Tag:Dusty Baker
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 6, 2010 5:10 pm
 

Reds talking extension with Baker

Dusty Baker As anticipated, now that the trade deadline has passed, the Reds have turned their attention to getting a contract extension for manager Dusty Baker.

"I've been approached in the last couple days," Baker told MLB.com on Friday. "There are some things starting."

Baker is in the final year of a three-year deal. He was 152-172 in his first two seasons but is 61-48 this year, and the Reds are battling the Cardinals in a close National League Central race.

Some like to quibble with Baker's in-game management, but he's as good as they get at the biggest part of a manager's job: managing people. It makes sense for the Reds to keep him onboard with the team on the upswing.

-- David Andriesen

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

Category: MLB
Tags: Dusty Baker, Reds
 
Posted on: August 3, 2010 5:39 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2010 7:01 pm
 

Busy day for DL

Kevin Youkilis With most injuries, you never quite know how bad they are until the next day.

As for last night? It wasn't a real good night for some of baseball's better players.

As was mentioned already, Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis went to the disabled list today, and the news on that injury is a little up in the air.

Youkilis had an MRI this morning that found a torn muscle in his thumb that could require surgery. According to the Boston Globe 's Peter Abraham , doctors are uncertain about the extent of the injury and Youkilis will get a second opinion soon.

"They're searching for some answers because this is, I think, quite rare," Red Sox manager Terry Francona told Abraham and other reporters. "How it happened is a little hard to explain. … In the meantime, there's no way we're going to let him play and take a swing and hurt his career."

Francona said there's a chance that it could scar up and allow Youkilis to return after the 15 days are up.

Ryan Howard Youkilis isn't the only big-time first baseman to go to the disabled list today -- the Phillies placed Ryan Howard on the disabled list with a  sprained left ankle. The team called up John Mayberry Jr. to take his place.

Howard hurt the ankle sliding into second base in Sunday's game in Washington. He went with the team to Florida, but returned to Philadelphia on Monday to get the ankle checked out. With Howard on the DL, Jayson Werth becomes the only Phillie regular not to have visited the DL this season.

It wasn't all bad news for first basemen, as Reds manager Dusty Baker told the Cincinnati Enquirer 's John Fay that Joey Votto (wrist) will return to the lineup for Wednesday afternoon's game against the Pirates. However, the Reds did put starting shortstop Orlando Cabrera on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.

The Reds will replace him in the lineup with Paul Jansih, a superb defensive shortstop who has hit well (.270/.370/.413) in spotty playing time this season. To replace Cabrera on the roster, the Reds called up third baseman Juan Francisco.

As for Monday's most gruesome injury, test on Carlos Santana's left knee showed a high-grade strain of the LCL and hyperextension of the left knee, according to a tweet from the Cleveland Plain Dealer 's Paul Hoynes . Surgery is still a possibility for the Indians' top young player. The Indians also placed Travis Hafner on the DL and called up catcher Lou Marson and starter David Huff.

UPDATE: Hoynes has more on his blog abotu Santana's injury -- Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff says the injury isn't as bad as the Indians feared. "We do feel fortunate," Soloff said.

As for Howard, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told reporters, including David Hale of the News Journal , that the team isn't sure how long Howard will be out.

-- 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 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 1, 2010 3:28 am
 

Phillips finds his spot at top of Reds' lineup

Brandon Phillips CINCINNATI -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is already thinking about spending time with his family when the All-Stars gather in Anaheim later this month.

It's not that he thinks he doesn't deserve to be an All-Star, he's thought he's deserved it the last couple of years and hasn't gotten the call, so he's not expecting it on Sunday, when the teams are announced.

"I feel like I should have been an All-Star years ago, so I'm not looking forward to it. I don't really care," Phillips said. "I'd like to have my four days off and be in Georgia and go do some things with my sister. That's it."

With Chase Utley on the disabled list, Phillips, 29, certainly deserves a spot on the squad, alongside Atlanta's Martin Prado. Still, with Dan Uggla also fighting for a spot, it wouldn't be a shock if Phillips were left off.

