Tag:Mike Leake
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: September 4, 2010 7:25 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2010 7:26 pm

Reds not shutting Leake down

Reds rookie starter Mike Leake will begin throwing again on Monday, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports .

Leake, the Reds' first-round pick in 2009, skipped the minor leagues entirely, making the Reds' rotation out of spring training.

Mike Leake There had been conjecture that the team would shut him down after he threw 138 1/3 innings, just shy of the number he threw last season at Arizona State in 2009.

The Reds placed him on the disabled list last week with what they called "right shoulder fatigue."

"The progressions will be fairly aggressive," Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said. "It's not like he's going back to his first day of catch back in December. He'll go back and start doing his long-toss routine. As long as everything continues to progress without any discomfort or fatigue, we'll keep pushing him to get back on the mound after about a week of long-toss."

Leake can come off the disabled list on Sept. 9 and the team hopes he can still play some role in the last month of the regular season and perhaps the postseason. Leake made two relief appearances after 22 starts and struggled in both of those outings.

Leake is 8-4 with a 4.23 ERA. If he is used in a reliever role, he could also serve as a pinch hitter or pinch runner in a … pinch. Travis Wood has stepped into Leake's spot in the rotation and pitched as well as Leake did earlier this season. The left-handed rookie is 5-2 with a 3.19 ERA after Saturday's win over Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 27, 2010 6:38 pm
Edited on: August 27, 2010 6:39 pm

Reds keeping rotation options open

The Reds are keeping their postseason rotation options open, placing rookie Mike Leake on the 15-day disabled list with "rigt shoulder fatigue" while keeping the door open on veteran Aaron Harang returning to the rotation.

Harang is penciled in as the starter for next Tuesday's game against Milwaukee, manager Dusty Baker said (though Homer Bailey is currently on the team's probables for Tuesday). Harang has been on the disabled list since July six with lower back problems. He made two starts in Triple-A with less-than successful results.

Still, Harang said he feels fine and dismissed his ugly stats -- two starts, 11 innings, 14 hits, 11 earned runs. He did strike out 10, while walking only two (and hitting a batter).

"You go down there and anything around the strike zone they're swinging," Harang said. "I went down there and worked on working my endurance up. It's the same thing that's been in the past, you go down there and talk to any big league pitcher, it's one of those things they'll all say the same thing."

Baker noted he never pays attention t those results either, especially with veteran pitchers against inexperienced batters -- "you can't set up someone who doesn't know they're being set up."

Aaron Harang There had been speculation that Harang would spend September as a long man out of the bullpen -- hardly something you want out of a guy making $12.5 million this season. Harang is 6-7 with a 5.02 ERA in 17 starts this season. Harang said he's going about his business today as if it's the day after a start, so he'll be on his routine for a start against the Brewers.

Whatever role Harang does find himself in, it'll likely be his final stint in a Reds uniform. There's little doubt the team will buyout the $12.75 million option for 2011.

Leake, on the other hand, hopes to have a long future ahead in Cincinnati. The team considered shutting the rookie down for the season, but the Reds went ahead and put him not he DL Friday in hopes of having him return when he is eligible on Sept. 9, perhaps in the rotation, but more likely as a long reliever and possible pinch-hitter.

"We think it's better to do this now," Baker said. "He'd still be eligible for the playoffs."

Leake made 22 starts this season, going 7-4 with a 2.22 ERA in his first 11 and 5-6 with a 5.60 ERA in his second 11. He was also ineffective out of the bullpen in two appearances, allowing eight earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Baker said the team will concentrate on Leake's fitness level and building his strength back up from the grind of a full season. Leake threw 138 1/3 innings, about the same workload he had last year at Arizona State (142 innings), but on a shorter schedule of the five-man rotation instead of once a week.

"We did the same thing with Homer (Bailey) and look at how he's come back," Baker said.

