Tag:Bronson Arroyo
Posted on: September 17, 2011 1:54 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Aviles makes his first homer count

Mike Aviles

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Mike Aviles, Red Sox: Starting in place of the hobbled Kevin Youkilis, Avilies was nearly the goat when his sacrifice attempt in the second inning resulted in a double play. He made up for it in the fourth inning with his first homer in a Red Sox uniform, giving Boston a 4-3 lead -- one they'd hold on to for the big win against the surging Rays. Aviles had just three extra-base hits (all doubles) in 70 plate appearances since his trade from Kansas City on July 29 before hitting the game-winning homer.

Ryan Braun, Brewers: With two homers on Friday in Cincinnati, Braun became the second Brewer in franchise history to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases in the same season. His 29th homer of the season came in the third inning off of Bronson Arroyo (more on that later) and he hit his 30th off of reliever Jeremy Horst in the eighth inning. He entered the game with 31 stolen bases. Tommy Harper hit 31 homers and stole 38 bases for the Brewers in 1970, the team's first season in Milwaukee.

Adron Chambers, Cardinals: In just his second career plate appearance, the Cardinals outfielder singled in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning to help lead the Cardinals to a 4-2 victory. Chambers had an excellent at-bat, fouling off three pitches before lining the ball into right off Phillies reliever Michael Schwimer


Bronson Arroyo, Reds: Prince Fielder's solo shot in the second inning was the 41st homer given up by the Reds starter this season, a new franchise record. The old record was set by left-hander Eric Milton in 2005. But the record wouldn't stay at 41 long, Mark Kotsay and Ryan Braun went back-to-back in the third and George Kottaras homered in the seventh to increase Arroyo's total to 44. Arroyo easily leads the majors in homers allowed this season -- the Rangers' Colby Lewis is second with 33 and Houston's Brett Myers has allowed 31. Only four pitchers in history have allowed more than Arroyo's 44 homers, Bert Blyleven (50, 1986), Jose Lima (48, 2000), Blyleven (46, 1987), Robin Roberts (46, 1956).  Jamie Moyer also allowed 44 in 2004. With two more possible starts, Arroyo could challenge Blyleven's record. Interestingly enough, he's allowed the same number of walks as homers this season. The only pitcher in history to allow more homers than walks (with more than 40 walks) was Roberts in 1956 when he walked just 40 batters.

Derek Lowe, Braves: With Jair Jurrjens unavailable for the first round of the playoffs and Tommy Hanson questionable, if the Braves hang on to win the wild card, they'll need Derek Lowe in the NLDS. Lowe's hardly inspiring confidence right now, allowing six runs on nine hits in just 2 1/3 innings against the same Mets team that had their manager bash them the day before. Lowe, 38, is 0-3 with a 10.15 ERA in August. Rookie Julio Teheran gave up four runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings after relieving Lowe.

Ian Kinsler, Rangers: With two outs and two on in the third, the Rangers second baseman charged a chopper by Dustin Ackley and tried to get rid of the ball quickly to end the inning, but his throw from about 40 feet went well wide of first, allowing the Mariners' first run of the game to score. Pitcher C.J. Wilson didn't help himself, either when his wild pitch allowed another run to score. The Rangers then got a bad break when Mike Carp hit a ball off the bag at second to score yet another run in the three-run third. All three runs in the inning were unearned, and Wilson needed 41 pitches to get through the inning -- 18 following Kinsler's error. Kinsler did record one of the four hits the Rangers managed off of starter Blake Beavans.

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Posted on: September 11, 2011 12:17 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Sanchez dazzles in one-hitter

Sanchez

By Evan Brunell


Anibal Sanchez, Marlins: Sanchez twirled a gem, throwing a complete-game shutout and allowing just one hit and three walks while punching out 11. All in all, it was a stellar performance for the oft-injured right-hander, whose ERA dipped to 3.64. Sanchez's talent is undeniable -- the issue comes with actually staying on the field. Given he's done that for two straight years so far, it's time to look at Sanchez as a legitimate pitcher and one who could be in line for a big payday as a free agent after 2012.

Chris Heisey, Reds: In a losing effort, Heisey cranked two home runs with a solo blast in the third before beginning a run of three consecutive blasts by Cincy in the fifth. It's the third time this season Heisey has tallied two homers in a game, and went 3-for-4 with three runs scored in his latest such game. Now batting .251/.306/.451, Heisey is putting himself in great shape to start next season as the left fielder, assuming Yonder Alonso doesn't stay at the position.
 
