Ex-Dragons once again to play in Futures Game
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By Marc Katz

Dayton Daily News

Saturday, June 23, 2007

For the second straight season, the Cincinnati Reds have placed two players in the Futures Game, that seven-inning exhibition played a couple of days before the major-league All-Star Game.

This year's two like last year's are former Dayton Dragons, first baseman Joey Votto and outfielder Jay Bruce.

Votto played in the game last year on the All-World team (he's Canadian), while Bruce is in his first Futures Game on the All-U.S. team. Reds pitcher Homer Bailey also played in the game last season.

The game is July 8 in San Francisco's AT&T Park.

A positive demotion

Dragons manager Donnie Scott usually feels good for promoted players and hates to tell demoted players they're going back to rookie-league Billings except he feels a little differently about Justin Tordi.

"He needed to get some at-bats," Scott said. "He was a backup catcher and shortstop here, and wasn't going to play much. He'll play shortstop at Billings and get to play. There was a reason for him to go. He's the perfect guy to do it, and we may get him back soon."

Soon came sooner

When Reds farm director Terry Reynolds said Wednesday he was probably going to make more moves from the Dragons roster "and soon" it took him just two days to do it.

Relief pitcher and Midwest League All-Star selection Pedro Viola was promoted to Sarasota on Friday, although he remained on the Dragons roster. Viola was 3-1 with a 1.87 ERA with the Dragons, striking out 49 and walking 17 in 43 1/3 innings.

Viola probably helped himself with a 1 1/3-inning appearance Thursday night when he struck out four, walked one and hit a batter.

His replacement will be announced today.

By the way, even though Sean Watson was sent to Sarasota on Wednesday, he remained on the Dragons roster until Friday morning, which is when the official announcement of his departure was made.

Valiquette in the pen

Left-hander Philippe Valiquette has made his 2007 debut with Billings as a relief pitcher. He pitched as a starter for the Dragons the previous two seasons before personal issues landed him at home in Montreal. He resurfaced at the Reds' Sarasota complex after spring training this season.

Until Friday, Valiquette pitched in one game for the Mustangs, allowing no runs on one hit and two walks in three innings. At some point in his career, expect Valiquette to return to the Dragons.