Reds lineup vs. Indians
*Aroldis Chapman will be among those working from the bullpen today. Chapman, like Bailey, will work two innings.
*Bill Bray is almost back from being out with a strained groin.
“Very close,” Bray said this morning. “I threw in the bullpen yesterday. It went well.”
*Neftali Soto has looked good this spring and has had the benefit of playing winter ball this off-season. Part of the reason he played in Venezuela was to make up for the month he missed with a fractured left wrist while at Double-A Carolina. Soto hit 30 homers last season for Carolina and finished the season at Triple-A Louisville.
“I thought it was going to be easier but it was tough,” Soto said of winter ball. I really liked it. It got me ready for here. I only had a month without playing. I practically played the whole year. I feel ready right now.”
*A lot of Reds hitter went deep in counts during the first game on Saturday. Dusty Baker said that wasn’t a planned strategy.
“It’s just how it happened,” Baker said Sunday. “Pitchers are still a little ahead. You’re getting deep at-bats, no. 1, because they’re not getting their breaking balls over yet. No. 2, the guys aren’t really on the fastball yet so you end up fouling off a bunch of pitches.
“Going deep in the count and all of that is good. But if you have a team prone to strikeouts, you don’t want to go deep in the count. It’s too hard to hit like that. Roy Campanella used to tell us you only hit one ball at a time, take a good pass at it and don’t miss it.”
*I will be writing a feature later on 1B/OF prospect Donald Lutz. Born in the U.S. but raised in Germany since he was one-year old, Lutz didn’t find baseball until he was 16 because he mostly played hockey as a kid. He’s now 23 and making his mark within the organization. Lutz batted .301 with 20 homers and 75 RBIs last season for Class A Dayton.
“There are a couple of ways you could look at that,” Dayton manager Delino DeShields said of Lutz’s later in life discovery of baseball. “He could be behind a little bit but at the same time, he hasn’t had a lot of bad teaching either. When we got him, he was pretty raw and an open slate. His energy and enthusiasm for the game kind of sets him apart from the other kids. He really likes to play and he’s a very coachable young man.”