Reds' brass pitch in at Fifth Third
By Marc Katz
DAYTON | Several members of the Cincinnati Reds management are here to watch the Dayton Dragons and help out a little, too.
It will get even more crowded tonight when Reds starter Paul Wilson begins a rehab assignment with the organization's Class A Midwest League team.
Those helping with various phases of pregame practice included field coordinator Tim Naehring; pitching coordinator Mack Jenkins; infield coordinator Freddie Benavides, hitting instructor Jim Hickman and Ken Griffey Sr., special consultant to the general manager.
Also in town was assistant general manager Dean Taylor.
All will certainly be in town tonight — along with new Reds owner Bob Castellini and team physician Dr. Tim Kremchek — to watch Wilson during his second rehab start.
Wilson is expected to get 90 pitches, according to Taylor.
"We'll use whoever's available from the bullpen after that," Dragons manager Billy Gardner Jr. said. "It was Travis Wood's day to start, but he and the rest of the starters will get an extra day of rest."
Wilson becomes the fifth Reds pitcher to work with the Dragons on a rehab assignment, although Mark Wohlers (2000) and Jose Rijo (2001) had to be added to the Dayton roster since they weren't on the Reds' 40-man roster at the time.
Seth Etherton (2002) and Jimmy Haynes (2003) also donned Dragons uniforms.
Three other pitchers — Vaughn Eshelman (2000), Javier Martinez (2001) and Scott Service (2001) — also played with the Dragons after having played in the majors.
• One starter about to return is Philippe Valiquette, who went on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle on April 14.
Valiquette threw on the side Wednesday and should be ready to go early next week.
• Every member of the Dragons, except for pitching coach Larry Pierson, wore black and green uniform socks to practice. Pierson stayed with the full black socks until game time, when he changed.
Why not put on the same socks as everyone else in the first place? "We're on a winning streak," Pierson said. "I haven't even washed them."
• Peoria, a Cubs farm team, is "big" on pitchers. Of the 12 pitchers on staff, all are 6-foot-1 or taller; 11 of them at least 6-3 and two of them — Jesse Estrada and Jeff Teasley (who pitched against the Dragons in relief Wednesday), 6-8. Estrada is listed at 270 pounds, while Teasley is a slimmer 250.