Baker on Chapman, Mesoraco

It’s day three of Spring Training and so far it’s been three picture postcard days around the West Valley of Greater Phoenix. I know they need rain out here, but I won’t complain if it doesn’t come. We saw enough rain in Cincinnati all winter and last year.

Without further adieu, here are some news and notes.

*According to Dusty Baker it sounds as though the Aroldis Chapman situation is fluid this spring. Baker did not rule out the possiblity of Chapman being part of the bullpen even though he is transitioning to starting.

“We are going to stretch him out to see and to see if there is time,” Baker said on Tuesday. “If there is not time, or not quality, then you can always put the guy back in the bullpen. We would have had an answer now if things had gone according to plan – instructional league, fall league, Puerto Rico. But it barely got through the instructional league and into the fall league when they shut him down. His arm wasn’t ready to do that yet.”

*After the injuries of last spring to Cueto and Bailey, Baker likes having the depth of a stretched out Chapman for the rotation this spring. If Chapman does not make the club, Baker was asked if the lefty could go to Triple-A and start.

“I don’t know,” Baker replied. “We have to see when we get there. It depends on our needs. I’m not opposed to going with three lefties in the bullpen, not at all. Some of these decisions are mine but not all my decisions only.”

*On whether Devin Mesoraco is, or can be, the Reds’ No. 1 catcher out of camp, Baker said this:

“I don’t know. He’s one of two. Eventually, he’s going to be No. 1.”

*Pitching coach Bryan Price was pleased to see Homer Bailey put on about 15 pounds in the off-season.

“I think it was a good idea,” Price said. “The key is the strength. I anticipated if he worked harder in the weight room, there would be some benefits to weight gain that conincides with that.”

*Mike Leake had an interesting off-season. He and his family went to Peru and they climbed Macchu Picchu.

“It was very cool to see another part of the world,” Leake said. “My family has always been adventurous.”

*More early arrivals I’ve seen so far this morning: Willie Harris, Denis Phipps.

1 Comment

It scares me that Baker may decide to have Chapman in the bullpen this year. He will surely ruin a good arm by switching him back and forth. I actually hope he does not make the team this year because that will mean that Cueto, Latos, Leake, Arroyo and Baily are all healthy and getting the job done. A couple of months starting in AAA will not hurt Chapman and could help him be ready for a playoff run if needed.

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