AM items: Heisey, Bray, Cozart

*LF Chris Heisey is batting .214 entering today, but had three hits in his last game on Sunday at the Rockies. After a very, very slow start in camp, Heisey felt things were starting to improve at the plate.

“I’m coming along,” Heisey said Tuesday. “I know last spring it came a little easier for me. It’s taking a little longer to get my confidence and get comfortable at the plate. For me, it comes down to trusting my work in the cage and when I get into the game and not feeling against guys throwing hard that I have to do extra to hit. I have to trust what I work on every day, the hard work I put in during the off-season and trusting my weight lifting. My swing works and I’m strong enough to not have to cheat to hit a guy’s fastball.”

*Coming off his scoreless inning with two hits and three strikeouts, LHP Bill Bray reported no issues with the strained left groin that kept him out much of camp.

“I’m happier to see him back on the mound pain free,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “That was his first time out there other than that camp game. He was relatively sharp – better than I expected actually. For his first time, he was about at his limit of pitches of what we wanted him to go.”

Asked if Bray could be ready in time for the season…Baker replied:

“I don’t know, we’ll see.”

*Yesterday, I asked Baker if there were any plans to name the final roster in Cincinnati like the club did the past couple of seasons. That would mean bringing extra guys home and making the last cuts on the workout day.

“You’d rather not,” Baker said. “You want to start getting your team together as a unit before you get out of here. Sometimes you have to [take extra guys north]. You’d rather not because that person – which I’ve been there before – doesn’t know what to do with their car, do with their clothes. When you get there, do you get an apartment? Do you get an apartment in Louisville or Pensacola? You want to tell them before you leave here.”’

*As hot as SS Zack Cozart has been at the plate this spring, Baker was quick to point this out:

“He’s had a better spring in the field, which is his No. 1 job,” the manager said.


Someone should’ve asked Dusty how he plans to convince Walt to send Chapman to the bullpen again.

If Chapman starts, who does he start for? If it’s Bailey, realistically how much better do you think Chapman would do in a full season than Bailey? Three? Four wins? Do they have to shut him down at the end due to an innings limit? If Chapman isn’t walking guys, and his stats show that he hasn’t been, then I think he should be your closer. We need a dominant closer that teams are afraid of. And don’t give me this talk about how we are paying him too much. There are a lot of closers out there that make ridiculous jack, so that isn’t an issue. Either way, I’ll just cheer for the Reds and not individuals. Only 10 more days.

Sounds lilke the Reds did some damage to Heisey’s self-esteem by bringing in a mediocre hitter like Ludwick to challenge for LF. Heisey will hold his own this year. I just hope that Dusty gives him the opportunity and support. Not overly concerned about Bray but how is LeCure performing?

The issue about Chapman being the closer isn’t about money. Cordero got $30 mill for pete sake. The issues are that a: he isn’t a guy who can be effective pitching 2, 3 days in a row. He also is not a guy who can do it safely. B: He wants to be a starter and seems comfortable with that role. With injuries they may be forced to start the season with him as a set up guy but I think it is likely he will be in AAA to start the season.

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