Reds Insider
From news of the day to news of the weird, John Fay provides a glimpse of what it’s like to cover the Cincinnati Reds

John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

Just occurred to me

Taking the Elizardo Ramirez off the 40-man opens a spot for a September call-up not on the 40-man.

Jay Bruce isn't on the 40-man. So maybe he's getting the call. Johnny Cueto isn't on the 40-man either. But I see Bruce getting called up first.

Mackanin on Griffey

Pete Mackanin thought Ken Griffey Jr. should have gotten to second base on his blooper in ninth Thursday night. Griffey got a single on the play. Alex Gonzalez, not the fastest runner, scored from first on the play.

“I didn't see him get out of the box,” Mackanin said. “I didn't see if stumbled or whatever. . . But I think he should have gotten to second. Or I would have like to see him at second. Let's put it that way.”

Mackanin did not say anything to Griffey about the play. There was similar play in Florida, where Griffey got thrown out going to second after breaking slowly out of the box. Mackanin handled that the same.

“I knew that he knew he made a mistake,” Mackanin said. “He knows. There's no need to belabor the point. The team’s doing well. There’s no need to stir up anything.”

This is ultimate tightrope for an interim manager. If Mackanin makes too big of deal out, he risks losing the clubhouse. If he ignores it completely, it's seen as him tolerating lack of effort. By saying what he said to the media, Mackanin knows it will probably get back to Griffey.

Griffey was not in the clubhouse before the game -- he must have been in the training room -- so he wasn't asked about the play.

Dumatrait and McBeth coming up

From the Reds:

RHP Elizardo Ramirez today cleared waivers and was outrighted to Louisville.

Tomorrow, the Reds are expected to recall from Louisville LHP Phil Dumatrait and RHP Marcus McBeth.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Reds 5, Pirates 4

Brandon Phillips' play to end Thursday's game was a good as I've been. And Phillips said it's as good as he's made.

“It’s probably the best of my career,” Phillips said. “Game on the line. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

David Weathers, who gave up the hit, put it like this: “I’ve lost games like that. That’s the first I’ve ever been saved by a throw. Nine and a half times out of 10, he scores.”

Here's the situation: Two outs, ninth inning. Josh Phelps on second. Nate McLouth bloops one down the right field line.

"I thought (first baseman Jeff) Keppinger was going to catch it," Phillips said. "I was just there backing up in case."

The ball fell. Phillips bare-handed it, set himself and made a strong but arcing throw to the plate. Javy Valentin had to jump to catch it. But he held on as Phelps hit him. Game over.

"It's amazing. The throw came right to me," Valentin said. "I don't have to move. "

It was end to a wild, bizarre night. See the previous post on how the Reds basically had two runs taken off the board.

Oh yeah, Phillips have three more hits. He has at least two hits in his last seven games.

It's Dumatrait

The Reds announced after Thursday’s game that left-hander Phil Dumatrait will start Saturday’s game in the St. Louis.

Dumatrait made four starts for the Reds. He was 0-2 with a 14.18 ERA. He was pounded in three of the four.

He was optioned to Triple-A Louisville Aug. 21 after Pete Mackanin said he didn’t think Dumatrait was ready to compete at the big league level.

He’s made one start for the Bats, going 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits, since being sent down. So he should be ready to face Albert Pujols now.

Odd, odd play

The Reds scored two runs on Edwin Encarnacion's bases-loaded single in the fourth.

Wait a miunte. No they didn't.

Adam Dunn was on second. Ken Griffey Jr. on third. Both scored easily. But Dunn missed third base. The Pirates appealed. Matt Morris threw to third. Umpire Chris Guccione signaled out.

Home plate umpire Wally Bell later ruled that Griffey's run did not count either. The play was scored a 1-5 forceout.

Encarnacion got an at-bat but no hit. He also lost two RBI in the ruling.

Homer's outing

Homer Bailey went five-plus innings, allowing three runs on the seven hits for the Single-A Sarasota today. He walked three and struck out three.

He had a shutout through five. He gave up a single, a double and a three-run homer in the sixth and then was pulled.

Vs. Lefties and TBA

The Reds are 41-42 against right-handed starters. They're 20-30 against left-handed starters.

So I asked Pete Mackanin if he ever thought of simply using the lineup he uses against right-handers and likes so well against left-handers.

“I do think about that,” he said. “But I want to play Keppinger and Cantu to keep them sharp. Hamilton, Dunn and even Hatteberg haven't fared well against left-handers. You want to Keppinger and Cantu sharp. This is an obvious chance to do it.”

Dunn is hitting .230 against lefties, Hamilton .219, Hatteberg .216. Keppinger is hitting .429 vs. LHs, Cantu .400 and Hopper .359.

By the way, it's still TBA for Saturday's starter. I really am stumped on this one. Michael Gosling? Kirk Saarloos started last night. Johnny Cueto started last night for Chattanooga. Matt Maloney started the night before. I can't imagine they'd bring Phil Dumatrait back.

If I had to guess, I'd say Victor Santos, who is scheduled to start Saturday Louisville. But I only say that because I can't think of anyone else.

Minor matters

A another stellar report from Jamie Ramsey:

Billings’ third baseman Brandon Waring deserves top-billing today…Last night at Helena, he belted 2 homers in a game for the 3rd time in 4 days (grand slam, 2-run homer)…he has gone deep in 4 of his last 5 games and 5 of his last 7 games…he is riding an explosive 11-game hitting streak in which he’s batting .465 (20-43) with 10 homers, 17 runs and 18 RBI…he leads the Pioneer League with 18 homers – 1 shy of a Mustangs’ team record…Waring was the Reds’ 7th round selection in this year’s draft, out of Wofford College where he belted 27 homers this past season (2nd in the NCAA).

Louisville wins in 11 innings at Toledo…Luis Bolivar swinging a hot bat…The Bats’ bullpen gets it done…Chattanooga, just like Sarasota earlier this year, shook down the thunder from the sky and beat former Notre Dame football star Jeff Samardzija…Johnny Cueto struck out 9 in 6.0 innings…Sarasota beats Ft. Myers like they owed the Reds money…B.J. Szymanski with 4 hits and 5 RBI…The SaraReds play a doubleheader today with Homer Bailey and Alex Smit expected to start…Dayton falls to Lansing…Anthony Gressick sharp in his 6.0 innings…Billings beats Helena and inches closer to the division leader…Brandon Waring hotter than a 2-dollar pistol on the 4th of July (see above)…Kyle Lotzkar set to make his debut for the Mustangs tonight…6 of Billings’ final 9 games are against 1st-place Great Falls (-4.5g).

8/18 at Casper: 3-for-3, 4r, 2hr, 2rbi, 2bb
8/19 at Casper: 1-for-5, 1r, double
8/20 at Idaho Falls: 2-for-4, 1r
8/21 at Idaho Falls: 2-for-4, 1rbi
8/22 at Idaho Falls: 1-for-4, 1r, 1hr, 1rbi
8/24 vs. Missoula: 1-for-3, 1rbi, 1bb
8/25 vs. Missoula: 2-for-4, 2r, 1hr, 1rbi, double
8/26 vs. Missoula: 3-for-4, 2r, 2hr, 4rbi
8/27 vs. Helena: 2-for-4, 2r, 2hr, 2rbi
8/28 vs. Helena: 1-for-4, 1r
8/29 vs. Helena: 2-for-4, 3r, 2hr, 6rbi
20-for-43, .465, 10hr, 17r, 18rbi…raises his batting average from .271 to .304…raises his on-base percentage from .332 to .365…raises his slugging percentage from .478 to .604.

Reds get Coats

The Reds obtained outfielder Buck Coats from the Cubs for a player to be named. Coats is going to Louisville.

Coats, 25, was hitting .303 with 11 home runs, 18 steals and 59 RBI with Triple-A Iowa.

He played 18 games for the Cubs. He hit his only career homer off Aaron Harang on Sept. 24 of last year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Reds 8, Pirates 0

For some reason this didn't post last night (to the right is the best view in baseball):

When we came into the clubhouse tonight, Matt Belisle screamed "I hate you" at Aaron Harang. Belisle meant in the nicest possible way. It's just that starting pitchers aren't supposed to make it look as easy as Harang did Wednesday in two-hitting the Pirates.

“It's unbelievable,” Belisle said. “Twenty-two of 29 first-pitch strikes. Only four were off-speed. He just locates so well. He’s very deceptive."

93 pitches -- 70 strikes. 29 batters faced. Eight strikeouts, one walk.

Harang is 14-3 with a 3.51 ERA. The only start he lost since May 20 was the one he left after an inning with a sore back. He came into the game leading the majors in the winning percentage.

His 37 wins since the 2005 All-Star Break are the second most in the NL. Only Carlos Zambrano (39) has more.

“I've said it before and I'll say it again: He’s just a pleasure to watch,” Reds manager Pete Mackanin said. “He was in control all the way. He threw everything in his arsenal for strikes.”

Pete on Bruce

The question was hypothetical. Pete Mackanin was asked of bringing up a player like Jay Bruce up in September would help him, even if he didn't play a lot?

“I think there's always a benefit for anybody to get that experience. However, there’s reasons why he may not be called up. There’s a lot more that goes into than that. I think it’s great experience for anybody to be up here – see the type of game’s that played, get used to bright lights. But, perhaps in the case of Jay Bruce, it might not happen.”

Mackanin said he hasn't discussed call-ups with Wayne Krivsky yet.

But it sounds like a call-up could pitch Saturday. The Reds will keep Bronson Arroyo on his regular rest. He'll pitch Sunday.

"He volunteered to pitch Saturday," Mackanin said.

The Reds decided against it. Arroyo was so tired after six innings and 80 pitches Tuesday that he asked to come of the game.

E.Z. out, Coutlangus in

Reds sent Elizardo Ramirez back to Louisville and called up Jon Coutlangus. No word on Saturday's starter.

Phillips is hot

From Rob Butcher:

RED HOT: Brandon Phillips has at least 2 hits in each of his last 5g (3, 2, 2, 2, 2; 11-20, .550), the longest multi-hit streak of his career and the longest by a Reds batter since Sean Casey put together 5 straight multi-hit games from 8/8-8/14, 2005...Phillips has multi-hit efforts in 6 of his last 8 apps (16-35, .457) and in 9 of his last 12 apps (23-53, .434)...Todd Walker was the last Reds batter to produce 6 consecutive multi-hit games (9/4-9/10, 2002).

Minor matters

From Jamie Ramsey:

Louisville beats Toledo…Luis Bolivar with a big offensive night…Mark Bellhorn homers …Chattanooga loses at Tennessee…Jose Castro with 4 hits…Danny Dorn with 3 hits (1hr)…Rick Asadoorian wrapping up a successful first season as a hurler…Drew Anderson extends his hitting streak…Johnny Cueto on the mound tonight for the Lookies…SaraReds were off (Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day)…Dayton falls to Lansing…Justin Turner with 3 hits (and a promotion today to Sarasota)…Drew Stubbs and Juan Francisco both homer…Billings pounds Helena…Jeremy Horst solid in relief…Brandon Waring extends his heavy-loaded hitting streak…The GCL Reds are enjoying the offseason.

