Tag:Matt Maloney
Posted on: August 9, 2010 11:48 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 1:02 pm
 

Reds may remove Leake from rotation

Mike Leake UPDATE, 8/10, 1 p.m. : Homer Bailey has been scratched from his Triple-A start on Tuesday and will pitch in relief instead, lining him up to take Leake's spot in the rotation Friday, reports the Cincinatti Enquirer . -- Evan Brunell

Early in the season Mike Leake was one of the great stories in baseball -- a kid who skipped the minor leagues entirely and came into the big leagues dealing.

In his first 11 starts, Leake was 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA.

Now in his last 10, he's 2-4 with a 5.72 ERA, including the shortest outing of his short career on Monday, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing six earned runs and seven total runs against the Cardinals. It was the second consecutive start that's seen him give up seven runs.

The Reds are now worried the rookie has hit a wall and may take him out of the rotation, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes .

"We discussed it," Baker told reporters after Monday's 7-3 loss. "He had a big inning in Pittsburgh, but [that was] led to by a couple of different things -- a hit batsman and a potential play on the groundball. We've got to discuss it and talk some more.

"I'm sure this will be a topic of discussion, possibly tomorrow."

Before Monday's game, the Reds optioned their other rookie starter, Travis Wood, to Triple-A Louisville. With two off days for the Reds in the next week, Wood wasn't scheduled to start again until Aug. 18 in Arizona, but will now start the next day against the Diamondbacks. (Interestingly enough, Wood and Leake have pretty similar numbers through eight starts -- Wood is 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA and a .238 opponents batting average, 40 strikeouts and 13 walks. Through eight starts, Leake was 4-0 with a 2.91 ERA a .218 batting average against, 39 strikeouts and 21 walks.)

Homer Bailey is likely ready to replace Leake in the rotation if the Reds need him. The 24-year old has made four rehab starts in the minor leagues and is scheduled to make his fourth at Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday. In three starts at Louisville, he's gone 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA, allowing five earned runs in 18 innings, striking out 15 and walking four, while allowing 15 hits. Bailey was on the disabled list with a  shoulder injury. In nine starts this season, Bailey is 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA.

The Reds do have some flexibility with their rotation because of a day off on Thursday, as well as next Monday. They also have a couple of other starters in the minors who have had success in the big leagues this year in Sam LeCure and Matt Maloney.

For his part, Leake has now thrown 129 2/3 innings. He threw 142 at Arizona State last season and the Reds have been skipping his starts on off days to help keep his innings down. For his part, Leake told Fay he felt fine.

"I feel great," Leake said. "I've just hit a rough patch."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 17, 2010 11:56 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Volquez impressive in return

Less than a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Edinson Volquez was on the mound once again Saturday night, throwing 95 with a viscous changeup. In front of a sell-out crowd at Great American Ball Park, Volquez allowed just three hits to the Colorado Rockies and struck out nine in six innings, as the Reds kept pace with the Cardinals thanks to an 8-1 victory.

"Getting Volky back, especially a productive Volquez, is like making a major trade," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You get a guy back, it'd be hard to find anyone out there better than he was. That was an outstanding performance, and he picked our whole team up. The guys are elated to have him back, you could tell the way they responded."

Edinson Volquez Volquez, an All-Star in 2008, joins a Reds rotation that started slow but has come on strong of late, in part bolstered by rookie Travis Wood. Wood, who was edged out for the fifth starter's spot in spring training by Mike Leake, will make his fourth start on Sunday. Despite not picking up a win in his first three starts, Wood impressed taking a perfect game into the ninth inning against the Phillies last week. In addition to Wood (0-0, 2.18), the Reds rotation consists of the reliable Bronson Arroyo (10-4, 3.95 ERA), a Johnny Cueto who seems to be putting it together (8-2, 3.42) and Leake (6-1, 3.53).

"I think we've got the best pitching staff in baseball," said second baseman Brandon Phillips, who hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning.

That 's likely overstating it more than a little -- but one-through-five, they may have the best starting pitching in the division, and that'll be important down the stretch. The Cardinals may be better with their first three, but St. Louis would welcome the guy Cincinnati sent down on Saturday (Matt Maloney) for one of the other two spots.

