Tag:Todd Frazier
Posted on: August 14, 2011 1:38 am

3 Up, 3 Down: Posada produces in start

Jorge Posada

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jorge Posada, Yankees: For the first time since he'd been benched, Posada was in the Yankees' starting lineup on Saturday. He may have made manager Joe Girardi reconsider things, if only briefly. Posada was 3 for 5 with six RBI including a grand slam in the the fifth inning off of Rays reliever Brandon Gomes as part of the Yankees' 9-2 victory. It was Posada's fifth career six-RBI day and will be in the lineup as the DH again on Sunday.

Miguel Cairo, Reds: For the first time in his 16-year career, Cairo hit more than one homer in a game, blasting two homers against the Padres in the Reds' 13-1 victory. The 37-year-old now has a career-best seven homers on the season, besting his 2004 total of six with the Yankees. The Reds clubbed seven homers in all, with Cairo and Ryan Hanigan hitting two each. Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier also homered. The first five homers of the game came off starter Tim Stauffer, who last just three innings, and Cairo's second homer was off reliever Anthony Bass and Hanigan hit his second off of Joe Thatcher

Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians: Cabrera's third inning three-run homer was the Indians' only offense of the day, but it was enough for Cleveland's 3-1 victory over the Twins. It was Cabrera's 20th homer of the season, making him just the third Indians shortstop to hit that many home runs in a  season. Jhonny Peralta and Woodie Held each accomplished the feat three times, with Peralta's 24-homer season in 2005 setting the team mark for homers by a shortstop. While that doesn't sound like much, Cabrera entered the season with just 18 homers in his career. He also reached a career-high with 71 RBI.

Jered Weaver, Angels: In his first game back from a six-game suspension, the Blue Jays hit Weaver harder than Carlos Guillen.  The Angels' ace lasted just 4 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on eight hits. His eight runs were as many as he'd allowed in his previous seven starts and the three homers were as many as he'd allowed in his last 80 1/3 innings. Adam Lind's grand slam coped a five-run fifth, marking the first time Weaver had allowed mor ethan four runs in a start since Aug. 17, 2010. Edwin Encarnacion and Mark Teahen also homered off of Weaver, whose ERA jumped from 1.78 to 2.13.

Oakland Athletics: The A's committed four errors and had two wild pitches in a 7-1 loss to the Rangers, but A's manager Bob Melvin said, "Really, we played worse than that" (via the San Francisco Chronicle). Oakland starter Trevor Cahill took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Yorvit Torrealba broke it up with a one-out single. That same inning, Jemile Weeks committed two errors on one play, setting up Ian Kinsler's RBI double for the game's first run. Shortstop Eric Sogard had an error in the fifth and third baseman Scott Sizemore's eight-inning error led to an unearned run in the three-run Rangers' eighth. The A's lead the big leagues with 98 errors in 119 games.

Jeremy Guthrie, Orioles: With a 5-1 lead, Guthrie allowed six consecutive two-out hits and five runs in the sixth inning, leading to a 6-5 loss to the Tigers. In his first 5 2/3 innings, the right-hander had allowed just two hits and a run but then fell apart. Guthrie fell to 5-16 on the season and the Orioles have lost nine of 11.

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 12:21 am

Youkilis could see himself with Reds

Kevin YoukilisBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Kevin Youkilis is under contract with the Red Sox through next season with a club option for 2013, but he can see life after Boston.

With Adrian Gonzalez locked up through 2018, Youkilis won't be returning to first base anytime soon and one of the team's most prized prospects is a third baseman, Will Middlebrooks. In an interview with ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald, the 32-year-old Youkilis said he could see himself returning to his hometown of Cincinnati after spending the all of his career in Boston.

"If it wasn't Bsoton, I would want to play in Cincinnati just to say that I did it," Youkilis said. "I grew up rooting for them. I used to be bitter towards the Reds because they didn't draft me, but that bitterness is gone. It would be fun and it would be for my family."

He could also make sense for the Reds. Cincinnati's current first baseman, Joey Votto, is a free agent after the 2013 season and would certainly command big money in free agency, perhaps more than the team can afford. The team is also without a third baseman of the future, as Scott Rolen's contract runs through the 2012 season and at 36 may not play past that contract. The Reds' top third base prospect, Juan Francisco, has had three stints in the big leagues, but failed to make a true impact. Francisco, 24, has a ton of power, but isn't very good defensively. Todd Frazier, currently on the roster, has played third but lacks a true position.

Youkilis is beloved in Boston, but said he could see a day when he wasn't playing for the Red Sox.

"I don't know what their plans are past [2013] but I actually think it would be cool, if I don't play here, that there's going to be another guy to enjoy the opportunities that I had," Youkilis said. "I've been thinking about that a lot. Probably for the first time in my life I haven't worried about if I had to go to another team and it doesn't bother me."

Youkilis went to high school at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, just up I-71 from Great American Ball Park and also played four years at the University of Cincinnati. Youkilis was undrafted after his junior year and taken by the Red Sox in the eighth round of the 2001 draft. He's a frequent visitor to Cincinnati in the offseason and at Bearcat football games.

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Posted on: August 9, 2011 12:20 am
Edited on: August 9, 2011 12:21 am
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Posted on: August 8, 2011 6:51 pm

Reds' Alonso left in positional limbo

Yonder AlonsoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The moment Yonder Alonso was drafted by the Reds in the first round of the 2008 draft, the questions about where he'd play began. Alonso played first base at Miami and looked like he'd be limited to first base.

