Results tagged ‘ Dennys Reyes ’

Tuesday tidbits from Disneyburg

Hello, all. Welcome from the Winter Meetings. I’ve been writing at Cardinals.com, blogging over at the MLB.com Hot Stove Blog and of course tweeting at @MatthewHLeach for a couple of days now. But now it’s time for an OYNAG entry, so here goes. Just some odds and ends from today at the Meetings.

* I touched on this in my main story, which will be going up at Cardinals.com before too long, but John Mozeliak said tonight that he hopes to have the club’s two remaining roster issues resolved before the club leaves on Thursday. He would like to have signed a backup catcher, and would like to have either traded Brendan Ryan or decided not to trade Ryan.
* Mozeliak said that he did not meet with Dan Lozano, Albert Pujols’ agent, on Tuesday.
* The Cardinals’ payroll currently stands at right around $100 million, and that’s before getting deals done with Kyle McClellan or Brendan Ryan, who are both arbitration-eligible, or any of the younger, pre-arbitration players.
Mozeliak has said consistently that the Cards have the money to add a Major League backup catcher, but said Tuesday that beyond that, they’re pretty much up against a wall as far as the payroll. It’s not IMPOSSIBLE that they could spend on another big leaguer, if exactly the right situation presented itself. But it’s highly unlikely.
* There are reports that Dennys Reyes will sign with the Phillies, but it’s not done yet according to my colleague Todd Zolecki. Reyes was out of the Cards’ picture anyway, but I figured I’d pass it along. Terrific guy, and on a personal level, I wish him well wherever he ends up.
Today’s playlist:
The National, “Anyone’s Ghost”
Cold War Kids, “Audience”
Interpol, “Safe Without”
Kanye West, “Runaway”
New Order, “Ceremony”
(Yeah, gloomy stuff, dunno why. Just because)
-M.

Chess Match: Six was enough

The situation: Tie game, 2-2, in the middle of the seventh inning. The 2-3-4 hitters in the Braves order coming to the plate, two of them left-handers (No. 2 hitter Jason Heyward and No. 4 hitter Brian McCann).

The decision: TLR lifts Jake Westbrook in favor of Dennys Reyes
The outcome: Reyes allows a homer to the first batter he faces before retiring the next two men.
The analysis: This looks like a platoon play, but there really weren’t a lot of platoon advantages to be gained here. Westbrook has very little left-right split this year. Same goes for the second lefty hitter in the inning, McCann. And Reyes actually has a reverse split this year, though that definitely hasn’t been the story for his career.
Heyward, though, does have quite a split. And while Westbrook had kept him under wraps for the most part, he’d had a tough time with No. 3 hitter Martin Prado and McCann. He was at 105 pitches, though he was also coming off a reasonably effective sixth inning.
Yet it’s worth noting that the momentum Westbrook had seemed to build in the third and fourth was perhaps waning in the fifth and sixth. He wasn’t cruising. He was pitching pretty well, but not really on a roll.
The comment, 1: “I thought he’d had enough. They pay you to evaluate what you’re seeing. And when a guy is done, you get him out of there before somebody makes him pay, makes us pay. He had done a terrific job.” – TLR
The comment, 2: “I felt good. that’s still a lot of pitches. the way I labored in the first two, it’s kind of tough to throw me back out there. after the first two, I told myself get through six.” – Westbrook
My verdict: I’m on the fence on it now, though at the time I thought it was an odd move. But the more I look, the more I see the argument. It’s the seventh, not the sixth, so chances are you won’t see those two lefties again before the ninth. So it’s not like you’re using your one left-handed bullet too soon.
And while Westbrook only allowed one baserunner in his last inning, it was against the bottom of the order. Through the full last time through the order, he had some trouble.
So this will come across as a bit of a reverse second guess. At the time, I thought I would have stayed with Westbrook. But in retrospect, I think the decision was entirely defensible, even given the outcome. I might not let Reyes face Heyward AGAIN, though.
-M.

Reyes to DL, Salas back. Again.

