Tag:Jordan Smith
Posted on: November 30, 2011 2:13 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Cincinnati Reds

Joey Votto

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule of this feature, click here.

During the series, we've seen some lineups that would be completely foreign to the hometown fans, and some a little less so. The homegrown Cincinnati Reds, for better or worse, look quite similar to the team that took the field at Great American Ball Park this past season. While there are similar strengths, the same problems also crop up.

Lineup

1. Jay Bruce, RF
2. Justin Turner, 2B
3. Joey Votto, 1B
4. Adam Dunn, LF
5. Juan Francisco, 3B
6. Drew Stubbs, CF
7. Devin Mesoraco, C
8. Zack Cozart, SS

Starting Rotation

1. Johnny Cueto
2. Mike Leake
3. Homer Bailey
4. Travis Wood
5. Zach Stewart

Bullpen

Closer - Aroldis Chapman
Set up - Todd Coffey, Logan Ondrusek, Jordan Smith, Josh Roenicke, Enerio Del Rosario
Long - Sam LeCure

Notable Bench Players

Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, Adam Rosales, Ryan Hanigan, Chris Heisey, Chris Denorfia, Chris Dickerson. The Reds hypothetical situation behind the plate is the same as their current situation, one underrated catcher and two promising prospects, a problem most teams would envy. The hypothetical Reds also have no real spot for Alonso, although a short leash on Dunn could have this homegrown team toy with the notion of trying Alonso in left -- just like the real Reds.

What's Good?

The lineup's going to put up runs, that's for sure. There are some lineup construction problems, but this team can flat out hit, especially in their home ballpark. The defense isn't as good as it is in real life, it's still not too bad (with the exception of Dunn). The team has a lot of talent behind the plate and the bench is deep with some versatility.

What's Not?

The Reds were unable to repeat their 2010 division title in large part because of the failings of their starting rotation -- that's not fixed with these five. There's also no real answer to the team's search for a leadoff man, just like the real Reds. This bullpen isn't as experienced or strong as the real thing, either.

Comparison to real 2011

While there are some key personel missing, like Brandon Phillips and Francisco Cordero, there's also an added boost to the lineup of Dunn (we'll just assume he would have performed closer to his career numbers than his historically bad 2011 in the familiar confines of Great American Ball Park than in Chicago), the offense would have been about the same. The pitching, though, is still a problem, so this squad may fair a bit worse than the team's 79-83 record. However, the team is interesting, talented and young.

Next: Kansas City Royals

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: May 23, 2011 4:53 pm
Edited on: May 23, 2011 5:39 pm
 

Reds demote Volquez

Edinson Volquez

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Edinson Volquez, the Reds' opening day starter, is now a Louisville Bat. The Reds optioned Volquez and reliever Jordan Smith to Triple-A Louisville before Monday's game with the Phillies.

Volquez gave up seven runs (six earned) in 2 2/3 innings and has struggled mightily in the first inning this year, allowing 21 first-inning runs in 11 starts. Overall, he's 3-2 with a 6.35 ERA and a 4.16 xFIP, suggesting he's been better than he's pitched. In 51 innings, he's recorded 53 strikeouts but also 38 walks to go along with his 47 hits. He's also given up nine homers, including one to Asdrubal Cabrera on Sunday.

However, his greater sin may have been with his mouth, not his right arm. After the Reds' 12-4 loss to the Indians, Volquez called out the team's offense, which is second in the National League in runs scored.

"Everybody has to step up, score some runs," Volquez told reporters after the game. "In the last five games, how many runs have we scored? Like 13? That's not the way we were playing last year. We're better than that."

It was actually 12 runs in the last five games, which saw the Reds go 1-4, including four straight losses. But Volquez, who hasn't pitched more than six innings this season, is hardly the one to talk about a lack of run support. The Reds have scored 53 runs in his 11 starts -- nearly five an outing -- and the offense is why he has a winning record. The Reds have trailed in each of his 11 starts, with the offense picking him up to win six of those games.

The Reds acquired Volquez (along with left-handed reliever Daniel Ray Herrera) after the 2007 season from the Rangers in exchange for Josh Hamilton. With the Rangers, Volquez was seen as something of a problem child, being sent down from the majors to Class A Bakersfield to work his way back to the big leagues. However, he responded well and made his way back, before the Rangers traded him for the future MVP.

As well as Hamilton played with the Rangers, there was early debate over which side got the better of the deal as Volquez made the All Star team in his first season with the Reds, going 7-1 with a 1.33 ERA in his first nine starts in Cincinnati. He finished the season 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA but struggled in 2009 before undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Last season he served a 50-game suspension for use of performance-enhancing drugs but didn't miss any time because he was able to serve his suspension during his rehab, making his debut on July 17. Voqluez finished the season with mixed results, going 4-3 with a 4.31 ERA. He started Game 1 of the National League Division Series against the Phillies but was knocked out after 1 2/3 innings while his opposite, Roy Halladay, pitched a no-hitter.

