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Thread: June 27 minor league notes

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    June 27 minor league notes

    Fact-finding tour doesn't disappoint Reds GM Krivsky

    DAYTON — Wayne Krivsky said he doesn't know how long it will take, but understand, he is on the job.

    Not only does the first-year general manager of the Cincinnati Reds want to make the Reds better, he wants to make the organization better.

    To do that, Krivsky first juggled around some jobs. Now, he's on a fact-finding mission. Already he has visited Reds teams at Class AAA Louisville and Class AA Chattanooga.

    For five days beginning last Thursday, Krivsky has sat in the stands at Fifth Third Field looking over the Class A Midwest League Dayton Dragons.

    And not just during games. Most days he arrived well before batting practice, and while he did take a lot of calls on his cell phone, his eyes hardly left the field.

    "I don't have a set time" on how long it will take to straighten out the Reds system, Krivsky said. "You have to have a real productive draft. You have to sign the right six-year free agents. You've got to make the right trades."

    None of that was happening recently as the Reds system melted down to only one team — rookie Billings, Mont. — with a winning record last year.

    It wasn't any better with the Reds, who were fifth out of six in the National League Central.

    The Dragons have been used to this. They have finished out of playoff contention for three straight seasons — 13th, 14th and 14th out of 14 teams.

    A six-game winning streak closed the first half for the Dragons at 35-35. Prior to Monday night's game, the Dragons were 1-3 with Krivsky watching.

    "We've got players at every level," Krivsky insisted. "The people who come out with these rankings don't see every team. It's really subjective. I'm not disappointed at what I've seen."

    Even though they're just hovering around the .500 mark, the Dragons are clearly better than they have been over the previous three seasons. More help may be on the way, too. Krivsky hinted he wouldn't be adverse to farm director Johnny Almaraz moving some of the new draft picks from the rookie Billings team to Dayton as soon as they are deemed acclimated to professional baseball.

    Who might that be? Well, No. 1 pick Robert Stubbs, a center fielder from the University of Texas, was hitting .318 with three triples and four RBIs after six games, and closer Sean Watson, the second-rounder out of Tennessee, threw 32/3 innings in one game, not allowing a runner while striking out four. Oh, and first baseman Logan Parker, a 12th round pick from the University of Cincinnati, was hitting a monster .526 with a homer and four RBIs.

    "You have to be careful you don't move players too quickly," Dragons manager Billy Gardner Jr. said. "If a guy fails, it becomes a mental thing. Players will tell you when they're ready to move (by the way they play)."

    Notoriously slow in moving players, this year might be different for the Reds. They have already promoted two players — shortstop Paul Janish and closer Blake Hendley — on merit from the Dragons. Soon, Dayton may receive someone on merit from Billings instead of a rehab assignment player at extended spring training.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/sport...706inside.html
    Last edited by OnBaseMachine; 06-27-2006 at 09:10 AM.
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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    Staked with a lead, Philip Dumatrait (3-2) settled down and got through six innings without another earned run. After getting touched for five runs in his Triple-A debut June 5, the 24-year-old left-hander has yielded just four earned runs in his four starts since.

    "He's done a nice job of throwing strikes and working both sides of the plate," Sweet said. "I've been impressed."

    Dumatrait left some pitches up in the zone and wasn't overpowering last night -- he struck out only one -- but he got the job done.

    "It was one of those nights where I had to battle, but my defense made some unbelievable plays behind me," he said. "And it was nice to get some run support."

    For the fourth straight night, a Bats starter allowed only one earned run.

    Hopper singled his first four times up and finished 4 for 6. Chris Denorfia, the IL's leading hitter, finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs. Snyder and Gutierrez each had two hits.

    Before the game, Cincinnati optioned reliever Mike Burns to the Bats and activated Matt Belisle off the disabled list. Burns is 2-0 with a 1.27 ERA in 17 games for Louisville but has an 8.78 ERA for the Reds this season.

    Reds third baseman Edwin Encarnacion is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Louisville tonight.

    The series will continue tonight at 7:15. Chris Michalak (6-4, 2.96 ERA) will start for Louisville against Jason Shiell, who will be making his season debut.

    http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/...606270403/1036
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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    BTW, Homer Bailey pitches tonight.