The Cardinals placed left-handed reliever Dennys Reyes on the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, retroactive to Aug. 16, with a left elbow strain. The club called up right-hander Fernando Salas from Triple-A Memphis to take Reyes’ roster spot.
The move is not necessarily an indication of any worsening in Reyes’ condition. The veteran played catch again on Tuesday, just as he did Monday, and reported that it went well. But it had become clear that even if Reyes continued to progress, he wouldn’t be able to pitch in a game for at least a few more days. Given that he will be eligible to be activated in one week, on Aug. 31, it made sense to call up the extra reliever to cover his spot for those next seven days.
Reyes, 33, has a 3.94 ERA in 50 appearances for St. Louis this year. He has struck out 24 against 18 walks in 32 innings.
This marks Salas’ sixth stint with the Cardinals this season. He’s pitched 14 1/3 innings at the Major League level, posting a 2.51 ERA with 13 strikeouts and five walks.

Note of the night/Stat of the day, July 7

Note of the night, 1: Quite a few things contributed to Evan MacLane pitching in the ninth inning on Wednesday, but one of them was that Dennys Reyes was unavailable due to illness.

TLR said after the game that Reyes might well not have pitched in that situation anyway, but that nonetheless Reyes was ill. Reyes confirmed shortly thereafter that he is dealing with an infection and not feeling well.
He said he’s been dealing with it for a couple of days, and that it’s not necessarily worse today than yesterday. Of course, Reyes pitched yesterday, so it’s not entirely clear what exactly the situation is. 
Note of the night, 2: Going back to last night (so skip this if you so desire), we had the chance to ask TLR this afternoon about a few of the ninth-inning decisions from Tuesday night.
He stood by the decision to play no-doubles with Carlos Gonzalez at the plate. His argument was that since Gonzalez was the tying run, you wanted to make sure that he didn’t get into scoring position. To my mind, it’s still the opposite — even first base is scoring position with Gonzalez on base and Giambi at the plate, and if you get the out, the game ends. But that’s the manager’s stance, and I figured I ought to pass it along.
He also stood by the decision not to remove Franklin, though I got the impression he was less certain of that in retrospect. He was frustrated (and he wasn’t the only one) with the strike zone for Chris Iannetta, feeling that Iannetta should have been struck out before he ever went deep. He essentially argued that for a good bit of that inning, Franklin hadn’t really done that much wrong.
“The only reason I would have gotten him was just the number of pitches and the game was tied. Just to preserve him for tonight.”
I still believe, and he didn’t dismiss this (though he didn’t confirm it, either) that if Motte or McClellan had been available, the hook would have been quicker. Usually when TLR is really convinced that a decision was right, he’s happy to defend it and present his case — as he did with the positioning on Randy Winn. In this case, there was less of a clear argument. I’m not sure he’s sure it was the right move.
Stat of the day: LeBron James has sco Whoops, sorry about that. Matt Holliday has eight extra-base hits in his last eight games. His slugging percentage has climbed from .488 to .527 in those games.
Fun with double situational splits: Albert Pujols is hitting .260 with a .370 on-base percentage and a .488 slugging percentage against right-handers on the road this year.
And, finally, the playlist:
Nina Gordon, “Tonight and the Rest of My Life”
Kings Of Leon, “Slow Night, So Long”
Rolling Stones, “Time Waits For No One”
Tanya Donelly, “World On Fire”
Pearl Jam, “Corduroy”
-M.

Notes of the night/Stat of the day, June 13

Note of the night, 1: I touched on this a couple of places already today, including in the game story and on Twitter, but I just find it really interesting.

