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Thread: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

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    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    09/26/2007

    Notes: Hamilton pleased with season
    Outfielder's first stint in bigs a success after injuries
    By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com


    CINCINNATI -- Knowing his season is already prematurely over because of a hamstring injury, Reds outfielder Josh Hamilton had no regrets about a rookie season played under a hot spotlight.
    "I think it was a good year, overall," Hamilton said on Wednesday. "I accomplished some things. Hopefully, I've proved some things to some people. If I didn't, oh well. My confidence has definitely lifted coming out of the season. I feel like baseball is baseball again."

    Hamilton strained his right hamstring in a Sept. 12 game and hasn't played since. Although, he hadn't swung a bat while the team was away on its 10-day road trip, he talked to the club about trying to play the final week. It was ruled too risky to take any chances, so he's stuck to a rehabilitation program.

    "I'm running 100 percent straight forward," Hamilton said. "But they don't want me to do any kind of breaking on balls or anything like that. The most I could do is pinch-hit, but I'd have to get pinch-run for."

    Media from the sports and news worlds paid close attention to Hamilton's uplifting story this year. The 26-year-old, the No. 1 overall selection by Tampa Bay in 1999's First-Year Player Draft, returned to professional baseball after missing most of the previous four seasons because of drug use and suspensions. At every new city on the road, Hamilton readily granted interview sessions with the media that frequently focused on his past.

    In his first big league start on April 10 at Arizona, Hamilton's first big league hit was a home run. He went on to hit .292 with 19 home runs and 47 RBIs. His five-tool talent, including a rifle left arm, appeared intact. An early Rookie of the Year favorite, injuries limited him to 90 games this season.

    Hamilton endured extended stints on the disabled list in May, because of gastroenteritis, and July, with a sprained wrist.

    "I'm happy about playing 90 games," he said. "I thought I'd be hurt a lot more than I was. I've never been healthy in a season before, plus being off for 3 1/2 years and coming back, I didn't know how my body was going to hold up."

    Hamilton's hamstring started bothering him in mid-August but he tried to play on.

    "If I had taken two weeks [off] when it first happened in Chicago, would I be back playing now? Probably," Hamilton said. "But I had just come off the disabled list for the second time and didn't want to go back, so I pushed through it. I think it was the right thing to do at the time."

    Hamilton will return home to Raleigh, N.C., after the season. Besides weight lifting and speed work, he plans to continue hitting with coach and confidante Johnny Narron. Using improved stretching techniques, he'll try to prepare his body for another grind in his sophomore season.

    "I'm going to do a lot of the same things I did last offseason, because I think that worked very well," Hamilton said. "If you count Spring Training, I played in about 120 games this year. I played almost every day in spring. That's the most I've played baseball since I've turned professional."

    Dunn update: Left fielder Adam Dunn had season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Wednesday morning. Team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek repaired torn meniscus cartilage and cleaned out the knee in a one-hour procedure.

    Dunn is expected to fully recover in 4-6 weeks. He batted .264 with 40 home runs and a career-high 106 RBIs this season.

    Gil activated: Infielder/outfielder Jerry Gil was activated from the 60-day DL after he had missed the entire season. Gil had Tommy John surgery performed on his right elbow May 8 after he was injured during Spring Training.

    To make room for Gil, Ryan Freel (knee surgery) was transferred to the 60-day DL.

    Lopez to play: Interim manager Pete Mackanin planned to start infielder Pedro Lopez in Thursday's game vs. Houston. Other than a pinch-running appearance on Friday, Lopez hasn't played since coming off the DL on Sept. 9. He hasn't batted in a game since his cheekbone was broken July 25 by a pitch to the face.

    "I think it's important that before he leaves, that he gets back on the horse and is feeling confident," said Mackanin, who didn't know yet which position Lopez would play.
    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...=.jsp&c_id=mlb
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    Notes: Dunn positive after procedure
    Bellhorn bolsters thin bench; Phillips rests after milestone
    By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

    CINCINNATI -- Nothing seemed unusual at first about seeing Adam Dunn walk into the Reds clubhouse on Thursday. Then there was the realization the Reds left fielder just had season-ending knee surgery one day earlier.

    Dunn was not even using crutches.

