Homer Bailey got it done today as the rookie pitched two shutout innings in the Reds 7-5 loss to the Rays (no Devil there). Edinson Volquez, who’s one of the guys fighting for the fifth spot in the rotation, wasn’t nearly as effective and he gave up three runs in the fourth inning. Scott Sauerbeck was also knocked around for three runs.
Jay Bruce had a pair of hits and he’s now hit safely in all three Reds games. Adam Dunn made his season debut with a single while Ken Griffey, Jr. drew a walk in two times at the plate. Jolbert Cabrera drove in a pair of runs.
Tomorrow, Aaron Harang will get the start against the Pirates. WLW is picking up the game on the radio and it’s a 1:05 start time.
Bad news for Alex Gonzalez. He has a fracture in his knee so his chances of being ready for opening day are pretty slim. Jeff Keppinger is expected to be the opening day starter at shortstop in his place.
Alright, the guys got a win under their belt as eleven different players had hits and Matt Belisle and Josh Fogg got it done on the mound in a 6-1 win over the Twins. The big hit was a three run blast by Jerry Gil in the fifth inning that gave the Reds the lead for good. Jay Bruce went one for two and Jolbert Cabrera had a two run double to help the Reds pad the lead.
Matt Belisle and Josh Fogg each threw two shutout frames. David Weathers gave up the lone run and even that was unearned.
Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey, Jr. will make their spring debuts today. Homer Bailey gets the start.
Here’s a cool story on Jay Bruce.
The Reds opened up their spring schedule yesterday and….lost. The finals was 8-1 with the big inning being a seven run fifth inning for the Phillies. Jamie Moyer of all people appeared unhittable Jay Bruce was the only hitter to tag him for a hit. Adam Rosales drove in the lone Reds run with a solo shot in the seventh inning.
Sigh, Gary Majewski is going to haunt me for the rest of my life. I’ve been bashing the Felipe Lopez/Austin Kearns trade since the day it happened and it was Majewski who gave up six of those runs in the fifth inning. Jeremy Affeldt gave up a run on three hits in two innings as the starter as the quest for a fifth starter begins.
Matt Belisle gets the start this afternoon against Twins. Josh Fogg will also get some time as will a slate of relief pitchers including Francisco Cordero, who will make his debut in a Reds uniform.
While all three might not make the opening day roster, the trio of young pitchers that the Reds have waiting in the wings may be an indication of brighter times for the Reds. Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto are both bonafide studs and then you have Edinson Volquez, who the Reds picked up their deal with the Ranger that sent Josh Hamilton out of town.
And that doesn’t even include Matt Belisle, who’s only 27 and who will be fighting for a spot at the back end of the Reds rotation. he has a lot to prove after a subpar 2007 campaign.
It’s not a done deal yet, but the Reds appear close to signing Josh Fogg to deal that would him put him at the back of the Reds rotation. It’s not a bad deal if we can get him on the cheap for just a one year contract. Fogg had a decent season last year and while his 4.90 ERA isn’t anything to write home about, that number at least comes down to 4.58 when he’s out of Coors Field. My biggest concern with Fogg is his durability. He’s had six years as a starter and he’s never touched 200 innings. And he’s gone over 180 innings just once and that was his rookie year.
There’s no shortage of content on the Big Red Machine teams on this site but it’s interesting that I’ve never mentioned Bob Howsam, who was at the helm of the team during those golden years. Unfortunately, the former GM passed away yesterday and The Enquirer has some great retrospectives on him. The initial column with quotes from Sparky Anderson are priceless.
There’s no doubt that Homer Bailey is the Reds top pitching prospect. After a nice 2007 season though, Johnny Cueto has made himself the number 1b pitching prospect and he’s one of the guys vying for a spot in the Reds rotation. While Jay Bruce might get the press, who ends up in those back two rotation spots will probably be the guys who determine whether the Reds have a good year or not and if Cueto can get the job and win Rookie of the Year, the Reds might have a shot at a division crown.
One concern is that Cueto has had a heavy workload between the minor league season and winter ball. He threw 161 1/3 innings in the minors in three stops then he threw 31 2/3 innings in the Dominican Winter League. That’s a lot of innings for a kid who just turned 22 last Friday.
Good for your Mark Sheldon. The Reds beat writer for MLB.com talks about how he’s surprised there’s even a discussion about sending some of the Reds top flight prospects to the A’s for Joe Blanton and it’s tough to argue with his logic. Yeah, Joey Votto could be an odd man out if they ever move Adam Dunn permanently to first base but based on the lack-o-deal, Dunn will be gone anyway.
Also, it looks like the search is on for leadoff man. It looks like Kenny Lofton and Corey Patterson’s names are being thrown around. I say blech. What about Mr. Bruce? It looks like Dusty Baker is already putting a stop to Bruce’s advancement. If Corey Patterson gets the job and not Bruce or even Ryan Freel, it could be a rocky start for the Baker regime. I could live with Freel out there but if not him, give the kid a chance.
Alright, the Reds inked Brandon Phillips to a four year deal reportedly worth $27 million. Not bad money on a per year basis for a guy who’s arguably the second best second baseman in baseball right now. I’m sure it’ll be back loaded so he’ll make less money in the years where he would have been arbitration eligible and more in the free agency years but that works out to $8 million per year. There’s also a $12 million option for 2012.
The good news is, the Reds get a top notch second baseman for years to come. It looks like he’s going to be one of the guys the team builds around and at this point in time, when Ken Griffey, Jr. calls it quits, he’ll be one of, if not the highest paid guy on the team. He’s definitely a guy I want on the team, I just have one problem…..
Where’s the love for Adam Dunn. The outfielder is one of the premiere sluggers in the league and I haven’t heard word one about a long term deal. In fact most people fell he’ll be gone by July and when he does go, it’ll leave a huge hole in the lineup and guys like Brandon Phillips are going to suffer for it. So while I’m happy Phillips is locked up, I’m sad that the money didn’t go to Dunn first. Then again, Phillips is one of Krivisky’s “guys.” He brought him here from Cleveland for peanuts and he’s one of the bright spots of his stint as general manager for the Reds.
Tomorrow is reporting day. Baseball is almost here folks. February 27, a week from Wed., is the Reds first spring game. Woo hoo.