Sunday in Dunedin

It’s a little patch of Florida with the Labatt’s beer flows and the Canadian maple leaf flag flies proudly — Dunedin. Unfortunately, it’s not one of the finer ballparks in the Grapefruit League and the ball is prone to flying out without much effort on the hitters part. I remember one day when the wind was blowing out and Eric Milton was pitching…you needed an abacus to keep score.

Until the bus gets here, this is the Reds’ lineup:

Hopper CF, Dickerson LF, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Encarnacion 3B, Nix DH, Gonzalez SS, Hanigan C.

Cueto is the starting pitcher and Nick Masset is expected to follow from the bullpen. Bill Bray, who hasn’t pitched since he was up here eight days ago, is also on the travel roster.

Blue Jays lineup:

Inglett SS, Hill 2B, Bautista CF, Millar 1B, Rolen 3B, Lane DH, Snider RF, Barrett C, Adams LF

P Mills

Updated news you can use:

  • Dusty Baker still hasn’t defined specific late-inning bullpen roles but he is leaning towards carrying 12 pitchers early in the season, instead of 11. 

“We have to get Francisco Cordero together and see who our long man is,” Baker said

  • When asked if infielder Jeff Keppinger was in danger of not making the team because of a slow spring, Baker gave little indication that was possible. Keppinger had two hits on Saturday but came into Sunday batting .179 (5-for-28).

“He has a track record. That helps big time,” Baker said. “Kepp is a guy that plays a lot of positions. Things are always subject to change but you never really feel comfortable in this game. You have to continue to produce. I wasn’t worried about Kepp hitting. He can hit. He didn’t have his stroke. Everybody doesn’t get their stroke at the same time. You hate to make up your mind on spring Trainings only. You can get fooled. You have to go on track record, if he has one, and what he’s doing now. If he’s not hurt, there’s a good chance he’ll come pretty close to what he’s always done.

  • If Baker wanted to go in a different direction, Adam Rosales or Paul Janish would be two top alternatives. Both can play multiple infield positions. Rosales is batting .222 but Janish came in batting .300 and has made improvements offensively. He batted .188 in 38 big league games in 2008.

“I think I mentally took on the approach to slow it down,” Janish said.

Baker believed there to be more to it than that. Janish has put in the work the club asked of him.

“I’ve noticed that he looks stronger,” Baker said. “Every time I go in the weight room to work out, he’s in there. He’s working on his hands and his forearm strength.”.

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