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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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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Phillies 6, Reds 2

Edinson Volquez's first start was a good one. He went five shutout innings, allowing three hits and walk. He struck out six, 69 pitches, 47 strikes.

The Reds took a 2-0 lead on Ken Griffey Jr.'s two-out, two-run single in the sixth. The Phillies took the lead with three unearned runs off Gary Majewski in the seventh. Brad Salmon allowed three more in the ninth.

Volquez lowered his spring ERA to 3.46. Most impressive: 19 Ks and 3 walks in the 13 innings. He retired 11 of the first 12 he faced -- five by strikeout. His change-up was fooling guys big time.

"My change-up was best pitch today," Volquez said. "I threw four sliders, four curves or something like that. I found out in the bullpen that change-up was better today, so I better used it."

Volquez says the difference from past is control.

"I'm throwing my strikes," he said. "That's what I'm going for. i control my emotions, too. I'm getting old, man."

He was not intimidated for the Phillies' lineup.

"When those guys go to home plate, I think this is big guy," he said. "I pitch like normal. But facing Ryan Howard, oh man. He's a big guy."

He went to a 3-ball count on Jimmy Rollins before striking him out with a good change-up to start the game. Volquez wouldn't go to a 3-ball count until facing Ryan Howard with two outs in the fourth. Howard ended up singling. "He was working looking for change-up," Volquez said. "That's what good hitters do." Jayson Werth followed with a single, but Volquez struck out Geoff Jenkins for his sixth strikeout to leave them runners stranded.

Volquez threw 10 pitches in the 1-2-3, 2-strikeout second, eight of which were strikes.

Volquez was at his best in the fifth. He got a routine groundball on the first pitch. But Brandon Phillips booted it. He walked the next hitter. But he got out of it. Brett Myers popped up trying to bunt. Rollins hit into a fielder's choice and Shane Victorino grounded out.

Volquez said he had never thrown more than eight inning in big league camp for the Rangers.

"This is most I've had," Volquez said.


61 Comments:

at 2:30 PM Blogger reds in indiana said...

I have heard a rumor that the Rays are looking for an outfielder to play right field and back up Upton in center. The Rays are willing to give up some of their young pitching. Could the reds swing a trade with freel for another young pitcher?

 
at 2:30 PM Blogger Ben said...

The de facto rotation has to be:

harang
arroyo
volquez
fogg
cueto

 
at 2:31 PM Blogger Ben said...

The de facto rotation has to be:

harang
arroyo
volquez
fogg
cueto

 
at 2:38 PM Blogger smtides said...

I said after his first performance of ST that Volquez had better stuff and was more impressive than Bailey.

IF Bailey will take his poor performance this spring as a motivating factor and he can improve his overall command and his changeup in particular at Louisville, the Reds could end up with the most impressive young pitching staff in the big leagues by July.

Yes, I said it.

 
at 2:41 PM Blogger Scottyb said...

Well the Rotation is starting to take shape.
Harang
Arroyo
Cueto
Fog
Volquez

I think it would be better to send Baily to the minors instead of the pen. I am not ready to give up on the kid yet.

 
at 2:43 PM Blogger ArGee said...

Just a tad better than Bailey yesterday. And Voltron faced the Phillies' best.

 
at 2:47 PM Blogger Steve said...

Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto appear to be the real deal. Finally, the Reds have some young arms who can back up the hype!

 
at 2:47 PM Blogger stalin said...

outings like this definitely help ease the pains of the hamilton deal.

 
at 2:49 PM Blogger ArGee said...

***Could the reds swing a trade with freel for another young pitcher?***

Oh, that we should be so lucky.

 
at 2:51 PM Blogger Brandon said...

I hope they wouldn't give up on Bailey since he is only 21 right now give him another season of work and see if he progresses.

 
at 2:51 PM Blogger stalin said...

i would like to see bailey go to the pen rather then aaa.

 
at 2:59 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Majewski and Bray. What about the grievance? Can we just give them back to Bowden to get them out of here. Maybe he would take Griffey too.

 
at 3:09 PM Blogger Y-City Jim said...

Ben and Scotty, you both have the rotation nailed.

Has anyone ever thought of sending Majewski to a shrink? He needs to somehow get an attitude or his career is over. Shave his head, get rid of the beard, something to give him a mental reboot.

Also, Freel is mentioned in several trade rumors. Chicago and Toronto are two others I have heard. Farney, ayy!

 
at 3:10 PM Blogger Kyle said...

