Tuesday morning notes

You never know who is reading the stories that go up on the Internet. The other day, I wrote one on Dusty Baker and it being the final year of his contract. The first quote included the following phrase:

“It ain’t no thing.”

Sure enough, Baker got a phone call from a certain former teacher — his mother.

“My mom got on me. ‘How many years have I been telling you to quit saying ain’t?'” Baker said on Tuesday morning. “What is ‘ain’t no thing? You’re more articulate than that.'”

Sorry, Mrs. Baker.

*Only two more days of straight workouts before there is some game activity for Thursday’s intrasquad game. For those in Arizona, that one isn’t open to the public because the city is getting Goodyear

Ballpark ready for Friday’s opener.

*One pitcher who has impressed many in camp has been sidearmed right-handed reliever Enerio Del Rosario. The 24-year-old is 6-foot-2 and listed at only 165 pounds but his ball has lots of movement and stays down.

Del Rosario is the kind of reliever that can put out a fire with runners on base by getting the double play.

“He’s impressed me,” Baker said. “It was the first time I’ve seen him. I heard about him. he has a loose arm. You wouldn’t know it’s his first time in big league camp. He fields his position well. I talked to some guys about him and they said he calls infielders off he’s such a great fielder. He keeps the ball down, runs it in on them. There’s always a place on a team, sooner or later, for a guy with a good natural sinker.”

*Two instructors in camp have no connection to the Reds but have been here helping out — former big leaguers Ellis Burks and Tony Phillips.

“I just brought [Phillips] and Ellis in – big league guys that know how to play big league baseball,” Baker said. “They both live here. Perhaps they can help the minor leagues and the guys that stay behind in the Arizona League. We’ll see. They’re here on a spring training invite.”

Phillips played from 1982-99 with six teams. He played seven different positions, plus designated hitter. Burks played with five clubs from 1987-2004. 

Baker knew Phillips with the A’s and GM Walt Jocketty knew Burks when they were with the Rockies.

“Just like ED [Eric Davis], they can bring more to the table than just one department,” Baker said.

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