From today’s Cincinnati Enquirer:

Article on Darnell McDonald and how he’s still with the big club:

McDonald, 30, is still with the club because he’s played his way into the picture.

He’s hitting .371 with one home run and 10 RBI in 35 at-bats. He’s also made several nice plays in the outfield.

Reds manager Dusty Baker has taken note.

“He’s showing what he can do offensively and defensively,” Baker said. “The talent is there. You can see why he was a first-round draft choice.”

Anyone think he can make this team? Or that he should? He’s a 30 year old guy with no history of major league success. I’m not even convinced he’s worth keeping at AAA, if there’s a Stubbs, Dorn, or some young guy who would lose playing time to him.

Bill Bray didn’t help himself any yesterday, Danny Herrera looked good again (and this is the first time I’ve seen it seriously mentioned he might make this team), but Dusty’s comments might tell the tale:

Left-Hander Bill Bray didn’t do himself any favors by walking the leadoff man to start the ninth Wednesday.
He would end up giving up a two-run double that was the difference in the game.
Bray is 0-2 with 5.79 ERA this spring. He’s allowed eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
He has options.

Another lefty in the mix, Daniel Ray Herrera, has retired 16 of 17 batters he’s faced.

“He just keeps getting you out,” Baker said. “Guys like him are really effective in the spring. He’s effective most of the time. Not taking anything away from him. I don’t want to do that at all. But guys’ eyes are adjusted to change of speed.”

Does Dusty’s comment make anyone else think that Herrera’s getting less than an even shot? Why say this?

And Bronson got roughed up by the Louisville squad Tuesday, but…

Bronson Arroyo didn’t try to trick them in his outing against minor leaguers Tuesday.

“I told the catcher: No signs; set up inside or outside and I’ll throw either a fast ball or change-up,” Arroyo said.

The simple plan, coupled with the wind blowing out didn’t add up to a clean line for Arroyo. He gave up six runs (five earned) on 11 hits in the five innings.

“The wind was cruising out at hurricane speed,” he said. “The second hitter of the game fisted one and it almost went out to dead right field. It was unbelievable.”

But Arroyo got his work in, throwing 84 pitches. I threw a lot of fastballs. That’s what I wanted to do. That’s the one thing I lose command of when I get tired. I probably threw 70. I was sore even an hour after the game, which doesn’t usually happen.”

Let’s hope that this is true. But he’s not been exactly stellar this spring either.

18 Responses

  1. Sultan of Swaff

    There’s no way you can seriously contemplate keeping McDonald because of 35 measly spring training ABs. Same goes for Herrera. But the difference between seriously considering Herrera is that he has a body of work in the minors that suggests yes, he could be this good. There’s a lot of teams out there who need lefty relievers. I wouldn’t mind seeing one of ours moved if we received a B+ SP prospect in return.

  2. brublejr

    Moving Rhodes won’t happen, he’s a crafty “verteran”, the kind Dusty loves…I really don’t know what it can hurt moving Bray to L’Ville until he is straightened out (like last year). As far as McDonald, nice story of a guy getting a chance and playing well, I wish him the best, but I still don’t see him making the team.

  3. Dan

    That’s a bullcrap comment by Dusty. “Guys like him are really effective in the spring”?

    What the hell does that mean?

    “Guys like him who are so cute and little and throw so soft are really good when the games don’t count and no one else is trying”?

    That really fires me up. I hope it was a meaningless off-the-cuff comment and that Herrera will seriously be considered to make this team, but if Dusty has much input I kind of doubt it.

    I really am coming around to the idea that Dusty — while, yes, he’s really good w/ people — is hurting the team w/ his inability to handle basic baseball strategy like picking the best players and making a sensible lineup.

  4. Dan

    I mean, what else does Herrera have to do? With Dusty’s attitude about him, he’ll be able to explain away any success Herrera ever has.

