Dragons' roster taking shape despite injuries
Newly drafted pitcher Wood has strong outing
By Marc Katz

Dayton Daily News

SARASOTA, FLA . | The Dayton Dragons' roster on Tuesday moved closer to what it will look like on opening day, which was an interesting sight to new manager Billy Gardner Jr.

"This is the first day I'll be able to see the players we'll have," Gardner said as the Dragons' working group beat a team of minor-league Baltimore Orioles 2-1 on the back lots of the parent Reds' spring training complex.

Before Tuesday, Gardner had been working mostly with players not quite ready to make the Class A Midwest League Dragons' roster.

At least two players expected to break camp Sunday with the Dragons were not in the lineup. Shortstop Paul Janish, whose season was cut short at Dayton last summer for Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, has a slight hamstring pull. And outfielder Jay Bruce, the Reds' No. 1 draft choice last year, is out for a couple of days with a slightly sprained ankle.

Catcher Craig Tatum and first baseman Bobby Mosby, who missed much of last year with major injuries, were in the lineup.

Monday, left-hander Travis Wood like Bruce a teenager and a second-round 2005 draft choice pitched well, and Gardner said, "He opened some eyes."

Otherwise, the Reds have released more than usual from their minor-league talent pool over the last few days, including former Dragons' pitchers Aaron Garrison, Brad Morenko, Jared Sanders, Robbie Wachman, Ty Howington, James Morrison and Joe Wilson. Also released were infielder/outfielder Walter Olmstead, outfielder Stephen Smitherman, catcher Chad Ziemendorf, second baseman Mayker Sandoval and outfielder-turned-pitcher Matt Gray.

Still looking

Right-hander Rafael Gonzalez (3-5, 9.35 ERA), a fourth-rounder from 2004 who pitched for the Dragons last year before being sent to rookie-league Billings (Mont.), showed up for a few days of spring training and was scheduled to return to the Dragons. However, Gonzalez left camp and the Reds have yet to locate him.

No comeback

Greg Goetz, a lefty taken in the eighth round of the 2004 draft, pitched that summer in rookie ball, then quit before he had a chance to play for the Dragons. Goetz sat out all last season, but attended spring training this year. The other day, he was released.

Looking on

Former Dragons All-Star second baseman Wandel Campana visited former teammates and coaches. Campana lives in the Sarasota area and says he is just "chilling out" for awhile. He played for the Dragons in 2001 and 2002.

Bump and ump

With minor league umpires still negotiating a contract, amateurs have been used at spring training and the Dragons have been notified to find amateurs of their own in Dayton in case Midwest League umpires are not available next week.

So far, it has worked out well. "Some of the amateurs have been umpiring so long, they have more experience than the professionals," said Reds' assistant director of development Grant Griesser.

Contact Marc Katz at 225-2157.