Tag:Jonny Gomes
Posted on: November 3, 2010 6:13 pm
 

Reds budget to increase for 2011

The Reds' budget will be "better" than last year's $72 million, general manager Walt Jocketty told CBSSports.com on Wednesday, but because of the team's large number of arbitration-eligible players, he's unsure how much money he has to spend.

"It's hard to predict what those numbers will be," Jocketty said. "We can't commit a lot of dollars right now."

The total budget, Jocketty noted, wouldn't rise dramatically, but will be more than he had for 2010.

He said that was one of the reasons the Reds declined their $4 million option on shortstop Orlando Cabrera, although the team has talked to his agent about returning to the Reds at a lower rate.

Walt Jocketty Jocketty said the team has yet to hear word if outfielder Jay Bruce will qualify as a Super Two, which would also affect the team's bottom line. Bruce, in his second full season, hit .281/.353/.493 with 25 home runs and established himself as one of the top defensive right fielders in the game (he was second to Ichiro Suzuki in the Fielding Bible Awards). Jocketty said he expects to hear sometime this month on Bruce's status as a Super Two, though it is expected he will qualify.

Bruce won't get the biggest bump from the arbitration process, though. Likely National League MVP Joey Votto is also eligible for arbitration for the first time. In addition, the Reds have Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Bill Bray, Jared Burton and Laynce Nix as arbitration-eligible players.

If the Reds do have some money to spend, Jocketty said he'd like to find a leadoff man.

We'd like to improve our offense," Jocketty said. "With our pitching, we like our rotation, we like our bullpen. One thing we'd like to improve upon is a leadoff hitter, I don't know that if that's possible or not."

Brandon Phillips and Drew Stubbs led off for the majority of the 2010 season.

If the team doesn't bring back Cabrera, Jocketty said he feels comfortable  with Paul Janish as the team's everyday shortstop. The Reds went into February with the plan of Janish at short last year before signing Cabrera.

Other notes from Jocketty:

• He said the team had talks with an extension for pitcher Bronson Arroyo, but hadn't reached an agreement yet, so the team picked up his option. Jocketty said they'd still like to get a multi-year deal done before 2011. Arroyo told CBSSports.com earlier today that they were working on a three-year deal.

• Sorry Louisville, Aroldis Chapman won't be back in the minors next year.

"He should be ready for the major leagues now," Jocketty said.

Whether he will be a starter or reliever in 2011, only time will tell. Longterm, the Reds believe Chapman will be a starter.

"Right now, when we get to spring training, if he's better suited for the rotation or the bullpen," Jocketty said. "It's very possible he could be back in the bullpen."

The Reds could have a crowded rotation with Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez, Bailey, Mike Leake and Travis Wood.

• Jocketty said he talked to the agent for free agent utility man Migeul Cairo on Wednesday about bringing Cairo back to Cincinnati.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.



Posted on: November 3, 2010 3:06 pm
Edited on: November 3, 2010 3:37 pm
 

Reds, Arroyo working on a new deal

Bronson Arroyo Although the Reds have picked up Bronson Arroyo's $11 million contract, the two sides are working on a new three-year deal through 2013, Arroyo tells CBSSports.com.

Arroyo went 17-10 with a 3.88 ERA last season and has won 70 games in the last five years for the Reds. Perhaps more importantly to the Reds and their young pitching staff, he's pitched at least 200 innings in each of the last six seasons.

Reds manager Walt Jocketty had said last month that the team would pick up his option for 2011.

Arroyo had signed a two-year, $25 million extension with the team in February 2007. The Reds acquired Arroyo from Boston in March of 2006 in exchange for Wily Mo Pena.

Arroyo was traded by the Red Sox after signing a three-year, $11.25 million contract, but before ever pitching for Boston on that contract. Earlier this season, Arroyo said he wouldn't give the Reds a "home-town discount" with a below-market contract, "I've made that mistake before," he said.

Just last season, the Reds re-signed Scott Rolen to a three-year deal, restructuring his previous deal, which was through 2010. Rolen is signed through 2012 with the Reds. It looks like Jocketty wants to keep some of his veterans around to help out with the younger players. Arroyo, in particular, has served as mentor to young Reds pitchers such as 2009 first-rounder Mike Leake.

Cincinnati also has a $1.75 million option on outfielder Jonny Gomes it is expected to pick up, while the team is unlikely to pick up options on shortstop Orlando Cabrera and starter Aaron Harang.

UPDATE: The Reds have offcially picked up the options on Arroyo and Gomes, while declining the options on Cabrera and Harang. Jocketty has said the team would like to bring Cabrera back, but at $4 million. The team owed Cabrera $1 million for buying out his contract. Harang was given $2 million to buy out his $12.75 million option.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.