International League: 1b Joey Votto (IL Rookie of the Year) and IF Aaron Herr (IL Utility Player of the Year)
Midwest League: IF Chris Valaika, IF Justin Turner and IF Juan Francisco

LHP Ben Jukich, LHP Tyler Pelland, RHP Josh Roenicke, LHP Pedro Viola, C Craig Tatum, IF Adam Rosales and OF Chris Dickerson will suit up for the Surprise Rafters in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, beginning October 9. For more information on the AFL, visit www.mlbfallball.com

The mourning after: Onto 2008

God love all of you out there in Redsland. It ain't easy being a Reds fan. A fever chart of your emotions over the last couple of weeks resembles that of the stock market. Way up. Way down. Way up. Way down.

What Pete Mackanin said yesterday afternoon was right: Judge him on his whole record and how he handles the team. You certainly don't eliminate him from contention because the Reds lost a doubleheader to the Pirates. No matter how much you blame him for the sweep.

A lot of you give him a lot of the blame. I would not have played Jason Ellison either. That's not a second guess. As soon as I saw the lineup, I thought Josh Hamilton had a better chance of running into one for a home run than Ellison had of getting around to score a run after a single. But playing Ellison is not the reason the Reds lost the doubleheader. Despite, the recent run the Reds are a flawed team.

The fact is the odds of the Reds making the playoffs would have still been astronomical had the swept the DH.

But having been swept simply means the future is now.

I think today -- or in the next few days -- an edict should come down from Bob Castellini and Wayne Krivsky telling Mackinin this: We've seen what you can do a manager. Now, we want to make some decisions about players for next year. Hamilton plays every day whether a righty or lefty is pitching. Joey Votto plays first against right-handers. Johhny Cueto goes into the rotation. Homer Bailey joins him when he's healthy. Jay Bruce comes up to get a taste of the big leagues.

The Reds have to answer some questions about their young players before spring training to get an idea of how extreme the offseason makeover has to be.

Agree or disagree?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Reds swept by the Bucs 6-4, 3-2

Rough, rough night for the Redlegs. The Pirates dumped about a million gallons of ice cold water all over the Reds resurgence.

The Reds have to split the final two games of the series to avoiding falling into a tie with the Pirates.

Getting swept -- combined with the Chicago Cubs’ 5-3 win over Milwaukee -- dropped the Reds to eight games back in the National League Central race. If the Cubs play .500 the rest of the way, the Reds have to go 23-9 the rest of the way to tie.

“It's certainly not what we anticipated,” Reds manager Pete Mackanin said. “I didn't like the fact that (the Pirates) had two pretty good left-handers against us. We all know our right-handed lineup isn't prodigious as our left-handed lineup.”

A lot of posters are beating up on Mackanin for overdoing the left-right thing. I agree. I'd rather have Josh Hamilton or Adam Dunn in there than Jason Ellison. I don't care if Sandy Koufax is the left-hander in question.

Arroyo pulled after 80 pitches (update)

The Reds pulled Bronson Arroyo after only six innings and 80 pitches.

He said afterward he asked out of the game.

"I was toast, really for the second ininng on," he said. "With the way the bullpen's going, I thought they had a better chance to get nine outs than me."

Arroyo allowed only one run on six hits. He struck out six and walked none. Reds lead 2-1.

Pirates 6, Reds 4 (Game 1)

Thus the winning streak ends. The loss points up how difficult it's going to be for the Reds to keep winning consistently with three question marks in the rotation.

Elizardo Ramirez is 0-2 with a 8.79 ERA in his three starts. He says his shoulder's OK. But I haven't seen him hit 90 mph yet. He was consistently at 90, 91 when he was going good last year.

Matt Belisle and Tom Shearn are coming off good starts. But they have to string a few together for the Reds to play the way they need to get into real contention.

By the way, Jeff Keppinger started the game in right. He just threw Jose Castillo trying to stretch a single into a double. It saved the Reds a run. Very nice play.

Grand slam of reality

The Reds came into today 6 1/2 games back with almost no margin for error.

So Freddie Sanchez's long drive cleared the fence for a grand slam in Game 1 of the doubleheader with the Pirates, it really felt like the beginning of the end of the Reds' brief flirtation with contention.

We shall see.

Award for Votto (as opposed to reward)

From Louisville:

IL AWARDS: IF/OF Joey Votto was today selected as the International League’s Rookie of the Year for 2007. Votto’s 90 RBI are 2nd in the IL only to MVP Mike Hessman (97), and are approaching his career high of 92 set in 2004 between Class-A Dayton and Potomac. He’s already matched his career best 22 homers of a year ago. Votto becomes the third Louisville player in franchise history to win a Rookie-of-the-Year Award, joining Lance Johnson (1987) and Todd Zeile (1989). Along with Rookie of the Year, Votto was selected as the first baseman for the IL post-season All-Star Team. IF Aaron Herr was selected as the International League’s top utility player for 2007. The 26-year-old Herr received votes at both second and third base, where he’s split time this year for the Bats. Herr has driven in a career-best 82 runs, trailing only Mike Hessman and Joey Votto for the highest total in the League. Louisville is one of only three teams (Rochester & Toledo) with multiple players on the post-season team. It is the first time since 2002 that Louisville has multiple players on the post-season team (Raul Gonzalez & Kevin Witt).

Dave Miley was manager of the year.

Pete on the job

Pete Mackanin was asked Tuesday if Dave Trembley getting the permanent job in Baltimore after being named interim might help him. His answer was very interesting:

“I don’t think it hurts. When they make the decision on who takes over the team, I prefer them to think long and hard about it and make the right decision for them, so they’re totally satisfied. And not react to what somebody else did.”

“I feel like I’m in the mix, and I feel like I'm doing as much as I can to help my chances. I wouldn't want them to have a knee-jerk reaction to that.”

“If and when they do hire me, I'll feel real good about it, instead of just as reaction. I don’t think Bob Castellini’s like that. I think he's going to think long and hard. That's fine with me. I don't want the job on a whim or a knee-jerk reaction because we play well for a week or two.”

That said, Mackanin added that he does not think he should be judge by what happened with the previous two interim managers for the Reds.

“All interims aren't the same. Look at me as individual and the way I do things. Don't look at me because interims haven't worked out in the past . . . Don't build a case on that.”

“Judge me on who I am and how the team's doing.”

Mackanin thinks he's got a shot at the job.

“I'd like think I have a good shot at it under the circumstances,” he said. “If you're going to judge on wins and losses, then certainly I have to be considered.”

Doubling up

Here at PNC Park poised to cover the doubleheader with the Pirates. Here's a look top recorsds in the Major League standings since July 2:

Yankees 38-41 34-18 .654
Reds 31-51 29-19 .604
Red Sox 50-31 30-20 .600
D'Backs 46-38 28-20 .583

Minor matters

From Jamie Ramsey:

Louisville wins a close one vs. Toledo…Jay Bruce with 2 doubles…Matt Maloney on the hill tonight for the Bats…Chattanooga gets beat at Tennessee…Sarasota once again has a game in Tampa suspended due to rain…Dayton loses at West Michigan…All 3 of the Dragons’ losses in the series come in the bottom of the ninth inning…Billings beats Helena…Brandon Waring goes deep – twice – again…GCL Reds conclude their series with a loss at the hands of those dastardly GCL Pirates.

78 extra-base hits, 1st
299 total bases, T2nd
45 doubles, T5th
163 hits, 6th

Midwest League: Dayton’s Carson Kainer (12-26, .462, 6r, 1hr, 11rbi)
Pioneer League: Billings’ Brandon Waring (11-23, .478, 6r, 4hr, 8rbi)

MORE WARING: 3b Brandon Waring leads the Pioneer League with 16 homers…he’s hit 2 home runs in each of his last 2 games and has homered in each of his last 3 games…has gone deep in 4 of his last 5 games (6hr)…Waring has driven in a run in each of his last 6 games…he’s batting .302 (73-242) with 16hr, 49rbi, 17 doubles, 362obp and a .587slg…He was the Reds’ 7th round pick in the 2007 draft out of Wofford College – where he belted 27 homers this past season (2nd in NCAA).

Monday, August 27, 2007

Jorgensen optioned

From the Reds:

The Reds today optioned to Louisville C Ryan Jorgensen.

Corresponding roster move will be announced tomorrow (David Ross mostly likely to come off the DL).

Arizona bound

The Reds announced the following players are going to play in the Arizona Fall League:

LHP Ben Jukich
LHP Tyler Pelland
RHP Josh Roenicke
LHP Pedro Viola
C Craig Tatum
IF Adam Rosales
OF Chris Dickerson

Dog day at GABP

From the Reds::

The Cincinnati Reds and IAMS are inviting fans and their dogs to attend the September 12 game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park.

A $22 ticket for IAMS Friends For Life Dog Day includes field box admission for a fan and one pet, and the dogs will receive an IAMS bandana, IAMS biscuit pouch and IAMS Healthy Naturals samples. Each $22 ticket purchase includes a $2 donation to SPCA Cincinnati.

Additional tickets are available for $17 per person. Gametime is 7:10 p.m..

The festivities will include:
* A pre-game pet parade on the warning track.
* Prizes for best dog tricks, for best-dressed Reds dog and for largest and smallest dogs.
* The IAMS Dog Zone pet expo will be set up in the Fan Zone.
* In the IAMS Dog Zone, dogs will be available for adoption.
* Fans can sign up their dogs to participate in the "First Fetch," courtesy of IAMS and Kroger.
* The first 5,000 pet owners entering the park (with or without a dog) will receive a squeaky toy from IAMS, courtesy of the Reds.

Ticket packages must be purchased in advance and will not be available for purchase on gameday. Additional information, including pre-registration and order forms, can be found at www.reds.com/dogday or by calling Reds Group Sales at (513) 765-7600.

Tickets can be picked up only on gameday beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the IAMS Friends For Life Dog Day will call table located at the ballpark's right field entrance at Main Street and Mehring Way.

All dogs must be on a leash (no retractable leashes). Required vaccinations include rabies, DHLP, parvo and bordatella.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Reds 9, Marlins 3

After last Saturday's game, I shared an elevator at Pfister in Milwaukee with Pete Mackanin and his wife.

I said, "Well, I just wrote that you guys are still in race."

"Somebody had to say it," he said.

That was night he said: "You win eight or 10 in a row, and you never know."

I don't know if it was psychological ploy or wishful thinking. But the Reds have won seven of eight since then and are 6 1/2 games back. They've done it with a makeshift rotation. But when you're scoring a ton runs and bullpen is pitching well, you don't need seven strong innings every night. When you get a start like Tom Shearn gave the Reds today, winning looks easy.

The mathematics of winning the Central are still daunting. If the Cubs go 16-17 the rest of the way, the Reds would have to go 22-10, just to tie. But, you've got to admit, it's starting to feel like the Reds have a chance.

