Tag:Bronson Arroyo
Posted on: May 24, 2011 1:13 am
Edited on: May 24, 2011 1:14 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Thome returns with pair of homers

Jim Thome

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Jim Thome, Twins
-- For all the talk of Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Chase Utley making their returns on Monday, it was Jim Thome who stole their thunder. Although Hamilton and Cruz each homered, Thome homered twice and upped his career total to 593. Before Monday, the Twins had managed just six homers at Target Field all season.

Corey Hart, Brewers -- Think two homers is good? Try three. That's how many Hart hit on Monday in the Brewers' 11-3 victory over the Nationals. Hart, who missed most of April on the disabled list with a  strained oblique muscle hadn't hit a homer since coming off the DL and was hitting just .237/.275/.329 with one RBI in 81 plate appearances. He was also hitless in his last 11 at-bats cooing into Monday. He broke through against the Nationals, racking up seven RBI on his three homers. His second homer gave him 100 for his career.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians -- If you haven't taken notice of the Indians' shortstop, you should. He may be the MVP of the first quarter of the season. After a 5-for-5 performance with two homers on Sunday, Cabrera hit another homer and then drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth to beat the Red Sox 3-2 at Progressive Field.


Bronson Arroyo, Reds -- If Edinson Volquez was sent to Triple-A for his outing against the Indians on Sunday, perhaps Arroyo should be checking out real estate in the California League. It turned out the slumping Phillies offense didn't need Chase Utley, but Arroyo, who allowed nine runs on 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. 

Kenley Jansen, Dodgers -- Now the Dodgers closer, Jansen came into Monday's game a perfect 5 for 5 in save opportunities in his brief career. Well, as you can tell from his presence here, he's now 5 for 6. With the Dodgers leading 3-1, Jansen gave up a one-out single to Bill Hall before striking out pinch-hitter Matt Downs. He then walked Angel Sanchez in an 11-pitch at-bat and with two men on, he ignored the runners, allowing a double steal. Michael Bourn tied the game with a double before hitting Clint Barmes. Hunter Pence then singled, allowing the speedy Bourn to score and give the Astros a 4-3 victory.

Bob Geren, Athletics -- How many times does a pitcher have to fail before his manager loses confidence in him? Well, that's a good question for the A's manager. Brian Fuentes entered Monday's game having lost five of the seven tie games he entered. With the A's and Angeles tied at 1, who did Geren bring out for the eighth inning? Brian Freakin' Fuentes. He walked the first batter he faced and got Bobby Abreu to ground into a fielder's choice before being replaced by Michael Wuertz. Not the worst performance, but when Torii Hunter doubled to score Abreu, Fuentes was charged with a run and the loss. He is now 1-7 on the season and is the third reliever with seven losses in the first 48 games of a season, joining Jim Kern in 1980 and Gene Garber in 1979.

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Posted on: May 13, 2011 6:24 pm
Edited on: May 13, 2011 7:14 pm
 

On Deck: Red Sox-Yankees battle


OD

By Evan Brunell

BEST MATCHUP: The first Red Sox-Yankees game in quite a while gets top billing, and it's a pretty decent matchup, too. Clay Buchholz, who has struggled against the Yankees in the past, will take the mound with a 4.19 ERA. Buchholz has struggled to retain the dominance that saw him post a sub-3.00 ERA last season, but he was pitching over his head anyways. He's fallen back to earth and needs to back off his reliance of pitching to contact to take a step forward. Meanwhile, ex-Red Sox pitcher Bartolo Colon, who left the team on a sour note when he refused to go to the bullpen in 2008, takes the mound with a rejuvenated right arm that had stem cells injected into it. Colon has an impressive 3.86 ERA after moving from the bullpen to replace Phil Hughes and will look to keep the good times rolling. Oh, and as the video above shows, David Ortiz is hoping the Yankees fans he hugged won't boo him during the weekend series. Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. ET

VERLANDER-MEER? Justin Verlander will attempt to become the first pitcher since Johnny Vander Meer to throw consecutive no-hitters and will do so against a hot Kansas City team with Eric Hosmer fresh off two home runs in Yankee Stadium. Both team have 20 wins, with the Tigers adding an extra loss, so second place is at stake. Verlander will be opposed by Luke Hochevar, who still isn't delivering on his pedigree as a former No. 1 pick but is at the very least showing signs of progress and doesn't look like he'll flame out of baseball in a couple years anymore with a 4.91 mark. Royals at Tigers, 7:05 p.m. ET

