Tag:Chris Heisey
Posted on: March 20, 2011 10:02 pm

3 up, 3 down for 3/20: Morel wins 3B gig


By Evan Brunell

We're getting to the part of spring training where players on the bubble who are given serious consideration for a job start looking for pink slips in their locker. Just one good (or bad, as Andrew Miller will probably find out) day could be enough to swing a decision. So who helped and hurt themselves today?

3 UP

1. 3B Brent Morel, CHW: 4 AB, 2 H. Morel's day at the plate was nothing to write home about, but he received good news earlier in the day when manager Ozzie Guillen told the youngster he had won the third base job. Morel's known for his glove more than stick, but he should be able to hold his own on offense. Now, Mark Teahen will be bumped to a backup role and certainly is available in a trade.

2. CF Chris Heisey, CIN: 6 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 2 RBI, 2 K. Heisey appears to have won the fourth outfielder's job in Cincinatti, besting Fred Lewis and Jeremy Hermida. The 26-year-old also impressed off the bench as a bench player, although he struggled when drawing the starting assignment. He could eventually emerge as a starter, but a career as a solid No. 4 outfielder appears more likely.

3. SP Charlie Morton (pictured), PIT: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Where did this come from? Morton has a 1.29 ERA in spring training after finishing last season with a 2-12 record and 7.57 ERA in 17 starts as a 26-year-old. However, Morton has likely fought his way into a rotation spot by dint of his excellent spring in which he has punched out eight and walked just one in 14 1/3 innings.


1. DH Jack Cust, SEA: 4 AB, 1 H, 1 RBI, 3 K, 4 LOB. Seriously, this is a typical Cust line right here. Cust is known for a low batting average, strong eye and solid to good power (he banged two homers on Saturday). Cust is going to be looked upon to help Seattle move past their brutal offensive season last year, but his power has been largely dormant the last two years.

2. SP Andrew Miller, BOS: 0 IP, 4 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 0 K. There's been plenty of ink written about the promise Andrew Miller has and how Boston may be the place for him to put it all together. One start doesn't make that go away, but this brutal outing underscores just how long to go Miller has to be anything of value to the big-league team. The odds are still stacked against him. Miller had long odds to make the Red Sox bullpen anyways, and this outing may have just sealed his fate.

3. SP Edinson Volquez, CIN: 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 3 K. Volquez has never been one known for control, but he seems to have particularly struggled with it on his return from Tommy John surgery. That's not uncommon, but for Volquez to continue to have these issues speaks to a larger issue, whether that's a tougher time in returning from the surgery or an underlying issue of dude just not having command at all. Given the Reds lack a frontline ace despite not wanting for depth, Volquez's struggles are concerning.

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Posted on: March 14, 2011 11:02 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:18 am

Pepper: Nationals may leave spring-training home


By Evan Brunell

LONELY ROAD: The complexion of spring training has changed drastically over the last couple decades. There has been a seismic shift with central- and west-based clubs flocking to Arizona where the weather is friendlier and the commute between spring training homes shorter. 

Meanwhile, in Florida, the eastern coast is struggling to keep its business with only the Mets, Cardinals, Marlins and Nationals its occupants. The other clubs are based in west Florida and the Nationals are one team weighing its options on relocation. Although Washington's lease on its spring training complex in Viera, Fla., runs through 2017, that is not expected to be a major hurdle should the club deem its time in Florida untenable.

The major issue at hand is transportation, as Washington routinely requires over 1 1/2 hours of travel time to get to other spring complexes for exhibition games. Those missed hours all add up significantly in expenses as well as lost time. (FloridaToday.com)

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal steps into the time machine and revisits the Yankees' occupation of Fort Lauderdale as spring training home from 1962-95. The one unfortunate byproduct of time marching on is sometimes it forces us to abandon places with great historical weight, such as Fort Lauderdale or the Dodgers' famed -- and now abandoned -- spring training home of Vero Beach, Fla.

I AM NO. 5: With the news that Aaron Cook will miss extended time due to injury, there is a battle for the No. 5 spot in Colorado. Felipe Paulino is out of the race, as he is now being converted to a reliever. That leaves two favorites for the spot in Esmil Rogers and Greg Reynolds. Despite Reynolds' strong season, it may be prudent to keep him in Triple-A for now. (Denver Post)

HEY, WHAT ABOUT ME? Yesterday, all attention was on Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan for alleging his hit-by-pitch in Sunday's game was on purpose for a dustup last season. But lost in all this was Danny Espinosa also being plunked, this one in the head. Espinosa turned out fine, but admitted to being surprised. (Washington Times)

PRETTY BOY: You won't find Eric Hosmer in Hollywood any time soon. The first baseman is jockeying with fellow teammate Mike Moustakas for title of best hitting prospect in the Royals system and is already on manager Ned Yost's good side. "The thing that I like about [Hosmer] is that being pretty is not high on his list of priorities," Yost said. (MLB.com)

FLOWERS BLOOMING: Count White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen among Tyler Flowers' fans. Flowers was once a top catching prospect whose luster wore off in recent years, but a strong spring training has Guillen excited about the future. (ChicagoBreakingSports.com)