The pitching staff seems to be shaping up to be:
Aaron Harang
Bronson Arroyo
Johnny Cueto
Josh Fogg
Edinson Volquez

Jeremy Affeldt
Todd Coffey/McBeth/Salmon/Majewski
Mike Stanton
Bill Bray
Jared Burton
David Weathers
Francisco Cordero

 
at 3:11 PM Blogger stalin said...

i would rather bailey go to the pen over AAA.

 
at 3:13 PM Blogger Dude said...

Harang
Cueto
Arroyo
Volquez
Fogg


From ST this looks to be a good rotation. It looks like Volquez is finally going after batters, something he was hesitant to with the Rangers at the Major Leagues.

Baily must go to AAA and do some work, hopefully seeing Volquez and Cueto will give him inspiration to listen up and work at what he needs to do.

 
at 3:15 PM Blogger Ron said...

Well, even though the runs were unearned, Majewski is still giving up leads. One error shouldnt cause a vet to colapse like that but that has been his MO since we got him. If he makes the roster, the 2008 6th/7th innings will become our hated 8th inning of 2007. Please send this guy out. I cant take another year of him & Stanton puking up leads.

 
at 3:15 PM Blogger Stan said...

I don't see Majewski making the club.

 
at 3:16 PM Blogger Stock said...

This trade looks better and better all the time.

Volquez is the real deal. 3 BB in 13 IP. Unreal difference in the speed between his fastball and changeup.

John, Marty commented in the 6th that in his 35 years he has never seen 2 pitchers come up at the same time with this talent and these results. Did he mean the Reds or any team? I am struggling to think of two Reds with this talent let alone two that came up at the same time.

Gullett came up in 1970 which is more than 35 years ago.
Both Rijo and Jackson already had 400 IP when they became Reds.
It would be hard to argue Browning had the tools Volquez and Cuerto do.
That leaves Soto and whomever I forgot.

 
at 3:16 PM Blogger DeportMikeBrown said...

I smell Coffey!

PU

 
at 3:25 PM Blogger R said...

Volquez has a ton of potential. The Reds have lacked pitching for 18 years. They were one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball last year. Pitching has a proven track record of leading to wins. And we've got people complaining about trading an outfielder who can't hit lefties and whose body is deteriorated from heavy drug use, while we have a surplus of talent in the OF. Come on people. Stockpile pitching and don't look back.

And I say no on Bailey to the pen. The last thing you want when you're trying to protect a lead is a guy who can't throw strikes and who puts runners on base.

 
at 3:26 PM Blogger Steve said...

As I said a week ago:

Harang
Arroyo
Cueto
Fogg
Volquez

It's nice to see Volquez doing so well because Hamilton is on fire. Takes some of the sting out.

Bailey to AAA. Affledt to the pen. Belisle long relef, spot starter or insurance if one of the kids fails. Lock and load.

 
at 3:28 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Mel Queen and Wayne Simpson.

 
at 3:32 PM Blogger kevin in west lafayette said...

It sounds like Majewski and Coffey may have pitched themselves out of a job. I'm comfortable with the starters... but who's in the pen?

volquez, cueto , fogg, starters...who's thrown well enough to join the pen?

 
at 3:32 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

damn memory is gone. Simpson and Queen were 5 years apart.

 
at 3:36 PM Blogger Grizzlyfox said...

Regarding trading Freel--I think shipping out Freel with a AA prospect would be the best bet, and in return acquire a major league reliever. With a better than decent rotation starting to shape up, you don't want the young guys in the rotation worrying about bullpen implosions. Cordero, Weathers, and Stanton have locked up 3 of the 7 spots. Bray and Burton should take another 2, and Belisle should get the long relief role. That's 6. The other guys in camp with a shot? Majewski, Cooter, Mercker, Sauerbeck, and Coffey. Not awe inspiring, I'd rather get a sure thing, so that we can have a set 789, of acquired vet, weathers, and Cordero.

 
at 3:38 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Zero purpose in Bailey going to the bullpen. He's still got to work on command, pitch efficiency and "out" pitches.

What you might be forgetting about the pen is many times these guys come into games with runners on base. Bailey at this point is not suited for working with inherited runners, especially since he can't hold an elephant on base. Lost count how many times in his Yankees outing he gave only cursory glances to first. Pitching from the stretch ain't his bag.

