Hairston sick, lineups & news

It’s a breezy morning in Port Charlotte, where the Reds and Rays will play at 1:05 p.m.

Reds lineup:

Taveras CF, Dickerson LF, Votto 1B, Phillips 2B, Bruce RF, Encarnacion 3B, Jones DH, Keppinger SS, Hanigan C

P Volquez (Micah Owings, Jared Burton, Bill Bray and Arthur Rhodes will also get work)

Rays lineup:

Bartlett SS, Crawford LF, Aybar 2B, Pena 1B, Burrell DH, Gross RF, Kapler CF, Ensberg 3B, Hernandez C

P – Hammel

News you can use:

  • We learned late that Owings will not be here. He remained in Sarasota to pitch in a Minor League game. Results will be posted when I get them.
  • IF/OF Jerry Hairston Jr. is done with the World Baseball Classic now that Mexico is out. But Hairston is sick with a viral infection he picked up down there and manager Dusty Baker it would probably be Friday, maybe Thursday, before Hairston arrives.

“I told my trainer I don’t want him,” Baker said. “That’s the worst thing that can happen, especially this time of year, you can get a plague going through your clubhouse. I know he’s champing at the bit. I haven’t called him because I know he’ll try to convince me if I call him.”

  • Jacque Jones got a lot of extra at-bats as the DH in a Minor League game Tuesday. As you likely saw above, Jones is in today’s starting lineup. He’s entering the day batting .077.

“Jacque got seven or eight at-bats and hit the ball pretty good,” Baker said. “He hit a home run to left field, which is his stroke, and a couple of other hits. You can work on some stuff when it doesn’t count.”

  • Baker was asked about the comparisons people are making about the Reds being like the Rays of last year.

“A lot of people are going to compare you to the Rays if you have a young team,” he said. “It took them a while to get to this point, and a whole bunch of No. 1 draft choices to get to this point. But here and now, they have a good man at the helm and a good coaching staff. The Rays have given a lot of mid-range payroll teams hope.”

  • In the something I haven’t seen before at a ballpark department, a local animal control officer was in the seats behind home plate trying to catch a raccoon during BP. Using one of those long rods with a noose, he eventually caught the raccoon with the device and stuffed him safely inside a crate.

“He’s probably going to make raccoon stew,” joked Marty Brennaman.


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