When Kyle McClellan came into today’s game, I had a bad feeling about it for the Cardinals because I had a perception that McClellan had struggled in tie games. No data to base it on; it just seemed that way.
Well, the amazing thing about following baseball in 2010 is that you can look up just about anything. So I did. And it’s true: McClellan has been strikingly less effective in tie games than in games where the Cardinals are ahead or behind. For his career, entering Sunday, opposing hitters had an OPS of 810 against McClellan in tie games, including a .476 slugging percentage.
With the Cards ahead, McClellan has allowed a 645 OPS and a .328 slugging percentage. With the Cards behind, the numbers are 623 and .296.
So I asked about it. Asked TLR. Asked McClellan. Honestly, I was expecting to be blown off, to have them dismiss it as statistical noise. But they both acknowledged that there might well be something to it.
“I think it’s something to pay attention to,” TLR said. “He’s probably aware of it. That’s how you learn. Maybe you try to do too much. He made a great curveball to Reynolds, and then he threw another one later. He just overthrew, missed a couple balls high, maybe trying too hard.”
Said McClellan: “I think it’s a tough spot to pitch in. especially on the road. they’re trying to lift something. They’re trying to get the ball in the air. … The hitters are in a lot different mode than when they’re behind in the game or when they’re ahead. For me, it’s one of the tougher situations to pitch under. 
“But it doesn’t mean that you come out and expect to give up runs. You come out and attack everybody the same way. I wish I could pick times to give up my runs. You just can’t do it in tie games.”
I honestly don’t know what to make of it. But it’s real, and although I don’t know how to run the regressions, I’d bet that at this point it’s statistically significant. 
Yet it’s a conundrum, because McClellan is at least arguably the best reliever on the team, or at least the best other than Franklin. And he’s also a pitcher who can get more than three outs on a regular basis, which is an extra valuable commodity in a tie game, since you never know how long you could go in extras.
So the Cardinals can’t run away from him in tie games. But it seems they’d at least be wise to try to pick the matchups and situations carefully.
Note of the night, 2: Dennys Reyes is in a slump. There’s no way around it. He’s faced 12 batters this month, and gotten two outs. After the game, Reyes said the main thing he sees on video is that his sinker is not sinking, and it is cutting. So pitches that should be coming in on the hands of lefties are instead running out over the plate.
“I’m leaving my pitches up, up in the zone,” he said. “I’m usually low in the zone. Most of the hits I’ve been getting are on my sinker. My sinker has been coming back. Instead of sinking, they cut a little bit. I’m frustrated about it, because I don’t think I’ve gone through a stretch like this, so bad.”
Reyes hasn’t figured out what’s causing it to happen. That’s the next step.
“I feel really guilty about this game,” he said. “I haven’t been able to get people out. I need to do something about it. I need to do something to fix that and come back and throw strikes in the low part of the zone.
“I’m doing something. I don’t know. That’s the thing that I’ve got to figure out. I’ll start to do something tomorrow. I’ll talk to Dunc about it and see if he can find something to give me.”
Stat of the day: The Cardinals are 15-19 on the road despite having outscored their opponents, 137-130 in road games.
Fun with double situational splits: Matt Holliday is 2-for-17 with runners on base in June.
And, finally, the playlist:
I went to last night’s Arizona State-Arkansas game to see some Cardinals draftees, and I’ll be writing that up in the next day or two. But on the way home XM First Wave was playing the “Saturday Night Safety Dance,” and it was even better than usual. So, five songs from that program:
Duran Duran, “The Wild Boys”
New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
Camouflage, “The Great Commandment”
The Smiths, “I’m So Sorry”
Depeche Mode, “Policy Of Truth”
-M.

Saturday Chess Match: Gone in 90 pitches (and a bonus)

