Thursday morning notes
The players had their annual closed-door meeting with MLB security this morning, which limited the access a little. But workouts are scheduled to begin shortly and on schedule.
Fifth starter candidate Travis Wood had a nice situation during his off-season workouts in Arkansas. He got to train with fellow lefty Cliff Lee, who lives only a few miles away. Lee starred for the Indians and Phillies last season and is now with the Mariners.
“He’s a great, a good mentor and a great guy,” Wood said. “It was nice to have somebody of his stature to workout with and pick his brain. He’s a soft spoken guy. If you talk to him, he’ll carry on a conversation like he’s your best friend. He likes to keep things pretty low key and mellow.”
*Each spring, the Reds video crew will shoot young players for “down on the farm” segments that are shown between innings at Great American Ball Park. The videos are for the fans but someone else apparently has been watching — Dusty Baker.
“I remember all of those guys’ things,” Baker said. “It’s interesting to hear kids’ evaluation of themselves. [Pitcher] Sam LeCure, I found his interesting. They asked him about his best repertoire of pitchers and he said the best pitch in baseball was a well-located fastball. That’s how I was taught.
“I heard one guy say ‘I’m a good outfielder and I’ve got speed’ and never once mention hitting. I asked that young man why? You don’t think you’re a good hitter. You mentioned everything but the No. 1 thing. I guess you’re going to be a bench player.”
Baker has just given the younger players one more thing to be worried about as they try to impress their way up the system.
“I don’t look for stuff. I just don’t miss much,” the manager said.
*The temperatures are headed back into the 70s today as pitchers do another session of live BP. If history is any guide, it appears that the desert weather is going cause some issues for pitchers this spring.
“The pitchers are really going to have to be patient with their breaking balls,” Baker said. “They don’t tend to break as well down here in his dry air and lack of humidity. The balls are chalkier and slicker because of the lack of humidity. Guys that haven’t been here before commented on it. it makes it a little tougher to judge pitchers here than in Florida.
“It’s easier to hit here generally. High sky, hard surface, big wide fields. The fields are a lot larger than normal to offset the way a ball carries. It’s a little tougher to judge a sinkerball pitcher.
“It’s going to get smoking. Those infields – you can’t water them every inning – you’re going to think you’re on highway 10 out there. It’s hard to judge sinkerballers because balls will get through that don’t normally get through. It’s hard to judge fly ball pitchers because the ball carries tremendously. You’ll probably see some pretty high batting averages and high ERAs. You have to take that into consideration when you’re evaluating somebody, offensively or defensively.”
*Homer Bailey, Aaron Harang, Bronson Arroyo, Nick Masset and Francisco Cordero are among those who throw live BP today.
Follow me on Twitter at