The guy's only 21, more time at AAA ain't the end of his career.

 
at 3:43 PM Blogger Joe said...

Can we PLEASE cut our losses on Majewski yet? I really hope I never have to see him on the mound in a game that means anything.

 
at 3:44 PM Blogger Y-City Jim said...

Bailey has to go to Louisville and get his command together because the wheels will eventually come off of Fogg.

 
at 3:49 PM Blogger Joe said...

at 2:25 PM R said...
"I say no on Bailey to the pen. The last thing you want when you're trying to protect a lead is a guy who can't throw strikes and who puts runners on base."

Well... ever hear of long relief and mop-up duty? Just because he's in the pen doesn't mean he'd be protecting leads. The legendary Earl Weaver was a big believer in letting young arms go to the pen if they weren't ready for the bigs. I think it would be much more beneficial for Bailey to gain some experience and confidence against major leaguers instead of going back to Triple-A where he has nothing to prove.

 
at 3:52 PM Blogger Brandon said...

Wait how did Coffey pitch himself out of a job this spring? He has an era of 0 now I could see saying that because of last year but this spring he has done nothing put pitch himself into a job.

 
at 3:53 PM Blogger pottedmeat said...

If the rotation is going to be Harang, Arroyo, Volquez, Fogg, and Cueto and the bullpen is going to be Cordero, Weathers, Coffey, Affeldt, Mercker, Bray, and Burton (assuming Coffey doesn't blow up, Bray's shoulder is good, and Burton makes the team based on last year), then you have some guys who could be packaged in a deal for a better pitcher or a good catcher (I don't like our catching options at all). They could trade Matt Belisle, Majewski, Brad Salmon (has anybody noticed how well he has pitched this spring???), and maybe Freel for some younger talent. It will be interesting to see what happens the last week of ST.
My opinion: Homer Bailey can be sent to Louisville right now, I'm not impressed with him at all. His mechanics are lousy and it's easy to see why all of his pitches are up. I wouldn't give up on him by no means, but he needs to watch some tapes of Cueto and Volquez. Those guys have terrific mechanics.

 
at 3:55 PM Blogger Brandon said...

The actual numbers on Coffey after today's game 5 1/3 IP, 6 K's, 1 H, 2 BB

Doesn't seem bad to me

 
at 3:59 PM Blogger Aaron said...

Yea those runs may have been unearned but the line isn't pretty: 2/3 innings pitched, 2 hits allowed, 2 walks, 3 unearned runs. Pathetic.

And they re-signed this guy a week ago. I can't believe we are actually saying he may have pitched his way out of a job. He should never have had a job based on the past two years of horrible performance. I don't like the fact that C Trent is a smart ass about this topic either. Everytime Majewski retires a batter he gets all sarcastic and basically suggests that we the idiot fans have no idea what we are talking about when we say that Majewski is garbage.

 
at 4:04 PM Blogger outtatown tim said...

Although Coffey threw the wild pitch, he still has yet to give up an earned run this spring. I think he is much closer to the 06 version than the 07. That being said, do I want to take that chance? I'd feel safer with other options but, assuming he continues this the next 2 weeks, I can live with him making opening day roster.

 
at 4:05 PM Blogger Brandon said...

I myself like Ross he was one of the best defensive catchers in baseball last year. Defense and pitching is the way plus he did contribute some with 17 HR's.

 
at 4:07 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

John, how many more starts will Cueto, Volquez and Fogg get?

Will Dusty commit to his rotation b4 the end of ST and shut these guys down a day or two before OD or set the rotation and pitch them right into opening day?

At this point (im guessing) they will each get 1 more start, and I dont see how even If somebady struggles you dont "throw that start out" and go with what youve seen so far. At that point your about a week before opening day, and its way too late to start second guessing.

My point, Im thinking Dusty has seen enough, what do you think?

 
at 4:12 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Majewski is Krivsky garbage!

 
at 4:13 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I think Bailey does still have something to prove @ AAA, Not that he can get hitters out, (we know that) but that he can command his pitches consitantly, can hold runners on base, and can get his pitch count down. All of this where he cant hurt the big club (and his confidence).

The Reds are looking better than we all expected this spring, but they are still no jugernaught. A guy like Bailey (or Majewski) in the pen could blow this whole thing out of the water, and before you know it, hello 5th place.

 
at 4:18 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Looks like a mute point, whether or not Ross is a good catcher. Fact is he can't play right now and no one seems to know when or if he can. Great arm, other than that his defense is lacking and his hitting is pathetic. Terrible on plays at the plate and I am not sure that I have ever seen anyone worse on pop-ups. He did seem to have cut down some on the passed balls last season.

 
at 4:25 PM Blogger atomic said...

