Posted on: June 30, 2010 4:34 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2010 6:24 pm

Reds' Rhodes bounces back

Arthur Rhodes CINCINNATI -- Tuesday night Reds reliever Arthur Rhodes had a streak of 33 consecutive appearances without allowing a run snapped by the Phillies in a 9-6 loss.

So what did Rhodes do on Wednesday?

"Start a new streak," Rhodes said.

Not only did he exercise his daemons against the same team, he did it against the same hitters.

Tuesday Rhodes gave up a double, walk and double to Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth and Raul Ibanez in the 10th inning, to give Rhodes the loss. Wednesday afternoon he struck out Howard and Werth before getting Ibanez to fly out to end the eighth. Not only that, thanks to Jay Bruce's homer off of Roy Halladay in the eighth, Rhodes picked up his third victory of the season.

"I had revenge on some guys I have to go out and get," Rhodes said.

Reds manager Dusty Baker has always stressed the importance of getting a reliever back in a game after a bad game to give him an opportunity to make good, and Baker said it was just as important for a veteran like Rhodes to get that chance as any rookie.

"Arthur was the first one to come in and say, 'Thanks for getting me back out there,'" Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I really didn't need that, I was going to get him back out there no matter what. It's important to anybody. It's apropos he got the loss last night and the win tonight."

Rhodes' streak of scoreless appearances tied for the most in one season, shared by Mark Guthrie of the Mets in 2002 and Mike Myers of the Rockies in 2000.

Rhodes had stopped talking about the streak to the press -- not that he speaks much with the press anyway -- but hadn't stopped thinking about it.

"It was only mind for a little bit, when you've got something going on like that, a hitting streak or a home run streak, you think about it every day" Rhodes said on Wednesday. "That was on my mind the whole day. Now it's over with and started a new one today."

At 40, Rhodes is having an All-Star calibre season, allowing four runs (three of those last night) in 37 games and 33 innings, good for a 1.09 ERA. He's struck out 32 batters and walked 12, while allowing 18 hits.

"I'm pitching about the same I did in 2001," Rhodes said. "I've got to keep it going, doing what I'm doing."

In 2001, Rhodes went 8-0 with a 1.72 ERA for Seattle.

Also in 2001, Bruce was 14.

"That is a long time, I'm not going back further than that," Rhodes said. "I don't want to."

Bruce had yet to turn five when Rhodes made his big-league debut in 1991 and 10 when Rhodes finished 20th in MVP balloting in 1997 with Baltimore , where he was 10-3 with a 3.02 ERA.

Rhodes has likely been more valuable to the Reds this season, three years after Tommy John surgery. While many of the Reds relievers, including closer Francisco Cordero and Nick Masset, have struggled, Rhodes has been the bullpen's rock allowing the team to battle for first place with St. Louis. That's why it was nice to see Reds fans acknowledge that Tuesday night, when they gave him a standing ovation as he exited the game in the 10th inning, having just given up runs that would mean the team would drop out of first place.

"They appreciate quality, they appreciate what this guy has meant to the organization and the pride of the city in winning," Baker said. "He's one of the real warriors, I enjoy having on the team."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 30, 2010 1:54 pm

Chapman struggling as reliever

Aroldis Chapman Aroldis Chapman continued to show shaky control in his new life as a reliever, hitting two batters and throwing two wild pitches Tuesday night against Durham for Triple-A Louisville.

The Cuban defector signed by the Reds in January for $30.25 million, has recently been moved to the bullpen for a possible call-up to Cincinnati after the All-Star break.

In three relief appearances, Chapman has allowed five runs -- four earned -- in 4 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking one.

While batters are hitting just .200 off of him as a reliever and .242 overall, his control has been spotty, even with his fastball. Both of the batters he hit Tuesday night were hit by fastballs, and another pitch sailed over the head of a batter. He threw back-to-back wild pitches to score a runner.

Durham's Dan Johnson was hit with a 99 mph fastball in his elbow.

"I was an inch away from being done for the year," Johnson told the Durham Herald-Sun .

Johnson may consider himself lucky, Dioner Navarro was hit by a fastball Baseball America 's J.J. Cooper measured at 103 mph.

Wrote Cooper from the game:

Overall, Chapman took the loss and gave up four runs (three earned) while getting five outs, three via strikeout. He didn't have a lot of problems throwing strikes. Of his 40 pitches, 27 were strikes. He did have some problems with finishing off batters; both of the hits against him came on two-strike counts after hitters had fouled off previous two-strike fastballs. Chapman showed a slider that is a definite weapon, but he didn't seem completely comfortable using it late in the count.

Unlike his time as a starter, Chapman's velocity didn't vary much as a reliever. Of his 37 fastballs, 29 were thrown at 98 mph or better including one at 103, two at 101 and six at 100 mph. But when Chapman did miss, he missed badly. It's worth noting that Chapman showed the same hit-or-miss control in his bullpen warm-up. He showed several nasty sliders, but he also bounced a pitch that got away from the bullpen catcher and ended up rolling past the Bats' dugout.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 29, 2010 4:39 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2010 5:04 pm

Reds' Phillips pleads guilty to moving violation

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips pleaded guilty to a reckless driving charge on Tuesday, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports .

The Kenton County (Ky.) prosecutor and Phillips' attorney agreed to a deal to avoid a conviction. Phillips will take a three-hour remedial driving course and pay court costs. At the completion of the course, the infraction will be taken off his driving record and he won't pay a fine.

"It's standard operating procedure for a case like this," Phillips attorney, Alex Triantafilou told Sheldon. "Brandon took responsibility for this. He had a new car and was going too fast."

Phillips was arrested Friday night in Park Hills, Ky., across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, for driving 72 mph in a 35 mph zone. There was no alcohol involved, and Phillips' mother was even in his new Audi when he was pulled over.

