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Tag:Jay Bruce
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 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: September 6, 2010 5:12 pm
 

Edmonds has oblique tear

Jim Edmonds Jim Edmonds may not play for the rest of the season -- and that could be good news for the Reds.

Edmonds told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon that he has a tear in his right oblique. He was initially diagnosed with a strained muscle.

"I'm trying, but I have to let it heal," Edmonds said. "I don't really know the timetable right now. The swelling has finally come down, it's not as bad moving around. It's coming along. I've never had a muscle tear before."

Edmonds hasn't swung a bat yet and tried throwing recently, but couldn't do it.

The Reds currently have just three healthy outfielders, as Jay Bruce is also sidelined with a side injury. He hasn't played since his walk-off single a week ago against the Brewers. Laynce Nix has been out since Aug. 25 because of a sprained  left ankle.

Utility infielder Miguel Cairo is the team's backup plan in the outfield if needed. The Reds have no healthy outfielders on the 40-man roster. The team would need to make a move -- like moving Edmonds to the 60-day disabled list -- to clear room on the 40-man roster to call up another outfielder.

Wladimir Balentien had a great season at Triple-A Louisville, hitting .282/.337/.536 with 25 home runs and 78 RBI, but he was recently diagnosed with a strained oblique. The team could call up Dave Sappelt, who has played well at Triple-A -- .324/.365/.481 with a homer and eight RBI in 25 games -- but started the season in Class A.  Another possibility is Daniel Dorn, who has played first this season but also has played the corner outfield positions. Dorn is hitting .302/.398/.545 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI for the Bats.

Both third baseman Juan Francisco and first baseman Yonder Alonso were tried out in the outfielder in spring and earlier this season, though both of those experiments were deemed failures.

Edmonds played in just nine games for the Reds after the team traded outfielder Chris Dickerson to Milwaukee for him on Aug. 9. In 24 plate appearances, Edmonds had just three hits -- all for extra bases, two doubles and a homer.

-- 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 .


Posted on: August 19, 2010 3:21 am
Edited on: August 19, 2010 12:32 pm
 

Reds rebounding well from sweep

So how's that momentum going?

The Cardinals have shown the only "Mo" that matters in baseball is the one wearing pinstripes out of the bullpen.

Since the Cardinals supposedly took control of the National League Central with a sweep in Cincinnati, St. Louis has not only surrendered their two-game division lead, but now find themselves three games behind the Reds.

The Cardinals dropped their fourth straight game on Wednesday, as Milwaukee beat Adam Wainwright 3-2, while Cincinnati won its fifth straight, 11-7 over Arizona despite Joey Votto being scratched with a bad back.

Making things worse, the Cardinals' 1-4 record since sweeping the Reds has come entirely at Busch Stadium, while the Reds swept the Marlins at home and have won their first two games in a nine-game roadtrip. While the Cardinals are 10-5 against the Reds, they're 15-18 against the Cubs, Brewers and Astros. The Reds are 21-6 against those same three NL Central foes.

There's still plenty of baseball to play -- just as there was a week ago when the Cardinals were handed the division by some following their sweep at Great American Ball Park. St. Louis certainly has the starting pitching (or at least top three in the rotation) to win the division and just as last week's sweep didn't win the division for the team, this current streak hasn't lost it for the Cardinals.

It's too easy to look at a specific game or series and take the results and try to extrapolate a much larger meaning. But a 162-game schedule nullifies that.

Some credit needs to go to the Reds and manager Dusty Baker for bouncing back when many buried them. With Wednesday's comeback victory -- the Reds trailed 7-3 in the eighth before coming back for the win -- Cincinnati is now a season-high 18 games over .500 at 69-51. It was also their 35th comeback win this season.

"It was awesome," Reds right fielder Jay Bruce told the Cincinnati Enquirer . "But I can't say I'm surprised. We've been doing it all year."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: August 19, 2010 3:14 am
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Posted on: June 24, 2010 5:59 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2010 6:52 pm
 

Reds sign Matthews to minor-league deal

Gary Matthews Jr. In a move that has been rumored since spring training, the Reds signed outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. to a minor-league contract, the team announced on Thursday.

Matthews played 36 games for the Mets this season and hit an abysmal .190/.266/.241. While Matthews was being mentioned as a trade candidate for the Reds this spring, some inside the organization scoffed at the thought of Matthews making the big league squad.

Center fielder Drew Stubbs has struggled so far this season -- .231/.306/.382 -- but that's still better than Matthews, and Stubbs' defense is monumentally better at this point than the former Gold Glove-winning Matthews. The Reds also have another better option in Chris Heisey (.280/.368/.600 in 57 plate appearances), who is more natural at a corner outfield spot, but both of those are taken in Cincinnati with Jay Bruce and Jonny Gomes. Laynce Nix is the fifth outfielder.

Matthews fits only where he'll be -- at Triple-A Louisville. The Bats haven true center fielder. Michael Griffen and utility man Chris Burke have been manning the outfield for Rick Sweet. The team has little other outfield depth, using two other part-time infielders, Todd Frazier and Yonder Alonso, in the outfield, along with one-time prospect Wladimir Balentien.

Sure, the usual suspects will cry Dusty Baker and bring up Corey Patterson and Willy Taveras, and that could be an issue if Patterson were to make the roster, but that's not happening. There's no place for Matthews in Cincinnati and baring and injury, don't expect to see him there anytime soon.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


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