Results tagged ‘ Tim Redding ’
Rockies veteran non-roster right-hander Tim Redding said he’s been congratulating left-hander Greg Smith for the last several days.
Of course, no one has told Smith he has made the Opening Day roster in the last bullpen spot. But Redding, a competitor for that spot, learned in a meeting with manager Jim Tracy on Wednesday afternoon that the Rockies are assigning him to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Redding can leave only if another team invites him to be on its Major League roster on April 3.
“I’ve got to get my stuff sharper,” he said. “I had 12 innings in camp this year, not a lot of time in the box. The only way a pitcher gets better is the more hitters he sees, the more he knows what his pitches are doing and what he can do with them.
“I’m stuck in the middle of everything. I don’t have the feel for anything. I don’t have the location like I should. Bullpens are different from games.”
Redding said the Rockies have not established whether he will be a starter or a reliever. Redding has been a starter much of his career, but there wasn’t a role for him with the Rockies because all five rotation members are healthy and productive.
Redding said the Rockies told him “go get guys out, show that I can get guys out like they know I can.”
Of Smith, Redding said, “If the player who won the job is who I think he is, I am ecstatic for him. He’s earned it.
“I’ve goofed around with him the last two days and told him, ‘Congratulations,’ and he doesn’t know why,” said Redding, who said the Rockies asked him to continue to exhibit a professional example for younger pitchers when he joins the Sky Sox. “But I’ve seen the writing on the wall from about two weeks ago.
“I’m just continually trying to go out there, feel my stuff and get guys out. That’s what they want me to do down there. Regardless what role I’m in, how many innings I get, what the position is, I’ll get a call when the chance comes up.”
Redding said he will go with the club for exhibition games in Albuquerque, N.M., Friday and Saturday.
You look at right-handed bullpen candidate Tim Redding’s rough stat line — five runs and seven hits in two innings — and wonder if it would have been different had something gone right.
There was a close pitch to Mark Kotsay that could have been his second strikeout of the seventh inning. Instead, Kotsay lined a pitch to left that Eric Young Jr., trying to build his outfield skills so he can play a utility role, couldn’t pull in after getting a glove on it. There were a couple of grounders that went right past Redding. There was a bloop single.
Redding (1-1, 8.74 ERA in five Cactus League games) couldn’t wrap his mind around it all.
“The strikes I’m throwing are getting hit, balls are finding holes … I really don’t have anything for you,” Redding said. “I’m not overthrowing. I’m not trying to do anything other than throw strikes and get guys out. Today just seemed everything that I threw that was a strike, a good strike or a bad srike, was getting hit hard. The balls that weren’t hit as hard found a way to get through somewhere.”
Redding, who has been used mostly as a starter, was brought in under a Minor League contract as insurance in case left-hander Jeff Francis needed more time. Francis is returning after missing last season because of shoulder surgery, but his health has not been an issue. The Rockies told Redding recently his best chance to make the team is as a reliever.
Redding is competing with right-handers Justin Speier and Juan Rincon, as well as lefty Joe Beimel, for a long man role in the bullpen. Beimel, signed just days ago, pitched one inning in a Minor League game (two hits, two runs, one earned) on Sunday, and will pitch in a Cactus League game on Monday.
Rincon pitched out of a first-and-third situation and forced an inning-ending double play in the ninth, and has a 4.00 ERA in four games. Speier has a 2.70 ERA in nine appearances, and has a split-finger pitch that allows him to attack right-handed and left-handed batters.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy tweaked the pitching plan for Saturday. Earlier, the plan was for right-hander Tim Redding to start in a Minor League game. But manager Jim Tracy said Redding instead will pitch in the Major League game in relief of a game with the White Sox, which Aaron Cook will start. Lefty Joe Beimel and and righty Matt Belisle are scheduled to pitch in the Minor League game.
Right-handed reliever Huston Street will play catch on Friday, but don’t expect any pronouncements about being on the way back from the shoulder tightness that will delay the start of his regular season.
