More Chapmania on tap

Reds lineup vs. Rockies

Stubbs 8
Cabrera 6
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Gomes 7
Hernandez 2
Arroyo 1

Arroyo is scheduled to work five innings and Aroldis Chapman will take the final four innings.

Morning notes from the manager’s office:

*Dusty Baker said more cuts are coming today, post game, but not many.

*Obviously there will be more to write about later following Chapman’s appearance. With no DH, today should mark the first time he hits in a game.

Baker called Chapman’s swing “fair.”

“There are some things we’re rushing Chapman on – bunting, base running, game situations, when to tag, when to run and not to run if he gets on base,” Baker said. “I think Wood and Leake are much more advanced in that area. It would be easier on Chapman if he was in the American League and never had to hit or run the bases or anything. That’s the kind of ball he’s used to.

“As far as being on the bases and bunting, he’s probably at the low minors stage. As far as throwing, he’s at the big league stage.”

*A national writer was asking about Mike Leake this morning. Leake has impressed everyone in camp with his stuff.

“He’s right there also,” Baker said. He and wood have both been impressive and Lehr was impressive yesterday. Everybody wants some answers [about the fifth spot]. We don’t have any. I’m telling you the straight facts. We don’t know.”

But don’t go writing Leake into the fifth spot just yet, especially since he has zero minor league experience.

“We don’t know his endurance level,” Baker said. “We don’t know how he’s going to be every fifth day. In college, they basically pitch on Fridays.

“I’ve seen a tremendous control of the strike zone. He recognized at a younger age than anybody I’ve seen what a batter is trying to do. He came with very good recommendation from [former Dodgers teammate] Bob Welch, one of my good buddies who helps out at ASU. He told me he keeps the ball at the knees – cheese at the knees. He told me he could pitch.”

*The lone off day is on Tuesday and everyone is expected to bug out. At this time, no one is expected to show up to throw. Baker will not be here for sure. He is headed to Lake Roosevelt to go fishing.

There won’t be any mulling more roster decisions.

Baker will think about baseball just about anywhere — even in church.

“I’m praying for somebody,” he said.

But on a fishing boat — no chance

“That’s the only place I don’t think. I’ll say ‘damn, it’s been six hours and I haven’t thought about baseball yet.’ I turn my cellphone off, everything. See you when I get back.”

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2 Comments

Mark, I just read (www.fangraphs.com) that Cueto, Arroyo, and Harang had 3 of the 6 worst home run rates among pitchers in the NL last season. I am also aware that our offense struggles, and that our up-the-middle defense is very good. It strikes me that the Reds are a good team trapped in a bad park for them. Any idea if there are any plans over the next couple of years to move the fences out? Are there other outside the box ideas, e.g., cut the grass higher, put baseballs in a humidor, etc. that have been employed by teams in the past that the Reds might look into in the future to better magnify the production from the considerable talent that they do possess?

No chance they’ll move the fences back. Doubtful on the humidor. GABP is far from the only bandbox in the league. Pitchers simply need to keep the ball down.

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