Results tagged ‘ Mark Reynolds ’
*Derrek Lee will take batting practice for the first time this spring either Friday or Saturday. Manager Buck Showalter said Lee will be held out of Sunday’s intrasquad game and the first few Grapefruit League contests as well.
“I’m just going to trust him right now,” Showalter said of Lee. “I trust him period but with something like this, no reason to get ahead of ourselves. I know exactly what, not to an at-bat, but a pretty good idea of what he’s going to need. He knows it better than I do. He may think he needs four weeks of at-bats, and there’s always ways to get at-bats.”
*A judge will decide today regarding whether Alfredo Simon will stay in jail or be freed on bail. Even if he is released, Simon still needs to obtain his Visa and it could be a case where he’s not allowed to leave the country yet. Stay tuned for any news on that.
*The Orioles split squad game on Sunday is going to be played at the main Ed Smith Stadium field. Manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday morning that that’s the plan for now.
*Also Zach Britton and Rick VandenHurk will both get starts this spring. Britton and VandenHurk will each piggyback off the initial run-through of the Grapefruit League schedule, which I blogged yesterday. That schedule will flip so that they start a game in the second run-through. VandenHurk will follow Jeremy Guthrie on Tuesday while Britton will follow Justin Duchscherer on Wednesday.
*There was some confusion regarding what I wrote Monday about where Vladimir Guerrero and Nick Markakis took batting practice. That bp session took place on the practice fields at Ed Smith Stadium complex, not on the main field, which is still being worked on by a construction crew. I got a few questions about that and wanted to clarify in case it wasn’t clear in my story.
*If you missed it, I had a nice long sit-down with new third baseman Mark Reynolds, who is looking forward to playing healthy and having a fresh start in Baltimore. The full story is up here.
Just as I was about to call it a day (and grab dinner) it was announced we would have Mark Reynolds at 9 p.m. ET. So here we are again in the workroom of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel and here’s what Reynolds had to say via a conference call…
[on his initial reaction to the trade]
Initially I was surprised. I obviously I didn’t want to leave. I have my house here, my friends, family, have a pretty good set up with spring training 10 minutes down the road, but I’m looking forward to it. Going back East, I’m from Virginia Beach so it’s a couple hours from my house. It’s going to be a good experience for me. I’m excited to go there and meet the other guys, the coaches, the front office.
It’s going to be an adventure and I’m looking forward to it.
[on having a down season last year, including a .198 batting average]
It was borderline embarrassing, as far as my average goes. I know I am a much better hitter than that. I think I pushed myself a little too hard. I am pretty stubborn when it comes to injuries and things like that. I hate missing games, I hate missing at-bats. I think I have learned a lot in that area as far as how to listen to my body and know when I need to maybe take some time off. Looking back, I wish I had done that, but it’s past and you move forward and I think I’ll have a lot better chance for success knowing what I went through this past year
[on how he would describe his game]
No matter what I am going to try and play every day, play every game. I am definitely going to leave the field dirty. I am not afraid to dive into the stands, I am not afraid to take on a catcher at home plate. I definitely play the game 100 percent, full board, all nine innings, and you’ll never see me loafing out there. If I am loafing, it must mean that I am hurt. I am a hard-nosed player and I’ll go out there every day with all I’ve got.
[on improving his defense significantly in the last few seasons]
“In 2007, my first year in the big leagues, I played like 30 games in Double-A that year and that was my first year ever playing third base, and then I got the call up and got thrown in the fire. I kind of learned on the job and it definitely showed early on. But I took a lot of time in spring training working with Matt Williams. He really helped out a lot over there, my footwork and things like that, so I think I’m only getting better as time goes on.”
[on his familiarity with the Orioles]
I actually had the roster and I don’t know anyone personally. I’ve maybe said hi in passing. I’m going to go there and get acclimated with all the guys. It’s just like a fresh start. Hopefully, I can put this past year behind me, be smarter with taking care of my body and managing things like that. I’m looking forward to getting to see the guys and getting to know everybody.
[on his injuries last season]
In the spring, I hurt my quad the last day of spring training. I didn’t think too much of it and it really hampered me running the bases and stealing bags. That is kind of part of my game. That bothered me all the way prior to the All-Star game and then when I started to get 100 percent healthy, I got hit in the head with a 96 miles an hour fastball and that kind of set me back. Then in September, I hurt my hand somehow. It was tough to feel the bat. I tried to put a protect on it and play through it. I probably shouldn’t have done that. It was all just nagging stuff. I feel 100 percent now and I’m ready to go.