    “Guys like him are really effective in the spring…”

    “Guys like him are really effective when they’re facing minor leaguers…”

    “Guys like him are really effective under the crappy lighting of a minor league stadium…”

    Come on, Dusty, surprise me here. Herrera gets people out, period.

    Oh yeah, and he’s also NOT A LOOGY! He’s just as good vs. righties as he is vs. lefties.

  5. Jose

    I <3 Herrara he is an animaltastic player
    he needs to make the team

  6. Matt WI

    I can’t read comment and not think Dusty has written Herrera off for now. Classic. I guess Herrara will just have to wait in the wings and when Bray or someone inevitably gets hurt, he’ll make a go. It has to be so frustrating sometimes for the younger players– can’t show what they’ve got unless it’s mop-up time in Sept. or “easy does it time” in the spring. Love how veterans like Bray struggling “doesn’t matter because it’s spring” and young guns success “doesn’t matter because it’s spring.” Sometimes I have to resign myself to the idea maybe spring is more of dog-and-pony show of getting ready than it is an actual competition sometimes. Tough calls to make though, glad I get to do it from home and not for real.

  7. doug

    I will say it Bill…. Herrera shouldn’t be considered over Bray for two reasons.

    First – Bray despite being oft injured, is a proven quality major leaguer. Herrera has a handful of innings in the majors and they don’t look all that good.

    Secondly – They fill entirely different needs. Bray is a reliever. Herrera is likely a loogy. Despite the fact that Dusty may try to use Bray like a loogy, he simply isn’t one.

  8. Sultan of Swaff

    Not at all, I think Herrera should get a fair shot. I like Bray, but his body of work isn’t that much better, especially given his injury history. If there’s a concern I have w/ Herrera, it’s that he’s like a Shingo Takatsu, a trick pitch artist who has success, but then the league figures him out and he gets crushed.

  9. preach

    I dunno, Herrera has just as good a track record against righties as leftys.

    Also, with an all right handed rotation I think you have to give a southpaw all the chance in the world of succeeding. Yes, he’s a soft-tossing screwballer, but you aren’t going to run him out against a lineup two or three times in a row. He won’t pitch more than a couple of innings an outing. I think he’s less likely to suffer major arm injuries because of the way he throws. Since Bray is established, albeit injury risk, maybe we could get something for him. Or maybe we could deal Herrera. I don’t know if it’s real feasible to keep both at L’ville. I don’t like Dusty’s comment either. For a ‘player’s manager’ it seems like he threw Danny under the bus confidence wise. It seems we are very selective when spring training innings mean something. By that logic, then Bray has no business being near a major league diamond.

  10. paul kipp

    why does dusty play guys like jjones , when wouldnt even give guys like alonza a few at bats before he was sent down , we dont need a patterson again/

  11. preach

    Of course the Astros released Danny Graves today, so if we hurry we won’t have to worry about our bullpen at all. Or we could put him in the rotation and deal a starter. We know how well that worked out the first time.

  12. Dan

    I really think Herrera is going to be good, and I really think he’s NOT just a LOOGY. He (like Bray) is a reliever.

    Based on “FIP” (fielding-independent ERA if I’ve got my terminology right), Herrera has actually been better vs. righties than lefties in the minors.

  13. Chad Dotson

    I’m a Herrera fan, but I would give the spot to Bray if he’s healthy. I just think Bray’s a better pitcher, and what’s happened in spring training isn’t enough to persuade me otherwise.

    Now, that said, we have a collection of old guys (Weathers, Rhodes) and injury risks (Burton, Cordero, Bray) in the bullpen. I fully expect Herrera to play for the Reds this season, at some point.

  14. John

    Some guys have good springs and Dusty loves them (McDonald). Some guys have terrible springs and Dusty loves them (Jacque Jones).

    Then there’s Herrera. Having a good spring but Dusty writes him off as a fluke? Bill Bray staying healthy for a full season — now that’d be a fluke.

  15. pinson343

    This post has mostly been about relievers but why is J. Jones getting so many at bats ? It gets in the way of the competition among the bona fide candidates for the roster.