Posted on: October 30, 2010 6:20 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:30 pm
 

MLB cracking down on alcohol celebrations

Cincinnati Reds fans hadn't been able to celebrate a postseason berth in 15 years, and after a clubhouse celebration, Jonny Gomes and other Reds brought some of their champagne out of the clubhouse to bring the fans in to their celebration. As Gomes sprayed the bubbly into the stands, several fans lapped it up, feeling a part of the celebration for the National League Central title.

That will be against the rules from now on, the New York Times writes .

Last week Major League Baseball made new rules for postseason celebrations -- the teams must limit champagne, offer a non-alcoholic version, banned beer and other alcoholic drinks and teams are no longer allowed to bring drinks on the field.

"We have concerns that these celebrations that have traditionally been held not get out of hand," said Rob Manfred, MLB executive vice president. "This is an issue that we periodically revisit."

Former commissioner Fay Vincent told the Times he tried to limit the postgame celebrations.

"I think the celebrations are unattractive in large measure because they involve alcohol," Vincent said. "It's ritualized, and I think it's silly."

We have seen some changes this season, as the Rangers celebrated their postseason berth with ginger ale for Josh Hamilton, who has had issues with alcohol. Of course, they also had their Hamilton-less celebration with the booze, too. In 1999, the Yankees celebrated with a non-alcoholic champagne substitute out of respect for Darryl Strawberry.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: October 19, 2010 9:58 am
 

Cincinnati has host of decisions to make

Ramon Hernandez Decisions, decisions.

After the Reds finally got back to the playoffs for the first time since 1995, they now have to decide who will return in 2011 for another shot at October.

Ramon Hernandez (pictured) and Jonny Gomes stand a good chance of returning to town, while GM Walt Jocketty wouldn' rule out Orlando Cabrera's return.

"We're not sure. We'll probably know something later this week," Jocketty said of Cabrera to MLB.com , who has a $4-million club option likely to be declined by the club. While O-Cab had a rough season at the plate with a .263/.303/.354 line in 537 plate appearances, he contributed enough on leadership and defense that the Reds would likely be interested in Cabrera platooning with Paul Janish at short next season.

If Cabrera returns, he may be joined by catcher Ramon Hernandez, who could return to pair with Ryan Hanigan again next season. While Hernandez' $3.25-million vesting option didn't trigger due to starting just 97 games -- well short of the 120-game barrier -- Hernandez was effective when he was on the field. He hit .297/.364/.428 with seven home runs in 352 PA.

"He's a guy we have interest in having back," Jocketty said. While Hernandez is 34, he's shown he still has plenty of life in his bat, but figures to test free agency first.

That's also likely for left fielder Jonny Gomes, who has  $1.75-million club option for 2011 that looks likely to be exercised. He played in a career-high 148 games and drove in 86 runs while batting .266/.327/.431 with 18 home runs. However, the 29-year-old has all of his value tied up in playing against left-handers. If he does come back, he figures to return to his platoon role as Cincinnati should look at bringing in a complement to Gomes. (Could Jocketty be interested in a reunion with Rick Ankiel?)

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 29, 2010 3:01 am
Edited on: September 29, 2010 6:45 am
 

Video: Reds celebrate NL Central title

Edions Volquez It was a rookie mistake, I realized. I'd remembered to wear my rain jacket in the Reds clubhouse after Jay Bruce's homer clinched the team's first division title in 15 years, but I forgot to put my hood up.

I heard Homer Bailey before I saw him, and he doused me with champagne -- the hood would have served as protection and camouflage. Instead, it was useless and I was drenched.

Any baseball writer worth his salt knows to prepare for the celebration. It looks fun -- and it kinda is -- but it makes the usual game-writing impossible. It's tough to talk to players, who are more interested in dousing teammates with alcoholic beverages than talking to reporters. And when they do talk, they're constantly interrupted by liquid being poured over their heads. Still, it's pretty fun to see.

It was nice to see Aaron Harang, who is having a terrible season and is unlikely to be a part of the postseason roster, enjoying himself. It's a team game, and it's more noticeable than anywhere as Harang celebrates as much as the hero, Bruce.

You could see the joy the players got in dousing manager Dusty Baker, who despite his critics, rarely has any in his own clubhouse. Brandon Phillips had never tasted alcohol until he had beer and champagne poured over him -- and at one point you could tell he didn't feel like he'd be tasting another Budweiser anytime soon as he spit out what got into his mouth.

After finishing off the champagne, veteran reliever Arthur Rhodes led the troops out onto the field to celebrate with the thousands that stayed in the stadium to celebrate. Jonny Gomes -- who celebrated with the 2008 Rays -- sprayed fans with champagne as he wore his ski goggles.

Players took a lap, high-fiving fans anywhere near the fence. One woman stole Bruce's hat before he pulled it back.

