Tag:Orlando Cabrera
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 25, 2010 8:06 pm
 

Umpires set for Series

Gary Darling So, while betting on the World Series, why not take odds on which umpire is going to become a household name this Fall Classic with a blown call?

The Associated Press reports Sam Holbrook, Bill Miller, John Hirschbeck, Gary Darling, Mike Winters and Jeff Kellogg are the umpiring crew for the World Series.

Holbrook and Miller are umpiring in the World Series for the first time, but my (imaginary) money's on Darling (pictured).

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has been had two run-ins with Darling. In 2008, Darling called a balk against Tim Lincecum to bring home the go-ahead run in a game against the Rockies just as Bengie Molina called timeout. Darling seemed to raise his hands to call the timeout, but then called the balk. Bochy was ejected after arguing.

Last season, Darling ejected Bochy in the second inning of a game against the Dodgers and then ejected bench coach Ron Wotus in the ninth inning of the same game.

This season, Orioles first baseman Ty Wigginton was suspended and fined after arguing a call botched by Darling. Darling admitted after the game that he missed the call.

Hirschbeck was behind the plate for Roy Halladay's no-hitter, and was criticized by the Reds' Orlando Cabrera for his strike zone.

Winters is best known as the umpire that Milton Bradley was arguing with when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2007.

-- 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: October 14, 2010 1:49 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:25 am
 

Reds unlikely to pick up option on Cabrera

Orland Cabrera The Reds are unlikely to exercise their option on shortstop Orlando Cabrera, Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty told Brad Johansen of WKRC-TV in Cincinnati .

Cabrera has a $4 million mutual option for 2011. If the club declines the option, he'll be paid $1 million, if Cabrera declines, he gets $500,000.

"It's probably more than we want to exercise, we'll try to find a happy medium … if not, [Paul] Janish will be our shortstop," Jocketty told Johansen.

Cabrera hit .263/.303/.354 for the Reds in 123 games. According to FanGraphs, his UZR/150 was 5.3. Janish hit .260/.338/.385 for the Reds in 82 games and had a UZR/150 of 2.2.

Despite those fielding numbers, Janish is considered by most to be not only an upgrade defensively over Cabrera, but a considerable one at that. The Reds seemed content on heading into 2010 with Janish as their starter before Cabrera was signed on Feb. 1.

Cabrera has said he'd like to return to Cincinnati, and Jocketty and Baker liked having him around. His veteran leadership was cited by many as a positive influence on the young team.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


Posted on: October 10, 2010 4:48 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2010 6:04 pm
 

No decisions on Cabrera, Game 4 for Reds yet

CINCINNATI -- Reds manager Dusty Baker isn't making decisions until he absolutely has to make them.

As for the status of Orlando Cabrera, the veteran shortstop will be examined before Sunday's game and the team will then make that determination. Paul Janish is starting Sunday's Game 3 and infielder Chris Valaika is at the stadium to take Cabrera's place on the roster if needed.

As for the Game 4 starter, Baker will wait until he knows there's a decision to be made to make it.

"It depends on who we use tonight and we'll determine it after tonight's game," Baker said.

Edinson Volquez started Game 1, while left-hander Travis Wood was effective in releif in the first game. Either could get the nod for a potential Game 4 on Monday.

Baker also noted the team had the Rangers-Rays game on in the clubhouse, not that they needed any other evidence that a comeback from 0-2 in games was possible, but it didn't hurt to have the proof in front of them.

"I know this might sound corny, but this is a real must-win," Baker said. "A lot of times you hear that question in the season, 'Is this a must-win?' Most of the times [the answer] is no, but this is a must-win."

UPDATE: Cabrera just said he doesn't know whether he's playing and wants to make the determination after hitting, but Baker and the TBS broadcast both say he's playing.

UPDATE: After hitting, Cabrera said the muscles in his left side didn't bother him. "Seems good, no pain at all," he said. He's definitely playing.

--C. Trent Rosecrans

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 .

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