Alex Rios, White Sox: Rios delivered a walkoff grand slam in the 10th inning to dip Cleveland below .500. It was the only hit of the game for Rios, but it was a fantastic one. Unfortunately, it's going to be the highlight of the season by far for the center fielder, who is rocking a .222/.258/.332 line. It was Rios' first career slam, and Chicago's first walkoff homer of the year. Thanks to his contract, though, Rios should get every chance to win and hold down the center field job next season.



David Wright, Mets:  Bobby Parnell wasn't exactly great either, and Wright did contribute two hits, but he also made two errors in the game. The second error came in the ninth when the Cubs rallied off of Parnell. Wright's error allowed the first batter of the inning, Geovany Soto, to reach base and it was all downhill from there as New York committed a total of four errors. That's the most the team has committed since last August. "It's no one person's fault that you lose a game," Wright told the Associated Press. "Collectively there's a lot of things we could have done to win this game."

Yoshinori Tateyama, Rangers:  It was a brutal night for Tateyama, who gave up a pinch-hit grand slam to Scott Sizemore after entering the game with the bases loaded. He followed that up by allowing a RBI double before being lifted from the game with an ERA all the way up to 4.71. The last batter the righty faced, which came on Sept. 3, also hammered a grand slam, meaning Tateyama gave up back-to-back slams. His ERA was 3.46 prior to these two slams, and 2.37 on Aug. 23 as he continues to spectacularly implode down the stretch.

Bronson Arroyo, Reds: The nightmare season for Arroyo continues, as he was lit up for six earned runs over just one inning, running his ERA to 5.28, which would be his worst mark since his rookie season of 2000, when he posted a 6.40 ERA in 71 2/3 innings. The following year is his only other time with an ERA north of 5.00. It's a remarkable turn of events for Arroyo, who had been one of the most durable pitchers in his time with Cincy, racking up six straight seasons (the first in Boston) of 200 innings pitched. Arroyo now has allowed 40 homers on the year, tying him with Eric Milton for the franchise record. The MLB record is held by Bert Blyleven, with 50 bombs allowed.

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Posted on: August 30, 2011 9:50 am
Edited on: August 30, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Pepper: Arizona pulling away from champs

Daniel Hudson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Giants' last stand may come this weekend -- if they're even still in it by the time the Diamondbacks visit AT&T Park.

You may have noticed the Diamondbacks are starting to pull away in the National League West, winning their last seven games and increasing their lead in the division to five games. I'm still not sure exactly how it's happened, but you've got to appreciate what Kirk Gibson and his team have done.

Whichever team wins this division will do it by winning the division -- the Giants don't play anyone outside their division the entire month of September, while the Diamondbacks have three games against Pittsburgh in September, but no other games outside the division. What that means? A lot of the Padres and Dodgers and Rockies -- teams with a combined 29 games below .500.

One thing to keep in mind if you like trends, after the Diamondbacks won seven games earlier this month, they went out and lost their next six. If that trend repeats, it'd mean a sweep in San Francisco, which would put the Giants right back into it. But if San Francisco can't score more than a run or two in a game, they won't be sweeping anyone.

Real hero: You hear the word "hero" with sports way too much -- but it's an appropriate use of the word for Emmanuel Marlow. Who is Marlow? He's a vendor at Nationals Park who saved a choking fan on Thursday. Marlow, 49, used the Heimlich maneuver to save the young fan -- then went back to doing his job. Or his second job. Marlow also cares for patients with Parkinson's in his first job. Really, a great story and a real hero. [Washington Post]

Fan scare: Speaking of fan safety, a young fan was hit in the face by a foul ball at Citi Field on Monday. The Marlins' Greg Dobbs hit the ball and said he was told the boy did not suffer broken bones or had his sight damaged, so that's good news. Dobbs gave the kid's mother a bat and Mets second baseman Justin Turner gave him his jersey -- but that's a pretty high price to pay for a jersey and bat. Luckily the boy is OK. [MLB.com]

Perez impresses: The Royals have had their fair share of hyped prospects, so it's OK if you weren't too aware of catcher Salvador Perez. You may want to get used to hearing his name. Since being called up from Triple-A Omaha, he's started 16 of 18 games for Kansas City -- and he's hitting .295/.333/.443, including a 3-for-4 performance and his first home run in Monday's victory over the Tigers. Royals manager Ned Yost said he's "hard to take out of the lineup," and expects him to play 140 games a year. Perez hadn't played above Class A until this season and has had an incredible year, ending in the big leagues. [Kansas City Star]