With a 30/30 season under his belt, Phillips is actually enjoying his best season in the big leagues. Phillips is hitting .313/.371/.481 with nine home runs, 25 RBI and 10 stolen bases.

He's also finally found his spot in the lineup. He'd been used as a cleanup hitter the last couple of years, a role he was miscast in, but still managed to rack up at least 75 RBI in each of the four seasons and 94 or more in two of the last three.

That's where he started this season, as well, but Dusty Baker moved him up in the order in May and let Scott Rolen bat cleanup.

"He's fit in in every spot we've put him in," Baker said. "He fit in at second, he did well in the cleanup spot, even though he was much-maligned, he still had 97 RBI. Now he's taken to this leadoff spot, he's taking pitches, he's a smart player. He's not hitting .313 because he can't play."

Still, Phillips said he's changed his approach dramatically since he's been moved up in the lineup, cutting down his swing and laying off pitches outside the strike zone.

"I'm not the same hitter I was when i hit fourth, the way I hit right now, I can't hit fourth doing it," Phillips said. "Hitting fourth, it's all about RBI, I proved to everybody I can hit fourth. I didn't hit for a high average, but I had the power numbers and I had the RBIs. I had 90-plus RBIs every year, but that's not me. I'm the type of guy who has gotten the team going. I'm trying to show everyone that I can do many things."

Too often, perhaps, he was trying to show others who he was instead of listening to himself.

"He hits the ball to the opposite field very well, I don't want to put words into his mouth, but I think with a man on first base he feels like he can hit that hole instead of swinging for a double or a home run," Rolen said. "For me, I'm not going to hit that hole, I'm not going to shoot a ball into the hole or bunt. I'm going to try to hit the ball in the middle of the field and hit the gaps. If I hit second, that's what I try to do. He's got a nice compact, right-field swing, but he can also hit the ball out of the ballpark. He sprays singles around and that's healthy."

Rolen has been something of a mentor to Phillips. It's not overt or like Rolen has put his arm around Phillips' shoulders and telling him the secrets of the game. That's not Rolen's style, but Phillips has been sure to keep an eye on the veteran and listen to everything he says.

"Scott Rolen told me, 'Brandon you don't know what type of player you are until you start winning.' I'm starting to see what he meant by that," Phillips said. "Scotty said he's seen so much potential in me and I have yet to see it. I'm starting to see it now. Coming from Scott Rolen, someone who has been at it a long time, to get a comment like that… I'm just going to run with it and do what I'm do."

What he's been able to do so far is spark the Reds offense at the top of the lineup. He has a career-high .371 on-base percentage. Last season he got on base at a .329 clip and has just a .318 career OBP.

"I like hitting leadoff, I jut have to change my role. Ever since they've moved me to first or second, my job is to get on base," Phillips said. "I'm not trying to hit for power or do what I was doing when I was hitting fourth. Right now, my main objective is to get on base for Joey Votto, Rolen and (Jonny) Gomes."

It's a sound strategy -- Phillips leads the National League with 60 runs, in part because he's on base for Votto, Rolen and Gomes, all three in the top 11 in RBI in the National League.

Phillips has just seven games in the leadoff spot, but the numbers aren't that much different than what he's been doing over the last month. As a leadoff guy, he's hitting .417/.447/.556 and in the last 30 games, .395/.424/.543, including a 2-for-5 performance against Roy Halladay in Wednesday's Reds victory.

The Reds have been searching for a leadoff man for the last couple of years, using the likes of Jerry Hairston Jr., Ryan Freel, Drew Stubbs, Cabrera, Willy Taveras and Corey Patterson. In the end, maybe the player they were searching for was right there under their nose, even if he wasn't ready for it. But, now, Phillips says, it's his time.

"I've got to be the Jose Reyes, Jimmy Rollins for this team. I'm just trying to get things started," Phillips said. "It's fun. Winning is really just turned me into a different player, it's made me stay on top of my game and made me stay focused."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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

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 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.




 
 
 
 
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