Tag:Mike Leake
Posted on: August 13, 2010 5:33 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2010 5:33 pm
 

Cueto won't appeal; Bailey off DL

Homer Bailey
Reds starter Johnny Cueto won't appeal his seven-game suspension stemming from this week's fight against the Cardinals, and Homer Baily will come off the disabled list to take his scheduled start Sunday against the Marlins.

Manager Dusty Baker seemed to be sending a message through comments to reporters that Cueto should not regard the suspension as a vacation.

"With our pitching situation, the way things line up, it will be better if he misses one start and he'll have one extra day from [when] ordinarily he would start," Baker said. "So maybe this will make him even better and stronger. He can train, train and more train."

Bailey (pictured being greeted by Mister Redlegs), the promising right-hander whose career has gotten off the a frustrating start, has been on the disabled list since late May with shoulder inflammation. He has looked good in four rehab appearances (three starts), going 2-1 with a 1.44 ERA.

Cueto's suspension will buy struggling rookie Mike Leake another start Saturday after a bad stretch had the Reds considering taking him out of the rotation. For a while it looked like Bailey would have to come back from the DL as a reliever, then it looked like the Reds were lining him up to replace Leake. The Reds will be watching both Leake and Bailey closely this weekend.

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: August 9, 2010 11:48 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2010 1:02 pm
 

Reds may remove Leake from rotation

Mike Leake UPDATE, 8/10, 1 p.m. : Homer Bailey has been scratched from his Triple-A start on Tuesday and will pitch in relief instead, lining him up to take Leake's spot in the rotation Friday, reports the Cincinatti Enquirer . -- Evan Brunell

Early in the season Mike Leake was one of the great stories in baseball -- a kid who skipped the minor leagues entirely and came into the big leagues dealing.

In his first 11 starts, Leake was 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA.

Now in his last 10, he's 2-4 with a 5.72 ERA, including the shortest outing of his short career on Monday, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing six earned runs and seven total runs against the Cardinals. It was the second consecutive start that's seen him give up seven runs.

The Reds are now worried the rookie has hit a wall and may take him out of the rotation, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes .

"We discussed it," Baker told reporters after Monday's 7-3 loss. "He had a big inning in Pittsburgh, but [that was] led to by a couple of different things -- a hit batsman and a potential play on the groundball. We've got to discuss it and talk some more.

"I'm sure this will be a topic of discussion, possibly tomorrow."

Before Monday's game, the Reds optioned their other rookie starter, Travis Wood, to Triple-A Louisville. With two off days for the Reds in the next week, Wood wasn't scheduled to start again until Aug. 18 in Arizona, but will now start the next day against the Diamondbacks. (Interestingly enough, Wood and Leake have pretty similar numbers through eight starts -- Wood is 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA and a .238 opponents batting average, 40 strikeouts and 13 walks. Through eight starts, Leake was 4-0 with a 2.91 ERA a .218 batting average against, 39 strikeouts and 21 walks.)

Homer Bailey is likely ready to replace Leake in the rotation if the Reds need him. The 24-year old has made four rehab starts in the minor leagues and is scheduled to make his fourth at Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday. In three starts at Louisville, he's gone 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA, allowing five earned runs in 18 innings, striking out 15 and walking four, while allowing 15 hits. Bailey was on the disabled list with a  shoulder injury. In nine starts this season, Bailey is 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA.

The Reds do have some flexibility with their rotation because of a day off on Thursday, as well as next Monday. They also have a couple of other starters in the minors who have had success in the big leagues this year in Sam LeCure and Matt Maloney.

For his part, Leake has now thrown 129 2/3 innings. He threw 142 at Arizona State last season and the Reds have been skipping his starts on off days to help keep his innings down. For his part, Leake told Fay he felt fine.

"I feel great," Leake said. "I've just hit a rough patch."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: August 9, 2010 4:36 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2010 4:57 pm
 

Scoring error drops Leake's ERA a half point


Mike Leake Reds rookie Mike Leake shaved nearly a half of a run off of his ERA before he even threw a pitch on Monday.

Leake, who will start opposite Chris Carpenter in the first game of the showdown between the first-place Reds and second-place Cardinals, benefitted from a scoring change in last Tuesday's start in Pittsburgh.

With an out in the second inning, Lastings Milledge hit a grounder by third baseman Scott Rolen that was originally called a double. The Reds appealed and on Monday Major League Baseball changed it to an error. That changed the six earned runs in that inning to six unearned, dropping his ERA from 3.86 to 3.43 on the season. Leake gave up another unearned run in the fifth, on his own error. That was the only game the Reds lost on their six-game road trip.