The team does have Sam LeCure on the current roster (although it's to be seen if he'll be here on Aug. 31) and Matt Maloney in the minor leagues, both of whom have pitched well as starters for the Reds this season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: August 25, 2010 2:48 am
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Posted on: August 25, 2010 2:45 am
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Posted on: August 25, 2010 2:41 am
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Posted on: August 25, 2010 2:38 am

Reds may shut down Leake

Mike Leake was one of the good stories of the early season for the Cincinnati Reds, but after being moved to the bullpen in hopes of limiting his innings, the team is now considering shutting him down for the season.

"We're addressing it now," Reds manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay following Tuesday's 16-5 loss to the Giants. "It seemed like he was getting hurt on his slider. He's rolling it up there. It's not sharp."

Mike Leake Leake made his second relief appearance of the season in the game, allowing six hits and six runs while retiring just a single Giants batter. Leake gave up two home runs, a two-run shot to Juan Uribe and a three-run homer to fellow rookie Buster Posey.

Leake's ERA jumped from 3.85 to 4.23 with the appearance.

Leake was taken out of the rotation following his Aug. 14 start against the Marlins, when he picked up his eighth win of the season. Because he'd thrown 135 2/3 innings at that point, the Reds moved him to the bullpen to protect the 22-year old's arm.

He made his first relief appearance Saturday in Los Angeles, allowing two runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings.

For the season, he's now thrown 138 1/3 innings.

The Reds' first-round pick in 2009, Leake skipped the minor leagues, making the rotation out of spring training. Leake won his first five decisions, netting a 2.22 ERA in his first 11 starts.

In his next 11 starts, he went 3-4 with a 5.60 ERA.

Leake threw 142 innings at Arizona State, plus 19 2/3 innings in the Arizona Fall League.

When rosters expand in September, the Reds could shut Leake down as a pitcher, but still use him as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner. As impressive as his stats as a pitcher are for his rookie season (91 strikeouts 51 walks), Leake was even better at the plate. In 58 plate appearances, Leake hit .348/.423/.370 with three RBI and six sacrifices.

Fellow rookie Travis Wood was battered about by the Giants, allowing seven runs on seven hits in four innings. The team has Aaron Harang close to returning from a rehab assignment, although the team had been considering using him out of the bullpen. Left-hander Matt Maloney is currently in Triple-A, but is 0-2 with a 3.09 ERA in two starts for Cincinnati this season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: August 17, 2010 8:22 pm

Reds' Leake bounced from rotation

Mike Leake Mike Leake has been removed from the rotation, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer as the Reds will move forward with Homer Bailey in an attempt to limit the amount of innings on the rookie's right arm.

Leake made the leap from college to the majors without any stops in the minors, slotting into the rotation and getting off to a fast start with a 2.22 ERA through his first 11 starts with 50 whiffs and 25 free passes in 73 innings. However, in his last 11, his ERA checks in at 5.60 with a 22/36 BB/K ratio over 62 2/3 innings.

"Obviously, I’d rather go every fifth day," the 22-year-old said of the switch. "But it will be fun to throw out of the ‘pen — as long as I can do something to help the team."

Leake's 135 2/3 innings on the year is approaching what is thought to be a 170-inning limit for the young righty. Leake tossed 142 innings as a junior for Arizona State, then an additional 19 in the Arizona Fall League, totalling up to 161 innings. The 170-inning limit, then, is a logical benchmark especially considering the disparity in college and major-league competition.

But that's not all. Even though Leake is shuttled off to the bullpen, he may have one other destination on his ledger: Triple-A. Travis Wood is slated to start Thursday, so a roster spot will have to be cleared. Leake may be that man, although Carlos Fisher might be the one to go.

If it is indeed Leake, he would be able to transition to a relief role in a more procedural manner, rather than being thrown into the fire.

One wonders how Leake would adjust to bus rides as the mode of transportation as opposed to cushy private planes.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Tags: Mike Leake, Reds
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