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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