It will be interesting to see if Volquez gets the message again this time, or if he goes off and blames someone else (again). The Reds' brass will certainly be watching how he reacts in Louisville, but it should be noted that Volquez is being placed into the hands of some of the Reds' most trusted employees: Louisville manager Rick Sweet and pitching coach Ted Power. Both are well-respected by the team and well liked by most everyone, including players. If Sweet and Power can't handle Volquez and his talented arm, the Reds may have a bigger problem on their hands.

Volquez has always had ace-like stuff, but his head has often gotten in the way of him breaking through to become a real No. 1.

While the Reds' have certainly been on the losing end of the trade with the Rangers, they may have gotten lucky with Volquez this offseason. Volquez was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, and the team offered him a deal to buy out the rest of his arbitration years. Instead, he signed a one-year deal worth $1.625 million and gambled that he'd have a good year and get a better deal from Cincinnati later on. Right now, it appears that won't be coming anytime soon, and the Reds may have saved themselves some money.

Coming up is Maloney, who will likely replace him in the rotation. Maloney appeared in five games for the Reds this year, making one start, lasting just two innings while giving up eight hits and three runs in two innings against the Cardinals -- although that was hardly a regular start. Maloney was the starter of record, even though Volquez warmed up and was the scheduled starter. After a two-hour rain delay, Volquez was scratched before he threw a pitch, and Maloney was the starter of record. Last season, Maloney was 0-2 with a 3.09 ERA in two starts and 2-2 with a 3.05 ERA overall.


Frazier was the team's top prospect in 2010 before it signed Aroldis Chapman, but he struggled last season and saw his ranking drop. He can play all over the infield and has also played the outfield. He's hitting .293/.366/.579 with 11 homers at Louisville.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: May 16, 2011 3:59 pm
 

Reds place Aroldis Chapman on DL

By Evan Brunell

ChapmanAroldis Chapman has hit the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.

Also known as "suckitude." OK, maybe he really does have inflammation, but there's been zero hint of any injury as no one has spoken about it. Oftentimes, when a player is pitching as bad as this and there are little available options, phantom injuries are created to land him on the DL. Yes, the Reds are skirting the rules, but every team does it and it's really nothing to get worked up about.

Chapman walked a dizzying four batters while registering just one out in Sunday's game. Over the last four games hearkening back to April 30, Chapman has walked 12 in 1 1/3 innings, failing to register an out twice. He's coughed up just two hits in that span, but it's awfully hard to hit what's not crossing the plate. His three strikeouts in his span all came on the 30th, so he's been especially awful the last three times out.

Pitching coach Bryan Price spoke about Chapman to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal earlier, mentioning that a demotion to Triple-A wasn't exactly as easy as it sounded, as many have wondered why he can't just be optioned out.

“Nobody here wants to send this kid down for a multitude of reasons,” Price says. “You have to look at the pros and cons of what the emotional response would be. You’re not dealing with a kid who has been in this country and understands player development.

“There is more than meets the eye here, has been from the inception. This kid has some huge hurdles to get over. Everyone is going to have their opinions. But it’s not as easy to put together as people might think.”

As for what's wrong with Chapman, manager Dusty Baker told MLB.com that "we just have to figure out what's wrong with Chapman. You've got to work and that's what he's been doing. He's working before the game with Bryan [Price], trying to find his release point. He was wild high before and now he's wild low. It seems like everything is cutting. We just have to go back and try to figure out what we're going to do at this point. We don't know."

The Reds recalled righty Jordan Smith to take Chapman's place. Smith was optioned to the minors a little over a week ago after posting a 5.29 ERA in 17 innings.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 17, 2010 1:30 am
Edited on: September 17, 2010 11:27 am
 

Reds rookies get dressed up

As I've mentioned before, I'm a sucker for the rookie road trip .

Thursday, it was the Reds' rookies that got to dress up for their trip to Houston, and Reds blogger/assistant media relations director Jamie Ramsey has the photos .

What's more, two local Cincinnati TV stations have video of the rookies getting ready. Here's Fox 19 and WLWT .

That's Jordan Smith in the police woman costume, Yonder Alonso as the baby, Chris Valaika as Mrs. Claus, Travis Wood as the female Robin, Mike Leake in baby blue, Logan Ondrusek with the bright pink wig, Chris Heisey in a corset and Sam LeCure as a purple showgirl.

On Twitter , LeCure said, "I enjoy that stuff, it's an honor."

And it really is -- it's a time when the veterans can see what a rookie is made of -- if he makes the best of it, he's a good guy. If he sulks and tries to get out of it, his teammates won't forget it.

UPDATE: Add FSOhio to the list with video of the rookie fun.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .






 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com