“It’ll be the first time [playing catch] since they shut me down again,” said Street, who progressed far enough to throw a simulated game before his shoulder turned sore again. “I’m not going to jump out there to any conclusions.
“The last time, I was throwing to hitters. I thought I was on the road. So I’m just going to take it one day at a time and just get a little bit better. But we don’t have a [return to the Majors] date in mind. It’s going to happen as soon as we can get out there.”
— The Rockies recently told righty Tim Redding his best chance to make the club would be as a reliever. But the club has moved his next appearance to Saturday, but he’ll start and go four innings in a Minor League game.
“The reasoning I was told was one- and two-inning outings isn’t going to benefit me or the team because the role I’m going to be in is going to require me to throw possibly upwards of four, even five innings or spot-start,” Redding said. “They want to keep my endurance and my pitch count up. It’s always easier to go down than it is to be down and try to go up.”
— Left-hander Joe Beimel joined the Rockies on Tuesday, and manager Jim Tracy and general manager Dan O’Dowd said they didn’t see him being ready for the start of the regular season. Beimel sees it differently. He threw a “live” batting practice session Wednesday, during the Major Leaguers’ day off.
Asked if he took the conservative statements of his bosses as a challenge, Beimel laughed.
“A little bit,” Beimel said. “I know how hard I worked during the offseason. I know how hard I work as a player, what it takes to get ready for a 162-game season. I knew there was a possibility I wasn’t going to sign until late. I wasn’t sitting on the couch eating potato chips.
“I feel outstanding today. Not sore a single bit anywhere. I’m good to go.”
He wants to throw in a game on Saturday.
The bullpen race looks to be down to three, possibly four, pitchers for one spot.
Here’s how it looks, barring injury:
— Lefty Franklin Morales should be the closer, since Huston Street is going to begin the year on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
— With Morales closing, Randy Flores is the lone lefty in a setup role.
— Righties Rafael Betancourt, as long as his shoulder continues to respond, Matt Daley and Matt Belisle are locks. Belisle is out of options, but that shouldn’t matter. He has not given up a run all spring, and Daley has been perfect since two bad initial outings.
— Tentatively, count righty Manuel Corpas as one. He has been bad at times, but when he keeps the ball down in the zone he has been effective. Plus, manager Jim Tracy is considering him for end-of-the game duty alongside Morales.
All of this means non-roster right-handers Tim Redding, Juan Rincon and Justin Speier are vying for a job. With all of them under Minor League contracts, there is no roster issue forcing the Rockies’ hand.
The X-factor is lefty Joe Beimel, who agreed to a Minor League deal Monday night. General manager Dan O’Dowd said he does not expect Beimel to be ready for the opening of the season.
Redding began the spring as a starter, and is in postition to throw multiple innings.Speier’s forkball has been an effective pitch against right-handers and left-handers, which makes him a candidate to hold a job until Beimel is ready. Rincon, who has a save and a 1.29 ERA and .209 batting average against, has impressed scouts with his location.
Rockies left-hander Greg Smith’s presence means the Rockies have starting rotation depth. His performance in Cactus League play has been far better than one would expect from a depth guy.
Smith held the Athletics to one run and three hits in five innings of Friday’s 10-4 Rockies victory. He also struck out six, and had his third successful pickoff of the spring.
Still, it would take some misfortune on someone’s behalf for him to make the team to start the season, since the Rockies have five starters.
Since Smith underwent elbow surgery after a promising rookie season with the Athletics in 2008 and didn’t pitch in the Majors last year because of shoulder and back ailments, he isn’t being considered for bullpen duty. That means he most likely will begin the year at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
“They haven’t said a word to me, so my next step is work out tomorrow,” Smith said. “I’m whatever they tell me, whenever they tell me.”
Rather than be concerned about that, Smith is trying to continue his development. On Friday, he was behind in the count more than manager Jim Tracy would have liked, and didn’t spot his pitches to his glove side the way he wanted. He also was kicking himself for not successfully placing a bunt in his second at-bat.