In a city where the professional football players can't seem to stay out of trouble (even today, a Bengal was arrested ), the Reds have had few arrests in recent years, the last was Ryan Freel's DUI in 2005.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 29, 2010 1:20 am

Utley suffers thumb injury

Chase Utley It's not easy to get Chase Utley out of a game.

The Phillies second baseman has played in an average of 150 games per season the past five years. He's in his eighth season and has been on the disabled list exactly once, in 2007. It took a broken wrist to do that, and he still only missed a month.

Utley took himself out of Monday night's game against the Reds in the ninth inning, unable to grip the bat after injuring his right thumb on a slide in the fourth inning (pictured). Utley will have an MRI exam on Tuesday.

The renowned tough guy coming out of the game voluntarily caught the attention of teammates.

"For him to leave a game ... that's the last guy that's going to take himself out of a game," Shane Victorino said. "He's obviously hurting. I hope he's not seriously hurt."
-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: June 28, 2010 9:28 pm
Edited on: June 28, 2010 9:30 pm

No. 300 for resurgent Rolen

Scott Rolen When they traded for him last July, the Reds were hoping 35-year-old Scott Rolen would add some veteran punch to their lineup. Well, Rolen is landing plenty of punches in 2010.

The third baseman hit his 300th career home run Monday night, connecting against Kyle Hendrick of the Phillies (his first major-league team) at Great American Ball Park. It was another highlight in a season that has been full of them for Rolen this year.

The home run was Rolen's 17th of the season, more than he's had in any full season since 2006. He's on pace for 39, a career high. Rolen has 52 RBI in 70 games, on pace for 120.

The hitter-friendly dimensions of GABP explain some of Rolen's offensive uptick, but he's still a great story. Second baseman Brandon Phillips told the New York Times this month that Rolen is a major reason for way the Reds are putting the pieces together this season.
"Now, we have guys who keep on pushing us, saying the game’s not over till it’s over," Phillips said. "It’s a beautiful thing just to have Scott Rolen. Scott Rolen is the key thing [general manager] Walt Jocketty did, getting him over here. We’ve been competing all these years, and nothing happened. But now that we have guys on our team who know how to win and get the job done."
Rolen is the 128th member of the 300-homer club. He became the third player this season to hit his 300th, joining the Cubs' Derrek Lee and Alfonso Soriano.

-- David Andriesen

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

Posted on: June 28, 2010 8:14 pm

Reds not in market for DeJesus

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Monday that a team source said the Reds, contrary to some reports, are not interested in Royals outfielder David DeJesus.

As Fay notes, the outfield isn't a weak spot for the Reds, so the DeJesus scenario didn't make a lot of sense. Cincinnati is the best-hitting team in the National League, and if the first-place Reds are looking to shore up, the most logical area would be the bullpen.

-- David Andriesen

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 27, 2010 1:10 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2010 8:48 pm

Reds' move unlike to lead to Volquez return

Edinson Volquez Could the Reds' latest move mean former All-Star Edinson Volquez is ready to return from "Tommy John" surgery?

Volquez is scheduled to make his second start for Triple-A Louisville, but he's been impressive in his quick rehab from Tommy John surgery last Aug. 3. He was also suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs, but that suspension has expired. Still, it seems unlikely, as Volquez has made just one Triple-A start.

The Reds called up left-handed reliever Bill Bray, himself coming off of "Tommy John" surgery, and sent down Saturday's starter, Sam LeCure before Sunday's game with the Indians.

Bray last pitched in the big leagues in 2008, when he was 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 63 appearances for the Reds. He missed most of last season after undergoing surgery in April.

Reds manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer 's Tom Ramstetter that the team needed left-handers in their bullpen for the upcoming series against the Phillies and their left-handed hitters.

LeCure lasted just 3 1/3 innings Saturday's victory over the Indians, allowing six hits and three runs, while walking four and striking out two. It was the worst start of the season for the rookie right-hander. LeCure was 1-4 with a  4.86 ERA in six starts with the Reds.

"He's pitched pretty well," Baker said. "Last night was probably the worst he's pitched. That's not why we made the move. When his spot comes up, then we'll see what our next move is. Sometimes when you're trying to win the pennant, you have to make these temporary auxiliary moves."

Volquez has made just one start for Louisville and the Reds have said they'd prefer for him to get a couple of weeks in to see how his arm responds. He pitched well in his first outing for the Bats, hitting 98 mph on the radar gun with his fastball in a victory.

More likely, though, the Reds would call up left-hander Matt Maloney for Thursday's start in Chicago. Maloney starter for the Bats on Saturday and is 6-4 with a 3.60 ERA in 14 starts at Louisville. Maloney made seven starts for the Reds last season. Another possibility is left-hander Travis Wood. Wood got the win on Friday for Louisville and 5-6 with a 3.12 ERA and Thursday's game against the Cubs is a day game, so the extra day would help his travel schedule. Wood battled into the last starts of spring training with rookie Mike Leake for the fifth spot in the rotation.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 26, 2010 10:21 pm

Record night for Rhodes

Cincinnati's Arthur Rhodes, at age 40, is quietly having one of the greatest seasons by a reliever in history.

Saturday night, Rhodes pitched a scoreless seventh inning against the Indians, his 33rd consecutive appearance without allowing a run. That ties the major-league single-season record shared by Mike Myers of the Rockies in 2000 and Mark Guthrie of the Mets in 2002.

Rhodes has allowed one earned run -- ONE -- in 32 innings this season, for an ERA of 0.28. According to the team, no Reds reliever has thrown more than 30 consecutive scoreless innings since Frank Smith's 35, the team record, in 1952.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
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