Saarloos out

From the Reds:

Today the Reds selected from Louisville the contract of RHP Tom Shearn (#64) and optioned to Louisville RHP Kirk Saarloos.

Shearn, a graduate of Briggs High School in Columbus, will start this afternoon's game against the Marlins in his Major League debut after 12 seasons and 352 apps in the minors...on Tuesday he will celebrate his 30th birthday...he will be the oldest Reds player to make his Major League debut since CF Greg Tubbs made his first career appearance on 8/1/93 vs SD at 30 years, 335 days old and the oldest Reds pitcher since Pat Scantlebury was 38 years, 160 days old when he started against the Cardinals on 4/19/56.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Shearn to start

From the Reds:

Tom Shearn will be making his Major League debut tomorrow after 12 minor league seasons. He turns 30 years old on Tuesday. He went 7-10, 4.20 in 24 starts and 2 relief appearances for Louisville (143.2ip, 153h, 72r, 67er, 51bb, 109k, 9hr, .276oba).

Further proof the Reds are playing for this year. At this point, it's hard to blame them.

Guess the time in Louisville did Matt Belisle good. Nice gesture by Junior Griffey to give Davey Concepcion the bat.

Why did he unpack his bag?

From the Reds:

TODAY'S TRANSACTIONS: Today the Reds recalled from Class AAA Louisville RHP Matt Belisle and optioned to Louisville RHP Todd Coffey.

#13: During on-field ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. tonight the Reds will retire the uniform jersey #13 worn from 1970-88 by shortstop Dave Concepcion...in tribute, Reds SS Alex Gonzalez, also a Venezuelan native, will wear #13 for tonight’s game.

RED HOT: Beginning July 3, the Reds have the best record in the National League (27-19, .587).

I know Coffey is whipping boy of posters on the blog, but I hope they told him in this in advance. That's a little harsh to me.

For Pete's sake

I just finished up my Reds Insider for the paper (available on newsstands throughout the Tristate beginning about 3 a.m. tomorrow). Anyway, I fearlessly predict that Pete Mackanin will be the Reds manager in 2008.

Of course, two big ifs are involved: a) Mackanin has to keep winning -- a September swoon will do him in; b) Tony LaRussa has to not want the job.

I think the Reds will make a run at LaRussa. If he turns down the job -- and I think he will -- the club will have to weigh Mackanin against guys like Joe Girardi and Bob Brenly. If Mackanin has something like a 45-35 record over 80 games, my guess if he gets a one-year contract.

Feel free to tell me I'm nuts.

Minor matters

From Jamie Ramsey (the man who single-handedly made sure the press box windows were open even when it hotter than a certain fox in a forest fire):

Louisville loses in 10 innings at Columbus…Chattanooga lose their final home game of the season to West Tenn…Johnny Cueto struck out 11 in 6.0 innings (4r/2er)…Sarasota rained out…Homer Bailey will make his rehab start tonight in Tampa…Dayton loses a heartbreaker at West Michigan…Juan Francisco belts his 23rd homer (tops in the Midwest League)…Billings gets beat vs. Missoula…GCL Reds were off yesterday (154th anniversary of the potato chip).

August: 21g, .341, 28-82, 19r, 6 doubles, 2 triples, 3 HR, 9rbi, 5bb, 18k, .386obp, .573slg.
July: 24g, .293, 27-92, 18r, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 2 HR, 6rbi, 20bb, 33k, .425obp, .500slg.
June: 23g, .185, 17-92, 9r, 2 doubles, 0 HR, 3rbi, 10bb, 25k, .272obp, .207slg.
May: 32g, .272, 31-114, 27r, 8 doubles, 4 HR, 9rbi, 23bb, 32k, .403obp, .447slg.
April: 19g, .275, 22-80, 14r, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 10rbi, 5bb, 25k, .322obp, .375slg.
Pre All-Star: .253, 63-249, 47r, 11 doubles, 6 HR, 21rbi, 34bb, 73k, 14sb, .348opb, .369slg.
Post All-Star: .294, 62-211, 40r, 16 doubles, 4 triples, 5 HR, 16rbi, 29bb, 60k, .387obp, .479slg.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Reds 5, Marlins 3

The Reds have won four straight and could wake up tomorrow morning 7 1/2 games out in the mighty NL Central.

Aaron Harang pitched seven solid innings to go to 13-3. Jeff Keppinger, Brandon Phillips and Javy Valentin came up with big hits. David Weathers got the save.

But the most encouraging thing for the Reds may have been Gary Majewski pitching a scoreless eighth. Putting Majewski in to protect a one-run lead in his first stint here would have been managerial suicide. But Majewski's looks like a different guy this time around.

"Huge," Pete Mackanin said of Majewski's contribution.

If Majewski, who's got a 3.38 ERA in nine games since returning from Louisville, can join the set-up crew, the bullpen becomes much more solid.

Gold Gloves

Here's a stat for you: The Reds lead the majors in fielding percentage over the last 30 days. They're at .990 and have made only 10 errors, the least in MLB.

It seemed to me they've been better lately. I asked Pete Mackanin what he thought about the defense.

"It hasn't been a hindrance," he said. "Nothing jumps out at me."

The Reds are ninth overall in the NL. They were second last last year.

Livingston on DL (update)

Bobby Livingston today went on the 15-day disabled list with a torn in the labrum of his left shoulder. He'll be checked out in 10 days to decide if he needs surgery.

Livingston, understandably, was devastated.

"I can't tell how upset I am not to be able to pitch the rest of the year," Livingston said. "It's just depressing."

The odd thing is he felt fine in his last start. He played long toss the day after.

"I woke up the next day and couldn't lift my arm," he said.

If he needs surgery, it would probably mean missing all of the next season.

Livingston was 3-3 with a 5.27 ERA in 10 starts for the Reds.

Todd Coffey was called up from Louisville to fill Livingston's roster spot. Coffey feels good about the progress he made at Louisville. He threw a lot of sliders and sinkers there.

"The slider was real good, short and sharp," he said.

The Reds will need a starter for Sunday. Michael Gosling? Johnny Cueto? Cueto is scheduled to start tonight in Chattanooga. If he's pulled, he's the guy.

Minor matters

From Jamie Ramsey:

Louisville gets blanked by Columbus…Matt Maloney shines in his Triple-A debut…Jay Bruce with 2 hits…Richie Gardner on the mound for the Bats tonight…Chattanooga loses to West Tenn…Johnny Cueto pitches tonight for the Lookouts…Sarasota loses a close one to Ft. Myers…Homer Bailey pitches tonight for the SaraReds on an injury-rehab appearance…Dayton pummels Ft. Wayne…Anthony Gressick with a solid outing…Carson Kainer with 4 RBI…Billings was off…GCL Reds lose to GCL Red Sox.

.300 batting average (9th)
21 HR (4th)
87 RBI (2nd)
137 hits (3rd)
.390 On-base percentage (4th)

Ross on rehab

From the Reds:

TODAY'S TRANSACTION: C David Ross today was sent to Class AAA Louisville on a rehabilitation assignment...since 8/13 Ross has been on the 15-day disabled list with a concussion suffered the day before in a home plate collision with SD's Mike Cameron.

It's going to be interesting to see the playing time breakdown when Ross returns. Javier Valentin is really taken off at the plate.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's Belisle

The Reds announced Matt Belisle will start Saturday. No work on the corresponding move, which doesn't have to be made until Saturday.

Minor matters

From Jamie Ramsey:

Outstanding pitching across the board for the Reds’ farm teams…Louisville splits a double-dip with Columbus…The Bats allow just 2 unearned runs in the doubleheader…Matt Maloney makes his Triple-A debut tonight for Louisville…Chattanooga snaps a 6-game losing streak…Sam Lecure with a lights-out performance…Jose Cosme with 3 hits…Sarasota blanks Lakeland…Ben Jukich on fire…Derrik Lutz saves his 3rd straight…Dayton beats Ft. Wayne…Rafael Gonzalez sets a Dayton franchise record by earning his 18th career win as a Dragon…Carson Kainer swinging a hot bat…Kainer’s roomie in college Drew Stubbs having a very nice August…Billings beats Idaho Falls…Solid pitching from Enerio Del Rosario…GCL Reds fall to the GCL Pirates.

Louisville gm1: W, 11ip, 0.00era, 1r/0er, 2bb, 5k, .250oba (10-40)
Louisville gm2: L, 6ip, 0.00era, 1r/0er, 1bb, 3k, .105oba (2-19)
Chattanooga: W, 9ip, 0.00era, 0r, 1bb, 14k, .100oba (3-30)
Sarasota: W, 9ip, 0.00era, 0r, 3bb, 12k, .133oba (4-30)
Dayton: W, 9ip, 2.00era, 2r/2er, 3bb, 9k, .250oba (9-36)
Billings: W, 9ip, 4.00era, 4r/4er, 4bb, 6k, .257oba (9-35)
GCL Reds: L, 9ip, 4.00era, 5r/4er, 2bb, 2k, .265oba (9-34)
TOTAL: 5-2, 62ip, 1.45era, 13r/10er, 16bb, 51k, .222oba (43-194)

LHP Ben Jukich was acquired by the Reds organization from Oakland on 6/13 as a player to be named later in the Chris Denorfia trade. Jukich (24, 6’4”, 190) is 7-2 with a 3.68 ERA in 13 starts with Sarasota this season (25bb, 65k, .218oba) and 10-6 with a 4.45 ERA overall (12 starts with Stockton). Jukich hasn’t allowed a run in any of his last 3 starts – a span of 20 scoreless innings.

Dot, dot, dot

From the Reds notes (TBA is still isted for Saturday's starter by the way:

#13: During on-field ceremonies prior to Saturday's 7:10 p.m. game vs Fla, the Reds will retire the uniform jersey number 13 worn from 1970-88 by shortstop Dave Concepcion...a press conference featuring Concepcion, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez and Sparky Anderson will be held Saturday in the Crosley Room on press box level at 1:30 p.m....FSN Ohio will air the Reds Live pre-game show half an hour early to broadcast the festivities...the normal pre-game show will begin that night at 6:00 p.m., followed by the live broadcast of the ceremony at 6:30.

GOLD GLOVER: Ken Griffey Jr. joins C Johnny Bench and 2B Joe Morgan as Reds players named to the All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team in a worldwide poll of more than 1 million fans...that trio will be recognized on the field at 7:02 p.m. tonight...the rest of the All-Time Gold Glovers are P Greg Maddux, 1B Wes Parker, 3B Brooks Robinson, SS Ozzie Smith, OF Willie Mays and OF Roberto Clemente.

PRIDE OF HISPANIC COMMUNITY: Tomorrow, The Spanish Journal is inviting the first 100 fans to celebrate, meet Cincinnati Reds players and enjoy a complimentary lunch provided by Los Portales Mexican Restaurant on Montgomery Road. The Spanish Journal (La Jornada Latina) will honor Reds players Juan Castro, Javier Valentin, Edwin Encarnacion, Elizardo Ramirez, Pedro Lopez and Jorge Cantu with “Pride of the Hispanic Community” plaques. It's from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Los Portales Mexican Restaurant, 10780 Montgomery Road. (513) 247-9102

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reds 4, Braves 2

The next step to building a good bullpen is get some guys who can get the game from the fifth or sixth to Jared Burton in eighth.

