The final decisions are hardest

*These are the final days of camp and the toughest decisions are yet to come. With 28 players remaining, three cuts are left to get down to the 25-man roster. It’s down to Todd Frazier, Juan Francisco, Willie Harris, Paul Janish and Wilson Valdez for those extra bench spots.

“They all bring something, strengths and some weaknesses, to the situation and the table,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “It just depends if we can use their strengths and live with their weaknesses in the present. Or can they go down and get better and be prepared to come back?”

*Francisco and Valdez are the two in that pool that are out of options.

*Frazier is keeping himself in good spirits. Although he has packed his bags and doesn’t know whether they will be headed to Louisville or Cincinnati.

“It’s pretty exciting just to know you’re with the team this far and understanding this might be your year to go,” Frazier said Friday. “I’m never really a nervous guy. I’m happy-go-lucky. I try to keep everything to myself when it comes to that stuff. Everything will be fine.”

*And maybe, there could be more than three cuts. You never know if the Reds might bring in someone in from outside the organization. There are still unsettled questions in the bullpen.

“Probably everybody is doing that,” Baker said. “Some guys are going to get picked up. Some guys may not fit on their team that fit elsewhere or might be a better player than some guys on that team. I don’t even know who all is available. That’s those guys’ jobs upstairs. I have enough to do down here. I hear bits and pieces about who get cut or whatever.”

*Baker had Joey Votto, among others, take extra at-bats in Minor League games on Thursday. Votto took 10 at-bats in Double-A and Triple-A games, alternating from one field to the other at the Reds complex.

“He said it was a great day and said he was tired,” Baker said. “I told him I got 18 one year – top and bottom of every inning. I was so tired, I didn’t know what to do.”


It’s got to be Valdez and Francisco. You can’t give up on Francisco without seeing him play daily at least once. You also have to keep Valdez because he’ll go somewhere else with no options left, and you’ll end up with Janish again. Frazier will be up once someone gets hurt and Willie Harris will do the same.

Got to pretty much agree…except I’d have Janish higher on that pecking order, but, true, not among the two to be selected.

Does Harris have an option to become a free agent if he is not on the big league roster?

Don’t think so. Here’s the piece on the guy dated January 24th:

“Harris, who will be invited to camp as a non-roster player, can earn an $800,000 base salary if he makes the club and his overall salary can reach $1 million if he meets incentives. Last season with the Mets, Harris batted .246 with a .351 on-base percentage, two home runs and 23 RBIs in 126 games while earning $800,000. A left-handed hitter that has played 11 big league seasons for the Orioles, White Sox, Braves, Nationals and Mets, Harris is a lifetime .240 hitter with a .330 OBP.”


Is there any truth to the Chapman to bullpen comments made by Tim Kurkjian of ESPN. Please tell me that is not true

The decision has not been made, and it certainly wasn’t close to being made when ESPN rolled into camp a few weeks ago.

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