My God this bullpen is just as bad as last years. Its going to be a long year

 
at 4:31 PM Blogger Mr. Redlegs said...

Great point, Kevin. At some point this week the Reds have to set up the rotation for the first two weeks of the season. They need to stretch out these guys some, too. You'd think much will be determined about the rotatioon after Cueto's start Monday.

 
at 4:45 PM Blogger Ron said...

I think the rotation is set in all of our minds with Harang, Arroyo, Cueto, Volquez & Fogg. Bailey needs alot more humble pie before he is ready and half a season at AAA should do that. As for the pen .. my picks based on what I have seen is: Co-Co, Weathers, Burton, Bray, Coffey, Couter, & McBeth. Granted Bray has only thrown in 2 games and perhaps you could make a case for Merker. But I am through with seeing Stanton and Majewski run out there. Even Affeldts hasnt impressed me enough to want him in the pen. With Volquez aligned as the #5 starter, he could give us a superb long relief arm out of the pen until a 5th starter becomes necessary. Then you can call up Belisle or Affedlts or who ever you want. I'd even prefer Roenicki over any of those others first. The guy pitched lights out.

 
at 4:48 PM Blogger atomic said...

Kevin in Ft Meyers,

I think it would be best to withold judgement on this team.I too was excited, but its all about pitching and everything seems to be very much up in the air. I just have a very bad feeling about the bullpen.Mr Redleggs, I just read your post and I dont agree on the Homer Bailey solution.I think he should not have been brought up last year and this back and forth does more harm than good

 
at 4:50 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

I smell Coffey too!~
The guy is doing everything asked of him. 3 run inning today he comes in and shuts it down. 0.00 is pretty good.

This is great news for the pen. Coffey and Burton, Weathers, Bray, Affedlt all leading to Cordero.

I really don't care who the 7th reliever is... Stanton, the Rule 5 guy, Roenicke, Mercker.

 
at 4:51 PM Blogger smtides said...

CSA:

I'm not a huge fan of Ross either, but he is a little better player than you give him credit for.

I always pay particular attention to catchers and I will say that defensively, Ross is as good as the Reds have had in a while, although he does have that odd problem with plays at the plate.

He's at least as good as LaRue and probably a little better than Oliver. I don't think he's ever going to win a gold glove but he doesn't hurt the Reds defensively AT ALL.

If he could manage to hit .240 with decent power, well, that's all about 25 other teams get out of the position, too.

 
at 4:55 PM Blogger Cheviot Sports Authority said...

Burton has looked bad so far. Without him, the set-up and long relief doesn't look good. I am not sold on Afeldt in the bullpen either. How many lefty specialists do we need? Coffey has lost a lot of weight and is looking good, last chance for him and Stanton has lost a couple of tons, maybe he can get the job done this year (I don't really believe that but its possible). Other than that it is the SOS. Belisle is useless, send him away along with Majewski.
I have just about given up on Bray. Would like to see Mercker make it before Afeldt. What about the rule 5 guy? Any good? or just big and wild.

 
at 4:59 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

CSA, there are a few positive things happening in ST.

 
at 5:06 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Atomic, welcome, have not seen you here before. Hows Jack?

 
at 5:44 PM Blogger atomic said...

Kevin in Ft Meyers,

Thank you for your welcome.I used to post under anonymous .Who is Jack?

 
at 6:01 PM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

Sorry, I must be mistaken.

So you have posted here before but you dont know who Jack is? Odd.

Anyway, how do you feel about Agon being out for a bit?

 
at 6:04 PM Blogger NVreds said...

atom - if you've posted here before you know who jack is...makes me wonder, your opinion of bailey/the team/the pen is the same as his.

I laughed for a long time after reading that comment about the bullpen being the same. that's real funny. really good? maybe not, but its better...way, way better.

I agree bailey was brought up way too soon, it was obvious he wasn't ready, but he really needs some more time in AAA. I can't understand why people immediately think sending guys back and forth will somehow "hurt" them. its not like they are babies, they can handle it and the good ones will use it as motivation to improve. Getting hammered in the bigs is way more damaging, and their aren't enough innings in the bigs for him to work on his deficiencies. If he's not ready, and we agree he's not, he needs to be in AAA. period.

 
at 6:05 PM Blogger Maltybuck said...