[on how his power will play at Camden Yards]
As far as the park goes, I don’t know much about it. I hurt it’s pretty hitter friendly…It’s definitely going to be an adjustment moving to the A.L. with the pitching and getting to know everybody. I’m going to rely on the coaches and the players on the team to help me out and give me scouting reports and let me know what he’s got. I don’t expect it to be an adjustment that is going to take me a while hopefully. But it’s definitely going to be something that I’m going to have to get used to.
There will be a full story up later tonight on Orioles.com, but first here a few brief highlights of the O’s press conference to announce this afternoon’s trade for Mark Reynolds.
*Reynolds will be at third base “period” according to MacPhail. He can play first base also, but the O’s have made it clear that he will be at the hot corner.
*So what does this mean for prospect Josh Bell? The O’s said they’ve been fielding lots of calls about Bell, who came up midway through last season and was clearly overmatched at the plate. Showalter was going to call Bell sometime on Monday to talk with him, and MacPhail also didn’t rule out Bell switching positions. But that’s down the line. Right now my guess is, Bell will probably start the season at Triple-A Norfolk. The O’s could eventually plug him in at first base but it won’t be next season because…
*I was told by several people today that the O’s acquiring Reynolds isn’t going to be their only move. They will “get a real first baseman”, and won’t go with a platoon of Ty Wigginton or Luke Scott.
While I speculated that they wouldn’t want Pena because, like Reynolds, he has a high strikeout ratio, that wouldn’t deter Showalter and the Orioles. Both Pena and Reynolds are power guys who bring good defense and exceptional team attitudes.
However, Pena’s asking price right now is high and there’s a reoccurring thought that he could resign a one-year deal in Tampa Bay and hope to have a bounce back year to raise his stock. There are other options such as Adam LaRoche or Derrek Lee.
*MacPhail said there’s nothing in his “back pocket” for the rest of Monday, but he did acknowledge that the next move will likely involve a reliever. The O’s have several offers out to free agent relievers and given that they just traded away two young arms, they’re going to need to add some back.
*This trade does not spell the end of Wigginton in Baltimore. Although it would clearly mean he would play less third base. The Orioles remain in contact with his agent.
Here’s MacPhail’s opening monologue concerning Reynolds from the just-wrapped press conference…
We are not as productive as we would like to be against left handed starters last year so we wanted to get some right handed bats in. Mark has definitely demonstrated he is capable against left handed pitching, we are buoyed by the fact that he will start next year at 27, somebody that we have in our control for several years. He is a young player who is improving his defense, which is a very important part of the equation for us.
And I couldn’t help but be struck by listening to Pat Gillick’s words today when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame; the one thing that he volunteered was when he started as a general manager, I thought the equation for character and talent went about 70 percent talent, 30 percent character, but by the end of his career he figured he had gotten it wrong and it was 70 percent character and 30 percent talent. And we are delighted and hear nothing but great things about the intensity and character of Mark Reynolds. So we are delighted to have him. We hope to make some other changes to augment our offense over the course of the off season prior to Spring Training and are continuing to work towards that end.
Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said the O’s are “making progress” in trade talks with the Diamondbacks, a swap that would net the Orioles Mark Reynolds.
Update: The Orioles and Diamondbacks are closing in on a trade. It would involve Kam Mickolio and David Hernandez.
MacPhail declined to discuss specifics of the trade, but it would likely involve an arm since Arizona needs pitching. I wrote yesterday that the Dbacks are really high on David Hernandez –they’ve tried to get him twice — so he’s a strong option to be dealt.
It’s important to note that the trade is not official and not close to being official yet. As MacPhail pointed out, trades have a tendency to break down at the last minute.
“We have a few things going and you never really know when you are going to be able to reach across and do something,” MacPhail said. “We have a variety of things and what comes to fruition and when you just don’t know.”
Also, the Derrek Lee report –that the Os are closing in on a deal — is highly overblown. MacPhail and a separate Orioles source both confirmed that the report is extremey premature. There’s interest in the O’s, but nothing to signify that they are near a deal.