Tag:Reds
Posted on: July 23, 2010 9:49 pm
 

Matthews opting out of Reds deal

Gary Matthews Jr. will opt out of his minor-league deal with the Reds, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. Matthews won't sign a minor-league contract for another team, just a major-league one, his agent Scott Leventhal told Sheldon.

Reds general manager Walt Jocketty told Matthews on Friday that the team didn't have any big-league openings in the outfield.

"He has nothing left to prove," Leventhal said. "He's a 10-year veteran that spent the last 30 days in Louisville and putting up good numbers."

Matthews was still playing for the Triple-A Louisville Bats in Friday's game at Gwinnett. He can opt out of his contract tomorrow.

Matthews entered the game hitting .313/.359/.490 with three homers and six RBI in 26 games with the Bats. In 36 games for the Mets earlier this season, Matthews hit .190/.266/.241 with an RBI in 58 at-bats. He was released by the Mets on June 15 and signed with the Reds on June 24.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 20, 2010 2:20 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2010 3:11 pm
 

Piniella to retire at end of the season


Lou Piniella Lou Piniella announced his intention to retire at the end of the season.

Here's a statement released by the team:

"I couldn't be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to manage this ballclub. I've had four wonderful years here that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.  I've grown to love the city and the fans but at my age [67 at the end of the season] it will be time to enter a new phase in my life.  It will enable me to spend more valuable time with my family -- my wife, my kids and my grandchildren.  God has blessed me to have been able to work this many years in the game that I love.

"Why make this announcement now? Jim Hendry asked me in recent weeks regarding my future with the team and I told him I had made the decision to retire at the end of the season.  Since my decision has now been made, I don't want to mislead anyone about my intentions when asked in the future.  

"But more importantly, announcing my decision now is what's best for this organization in the long run.  It gives Jim Hendry ample time to find the next manager and he doesn't need to do so in secrecy. The Cubs are one of the greatest organizations in baseball.  I care very deeply for this organization and want nothing more than for it to experience present and long-term success.  I'm proud of our accomplishments during my time here and this will be a perfect way for me to end my career. 

"But let me make one thing perfectly clear: our work is far from over. I want to keep the momentum going more than anything else and win as many games as we can to get back in this pennant race.  I'm going to give every effort I have to help this team win and that will remain my sole focus through the rest of the season."  

An hour or so before Piniella announced the decision, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News writes reported the news without the very mention of a source or anything else to back up what is written other than "the Daily News has learned."

Piniella is 307-271 in Chicago and 42-52 this season, with his team 10 1/2 games out of first place in the National League Central.

Piniella has said this will be his last managing job. He's 1,826-1,691 in 23 seasons as a manager with the Yankees, Reds, Mariners, Rays and Cubs.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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



Category: MLB
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 17, 2010 6:46 pm
 

Reds quarantine All-Star Rolen


Reds manager Dusty Baker has quarantined third baseman Scott Rolen, who is ill and not in Saturday's lineup against the Rockies.

"He wasn't feeling well yesterday, he's feeling worse today," Baker said. "He's available only in an emergency."

Rolen was 0-for-3 in Friday's victory with two strikeouts. He wasn't at the park when the team went out for batting practice, but was expected to be at the stadium, just in case, during the game.

"We don't want it to spread to the team," Baker said. "I've seen illness spread through a team and that's one thing you don't want happening."

The All-Star third baseman is hitting .287/.360/.542 with 17 home runs and 57 RBI. He is replaced in the lineup Saturday by Miguel Cairo.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 16, 2010 4:20 pm
Edited on: July 16, 2010 7:43 pm
 

Votto happy to be enemy of Cubs fans


Joey Votto CINCINNATI -- Joey Votto said he was joking when he told a Chicago reporter he didn't like the Cubs following the All-Star Game, but he doesn't mind being the target of Cubs fans boos.

"I think it's kind of fun to play the heel," Votto said.

