It's up to Homer
In 2006, Homer Bailey was the young phenom getting his first look at camp. In 2007 and 2008, he was still the top starting pitching prospect in camp. After a trying season last year, now he is simply in the mix for the fifth spot.
“Here’s the ball Homer,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Sunday morning. “I’m not going to put any pressure on him other than what he puts on himself. I’m pulling for him, big time. He’s one of the guys in the mix. He’s had some opportunity but he’s still so young. He’s not close to have exhausted his opportunity. He’s 22 — you’ve just heard of him forever. As long as you’ve heard about him, you’d think he’s 30 years old. We’re going to keep trying to instruct him. The ball is in his hands, so to speak.”
Another note from Sunday morning:
Closer Francisco Cordero has been held back some from conditioning drills but is still doing the fielding drills. He had a bone spur removed from his right ankle near the end of last season. Cordero will no longer join the Dominican club for the World Baseball Classic.
Third base coach Mark Berry switched to No. 41 after wearing No. 55 since 2000. Berry gave up No. 55 to new catcher Ramon Hernandez, who wore it his whole career. Such a transaction often involves compensation for the guy who surrendered his number.
“When is that Mercedes being delivered, Bear,” pitching coach Dick Pole said.
“I’ll take a black pair of shoe laces,” Berry replied.
Berry had a good reason for selecting No. 41.
“It reminds me of Nuxie, what’s a better number?” he said, referring to the late Joe Nuxhall. “It’s going down hill with me wearing it.”