Bill Bray has done that in last couple of wins. Mike Stanton, the much maligned one, did that Wednesday night. Stanton threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

“I feel like we've got him back on track,” Pete Mackanin said. “With Mike and the other guys, we're hoping we've got a good bullpen.”

Burton, of course, is making everything work by pitching so well in the eighth.

“He's so confident out there,” Mackanin said. “(General manager Wayne Krivsky) has been taking a lot of heat about a lot of things. But how about picking that guy up?”

Burton, the Rule 5 pick, has a 1.71 ERA since All-Star Break.

By the way, there was nothing wrong with Bronson Arroyo -- 5 1/3 innings, 100 pitches were simply enough on a hot night.

On Saturday's starter

Pete Mackanin said no decision had been made on who will start for the Reds Saturday. But Matt Belisle, who was listed at probable starter for the first game of Louisville's doubleheader, did not start.

Ramon Ramirez did.

Victor Santos was scheduled to start Game 2.

So my guess is Belisle's starting against the Marlins Saturday here.

Bellhorn out; Gonzalez in

Transaction: Today the Reds reinstated from the bereavement list SS Alex Gonzalez and outrighted to Louisville IF Mark Bellhorn. Gonzalez had been on the bereavement list since last Wednesday. This season Gonzalez has been on the bereavement list 3 times and the restricted list once.

Jeff Keppinger is starting at shortstop tonight. Pete Mackanin said it would be a day or two before Gonzalez starts.

Minor matters

From J. Ramsey:

Louisville beats Columbus…Tom Shearn with a quality start…Jay Bruce homers…Doubleheader for the Bats today…Chattanooga drops their sixth straight, losing 9-5 vs. West Tenn…Shaun Cumberland homers…Sarasota beats Lakeland…Logan Ondrusek outstanding…Dayton splits a doubleheader vs. Ft. Wayne…Jason Louwsma with a big night…Juan Francisco homers again…Billings loses at Idaho Falls…GCL Reds gets swept in a doubleheader at GCL Orioles.


Brett Bartles (Billings), .331 (59-178)
Todd Frazier (Billings), .326 (47-144)
Jay Bruce (Louisville), .318 (153-481)
Justin Turner (Dayton), .305 (138-452)
Joey Votto (Louisville), .305 (136-446)

Home Runs
Jay Bruce (Louisville), 24
Juan Francisco (Dayton), 22
Joey Votto (Louisville), 21
Danny Dorn (Chattanooga), 18
Aaron Herr (Louisville), 16

Joey Votto (Louisville), 87
Jay Bruce (Louisville), 85
Juan Francisco (Dayton), 81
Danny Dorn (Chattanooga), 79

Richie Gardner (Louisville), 11-6, 3.05era
Johnny Cueto (Chattanooga), 10-8, 3.10era
Daryl Thompson (Sarasota), 13-5, 3.34era
Jordan Smith (Dayton), 9-7, 3.38era
Phil Dumatrait (Louisville), 10-5, 3.49era

Daryl Thompson (Sarasota), 13
Rafael Gonzalez (Dayton), 12
Richie Gardner (Louisville), 11
Johnny Cueto (Chattanooga), 10

Johnny Cueto (Chattanooga), 142
Carlos Fisher (Chattanooga), 129
Sean Watson (Sarasota), 126
Ramon Ramirez (Louisville), 124
Daryl Thompson (Sarasota), 112

3 Reds on All-Time Gold Glove team

From Rawlings:

Here are the results of the All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team balloting. After receiving nearly 1 million votes, the fans selected the following team:
P -- Greg Maddux
C -- Johnny Bench
1B -- Wes Parker
2B -- Joe Morgan
3B -- Brooks Robinson
SS -- Ozzie Smith
OF -- Willie Mays
OF -- Roberto Clemente
OF -- Ken Griffey Jr.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reds 8, Braves 7

It was another good bullpen night.

Gary Majewski got a big out in the fifth. Bill Bray went 1 1/3 ininngs, Jared Burton went 1 2/3 innings, and David Weathers finished up for a 26th save. Bray three eight pitches -- all strikes. Burton threw 16 -- 11 strikes.

Their work let the offense come back from 3-0 and 7-5.

Makes you wonder what would have happened if Bray was healthy all year and Jerry Narron got out of Burton what Pete Mackanin has.

Interesting stat: Burton's ERA before the All-Star Break was 5.19. It's 1.96 since. But hitters hit .200 off him both before and after.

On Guardado

The Reds brass met with left-hander Eddie Guardado Tuesday, essentially to find out if he's healthy.

“He’s fine," Mackanin said. "Apparently, he doesn't feel like he sore. His arm is completely healthy. It’s just a matter of finding a consistent a release point. Basically, it’s like learning how to pitch to a certain extent."

Mackanin will continue to use Guardado in mop-up situations, like last night's 14-4 loss.

Guardado's roster spot won't be a big deal come Sept. 1. But it seems to me that right now he's taking a spot from a younger pitcher who could be part of the plan next year.

Saarloos back

The Reds called RHP Kirk Saarloos up from Triple-A Louisville and optioned LHP Phil Dumatrait back to Louisville.

Saarloos will not start Saturday. He's up as bullpen insurance. Saarloos was 1-4 with a 5.14 overall. the last 10 hitters he faced before being sent down reached base.

"Apparently, he's got his sinker back," Pete Mackanin said.

As for Saturday's starter, he'll probably come from the minors. Candidates would be Matt Belisle is the only candidate I see at Triple-A.

You've got Johnny Cueto and Matt Maloney at Double-A.

Also, RHP Victor Santos cleared waivers and was outrighted to Louisville.

Minor matters

From Jamie Ramsey:

Louisville and Dayton rained out…Chattanooga falls to West Tenn…Marland Williams belts 2 homers...Sarasota wins in 10 at Lakeland…Cody Strait with a clutch RBI-double in the 10th…Robert Manuel with a quality start…Billings loses at Idaho Falls…Brett Bartles hotter than high noon in Death Valley…GCL Reds get beat by the GCL Twins…The Bats, Dragons and GCL Reds play doubleheaders today.

International League: 1b/LF Joey Votto (.360, 9-25, 5hr, 12rbi)
Florida State League: RHP Daryl Thompson (2-0, 1.64era, 11ip, 8h, 2r, 2bb, 10k, .190oba)
Midwest League: 3b Juan Francisco (.370, 10-27, 4hr, 14rbi, 7r)

OF BRETT BARTLES (Billings) – Reds 30th selection in this year’s draft (Duke University)…Is batting .339 overall this season in 46 games (9g at GCL Reds, 37g at Billings)…Currently riding a 13-game hitting streak (20-54, .370, 11r, .426obp)…Ranks 10th in the Pioneer League with a .331 batting average (48-145, 25r, 25rbi, 14bb, .389obp, .559slg).

For a good cause

From the Reds (I know from Meet the Reds that Brandon Phillips has bowled several 300 games):

At 4:00 p.m. tomorrow (Wed, 8/22) in the field level interview room at Great American Ball Park, Ken Griffey Jr. and Cincinnati Children's Hospital president and chief executive officer Jim Anderson will host a press conference detailing Griffey's Stars and Strikes for Kids Celebrity Bowl.

The fundraiser will be held Wednesday, September 5 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at AMF Kingpin Lanes at 7735 Beechmont Road.

Already scheduled to participate in the celebrity bowl are Adam Dunn, Brandon Phillips and many of their Reds teammates, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, NFL Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas, former NFL All-Pro Ricky Watters, former NBA All-Star Dee Brown and current NBA All-Stars Chris Paul and Dwight Howard.

The event is closed to the public, but a limited number of lanes are available for sponsorship at $5,000 each.

For more information on the Stars and Strikes For Kids Celebrity Bowl, contact Sherman Brown at (407) 401-2884 or ShermanBrown@aol.com.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Braves 14, Reds 4

Sounds like the Phil Dumatrait Experiment may be over for 2007. Pete Mackanin said he was going to talk to Wayne Krivsky after the game. A move is likely coming.

"(Dumatrait) may not be ready for this level," Mackanin said.

Dumatrait's ERA 14.18 after four starts. He's given up 27 hits in 13 1/3 innings. I don't know who they'll put in the rotation. But if you heard us on radio, Jeff Brantley's vote is for Johnny Cueto.

Also, I would not be surprised to see Eddie Guardado back on the DL. Running him out there -- 4 innings, 12 hits, 10 runs in five games -- does him no good.

Conine to Mets

Jeff Conine has been traded to the New York Mets for two minor league players.

Jorge Cantu was called up to take Conine's spot.

Conine's thoughts? "First place. I get to go back into first place and a pennant race. As an athlete and baseball player, that's what you strive to do -- win."

The Reds got shortstop Jose Castro and outfielder Sean Henry in the deal. Both were playing for St. Lucie on the Florida State League. Both will report to Double-A Chattanooga. Castro, 20, was hitting .318 with two home runs and 25 RBI. Henry, 22, was hitting .293 with a 11 home runs and 57 RBI. Both are small -- Castro is 5-8, 160 pounds; Henry 5-10, 154 pounds.

Cantu, like Conine, is a right-handed hitter. In 24 games since the Reds got him from Tampa Bay, he's .309 with 2 HR and 13 RBI. "He's been an RBI machine down there," Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky said. "Reports this week have been outstanding."

Conine is no stranger to late trades.

“This is third time in August,” he said. “This is third time into a pennant race. The first time was World Series victory. It would be nice to repeat that.”

Conine still plans to retire after the season.

“I think this is it,” he said. “I can’t think of a better way to go out than to do in the playoffs in New York. I kind of made of my mind it's time to call it quits. You always want to go out on a winning note. Fortunately, I’m going into a winning situation.”

Conine was a faviorite of the other players in the clubhouse. His very dry wit brighten up a lot of days.

“(I'll remember) a lot of good things,” he said. “This game is not about just bats and balls and games played. It's about people too. There's a lot of good people in here that I’ll miss.”

Conine is very familiar with the Mets.

“Heck, I played with half the team just about,” he said. “It's the Florida Marlins northeast division.”

Minor matters

My man Jamie knocked himself out today (even used a version of a Marty B. line):

Louisville loses a tough one at Durham…Chattanooga and GCL Reds were off yesterday (National Aviation Day)…Sarasota splits a doubleheader vs. Clearwater…Daryl Thompson outstanding in the nightcap…Dayton beats Lansing thanks to 3 home runs and 7 RBI from Juan Francisco…Billings wins vs. Casper…Todd Frazier with 4 hits.

