Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reds notes and quotes from the weekend

Redsfest presented the last good opportunity of 2012 for the media and fans to interact with members of the Reds. In fact, it may even be the last chance to interact with them at all until Spring Training rolls around.

Nonetheless, this weekend produced many interesting notes and quotes from the Reds. Here's a rundown on some of the best:

+ “When I first got injured, I didn’t anticipate it would take this long. I feel like I’ve made a tremendous improvement over the last month. I struggled after the surgery to crouch down even — too much swelling, not enough mobility in the joint, too much pain. Now I’m to the point where I can just about sit on the back of my heels. I can do a full squat. I can do all kinds of crouching. My strength is not at 100 percent but it’s getting there....I've improved a great deal."

Joey Votto on his rehabilitation from knee surgery

+ “I’ve never had heartbreak in my life. That’s the first time I actually felt pretty whipped from something. I thought we were going to keep going. For us to get knocked out like that..I couldn't even talk about it for a good bit. I still haven’t spoken about it. I have no interest in speaking about it. It was so upsetting and so frustrating. To have it in your grasp and have it fall through is just so disappointing. I think the reason it bothered me so much is because it was the first time I ever saw the Cincinnati fans go out of their character. They were absolutely crazy in that last bit of (Game 5). It was the best version of them I’ve even seen. They were fantastic."

Votto on ending the season in the NLDS

+ Nick Masset, who had surgery on his right shoulder in early-September, is slated to begin throwing in another month. Masset missed all of last season because of the lingering issue.

+ On Friday, Johnny Cueto was examined by Dr. Timothy Kremchek and subsequently cleared to start throwing. Cueto's season came to a premature end after straining his left oblique in the opening game of the NLDS. Cueto told John Fay that he "feels great" and that he will "probably" pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

+ Brandon Phillips has also been asked to play in the WBC. Team USA has inquired about his services and the second basemen is currently in the process of thinking it over.

+ An internet report on Friday suggested that Cincinnati had been in talks with Tampa Bay about trading catcher Devin Mesoraco. GM Walt Jocketty adamantly denied such rumors. “I don’t know where that comes from,” he said. “We’re not trading (Mesoraco).”

+ In an interview during Redsfest on Friday, Jocketty revealed that the Reds tried to acquire Ben Revere from the Twins. Revere wound up being dealt with the Phillies instead.

+ “I enjoyed being a closer and I’m going to miss it, but I still like to be a starter. I would love to do both, but my career is so short and I always enjoyed being a starter. That’s what I want to do.”

Aroldis Chapman through translator Tomas Vera

+ Drew Stubbs has experienced a steady decline in offensive production the last few years and is making adjustments to right the ship. He is reportedly working with minor league hitting coach Ronnie Ortegon about shortening up his stride.

+ The Cincinnati chapter of the BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) annual award winners were announced. Brandon Phillips was named team MVP (Ernie Lombardi Award), Johnny Cueto was named outstanding pitcher (Johnny Vander Meer Award) and Bronson Arroyo won the Joe Nuxhall Good Guy award.

+ Billy Hamilton (Minor League POY), Tony Cingrani (Minor League Pitcher of the Year), Steve Selsky (Minor League Hitter of the Year), and El'Hajj Muhammad (Community Service Award) were also recipients of awards.

+ The Reds will unveil a new alternate jersey beginning next season. It will have a Spanish-flavor to it with the words "Los Rojos" emblazoned across the front in white letters. Click here for more info.

+ "This is my fifth one, so I'm kind of a veteran when talking about Redsfest. As a team, it keeps getting better. The fan base, they keep coming out. From what I can tell this year, it's crazier this year than it's been in the past. We've been playing so well and they're so excited about the team, and they should be. It's been pretty fun for us."

Zack Cozart

+ "I like the interaction, I really do. It is nice to see the excitement of the fans and to see all your teammates again. The sting is kind of out of last year a little bit. There are a lot of good hugs and laughs and stuff like that. Then you're re-energized for those last workouts leading into Spring Training. It's building that excitement and anticipation."

Sam LeCure

+ Attendance for Redsfest continues to grow each year. A record 23,737 people turned out for the two-day event in 2011. That figure is expected to be even higher for 2012.

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