Chapman to pitch Weds
Reds lineup vs SD
*Aroldis Chapman will pitch two innings of relief on Wednesday vs. Oakland. Chapman, who worked one inning of relief in a Minor League game on Sunday, will follow Mike Leake, who is starting and expected to go five innings.
*Baker did not say when the fifth starter decision would come after everyone pitches Wednesday. He said it was possible that whoever the guy is could remain after camp breaks to get another start in extended spring. The fifth starter might not be needed until April 10 or 11.
“And then maybe we can carry another position player or something,” Baker said.
*Until he packed it the other day, there was a sign in Baker’s office that read: “The two most important things in life are good friends and a good bullpen. Not necessarily in that order.”
The Reds had the good fortune of returning all of their key relievers from last season’s bullpen, which was ranked third in the NL in ERA.
“In this day and age, of all the guys that move around in baseball, they are relievers and utility guys,” Baker said. “To keep ours intact says a lot for our bullpen and our organization at the same time.”
The continuity should be helpful entering this season but there is still room for one or possibly two more pitchers depending on how many go north.
“They have an idea already,” Baker said. “It’s not like we’ve added a bunch of new guys or deleted guys. There’s still, depending on what we see and how guys respond and how they pitch, room for other guys. If there isn’t, we have reliable backups and if there is, we still have reliable backups. A lot of it depends on how the last few days go, what we see and what we think is best for this team.”
*Drew Sutton is starting today and remains one of six infielders vying for likely two utility jobs. He’s trying to do all he can to make a final impression to decision-makers.
“Three days left. It’s getting close,” Sutton said. “You try not to start thinking about if I make it or not. We’ve already had to ship our cars out, so either way, I have to get back to Cincinnati to get my stuff.”
The competition is between Aaron Miles, Sutton, Chris Burke, Miguel Cairo, Paul Janish and Juan Francisco. Miles’ $2.7 million salary would seem to make him a lock but his .115 (3-for-26) isn’t so pretty. Sutton is entering the day batting .259 (7-for-27). He has played six positions in camp — four infield and two outfield.
*The Reds contingent headed to Las Vegas leave on Tuesday night and will stay overnight for Wednesday’s game vs. the Dodgers. Baker will be on the trip and bench coach Chris Speier will manage the other game vs. Oakland. Pitching coach Bryan Price will be at the Oakland game and then fly to Las Vegas for the other game.
*Check out my season preview story here.
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