $$$ that went to the Pirates? I wanted payflex or solid ptching, not dreck. I'd rather have Casey.
    What gets me is Narron saying he like the professional AB's from Hatteburg. Professional AB's is baseball code for slap hitter in my book. Didn't the Reds get enough slap hitting from messers Morris and Casey?

    So he wants to keep Hatteburg sharp, so who sits when this is happening? Kearns? WMP? JR? Dunn?......what is it with Cincy since the acquisition of another slap hitter in Todd Bensinger? Are they allergic to maybe getting 40 HR's from their 1B?

    If management would jsut play them all together for a year, they might get 150 plus HR's from the complement of Dunn, JR, WMP, Kearns and Encarnacion. That would be one powerful middle of your order.
    "Is there a problem officers?"

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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    Burns only gave up 29 hits in 31 innings...? Well, I guess that's better than 30
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan
    Burns only gave up 29 hits in 31 innings...? Well, I guess that's better than 30
    We have very low standards.
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    Member ochre's Avatar
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    Re: Reds notebook: Burns makes statement and more (3/6)

    Difference makers found in March and September quite often aren't.
    4009




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