FIRST AT STAKE:
 There's no love lost between the Cardinals and Reds, who meet for a pivotal three-game series this weekend. The Reds are 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for first in the NL Central. Cincinnati has its work cut out for itself as the Cardinals have generally handled the Reds well over the last couple of years and are on a hot streak, winning five of the last seven games. Kyle Lohse, who has bounced back after a couple forgettable seasons after a strong contract year with St. Louis in 2008, will dance with Bronson Arroyo, who is continuing his impressive streak as a solid, durable pitcher. Cardinals at Reds, 7:10 p.m. ET

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Posted on: May 1, 2011 11:26 am
Edited on: May 1, 2011 12:05 pm
 

On Deck: Mish-mash in the Central

on

By Matt Snyder


Upside-Down Central: Coming into the season, the AL Central was said to be a three-team race between the Twins, White Sox and Tigers. Go grab a look at the standings as we head into May, though. They appear to be almost completely upside down from what we've seen in recent years. The Indians have won five straight and a franchise-record 18 in April. They don't appear to be going away. Meanwhile, the Tigers, Twins and White Sox have lost a combined 14 consecutive games. The Twins and White Sox are already nine games out of first. The Royals have won two straight after it appeared they were coming back to Earth. Does the turning of the calendar to May bring a complete reshuffling? Ozzie Guillen is ready to forget about April and I'm guessing Jim Leyland and Ron Gardenhire have the same feeling. I do expect the three bottom teams to get better in the coming weeks, but the Indians don't look like pretenders. This could actually be one of the most exciting divisional races. Or, if things don't change, the most boring. We'll see.

Still Streaking: Andre Ethier's 26-game hitting streak (an April record) is the talk of baseball. He's hitting .400 with a 1.059 OPS, 10 doubles, three home runs, 16 RBI and 15 runs during the streak, so he's not just squeaking by with a single per game. Dustin Moseley is the opposing hurler Sunday. In three career at-bats, Ethier has three hits, including a home run, against Moseley. That's far too small a sample to make any judgements, other than to say that he certainly won't be feeling anything less than confident when stepping into the box. That matters. Expect the streak to be at 27 come Monday.

Underrated Pitching Matchups: On a day when we're treated to Jered Weaver (update: nevermind, he's out ), King Felix and the surprising Justin Masterson, there are quite a few pretty solid, yet under the radar, pitching matchups. Jordan Zimmermann has not pitched nearly as bad as his record (1-4) or ERA (4.55) would indicate and he's facing an anemic San Francisco offense with Matt Cain opposite him. Expect a low-scoring affair. How about Jaime Garcia against the recently-arrested Derek Lowe? Dustin Moseley only has a 1.99 ERA to this point, and he takes on Jon Garland, who hasn't been bad. Ricky Nolasco against Bronson Arroyo is another pretty good match. Cliff Lee squares off against Chris Young (1-0, 2.65) in Philly. Over in the AL, young gun Zach Britton toes the slab against the White Sox -- who trot out Gavin Floyd (3-1, 3.60). Matt Harrison is looking to get back on track against the A's and Gio Gonzalez (2.70 ERA). As I said, lots of good pitching matchups that wouldn't necessarily immediately turn heads.

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Posted on: April 19, 2011 10:20 am
 

Pepper: Super Sam

Sam Fuld
By C. Trent Rosecrans

One of the best parts of any new season is seeing players reach their potential -- or in Sam Fuld's case, exceed it.

With a 4-for-4 performance in Monday's win over the White Sox, Fuld is now the American League batting leader, hitting .396. And he made another fantastic catch, as you can see above.

Fuld was acquired in the deal that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs this offseason and learned a little bit about playing at Tropicana Field with his diving catch in the third inning on Tuesday.

"It felt like someone took a blow torch to [his left hand], and then I look at it and then there's nothing to show for it, no blood," Fuld told reporters, including the Tampa Tribune's Roger Mooney. "Now I know what turf burn is like."

Replays showed starter David Price screaming and clapping his hands after the play, which helped him win his first-ever victory over the White Sox.

The Rays are giving out a Sam Fuld cape later in the season, but it doesn't appear he needs one.

BASEBALL TODAY -- Lauren Shehadi and I talk about the Rockies pitching Cardinals offense.

FASTEST GUN IN THE MIDWEST -- There's little debate now, the gun at Great American Ball Park is juiced.

On Sunday, it had Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan throwing 102, while Pitch F/X had him hitting 98. On Monday, the scoreboard showed Aroldis Chapman hitting 106, when Pitch F/X showed his third pitch to Andrew McCutchen as "just" 102.4.

