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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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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Brower, Cabrera, Hairston cut; roster set

The Reds re-assigned RHP Jim Brower, IF/OF Jolbert Cabrera and IF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. to the minor league camp.

That puts the Reds at 28 healthy players. Matt Belisle will start the year on rehab. Mike Stanton is going to be designated, so you've got 26.

It looks like catcher David Ross (back) will begin the year on the DL.

"We wanted to test to see where he's at," Wayne Krivsky said. "He missed 75 percent of the game."

Norris Hopper missed a couple of days with a death in the family. He's back in Sarasota. He'll be on the 25-man roster.

"We've talked to everybody," Krivsky said. "It won't be official until Monday."

The Reds have to clear spots on the 40-man for Kent Mercker, Paul Bako, Johnny Cueto, Mike Lincoln and Corey Patterson.

Here's the roster:

Starting lineup:
Corey Patterson CF
Jeff Keppinger SS
Ken Griffey Jr. RF
Brandon Phillips 2B
Adam Dunn LF
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
Joey Votto 1B
Paul Bako/Javy Valentin C

Bench
Ryan Freel INF/OF
Juan Castro INF
Scott Hatteberg 1B
Norris Hopper OF

Rotation
Aaron Harang
Bronson Arroyo
Johnny Cueto
Josh Fogg
Edinson Volquez

Bullpen
Francisco Cordero
David Weathers
Todd Coffey
Kent Mercker
Jared Burton
Jeremy Affeldt
Mike Lincoln

DL: SS Alex Gonzalez, C David Ross and P Matt Belisle.


40 Comments:

at 11:09 AM Blogger Bengal43 said...

Do you have an update on Hopper?

 
at 11:16 AM Blogger ArGee said...

With Brower gone and Belisle sidelined, they really don't have a long reliever in the pen.

 
at 11:18 AM Blogger Lets Talk Reds Blogger said...

I am really surprised to see Jolbert Cabrera cut. I thought he was going to be the surprise roster guy.

John, do you think this means that Freel wasn't able to be traded?

 
at 11:22 AM Blogger John Fay said...

With the off days, Volquez or Fogg could be used in long relief.

 
at 11:32 AM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

The Amazing Krivsky signed Freel for $7 mil over the next two years. Who do you think wants him at that price? He is a good guy to have on the bench for Castro money but not for what he is making.

 
at 11:47 AM Blogger Bengal43 said...

What has Lincoln done to desire a spot?

 
at 11:54 AM Blogger Chris said...

John-

Who goes from the 40 man?

Patterson takes Stanton's spot.
Cueto takes Capellan's spot.

Three more spots need to be made for Bako, Mercker, and Lincoln.

 
at 12:01 PM Blogger bearcat1984 said...

Enough with the negative waves....

I wouldn't be surprised if Freel is still being shopped around. It's not like Opening Day is a Trading Deadline.

This roster looks good. Plus, we've got lots of viable options that are only a phone call and a short drive up i-71 away.

Time to play ball.

 
at 12:02 PM Blogger ExactlyEsasky said...

Personally, I'm happy they kept Freel. I think he's a sub-par regular, but an excellent guy off the bench: plays 5 positions credibly, good OBP, can take a base. He seems to turn into Farney when he starts, but off the bench (scratching and clawing for playing time), he has been great.

Meanwhile, they still have to trade one of these jacks-of-all-trades players: they can't have Hairston, Cabrera, Green and Phillips all at L'ville taking PT away from kids. Look for a release or two, or a trade.

So, 40-man implications are that 4 people have to come off to accommodate Patterson, Mercker, Cueto, and Lincoln. My picks (from my previous post): Stanton, Hanigan, Dickerson, and Ramon Ramirez. I keep Drew T Anderson, though I really can't defend that (just new blood, and I don't think Dickerson will ever really hit).

 
at 12:12 PM Blogger Red-Blooded said...

John,
Could you please explain the rules and consequences of removing players from the 40-man roster? Thanks!

 
at 12:16 PM Blogger Red-Blooded said...