    "I can't take them." Dunn said. "I asked if it was alright [to not use crutches] and they said don't put a lot of weight on it."

    Dunn had torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee repaired in a one-hour arthroscopic procedure performed by medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek. The only evidence of the operation was a wrap on his right leg under his shorts.

    "It feels a lot better than I thought it would," Dunn said.

    It was the 27-year-old's first operation.

    "And my last," added Dunn, who planned to start his rehab on Monday near his Houston home. "I don't know how some people do it. I really don't."

    Dunn batted .264 with 40 home runs and a career-high 106 RBIs in 152 games this season. But now that he's finished for 2007, he wasn't overly satisfied with the outcome.

    "They were OK," Dunn said of his numbers. "I don't want to sound like I'm always complaining about it, but it always seems like, 'Well, if I don't start out as bad as I did.' I don't know. I'm going to put it together one day."

    Disappointed with his 2006 season, especially down the stretch, Dunn vowed at Spring Training to be better this year in several areas of the game. In many ways, he succeeded. He raised his average 30 points from last year, and he struck out 165 times, compared to 194 in 2006. In the final two months, he batted .275 (41-for-149) compared to .176 during last season's stretch. He walked over 100 times and had 40 homers for the fourth year in a row.

    "I didn't fizz off like I did last year," Dunn said. "In the second half, I learned a lot this year. Something clicked in where I was seeing the ball a lot better in the second half. I felt night and day better than the first half."

    Dunn has a $13 million option for next season, with a $500,000 buyout, but said he's been given no indication if it will be picked up.

    Bellhorn back: In need of healthy bodies on the bench, the Reds added infielder Mark Bellhorn to the roster on Thursday. Bellhorn hadn't played since Triple-A Louisville's season ended on Sept. 3.

    "He was playing golf in Scottsdale, [Ariz.]," Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "But it hasn't been that long. He can pinch-hit, double-switch, [or be] a switch-hitter off the bench. We've been slammed so hard with injuries lately that the bench has become kind of slim."

    This is Bellhorn's third stint with Cincinnati. He was 1-for-11 (.091) in 10 big league games this season. Bobby Livingston (shoulder surgery) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster.

    Ken Griffey Jr., Dunn, Josh Hamilton, Alex Gonzalez and Scott Hatteberg are among those missing because of injuries. Jerry Gil was activated from the disabled list on Wednesday after missing all season because of elbow surgery but Gil will "strictly pinch-run," according to Mackanin.

    "Has anybody been hurt since we got here today?" Mackanin joked.

    Everyday Eddie steady: Reliever Eddie Guardado worked another scoreless inning Wednesday, giving him a six-inning, six-appearance scoreless streak. Guardado pitched the seventh inning in a 7-6 loss to Houston and allowed one hit and one walk.

    In nine appearances since Aug. 22, Guardado has posted a 1.04 ERA. It's lowered his overall ERA from 22.50 to 7.82 in 14 games. The Reds hold a $3 million club option for 2008 on the left-hander, who hasn't gotten an indication yet if it will be picked up.

    "They've got some tough decisions to make," said Guardado, who came back from Tommy John surgery, performed in 2006. "Hopefully I may be a part of it. If I'm not, somebody can use me. I'm not too worried about it, but you always like to finish what you've started. They brought you over here for a reason, you end up getting hurt. Nobody wants to get hurt, but it's something you have to battle through."

    Guardado wasn't sure if he'd sign at a lower price if the Reds didn't pick up the option.

    "I couldn't tell you that right now," Guardado said.

    Phillips rested: The least surprising lineup omission on Thursday was Brandon Phillips. The second baseman, who reached his 30-homer, 30-stolen base season milestone with a long ball on Wednesday, was given the night off. Jeff Keppinger shifted from shortstop to second base. Pedro Lopez started at shortstop in his first action since being hit in the face by a pitch on July 25 and breaking his cheekbone.

    Coming up: Bronson Arroyo (9-14, 4.22 ERA) will start the Reds' 7:10 p.m. ET game on Friday against the Cubs. In a rotation adjustment, Carlos Zambrano (16-13, 4.20) was moved up one day to start for Chicago.