Last year I had scouts tell me the gun was pretty accurate, but apparently the excitement around Chapman got the Reds greedy, amping up the radar gun. If he does hit 105 mph again, will it say 110 on the scoreboard? Maybe the gun will make Bronson Arroyo feel better about his heater. [MLB.com]

GOOD SEATS -- Nate Schierholtz's brother was sitting 10 feet from where his mammoth shot landed in the third deck at Coors Field, and paid the guy who caught it $25 bucks to get the ball. [San Jose Mercury News]

STREET WATCH -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy is keeping a close eye on closer Huston Street, who hasn't pitched more than two days in a row this year, but has pitched in 10 of the team's first 15 games. [MLB.com]

AXFORD STRUGGLES -- Brewers closer John Axford had another bad outing on Monday, blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth of an eventual 12-inning Milwaukee victory. The issues has been control, but manager Ron Roenicke said he's not concerned or thinking about any kind of change. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

AND I WANT TO BE COMMISSIONER -- Royals designated hitter Billy Butler said he still wants to play first base. Manager Ned Yost's response? " You know what, I'd like to be an astronaut -- and for some reason they just won't let me." With Kila Ka'aihue is manning the spot until Eric Hosmer comes in to take it for good. [Kansas City Star]

BRING AN UMBRELLA -- Weather has been bad all around baseball early this season, although attendance hasn't been hurt too much. [Associated Press]

GOOD JOBA -- Joba Chamberlain's velocity is down, but his results are up. His slider has become a good pitch, helping his results. [New York Daily News]

NICE SHOT -- Ryan Raburn's pop foul in the first inning on Monday was the first-ever ball to hit the roof at Safeco Field. [MLB.com]

PLENTY OF GOOD SEATS AVAILABLE -- The Mets' bad start is good if you're looking for bargain shopping on the highest-priced seats at Citi Field. [New York Times]

RIOS AILING -- Alex Rios will be getting a break in the White Sox's series with the Rays to try to help his sore left toe fully heal. Rios said the toe has been hurting him for the last five years, so it's doubtful a simple day off will cure him. [Chicago Tribune]

AARDSMA TAKING THE HILL -- Mariners closer David Aardsma is expected to pitching tonight in Triple-A, his firs tame action since his hip labrum surgery in January. The Mariners will likely wait for him to throw three or four games in the minors before taking him off the disabled list. [MLB.com]

MORE SURGERY FOR ZUMAYA? -- The Tigers put Joel Zumaya on the 60-day disabled list and another surgery is possible on his right elbow. [Detroit Free Press]

NICE CATCH -- David Wright played catch with some young fans at Turner Field the other day. Pretty cool stuff. [Big League Stew]

NEW DUCKS UNIFORM -- The Oregon Ducks have added an orange jersey? Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie models the newest Oregon uniform combo. [WhoSay.com/JeremyGuthrie]

VIN SCULLY ON 42 -- Dodger Gene Hermanski had the idea of everyone wearing No. 42 way back in 1948, Vin Scully said. [Sons of Steve Garvey]

TROP VETERAN -- White Sox rookie Chris Sale recalled going to the first-ever Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays game in 1998 when he was 9. [Chicago Tribune]

NOTHING BREWING IN MINORS -- According to the latest Baseball America, the Brewers have the worst minor-league system in baseball. After trading away Brett Lawrie, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi this offseason, their top-ranked prospect is right-hander Mark Rogers -- the team's first-round pick in 2004. On Monday, Rogers lost to former Brewer starter Jeff Suppan in a Triple-A game. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel]

MINOR LEAGUER HIT IN HEAD -- Eric Hurley, a right-hander with the Rangers' Triple-A team, was hit in the right side of the head in a game against New Orleans on Monday. Hurley, 25, didn't lose consciousness and was taken to a nearby hospital. He left the field over his own power. [ESPNDallas.com]

THROWBACK THURSDAY -- Not only will the Dodgers be breaking out their new throwback uniforms against the Braves on Thursday, Atlanta will throw in throwback duds. No word yet on which Braves throwbacks we'll see. The Dodgers are wearing 1940s-era blue satin-like unis. To announce the promotion the Dodgers sent out a press release on Brooklyn Dodgers letterhead (or maybe the ownership ran out of their regular letterhead and had to find some at the back of the closet instead of ordering new stock.) [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

TODAY IN GLUTTONY -- The Akron Aeros have introduced a helmet sundae. No, not a mini-helmet sundae, a full-sized helmet sundae. [Akron Aeros]

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Posted on: March 29, 2011 9:55 pm
 

Even with mono, Arroyo ready for season

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Bronson ArroyoMany have been skeptical of Bronson Arroyo's plan to pitch through mononucleosis, but the Reds starter threw 100 pitches and went into the seventh inning on Tuesday in the team's final  spring training game.

"I felt good, I can't stop coughing, but I feel good," Arroyo told MLB.com. "I'm feeling better every day. I didn't have the best command. They hit the ball hard right at some guys, but I got 100 pitchs in, and that's what I wanted to do. I'll see how I bounce back tomorrow. It will be a nice little test for me."

