Back in Fort Myers, again
For the third time this week, the Reds are back in Fort Myers and so am I. The 80 minute drive down I-75 has become so familiar, the trusty Mitsubishi rental car can almost drive itself here. It’s Stockholm Syndrome at this point, I’ve resigned myself that I can’t live without I-75. At least the opposing team (the Twins) and venue are different.
It’s a beautiful morning at the Lee County Sports Complex, a place that’s improved mightily over the years. I tried taking a picture but it came out lousy on the smart phone, so I won’t be sharing.
Anyway, here are your lineups as I wait for the arrival of the Reds bus:
Dickerson CF, Rosales 2B, Bruce RF, Francisco 3B, Ward 1B, Janish SS, Hanigan C, Mesoraco DH
P – Harang
James Avery, Jordan Smith, Daniel Herrera, and Ron Flores are in the bullpen today.
Span RF, Casilla 2B, Crede 3B, Kubel DH, Young LF, Buscher 1B, Gomez CF, Morales C, Harris SS
P – Perkins
- In their various World Baseball Classic tune-ups on Thursday, Joey Votto (as the DH) was 0-for-2, Willy Taveras was 0-for-1, Ramon Hernandez was 0-for-3 and Jerry Hairston Jr. was 1-for-5. Hairston played right field and center field.
Updated news you can use:
- Jay Bruce is focusing on trying to hit the ball to the middle of the field, rather than trying to pull the ball too much. Both of Bruce’s homers this spring were hit to the opposite field, which is a nice sign things are working.
“In Spring Training, I definitely try to hit the ball that way,” Bruce said. “Pulling is more of a reaction for me. Last Spring Training, I was a little too pull conscious. That might have been the reason I wasn’t as successful early on as I would have liked to been. This year, I’m just trying to stay in the middle of the field and let everything happen.”
Not expanding his strike zone and cutting down on strikeouts is also a priority for Bruce.
“That’s my No. 1 goal at Spring Training – swing at strikes and take balls,” Bruce said. “Not just strikes, but pitches I think I can drive. Something I ran into in the past, if I felt I could make contact with the ball, I’d just swing. This spring training, I’m really trying to swing at pitches I can drive and not be afraid to get deep into the counts.”
- Alex Gonzalez will DH on Saturday and Sunday vs. the Blue Jays. Dusty Baker plans on giving him Gonzalez his first start at shortstop, possibly on Tuesday vs. the Yankees.
- Reliever Bill Bray is expected to make his spring debut pitch an inning during Saturday’s game at Dunedin vs. Toronto.
- For those wondering about roster cuts, they do not appear imminent. Because of the World Baseball Classic, there is a need for arms to take up all the innings. Help from the Minor League camp isn’t possible yet, since it just opened today.
“You figure you have to give them at least 10 days before those guys come over,” Baker said. “It’s going to affect cuts, or the lack of.”