No opt out for Francis
The Reds headed into their day off with an 8-1 loss to the Mariners on Tuesday. It was actually a close game much of the day until Seattle scored three in the eighth and two in the ninth.
“A little tough day today,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “It seemed like we had a lot of balls today. We left a lot of runners on base. We had a lot more chances than to score just one.
*Cincinnati was 1-for-9 RISP, and stranded six.
*The Jeff Francis line: 5 ip, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. Francis has yet to walk a batter over 13 innings and has eight strikeouts and a 2.77 ERA in four games.
Francis’ chances of cracking the rotation are not great, barring the unexpected. But he has no plans to opt out of his Minor League deal — which is his right if he’s not on the big league roster by March 28.
“I’m not going to go home. I’ll be pitching,” said Francis, who also noted he wasn’t pursuing big league opportunities elsewhere. “I am not even thinking about it. I’m just trying to get people out.”
*LHP Sean Marshall turned in another scoreless inning with one hit and three strikeouts.
*RHP Andrew Brackman: 1.2 ip, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
*Brandon Phillips was 2-for-2 with two singles.
*After a Phillips single in the fourth, he scored on a Zack Cozart double down the left field line. Cozart is batting .419 (13-for-31) this spring.
*In a Minor League game vs. the White Sox Triple-A squad, Johnny Cueto gave up four earned runs and five hits over 3 2/3 innings. Cueto walked two and struck out three with two home runs allowed.
*And following up from the earlier post, here is what LHP Bill Bray said about his simulated inning this morning.
“I like that I felt good and didn’t feel anything in my groin,” Bray said. “I got ahead of hitters pretty well. I got a little excited though and tried to throw the nasty pitches. Other than that, I felt great. I was around the plate so I was happy.”
*First pitch temperature: 57 degrees