— John Fay on the leadoff situation, as of yesterday:
When Reds manager Dusty Baker named Drew Stubbs his leadoff hitter, it was with the following caveat: “If it doesn’t work, I’ll do something else.”
That point arrived about two weeks after the original declaration. Jay Bruce was in the leadoff spot Thursday, and Brandon Phillips batted there Wednesday.
Is there a chance one of them – and not Stubbs – will lead off when the season starts?
“There’s a chance,” Baker said on Thursday.
Baker talks a little more about Stubbs struggles this spring:
“I keep hoping Stubbie comes around,” Baker said. “He had a good day in the minor league (game). When it’s not working, you’ve got to go with somebody else. In a perfect scenario, you’d hope it was better than it is. If you’re making contact, you have a chance. If you’re not, nobody has a chance.”
With 20 strikeouts in 42 ABs, sounds like he’s saying to quit striking out so much, and who could disagree? I know he’s going to strike out, probably more than a lot of us would like, but almost 50% of the time kills your OBP, that’s for sure.
— Says that Juan Francisco has a chance to make this team out of spring training, but while the Reds praise his hitting ability, his defense will be the key to his future:
“He’s been working hard,” Baker said. “His defense is a lot better. His footwork is better. He probably has the strongest arm on the team.”
He is scheduled to make a start in RF in a minor league game today.
— Contrary to what some have stated in comments, the Reds will break camp with 5 starters, not 4.
Last year they re-assigned Mike Leake to the minor-league camp until he was needed to start, but they can’t do that this year.
Leake is on the 40-man roster and would have to be optioned to Triple-A. Once a player is optioned, he must stay in the minors at least 10 days.
— Rolen was removed yesterday after he was hit by a pitch and there was a physical issue, hopefully not serious:
He was hit by a pitch in the first inning and had trouble gripping a bat.
— Other injury updates: Arroyo threw 5 2/3 innings of a minor league game. His numbers weren’t good, but he did throw 87 pitches. Ramon Hernandez has been cleared by Doc Hollywood and will catch Volquez today. Doc Hollywood also re-examined Cueto, whose shoulder inflammation symptoms have subsided, but he’ll be held back from throwing for several more days.
— In other news (can’t find any link for these, from the print edition):
MLB network will show the Reds/Giants game tomorrow on tape delay at 11:00 PM (EDST).
All but 4 of the Reds Fox Sports 145 games will be in HD. The 4 non-HD games will be 4/4 (@ Houston), 4/8-4/9 (Arizona), 4/13 (@ San Diego)