JOEY VOTTO: Louisville’s Joey Votto today was named International League Player of the Week for August 13-19 (.360, 9-25, 5hr, 12rbi)…In a 2-game stretch over the weekend (Friday and Saturday), Votto belted 4 home runs and drove in 9 runs…No player in the International League had more homers and RBI for the entire week than Votto collected Friday-Saturday…Votto becomes just the second player in franchise history to hit 2 homers in consecutive games…Votto ranks among league leaders in batting average (.303, 9th), home runs (21, 4th), RBI (87, 2nd), hits (134, 3rd) and on-base percentage (.391, T3rd)…So far in August, Votto is batting .313 (21-67) in 17 games (9app at LF, 8apps at 1B, 1 app at DH).

JUAN FRANCISCO: Like Votto, Dayton’s Juan Francisco is hotter than two grizzly bears fighting in a forest fire…Yesterday vs. Lansing he became the second player in Dragons history to belt 3 homers in a game (Wily Mo Pena) and the third to drive in 7 runs (Votto and Adam Dunn)…In 3 games over the weekend, Francisco batted .538 (7-for-13) with 4 homers, 6 runs and 12 RBI…He ranks T1st in the Midwest League with 21 HR and T2nd with 80 RBI.

8/17: LF Joey Votto (Louisville) – 3-for-5, 2r, 4rbi, 2hr
8/18: LF Joey Votto (Louisville) – 2-for-5, 2r, 5rbi, 2hr
8/17: LHP Matt Maloney (Chattanooga) – 7ip, 3h, 2r/1er, 0bb, 11k
8/17: LHP Ben Jukich (Sarasota) – 6ip, 3h, 0r, 1bb, 7k
8/19: RHP Daryl Thompson (Sarasota) – 1W, 6ip, 4h, 0r, 1bb, 7k
8/17: CF Drew Stubbs (Dayton) – 4-for-6, 3r, 1hr, 1rbi
8/17: 3b Juan Francisco (Dayton) – 3-for-4, 2r, double, 1hr, 4rbi
8/17: DH Billy Rojo (Dayton) – 3-for-5, 3r, 1hr, 3rbi
8/18: CF Drew Stubbs (Dayton) – 3-for-4, 2 doubles, 1r, 1rbi
8/19: 3b Juan Francisco (Dayton) - 3-for-4, 3hr, 7rbi
8/18: 3b Brandon Waring (Billings) – 3-for-3, 4r, 2hr, 2rbi
8/19: SS Todd Frazier (Billings) - 4-for-5, 2rbi
8/17-8/19 DH Brett Bartles (Billings) – 5-for-13, 4rbi, 1hr, 2r

NASCAR Night missing stars

From the Reds: NASCAR’s 3M Performance 400 in Michigan, postponed from yesterday, has been rescheduled for later this afternoon.

Consequently, Kyle Busch, Rusty Wallace and Kyle Krisiloff will not be able to attend tonight’s NASCAR Night and Pit Stop Festival at Great American Ball Park and the Banks.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Reds 7, Brewers 6

Got to make this quick. I've got a plane to catch. The Reds come back from down 5-0 and win. It's their first winning road trip since June of last year.

Javy Valentin's two-run, pinch-hit double was the game winner. "I feel like I'm better hitter in those situations," Valentin said. "I concentrate more."

He's hitting .375 with RISP. He said he didn't swing the bat once all day before swing at Strike1. And, yes, he thought Ned Yost would bring in lefty Brian Shouse.

Be glad you're not a Brewer fan: Sunday was the fourth time in 22 days that Brew Crew lost after leading 5-0. Of course, if you were a Brewer fan your club would be in the race.

Frustrated Eddie

Eddie Guardado is frustrated. Guardado has give up seven runs on nine hits in only three innings so far.

The problem, he said, is location.

“I'm not going to blow anybody way," he said. "I'll get a strikeout here and there. If I'm going to be successful – like I have been – location is big part of it. I’m not locating the ball well.”

Guardado pointed to Prince Fielder's at-bat Saturday night. Fielder doubled to right.

“I had Fielder 0-2," Guardado said. "I throw him a slider that hangs up. I don’t give up many 0-2 hits when I’m doing good. That’s location. But I feel the ball’s coming out of my hand (well). I throw some (split-fingers) that down. I throw some that are hanging up. Those are the ones that get crushed.”

The Reds are in a tough spot. Guardado took the spot of Jon Coutlangus, who was a useful arm in the bullpen. Until he gets straightened, Guardado out is probably on mop-up duty. He understands.

"I wouldn't want to use me when we're winning," he said. "I'll find it. I've pitched too long not to find it.”

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Brewers 8, Reds 4

This loss was remarkably similar to other one on the road trip. It was a close game until Mike Stanton entered the equation.

He gave up a three-run, two-out home run to Geoff Jenkins that made it 6-1.

“That was the ball game,” Stanton said. “If I do my job and get Jenkins out, I don't think there's any doubt we win that ball game.”

The Reds were not good offensively. They left 13 runners on base.

But, as Stanton said, this was a winnable game. In his previous outing, Stanton gave up four runs without retiring a batter. Since coming off the disabled list on July 4, Stanton’s ERA is 8.15.

“It's one of those runs – not to make any excuses because there are none,” Stanton said. “If I make a good pitch, they foul it off. They’re just not missing mistakes . . . it's just a shame.”

With Stanton and Eddie Guardado both struggling, middle relief is a major problem right now. With good young arms like Marcus McBeth and Brad Salmon at Triple-A, you wonder how long the Reds will stick with the current bullpen makeup.

Stanton's deal

I was wrong when I posted that it would cost the Reds $2.5 million to designate Mike Stanton for assignment. He's owed $3 million next year, with an option for '09 with a $500,000 buyout.

He's given up seven runs over one ininng in his last two outings. He ERA since coming off the DL on July 2 is 8.15.

With him and Eddie Guardado in the bullpen, Pete Mackanin is in a tough spot any time the starter doesn't pitch into the seventh.

Questions to ponder

For the print version of my Reds Insider, I presented nine questions to ponder for the offseason:

1. Who the skipper?

2. Does Adam Dunn stay or go?

3. Is Jeff Keppinger for real?

4. Who are the No. 3, 4 and 5 starters?

5. Who closes?

6. Who's on first?

7. Who sets up for the closer?

8. Where does Jay Bruce fit in?

9. What's the payroll going to be?

I gave my best guess/opinion on the answers. What do you think?

By the way, I just walked out to where Dunn's home run landed last night. I think I'd use a 5 iron from there to get to the plate, maybe a 4.

Santos DFA

Victor Santos was designated for assignment to open a roster spot Elizardo Ramirez.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Reds 8, Brewers 3

The Brewers had a 45-minute meeting before the game. My guess is the play in the seventh on which two runs scored on a double-play ball to third was discussed. Ken Griffey Jr., hitter of said grounder, is counting it as a home run.

Jeff Keppinger singled to start the inning. Griffey hit the groundball to Ryan Braun. He threw wildly to second. When right fielder Gabe Gross threw wildly to second, trying to get Griffey, both Keppinger and Griffey scored.

"That's (No.) 589," Griffey said. "Straight Little League. Keep running."

Pete Mackanin is starting to wonder if the Reds can get in the race.

“Who knows you win eight, 10 in a row . . . look how far back the Cardinals were,” Mackanin said. “We're certainly playing better baseball. We keep doing that and those two teams keep beating up on each other, and it might make it interesting.”

The Reds are nine games in back of the Cubs, who passed the Brewers Friday in the NL Central. There are 40 games left.

E.Z. it is

Elizardo Ramirez will make tomorrow's start. The roster move to open a spot for him will be made prior to the game.

And tomorrow's game start at 7:05 EDT

It will be interesting to see how he does. He was pretty good until his shoulder started bothering him last year. The night he struck out seven Astros in a row was pretty impressive.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Cubs 12, Reds 4

Last night, the Reds beat the Cubs because of good work by the bullpen. Today, the Reds were beaten by the Cubs because of the bullpen.

The difference is today they used Gary Majewski, Mike Stanton and Mike Gosling (guess he's not going to start Saturday). All of three pitched in seven-run seventh.

Majewski left with one out and runners on first and third and no runs in. Stanton four batters and retired none.

Jared Burton and David Weathers have been good in the eighth and ninth. Bill Bray looks ready to take over the seventh inning role. But beyond that it's a crap shoot. That's really nothing new, is it?

By the way, the base-running blunder in the second was all on Josh Hamilton. "I (screwed) up. What do you want me to say?"

Hamilton said base-running fundamentals are what he struggles with most.

The Reds will probably bring someone up from the minors to start Saturday. My guess is E.Z. Ramirez.

Gosling Saturday?

Early notes:

The plan right now is to start Michael Gosling Saturday -- unless, of course, he's needed like Victor Santos was.

Gosling's numbers against right-handers are scary. Right-handers are hitting .370 with .525 on-base and a 1.068 OPS.

Good quote from Pete Mackanin: "If (Bill) Bray had been available all year, I might not be here."

A healthy Bray would have gone a long way toward fortifying the bullpen. Whether it would have saved Jerry Narron's job is hard to say.

Also none of the five unsigned picks from the first 30 rounds signed. They go back into the draft.

Minor league report from Jamie Ramsey (Miguel Perez is up to AA, by the way):

Louisville loses another heartbreaker at Indy (11 innings)…Tom Shearn with a solid effort…Joey Votto with a pair of hits…Jay Bruce with his 42nd double…Chattanooga loses to Tennessee…Drew Anderson with 4 hits (7-for-10 in last 2 games)…Miguel Perez belts 2 homers…Danny Dorn homers again (3 straight games, 5 of 6 games)…Sarasota loses at Dunedin…Dayton recognizes National Relaxation Day…Billings wins vs. Casper…Todd Frazier with 3 hits…GCL Reds beat the GCL Twins.

Reds 11, Cubs 9

My game MVP for this one is Bill Bray. The way he pitched the sixth and seventh turned the game around.

Josh Hamilton is 4-for-7 since coming off the DL. His two-run homer was the game-winner.

“I calmed myself down,” Hamilton said. “I over-swung on the first two strikes. I got in a good hitting position and reacted to it. It was up and away – probably would have been Ball 3 if I hadn't swung.”

And then there was Ryan Jorgensen. All he did was hit a two-run homer for his first big league hit. He fouled off two 3-2 pitch and then sent one out to left off starter Ted Lilly.

“It was like a fairy tale,” he said. “Something you see in a movie.”

Jorgensen was hitting .229 with two home runs in 236 at-bats in Triple-A. He jokingly text-messaged his buddies back in Kingwood, Texas, that he was going to go deep in his first at-bat.

“I've probably got 1,000 voicemails,” he said.

Adam Dunn on his tomahawk home run: "I was trying something new. That pitch would have probably hit a righty in the head."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It won't be Santos

Saturday's probable starter, Victor Santos, has entered the game. Phil Dumatrait was pulled after walking the first two hitters of the third. The Reds had just given him a 6-3 lead with a four spot in the top of the inning.

Your guess is as good as mine for Saturday. I'd think they'd have to bring someone up from the minors. Johnny Cueto?