The Reds' other rookie starter, Travis Wood, was optioned to Triple-A Louisville before the game to make room for Jim Edmonds, acquired by the team earlier in the day. Wood, 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA in eight starts, will likely be back up after 10 days. The Reds have two off days in the next week, Thursday and next Monday. Wood wasn't scheduled to pitch again until the 18th in Arizona, now he'll pitch the next day.
Wood has thrown 149 innings between the minors and majors this season. He threw 167 2/3 innings last season. The team is monitoring Leake's innings as well. He's thrown 126 innings so far this season, his first professional season.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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



Posted on: August 5, 2010 9:06 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2010 9:10 pm
 

Pirates manager likes Cards in NL Central race


John Russell The Pittsburgh Pirates have played back-to-back to the top two teams in the National League Central, getting swept in St. Louis and winning one of three against the Reds in Pittsburgh.

After seeing both teams up close, Pirates manager John Russell says he likes the Cardinals down the stretch. From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 's Rob Biertempfel :
"Because of the experience,” Russell said. “They’ve got a lot of guys who’ve been there and who’ve been through it. They know what to expect. They’ve got two horses in their rotation who’ve been to the playoffs and know what those games are like.”

Russell rated the teams’ bullpens as even. When it comes to bats, he gave Cards sluggers Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday an edge over the Reds’ Joey Votto and Scott Rolen. “Those two (Pujols and Holliday) have consistently shown they can put up great numbers,” Russell said.

Even with Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright anchoring the St. Louis rotation, Russell said Cincy’s group could be the better of the two.

“The five guys they run out there are pretty good,” Russell said. “The potential downfall is the two young guys — (Mike) Leake and (Travis) Wood. As they get close, how those guys react when it’s time to make a push for a playoff spot.
Maybe the best reason to like the Cardinals -- St. Louis has nine games remaining against Russell's Pirates to Cincinnati's three. Six of the remaining games between the Pirates and Cardinals are in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh travels to Cincinnati the second week of September.

The Reds are 8-5 this season against the Pirates and the Cardinals are 5-1.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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



Posted on: August 3, 2010 1:00 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 1:03 pm
 

Sale headed to Chicago?

Move over Mike Leake, Chris Sale may be on the way.

As impressive as Leake's complete skipping of the minor leagues was this season, an even more impressive feat would be pitching in the big leagues the same year you're drafted.

The Chicago Tribune 's Mark Gonzalez speculates the White Sox's first-round pick from June's draft could be making his debut as soon as tomorrow.

Sale has made 11 appearances in the minors, including seven at Triple-A Charlotte, where he has a 2.84 ERA with 15 strikeouts and four walks in 6 1/3 innings.

Sale was taken No. 13 overall out of Florida Gulf Coast University and signed less than two weeks following the draft. Only two of the players drafted ahead of Sale have even signed.

Gonzalez notes White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn scouted Sale two weeks ago.

The left-hander projects as a starter, but has been used in relief in the minors after he threw 103 innings in college. Coincidently, Monday the Cubs' Casey Coleman became the first-ever Florida Gulf Coast University prospect to make the big leagues. Coleman was drafted in the 15th round of the 2008 draft.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: July 27, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:02 pm
 

Heyward, Strasburg to finally meet


Jason Heyward If you hear the world explode tonight, it's because of the awesomeness that is the meeting of Stephen Strasburg and Jason Heyward.

The world was cheated out of this opportunity last month, but now the ultimate meeting should take place tonight in Washington, D.C.

Heyward missed the last meeting when kryptonite jammed his left thumb and sent him to the disabled list, meaning the Braves didn't have a chance on June 28 (well, despite the fact they won the game).

This time, though, it's awesome on awesome as Heyward will be in the lineup.

"It's always great to face good pitchers; it's always great to face the best," Heyward told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution 's Carroll Rogers . "That's what the major leagues are about."

In what is unthinkable, Rogers notes the two actually have competition for the National League Rookie of the Year. Sure, the safe money is on Strasburg finishing first and Heyward second, but there's also Florida's Gaby Sanchez, St. Louis' Jaime Garcia, San Francisco's Buster Posey, Chicago's Starlin Castro and Cincinnati's Mike Leake.

NL's top rookies
Stephen Strasburg 5-2 2.32 ERA 75 Ks, 15 BB
Jaime Garcia 9-4 2.21 ERA 90 Ks, 43 BB
Mike Leake 7-2 3.57 ERA 76 Ks, 43 BB
Jason Heyward .276/.387/.459 11 HR, 48 RBI
Gaby Sanchez .301/.364/.472 11 HR, 45 RBI
Buster Posey .368/.404/.571 8 HR, 33 RBI
Starlin Castro .309/.360/.449 3 HR, 31 RBI

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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




Posted on: July 17, 2010 11:56 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Volquez impressive in return

Less than a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Edinson Volquez was on the mound once again Saturday night, throwing 95 with a viscous changeup. In front of a sell-out crowd at Great American Ball Park, Volquez allowed just three hits to the Colorado Rockies and struck out nine in six innings, as the Reds kept pace with the Cardinals thanks to an 8-1 victory.