    Lookouts’ luxury

    Early playoff spot is new for Burke, Owens
    By David Paschall Staff Writer

    In 1995, Frank Burke’s first year as team owner, the Chattanooga Lookouts reached the Southern League’s best-of-five championship series before losing to Carolina in five games.

    A year later, the Lookouts returned to the title series and lost in four games to Jacksonville.

    "I thought getting to the finals was easy," Burke said. "I just figured it was a matter of time before we won it, and that it was bad luck those first two years."

    The Lookouts have not played for the championship since, having lost three times in the divisional series (1999, 2001 and 2004). They will try again in September after clinching a 2006 playoff berth by winning the North Division’s first half by a game over West Tenn.

    Chattanooga last won the firsthalf title in 1992, so "coasting" through a second half is unfamiliar territory for Burke and thirdyear Lookouts manager Jayhawk Owens. The Lookouts are assured of hosting divisional playoff games Sept. 7-8 and could host two more by adding the second-half title.

    "It’s a little early for us to start promoting it heavily, but we’re going to promote it very heavily," Burke said. "We will have fireworks (Sept. 8). We’re going to have some fun with it."

    Should the Lookouts capture a league title for the first time since 1988, which was their first year of partnership with the Cincinnati Reds, Burke said players would receive rings. Burke’s father, who owns the Class AA Eastern League’s Portland Sea Dogs and has no title in 13 seasons, had designs for Lookouts title rings in ’95. "The rings had the eyeballs with diamonds in them," Burke said. "Those designs are still around somewhere."

    Owens isn’t lacking for title rings, having earned two as a player at Middle Tennessee State and one at Triple-A Colorado Springs and two as a Single-A hitting coach with the Houston Astros in 2000 and ’01. He received a National League wild-card ring as a Colorado Rockies catcher in 1995. When told that Burke still is seeking his first, Owens said, "Hopefully I can bring him one. That’s my goal."

    Despite his ring count, Owens had never experienced a first-half title before now.

    "This is very new for me," he said. "Obviously I’m going to keep a keen eye on motivating these guys and make sure some guys don’t slack off and stuff like that. From what I’ve seen in the past, the teams that usually have success in the playoffs are not always the best but that are playing good baseball the last 10 days.

    "If I had a plan, so to speak, for the playoffs, it would be to get these guys well-rested and locked into the last 10 games of the season."

    With last week’s arrival of pitcher Homer Bailey, the Lookouts have half of Cincinnati’s top 10 prospects according to Baseball America: Bailey (No. 1), catcher Miguel Perez (No. 7), pitcher Tyler Pelland (No. 8), first baseman Joey Votto (No. 9) and pitcher Travis Chick (No. 10). Owens expects all five to still be with the team for the postseason.

    "It’s part of their development to get a full season in Double-A," he said. "A lot of these guys are going to feel some pressure this half. They’ve been exposed, and the heat is going to get to them. They’re going to wear down, and that’s part of the development. A major league season is 162 games, and we only have 140. "I think it’s very important for player development to get in the playoffs and for them to feel the pressure of a playoff game. We tasted some of that the last five games of the first half, because there was a lot of pressure there."

    http://www.tfponline.com/QuickHeadli...26ID%3DAr02501
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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    Mustangs fall to Osprey
    By The Gazette Staff

    MISSOULA -- The Billings Mustangs took to the road for the first time this Pioneer League season and promptly lost their three-game winning streak.

    Four Missoula pitchers issued seven walks but somehow limited the Mustangs' offense and the Osprey opened their home schedule with a 6-4 win Monday night.

    Osprey closer Jorge Perez struck out Drew Stubbs and Michael McKennon with the tying runs on second and third to earn his third save of the year. For Stubbs, it was his fourth strikeout of the evening.

    The Mustangs (4-3) had seven hits, but stranded 10 runners on base. In all, the Mustangs left seven runners on base in scoring position. Billy Rojo went 2-for-3, giving him at least one hit in every game so far, while Chris Heisey also had two hits. Rojo also drove in two runs and Chris Valaika had another Mustangs' RBI.

    Rafael Gonzalez (0-1) took the loss for the Mustangs, giving up two runs in four innings.