I haven't read through all the posted comments yet, but I've noticed a bunch of "put Homer in the bullpen" posts. I don't understand this at all. Part of a post I made on the other message board:

-I don't understand why people say there's nothing Bailey can work on in AAA and that he should be up here facing major league batters. Almost EVERYTHING he needs to work on can be done in AAA. He needs to speed up his delivery and tweak his mechanics. That should be done in AAA. He needs to improve his control. AAA. He needs to work on his #2 and #3 pitches. AAA. He needs to learn more about managing a game and knowing what pitch to throw in what situation. AAA. We kept hearing over the last two-three years that even though Bailey was mowing down the competition, he was throwing 90% fast balls and overpowering people. Well, now we see that he should have been working on other pitches and working on his control. In the minors, he can rear back and throw his fastball without much concern about control. If he throws it right down Broadway, most hitters won't hurt him. Now, he can go back down and work on control knowing first-hand that even if he makes a mistake pitch and someone strikes out on it rather than putting it over the fence, it was still a mistake. You don't need a major league hitter whacking it out of the park to know it's a hittable pitch. It's just that his mistakes won't cost the Reds wins. I hope Bailey starts out the season in AAA, works hard to improve, and makes it back to the bigs later in the season to help the Reds to a playoff run.

The guy's still only two or three years out of high school. He needs more seasoning. Sending him to AAA isn't giving up on him, it's just giving him more margin for error as he improves. Oh, and maybe he can work a little attitude adjustment.

 
at 6:29 PM Blogger hebs said...

Where's "Jack in Blue Ash" today?

 
at 6:31 PM Blogger hebs said...

Where's "Jack in Blue Ash" today?

 
at 6:36 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

CSA. Why is this Coffey's last chance?

The guy was our second best pitcher in 2006 (3.58 ERA). He was decent (4.5 ERA) in 2005.

He had 1 (ONE) (Uno) (Adeen) bad year where you can point to a lot of factors:

1) Did you try too hard to be closer?

2) Was he too big?

3) Did he get away from his best pitches?

4) Did he run to fast to the mound from the pen?

The guy is making adjustments, losing weight, extra training. Lets face it, MLB is a confidence business.

Which Ryan Dempster is accurate? the 2003 Reds version, or the 2005 Cubs version? (6.5 ERA vs 3.13 ERA- 33 of 35 saves).

I know for sure that if this blog was working in 2003, Dempster would have been Jacked out of this blog for being horrible.

I see the same treatment of Coffey. He is young and capable of ANOTHER huge year. That's right, unlike some speculation in this board, he has performed in the past.

 
at 7:03 PM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

"I smell Coffey too!~
The guy is doing everything asked of him. 3 run inning today he comes in and shuts it down. "

he got a groundball....after he threw the first pitch to the backstop and allowed an inherited runner to score.

 
at 9:02 PM Blogger R said...

Bailey in the pen for long relief and mop up? Umm...no. He needs to pitch every 5 days and needs to maintain the ability to throw 100-110 pitches. Regular work is the only thing that's going to get him to hit his spots. He's not ready for the big leagues and was rushed.

 
at 10:49 PM Blogger R said...

How can Coffey have "ANOTHER" huge year when he has never had one in the first place? 3.58 is decent, but by no means huge. 4.5 is nothing to write home about either. It would be big for the Reds if he could reveret to his 3.58 form, but don't bet on it.

 
at 12:55 AM Blogger Dave said...

Homer is 21....Homer is 21...Homer is 21...Homer is 21...do I need to reiterate, repeat, re-emphasize, restate, or otherwise reiterate, repeat, re-emphasize, or restate this point?

He needs to be a bit more compact and stay on top of the ball, and he needs to relax and just throw. The kid is gonna be a stud, so everyone on here needs to quit worrying so much. Volquez is 24 and Cueto is from Jupiter (the dense air and distance from the sun leave him cool under pressure) - Homer is human; a 21-yo human, and he'll be fine. He pitched well to finish last year because of little pressure - give him another month or so in AAA and he'll tear it up up here w/the other guys.

 
at 7:43 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

R:
6 wins, 8 Saves. 81 GAMES.

That is first in games, 5th in innings pitched. He does that in 2008 and the Reds win the division

6 7 3.58 81 0 0 0 8 12 78.0 85 34 31 7 2 27 60

 
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