The new Josh Beckett: Marriage has changed Red Sox starter Josh Beckett, he said. No longer is baseball his top priority -- but he's been even better with it as No. 2 in his life. [WEEI.com]

Standing pat: Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said he "doubts" the team will make a deal before the Aug. 31 trade deadline. Phillies place on the waiver line (last in the National League) and payroll limitations make any move unlikely. [Philadelphia Daily News]

Untested: Monday night was supposed to be an experiment for the Reds' Yonder Alonso. The Reds rookie received his first professional start at third base on Monday night but didn't have a single ball hit his way. While it was surprising, it was part of the plan. Dusty Baker said the team made Alonso's first start at third during a Homer Bailey start on purpose, as "guys don't usually pull Homer." They didn't, so consider the results of the experiment inconclusive. And don't expect a repeat of Alonso at the hot corner on Tuesday with Bronson Arroyo on the mound against the Phillies. [Dayton Daily News]

Carp may stay: Even if the Cardinals don't pick up Chris Carpenter's $15 million option, MLB.com's Matt Leach doesn't see the team letting the right-hander leave via free agency.

Feeling blue: The Mets will wear retro uniforms for their 50th anniversary next season and then add a blue jersey in 2013. [ESPNNewYork.com]

Garfoose is loose: The Rays released minor league right-hander Dirk Hayhurst, which wouldn't mean much if he weren't the author of the very entertaining Bullpen Diaries and a prolific blogger and Twitter user. Best of luck to Hayhurst -- because if he's out of baseball, he may be out of stories, and that would be a shame. [DirkHayhurst.com]

Stats are fun: Yahoo's Jeff Passan has 25 great, nerdy stats in his latest column. If any pitchers are reading this, for all that is holy, don't throw Joey Votto a fastball. 

Feliciano done? Left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano may need career-ending shoulder surgery to repair his a tear in his shoulder. It will certainly end Feliciano's season, but could cost him more. He signed a two-year, $8 million contract before the season and hasn't thrown a pitch for the Yankees. He could get $8 million for just signing his name if he can't come back from this injury. [ESPNNewYork.com]

Socks appeal: There's a proper way to wear a baseball uniform and too often you don't see it -- instead you get the pajama pants look. Hunter Pence's high socks are gaining some attention in Philadelphia. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

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Posted on: August 24, 2011 5:29 pm
 

On Deck: Playoff positioning on display

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

White SoxAngelsPLAYOFF CHASE: The White Sox are tied for second place at 6 1/2 games and can become alone in second with a six-game deficit Wednesday night, but only if they can take out the Angels. As mentioned above, Los Angeles has won five in a row to move to 3 1/2 games behind Texas. It  will send Jered Weaver and his 2.10 ERA to the mound to try to stretch that streak to six games. Weaver will be making his first start since signing a five-year, $85 million extension to stay with the Angels. The White Sox will counter with Zach Stewart, who was acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline and is in the rotation in lieu of the injured Phil Humber. He made two starts earlier in August prior to the injury, then made two relief appearances out of the bullpen and now returns to the rotation with a 3.74 ERA. White Sox vs. Angels, 10:00 p.m. ET

BeckettHarrisonBEST MATCHUP: Josh Beckett and Matt Harrison duel down south in the third game of a four-game series. Both teams have won a game apiece thus far, and Texas is hoping Harrison can down the Red Sox to keep pace with the streaking Angels, winners of five straight. The Red Sox, meanwhile, need Beckett to come out with a victory, as Boston is deadlocked atop the AL East with the Yankees. Hard to argue with the pitchers on either side, with Beckett putting together a resurgent season with a 2.46 ERA. Harrison has caught many by surprise with his fine season, but is checking in at 3.28. Oh, and Boston expects to have DH David Ortiz back in the lineup after a nine-game absence. Red Sox vs. Rangers, 7:00 p.m. ET

ArroyoWORST MATCHUP: On the flip side of things, Cincinnati and Florida will send hurlers with ERAs over 5 to the mound. Bronson Arroyo has the lower mark, 5.28, for the Reds in the second game of a double-header hastily thrown together to avoid the arrival of Hurricane Irene on Thursday. If Arroyo can eke out a win, it will be the first time Cincinnati has gotten back to .500 since July 6. If you had told the baseball world that the Reds would be under .500 as late as August 24, no one (except Cubs and Cardinals fans) would have believed you. And yet, here we are. Anyways, Arroyo had a brutal July, registering a 7.36 ERA that sent his ERA skyward. It's steadily come down in August, with a 3.81 ERA to show for it. The Marlins, meanwhile, offer up Chris Volstad and a 5.66 ERA. Reds vs. Marlins, 7:30 p.m. ET

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 4:45 pm
 

Hurricane forces Wednesday DH in Florida

By C. Trent Rosecrans

With Hurricane Irene working its way toward the Florida coast, the Marlins have moved Thursday's game with the Reds up a day to Wednesday, playing a doubleheader before Cincinnati returns home and Florida heads to Philadelphia.

