Masset discussion, bullpen for Bailey?
It’s getting late in spring and in the previous blog post about the probable starters, Nick Masset’s name was nowhere to be found. Nothing has been determined officially, but all signs are pointing to him no longer being in contention for the rotation’s fifth spot.
Masset has a 6.75 ERA through four games, including three starts, totalling 10 2/3 innings.
“We have to sit down and talk about it,” manager Dusty Baker said. “We might be making some decisions soon because there are not enough innings without ‘B’ games or split-squad games.”
It’s likely down to Micah Owings and Homer Bailey, who have both pitched well this spring. Owings has been nearly unstoppable. Baker caught the last couple of innings of Bailey’s minor league outing Monday (see previous post for line) and liked what he saw.
The big mystery could be the last bullpen spot. Masset, who has been a long reliever for a couple of years, is out of options. Bailey has no history as a reliever but isn’t out of the question to do it if Owings beats him for the fifth spot.
“Possibly. It’s something we’ve discussed,” Baker said. “It’s something that depends on what’s better for him in the long run – do we pitch him or make him the fifth guy? With the Dodgers and Giants, a lot of our top young guys started out as long guys – Dave Stewart, Bobby Welch, Pedro Martinez.
“A lot of it depends on who has options left and who doesn’t. There is a lot that goes into consideration as well as how you’re pitching.”
More news you can use:
- Jay Bruce hasn’t hit well most of spring (batting .200 entering the day) but Baker wasn’t too worried.
“He kind of started this way last year too,” Baker said. “He was getting some hits early, but they were groundballs between first and second. His stroke isn’t really there because he’s fouling off pitches he would ordinarily put into play. He’s close. When you see him going to left field or up the middle that means he’s right there because he is not a pull hitter. When he starts trying to pull, that’s when most hitters get into trouble.”
- Jacque Jones and Daryle Ward, who are both struggling offensively, were kept back in Sarasota to DH in Minor League games.
“They stayed back and hit extra and try to hope we can find their strokes.”
- Alex Gonzalez and Norris Hopper will likely do the same thing on Wednesday while the Reds are in Port Charlotte.
- Infielder Danny Richar probably had an outside chance at best to make it as a backup infielder. But despite some nice defensive plays, Richar entered batting .111 and was honest about his state of mind.
“I don’t feel like I’m playing the way I’m used to playing. I don’t feel confident,” Richar said. “I need to get that back. I’m trying to do too much. I need to play my game. Right now, I don’t feel like I’m playing my game.”
The Reds are wearing green hats for St. Patrick’s Day and several players had green shirts among their street clothes, including Brandon Phillips and Baker.
“Erin Go Braugh my brother,” Baker said to Phillips — both men laughed.