With the off-day Tuesday, will Harang start Saturday on 4 days rest? That would mean Volquez Sunday and Arroyo Monday the 7th.

 
at 12:36 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

not sure about this lincoln fella either. dusty fell in love with his "live arm", but that live arm has been getting pounded all spring. hasn't pitched int he bigs since 2004? sheesh.

i'd rather have mcbeth in that spot, or maybe even give roenicke a shot. i'm guessing lincoln will be worked in slowly. hoping anyway. i got a feeling this bullpen is gonna stink again.

 
at 12:41 PM Blogger Chris Sabo said...

Affeldt is capable of long relief til Belisle is back

 
at 12:57 PM Blogger Greg said...

Votto is starting! Well not official but I hope they give it to him. I think Baker is looking past this spring and looking at his performance last year.

That roster is pretty potent.

 
at 12:58 PM Blogger redsfanrob54 said...

Nine players not on the roster last season. Only three -- Cueto, Volquez and Cordero -- are of any real significance. Still a sub-.500 ballclub.

 
at 1:07 PM Blogger ArGee said...

I think Affeldt demonstrated pretty convincingly that he is a situational reliever. A batter or two, maybe an inning plus. Not an inning eater.

 
at 1:16 PM Blogger ankurv5 said...

I'm sure we all are in much better position to judge roster decisions made than Dusty in company. Why do people always feel the need to rip on Dusty/Krivsky for the smallest things?

When Krivsky signed Freel to that contract, he deserved it, and personally, I think he doesn't deserve all the flack he's been getting from some fans. And I know Lincoln's numbers aren't that great, but who was better than him? Bray hasn't pitched many innings in the majors in his careers, and the 7-8 innings he pitched this spring aren't enough to prove that he deserves the job right away.

The season's not over, it's just beginning. In baseball rosters never stay the same for long and people come and go. Maybe some of you don't remember that.

 
at 1:38 PM Blogger kingseyeland said...

I don't know how you can cut Cabrera and keep Castro. That's just insane.

 
at 1:43 PM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

let the games begin..

Ankurv..Freel never deserved "that kind of money"

 
at 1:44 PM Blogger Hara M. Fard said...

It's the "silly season" now when we gush about our great team.

Cough cough cough.

Bruce in the minor leagues is a crime. Although I'm foolishly hoping that Patterson will hit 30 HRs and steal 60 bases.

Cueto and Volquez had better come through big, or the Pirates will send Castellini a big fruit basket in October saying "thanks for helping us avoid further embarrassment."

Braun and Pence and Zimmerman demonstrate how you PLAY great players in the majors, not waste them in the minors. So bring Bruce back in May and KEEP HIM HERE.

But thanks for dumping Stanton. What a nice upgrade. And getting Cueto, Volquez, and Cordero added to the mix should help. It had better help.

A sack of potatoes in the bullpen would have been an improvement over Stanton but Lincoln, Affeldt, and Mercker are looking more spudlike than not...so on some days, this will still be the same score 9 in the 2nd and lose 16-15 team that we've seen in 07 and 06 thank to the bull pen.

The Reds are still a second rate sub-.500 team and beating 2007's W-L record is going to be a big Stanton-fat challenge for this team but we are IMPROVED CONSIDERABLY, and there are legit reasons to hope, unlike last year.

Will we play smart, disciplined baseball under Baker? The test will be when some lazy superstar loafs down to first base or makes a completely little league bonehead play running the bases.

I get the feeling though that the more optimistic we are early the worse the season will be. I say Arizona sweeps the opening series and we spend April stuck in last place.

 
at 1:55 PM Blogger redfuture said...

John, it's not hugely important but what uniform # will Cueto get? I kind of like the #77 he's been wearing this spring, but it's not normal to used those kind of numbers.

 
at 2:07 PM Blogger John Fay said...

The Reds have very few numbers to give. I think Cueto will be 77.

To get some off the 40-man, they have to be exposed to waivers.