The game had been scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Thursday, but now the team will play two on Wednesday, with first pitch for the first game scheduled for 4:10 p.m. and the second game coming 20 minutes after the conclusion of first game.

The two teams begin their three-game series tonight at Sun Life Stadium.

The storm is expected to to pass to the east of the Florida coast between Thursday and Friday and could impact the Marlins' Sunday game in Philadelphia if it stays on its current projected path.

The Reds' Homer Bailey will face Javier Vazquez in the first game, while Bronson Arroyo and Chris Volstad will start the second game. 

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 1:28 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Mauer power on display

Mauer

By Evan Brunell


Joe Mauer, Twins: The first home run of the season for Joe Mauer came Wednesday night in the first inning. With two out, he launched a solo home run to right field, a 383-footer. He had a 2-for-4 night with three runs, two RBI and a walk. Now hitting .288/.357/.350, Mauer is heating up, and has been for some time. With this new power, he might be ready to carry Minnesota to a shocking first-place finish. (At six games back, it really might happen.)

Zack Greinke, Brewers: Greinke's appeared in the 3 Down space more than once this season, but we always talked about his astounding strikeout-to-walk rate, now at an impressive 123-21, and said that his ERA -- which was 5.56 four starts ago -- would have to drop. It has, all the way to 4.50, as he's pitched 25 2/3 innings over those starts, giving up four unearned runs and none on Wednesday to the Cubs.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox: Have you noticed what Ellsbury's up to lately? He's hit eight home runs in his last 17 games and now has 17 on the year, tying him with Adrian Gonzalez for second most on the team. The leader? David Ortiz, who banged his 20th on the night, adding Boston's first grand slam of the year. Ellsbury scored three, drove in two and was 3-for-4 with a walk, pushing his line to .325/.383/.528 on the year. He also stole his 29th stolen base, which is rather low for him but with the added power, the Sox don't mind. Boston's never had a 25 HR/25 SB player, by the way.


James Shields, Rays: We're going to spend this edition of 3 Down yelling at pitchers who made poor starts. Let's kick things off with Shields, who somehow gave up 10 earned runs to the Athletics -- yes, the Oakland Athletics -- in four innings, with his ERA going from 2.53 to 3.03. The A's scored one in the third but it all exploded in the fourth with nine scored, with Hideki Matsui's three-run home run the biggest blow. He walked and struck out two apiece and will now attempt to banish this game from his mind as he tries to stay in the AL Cy Young race.

Bronson Arroyo, Reds: Arroyo hasn't been doing great lately, accentuating Cincinnati's need for starting pitchers that much more acute. Arroyo, usually as steady as they come for over 200 innings and an average ERA of 4.00, has the ERA all the way up to 5.58 after allowing five runs (one unearned) in six innings. Arroyo has been shockingly consistent as to giving up four or five runs over six innings, but he's given up an inordinate amount of home runs this season, giving up his 30th on Wednesday to Lucas Duda. He's usually good for 30 an entire season.

Colby Lewis, Rangers: Lewis wasn't bad like Shields, but he wasn't great either. He danced around danger, giving up eight hits and two walks, allowing four earned runs. He gave up two homers, one each to Mauer and Michael Cuddyer. Lewis has actually been trying to come back from a very up-and-down season, his ERA resting at 5.70 after April, driving it down to 3.48 over the next month, then getting rocked in two starts to send it way back up to 4.97.  And on it went, him working it down to 3.93, before this latest outing has him an even 4.00.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 6:53 pm
 

Pepper: Pujols' injury keeping him in St. Louis?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Well, just who is that handsome man joining Lauren Shehadi today? Why, it's me. Hear me ramble about Josh Outman, Dillon Gee and the Marlins in today's Baseball Today.

Cubs TO PASS ON PUJOLS: There are questions about whether the Cubs can even afford to go after Albert Pujols, but the Chicago Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer speculates that Pujols' wrist injury could keep the Cubs from even entering the sweepstakes for the three-time MVP.

