Results tagged ‘ Reds ’

Chacin must be efficient; Pacheco working on infield defense

Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin struggled in his last outing, after suffering a finger blister in the outing before that. Quite simply, the Rockies expect Chacin to be efficient today against the Reds.

Also, the Rockies have placed Jordan Pacheco on today’s roster as a backup infielder. Pacheco, a right-handed hitting utility man whose bat has impressed the Rockies,  has peformed well at catcher throughout camp. Pacheco, an infielder in college, has made some good plays at third base but he is still considered a work in progress. At the end of the Rockies’ batting practice, Pacheco spent extra time with infield coach Rich Dauer fielding balls off the bat and working on his stance and movement.

Here are the lineups:

ROCKIES BATTING ORDER

Eric Young Jr., CF

Jonathan Herrera, 2B

Carlos Gonzalez, LF

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

Todd Helton, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Ramon Hernandez, C

Casey Blake, 3B

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP

ROCKIES RELIEF PITCHING

Matt Reynolds, LHP

Esmil Rogers, RHP

Alex White, RHP

Stephen Dodson, RHP

Mike Ekstrom, RHP

REDS BATTING ORDER

Brandon Phillips, 2B

Zack Cozart, SS

Joey Votto, 1B

Scott Rolen, 3B

Jay Bruce, RF

Chris Heisey, LF

Drew Stubbs, CF

Devin Mesoraco, C

Johnny Cueto, RHP

REDS RELIEF PITCHING

Drew Hayes, RHP

Brandon Hynick, RHP

Sam LeCure, RHP

Logan Ondruzek, RHP

Chris Manno, LHP

Cuddyer, Rox continue to talk

The Twitter universe says Michael Cuddyer will reach an agreement with the Rockies by the end of today. From what I’ve been told, the sides continue to negotiate but the end of today my not be feasible. Terms aren’t known, but it could be lucrative: Cuddyer was reported to have a three-year deal for around $25 million from the Twins on the table. I’m reading the Mariners and Reds also have approached Cuddyer, and the Phillies — an early suitor — are involved.

If or when it does happen, don’t be surprised if left-handed hitting Seth Smith isn’t dealt quickly. Such a deal woudl clear a crowded outfield, and it would be the best way for the Rockies to fill other holes, especially pitching. Whatever the Rockies cleared in trading pitcher Huston Street to the Padres and infielder Ian Stewart to the Cubs will be spent on Cuddyer, or another outfielder if the Rockies go in that direction (such as Carlos Beltran).

Smith ranks as the best hope for acquiring a pitcher capable of 200 innings to help the rotation along until Jorge De La Rosa completes his comeback from Tommy John left elbow surgery, which should be sometime around June. Lower-cost options such as Kevin Millwood, Jeff Francis or recently non-tendered Joe Saunders will come into play, also.

As for free-agent right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, the chances of such a signing are doubtful considering what the Rockies will spend on the outfielder.

Rox agree to deal Street, can pursue pitching or Cuddyer

DALLAS – The Rockies agreed to trade their former closer, Huston Street, to the Padres on Wednesday and are aggressively pursuing improvements that aren’t limited to starting pitching, sources told MLB.com. The teams are completing negotiations, but the Padres are expected to pick up much of Street’s $8 million guarantee for 2012.

According to multiple sources with knowledge of the deal, some cash will go the Padres’ way, but there is enough salary relief for the Rockies that they can entertain other deals.

MLB.com has learned that the Rockies have contacted the Braves with interest in arbitration-eligible right-handed pitcher Jair Jurrjens, a talented young arm who is expected to make around $5 million through arbitration in 2012 and is under club control through 2013. CBS Sports reported Tuesday night that eight teams have approached the Braves. The Rockies also have discussed trade scenarios with the Reds involving right-hander Edinson Volquez, and they approached righty Hiroki Kuroda last week but made it clear they will to clear salary to make a deal work.

But the Rockies also have coveted free-agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer and have the dollars to pursue him. Theoretically, the Rockies can use their left-handed hitting outfielder Seth Smith as a chip to fill holes, pitching and otherwise. However, the Rockies will not include center fielder Dexter Fowler — whom they believe is in for a breakout season — in any deal.

The move also offers the Padres, who are expected to send the Rockies a player to be named, some flexibility as they replace Heath Bell as closer. Street is due $7.5 million this year with a $500,000 buyout on a 2013 option worth $9 million. If Street has a standout season – and he’s working at PETCO Park, a pitcher-friendly venue – the Padres will not have to pursue another closer on the open market before 2013.

Rafael Betancourt, who supplanted Street as closer last season, is projected for the role with the Rockies this year. The Rockies then could develop righty Chad Bettis, who struck out 184 against 45 walks at Class-A Modesto as a starter, to be the closer of the future.

Folks love Josh Fogg

Pitchers and catchers were due to report to Tucson, Ariz., today, and many of them worked out on a day that was every bit as nice as Denver was nasty. Well, I hear Denver was nasty. Sorry about that.

Anyhow, one of the nicest developments is the presence of right-hander Josh Fogg. Admittedly, it might be hard for him to make the team. But as he noted, he wasn’t going to make the team in 2006 until Byung-Hyun Kim and Sun-Woo Kim suffered injuries late in camp. Fogg stayed in the rotation for two years, went 21-18 and became a fan favorite.

Many folks filled my e-mail box with protests when the Rockies didn’t re-sign him last year. He signed with the Reds, but after a bad year during which he lost his spot in the rotation, was hit in the face with a line drive at one point and generally didn’t succeed.

Now he’s back, under a Minor League contract. Most of the competitors for a spot on the roster are younger and have livelier arms.

But no doubt folks will be pulling for Fogg. He also feels the love of the fans.

“I think I can relate to the fans a little bit,” Fogg said. “I’m not one of those guys that goes out there and lights up the radar gun. I’m a little closer to the guys that played in high school. They see me out there and say, I used to throw 86 mph. I used to throw 85. They know I’m gutting it out a little bit more, not dominating with my stuff.”

 

… More Brian Fuentes

Tom posed an interesting question in the comments from my last posting. Fuentes had a penchant for letting runners on base — a practice that led a great friend of mine, a loyal Rocies fan, to always say, “Brian is playing with his food.” You asked if it was the light air or big spaces at Coors that led to runners always seeming to be on base. I don’t think that was the case.

I don’t know why there were always runners on base, but I do know this: Fuentes is a better pitcher in traffic. In his career, Fuentes has yielded a lower average with runners on (.220) than with bases empty (.224). The numbers tilted even more in that direction before last season, when Fuentes actually held hitters to .193 with the bases empty, to .226 with runners on base.

I don’t have a scientific reason for this. It could simply be a focus issue. Good closers pitch well under pressure, and many of them seem to create pressure for themselves. Fuentes already has a high strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate, and I expect that to continue with the Angels. I also expect many of the strikeouts to come with runners on base.

And, bloggers, thanks for all the warm welcomes. Honk or yell out my name if you see me around Hi Corbett.

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