The situation: End of the seventh inning. Cardinals lead, 3-1. 9-1-2 spots in Reds order coming to the plate.
The decision: TLR and Duncan elect to remove Kyle Lohse after 90 pitches and seven strong innings, going with Blake Hawksworth to start the eighth.
The outcome: It’s an adventurous eighth for the Cardinals, as they go through three pitchers and allow the Reds to tie the game. They rally in the bottom of the eighth to take the win, but what might have been a two-reliever game becomes a bit more complicated. Dennys Reyes pitched on a game when he might not have, and Ryan Franklin gets four outs (though on only 16 pitches).
The analysis: The coaching staff felt that Lohse was fading and wanted to get him out before he could get in trouble. Kyle McClellan was, ideally, not available, which complicated things a bit. Ideally that would have been a McClellan inning, and he could even have stayed in to face the lefties rather than Reyes being needed.
The Cardinals are in a stretch of 2 1/2 weeks without a day off, which means that none of the starters will get extra days’ rest any time soon, and they’ve made it clear they intend to avoid pushing the starters too hard. So it’s in line with recent thinking to err on the side of pulling Lohse early, rather than later.
The comment: “It’s a tough call when one of us disagrees. But Dave and I really felt like with a couple breaking balls he had lost a little bit of pop. He’d done a really good job. We had decided before the runs scored [in the bottom of the seventh].” — TLR
My verdict: As I mentioned, it’s consistent, which certainly increases the defensibility of the decision. The thought process is sound.
With that said, it was a close game, and to my eye, Lohse still looked strong. He struck out the last two batters of the seventh, and at least the first couple of batters of the eighth shouldn’t have been too taxing for him. The fact that McClellan was unavailable also argued against going to the ‘pen.
I think I would have stayed with Lohse, who was only at 90 pitches. But there’s a philosophy at play here, and it makes a lot of sense. This team will go as far, in the regular season and October, as the rotation takes it. So while I probably would have asked for another inning out of the starter, I definitely see the opposing argument and I definitely don’t think it was a slam dunk.
Bonus chess match:
Some of you also asked about the decision to leave Dennys Reyes in to face Scott Rolen in the 8th. I theorized that the matchup was a factor, with Rolen being 6-for-10 against Ryan Franklin. But TLR said that the plan all along was for Reyes to face three batters: lefty Joey Votto, right-hander Rolen and lefty Jay Bruce. Reyes was supposed to pitch Rolen “tough,” meaning hope he chases a bad pitch. Not quite the unintentional-intentional walk, but in that neighborhood.
Then Franklin was going to come on for Cabrera. It wasn’t a matter of the batter-vs-pitcher matchup.
The quote: “When Scott’s swinging good like he’s swinging, righty-lefty doesn’t make any difference. Then you have Bruce on deck. So [Reyes] was going to pitch Scott tough.” — TLR
-M.

Saturday camp tidbits: Holliday, Franklin, Reyes, Page, more

Greetings from the first really textbook Florida Spring Training day we’ve had so far. Temperatures got up into the 70s, it was bright and sunny, really a gorgeous day.

Camp is beginning to settle into a daily rhythm, with more bullpen sessions, pitchers’ fielding practice, and the like. Full-squad workouts begin in three days.
* First, some ‘breaking news’ — I just saw Matt Holliday dropped off, so he’s likely to begin working out tomorrow. Only a few players still have not been seen. Turnout so far is really excellent, it seems.
* Ryan Franklin said he’s working on refining his cut fastball this spring, something he started doing last year. He’s essentially replaced his slider with a smaller, tighter cutter. He’s thrown it a good bit inside to left-handed hitters, and now he intends to throw it more to righties.
“It’s not big, like a [Brad] Lidge slider,” Franklin said. “It’s just enough to get off the barrel. It’s a groundball, broken-bat [pitch]. The success I had last year was being able to get quick outs. Everybody knows I’m going to throw strikes and I’m going to be around the plate. So if I throw something middle-away and it looks like it’s going to stay there, then it breaks off, it might get a weak groundball.”
* Franklin said he threw this winter at the University of Oklahoma’s indoor football practice facility, a welcome advantage since the weather near his home was so bad. He’s a big OU backer.
* One more Franklin note: he was not thrilled about MLB’s new policy banning deadly weapons from the clubhouse. Franklin is one of several players who have brought hunting bows into the clubhouse, and he said he’s licensed to carry a firearm as well.
“I understand it,” he said. “But if you grew up around being outdoors and hunting and stuff, I was taught as a young kid how to respect firearms. First of all, you don’t do anything stupid with it. Always treat a gun like it’s loaded. It’s stuff that I taught my son and daughters. There’s a place for them.
“We’ve got a lot of outdoorsmen on this team, a lot of guys who grew up handling things like that. I don’t know. I kind of disagree with it, but if it gets in the wrong hands, it could be a problem.”
* Dennys Reyes has settled on No. 36 after pondering going back to his old No. 37. He said that when he left the park yesterday, he would keep an eye on how many 6s and how many 7s he saw — and he saw a lot more 6s on license plates. So 36 it is.
* La Russa said he wouldn’t rule out anyone but Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and the pitcher from batting in the No. 2 spot this year. It’s very difficult to envision Yadier Molina batting there, but La Russa jokingly (I think he was joking) said just wait until Opening Day and we’ll see it.
He also said that given Holliday’s presence behind Pujols in the order, the Cardinals may be more inclined to put on plays with their No. 2 hitter. That’s because they feel that Pujols batting with an open base is less of a problem than it would have been before Holliday’s arrival.
* TLR said he welcomes Mitchell Page back to the organization. Page was named the hitting coach at Class A Quad Cities.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “This is a guy who’s got a lot of goodness to him, and he was very popular in the system. All the young hitters really liked him. and when he finally got that big league opportunity, he had a real connection with hitters. And then he had a problem that I think is solved now. He’s a talented guy that we welcome back.”
* One last TLR note. Asked about Matt Pagnozzi, he refused to rule out Bryan Anderson from being the first catcher the Cardinals turn to if they needed someone besides Yadier Molina and Jason LaRue.
“It’s another year for ‘Andy.’ He’s a year older. He joined us at such an early age that we try not to make the mistake of penalizing him for [having been] here as a baby. He’s been here three, four, five years, and he’s still a baby. He’s still young. We’ll see what Anderson is. but he’s got a chore there, because Pagnozzi is excellent defensively.”
Today’s playlist:
Living Colour, “Young Man”
White Rabbits, “Percussion Gun”
Bob Mould, “Spiraling Down”
R.E.M., “Crush With Eyeliner”
Muse, “Stockholm Syndrome”