Although Pujols has been incredibly durable throughout his career, the injury he suffered Sunday could send red flags to teams considering the long-term investment that Pujols will require. Pujols will likely be looking for the security of a long deal, one that could be the final contract of his career. With concerns about his health, the Ricketts family may just have the excuse they were looking for as to why the Cubs can't lure Pujols from St. Louis.
It could also be nothing; it could be a blip on Pujols' career -- but at this age, you have to consider how long you can be saddled with a declining player. The Cubs have been hamstrung by contracts in the past (see Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Milton Bradley) and a decline triggered by injuries and aided by age can even happen to the game's best players (Ken Griffey Jr.).

There'll still be a market for Pujols after the season, that's for sure. But it'll be interesting to see what kind of markdown there will be following Sunday's injury.

Or, perhaps, this spurs the Cardinals and Pujols to reconsider signing an extension during the season, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo! urges both sides to consider.

Either way, the injury may hurt the Cardinals in the short term but help keep Pujols in St. Louis for the rest of his career.

M'S LEADER: In St. Louis, Brendan Ryan's energy and personality was seen as an annoyance to Tony La Russa. In Seattle, it's a positive, as the shortstop has emerged as a team leader for the surprising Mariners. [Seattle Times]

HOLD FOR FULD: And yet another chapter in the legend of Sam Fuld. While Fuld's numbers have dropped from his hot start, he helped out the Rays in another way Monday -- on the mound. Really, Fuld warming up for the eighth inning isn't as much a testament to Fuld as it is manager Joe Maddon. The Rays needed more time to warm up lefty Cesar Ramos and since Fuld had already entered the game in the pitcher's spot, he didn't have to throw a pitch in the eighth but did take up enough time to allow Ramos to get ready to pitch. [St. Petersburg Times]

NEXT PROSPECT UP: 'Tis the season for prospect call-ups, and the next one may be the Pirates' Alex Presley, the team's 2010 Minor Leaguer Player of the Year who's hitting .332/.382/.506 with eight home runs in Triple-A. Pirates GM Neal Huntington said if the Pirates weren't in the stretch of games in American League parks, Presley would already be with the big club. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

PASSING OVERBAY: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said first baseman Lyle Overbay won't start during the team's series with the Orioles to work on his hitting. Garrett Jones started at first in Overbay's place Monday. Overbay is 4-for-30 in his last 11 games, dropping his season line to .228/.307/.353. Hurdle said Overbay may still be used to pinch-hit or as part of a double switch, but Jones will start the next two games. [MLB.com]


NL CATCHES A BREAK: While the National League gets pounded by the American League in interleague play, the senior circuit may catch a break in the All-Star Game. The way the Tigers' rotation shakes out, Justin Verlander would pitch on the Sunday before the July 12 game in Phoenix, making him ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game two days later. [MLB.com]

INSIDE THE BASEBALL STUDIO: In one of the great, "I wish I would have thought of that" features of recent years, Patrick Cain of FanGraphs.com asks baseball players actual questions from James Lipton on Inside the Actor's Studio. His first one is with Reds starter Bronson Arroyo -- I will say, it'll be interesting to see how many guys go along with this. Bronson's one of those who will answer any question -- and give you great answers. Anyway, bravo Patrick, bravo. 

JOEY BALLGAME?: Had the Reds not taken Joey Votto in the second round of the 2002 draft, the Yankees were ready to snap up the reigning National League MVP. Former Yankee scout Dick Groch was in Votto's living room on draft day waiting for the Yankees to take him. It wasn't quite that close, though (not like, say, the Reds skipping Derek Jeter to take Chad Mottola in 1992), as the Reds selected Votto with the 44th overall pick. The Yankees didn't have a pick until 71 after losing their first-round pick by signing Jason Giambi as a free agent in 2001. So, even if the Reds had passed on Votto, we might be saying the same thing about whatever team picked him up between picks 45 and 70. [ESPNNewYork]

RAYS WOES: There was some positive baseball attendance news from this past weekend, but it wasn't coming from Tampa Bay. The Rays are second-to-last in attendance, yet have the most affordable tickets in professional sports, according to an ESPN the Magazine. [Tampa Tribune]

COFFEY RUN: Nationals reliever Todd Coffey has sprinted in from the bullpen his entire career. At the Nationals' annual Dream Foundation gala on Saturday night, Coffey made his entrance at a full-on sprint -- in a tuxedo. [Washington Post]

RICKEY A LINK TO THE A'S PAST: Rickey Henderson is working as a roving instructor in the Oakland minor league system. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy remembers how beloved an older Rickey was in San Diego, while the San Francisco Chronicle's Gwynn Knapp says Rickey is a link to the team's successful past. Rickey being Rickey can't but help Rickie's brother, Jemile Weeks, and the rest of the A's. 

