Drew Stubbs is penciled in as the Dayton Dragons' leadoff hitter and center fielder for Thursday night's season opener against West Michigan.
But Stubbs, the Cincinnati Reds' top draft pick in 2006 from the University of Texas, missed a workout Tuesday at Fifth Third Field. He was due in town later after seeing a doctor in Arizona about a turf toe problem.
"Eventually, he may need to have surgery, probably at the end of the season," manager Donnie Scott said. "But he's very functional."
Stubbs, who hit .252 with six home runs and 24 RBIs in 56 games last summer for Billings (Mont.), is part of a group moving up from rookie ball.
"As far as position players, this is as solid of a team that Dayton's ever seen," Scott said. "It doesn't have the power of the '01 team, but they're better baseball players."
Scott pulled out this stat: Last season, Billings had 127 two-out RBI hits in the half-season Pioneer League. "These guys know how to get it done in the clutch," he said.
The Dragons are poised for an eighth straight sold-out Midwest League season. Fifth Third Field contains 7,230 permanent seats plus about 1,500 lawn seats, which often are available on game days.
"I've heard stories about how great the fans are here," said shortstop Chris Valaika, who hit .324 at Billings and will bat third.
• Scott says he will wear No. 14 in honor of Pete Rose and would like Rose to appear at Fifth Third Field. "I've got his number," he said, "but I'm too afraid to call him."
• What's new for fans this season? Nothing dramatic, although Mike Vander Wood, director of media relations and broadcasting, said the team continues to focus on customer service and keeping the in-game entertainment fresh.