Santos, by the way, walked the first batter he faced. Bases loaded, no outs. We're looking at long night.

Good start

Ryan Jorgensen's first at-bat as a Red resulted in a two-run homer. It was Jorgensen's first big league hit. He fouled off two 3-2 pitches and then sent one halfway up the bleachers in the left field off Ted Lilly. Reds lead, 2-0.

Looks like Santos

Pete Mackanin said Victor Santos will likely start Saturday. Starting Johnny Cueto was discussed. "I haven't seen him throw," Mackanin said. "He's got a future. I wouldn't recommend (him starting Saturday)." Of course, Santos won't start if they need him in the bullpen, the next two days. That's what happened last time. They ended up moving Bobby Livingston up a day.

Cueto and Boscan

Today's official gamenotes from the Triple-A Louisville Bats show that pitcher Johnny Cueto was transferred to Double-A Chattanooga on Tuesday. In four starts with the Bats this season, Cueto was 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA.

Also Tuesday, catcher J.C. Boscan was promoted to Louisville from Chattanooga. The Bats needed a catcher after the Reds brought up Ryan Jorgensen.

Harang notes

This from Rob Butcher:

The last Reds pitcher before Aaron Harang to win at least 12 of his first 15 decisions in a season was John Smiley in 1995 (12-3). The last Reds RHP to do that was Tom Seaver in 1981 (13-2). Seaver was the last Reds pitcher to win at least 13 of his first 16 decisions in a season (14-2 in 1981).

This from a reader:

I attended Harang's last start (prior to Tuesday), a 1-0 win over the Dodgers last Wednesday. I searched all articles the next day for a mention if that was the first 1-0 game in GABP history. So after some research, I found that it wasn't even the first this year. There have been 4 at GABP, with an interesting note that Aaron Harang has started all 4 games.

June 26, 2004 vs Pittsburgh, L 1-0
August 26, 2004 vs St Louis, W 1-0
June 10, 2007 vs Cleveland, W 1-0
August 8, 2007 vs Los Angeles, W 1-0

Four unsigned; minor matters

Tonight at midnight is the deadline by which draft picks have to sign or go into next year's draft. As of this morning, the Reds had signed all but five of their picks from the first 30 rounds. Still unsigned:

4. Blake Stouffer, 1b, Texas A&M
8. Andrew O'Neil, RHP, Penn State
17. Jesse Craig, RHP, Brigham Young
18. Taylor Jordan, rHP, Merritt Island, Fla., HS
27. Jason Roenicke, RHP, Cuesta College.

The minor report from Jamie Ramsey:

Louisville loses a close one to Indianapolis…Jay Bruce homers…Chattanooga beats Tennessee…Drew Anderson with 3 hits (1hr)…Sarasota wins at Dunedin…Daryl Thompson with a solid outing…Dayton beats the Bees…Daniel Guerrero with a quality start…Drew Stubbs swinging a hot bat…Billings loses to Casper…GCL Reds were off (99th anniversary of the first beauty contest).

JAY BRUCE: In 117 games split this season with Sarasota, Chattanooga and Louisville – Bruce is batting .321 with 23 HR, 83 RBI and 41 doubles. His 72 extra-base hits leads the minor leagues.

Gonzalez on bereavement; Bellhorn up

From the Reds:

TRANSACTIONS: Today the Reds placed on the bereavement list SS Alex Gonzalez, selected from Louisville the contract of IF Mark Bellhorn and transfered to the 60-day disabled list IF Juan Castro.

Given the circumstances of the Reds and how difficult this must be for Gonzalez, it makes sense that the Rds tell him to stay with the child as long as necessary.

The club probably needs to take an extended look at Jeff Keppinger anyway, but, more importantly, Gonzalez needs to be with him family.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Reds 6, Cubs 5

Did you think it was gone? I did. Jeff Brantley did. David Weathers didn't.

“I know what home run sounds like,” Weathers said. “He hit it good but he got off the end of the bat a little bit. I thought (Norris Hopper) was going to catch it or it was going to land in that basket. Then I was going to out there and take a blow torch to that basket.”

Hopper caught Mike Fontenot's drive to right with back against the ivy. Three farther or two feet higher and the Cubs win 7-6.

It was a wild and wacky one.

Aaron Harang gave up four hits, walked one and struck out seven.

Carlos Zambrano gave up 13 hits, walked two and struck out none.

But Harang gave up five runs to Zambrano's six.

Three Reds got thrown out on the bases. They Reds loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth and didn't score. It all led to the nail-biter ending.

On the Ross hit

Neither Pete Mackanin nor Bronson Arroyo had any problem with the Mike Cameron-David Ross collision.

“I looked like to me on replay that (Ross) stood right in front of the base path,” Mackanin said. “Base-runner has no other choice. I thought it was a clean. . . You can choose to go around a guy or slide, but when a guy’s blocking the plate, you're taught to knock him over.”

Arroyo saw it the same way: “(Ross) was way up the line. He was in a place he shouldn't have been.”

Gonzalez out (updated version)

Alex Gonzalez left the team to be with his son, Johan, who is ill again. Gonzalez went home to Miami before the team left for Chicago.

No roster move yet.

"We don't know yet if we'll make one," Pete Mackanin said. "It's a touchy situation."

If Gonzalez goes on the bereavement list, it's for at least three days. The Reds would most likely make a move if Gonzalez is going to return in time for tomorrow's game. Jorge Cantu's Reds debut, perhaps?

Jeff Keppinger will start at shortstop tonight:

Hamilton cf
Keppinger SS
Griffey rf
Phillips 2b
Dunn lf
Hatteberg 1b
Valentin c
Encarnacion 3b
Harang p

"I wanted to get (Norris) Hopper in," Mackanin said.

The one thing Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano is susceptible to is the home run. He's given up 20 -- tied for ninth in the league. So Adam Dunn and Josh Hamilton were good choices to start.

Dunn's a good choice any time the Reds play in Wrigley. Since he broke in to 2001, Dunn is hitting .302 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI at Wrigley. His 54 hits and 37 RBI ranked second to only Albert Pujols (59, 40) in that span.

Minor matters

From Jamie Ramsey:

Louisville pounds Indianapolis…The Bats have won 5 in a row…Jeff Bannon hits a grand slam…Joey Votto homers…Jay Bruce hits his 41st double of the year (T5th in the minors, 71st extra-base hit ranks 1st in the minors)…Jorge Cantu with 3 RBI…Chattanooga and Sarasota were both off yesterday (Alfred Hitchcock’s birthday)…Dayton loses to Burlington …Casper wasn’t very friendly to Billings…GCL Reds lose to GCL Red Sox.

1996: 3b Tim Naehring (1-for-3, 1bb) in the seventh inning off LHP Huck Flener belts his fourth home run of the season, making the score 5-2 at Sky Dome. The Red Sox plate 6 runs over the final 2 innings to beat the Blue Jays 8-6.

1995: 3b Tim Naehring in the fifth inning off RHP Scott Kamieniecki drills a 3-run homer, his seventh of the season. The Red Sox go on to beat the Yankees 9-3 at Fenway Park for their 12th straight victory. Naehring finishes the day 2-for-3 with 2 runs, 2 walks, 1 HR and a career high 4 RBI, lifting his batting average to .317. The Red Sox would have their 12-game winning streak snapped the next day.

Naehring’s career on August 14: 2g, 3-for-6, .500, 2hr, 3r, 3bb, 5rbi

Monday, August 13, 2007

Ross to DL; Jorgensen coming up

The Reds will place catcher David Ross on the disabled list as the result of yesterday's collision with Mike Cameron.

The club will promote Ryan Jorgensen from Triple-A Louisville to take Ross' spot. Jorgensen, 27, was hitting .229 with two home runs and 26 RBI in 236 at-bats with the Bats. He played four games in the majors with the Marlins in 2005.

Minor matters -- Cueto deals again

Johnny Cueto went six ininngs, allowed one run on eight hits. No walks, six Ks. You'd think he'll get serious consideration for that Aug. 18 start. He's 2-1 with 2.05 ERA in four starts at Louisville -- 22 IP, 22 hits, two walks, 22 Ks.

The rest of the minor leauge report from Jamie Ramsey:

Louisville beats Norfolk to sweep the brief 2-game series…Johnny Cueto turns in another solid outing…Joey Votto and Chris Dickerson both homer…Chattanooga burns the Biscuits to win the 5-game series…Matt Maloney with another quality start…Luis Bolivar with 4 hits…Enrique Cruz extends his hitting streak…Sarasota splits a doubleheader and exchanges complete-game shutouts with St. Lucie…Ben Jukich simply outstanding in the first game…B.J. Szymanski heating up…Dayton falls to Burlington…Drew Stubbs with his fourth consecutive multi-hit game…Kevin Gunter perfect in relief…Billings loses to Idaho Falls...GCL Reds rained out.

Pre All-Star Game: .273, 51-187, 20r, 7 doubles, 1hr, 21rbi, 29bb, 44k, 7sb, .365obp, .348slg.
Post All-Star Game: .297, 43-145, 21r, 7 doubles, 8hr, 23rbi, 18bb, 35k, 2sb, .374obp, .524slg.

24 starts overall (Sarasota, Chattanooga, currently with Louisville)
10-7, 2.83 ERA (2nd among Reds minor leaguers), 14 quality starts, 136.2ip, 48r/43er, 30bb, 136k (first among Reds minor leaguers), .237oba

This date in baseball history:
1980: 2b Pete Mackanin scores both Minnesota runs in the 6-2 loss at Oakland…Mackanin goes 3-for-4 with a home run (#2 off former All-Star Matt Keough) to lift his batting average to .292.
1987: RF Billy Hatcher goes 2-for-5 with a double and a home run (#9 off Mike Krukow) as his Astros lose 7-6 in 11 innings at San Francisco.

Programming note

From FSN:

1. FSN Ohio is going on the air a half hour early with Reds Live on Saturday, August 25. The normal pre-game show will air at 6 pm and then, at 6:30 pm, the Dave Concepcion number retirement ceremony will be covered live, in its entirety.

2. The Reds and MLB have approved FSN Ohio’s request to carry game 1 the Pittsburgh Double-Header on Tuesday, August 28th as a make up for the rain out on August 5th. We were already scheduled to carry game 2 on this date. Because game 2 is scheduled to be in HD, both games will be broadcast in HD. The scheduled air times are:

4:30pm Reds Live (pregame)
5:00pm Game 1
Following Game 1: Reds Live (post game)
Following Reds Live: Game 2
Following Game 2: Reds Live (post game)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Padres 10, Reds 4

It really doesn't seem to matter which relievers the Reds use because the results don't changed. Eddie Guardado retired one batter and was changed with four runs Sunday. That turned a close game into a blowout.

With the way Guardado's gotten hit -- five hits, five runs in two innings of work -- it's going to make it difficult to use him in anything but a blowout.

Monday's an off day. The Reds open a series with the Cubs in Chicago Tuesday. Aaron Harang v. Carlos Zambrano. Should be fun.