"Getting Volky back, especially a productive Volquez, is like making a major trade," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You get a guy back, it'd be hard to find anyone out there better than he was. That was an outstanding performance, and he picked our whole team up. The guys are elated to have him back, you could tell the way they responded."

Edinson Volquez Volquez, an All-Star in 2008, joins a Reds rotation that started slow but has come on strong of late, in part bolstered by rookie Travis Wood. Wood, who was edged out for the fifth starter's spot in spring training by Mike Leake, will make his fourth start on Sunday. Despite not picking up a win in his first three starts, Wood impressed taking a perfect game into the ninth inning against the Phillies last week. In addition to Wood (0-0, 2.18), the Reds rotation consists of the reliable Bronson Arroyo (10-4, 3.95 ERA), a Johnny Cueto who seems to be putting it together (8-2, 3.42) and Leake (6-1, 3.53).

"I think we've got the best pitching staff in baseball," said second baseman Brandon Phillips, who hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning.

That 's likely overstating it more than a little -- but one-through-five, they may have the best starting pitching in the division, and that'll be important down the stretch. The Cardinals may be better with their first three, but St. Louis would welcome the guy Cincinnati sent down on Saturday (Matt Maloney) for one of the other two spots.

And with Volquez back, the team added a potential ace.

"For him to go out and pitch like he did today, there's a lot of teams in trouble," Phillips said.

Volquez's quick return should raise some eyebrows, considering his 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs earlier this season. Volquez has stuck to his story that he used a fertility drug to help him start a family with his wife. However, the drug was similar to the one Manny Ramirez was suspended for using a year ago.

Volquez looked similar to the pitcher that made the 2008 All-Star team, with his fastball sitting around 95 mph and a nasty changeup. The one difference was a newfound confidence in his curveball -- that and more hair. A lot more hair, but the curveball was just as natty as the dreads that added a couple of hat sizes to Volquez's melon.

"The last couple of years I didn't throw my curve, [tonight] I threw it a lot," Volquez said. "I felt more comfortable with it than my changeup. Last night I told [Francisco] Cordero my curve was better than my changeup. I told him I'd show him. Today he said, 'yeah, you're right.'"

Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan said he didn't know how they'd use the curveball, but both he and Volquez noticed early on he had a good feel for it and they used it more and more.

"We didn't throw it that much in rehab starts in Triple-A, but he had such a feel for it and threw it so much, he got some quality strikes and strikeouts on that pitch tonight that was great," Hanigan said. "I wasn't expecting it."

Volquez admitted he was a little too excited in the first inning when Dexter Fowler doubled and Carlos Gonzalez singled him in. He needed 22 pitches that inning and used 55 pitches to get through three innings. However the second and third time through the Rockies' lineup, no batter registered a hit.

"By the third, fourth inning, his stuff was ridiculous," Hanigan said. "He threw all his pitches whenever he wanted to with the action I've seen from him in the past. It's impressive to see a guy like that command all his pitches so well in his first start. When he does that, he's tough."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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





Posted on: July 15, 2010 6:33 pm
 

Volquez to start Saturday

Edinson Volquez Less than a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, Edinson Volquez will start for the Reds on Saturday.

Volquez, who was suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs in April, made four starts for Triple-A Louisville, going 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA. In 23 innings with the Bats, he gave up 11 hits, eight walks and stuck out 21.

Bronson Arroyo is scheduled to start on Friday, but the team hasn't announced the rest of its rotation beyond Arroyo and Volquez. Rookie Mike Leake has already thrown 109 2/3 innings, after throwing 142 innings at Arizona State last season.

With Volquez in, the Reds have to figure out the rest of their rotation, and what to do with Leake.

If Volquez pitches like he has in the minor leagues -- hitting 97 on the radar gun -- and passes drug tests, he helps solidify the rotation, along with Arroyo (9-4, 4.04 ERA) and Johnny Cueto (8-2, 3.42). That leaves the fifth spot that's up in the air between veteran Aaron Harang (6-7, 5.02) and rookie Travis Wood, who has been impressive in his three starts so far, posting a 2.18 ERA and even taking a perfect game into the ninth inning of his last start, Saturday at Philadelphia.

The team is also expected to get the talented, if underperforming, Homer Bailey (1-2, 5.51) back and have also seen two nice starts from left-hander Matt Maloney.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


 
 
 
 
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