That's fine and good, except for when you have the reigning MVP at first base already and that player's just 27. 

Last spring the Reds started trying Alonso in left field and he played 30 games there in 2010 between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville, but still played the bulk of his time at first base, logging 96 games there. This season with his bat ready for the big leagues, he was given more time in the left field, where he played 62 games in left compared to 21 at first base.

Since the left-handed hitting prospect was called up to the big leagues when Jonny Gomes was traded, he's started three games in left and none at first. The first part is going to change, the second may not.

Alonso's latest position may be third base after he struggled in two games in left at Wrigley Field this past weekend, playing one ball into an inside-the-park home run for Cubs rookie Tony Campana and then misplaying another ball for a crucial error in Saturday's loss.

When asked on Monday when Alonso would play left again, Reds manager Dusty Baker told reporters, "not in the near future," according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Alonso took ground balls at third base -- his main position growing up, he's said -- but Baker said he doesn't expect Alonso there anytime soon.

"You don't want to do it in the big leagues," Baker said, according to Fay. "But that's the position he started at. It's a mirror image of first base, really. You get more plays. Most first baseman are at first because they're left-handed or they don't have the arm to play third.

"We'll see. We're trying to find the best place to get his bat in the lineup."

Yonder AlonsoWhile Alonso's looked shaky in the field, he's been locked in at the plate, where he's started the season 8 for 16 with two doubles and a homer. The Reds called up another prospect, Dave Sappelt, on Sunday when Chris Heisey went on the disabled list and Sappelt will likely get a chance to play quite a bit in left and center. Sappelt had a hit leading off in his major-league debut on Sunday. Fred Lewis is starting in left on Monday.

Finding a spot for Alonso is tricky. The Reds thought he was the best hitter available when they took him with the seventh overall pick in the 2008 draft and he's shown it in the minors, where he's combined to hit .293/.370/.466. He was hitting .296/.374/.486 with 12 homers when he was called up. Although he's 4 for 7 as a pinch-hitter so far this season, going forward he's going to be too valuable for filling just that role.

The Reds and Blue Jays reportedly talked about a blockbuster sending Joey Votto to his native Toronto in exchange for Jose Bautista, opening a spot for Alonso. Although that deal didn't go down, it does show how much the team values Alonso and feels he can be an impact player in the big leagues.

Votto is under contract through 2013, so he's in the team's immediate future but could be too expensive when he reaches free agency. Alonso would be a lower-cost alternative.

Alonso could also finish the season strong and be a more valuable trade piece in the offseason because of his early success in the big leagues. 

Physically, Alonso looks more like a first baseman -- or DH -- than third baseman, but he says he feels comfortable there. He didn't play third at Miami because current Twin Danny Valencia was at third base when he got there. The Reds have a need at third base. With Scott Rolen on the disabled list (and at 36), the Reds are using a combination of rookie Todd Frazier and veteran Miguel Cairo to man the position. Rolen is under contract through next season and the team's top prospect at the position, Juan Francisco, has been hurt this season and unproductive in a couple of big-league stints.

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Posted on: July 22, 2011 6:31 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 6:38 pm

Reds place Rolen on DL

Scott RolenBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Reds have placed Scott Rolen on the disabled list with a strained left shoulder.

Rolen, 36, started Wednesday in the Reds' victory over the Pirates but had missed the previous three games. Although he started the All-Star Game for an injured Placido Polanco of the Phillies, Rolen has struggled this season, hitting .242/.279/.397 with five home runs and 36 RBI.

This is the second trip to the DL for Rolen this season because of the same injury. He was on the DL from April 24 to May 12.

The Reds called up Todd Frazier from Triple-A to take Rolen's place on the roster. Rolen, formerly the team's top prospect, can play third -- as well as shortstop and the corner outfield spots. This is Frazier's second stint with the team. He got a pinch-hit appearance on May 23 in Philadelphia.

Veteran Miguel Cairo is in the lineup for Rolen for Friday's game against the Braves.

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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.

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Posted on: June 24, 2010 5:59 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2010 6:52 pm

Reds sign Matthews to minor-league deal

Gary Matthews Jr. In a move that has been rumored since spring training, the Reds signed outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. to a minor-league contract, the team announced on Thursday.

Matthews played 36 games for the Mets this season and hit an abysmal .190/.266/.241. While Matthews was being mentioned as a trade candidate for the Reds this spring, some inside the organization scoffed at the thought of Matthews making the big league squad.

Center fielder Drew Stubbs has struggled so far this season -- .231/.306/.382 -- but that's still better than Matthews, and Stubbs' defense is monumentally better at this point than the former Gold Glove-winning Matthews. The Reds also have another better option in Chris Heisey (.280/.368/.600 in 57 plate appearances), who is more natural at a corner outfield spot, but both of those are taken in Cincinnati with Jay Bruce and Jonny Gomes. Laynce Nix is the fifth outfielder.

Matthews fits only where he'll be -- at Triple-A Louisville. The Bats haven true center fielder. Michael Griffen and utility man Chris Burke have been manning the outfield for Rick Sweet. The team has little other outfield depth, using two other part-time infielders, Todd Frazier and Yonder Alonso, in the outfield, along with one-time prospect Wladimir Balentien.

Sure, the usual suspects will cry Dusty Baker and bring up Corey Patterson and Willy Taveras, and that could be an issue if Patterson were to make the roster, but that's not happening. There's no place for Matthews in Cincinnati and baring and injury, don't expect to see him there anytime soon.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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