And with Volquez back, the team added a potential ace.

"For him to go out and pitch like he did today, there's a lot of teams in trouble," Phillips said.

Volquez's quick return should raise some eyebrows, considering his 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs earlier this season. Volquez has stuck to his story that he used a fertility drug to help him start a family with his wife. However, the drug was similar to the one Manny Ramirez was suspended for using a year ago.

Volquez looked similar to the pitcher that made the 2008 All-Star team, with his fastball sitting around 95 mph and a nasty changeup. The one difference was a newfound confidence in his curveball -- that and more hair. A lot more hair, but the curveball was just as natty as the dreads that added a couple of hat sizes to Volquez's melon.

"The last couple of years I didn't throw my curve, [tonight] I threw it a lot," Volquez said. "I felt more comfortable with it than my changeup. Last night I told [Francisco] Cordero my curve was better than my changeup. I told him I'd show him. Today he said, 'yeah, you're right.'"

Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan said he didn't know how they'd use the curveball, but both he and Volquez noticed early on he had a good feel for it and they used it more and more.

"We didn't throw it that much in rehab starts in Triple-A, but he had such a feel for it and threw it so much, he got some quality strikes and strikeouts on that pitch tonight that was great," Hanigan said. "I wasn't expecting it."

Volquez admitted he was a little too excited in the first inning when Dexter Fowler doubled and Carlos Gonzalez singled him in. He needed 22 pitches that inning and used 55 pitches to get through three innings. However the second and third time through the Rockies' lineup, no batter registered a hit.

"By the third, fourth inning, his stuff was ridiculous," Hanigan said. "He threw all his pitches whenever he wanted to with the action I've seen from him in the past. It's impressive to see a guy like that command all his pitches so well in his first start. When he does that, he's tough."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.





Posted on: July 15, 2010 8:56 pm
 

Reds looking for experienced bullpen help


Russ Springer It turns out right-hander Russ Springer is exactly what the Reds are looking for -- old relievers.

The Reds signed the 41-year old Springer to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Louisville.

The Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay talked to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty , who said the team is looking mainly for bullpen experience as the July 31 trade deadline looms.

"I think what I'm looking for more than anything is a little more experience in the bullpen and bullpen depth," Jocketty said. "I still like our club the way it is. We've still got some guys coming back with (Edinson) Volquez and we're trying to get (Aroldis) Chapman ready for the bullpen. Chapman is going to help, but he doesn't have the experience."

Chapman was moved to the bullpen last month and hasn't fared well. In seven appearances as a reliever, Chapman has a 5.79 ERA, allowing seven hits, seven runs, seven walks in 9 1/3 innings pitched. He has struck out 14 and batters are hitting just .194 off of him as a reliever, versus .246 as a starter. Chapman was 5-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 13 starts.

As far as the Reds' rotation, Jocketty said Travis Wood and Matt Maloney will not be put in the bullpen and Aaron Harang's return from the disabled list is still unsure.

"He was a little stiff today," Jocketty told Fay. "We'll monitor him the next few days. We would like to get him back pitching. We're not sure how long that's going to be."

If Wood continues to pitch as he has, there will be no real hurry to get Harang back, especially with Volquez's return.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 15, 2010 6:33 pm
 

Volquez to start Saturday

Edinson Volquez Less than a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, Edinson Volquez will start for the Reds on Saturday.

Volquez, who was suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in April, made four starts for Triple-A Louisville, going 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA. In 23 innings with the Bats, he gave up 11 hits, eight walks and stuck out 21.

Bronson Arroyo is scheduled to start on Friday, but the team hasn't announced the rest of its rotation beyond Arroyo and Volquez. Rookie Mike Leake has already thrown 109 2/3 innings, after throwing 142 innings at Arizona State last season.

With Volquez in, the Reds have to figure out the rest of their rotation, and what to do with Leake.