Pence and Braun started the year in the minors last year. Maybin and Longoria will this year.

 
at 2:25 PM Blogger ArGee said...

**I say Arizona sweeps the opening series and we spend April stuck in last place.**

If Arizona sweeps it won't be because of the Reds pitching. Arizona has a next to nothing offense. If their pitchers hold Dunn, Votto, and EE to oh for everything, and that is a distinct possibility, it won't matter.

 
at 2:35 PM Blogger redfuture said...

I'm a bit surprised that Cueto's strike percentage has fallen off. Is it because hitters are taking pitches that they had been swinging at?

 
at 2:38 PM Blogger Aaron said...

I want Volquez #3 not Cueto. Dusty has to juggle the rotation somehow.

 
at 2:47 PM Blogger GFYS said...

A long man is a must with this starting staff. Cueto hasn't be a serviceable number 5 his last 3 starts and Voloquez big leagues stats aren't good. I also don't agree with Lincoln. He hasn't pitched in 3 years and look at the back of his baseball card. Not impressive.

Hard throwers always have a better early spring because hitters are getting their timing down.

I have a feeling May will really show the weaknesses in this pitching staff.

 
at 3:19 PM Blogger Bengal43 said...

John..Do you have an updated uniform number for Lincoln?

 
at 3:30 PM Blogger ankurv5 said...

Affeldt and Lincoln ARE the long men, until Belisle comes back. Freel will surprise, there aren't many players that work that hard and go balls out every play, and it should be something that is rewarded, not criticized.

Kingseyeland--Castro is one of the best defensive players on the roster, you need him for the late innings. And he's not that bad on offense, so he can make a start here and there.

This roster is pretty solid considering that Cincinnati is a small market team. They're taking some chances, and if they don't work out, there's depth in the minors. If they DO workout, well wild card here we come.

 
at 3:32 PM Blogger ankurv5 said...

Jack--7 mil over the last two years of a contract is nothing, especially for a guy who, up until last year, had stayed healthy and provided a huge spark for a team that was battling Pittsburgh for last place.

 
at 3:37 PM Blogger JerBear said...

I'm trying to get excited about the Reds, but man there are so many questions entering this year once again.

What if Weathers starts pitching like a 39 year old? Was Burton really that good last year?

We're depending on Cueto, Fogg, and Volquez right now for the bulk of our rotation.

And then there is Edwin Encarnacion. I'm with most people in thinking that he is a huge key to our lineup. If he gets off to a terrible start I think it's maybe a matter of just counting the clock down before Gonzalez makes it back, and sending Keppinger to play 3rd.


But I don't want to be totally negative! While we don't know what Cueto and Volquez will do, I'm glad to see the Reds going with they young arms. Should be good for the future.

And it's nice to see Votto in there at firstbase, while knowing that Hatteberg is there to back him up if he struggles.


Finally, Who is Mike Lincoln and didn't Kent Mercker retire??!

I guess I'm a little out of it although I do like Mercker being on the team.

 
at 3:43 PM Blogger NVreds said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
at 3:43 PM Blogger NVreds said...

when Ive seen cueto his spring, he seems to be really chippy sometimes. He's always going for a SO even against rogers when he almost walked him, finally threw the heat right by him, pretty much what he should have been doing the whole time. he throws a ton of balls out of the zone, although he is locating them out there. don't expect 180 innings out of him.

Luckily he can rely on his control at times, but I agree w/another poster, I have volquez as my #3 right now. cueto is only 22, thats a slight cause for concern, but we'll get a show from him this year, good or not.

john, are there any inning limits for cueto?

 
at 4:58 PM Blogger PresidentJohnAllenJr. said...

Hey John, how many did you missed on your roster quote? Mr. Redlegs, you missed on Mercker and Lincoln.
Brantley had to straighted you out Friday on who was throwing in the bullpen. Sergio, come on!!!!, he's in Mexico League.

 
at 5:36 PM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

No offense but why do I see the same posts day after day here? We have people saying that our bullpen is till going to suck and the we will be a sub .500 team, and we still have people saying that Freel is the best thing since sliced bread!!

