Catching situation and older guys

The line of Monday morning came in Dusty Baker’s office when a younger reporter the manager didn’t know walked in among the regular group of beat writers.

“Who are you with young man?” Baker said.

The guy said he was from Baseball Youth Magazine.

“I knew you weren’t with AARP,” Baker responded to laughter. “They send me stuff every day. As long as you’re there by 5 p.m., you can eat the early bird special.”

On to the business of the morning —

*I asked Baker if he was planning on splitting catching duties mostly even between Ramon Hernandez and Ryan Hanigan. Last season, Hernandez wound up with more at-bats with 313 to Hanigan’s 203 but Hanigan also missed 38 games with a fractured left thumb.

“It’ll probably be about the same,” Baker said. “They were both very productive. They’re both strong and caught well, threw well. That’s about as good of a tandem as there is in baseball. And they get along well, which helps.”

*Baker has had some meetings lately with some of his older players

“I pulled up the stats from last year of at-bats and innings to get an idea of how to program each guy and get them ready,” Baker said. “Everybody is different, especially guys like Scotty, Renteria and Cairo. Older guys seem to take a little longer to get ready. Last year, Cairo didn’t look good at all and got better as the season goes on That’s what usually happens to the older guy. It takes him longer to get ready and younger guys are usually ready sooner. It’s kind of hard to compare and older guy to a younger guy at Spring Training, especially early.”

*Today’s workout was pushed back to the afternoon to let the fields dry after all of the weekend rain.

“We need to get on the field, especially our infielders,” Baker said.

*Live batting practice, where Reds hitters face Reds pitchers begins Tuesday.

*An intrasquad game will be played on Saturday.

*No pitching assignments have been revealed yet for when games start on Sunday.

*Baker plans on using the DH in Cactus League games until the middle of March to give hitters more at-bats. With pitchers not working very long that early in spring, they wouldn’t get many at-bats any way.

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Long time reader, Mr. Sheldon. Thanks for the reports. You, Jamie and the Loose Cannon do a terrific job.

Mark – I appreciate all the info in your reporting. Not getting much from the Enquirer – they’re giving the Reds * very * little space.

Btw, how do I change “By” to a name such as yours, maxblue? I don’t want to use my email as my display name…

jford – This is my third year on the blog, so I’ve completely forgotten how I set up the nickname. However, I found this morning that if, when you go to sign in, instead you click on the ‘Have a question?’ link under the lock icon towards the bottom of the page, it will take you to a list of FAQ’s, number 6 of which is about nicknames. I think it tells you to go to, click on a ‘My Profile’ link and go from there. I don’t blame you for wanting to change. Wouldn’t want my e-mail out there either.

The above assumes you enter through and sign in from the blog itself.

Thanks, man. I figured it out. Hopefully the system will make the changes quickly.

And yeah, I remember your name. I used to post messages a lot two years ago (I was redsrock back then), but I didn’t say much last year. Strange, too, after the season we had. Hopefully this year will be different.🙂

Hey, RR! Glad you’re back. It’s funny – when the team’s losing, I got a lot to say. I ran out of steam last year when they were wrapping it up. Doesn’t say much for my fandom, I think. But I am super fired up for this season. Way over the top!

Definitely. I’m a bit… hesitant, though. Not hesitant in that I don’t think they’re any good this year. I truly do believe in them, but two things: 1. Baseball is a fickle sport, and 2. The NL greatly improved in my eyes, especially with the Brewers. Cubs are still the 4th best team, but they’re getting better. It’s hard to make the playoffs, but I say we make the Wildcard at least.

I think everyone discounts the Cardinals – and I’m especially concerned now that Pujols is playing for the largest contract in sports history. This time last year, I thought the Cairo signing was bvaseball’s equivalent of Mr. Irrelevent. boy, was I wrong. So I like what the Reds didn’t do over the off-season. I think they’ve still got the division’s number – better oitching top to bottom, good hitting up and down the order. Great defense. The Brewers are going to have to prove to me they can win ballgames. I like the Reds.

The Reds have a classic small-market window of opportunity: they’ve accumulated a lot of young talent but can’t keep it all for any length of time. In two years (into the third year of Joey’s contract), if they fall out of contention they’ll be looking to trade him, and unless you think Alonso can replace him at that point the window will close. But – the opportunity is here, after years of wandering in the wilderness so we have to enjoy it while we can. I can’t wait.

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