Ross out

David Ross left Sunday's game in the second inning. He was involved in collision at the plate with Mike Cameron in the top of the inning. Ross went down hard and stayed down for a minute of two after the collision. But he remained in the game. He led off the Reds' second and singled. He was removed for a pinch-runner at that point. He complained of a head ache and concussion like symptoms. He was taken to Good Sam for a CT scan.

If Ross has to go the DL, my guess is we'll see Ryan Hanigan or Ryan Jorgensen up from Louisville. Chad Moeller was traded to Dodgers yesterday. Jorgensen played four games with Florida in 2005. Hanigan has not played in the majors.

Hamilton activatived; Bellhorn DFA'd

From the Reds:

Prior to this afternoon's game the Reds returned from a rehabilitation assignment and reinstated from the 15-day disabled list OF Josh Hamilton and designated for assignment Mark Bellhorn.

Since 7/12 Hamilton had been on the DL with a sprained right wrist. He hit safely in 4 of his 5 rehab apps at Louisville (6-16, .375, 2rbi, 2bb).

For the Reds, Bellhorn made 5 apps as a pinch hitter and 1 appearance as a defensive replacement at 3B.

Griffey, Gonzalez are getting days off:

Hatteberg 1b
Hopper cf
Phillips 2b
Dunn lf
Keppinger ss
Encarnacion 3b
Ellison rf
Ross c
Arroyo p

Apparently, Gonzalez's throwing arm is a tender.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hamilton update

Reds outfielder Josh Hamilton, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 12 with a sprained right wrist and is on a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Louisville, will be evaluated by the Reds' medical staff Sunday in Cincinnati.

Moeller traded

The Reds traded catcher Chad Moeller to the Dodgers today for cash considerations. The veteran played in 30 games with the Reds this season and batted .167 with one home run and two RBI.
Moeller is expected to report to the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.

Belisle out; Bray in

The Reds optioned Matt Belilse Triple-A Louisville and brought up left-hander Bill Bray. Every member of the bullpen pitched in Saturday's 12-7 loss to San Diego. The Reds don't need a starter until Aug. 18. Pete Mackanin told reporters that Homer Bailey would not be a candidate to make the start of the 18th.

Reds vs. Padres, 8-11

Hatteberg, 1b
Hopper, cf
Griffey Jr., rf
Phillips, 2b
Dunn, lf
Keppinger, 3b
Valentin, c
Gonzalez, ss
Livingston, lhp

Giles, rf
Blum, lf
Gonzalez, 1b
Cameron, cf
Greene, ss
Kouzmanoff, 3b
Bard, c
Giles, 2b
Germano, rhp

Friday, August 10, 2007

Marty on his three-year contract extension

Here's what Marty had to say about the contract extension.....

“It didn’t take very long. Obviously I don’t want to go anywhere else. I’m not trying to hold them up for all the money in the world. So it was a very easy contract negotiation between my representative Reuven Katz and (Reds executive vice president and chief operating officer) John Allen.”

“At the end of three years I’ll take stock of my situation and if I still feel like I’m physically capable of traveling full time and carrying the ultimate workload I would think about it. But I’m also inclined to think about not traveling.”

Marty re-ups

From the Reds: Cincinnati Reds President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Castellini today announced that Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman has signed a 3-year contract extension through the 2010 season.

Brennaman's previous 3-year contract, signed on August 10, 2004, was set to expire after this season.

Brennaman, 65, since 1974 has been the lead voice of the Reds on 700 WLW Radio. The Reds Radio Network is one of the largest in professional sports, with 46 affiliates covering six states and anchored by 50,000-watt WLW.

Minor matters

From Jamie Ramsey: Louisville shows no mercy vs. Indianapolis…First time since 1984 that the Bats hit 2 grand slams in a game…Aaron Herr with 7 RBI on the night…Josh Hamilton 1-for-4…Richie Gardner pitches well…Chattanooga beats Montgomery…The Lookouts have won 4 straight…Sarasota loses to St. Lucie…Chris Heisey swinging a hot bat…Dayton squanders a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth…Drew Stubbs with 3 hits (1hr)…Billings wins their 4th in a row…Curtis Partch with his first pro win…Brett Bartles and Mike McKennon heating up…GCL Reds were off (Sam Elliot’s birthday).

RHP Josh Roenicke:
Currently with the Lookouts: 1-1, 1.20 ERA, 6sv/7svo, 15ip, 9h, 3r/2er, 2bb, 14k, .170oba, 15g
Overall: 3-2, 2.53 ERA, 22sv/25svo, 42.2ip, 32h, 13r/12er, 17bb, 55k, .206oba, 42g

LHP Pedro Viola:
Currently with the Lookouts: 0-0, 1.29 ERA, 7ip, 4h, 2r/2er, 1bb, 5k, .154oba, 5g
Overall: 3-2, 1.54 ERA, 4sv/6svo, 70.1ip, 47h, 18r/12er, 25bb, 82k, .185oba, 37g

RHP Carlos Guevara
Currently with the Lookouts: 0-2, 2.54 ERA, 15sv/17svo, 49.2ip, 42h, 15r/14er, 20bb, 72k, .230oba, 42g
Overall: same

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Dodgers 5, Reds 4 (it's over)

Rafael Furcal hit a home run off Victor Santos in the 11th to lift the Dodgers to 5-4 lead. Takashi Saito saved it.

The Reds had leads of the 3-2 and 4-3 in this one. But Eddie Guardado and Jared Burton blew saves.

Norris Hopper singled with two outs in the seventh. Jeff Keppinger singled on a hit-and-run, sending Hopper to third. Joe Beimel came into face Ken Griffey Jr. He was called for a balk. Griffey ended up striking out.

But Burton gave up a run in the eighth. It was the second blown save of the day for the Reds.

Guardado gave a run in his season debut in the Dodgers' seventh to make it 3-3.

Guardado's blown save cost Phil Dumatrait his first career win. Dumatrait was very good after a shaky start: 6 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs, 2 BB, 3 Ks.

The Dodgers broke their streak of scoreless innings at 28 by scoring one in the first inning. That was a mini-triumph for Dumatrait. It was bases loaded, no outs. Jeff Kent hit a sac fly, then Matt Kemp hit into a 6-4-3 double play. It was the first lead they had in six games.

The Reds tied it in their half of the first. Brandon Phillips got the run home on a groundout.

But Dumatrait gave up another run in the second -- on another sac fly -- to make it 2-1.

Those fireworks you heard came after Alex Gonzalez's two-run home run, which gave the Reds a 3-2 lead in the second.

Dumatrait put up zeros in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth after the Reds got him the lead.

Coffey optioned

From the Reds:

TODAY'S TRANSACTIONS: OF Jason Ellison (#16) joined the club today...yesterday he was claimed off waivers from the Mariners...he will take the roster spot vacated by RHP Todd Coffey, who has been optioned to Louisville.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Reds 1, Dodgers 0

Aaron Harang certainly did not look like a guy with a sore back or a guy who had not pitched in seven days: 8 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 8 Ks.

Brandon Phillips made two of the best plays of the year. Look for them on a highlight show near you.

First back-to-back shutouts by the Reds since 2000.

As I was leaving the clubhouse, Todd Coffey asked me if I had anything against him. I said I didn't. He was not happy with headline in the today's paper. I told him I don't write the headlines. He was very polite about the whole thing.

I like the guy, and I think he'll be a good pitcher again. I think the team would do him a favor by sending him to Louisville where he could pitch on a regular basis and work on things. Keeping him here to pitch in lost causes is ludicrous.

By the way, Jon Coutlangus gave up five runs without retiring a batter in Louisville tonight. Maybe Wayne Krivsky saw that coming.

Castellini speaks

Bob Castellini had an impromptu session with beat writers this afternoon. He was asked point blank if GM Wayne Krivsky's job was in trouble.

"No," he said. "He's done a good job."

Other tidbits:

On Krivsky: “Wayne’s a plugger. He keeps at it – a lot of determination.”

On a plan: “I think Wayne is taking a studied approach to it. We’re’ on the same page.

Is he pleased with the job interim manager Pete Mackanin has done? “All of us are. He has a nice way about him. He communicates well with the players.”

On naming a permanent manager: “We’ll take a look at it after the season. Pete’s doing a good job. There’s no sense talking about it now."

He asked me what I thought about the way the club is playing. I said it's easier to play well when the season is lost.

"So you think it's over?" he said.

"If you look at the numbers, yes."

He wasn't ready to concede that.

“If you win two-thirds your games in our division, (it's not)," he said. "There’s a high probability, that you’re right. But there are 50 games to go. Rose-color glasses, no. But you can’t give up. These players haven’t given up. They’re not just playing for individual stats. They’re playing to win.”

Transaction (Ellison picked up)

From the Reds:

TODAY'S TRANSACTIONS: The Reds today claimed off waivers from the Seattle Mariners OF Jason Ellison...San Francisco’s 22nd-round draft pick in 2000, Ellison was traded to Seattle on April 1 in exchange for LHP Travis Blackley...he has spent the season with the Mariners (63g, .283)...a corresponding roster move will be announced when he reports to the team...he is expected to arrive tomorrow...he will wear uniform number 16.

SURGERY: IF/OF Ryan Freel this morning had season-ending arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage and to clean out the meniscus in his right knee...he is expected to recover fully by spring training...the 1-hour procedure was performed by Reds medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek.

Ellison is 29. Sounds like an extra outfielder type. I'm fairly sure Todd Coffey will be the cooresponding move. Don't know what will happen when Josh Hamilton's ready.

Minor matter (check Bray's numbers)

From Jamie Ramsey:

Louisville loses a tough one to Indianapolis…Johnny Cueto pitches well…Josh Hamilton with 2 hits in the first game of his current rehab assignment…Jay Bruce doubles again…Chattanooga was off (Professional Speakers Day)…Sarasota has their winning streak snapped at Jupiter…Dayton falls to Quad Cities…Juan Francisco belts his 17th homer…Billings finishes the sweep at Helena…Kyle Maunus with 3 hits…Mike McKennon with 2 hits – and is now batting .321…GCL Reds get swept in a doubleheader vs. GCL Pirates…Neftali Soto with a 3-run triple.

UPDATE - JORGE CANTU & SHAUN CUMBERLAND: IF Jorge Cantu and OF Shaun Cumberland (and cash) were acquired by the Reds from Tampa Bay on July 28 for RHP Calvin Medlock and LHP Brian Shackelford (and future considerations)…Cantu in 12 games for Louisville is batting .333 (15-45) with 4 doubles, 1 HR and 6 RBI…he’s hit safely in 10 of his 12 games with the Bats (.375obp, .489slg)…Cumberland has hit safely in all 7 games he’s played since joining Chattanooga on July 30 (.385, 10-26, 5rbi, 2r).

BILL BRAY: Since July 20, LHP Bill Bray has posted a 1.86 ERA (3r/2er, 9.2ip) and a .211 OBA (8-38) over 8 appearances with Louisville (16 strikeouts).