Let's seriously get real here folks...

The bullpen is absolutely different than last year, better than last year, and it shouldn't even be debatable! We have a stronger bullpen top to bottom...how can it even be questioned? We signed Affeldt, who had success in Coors field...we signed Cordero, who has had great success in Texas AND Milwaukee...Weathers was strong for us last year and now can come in within the 7th and 8th innings effectively for us...Burton will be strong again for us...Mercker has always been reliable.

And we really need to quit with the Ryan Freel crap. Yeah, he hustles. Good for him! But the guy will never hit .275 and strikes out way too much. He's a utility player at best. In fact, that's when he plays the best!

Let's move on from the same conversations and quit with the constant negativity!

 
at 6:03 PM Blogger Clueless Krivsky said...

I think this could have been a much better bullpen than last year, but essentially Merker is going to be this years version of Stanton and Lincoln will be this years version of Santos.

I'm not too crazy about either of those decisions but I guess we'll see what happens.

 
at 6:04 PM Blogger Hara M. Fard said...

ARGEE wrote: "Arizona has a next to nothing offense."

? C. Young, Eric Byrnes, Mark Reynolds, C Snyder, Hudson, Justin Upton, S Drew, and C. Jackson ?

That's next to nothing?

Right now any Reds catcher plus EE

IS NOTHING

2/8ths of our offensive lineup is utter crap. And if Votto hits the way he has in spring, and Patterson hits the way he hits every season, then half our lineup is pretty worthless.

Wake up to reality. Arizona is a much better offensive team at C, 3B, and CF.

Last year, genius, Arizona had more Triples and more Stolen Bases than the Reds, and had nearly the same OBP, batting average, and number of doubles. The GABP effect led to 31 more HRs for the Reds but put Arizona's 81 home games here and what you're saying would be proven ridiculous.

The Reds have a very small offensive edge and a very substantial pitching deficit compared to the D-Backs.

Hopefully EE and our catcher du jour figure out how to hit major league pitching again before Monday.

 
at 6:07 PM Blogger Hara M. Fard said...

ARGEE wrote: "Arizona has a next to nothing offense."

? C. Young, Eric Byrnes, Mark Reynolds, C Snyder, Hudson, Justin Upton, S Drew, and C. Jackson ?

That's next to nothing?

Right now any Reds catcher plus EE

IS NOTHING

2/8ths of our offensive lineup is utter crap. And if Votto hits the way he has in spring, and Patterson hits the way he hits every season, then half our lineup is pretty worthless.

Wake up to reality. Arizona is a much better offensive team at C, 3B, and CF.

Last year, genius, Arizona had more Triples and more Stolen Bases than the Reds, and had nearly the same OBP, batting average, and number of doubles. The GABP effect led to 31 more HRs for the Reds but put Arizona's 81 home games here and what you're saying would be proven ridiculous.

The Reds have a very small offensive edge and a very substantial pitching deficit compared to the D-Backs.

Hopefully EE and our catcher du jour figure out how to hit major league pitching again before Monday.

 
at 6:19 PM Blogger Richie Rich said...

There's nothing to really suggest that Volquez won't be the #3 starter. By next Thursday, he'll have had a week of rest. Anything else is just speculation and Cueto hasn't earned it over him.

 
at 10:30 PM Blogger Hugh D. Pohl said...

What's with the EE crap? He was our top BA hitter and best clutch hitter last year. So he had a slow spring...why is everyone so down on him? Our pitching and overall depth appears better than last year. Let's see what happens! And welcome back, Clueless.

 
at 1:37 PM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

Right now any Reds catcher plus EE

IS NOTHING



Uhhhh...Edwin was a leading hitter last year with a .280 average. He was clutch for us in the second half of the season and is getting better EVERY YEAR! You seriously must not be watching the same Reds games as everyone else.

All I can say is....WOW!!

 
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