Baker on trade, Sun. lineup
*Today’s Reds trade of Juan Francisco brings the roster picture a little more into focus, but not entriely. There are 27 players left, meaning two more guys have to be cut by Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET. Manager Dusty Baker felt like the roster would be set out here in Arizona, but could not say for sure when.
As for the trade itself, it was clearly not because the Reds thought Francisco wasn’t a good player.
“We’re getting closer to breaking with the team,” Baker said. “We thought it was a great opportunity for us. We added to our pool of bullpen guys that we may need. I wish [Francisco] the best. I was really for the kid from the very beginning. It’s just that some of the things weren’t working out the way you wanted them to. Hopefully, he’ll find happiness and get it together in Atlanta. If things go right and stay on the proper direction, he can be a force.
“Talent has never been the issue here. If he had options, it would have been a much easier decision.”
*For the remaining guys vying for the bench — Todd Frazier, Wilson Valdez, Willie Harris and Paul Janish — the waiting game continues. If the Reds go with 12 pitchers, and big word is ‘if,’ that means only two of these four players can make the club. None of those players have power from the left side, although Harris is left-handed.
“It’s hard to have every spot [covered],” Baker said. “If you had every spot, you’d have a payroll of $150-200 million, right? Even the Yankees and Red Sox and big money teams don’t have every position covered. You try to cover as many positions as you can. Another big factor is right-left [matchups], can he play multiple positions? You need some speed. You need some mindset. You need some attitude. A lot of things that you need are variables that don’t necessary show up on the stat sheet.”
Reds lineup vs. White Sox, 4:05 p.m. ET