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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, April 6, 2008

My scouting report on Volquez

I didn't work the game today, but I went to see Edinson Volquez. I walked around and stood all day. Watching him from center field, you could see his pitches moving. Saw him hit 97 on the radar once. But he pitched mostly at 94. He threw almost all change-ups and fastballs and handful of sliders. He, like Johnny Cueto, really kept the ball down.

In some ways his outing was more impressive than Cueto's. Volquez was facing a much better hitting team; he was facing them for the third time; and he had a to work out of jams.

I'd take either one, however.

I was standing along the third base line when I heard a kid, maybe 9 or 10, say to his dad: "This pitcher is crazy, dad."

I'm going to be on the Sports Rock on the Channel 5 tonight. I don't think I'm on the panel where every one yells at each other, but we'll see.


26 Comments:

at 8:15 PM Blogger cincy14 said...

Really good to see the Reds with great young arms.

 
at 8:23 PM Blogger NVreds said...

Volquez looked real good today he can throw two fastballs 93-94+ and the 2 seam had really good movement, wasn't sure if he had a slider or a shorter curve, but he threw it real well also and he threw it with 2 strikes. He's easy to watch on TV because the velocity of the pitches are all different enough to tell what they are(FB - 94 change - 75 breakingball - 84)

him and cueto continue to pitch decent (or better) and the reds avoid injury, well this team has the talent to compete for that playoff spot. Lots of season to go, but hey even if they dont reach the postseason, this team will still be extremely entertaining this yr. bout friggin time.

Keppinger is earning himself a starting job, he keeps his average up like this and he helps the team a ton more than gonzo (I'm coming over to that side more & more everyday). trade hatteberg when gonzo comes back, and we have a spot at 1st every other day and split time at SS

 
at 9:00 PM Blogger mentalmidget said...

John, a beautiful day NOT to work! About 10:30 this morning, with nothing going on, I asked the wife if she was up a Red's game today. She seemed to be more excited than I was about going. I'm glad we did! We sat at the sun/moon deck. Great game. Volquez looked like he has been in the "bigs" for years. Did he ever pitch his way out of some jams?! He, too, was fun to watch! Is Keppinger a ballplayer or what? No matter who comes back from the DL, this kid has earned the right to stay in the line-up, period!!!
I could go on and on about our beloved Reds...
Great day to be Reds' fan!!

 
at 9:26 PM Blogger BATSFAN said...

Hey John sorry I know you dont like negative comments, but todays Louisville Bats game was really bad, why stick with Gary Majewski he is so terrible, 3-2 lead 2 out nobody on and it goes bad from there leading to a walkoff homer and bats lose 5-3, tell Wayne to cut him immediatly!!! But great reds game!! good win!

 
at 9:51 PM Blogger Pat said...

The Incredible Volq. This year is look up. It wasn't long ago, that Fogg would have been our opening day pitcher. Now we have four legimate quality guys and 2 at AAA.

 
at 10:26 PM Blogger INDYREDFAN said...

to nvreds

I like your idea with kepp, but I don't see it happening, gonzo is getting paid the bucks so he will prolly get the job when he gets back. I could see them moving kepp to third and using EE as a pinch hitter/utility role. EE could bat 350 if he wasn't so inconsistent, he is a bit frustrating.

 
at 11:01 PM Blogger NVreds said...

I'm not defending majewski, but it wouldn't be smart to just cut the guy. Might as well keep him and see if he can turn a corner. If the reds started cutting guys that dont perform, we might look just as dumb as the guy who DFA'ed phillips or keppinger. I have zero confidence in majewski, and am starting to think he's done, but unless he gets in trouble with the law, I keep him around as long as he wants to stay. I'm not a fan of cutting guys unless they affect the big league club (i.e. stanton).

 
at 12:08 AM Blogger BATSFAN said...

hes in AAA with a 13.50 ERA

 
at 1:07 AM Blogger NVreds said...

what i personally want to see (and it shouldnt happen this year, but I would do it later, im sure a ton of people disagree with me) is keppinger at second phillips at short. phillips has the defense/range/arm/leadership to be a really good shortstop. and I would love keppingers defense at 2nd.

good point gonzo does make make more money, maybe give him some playing time and possibly set up a trade. I'd find it hard to believe that no one could use a .270 SS w/plus def. but we'll see, in a perfect world phillips would be a SS, but you don't know how well he would handle the switch.

I also had the same thought about EE and his overall average, i was thinking today when he stepped up with the bases loaded - if you can hit .350 with RISP? WHY CAN"T YOU HIT .300 EVERYDAY???? doesnt make any sense really

 
at 1:41 AM Blogger ankurv5 said...

Pat--when would Fogg have EVER been the Reds' Opening Day pitcher??

Attaboy Volquez. Even if they don't pitch this way all season, they have given the other players some hope and something to go out and play hard for.

 
at 8:18 AM Blogger docproc said...

Ankurv5:

How about 2003, when Jimmy Haynes was our Opening Day pitcher?

 
at 8:32 AM Blogger BoilerUp said...

Paul Wilson, Jimmy Haynes, Joey Hamilton, Cory Lidle, Pete Harnisch, Brett Tomko, and Mike Remlinger are just a couple names who Josh Fogg is better than or comparable to and have started opening day for the Reds.

 
at 8:33 AM Blogger BoilerUp said...

Paul Wilson, Jimmy Haynes, Joey Hamilton, Cory Lidle, Pete Harnisch, Brett Tomko, and Mike Remlinger are just a couple names who Josh Fogg is better than or comparable to and have started opening day for the Reds.

 
at 8:45 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

Keppinger aint going anywhere if he keeps playing like he is. It would be foolish to take him out of the lineup

No offense to any of you but television does not show just how good he is defensively.