Following Tuesday night's All-Star Game, Votto was quoted by ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine as saying, "I don't like the Cubs. And I'm not going to pat anybody with a Cubs uniform on the back."

Friday, Votto noted he was laughing when he said that and it may not have come over quite right when seen in black and white.

"The shame of it is Marlon and I got along the best on the bench and in the outfield and stuff, I talked to him and I was one of the first people to congratulate him in Chicago [when the All-Star teams were named]," Votto said Friday. "It was definitely taken out of context. I was laughing when I said it. I have the utmost respect for the Cubs in general -- not necessarily for the fans, but …"

Votto laughed after he said that, but the blog Church of Baseball , run by a Reds fan, dug up this video earlier this week in the wake of the Votto-Cubs flap.



The video shows Votto telling a young Cubs fan "I don't sign for Cubs fans."

Votto didn't deny that, either.

"I don't," Votto said, with a laugh. "I try not to. They're in our same division and we play good baseball against them. I think it's kind of fun to play the heel. Not everything has to be friendly, we take it seriously every time we go there. It's not just a game to us, it's our job."

Votto traces his Cub-dislike to 2007, when he was called up in September and watched the Cubs celebrate a division title at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

"I still remember that now, I remember them looking at the scoreboard and Cubs fans cheering and everyone in the stands wearing blue," Votto said. "I still remember that and it meant a lot to me. I guess I should probably let it go, but I'm not an easy forgiver."

The Cubs' Byrd didn't seem too worked up about the "controversy" telling MLB.com's Carrie Muskat that he understood Votto's sentiment.

"That's the competitiveness of Joey Votto," Byrd said. "He's an MVP candidate right now, he's going to say what he believes. But at the same time, I don't think any Cub is going to be patting anyone on the Cincinnati Reds on the back during the season. They're the ones in first place and we're chasing them. We're going to have to come after them hard."

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he understood Votto's statement as well.

"I don't think he likes the Cardinals either," Piniella told Muskat. "I think it's more of an [intradivisional] thing."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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


Posted on: July 15, 2010 8:56 pm
 

Reds looking for experienced bullpen help


Russ Springer It turns out right-hander Russ Springer is exactly what the Reds are looking for -- old relievers.

The Reds signed the 41-year old Springer to a minor-league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Louisville.

The Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay talked to Reds general manager Walt Jocketty , who said the team is looking mainly for bullpen experience as the July 31 trade deadline looms.

"I think what I'm looking for more than anything is a little more experience in the bullpen and bullpen depth," Jocketty said. "I still like our club the way it is. We've still got some guys coming back with (Edinson) Volquez and we're trying to get (Aroldis) Chapman ready for the bullpen. Chapman is going to help, but he doesn't have the experience."

Chapman was moved to the bullpen last month and hasn't fared well. In seven appearances as a reliever, Chapman has a 5.79 ERA, allowing seven hits, seven runs, seven walks in 9 1/3 innings pitched. He has struck out 14 and batters are hitting just .194 off of him as a reliever, versus .246 as a starter. Chapman was 5-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 13 starts.

As far as the Reds' rotation, Jocketty said Travis Wood and Matt Maloney will not be put in the bullpen and Aaron Harang's return from the disabled list is still unsure.

"He was a little stiff today," Jocketty told Fay. "We'll monitor him the next few days. We would like to get him back pitching. We're not sure how long that's going to be."

If Wood continues to pitch as he has, there will be no real hurry to get Harang back, especially with Volquez's return.

-- 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.


Posted on: July 15, 2010 3:50 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2010 3:52 pm
 

Cards give GM Mozeliak extension

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that the Cardinals have given general manager John Mozeliak a three-year contract extension.

Mozeliak became Cardinals GM after the 2007 season, and St. Louis has gone 224-188 on his watch. The Cardinals are currently 47-41, a game behind the Reds (whose GM is Walt Jocketty, the former Cardinals GM who was Mozeliak's mentor) in the National League Central.

-- David Andriesen

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

Category: MLB
Tags: Cardinals, Reds
 
 
 
 
 
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