Francis, Bray, Roster choices

In a game where they notched 18 hits, the Reds cruised to a 10-2 win over the Giants on Saturday. The big innings came with four runs in the third and four in the seventh.

“It was the second time this week that we scored some runs, which is nice especially when you’re getting ready to leave Spring Training,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “You want to score and have the guys feeling good offensively.”

News and notes:

*It was nice day for LHP Jeff Francis: 7 ip, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HB, 1 HR. Francis had a one-hit shutout going into seventh when Joaquin Arias hit a two-run homer.

“We got a real good pitching performance out of Francis, especially after his last one,” Baker said.

*What this does for Francis’ chances of making the team remains a mystery. There’s been no indication either way if the Reds are inclined to keep him, even as there are only 12 healthy pitchers left on the roster.

“I can help this team in some way, whether it’s now or down the line,” Francis said. “I’m ready to do that.”

*Francis has worked out of the bullpen just once in his career. It came on the final day of the 2010 season for Colorado.

“I’d be ready to do it,” Francis said.

*LHP Bill Bray worked a scoreless eighth with one hit, one walk and one strikeout. After starting late because of a groin injury, it sounds like Bray is good to go to open the season with the club. But his exact role remains undefined.

“Probably so,” said Baker when asked if Bray would be ready. “He’s not that sharp yet so you don’t know if he’ll be that No. 1 lefty, especially with Marshall in the bullpen. So we’ll see.”

*The 25-man roster remains up in the air for the final few spots.

“Every year, this is the time of year I dread the most,” Baker said. “Early cuts aren’t easy but it’s a whole lot easier than the last cuts, when you’re almost on the team.”

*Todd Frazier came off the bench and hit a two-run triple in his lone at-bat after taking over in right field. Frazier is batting .294 with a team-leading 14 RBIs. Juan Francisco played first base and was 1-for-2 with a single and is batting .196. Willie Harris was 1-for-2 as a sub in left field and is batting .255. Wilson Valdez entered midway at second base. He was 1-for-2 and is at .326. Paul Janish was 1-for-3 starting at shortstop and is at .293.

*Baker considered the final few spots to be very important.

“They are what put you over the top,” he said. “Whether you’re team is set or not, the circle is not complete and whole unless the more equals the less, whoever that may be. Whoever the last three or four are, that’s just as important as the top three or four, especially when you come down to winning or losing by one or two games.”

*Jay Bruce’s very nice spring continued as he went 2-for-3 with a RBI double in the fifth. As you might read more of on later, Bruce is more pleased with the work he’s put in than the actual results.

“I am happy with the work that I’ve done,” Bruce said. “I haven’t focused too much on the actual numbers. It’s hard to quantify success by how many hits you’ve had in spring. I just to focus on the work I do, the day in and day out routine and how my body feels. Everything feels great.”

*To end the bottom of the first, Brandon Phillips made a slick diving play on a Buster Posey grounder up the middle. From his back, Phillips flipped to Paul Janish, who turned the 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.

*First pitch temperature: 88 degrees

*Attendance: 9,737


So, Thursday Dusty says don’t read anything into Leake coming in out of the pen. He’s had two good years and is definitely in the rotation.

Today, Dusty says Leake hasn’t made the rotation. At least not yet.

And if they send him down, they can’t call him up for 10 days, so they can’t send him down then call him up when they need a fifth starter (which will be after only 5 games).

I wonder if maybe there’s some kind of trade in the works.

You don’t need a fifth starter the fifth day in because you want to keep starters going every fifth day and with the day off you wouldn’t need leake for the first week

They did same thing two years ago with leake you only need four starters the first time around

John Fay seems to think the Reds will need a fifth starter April 11.

I know they did it before with Leake, but the schedule was different that year. There was more time until they needed a fifth starter.

If Leake isn’t in the starting rotation it will be a huge slap in the face for what he did for the team in 2010 & 2011. He was our most reliable starter last year. It would be a mistake of epic proportions to deal him or option him to Louisville….much greater consistency than Bailey and a good batter/base runner to boot !

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