Nonetheless, Smith’s 1.93 ERA matches the sparkling ones posted by confirmed rotation members Jorge De La Rosa and Jason Hammel.
“I wish it was a year earlier,” said Smith, who barely participated in Spring Training because of the flu and shoulder tightness. “But you learn a couple things being hurt. You learn what you should have done, what you should do, what to fix. This year was all about being healthy. I think I’ve made that step.”
Tracy said Smith was passable, but could be better.
“‘Smitty’ got ’em out but he got them out dealing with a lot of hitter’s counts,” Tracy said. “He seems to be one of those types of craftsmen where he seems to always have one more pitch.
“Yet, I know that from an effectiveness standpoint, it will be difficult for him to go out there and pitch every fifth day, and pitch from behind.”
— Right-hander Tim Redding gave up two runs on three hits, including a triple and a double, in his one inning. Redding had competed for the rotation, but it was his first appearance after being converted to bullpen duty.
Tracy said part of it was just getting used to a new role. Redding attacked hitters well but didn’t locate payoff pitches.
“He threw his strikes, he got through his inning, and we’ll realize the fact that it was the first time we brought him out of the bullpen, then we’ll see what the follow up is,” Tracy said.
— Righty Manuel Corpas had two outs in his inning, but gave up a Daric Barton home run.
“Corpas was down,” Tracy said. “He did give up the home run to Barton. It was a sinker that didn’t sink enough.
“I wanted to see him get the ball down, and that’s what he did today.”
Rockies manager Jim Tracy informed non-roster right-hander Tim Redding on Wednesday that his best opportunity to break camp with the Major League squad is in the bullpen. Tracy said he’ll use Redding accordingly for the rest of Spring Training.
The decision was expected. The Rockies came to camp with five starters. As long as they performed, the only opening would be because of an injury.
Tracy wanted to act now, since he needs to see how Redding bounces back between outings. It isn’t clear whether Tracy will use Redding in short stints or to go through the lineup at least once. That’s part of what Tracy wants to see.
Tracy said he didn’t guarantee Redding a spot. But the chance is there. That chance was enhanced Wednesday when closer Huston Street announced that he was having an MRI to diagnose his right shoulder tightness. The development means Street is likely to begin the year on the disabled list, which will cause a shuffling of bullpen members.
“We’ve got plenty of days left to pitch him, sit him down, get him back up after a day off, see what the stuff looks like, and eventually get him up to the point where we see can he go a couple of days in a row,” Tracy said.
In other developments:
— Tracy will allow right fielder Brad Hawpe to play some first base in Minor League games and plans to use utility man Melvin Mora at first in Cactus League games.
This is a contingency plan. The club has Jason Giambi to step in when Todd Helton needs a rest. But if Helton is injured for a long period, Tracy said he does not want to wear out Giambi. Last season, Giambi was forced into daily duty with the Athletics because of injury and saw his batting average drop to .193 before he was released.
Mora took groundballs at first base on Wednesday. Tracy said he wants to make sure Hawpe is comfortable at first base before counting on that as a possibility.
— Veterans tend to avoid the bus trips to the Phoenix area, but Giambi will go with the squad to Peoria, Ariz., for Thursday’s game against the Mariners.
— Giambi, Helton, Hawpe and center fielder Dexter Fowler also are candidates to hit in Minor League games. The Rockies have not faced a large number of left-handed pitchers, so Minor League games serve as opportunities for at-bats.
— Righty reliever Matt Belisle threw a perfect inning with a strikeout against the Indians, and has four scoreless innings in three games. Tracy said Belisle is in “attack mode, with some overwhelming stuff.”
Right-hander Tim Redding, trying to make the Rockies as a non-roster invitee (either as a starter or a reliever), threw three perfect innings in Wednesday’s 5-0 loss to the Royals.
