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02-17-2010, 06:39 PM
Talking to Baker
Posted by jfay February 17th, 2010, 5:06 pm

I caught up with Dusty Baker for a few minutes after his meetings today. Here’s the highlights:

On the team in general: “I feel very good. I’m excited with personnel we have. I’m excited with the players and the quality of coaching we have here. We’re trying to get better. That’s the whole key.”

On adding Orlando Cabrera and Aaron Miles: “We’re trying to get better. Cabrera is our shortstop. Miles still has to make the team. We’ve still got competition in couple of spots. We’re not just set on who’s on the team. In the case of Miles, I think he understands that. He’s been in that situation before.”

Will Miles be in the mix for left field? “Probably not. We’ve got a enough dudes in left. There’s only so many games, so many innings. We’re already going to try to schedule some B games.”

Baker said Right-handers Mike Lincoln and Micah Owings will be in the competition for the fifth starter spot, along with right-handers Justin Lehr and Mike Leake and left-handers Matt Maloney, Travis Wood and Aroldis Chapman: “There are quite a few guys who we’re going to have to find innings for. I think the fact that we have Cleveland right next door and so convenient. I’m sure with their uncertainty, they might welcome B games as well. B games don’t count as far as stats. They count in our eyes.”

On the chances of Todd Frazier, Chris Heisey and Juan Francisco making the team: “I’ve seen guys force their way onto the team. Everybody wants answers for the future. These are questions I can’t answer or don’t want to answer. A lot is based on what guys did last year.”

Also, here’s one example of the difference between the old facility and new one: The Reds video operation in Sarasota was confined to a folding table, holding to laptops, set up in hall way that leads to showers. Here, there’s a 20-by-35-foot viedo room with eight desktop computers, two big screens TVs and four smaller screens with video feeds from the batting cages and main practice field.


Live from Goodyear
Posted by jfay February 17th, 2010, 3:49 pm

I’m coming to you from the press room at the Goodyear complex. The facility is beautiful — light years above what the Reds had at Sarasota. The clubhouse is as nice as the one at Great American. The training facilities are first-rate.

The fields look great. Green grass and blue skies are a welcome sight after the winter we had.

I didn’t get out here until about 1 (stopped for lunch at In-n-Out Burger). All the players had cleared out by then, except Drew Stubbs. He’s here early and ready to go.

“I’ve told people all offseason that this is the first time in my pro career that I’ve looked forward to coming spring training,” he said. “The reason being is every year leading up to this one, I felt no matter how well or badly I did, I was slotted for a position at an affiiliate in the system. Now, I come with a purpose . . . to make the team. It’s very exciting or me.”

Stubbs is a virtual lock make the team.

On the subject of outfielders, someone emailed today about the chances of Jay Bruce getting platooned in right field if struggles hitting left-handers. Not very good, I’d say. Stubbs, Wladimir Balentien and Chris Heisey are the only right-handed hitters listed as outfielders in camp. Balentien hit less against lefties than Bruce (.165 to .210).

Of course, Todd Frazier is scheduled to get a look in left. Aaron Miles, who can play outfield, is a switch-hitter.

If Jonny Gomes signs, it changes things. But the lack of right-handed hitters in the outfield mix may help Heisey’s or Fraizer’s chances.