Leake, Latos, Cairo…
*Dusty Baker said pre-game nothing should be read into Mike Leake working from the bullpen today. He’s still in the mix to start in the rotation.
“Why wouldn’t he be? The guy has had two good years,” Baker said. “We feel he is ready. He’s stretched out pretty good. It’s more of a tune-up. This is more of a keep him sharp thing rather than reading into him being in the bullpen.”
*Mat Latos remains the probable pitcher for Sunday vs. the White Sox. But the key word here is “probable.” The decision has not been made as Latos remains day-to-day with a strained left calf. Latos is slated for a side bullpen session on Friday. He did some light running today.
“I’m not going to say he’ll definitely pitch,” pitching coach Bryan Price said. “We’re optimistic the calf strain won’t be a tenuous issue. However, I think we need to get a little closer to the start date before we sign off on him taking the ball.”
*The Reds have 12 healthy pitchers left in camp, including non-roster LHP Jeff Francis. The club, which is planning to go north with 12, isn’t ready if this is the exact 12 that make the 25-man roster.
“We haven’t really decided,” Baker said. “We still have a few days for something to happen, to make up our minds, whatever. We’ll let you know.”
The Reds have some options with that decision for the last bullpen spot. They could bring someone back over from the Minor League camp that was already cut. They could also explore the market for guys that were in the last wave of cuts from other teams.
*Miguel Cairo entered the day batting .343. Cairo, 37, came into camp in excellent shape and was ready from the get-go.
“You have to get ready earlier than everyone else,” Cairo said. “There are a lot of young kids. I like to be ahead of the game and tell myself that.”