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Reds 4, Dodgers 0

Bronson Arroyo said his stuff was much better in his last start in Washington.

That night, he went 1 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs.

Tonight, he went 6 2/3 innings and gave up no runs.

Go figure.

The Reds have won three straight.

My last words (for the night) on today's moves: This all could have been avoided by simply sending Todd Coffey out instead of Jon Coutlangus. It's a minor note if they do that. Instead, the club got ripped up and down talk radio and on the Internet. I know teams can't be concerned with making moves to please fans. But why unnecessarily tick them off?

Krivsky on the moves

He didn't help himself by saying what he said, but here's Wayne Krivsky's explanation of the moves:

On why Todd Coffey wasn't optioned: “We going with the 13 right now that we think are the best 13 over whatever length of time it is. I don’t want to talk about individuals. He’s not the only one who’s struggling.”

On carrying 13 pitchers: "Many times it's to protect your other pitchers, so you can use the right guys whether you’re winning or losing. There’s old expression among veteran managers: You've got to know how to lose a game too. There’s a lot of truth in that, so you’re prepared to win the next one. It gives Pete a little extra flexibility with his bullpen. We’ll see how long we go with 13. I don’t know.

On thought behind the moves: “Two intelligent minds can agree to disagree on the moves. I'm trying to give you guys our reasons. There’s one GM, one manager and pitching coach. We put all our heads together and tried to come up with what made sense.”

Are the Reds going to add a position player soon? “I have no idea. This is how we’re going tonight. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future.”

On Josh Hamilton: “He's going to down to get his at-bats, game situations. You know me I hate putting timetables on things. We'll see how he does on a daily basis, what our needs our. It’s mainly how he's doing.”

More on the moves; Freel done

It sounds like a position player will be brought up shortly.

Ryan Freel says if the his knee is as bad as they expect, he's done for the year. "I'll be on crutches four to six weeks," he said.

Pete Mackanin on why Todd Coffey wasn't sent out: "I don't know how to answer that. There might be something else going on. You might ask Wayne (Krivsky). . . There's so much involved that I'm not privy too."

Gary Majewski said something applies to Coffey: "Sometimes it's better to go down (to the minors) and work on stuff than stay up here and get shellacked."

Haven't seen Krivsky yet.

Coutlangus out, Majewski, Guardado up

You can start the Todd Coffey comments immediately:

From the Reds:

TODAY'S TRANSACTIONS: Today the Reds optioned to Louisville LHP Jon Coutlangus; placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Friday, IF/OF Ryan Freel (torn cartilage, right knee); recalled from Louisville RHP Gary Majewski; returned from a rehabilitation assignment and reinstated from the 60-day disabled list LHP Eddie Guardado (left elbow surgery, lower back); sent to Louisville on a rehabilitation assignment OF Josh Hamilton (sprained right wrist).

SURGERIES: IF Juan Castro today had season-ending "Tommy John" surgery to repair the torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow...he is expected to recover by the beginning of next season...the 90-minute procedure was performed by Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek...IF/OF Ryan Freel tomorrow is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee...a prognosis will be made following the surgery.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Dunn deal

I wrote about Adam Dunn for my off day story. Dunn, as usual, did not have a lot to say about the speculation about his future. But he can't help but wonder if the club will pick up his option.

“I'd like to know some times what's the deal,” he said. “I know they probably don't have the answer. But I like to see where their mind is. I don't know what they're thinking.”

Wayne Krivsky would not say when the club will make the call on the option. "It's not on my plate right now," Krivsky said.

The option is for $13 million and can go to $16 million with incentives.

Here’s a look at the left fielder in the National League Central by stats and salary:

----------------- .Avg. HR RBI OBP Slg. OPS Salary
Adam Dunn Reds .262 30 73 .363 .551 .918 $10.5 million
Alfonzo Soriano Cubs .297 18 42 .336 .511 .848 $10 million
Carlos Lee Astros .298 23 90 .353 .531 .883 $11.5 million
Geoff Jenkins Brewers .269 14 45 .341 .483 .824 $7.3 million
Jason Bay Pirates .260 17 71 .335 .440 .775 $3.5 million
Chris Duncan Cardinals .285 20 59 .376 .540 .920 $400,000

(Sorry, I don't know how to lineup the columns). Lee and Soriano actually make a lot more in terms of average salary. Soriano signed for $136 million over eight years; Lee for for $100 million over six.

Hamilton to go on injury rehab

From the Reds:

Tomorrow the Reds will send OF Josh Hamilton to Class AAA Louisville on a rehabilitation assignment.

Hamilton has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 12 with a sprained right wrist.

In 64 games and 55 starts for the Reds he is hitting .279 with 14 HR and 30 RBI.

Signing, Hall vote, veterans honored

From the Reds:

BOOK SIGNING: Author Bill Giles will be signing copies of his book, Pouring Six Beers at a Time: And Other Stories from a Lifetime in Baseball, at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum on Tuesday, Aug. 7. Giles will be signing from 5-6:30 p.m.

Giles served as team president of the Philadelphia Phillies from 1982-’87, General Manager from 1984-’87, and he has been part owner of the Phillies since 1981. He is the son of former Reds General Manager and National League President Warren Giles. His father is in the Reds Hall of Fame.

Pouring Six Beers at a Time: And Other Stories from a Lifetime in Baseball, co-authored by Doug Myers, is a collection of stories from Giles time in “the family business” of baseball.

--HALL OF FAME VOTE: From now until Aug. 31, Reds fans can vote for the 2008 Reds Hall of Fame class. Fans can cast their ballot at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, at Great American Ball Park during Reds home games, online at http://www.reds.com/, or by mailing their ballot to the Reds Hall of Fame. Ballots can also be picked up at participating hhgregg stores throughout the tri-state. hhgregg is the presenting sponsor of the 2008 Reds Hall of Fame fan vote.

Included on this year’s ballot are: Jeff Brantley, Norm Charlton, Rob Dibble, Dan Driessen, Tom Hume, Ray Knight, Barry Larkin, Hal Morris, Ron Oester, Joe Oliver, Paul O’Neill, Dave Parker, and Chris Sabo. The player receiving the most votes will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2008. The winner will be announced in September.

Fans voting online can visit http://www.reds.com/ and vote up to 10 times per e-mail address. Ballots submitted by mail should be sent to: Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum; Attn: Hall of Fame Vote; 100 Main St.; Cincinnati, OH 45202. Ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 31.

--PURPLE HEART DAY: Tomorrow is National Purple Heart Day as the Cincinnati Reds honor at Great American Ball Park the Combat Wounded Veterans of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Prior to Tuesday night’s 7:10 p.m. game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Reds will recognize patriots from the Ohio Department of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, including Tom Anderson (World War II), Tony Murphy (Korea), Tony Kohl (Vietnam) and Paul Brondhaver (Iraq).

The Reds will host in FSN Ohio Club 4192 more than 100 members of that organization.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Rain out; changes coming?

The Reds and the Pirates were rained out Sunday. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader Aug. 28 beginning at 5:05 p.m.

Pete Mackanin all but promised roster changes before the series with the Dodgers opens on Tuesday at Great American.

“It would be a good idea to think that we’re going to be different,” Mackanin said. “I don't know anything specific. But we've talked briefly about it. They're may be changes made, depending upon certain things.”

He mentioned Eddie Guardado, Bill Bray and Gary Majewski as possible replacement relievers.

Todd Coffey, who's ERA is up to 6.04, is probably out. Michael Gosling, who's allowed five runs in his last 6 1/3 innings, may be as well.

“I assume we're going to do something,” Mackanin said. “We're always trying to improve. Every time you go out you’re auditioning.”

The Reds are also may make a move with Ryan Freel. His knee will be examined today.

"So are you going to call up Jay Bruce?" I asked Mackanin.

"I heard he's a nice player," Mackanin said.

I don't think there's any way we'll see Bruce. But it would be fun to see how he'd do.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Reds 9, Pirates 8

The Reds won the battle of the bad bullpens. It's not often you get a tying home run in the eighth and ninth and one to win it in the 1oth. But Jeff Keppinger hit one in the eighth, Edwin Encarnacion hit one in the ninth and Adam Dunn hit one in the 10th.

Dunn is up to 30 homers and 73 RBI, who almost two months to play.

The Reds needed all that fire power because Todd Coffey (one-third of an inning, three runs) and Michael Gosling (one-third on an inning, one run) were so bad. Pete Mackanin sounds like he wants changes.

“That will be a topic of discussion when I talk with (general manger Wayne Krivsky),” Mackanin said. “I don't want to go any further than that.”

What your plan?

I wrote my Sunday Insider for the paper about the Reds' plan.


Which of a lot of you, think is no plan at all. The Reds have gone for the quick fix. It hasn't worked obviously.

What would your plan for the Reds be?

Would you try to win in 2008?

Or would you try to go young and look to the future?

That's basically what it comes down to: Short-term or long-term. If you go short-term, you add free agents to get over the top. If you go long-term, you add prospects and play young players, knowing it’s going to take some time.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Reds 13, Pirates 4

The Reds are no longer in last place. So they've got that going for them. It does wonders when you hit -- everyone of the starting eight had at least two hits -- and get decent starting pitching. Matt Belisle won for the first time since May 29. I know a ton of fans on down on him, but I think he can be a serviceable starter. He has to show that over the last two months of the season, however. Here's hoping you had the Reds in the 13-run pool.

Day off with a purpose

Brandon Phillips is not in the Reds lineup tonight. Pete Mackanin said it was a day off and that Phillips hasn't hit Pittsburgh starter Ian Snell very well. But after Phillips met with Dick Pole, then Mackanin behind closed doors, I figured it had something to do with Phillips not running hard on the two double plays last night. "That might have something to do with it," Mackanin said. Mackanin left it at that. He likes Phillips as a player. He likes the emotion Phillips play with, but that emotion gets the best of Phillips at times.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Nationals 7, Reds 3

The Reds aren't scoring runs. The starting rotation is a little patchwork and a lot of holes. They've lost five straight. And Phil Dumatrait's major league debut was a major flop.

Then, after the completion of the sweep by the Washington Nationals Thursday, a young member of the media from the nation's capital asked Pete Mackanin if he could take anything positive out of series.

I hope the kid never asks Lou Piniella a question like that. Mackanin was polite but he concluded with: "(Blank) no."

Thursday was the low point of Mackanin's stint. He's gotten the team to bounced back before, but it's going to be hard to do again.

Hold on on Santos

Victor Santos pitched three innings -- one run on three hits -- of relief Thursday, so he won't start Saturday.

Who will?

I've got no clue. Michael Gosling? There aren't any obvious candidates at Louisville. Carlos Fisher, the kid who's pitched well at Double-A, is scheduled to pitch tomorrow. Maybe they'll bring him up for a start.

After the game, Pete Mackanin said they'll probably bring Bobby Livingston back on three days' rest. I guess Bronson Arroyo would go on short rest Sunday,

Would have been interesting if it fell on Johnny Cueto's day.


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