Posted on: June 26, 2010 3:40 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:25 am

Reds' Phillips can't drive 35

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was arrested and charged with reckless driving in a Cincinnati suburb Friday night, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported .

Phillips, who went 2 for 5 in the Reds' 10-3 victory over the visiting Indians Friday night, was clocked at 72 mph in a 35-mph zone just after 11 p.m. He posted a $25 bond after being booked in the Kenton County Jail. The police said no alcohol was involved.

Phillips, who had his mother as a passenger, is scheduled to appear in Kenton County Municipal Court Tuesday morning.

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 25, 2010 8:33 pm
Edited on: June 26, 2010 12:15 am

Chapman could be in Cincinnati soon

Aroldis Chapman The Reds expect to bring up left-hander Aroldis Chapman to pitch out of the bullpen sometime this season general manager Walt Jocketty told reporters on Friday. The Reds want to see how Chapman adjusts to pitching out of the bullpen in the next three weeks and then possibly call him up.

Chapman, a Cuban defector, started in spring training and all of this season until this week when he came out of the bullpen in relief of Edinson Volquez, who could also be back in Cincinnati in the next couple of weeks.

Jocketty said the team still considers Chapman's future to be that of a starter, but he could help the team more as a reliever this season. The Reds entered Friday's game against the Indians a half-game out of first place in the National League Central. The Reds, 40-33, haven't had a winning season since 2000 and have made the playoffs since 1995.

"We still see him as a starter, but we feel this season he can help us as a reliever," Jocketty said.

Chapman has dazzled with his fastball that has reached 103 mph for Triple-A Louisville, but has struggled with his control, especially of his secondary pitches. His fastball, however, is electric and in short spurts, he could dominate even big-league batters with that fastball.

There is still plenty of development left for Chapman who has shown signs of a very good curveball and slider, and has been working with former Red Mario Soto on a changeup. Chapman has yet to contain any of those pitches.

Chapman made his first relief appearance on Wednesday, allowing a run on two hits in two innings, while striking out two. For the season, Chapman has made 13 starts and appeared in 14 games, going 5-5 with a 4.12 ERA, striking out 79 and walking 41 in 67 2/3 innings.

Chapman may be used much like the Rays used David Price in 2008. Both are tall, lanky left-handers with a great fastball. Price was further in his development when he came up in 2008, but there are still similarities. The Reds would certainly like to have similar results, a short-term boost to the bullpen and a long-term boost to the rotation.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 24, 2010 11:34 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2010 11:43 pm

Hammer sells out... again

Proving everything has its price, former Oakland A's batboy M.C. Hammer will help celebrate the Cincinnati Reds' sweep of the A's in the 1990 World Series with a pregame concert at Great American Ball Park on July 16, the Reds announced on Thursday.

Hammer will perform before and after the game with the Rockies and will also do a meet-and-greet with fans.

The game will also feature a tribute to the 1990 Reds team and will have several member of the Reds' last World Series team appearing at the game.

During the 1990 season, both the Reds and A's adopted Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" as their unofficial theme song, playing it after each win.

The next year, Hammer released "Too Legit to Quit" and the video featured Jose Canseco, but no members of the World Champion Reds. You can't tell me Glenn Braggs wouldn't be up for a spot to do the 2 Legit handsign -- and really, Barry Larkin or Jerry Glanville? Larkin had a much better fade. If it weren't for Rickey Henderson, the "Too Legit to Quit" video could be the early-90s version of the Madden Curse.  The other baseball players in the video were Roger Clemens and Kirby Puckett. There was a future Red in the video, though, in Deion Sanders. Hammer and his crew also wore Oakland A's jackets for part of the six-minute video.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Category: MLB
Tags: M.C. Hammer, Reds
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.

Posted on: June 24, 2010 5:06 pm

Cueto dials down velocity, succeeds

Johnny Cueto Johnny Cueto took a lesson from Mike Leake and Bronson Arroyo in how to defeat the Athletics.

Leake and Arroyo can't dial their fastball into the high 90s -- unlike Cueto can -- but the two stymied Oakland's bats by putting together a nice blend of velocity and command.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer said that Cueto decided to work around 91-92 mph and focus on location instead of rearing back to throw 95 and having questionable control.