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin

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    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Bellhorn back: In need of healthy bodies on the bench, the Reds added infielder Mark Bellhorn to the roster on Thursday. Bellhorn hadn't played since Triple-A Louisville's season ended on Sept. 3.

    "He was playing golf in Scottsdale, [Ariz.]," Reds interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "But it hasn't been that long. He can pinch-hit, double-switch, [or be] a switch-hitter off the bench. We've been slammed so hard with injuries lately that the bench has become kind of slim."

    This is Bellhorn's third stint with Cincinnati. He was 1-for-11 (.091) in 10 big league games this season. Bobby Livingston (shoulder surgery) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster.

    Always good to know that the Reds acquire bench depth from golf courses at least 2 time zones away....

    3 weeks off seems to be a lil much to think that Bellhorn can contribute positively, even as bench depth.

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    Hamilton has to be pleased with what he did this season, after the "demons" that kept him out of baseball these last few years. Definitely positive steps.

    Now get into some off-season conditioning to get yourself better prepared for '08 and help your endurance and keep you off the DL. His volatility is a question mark.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Member icehole3's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    I know he needed the reps in spring training, but he was used so much in the spring I wonder if that had a lot to do with him breaking down at the end.

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    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Highlifeman21 View Post
    Always good to know that the Reds acquire bench depth from golf courses at least 2 time zones away....

    3 weeks off seems to be a lil much to think that Bellhorn can contribute positively, even as bench depth.
    I remember the Browns grabbing Don Strock off the Doral Country Club roster one year. Strock ended up going 2-0 as the Browns QB.

    Maybe Bellhorn could provide some last minute heroics against his former club? :all_cohol
    Some people play baseball. Baseball plays Jay Bruce.

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    "I can't take them." Dunn said. "I asked if it was alright [to not use crutches] and they said don't put a lot of weight on it."
    I don't see how that's possible for a 275 pound man.

    Dunn had a great season despite playing with a torn meniscus. Man, if that doesn't silence his critics for a while, I don't know what will.
    Last edited by Johnny Footstool; 09-28-2007 at 10:16 AM.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC View Post
    His volatility is a question mark.
    Volatility, Gracie?
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

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    "Let's Roll" TeamBoone's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    IIRC, one of Josh's DL stints was due to illness and not injury.

    Also, I'm not sure how long AD was playing with the sore knee, but I was under the impression it was the last 3-4 weeks, not all season. I may be wrong though. Either way, yes, he did have a nice season... pretty good defensively too.
    "Enjoy this Reds fans, you are watching a legend grow up before your very eyes" ... DoogMinAmo on Adam Dunn

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    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    Dunn had a great season despite playing with a torn meniscus. Man, if that doesn't silence his critics for a while, I don't know what will.
    You'd think 4 straight years of 40+ HRs would have done that.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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    Let's ride BRM's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis View Post
    You'd think 4 straight years of 40+ HRs would have done that.
    Not when they come with a low batting average and high strikeout totals. Some still cling to those 2 things as the Holy Grail for being a productive hitter.
    Last edited by BRM; 09-28-2007 at 01:09 PM.

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis View Post
    You'd think 4 straight years of 40+ HRs would have done that.
    True.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    Dunn has a $13 million option for next season, with a $500,000 buyout, but said he's been given no indication if it will be picked up.
    Long-term contract implications you think?

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    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post

    Dunn had a great season despite playing with a torn meniscus. Man, if that doesn't silence his critics for a while, I don't know what will.
    Lemme take a stab at what we might hear this year on the hot stove chats..

    "Dunn hurt the team by playing with a hurt knee!!"
    "Dunn is just faking it so he can stay home and play nintendo"
    "Dunn really hurt his knee playing Wii Sports!!"

    and on and on..
    Go Gators!

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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton Please with Season; Dunn Update; Lopez Playing

    Quote Originally Posted by KronoRed View Post
    Lemme take a stab at what we might hear this year on the hot stove chats..

    "Dunn hurt the team by playing with a hurt knee!!"
    "Dunn is just faking it so he can stay home and play nintendo"
    "Dunn really hurt his knee playing Wii Sports!!"

    and on and on..
    Hopefully, folks will look at the lineup without Dunn and figure out his value. Nah...that's expecting too much.


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