NV Reds just enjoy the victory..my god man.

 
at 8:53 AM Blogger KevinFtMyers said...

I hope Bronson can turn in one of his better performances, I doubt the Reds will score 8 on Hammels, his ERA @ GABP is under 1.0.

It would be awesome to see the Reds win a 2-1 type game. I think it would do alot for the confidence of the pitching staff.

Its going to take wins like that to win the Division.

GO REDS!

 
at 9:19 AM Blogger Rob Dicken said...

Volquez is one of the hardest throwers I have ever seen. He puts his whole body into each and every pitch. It was awesome to watch him pitch.

Baker definitely needs to find a spot for Keppinger in this lineup each and every day. I know this may seem outlandish, but I don't think we've seen a better contact hitter on the Reds since Pete Rose, and that's saying a lot.

 
at 9:38 AM Blogger Kyblu said...

Just want to thank whoever does the On the Farm Updates. Red fans all like to know what is going on in the minors. Thanks

 
at 9:52 AM Blogger Bob Loblaw said...

Kepp has really surprised me. I knew he was a good contact hitter but he's shown a little power and his defense is above average. He doesn't have the range of Gonzo but he'll probably hit 40 points higher than Gonzo and if his home run power this early in the season is not a fluke, he could easily hit 20-30 homers. As far Volquez and Cueto go, I couldn't be more pleased. John Fay is right, they're really keeping the ball down in the zone, and I don't think you can stress how important that is. Dusty has done a good job of pulling the younger guys before they get to 100 pitches, so I'm definitely pleasantly surprised about that. Hopefully we can get them some rest during the season by bringing up Bailey and Belisle for a few starts. . We'll need Cueto and Volquez to be well rested if we are going to make a playoff run at the end of the season.

 
at 9:54 AM Blogger Red Faced said...

nvreds, I've had the same thought with moving Phillips to short and putting Keppinger at 2nd. I know you don't want to mess with the success Phillips has had at short but think of the range Phillips has. Wouldn't that be put to better use at short? Wouldn't Keppingers weaker arm be more than sufficient at 2nd? But just as you state, I don't think this is something you mess with during the season. Maybe look at it in spring next year?

The fact remains, you need Keppinger in the lineup. This lineup lacks .300 hitters much less .340 hitters and when you get one you need to make a spot for him.


Majeski I'm afraid is a little bit of a head case now. His confidence is shot and I think it would be best for him to get a change of scenary. I don't see him helping the club this year.

 
at 10:28 AM Blogger JackBlueAsh said...

Keppinger has the very same range as a Gonzalez..he just doesn't look as artistic

Baker has found a spot in the lineup for Keppinger..the spot is called ss

 
at 10:49 AM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

expecting a RH-heavy lineup today...kepp at 1B, castro at SS, hopper in CF. maybe jr gets the day off too, but i'd hate to see that as well as he's been hitting the ball the past couple of days. let's run up that pitch count and get to that sorry excuse for a bullpen in the 7th.

 
at 10:51 AM Blogger Mr. Doom and Gloom said...

holy punch and judy...just saw the lineup...castro, freel, and hopper? freel leading off instead of hopper?

 
at 11:12 AM Blogger D-Rod said...

I was at the game yesterday, and I have to say that I don't see how you can bench Keppinger for anyone - he was just hammering the ball. Didn't see anything get by him on defense either.

Question for those of you who saw the game on TV. What happened on the play where Keppinger hit the ball down the third base line and didn't run? They didn't show a replay on the scoreboard.

 
at 11:19 AM Blogger REddlegg in Colorado said...

If BP was to play SS,then I would think he would be given an advanced notice at the end of the season,to tune his mechanics & focus on the job at hand.You know,to practice on his own in the offseason & get the rhythm down.Then a solid ST could make all the difference

After all BP did come up in the Expos franchise as a SS.It's not a far off stretch to see him at SS,NEXT SEASON.As far as management goes,they probably think if it aint broke why try to fix it.Phillips has had success as a "all star type" at 2B.

Kepp has looked fine at SS.His range has looked good,his defense looks good(He saved EE's butt on that fielding boot by EE), & of course his bat looks great.He was a triple shy of a cycle yesterday.He dresses like a ballplayer too.To the post about comparing Kepp to Rose isn't far off.I have said it before & I'll say it again.Kepp embodies the spirit of the way Rose played the game.Hustle,Contact,Versatile, & baseball smarts.Not saying he is a good as Rose,he just embodies the spirit of how he played

To the post about Kepp being picked up off waivers.I think he was a PTBNL in the Larue trade to KC.Another decent trade by Kriv.No, he's not perfect(Kriv) but he has brought some fresh faces, a new look to the team, & they seem to be responding.Something I heard Wally & beav say on yesterday's broadcast is that Kriv didn't want to trade Hamilton for Volquez.Maybe someone else in the F.O wanted the deal bad enough to make it happen?Um?

 
at 11:49 AM Blogger Frank Robinson's Ghost said...

D-rod --

Kepp fouled the ball off of his foot, but the umpire did not see it.

 
at 12:50 PM Blogger reaganspad said...

They showed the black mark on the ball that Howard tossed into the stands.

Keppinger looks like a good 1st baseman.

Why you guys want to disturb a team by switching positions is beyond me. Danny Graves and Johnny Bench anyone?

Phillips had the best year a second baseman can have for the Reds (almost) and we used to have a guy named Morgan.

Having Keppinger is a bonus. May the best player win (and help us win). Dusty is paid the big bucks to sort out the good players that Wayne has assembled.

competition is a good thing

 
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