Early items: Heisey, Hannahan
We’re off an running this Tuesday. Another round of live BP is on the agenda with pitchers like Johnny Cueto, Aroldis Chapman and Homer Bailey slated to pitch.
*Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo will not throw live BP but have a bullpen session off of the mound instead.
*Dusty Baker was asked if he would use Chris Heisey as a late game defensive replacement for Shin-Soo Choo in center field. The answer was probably not.
“In my opinion, I think Heisey is a better corner man,” Baker said. “If Heisey had been a center fielder or a leadoff man, we wouldn’t have to get Choo. He can play [center field] in a pinch. Heisey has a lot of effort. He’ll probably play center field on days Choo doesn’t play.”
Heisey made 36 starts in left field and 34 in center field last season.
*As the luck of numerical order worked out, three players that had been with the Indians locker side-by-side in the Reds spring clubhouse. It’s Jack Hannahan (No. 9), Jason Donald (No. 16) and Shin-Soo Choo (No. 17).
“We’ve been getting a hard time from everybody else,” Hannahan said. “It’s good to see some familiar faces.”
Hannahan played 96 games at third base last season for Cleveland, including 80 starts. He has been taking groundballs at other infield spots as well. Baker has friends that have known Hannahan for a long time and got the report on him. Cincinnati signed Hannahan as a free agent in December to a two-year, $4 million contract.
“He has great hands, I know that. He can play first, third and at shortstop in a pinch,” Baker said. “We got some word out of Cleveland that he was as sure-handed a guy as they’ve ever seen. They say he’s a good team guy. I think he’s going to enjoy our league. In the American League if you’re an extra guy, you don’t play much because there are no double switches. Unless you start, you don’t play.”
*I will have a lot more on Hannahan later today in a story on MLB.com/Reds.com.
*LHP Manny Parra was one of the final players added in the off-season when he was signed to a one-year, $1 million contract. Baker likes the idea of having a second lefty for his bullpen.
“I’ll take three if they’ve got them,” Baker said. “You don’t have to just wait for the one situation to use your lefty. You can use one early and save one for later. That’s why I like to break up my left-handers in the lineup. If they have one, they can just use them for the right time. If they have two or three, they can use them every time they come up. You have to have a good lefty. A bad lefty is no better than a good righty.”