Morning items: Votto, Latos

Good Monday morning…. the players are currently having their annual clubhouse meeting with the Goodyear police department about staying safe this spring. So it’s a little quiet at the moment around the Reds complex.

Here are some notes out of the session with manager Dusty Baker:

Has Baker seen anything with Joey Votto’s knee that didn’t look right?

“He looks like Joey to me,” Baker said. “I’m not really worried about Joey. Joey works. A guy that works is a guy that heals. Unless I see something contrary to what I think, no sense worrying about something that isn’t there or causing him to worry. They didn’t sign Joey to a 10-year contract because he’ll hit only one year. Joey is going to hit. He’s one of the best around. Once you’ve won the MVP and once you’re an All-Star, you expect that.”

Personally, I have not noticed Votto limping or showing any signs he is hurting. The other day, he walked by in the clubhouse and suddenly went into a pretend limp using his bat as a cane — joking, of course.

*Reds starter Mat Latos was displaying a limp on his right ankle, which he has injured in camp. He’s still doing drills with the ankle taped up. It’s not expected to be serious.

“It’s better to get hurt early than in the last week of spring,” Baker said.

*One of the most competitve battles in this camp will be the bullpen. The list of pitchers on Baker’s dry-erase board is lengthy. There are only seven spots and several are already locked up for the likes of Broxton, Marshall and Arredondo. Then there is someone like J.J. Hoover, who will likely have to work his way in after a solid 2012 debut. (1-0, 2.05 ERA in 28 games with 13 walks and 31 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings).

“He was very impressive,” Baker said. “You can pitch your way on to the [bullpen]. That’s what he did last year. That’s what it’s all about anyway. All I can do is give you the opportunity to pitch or play. This is a performance-based job. Sometimes, you’re a little more patient because of the potential and ceiling you see in a player.”

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