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.”

Reds lineup:

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.”

Astros lineup:

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.


Could you ask Dusty if he’s concerned with the CS percentage this spring? He likes to run and I’m pretty sure this CS percentage is about 45%, caught 9 out of 20 attempts. I think a good base stealer gets caught around 20% of the time. Seems kinda significant given his strategy.

I’m sure he won’t be concerned. So I’d also like to know why he thinks that percentage is so high.

Dickerson 1-4, Phillips1-3, Bruce 0-1 Valaika 0-1, Nix 0-1, Votto 1-2. So it’s mostly the major leaguers getting caught, in case he tries to throw out the experience card. I can sort of understand it from Votto and Bruce given there youth and speed, but Dickerson should have plenty of speed and Phillips plenty of both. Edit functions on these comments would be nice, lol, so I don’t continue to look like a jackace posting 3 times in a row.

Here you go, nullspace, I’ll add to your posts. I agree. Even though it’s only ST, I’m concerned that what few baserunners we have this year, we’re going to run ourselves out of scoring opportunities.

Entering today, the team was 11-for-20 on steals.

Just as I write this, Dickerson stole third base.

Joey Votto is the freakin’ man. That’s all i got.

Mark, not sure why you repeated what I wrote… yes if you’re caught 9 out of 20 attempts that means you made it 11 times. Even with the 2 successful steals today assuming there are no CS’ for the rest of the game, their success rate is still at 65%. Given the Red’s poor baserunning fundamentals of year ago, I would think it might be an issue that needs addressing in camp this year.

Didn’t mean to repeat your stat, accidental on my part. But I think, like a lot of things involving Spring Training, your sample size is too small and worry is too big.

Runners don’t know the catchers as well, or the pitchers moves (slide step, no slide step, etc.). A lot of times, it’s a catcher wearing #76 throwing out a runner wearing #82. Can you really measure these numbers into how the season will go. The Pirates are 8-4 this spring. Is that indicative of how their regular season will be? Likely not.

Three steals alone in the fifth, so far. Hopper stole second and then swiped third in a double steal with Nix. McDonald stole second base in the second inning.

Boy that is a lot of math… Wouldn’t you take Masset out of contention for the fifth spot in the rotation by now? Let him work against minor leaguers and keep Bailey and Owings around. It’s nice to see that Joey Votto showed up on his day off. Could he be the leader this team has needed for a long time?

That question was asked about Masset, but Baker wants to push the two leading contenders. But in my mind, time is running out for Masset to show he can start. There will be a more developed story on the situation on the web site later today.

Votto definitely has some leadership qualities going for him and it’ll be interesting to see how that comes into play this season.

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