These are some highlights of his most recent work. Honestly it sounds like the guy is reading Redszone.
There are still 50 players in camp and 25 need to be trimmed quickly. Nevertheless, it is evident Baker is pretty set on his Opening Day lineup ó not that I agree with it.
It is: CF Patterson, SS Jeff Keppinger (Alex Gonzalez remains on crutches with a bulky brace on his left knee), RF Ken Griffey Jr., 2B Brandon Phillips, LF Adam Dunn, 3B Edwin Encarnacion, 1B Scott Hatteberg, C Paul Bako (David Ross and his problem back have yet to play), RHP Aaron Harang.
Iíd prefer Jay Bruce leading off and playing CF, but Patterson is hitting near .500 and earning the spot. Bruce probably starts at Louisville. I prefer Joey Votto at first base but at least it appears that Baker will keep Votto on the roster. Maybe. If Bruce and Votto are the future stars everybody thinks, why not jump-start their careers right now?
The bullpen is sketchy. For-sures are closer/RHP Francisco Cordero, RHP/set-up David Weathers and LHP Jeremy Affeldt. With his $3 million contract, LHP Mike Stanton probably is in there, too. LHP Bill Bray and LHP Kent Mercker are on the bubble. RHP Todd Coffey, nearly perfect this spring, probably stays. Jared Burton, woozy all spring, might not make it and Gary Majewski shouldnít.
3 - Who should play center field, Corey Patterson or Norris Hopper or Ryan Freel or Josh Hamilton or Jay Bruce? (I say Hamilton or Bruce. Whoops, Hamilton was traded to Texas and it probably was an excellent trade if Volquez continues to resemble a young Pedro Martinez. And Bruce is gone, sent skipping and whistling to the minors. The other three? Iím not thrilled with any of them. Cesar Geronimo is in camp looking pretty good. Jim Bowden would sign him.)
4 - Who should play first base, Joey Votto or Scott Hatteberg? (I say Ö and itís obvious because I put his name first Ö Votto. He and I have a good cigar exchange going, but thatís prejudicial and one of the reasons I liked manager Jack McKeon so much. Votto is struggling this spring, but Iíll believe that he is a slow starter. Hatteberg is a great team player, an excellent hitter, a decent first baseman. But letís hope the Reds donít make the same mistake with Votto I think theyíve made with Bruce.)