RUN GRADY, RUN: Grady Sizemore ran the bases successfully Sunday and is on track to play in a spring-training game in several days. It will mark his first game since May 16, so will need some time to get acclimated. He is not expected to be ready for Opening Day but could be ready to go shortly thereafter. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PLAY OR GO HOME: Braden Looper hopes to make the Cubs after taking a year off. The former closer and starter appears to have a good shot of making the club and is drawing interest from other teams. One issue: Looper isn't interested in playing anywhere but Chicago and will go home to his family if he doesn't make the Cubs. (Chicago Sun-Times)

ONE IN, TWO OUT: Reds manager Dusty Baker appears settled on Chris Heisey making the team as a backup outfielder. That would leave Fred Lewis and Jeremy Hermida on the outside looking in. (Cincinnati Enquirer)

SURGERY DEFERRED: Braves minor-league manager Luis Salazar will undergo eye surgery (again) Tuesday. This is a delaying of surgery originally scheduled for Sunday as doctors wanted to wait for swelling to go down. He is expected to make a full recovery after taking a line drive off the face last Wednesday. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

NOT DONE: So, has the 48-year-old Jamie Moyer changed his mind about coming back to baseball after undergoing Tommy John surgery? Nope. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

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Posted on: January 3, 2011 8:32 pm

Reds close to signing Hermida

Jeremy Hermida The Reds "appear to be close" to signing outfielder Jeremy Hermida to a minor-league contract, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon writes .

The Reds are looking for a left-handed hitting reserve outfielder and have said to be looking at Scott Podsednik and Fred Lewis.

Hermida played for the Red Sox and A's last season and hit .216/.268/.351 with six home runs and 29 RBI. Hermida played his first five seasons with the Marlins, hitting .265/.344/.425 in the National League.

The Reds have right-handed hitters in left (Jonny Gomes), center (Drew Stubbs) and on the bench (Chris Heisey), with left-handed Jay Bruce in right. Heisey can play all three outfield spots.

The team could still bring in Lewis or Podsednik and let them all battle it out in spring training. Lewis makes more sense for the Reds because he's younger and cheaper than Podsednik.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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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

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Posted on: September 10, 2010 6:07 pm

Reds activate Leake to pinch, not pitch

Mike Leake The Reds activated pitcher Mike Leake on Friday, but the 2009 first-rounder won't be a pitcher down the stretch. Instead, he'll be a pincher.

"Leake will fit in to pinch-hit, pinch-run, pinch-bunt. Pinch everything," Reds manager Dusty Baker told reporters, including MLB.com's Mark Sheldon . "He told me two months ago if I needed an emergency outfielder, he could do that too. That's a real emergency. He's not ready to pitch. He wasn't supposed to pick up a a ball for two weeks."

As impressive as Leake was on the mound as a rookie (8-4, 4.23 ERA), he impressed as many people for his all-around athleticism. In 59 plate appearances, Leake hit .340/.415/.362 with six sacrifice bunts. He's pinch-hit five times, walking once with no hits (or sacrifices).

The team will only have "emergency" outfielders on the bench -- as the team activated Jim Edmonds on Friday, surprising not only Baker, but Edmonds too.

"I'm here if it's needed," Edmonds said.

The Reds have been playing with just three healthy outfielders for 10 days since Jay Bruce went down with a "sore right side." Laynce Nix is also out with a sprained ankle.

With Bruce down, the Reds have used Jonny Gomes in left, Drew Stubbs in center and Chris Heisey in right. The Reds have gone 3-6 in those games, losing their last five.

In Bruce's absence, Heisey has struggled, hitting .194/.194/.306 in 36 plate appearances. Gomes has hit .250/.351/.500 and Stubbs is thriving, hitting .303/.395/.455 with a homer and four RBI.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 24, 2010 1:51 am

Reds OF suddenly thin

As if the scoreboard wasn't bad enough for the Reds Monday night in San Francisco, the National League Central leaders lost two outfielders with injuries in their 11-2 loss in San Francisco.

Laynce Nix left the game in the third inning after spraining his left ankle going from first to third on Joey Votto's ground rule double.

In the sixth inning, Jim Edmonds left mid-at-bat with a strained right oblique and was replaced by Drew Stubbs.

The Reds entered the game with six outfielders and left with four -- Stubbs, Jay Bruce, Chris Heisey and Jonny Gomes. The team doesn't have any more outfielders left on their 40-man roster, which was already stretched thin with the Major League deals given to two of the last three first-round draft picks -- first baseman Yonder Alonso (2008) and catcher Yasmani Grandal (2010).

Former Mariners prospect Wladimir Balentien is having a very good season at Triple-A Louisville (.284/.342/.532 with 22 home runs and 71 RBI), but isn't not he 40-man roster. Alonso and Juan Francisco have played the outfield this season, but those experiments were abandoned.

The Giants have  surplus of outfielders now that Cody Ross joined the team, perhaps they can loan one to the Reds for a game or two.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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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