If Volquez pitches like he has in the minor leagues -- hitting 97 on the radar gun -- and passes drug tests, he helps solidify the rotation, along with Arroyo (9-4, 4.04 ERA) and Johnny Cueto (8-2, 3.42). That leaves the fifth spot that's up in the air between veteran Aaron Harang (6-7, 5.02) and rookie Travis Wood, who has been impressive in his three starts so far, posting a 2.18 ERA and even taking a perfect game into the ninth inning of his last start, Saturday at Philadelphia.

The team is also expected to get the talented, if underperforming, Homer Bailey (1-2, 5.51) back and have also seen two nice starts from left-hander Matt Maloney.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


Posted on: July 6, 2010 2:57 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2010 5:04 pm
 

Reds pitching switch could benefit Mets


Jose Reyes Reds manager Dusty Baker has filled out his lineup card for every position in the lineup but the last one, his pitcher.

Rookie left-hander Travis Wood was scheduled to start today, but Aaron Harang was a late scratch Monday against the Mets with low back pain and hoped to start Tuesday.

However, reports were that Harang was really struggling to get around following Monday's Reds victory and the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay reports there is a Matt Maloney checked in at the Reds' New York hotel .

Maloney was scheduled to start Tuesday for the Reds' Triple-A team in Louisville. Maloney is 6-5 with a 3.50 ERA in Louisville.

If Maloney does indeed pitch, that could help the Mets, who were hoping to return Jose Reyes to the lineup on Tuesday against the left-handed Wood. Those plans were up in the air against the right-handed Harang, but Maloney is left-handed, meaning Reyes could return as planned. The Mets are hoping to limit the switch-hitting Reyes to batting right-handed to help rehabilitate his oblique muscle, according to the New York Post . Reyes has said he's unsure if he can swing from the left side.

UPDATE: Reyes is in the lineup, leading off. Maloney is at Citi Field in case he is needed.

UPDATE 2: Harang has been placed on the disabled list with lower back spasm, retroactive to June 30. He is eligible to come off the DL on July 16. Maloney will start for the Reds tonight.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



Posted on: June 27, 2010 1:10 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2010 8:48 pm
 

Reds' move unlike to lead to Volquez return


Edinson Volquez Could the Reds' latest move mean former All-Star Edinson Volquez is ready to return from "Tommy John" surgery?

Volquez is scheduled to make his second start for Triple-A Louisville, but he's been impressive in his quick rehab from Tommy John surgery last Aug. 3. He was also suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, but that suspension has expired. Still, it seems unlikely, as Volquez has made just one Triple-A start.

The Reds called up left-handed reliever Bill Bray, himself coming off of "Tommy John" surgery, and sent down Saturday's starter, Sam LeCure before Sunday's game with the Indians.

Bray last pitched in the big leagues in 2008, when he was 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 63 appearances for the Reds. He missed most of last season after undergoing surgery in April.

Reds manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer 's Tom Ramstetter that the team needed left-handers in their bullpen for the upcoming series against the Phillies and their left-handed hitters.

LeCure lasted just 3 1/3 innings Saturday's victory over the Indians, allowing six hits and three runs, while walking four and striking out two. It was the worst start of the season for the rookie right-hander. LeCure was 1-4 with a  4.86 ERA in six starts with the Reds.

"He's pitched pretty well," Baker said. "Last night was probably the worst he's pitched. That's not why we made the move. When his spot comes up, then we'll see what our next move is. Sometimes when you're trying to win the pennant, you have to make these temporary auxiliary moves."

Volquez has made just one start for Louisville and the Reds have said they'd prefer for him to get a couple of weeks in to see how his arm responds. He pitched well in his first outing for the Bats, hitting 98 mph on the radar gun with his fastball in a victory.

More likely, though, the Reds would call up left-hander Matt Maloney for Thursday's start in Chicago. Maloney starter for the Bats on Saturday and is 6-4 with a 3.60 ERA in 14 starts at Louisville. Maloney made seven starts for the Reds last season. Another possibility is left-hander Travis Wood. Wood got the win on Friday for Louisville and 5-6 with a 3.12 ERA and Thursday's game against the Cubs is a day game, so the extra day would help his travel schedule. Wood battled into the last starts of spring training with rookie Mike Leake for the fifth spot in the rotation.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.




 
 
 
 
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