Knowing that the Rockies have one of baseball’s best defenses, Redding is trying to take advantage.
“My whole goal this Spring Training is to see how many times I can get the ball hit on the ground,” said Redding, who forced four groundouts but also was on the mound for two infield errors. “I’m not a notorious groundball guy, but I’m not a straight flyball guy. But I’ve pitched in Denver before, and the more I get the ball on the ground and keep it on the ground, the less damage is going to be done.
“If I keep the ball down, they can still hit it in the air but they’re not going to hit it with a lot of power behind it.”
In the second of Redding’s innings, though, he struck out the side. Was that part of his reinvention plan?
“I haven’t struck out the side in an inning of any kind in a long time,” he said. “That felt kind of good. I was like, ‘What the heck just happened?'”
In other developments — Righty reliever Manuel Corpas gave up a run in one inning of relief, but manager Jim Tracy said he kept the ball down in the strike zone for all but one pitch. … Utility man Jonathan Herrera, an infielder by trade who also is working in the outfield, made a diving catch of a line drive in right field.
Rockies left-hander Greg Smith had his second head-turning appearance of the spring on Tuesday. He struck out three in three innings of a 12-0 victory over the Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz.
Smith not only is showing he is crafty, with his fastball and changeup — his out pitch on Tuesday. He’s also making strides toward demonstrating that the team can count on him.
Smith was injured and sick last spring, and shoulder and back issues kept him out of the Majors last year. Yes, he was durable with the Athletics in 2008, throwing 191 1/3 innings. But one of his main goals this spring was for the Rockies, who acquired him in the Matt Holliday trade, to see that dependability for themselves.
“I want to erase all that from last year,” Smith said. “Yes, I’m going to throw. You don’t have to worry about, ‘Is he going to make his next two starts.’ Just go ahead and trust the fact that I’m going to be out there.
“I’m trying to get through all that and give them a new impression.”
Manager Jim Tracy was more impressed with Smith on Tuesday than he was Friday, when he threw two scoreless innings against the Angels. Tracy especially liked the changeup.
“He was repeating the pitch and still getting swings and misses,” Tracy said.
The Rockies have five capable starters, plus more-experienced right-hander Tim Redding in camp under a Minor League contract, and Smith can be sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs without being exposed to other teams through waivers. There’s always the possibility that instead of keeping him in Colorado Springs in case of emergency, the Rockies could use Smith out of the bullpen.
Tracy, who knows injuries can happen, isn’t ruling out anything.
“We’ve got to wait and see,” Tracy said. “I’m anxious to see what the sequel is to what we saw today. What does it look like next time? Can he repeat this?”
Right-hander Tim Redding’s first Rockies appearance was not as sharp as he wanted. He saw heavy traffic for two innings – three hits and a walk – but yielded just one run in the 8-6 victory over the Brewers.
With two out and one on in the first inning, Jody Gerut drove a 3-0 pitch. Right fielder Ryan Spilborghs tracked it through high winds and chased it to the wall in the corner but could not make the play. Redding though it was going to be a tape-measure home run.
“You don’t think, even in Spring Training games, a guy is going to come out swinging 3-0, so I threw a fastball to get back in there, and try to get him out later on,” Redding said. “The next inning, they had the walk and the hit, then I got a double play and got the pitcher out.
“That was encouraging, knowing that I had first and second, nobody out, then got a double-play ball and got the pitcher to hit the ball on the ground.”
Redding, a non-roster invitee but one the Rockies have attempted to trade for or sign in the past, said he needs to work on pitching inside to left-handed hitters.
Right-hander Jhooulys Chacin, who followed Redding, was charged with three runs, two earned, in two innings. All of the runs came in the third inning.
But the hits were along the ground, and he escaped the inning with a double-play grounder. The first out nearly was a double play, but first baseman Paul Lo Duca, who was charged with the error on Gerut’s hard bouncer, could not scoop shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s throw.
“I was tickled to death with what I saw from both guys,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.