HUGHES' ROAD BACK: Coming off an impressive start for short-season Staten Island on Sunday, Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes will make another start Friday for Double-A Trenton. [Trentonian]

Mets MESS: The Mets owners fired back at Irving Picard, the trustee overseeing the Bernie Madoff bankruptcy case, in their motion to dismiss the $1 billion lawsuit filed against them. [New York Daily News]

CANADIAN HALL: One of my all-time favorite baseball cards was the Topps Tom Henke All-Star card from 1988. I'm not sure why it always amused me so much, but I'm sure it had to do with the glasses. Still, the glasses often overshadowed one of the best pitchers of the 80s. Henke was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this past weekend. [National Post]

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Posted on: June 18, 2011 7:28 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2011 7:57 pm
 

Reds, Phillips haven't discussed extension

Brandon Phillips

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Reds are expected to pick up Brandon Phillips' $12 million option for next season, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes.

The team hasn't spoken to Phillips about an extension, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said, but didn't rule it out.

"He's got an option," Jocketty told Fay. "That's what options are for. We might try to get something done later."

Earlier this week, Phillips told Amy K. Nelson of ESPN that it would be "hard to keep me here," when asked about his future in Cincinnati. He added, "I'm not trying to break the bank. I'm just trying to be fair. I don't want Jayson Werth money or CC Sabathia money."

That's a little different than what Phillips has repeatedly told the Cincinnati media for the last couple of years. When speaking to Cincinnati people, he's always said he wants to stay in Cincinnati and follow in the footsteps of his boyhood idol, former Reds great Barry Larkin.

He reiterated his desire to finish his career as a Red when speaking to Fay on Saturday.

"I told the Reds and the whole world this is where I want to be," Phillips said. "If it doesn't happen, I'm going to be very, very disappointed. I feel like I've made this a second home. I bought a house here. This is where I want to be, man. The fans just took me in. I feel like I need to stay here and give back.

"Hopefully, it happens. If it doesn't happen this year, I feel in my head and my heart, it's not going to happen."

Phillips has not only made himself a fan favorite through his use of Twitter, but has also donated enough money to help rebuild a local youth baseball field through the Reds Community Fund. He's backed his talk up with actions off the field, to be sure.

Atlanta signed second baseman Dan Uggla to a five-year, $62 million deal this past offseason. Uggla has more power than Phillips, but Phillips is a better all-around player. Philips won his second Gold Glove last season and has been even better defensively this year. His batting average and on-base percentage are about the same as they were a year ago -- and better than his career averages -- but his slugging percentage has taken a dip, as he's hitting .280/.338/.387 this season with five home runs. He hit 30 homers in 2007 and his home run numbers have dropped each season since. 

Phillips will be 30 later this month, so any extension will take that into consideration.

Last year the Reds showed they are willing to pick up a questionable high-priced option when they picked up Bronson Arroyo's $11.5 million option before spinning that into a three-year, $35 million extension.

Phillips will probably be looking for something similar, although he's possibly worth more.

Uggla's contract will be one comparison, but the Reds could point to Rickie Weeks, who signed a four-year, $38.5 million extension heading into this season. Weeks has outperformed Phillips at the plate this season (although, Phillips is much, much better defensively). Phillips has also been much more durable than Weeks, who has played more than 130 games just once in his career, while Phillips has played at least 140 games in every season since coming to the Reds in 2006.

Phillips has the second-highest salary in the game for a second baseman, trailing only Chase Utley.

The Reds' payroll is at $80 million this season -- but they have Francisco Cordero's $12.125 million coming off the books after this season. The team also has raises coming to Arroyo, Joey Votto, Johnny Cueto and Jay Bruce. Votto's signed through 2013, his last season before he's eligible for free agency. He gets a $4 million raise for 2012 and $7.5 million raise to $19 million in 2013. Bruce also has an increased salary for each of the next five seasons.

Reds owner Bob Castellini has said he could afford to keep the core of his team only if the team's attendance picked up after their National League Central run of a season ago. So far this season, the Reds are averaging 24,230 fans a game at Great American Ball Park, which is actually down from last season's average of 25,438. The average should increase as school lets out for the summer, but if there's a big enough increase in attendance for Castellini to keep his word is still to be seen.

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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