    The teams play the second game of their three-game series tonight at 7:05.

    http://www.billingsgazette.net/artic...0-mustangs.txt
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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    Dragons pitcher improves to 6-0
    Wood allows only four baserunners in seven innings of a 3-0 victory.
    By Marc Katz

    Staff Writer

    DAYTON — On a pitching staff with four excellent starters, Travis Wood has been just another guy.

    In most previous Dayton Dragons' seasons, he would be THE guy.

    After all, Wood was the second player taken by the Cincinnati Reds in last summer's first-year player draft, and high draft picks usually command attention, especially when they're left-handed, only 19 and a combined 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in rookie ball.

    Wood remains undefeated following a 3-0 Dragons victory Monday over Southwest Michigan in a Class A Midwest League game at Fifth Third Field, improving to 6-0 with a 3.07 ERA.

    "I just know our pitchers have thrown really well," Wood said after allowing only four runners in seven innings. Two reached on hits and one on a walk; he hit the fourth runner. Double plays erased two of the runners, and Wood picked off a third. He pitched to 22, one over the minimum.

    "We are on a strict pitch count (his was 90), and I knew I had only 10 pitches left in the seventh," Wood said. "I threw a changeup and got a fly out. I had nine pitches to get two outs."

    His night ended with two pitches to spare. With all that, Wood's record is just another diamond in the Dragons' starting mine. Johnny Cueto (8-1, 2.59 ERA), Zachary Ward (6-0, 2.60) and Carlos Fisher (6-4, 3.45) are a combined 26-5 with Wood.

    "It's pretty impressive," Dragons manager Billy Gardner Jr. said. "I'd hate to rank them. They've been outstanding."

    • Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench threw out the first pitch and spoke to the Dragons before the game. "He was very good," Gardner said. "Everything he said was right on."

    • Hitting coach Alonzo Powell was tossed in the seventh inning after asking home-plate umpire DeAndre Anderson to ask for help on a ball that appeared to be hit twice by Josh Holden on a ground out. When Anderson refused to ask the base umpire, Powell complained. He says he'll call the league commissioner today to give his side.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/sport...06dragons.html
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    I'll bet the second half of Wood's season will be much like last summer....

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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    I'll bet the second half of Wood's season will be much like last summer....
    Meaning..... he gets promoted? He dominates?

    I think he'll stay at Dayton. My main concern is that he stay healthy. He's a small guy, so I think they need to be a bit more cautious with his limits, especially as the innings mount.
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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    Well Wood is on a very strict pitch count of 90 pitches per outing. As long as he stays under that, I hope all is well.

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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    That's true. He is on a 90 pitch count. Going into the 7th inning the pitching coach told Travis you have 10 pitches to get 3 outs.
    And he did it in 7 pitches......
    "Life is like a baseballgame. When you think a fastball is coming, you gotta be ready to hit the Change UP"

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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    Has anyone been down to see Wood pitch lately. I kept hearing that he's been throwing in the high 80's this year and was wondering if he has started to get his HS velocity back. Are they still telling him to take it easy or is this just the effect of a full professional season?

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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    He was pitching 89-91 last night. I know he was told that his speed would go down some with the first full season. Actually, Learning how to pitch.
    Last edited by Luvsbaseball; 06-27-2006 at 01:48 PM.
    "Life is like a baseballgame. When you think a fastball is coming, you gotta be ready to hit the Change UP"

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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    Quote Originally Posted by Luvsbaseball
    He was pitching 89-91 last night. I know he was told that his speed would go down some with the first full season. Actually, Learning how to pitch.
    I remember reading somewhere that the team has been trying to hold him back a little and encouraging him not to throw as hard as possible on every pitch. He's a young kid, so anything that keeps "hard mileage" off his arm until it's fully developed is a good thing.
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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    Quote Originally Posted by Luvsbaseball
    He was pitching 89-91 last night. I know he was told that his speed would go down some with the first full season. Actually, Learning how to pitch.
    How is his curveball coming along? That would be great if he can develop it into an above average pitch.
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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    His curveball is coming along good. That is the main pitch he is working on..
    "Life is like a baseballgame. When you think a fastball is coming, you gotta be ready to hit the Change UP"

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    Re: June 27 minor league notes

    89-91 is pretty solid. Hopefully next year he can get back to the low 90's. As for his curveball, I think it's coming along well. He's already getting good movement on it, so I think it will be a plus pitch once he learns some consistency with it.


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