Friday camp tidbits: Ryan update, Mather, more

It was a little cloudy here in Jupiter today, but the forecasters tell us the more typically warm temps will arrive tomorrow. Again, not that I’m complaining. What we’ve had the past couple days still feels very nice.

* John Mozeliak spoke with reporters for a good while this morning and covered several topics, some of which I addressed on stories that are going on the main site today. But he also gave a couple of health updates which you’ll likely be interested in.
Mozeliak was asked whether it’s his understanding that Brendan Ryan will be ready on schedule, and this was his response:
“Yeah, it is. The surgery itself was very benign, and the way he’s feeling right now is very positive. But again, until he can actually test the wrist, we’re not going to know for sure.”
Asked when that will be, that Ryan can test it, he said, “I’d say probably three weeks from now. e’s going to be able to do baseball-related stuff when he gets here next week, but I’m talking about really swinging the bat and testing it.”
* He also said things are going very well for Joe Mather health-wise, and talked up Mather’s potential as a valuable member of the 2010 Cardinals.
“He can do a lot of things,” Mozeliak said. “He can play all three outfield positions. So if he can show he’s healthy, he’d be a nice guy to have on the club. He gives you a lot of flexibility. He just has to come out and show that he can play, physically. Because he’s got a lot of talent.
And how are things going with regard to Mather’s health?
“Very positive. Very encouraging.”
* As several of us were standing in the clubhouse this afternoon, someone noticed that Dennys Reyes’ locker had two number plates on it — 36 and 37. We wondered if he was sharing his locker, and if so, with whom.
But that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, Reyes has sort of a hold on both numbers at the moment. He wore 37 before he joined the Cardinals. But last year, 37 was taken by Todd Wellemeyer, so he took 36. Now, he’s pondering whether to make the switch back. Reyes wore a 37 jersey today — but took bunting practice wearing a 36 helmet.
He’s likely to make a final decision in the next few days.
* Nobody had a tougher day today than Minor League catcher Charlie Cutler, who had a big year with the bat in his first full pro season last year.
Cutler caught two bullpens: first, the hard-throwing Francisco Samuel, whose control isn’t always the sharpest in July, never mind February. Then he followed it up with knuckleballer Charlie Zink. 
That certainly counts as earning your meal money.
Today’s playlist:
Passion Pit, “Little Secrets”
Hot Chip, “One Life Stand”
Cut Copy, “Hearts On Fire”
The XX, “Islands”
Yeasayer, “Ambling Alp”
-M.
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