Rotation order? Mum’s the word

*Dusty Baker has a rotation order in mind after No. 1 starter Johnny Cueto. But he’s not telling…

“There’s no need to,” Baker said. “I’ve got it figured out. I had it figured out this winter.”

The five-man rotation has six contenders. Besides Cueto, there is Mat Latos, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Leake, Homer Bailey and Aroldis Chapman.

“The only thing that changes my mind is – right now we’ve got six,” Baker said. “What will change my mind is when we boil it down to five. And God forbid, you hope nobody gets hurt this spring because that would definitely change your mind and change your rotation. That’s what changed our rotation last year, especially when Johnny and Homer went down from the very beginning.

“You’ve always got a Plan A, always. You just hope you don’t get to Plan F.”

*As mentioned the other day, Jay Bruce is visibly lighter after dropping 15 pounds. That will require some adjustments to Bruce’s hitting style.

“He has a new body,” Baker said. “He’s going to have to learn what he can do with that new body, especially hitting. His trunk rotation will be a lot more compact, a lot more powerful. Consequently, he’ll have to learn he can wait longer now because he has less trunk to rotate.”

The club did not order Bruce to slim down.

“He was never fat. He just wasn’t suave and cut,” Baker said. “We’ll see. Everybody doesn’t necessarily have to be suave and cut. Some guys play better with a little baby fat on them. I’ve seen that too. I’ve seen guys we’ve put weight back on, guys that I played with. One guy was Fernando. He lost all this baby fat and wasn’t throwing anything so we had to fatten him back up again.”

*Look for a story on Homer Bailey later today. Unlike Bruce, he padded on 15 pounds.

“I wanted to be a little bit stronger and I wanted to see if it would make going through a whole season a little easier,” Bailey said. “It’s something I did on my own. I met a nutritionist and got to eat a lot.”

*Early arrivals: Drew Stubbs entered the clubhouse today. Brandon Phillips tweeted that he was in Phoenix and planned to get to the complex.

3 Comments

There can’t really be much mystery about the rotation, can there? Barring a reversal of fortune in re Chapman, there are really only five contenders. We know Cueto is #1. We can presume Latos is #2. There are 6 possible configurations of Bailey, Arroyo and Leake. If I had to guess, it’d be Arroyo #3, Bailey #4 and Leake #5, thus ordered to save arm wear and tear. It also puts Arroyo between two harder throwers. Anyway, we’ll see. We should be much more concerned about Plan B through F! We had 20 starting pitchers in camp with legitimate rotation shots last year (at least it seemed like it). And it turned out we needed most of them. We also had boatloads of outfielders and the outfielding depth chart looks to be about 4 deep this spring. I’m not being negative or even worried. It’s just odd how set the team already is coming off a (relatively) bad year. Speaking of negative, a fellow called the Hot Stove League last night and said besides Votto and Phillips, the team comprised 7 question marks, meaning every other position on the field. Maybe he’s an American League refugee, that would explain his arithmetic. Mainly he just wanted to be negative. Foolishness! I think the team has positioned itself well to be ready if it’s touched by the kind of magic every winner needs. Will it need more magic than a Yankees or Phillies? Well, yes. But not more than a Marlins or Rays, both of whom have been to the W.S. more recently than Cincy. I think we’ve every **reason** to have hope and high expectations. Drink the Kool-Ade! No negativity here.

Bruce did look a little pudgy last year, and his defense took a step back from 2010.

dusty still has a diaper butt

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