Cueto went seven innings, throwing 100 pitches. While he whiffed just four, he walked only two and gave up seven hits, holding the A's scoreless.

As Fay says, it will be interesting to see if Cueto keeps his new mentality. He's got to evolve into a pitcher, not a thrower, and part of doing that is realizing that it's not always about velocity, but about spotting your pitches. Plus, unlike most pitchers, Cueto can dial it up in pressure situations and blow fastballs past the hitter.

Cueto burst on the scene with a great debut in 2008 before fading near the end and finishing with a 4.81 ERA in 31 starts. He faded yet again in 2009 and didn't perform up to expectations, finishing with 30 starts and a 4.41 ERA although he did show improving endurance. This year, he's at a 3.97 ERA in 15 starts, on pace for 200 innings. That would be a career-high, with 2008's 174 innings his current high.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 23, 2010 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 4:39 pm

Chapman appears in relief for Triple-A

Aroldis Chapman Aroldis Chapman pitched on Wednesday for Triple-A Louisville, but he didn't start the game. Instead, he relieved rehabbing starter Edinson Volquez (who went five scoreless ) and went two innings, walking one and whiffing three while giving up two hits and allowing one run.

Chapman, whose fastball can hit triple digits, struggles to command his secondary pitchers which has led to 41 walks in 67 2/3 innings, whiffing 79 for a 4.12 ERA. Although he has served the entire season as a starter and is projected to start in the majors, Cincinnati GM Walt Jocketty says the Reds may look at converting Chapman into a reliever for the stretch run, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.

"If Volquez comes back and [Homer] Bailey isn't far away, the best opportunity will be out of the bullpen," Jocketty said of where Chapman could contribute in the majors in 2010.

"But we could still possibly use him as a starter," he added.

The Reds are 39-33 entering play Wednesday one game behind the division-leading Cardinals. Adding Chapman to the bullpen and playing off his fastball would be a tremendous boost to the Reds' stretch-run drive. The Reds currently rank 24th in bullpen ERA with a 4.74 mark, so the need is certainly there.

-- Evan Brunell

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

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 23, 2010 4:28 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 4:41 pm

Reds keeping an eye on Leake, skip a start

Mike Leake The Reds will skip Mike Leake's next start and are looking at ways to keep his innings under wraps.

Leake, the team's first-round pick last season, threw 142 innings at Arizona State last season and 89 1/3 innings already this season. The Reds want to limit Leake's innings to "probably 170" Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty tells the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay .

"We have a round number," Jocketty told Fay. "Probably 170, but it's not etched in stone."

Leake was scheduled to start Sunday in the series finale against Cleveland. Instead, Leake will start Tuesday in the second game of the series against Philadelphia at Great American Ball Park.

Leake is 5-1 with a 2.92 ERA. He picked up a no-decision Monday in the Reds' victory over the A's. His 89 1/3 innings are the second-most by a rookie pitcher so far this season, behind Cleveland's Mitch Talbot (90 1/3). St. Louis' Jaime Garcia has thrown 85 1/3 innings.

Leake is averaging 15.44 pitches per inning, the 17th fewest in the National League.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

Posted on: June 22, 2010 1:38 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2010 1:41 pm

Reds' Volquez making rehab start at Triple-A

Edinson Volquez Edinson Volquez is on the comeback trail, and has now joined Triple-A Louisville as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery.

A former member of the Rangers' vaunted DVD trio who was shipped to Cincinatti for Josh Hamilton and broke out, Volquez wil make a rehab start on Wednesday. He previously made two starts for high Class-A Lynchburg, not allowing a run over eight innings, whiffing seven and giving out no free passes.

In 2009, Volquez had a 4-2 record with a 4.35 ERA in nine starts prior to the arm injury in the beginning of June. His first season with the Reds was in 2008 when he posted a 17-6 record along with a 3.21 ERA, making the All-Star team.

Volquez served 50 games while on the disabled list for violating the substance abuse program. He revealed he was getting treatment to start a family with his wife, but the drug was banned for baseball. The resulting loophole that allowed Volquez to serve the suspension while on the disabled list will likely be closed in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

-- Evan Brunell

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

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