Phillips thanked the fans on the microphone, then passed it to Joey Votto as fans chanted "M-V-P" for  the first baseman, who hugged the night's hero before passing Bruce the mic. Bruce then addressed the crowd.

Owner Bob Castellini, wearing a Reds pullover and track pants over his regular clothes to keep from stinking of champagne and beer, handed Orlando Cabrera a box of cigars. Weeks ago, Castellini told Cabrera he'd give him a box of the "best legal cigars in the U.S." -- and he paid off with a box of Liga Privada No. 9 cigars. Cabrera then handed out the cigars to anyone close and also used a torch to light them for anyone who wanted one.

Finally, as TV cameras continued to interview just about anyone in uniform, Castellini saw general manager Walt Jocketty and gave him a hug. Castellini promised to bring Cincinnati a winner four years ago when he bought the team, and he finally had.




-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

Posted on: September 15, 2010 4:08 pm
Edited on: September 15, 2010 5:23 pm
 

Votto hasn't popped up to infield this season

Joey Votto CINCINNATI -- Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera couldn't believe it -- and he said so, albeit with an expletive. But it's true, his teammate, Joey Votto, hasn't popped up to the infield once this season.

"That’s incredible," said Cabrera, who has 13 infield fly balls this season. "I’d be bragging."

Cabrera would, Votto isn't.

"I’d trade 10 strikeouts for 10 popups, that’s for sure," Votto said when asked about the unusual stat on Tuesday.

ESPN's Rob Neyer noted Votto hadn't popped up last week (after Dan Hennessey of the Knuckleballs blog did the same nearly two months ago) and I mentioned it to Votto before Tuesday's game. Votto had never heard about it, nor had Laynce Nix, whose locker is next to Votto's. Nix claimed I'd jinxed Votto -- but the MVP candidate put the ball in play four times Tuesday night, and none of them were a fly ball within 140 feet of the plate (FanGraphs' definition of an Infield Fly Ball.)

Jonny Gomes, owner of 24 infield fly balls this year, called it "awesome."

"It’s tough with a round ball and round bat to be half of a fourth of an inch – whatever that is – to be off and that’s all it takes to pop up," Gomes said. "You can take a great swing and do it, everything can be locked and you can do it. It’s a pretty cool stat."

Like Votto himself, Gomes didn't know if it actually meant anything. In addition to Votto, Gomes, Cabrera and Nix, I asked Chris Valaika (none himself, but in just 28 plate appearances) and Miguel Cairo (three IFFB) -- and neither of them could think of any deeper meaning.

"I wouldn’t say it’s an anomaly, there’s a reason I’m not popping up. I don’t ever remember popping up much when I was younger," Votto said.

So I went somewhere else, I talked to a guy who thinks about hitters and the way hitters hit and think as much or more than any hitter -- pitcher Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo is a couple locker stalls down from Aroldis Chapman, but he doesn't have the arm of Chapman. Instead, he gets batters out by out-thinking them. Arroyo thought about the stat for a moment and broke down what it meant:

"It probably means for one, he lets the ball get really deep. If he lets the ball get deep and he fouls it off, it goes behind him. If he gets out front, it’ll go to the infield," Arroyo said. "That means he stays back a lot, which means he’s going to hit offspeed stuff and hit the fastball the opposite way. Which he does a decent bit. Other than that it’s just having a good eye and square the ball up more than the average cat. You’d still think, I don’t care who you are, Albert [Pujols] has to have a pop up to the infield this year. That’s weird."

Pujols, for the record, has 28 infield fly balls this season.

Of the balls put in the air against Arroyo this year, 11.1 percent (28) of those have been to the infield, while he's gotten 13.4 percent of those in the infield in his career.

As for Arroyo's analysis, Votto is one of the better power hitters going the other way. Of his 34 home runs, 16 have gone to left field. When you look at his home runs , he hits the most to left field, while scattering the rest of the field almost evenly. Arroyo said he's noticed when pitchers get Votto out, they have to go inside -- and the infield popup rate is an example of that.

"That’s an amazing stat. It means he doesn’t get fooled a whole lot," Arroyo said. "You see that on changeups when guys get out front. When he gets beat, he gets beat inside and that’s usually a ground ball because that’s off the hands and you can’t get extended and push the ball in the air."

Votto has just nine infield fly balls in his career. He had two last season, five as a rookie in 2008 and two in his September call-up in 2007.

Over his career, the Phillies' Ryan Howard has just 15 infield fly balls, two this season. His career IFFB% is just 1.8 percent.

This season among qualified batters, the Astros' Michael Bourn has the next-lowest IFFB%, with 1.1 percent of his fly balls going to the infield. He has one infield fly ball this season in 589 plate appearances.


 -- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .

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

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .




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

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .


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