Leake to start Saturday
*We may have a little insight into the Reds rotation for the season. Dusty Baker revealed this morning that Mike Leake will start the first Cactus League game vs. the Indians on Saturday. Homer Bailey will start Sunday vs. Cleveland. Both guys are expected to go two innings. Baker knows but would not name the starters after Sunday.
“Yeah, but I’ll give it to you later,” Baker said. “Something could happen between now and then. You don’t want to go too far.”
*Bronson Arroyo said he was told he was pitching on March 7 (Wednesday).
*There are a couple of scenarios possible for the regular season rotation since everything is lined up leading to Johnny Cueto on Opening Day. Is Leake going to be the No. 4 starter and Bailey at No. 5? We might know a little more once Monday’s starter is revealed…but based on this it would seem the order is Cueto, Latos, Arroyo, Leake, Bailey. Of course, there is the Chapman issue as well. It’s not the biggest deal in the world what the order of pitchers are once off days and rainouts get mixed in during the regular season, but it’s certainly interesting for conversation.
*I wrote about him the other day, but LHP Jeff Francis came up in the morning session with the manager. Francis has an outside chance here in camp on a Minor League contract.
“He’s looked pretty good. We’re going to give him a very good look,” Baker said. “He’s seriously one of seven or eight possible guys. If someone gets hurt or something happens, you don’t know. They say you can never have enough pitching.”
If the Reds had a doomsday scenario like last spring when they had two guys get hurt and one get sick, and one having visa issues…Francis would be a solid-enough guy with plenty of experience to add into the rotation.
*In some rare NBA news on this blog, count Baker as one who was happy to hear the Sacramento Kings struck an arena deal to remain in the city. Baker lives in Sacarmento.
“I’ve had those tickets for my Dad since they first got into town. I’ve given that team a lot of money,” Baker said. “My son goes to the games to see everybody else. He’s one of those kinds of fans. He’s seen Shaquille O’Neal. He met Carmelo with the Knicks. He’s met Stoudamire and a few others. He didn’t meet his real hero, LeBron, but he met Dewayne Wade. He has every jersey in the world. Whoever is playing, he’ll run up and put the jersey on. Whoever is winning, that’s who he’ll keep on wearing.”