Arroyo gave up six hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings in the team's win over the Indians. Cleveland's two runs off of Arroyo came on solo homers by Shin-Soo Choo. Choo has owned Arroyo in the past. In regular-season games, Choo is 6 for 12 off of Arroyo with four homers, so Arroyo appeared to be in mid-season form.

"Choo hits everything I throw," Arroyo said. "I was hoping to face him one more time. I was going to tell him what was coming every pitch and see if he could deal with that."

The Reds already have two-fifths of their rotation starting the season on the disabled list, with Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey suffering injuries this spring, and Arroyo has been pushed back to the team's third game, Sunday against the Brewers after initially being scheduled to start the second game. Travis Wood will start the team's second game of the season.

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Posted on: March 27, 2011 3:29 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2011 3:55 pm
 

All of a sudden, Reds rotation a mess

By Matt Snyder

The defending NL Central champions entered camp with at least six viable starting pitchers: Edinson Volquez, Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, Travis Wood, Homer Bailey and Mike Leake. Some fans may have even inexplicably thought Dontrelle Willis had a chance of impressing, but he's been moved to the minors (it was announced Sunday via press release, forgive me for yawning).

It did, however, look like an embarrassment of riches, especially if you looked from the angle that Volquez was far enough away from Tommy John surgery to fully return to form and Cueto, Wood, Leake and Bailey were young enough to expect improvement.

Instead, Bailey will start the season on the DL, Cueto is headed that way and Arroyo has mono. As a result the fairly anonymous Sam LeCure is going to begin the season in the rotation.

Wood has thrown the ball relatively well this spring for the most part, but he's the exception.

Leake has been dreadful, having allowed 27 hits, 16 earned runs and seven walks against just four strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings. Yes, that's a 9.39 ERA and 2.22 WHIP. This is fresh off a season that saw him go 3-4 with a 6.47 ERA after the first week of June, so there has to be plenty of concern.

Volquez has been pretty bad himself (8.38 ERA and 2.38 WHIP), to the point that he was talking about how great he felt after a lackluster effort last time out.

We shouldn't put a ton of stock in all spring numbers, but for young guys trying to get back in the groove or players working back from injuries, they matter to some extent. I'm sure Dusty Baker would rather have everyone throwing it well, that's for sure. The good news is nothing that's happened thus far counts and that the injuries all appear to be pretty minor. Everything could work itself out by the middle of April -- and it's a long season.

Still, within just over a week, starting pitching has gone from a strength to a big question mark for the Reds.

Just goes to show how precious starting pitching is, doesn't it?

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Posted on: March 26, 2011 3:15 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2011 3:18 pm
 

Arroyo doesn't expect to miss any time with mono

Bronson Arroyo
By C. Trent Rosecrans

Even though Reds starter Bronson Arroyo has mononucleosis -- not valley fever -- he said he will stay in the team's rotation, giving a needed boost to a team that's already lost Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey for the start of the season.

"I'll make it through," Arroyo told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer on Saturday.

Arroyo, one of baseball's most durable pitchers, said he's been told there's nothing more medically they can do and there's no timetable for a recovery.

"It could be two weeks," Arroyo said. "It could be the whole season. It's like any disease -- it has to run its course. All I can do is eat good, exercise."

Also, because his energy is drained, he'll cut out all his "extra-curricular activities."

"I'll just come to the park and go home and rest," Arroyo said.

If Arroyo does have to spend any time on the disabled list -- something he's never done in his career -- Matt Maloney would likely replace him. Arroyo has pitched at least 200 innings in each of the last six seasons.

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 4:30 pm
 

Reds putting Bailey on DL

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Homer BaileyAll offseason we heard about the Reds' pitching depth and it won't take too long this season to put it to the test.

With Johnny Cueto already expected to miss his first start and Bronson Arroyo being tested for valley fever, the team said Friday it will be putting Homer Bailey on the disabled list to start the season with a right shoulder impingement.

The team hopes Bailey will miss just two starts.

"It's nothing to be alarmed about," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said (via the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fay on Twitter). "If we didn't take care it now, it would bother him all year."

Sam LeCure will take his spot in the rotation, along with Edinson Volquez, Arroyo, Mike Leake and Travis Wood. LeCure, 26, was 2-5 with a 4.50 ERA last season with the Reds in 15 games, six starts. As a starter, he went 1-4 with a 4.86 ERA.

The National League Central has been hit hard with starting pitching injuries this spring, with the Brewers losing Zack Greinke for a couple of starts, the Cardinals losing Adam Wainwright for the season and the Reds' slew of injuries. The Astros' Wandy Rodriguez missed a couple of weeks with shoulder tendinitis but returned on Tuesday and is expected to start the season on time.

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