Innings to tighten? Votto here
After last night’s shocking loss to the Netherlands, the Reds will be getting their eliminated Dominican players back, including Edinson Volquez and Johnny Cueto. That means the abundance of innings for extra pitchers will soon vanish since the starters will need to get work. While it would seem that could pare down the fifth starter’s battle some, no decisions have been made to trim the contenders.
“They just lost last night. We haven’t had a chance to talk about how we’ll arrange stuff or what we’re going to do,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We don’t have to make a decision on the fifth starter. That would negate the purpose of spring. That would go to who has had the early success and the real pressure isn’t coming until close to the end. The way I look at it is the better you handle this pressure, the better you can show me you’d handle that pressure down the stretch in a real pennant race.”
One solution would be to have established starters get their work in Minor League games. For now at least, Homer Bailey, Micah Owings and Nick Masset are still the top three fifth spot contenders.
- After flying back from Toronto last night, Joey Votto was back in the clubhouse nice and early today despite being given the day off by Baker. Not surprisingly, Votto didn’t take it. He won’t play in the game vs. the Astros but will still do his full workout and batting practice.
“You know what? I just assumed I’d come in,” Votto said. “I didn’t think I’d get days off all of a sudden. We have a day off tomorrow so I didn’t think it was a good idea to take three straight days off with yesterday’s travel day.”
McDonald CF, Dickerson LF, Bruce RF, Phillips 2B, Ward 1B, Francisco 3B, Richar SS, Hanigan C, Keppinger DH
P – Harang
- Bailey will follow Harang out of the bullpen. Thursday’s off day would have been Bailey’s normal turn to start.
“He’ll go shorter because of that fact,” Baker said. “He’s going a day earlier. I’d rather have him do that and go shorter than wait an extra day and that would back everybody else up too.”
Matsui DH, Bourn CF, Berkman 1B, Pence RF, Blum 3B, Newhan 2B, Palmisano C, Bogusevic LF, Manzella SS
P – Fulchino
- Alex Gonzalez reported feeling good the day after playing shortstop vs. the Yankees. He will return to play on Friday vs. the Twins.