No early games for Gonzalez

Shortstop Alex Gonzalez has had no setbacks since running the bases the other day but the Reds decided to not start him for the start of exhibition games as a precaution. Gonzalez also won’t play in Tuesday’s intrasquad afternoon workout.

“Gonzo isn’t going to start [Tuesday], or for a few days. My guess is at least a week,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s just what I see and the trainers see. And where we are in the scheduling to get him ready for Opening Day. We’re trying to keep him healthy to be ready, that’s all. There are still a few tests he has to pass – sliding, cutting or if he had to get out of the way for a double play and avoid a collision.”

Gonzalez missed all of last season with compression fracture in his left knee, which required surgery. Look for Jeff Keppinger and Jerry Hairston Jr. to get more time at shortstop to prepare just in case Gonzalez isn’t ready — not that anyone is saying yet that he won’t be ready to start the season.

Other notes for Monday:

Baker said he is considering carrying five or six outfielders. With Willy Taveras set in center field and Jay Bruce in right field, that means there could be room for left field candidates Hairston, Chris Dickerson, Jonny Gomes and Jacque Jones to all make the roster.

“Somebody just might emerge and take it. That’d be fine with me,” Baker said. “But if we started right now, it probably would be more of a platoon situation with somebodies.”

No decision has been made yet whether to carry 11 or 12 pitchers.

I made a slight error in my Jones feature on Sunday. He had the lasiks eye surgery after he played in Mexican winter ball and not before like I wrote. That means Jones hit well while not seeing well down there. Interesting.

I think almost everyone is looking forward to a game of some sort being played on Tuesday. The repetition of drills does get redundant and people can start to separate themselves a little during game action. For me at least, Tuesday morning will be like how Bill Murray felt when he finally got to Feb. 3 in “Groundhog Day.”

Here are some lineups for Tuesday’s five-inning workout:

Home team:

1. Willy Taveras CF

2. Jerry Hairston Jr. LF

3. Joey Votto 1B

4. Brandon Phillips 2B

5. Jay Bruce RF

6. Edwin Encarnacion 3B

7. Jeff Keppinger SS

8. Ramon Hernandez C

9. Laynce Nix DH

Aaron Harang – P


1. Norris Hopper CF

2. Chris Dickerson LF

3. Adam Rosales 2B

4. Juan Francisco 3B

5. Jonny Gomes RF

6. Daryle Ward 1B

7. Ryan Hanigan C

8. Paul Janish SS

9. Jacque Jones DH

Jordan Smith – P




Based on the lineup, Tuesday will belong to the Reds, but hey its Spring Training, not regular season. Whatever happens, tell them to stay healthy.


Probably a smart decision to keep him out!


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