In the desert…

Quite a warm day out here…more than expected even. Nothing like a little 100 degrees with eight percent humidity. I guess you call that the ol “dry heat.”

Just some lineups for now…more news later from the clubhouse.

As expected, Joey Votto is starting.


Taveras, cf
Hairston, ss
Votto, 1b
Phillips, 2b
Bruce, rf
Hernandez, c
Nix, lf
Rosales, 3b
Arroyo, rhp

Lopez, 2b
Young, cf
Upton, rf
Reynolds, 3b
Byrnes, lf
Tracy, 1b
Snyder, c
Ojeda, ss
Garland, rhp

8:08 pm ET update:

As a prank, a lineup was posted that had Jay Bruce hitting third and Votto fifth. Bruce did well in the three-hole while Votto was out with the flu.

“They were messing with me,” Dusty Baker said. “Joey knew it. Bruce knew it. I knew something was up. Jay walked by and spoke to me four times – ‘Hi dusty how you doing. Hey, skip.’  [I knew] something is up.”

Votto claimed he didn’t know anything about it.

“It’s a pretty lousy joke. It didn’t work,” Votto said. “Hey I wish I had seen it. It would have gotten me pretty good. But it didn’t.”

SS Alex Gonzalez (oblique) was about to go hit in the indoor cage but it’s unclear how much closer he is to returning.UPDATE: Gonzalez hit soft tosses, took BP and threw without pain. Another examination is scheduled for Tuesday.

Micah Owings was still charged up about his ninth inning homer Sundayt. Funny thing is he headed to first base on a low 3-1 pitch he thought was ball four. It was called a strike and Owings sent the full count pitch out.

“Looking back, of course. I still think it might have been down,” Owings said. “I’m not going to look at it anymore. I will take that. It had been a little while since I hit a home run.”

“I think as a kid growing up, I can remember doing that stuff with my little brother and I think we even put it on more of a grand scale like in a World Series.”

Owings is the starting pitcher against his old team on Tuesday.

Note from the Elias Sports Bureau: It was Owings’ sixth career home run and his second career pinch-hit HR…both of his pinch-hit homers tied games…the only other pitcher to do that even once over the last 50 years was Brooks Kieschnick of the Brewers, who did it in 2003 and 2004.

(One big difference though from Owings — Kieschnick was a MLB outfielder that converted to a pitcher.)

Triple-A outfielder Drew Stubbs was named International League Player of the Week for 5/4-5/10…in 7 games for the week, Stubbs batted .423 with a .615 slugging pct…he led the league with 5 doubles and 6 steals (7 attempts)…for the season,he’s batting .329 (27-82) with 10 doubles, a .409obp and 10 stolen bases.

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Might this be our best 1-8 we have had in years? Keep putting them out Dusty even after Edwin and Alex come off the DL. Eagerness and hard work can affect everyone, fans and other players.

I was at the games on Saturday and Sunday. 2 questions. Sunday after the 8th inning rally ended still down 7-5. How many people do you think left? A lot did I know I saw the lines. I know I was on my feet going nuts from the time Jr. went deep in the 9th till he missed the bunt attempts that just took the wind out of me in the 10th. With all 27,000 it would have been a lot crazier. 2nd question Why do you think a little bobble head brings so many more people to a Reds game?

I can’t speak for the crowd dwindling. That’s just a fact at at a lot of ballparks when people want to beat traffic. As for bobbleheads, I assumed the craze peaked league-wide about four or five years ago. But they’re pretty popular still. As far as giveaways go, it’s about as nice as they come and can often be collector’s items. I have quite a collection at home now — lots of Reds and Twins and a few from other ballparks. Believe it or not, one of my favorites is Endy Chavez from the Mets…the pose was of him making that great catch at the fence he had in the 2006 playoffs. That was a little different.

Hernandez is catching Arroyo for the first time this season, we will see how that goes tonight. Much was made about their lack of work together in Spring Training and Arroyo wanting a catcher he had a chance to work with a few times. Wonder if Dusty well go back to Hanigan for Arroyo’s starts after this regardless of the result or whether he will mix Hanigan in for other starters?

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