Reds Notebook: Dunn will see a lot of playing time, even if itÂ’s not at first
SARASOTA, Fla. — For those who want to know, those curious about the signing of first baseman Scott Hatteberg, Cincinnati Reds manager Jerry Narron said nothing has changed, that Adam Dunn is the first baseman.
“If we opened today, Adam Dunn would be at first base,” said Narron.
But Opening Day is six weeks away.
“Hatteberg gives up tremendous insurance if Dunn can’t play first base or a trade is made or there are injuries,” said Narron. “Regardless, Dunn is going to play every day. We’ve seen that (160 games last season). It will take a lot to get him out of the lineup.
“I’m surprised Hatteberg wasn’t signed earlier by somebody,” Narron added. “To get a professional hitter like him, a guy who is a tough out and puts the ball in play and doesn’t give up at-bats, is a big plus.”
Hatteberg showed up in camp Friday and said, “How did I get here? Good question. I think Wayne Krivsky getting the general manager’s job got me here. I jumped at it.
“My agent said there wasn’t much demand, teams were well-stocked at first base,” he added. “I was the odd man out. I don’t want to be just a jersey hanging in the dugout. I don’t know how defined my role is, but Dunn is an unbelievable player and I guess I’ll spell him. . .unless they make a trade.”
Ken Griffey Sr., Ed Napoleon, Lynn Jones and Pete Mackanin are among those in contention to replace coach Johnny Moses, who was headed to the Seattle airport Thursday to fly to spring training when he decided to retire.
Griffey is a special consultant, Napolean is a minor-league instructor who sometimes joins the Reds during the season, Jones is a minor-league baserunning instructor and Mackanin just joined the team as an advance scout.
“We can’t go wrong with any of them,” said Narron. “Those are four legitimate guys already in our organization. Our players already know Nappy (Napolean) and Griffey and have great respect for both men.”
Griffey played on the Big Red Machine and teamed with his son, Ken Jr., in Seattle. He also has been a Reds coach. For the last few years, Griffey Sr. has been a special consultant to the general manager, helping with scouting and talking to players. He would like a bigger role in the organization.
Griffey Jr. joined his hometown Reds in a trade before the 2000 season. He and his father plan to be part of the U.S. team for the inaugural World Baseball Classic next month — Griffey Sr. is the first base coach.
Mackanin was hired as advance scout on Friday. He spent the last five years in the Pirates organization, as a minor league manager and as the major league bench coach. He also was a third base coach for Montreal.
The Reds will hold their first workout on Saturday at their spring training complex. All but one of their 38 pitchers and catchers have reported — catcher Javier Valentin has permission to be with his wife, who just gave birth to the couple’s second child.
Non-roster catcher Steve Torrealba played last season in an independent league with the Long Island Ducks and said he had a great teammate.
Pete Rose Jr.
“Best teammate I ever had,” said Torrealba, 28, who has played 15 games with the Atlanta Braves during his 10-year professional career. “He was a good friend and a guy who would help you in any way he could. He’s been around and knows baseball — hitting, pitching, catching, you name it.”
Like father, like son?
Ken Griffey Jr. isn’t the only son of a major-league player dressing in the Reds clubhouse during spring training.
Non-roster infielder Aaron Herr is a son of former St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Tommy Herr. Infielder Derek Wathan is a son of former Kansas City catcher John Wathan.
Herr, 25, hit .298 at Class AA Springfield (Ill.) last season while Wathan, 29, hit .232 at Class AAA Albuquerque.
A hairy situation
Pitcher Paul Wilson, off most of last season after shoulder surgery, showed up in camp with long, stringy shoulder-length hair.
Said fellow pitcher Kent Mercker, “I don’t whether to hug him or pat him down.”
“Let everybody focus on my hair instead of my shoulder, that’s good,” said Wilson.
A good bet
If Aaron Harang and Brandon Claussen stay healthy this spring, Harang will pitch Opening Day against the Cubs and Claussen will pitch Game 2.
“Based on last year, it would be tough not to have Harang and Claussen at the top,” said Narron. “Even so, we’re looking for both of them to improve. We don’t have Roger Clemens or Pedro Martinez at the top of our rotation.”
Narron also lists newcomer Dave Williams and 15-game loser Eric Milton for the middle of the rotation, “and hopefully we’ll have Paul Wilson ready to go.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.