CINCINNATI -- As expected before Monday's game, the Reds moved infielder Aaron Miles and outfielder Wladimir Balentien off the 40-man roster by designating them for assignment. Their removal allowed outfielder Laynce Nix and infielder Miguel Cairo to be added.Miles and Balentien were told on Friday that they would not make the team. They have 10 days to clear waivers, during which time they can be either traded or released. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty hoped that Balentien would clear waivers without a claim, so he could be sent outright to Triple-A Louisville. He's out of Minor League options. "It would be nice. It would be a win-win for us if that happened," Jocketty said. "It's part of the reason you wait as long as you do to designate. You hope that other people have their rosters set." The Reds will be responsible for Miles' entire $2.7 million salary for 2010 if he is not claimed.
Dickerson earns nod in center in opener
CINCINNATI -- If it weren't Opening Day, there would have been fewer questions about Monday's lineup vs. the Cardinals, especially since Chris Dickerson was leading off and playing center field.Drew Stubbs, who was expected to be the Reds' main center fielder, did not start. Manager Dusty Baker wanted the lefty-hitting Dickerson to bat against Cardinals right-handed ace Chris Carpenter. This does not mean it's going to be a platoon situation in center field, according to Baker. "It's mostly Carpenter," Baker said. "There are other matchups, too. Some pitchers get righties out better than lefties. Some get lefties out better than righties. Dickerson is the about the only one -- him and Joey [Votto] -- that hit Carpenter." Baker, who inserted as many lefty hitters as he could in his starting lineup against Carpenter, also started Laynce Nix in left field. Nix, who is 1-for-7 vs. Carpenter with one homer, bats left-handed like Dickerson, Votto and Jay Bruce. Dickerson came into Monday 5-for-10, with five singles lifetime vs. Carpenter, who has a 2.11 ERA lifetime vs. Cincinnati. Stubbs has less of a track record at 1-for-3. What's the secret to hitting against the 2009 National League Cy Young runner-up? "I wish there was a secret," Dickerson said. "The fact is, I just try to get in there and be competitive and aggressive. I try not to fall behind. I take advantage of balls out over the plate and try to put good swings on them. I've gotten lucky. I haven't hit him too hard." In Monday's 11-6 loss, Dickerson went 1-for-5 with a single, but he was hitless in three at-bats vs. Carpenter.
Dickerson batted .288 with two home runs and eight RBIs during Spring Training, while Stubbs batted .300 with 11 RBIs and tied for the team lead with five homers. Dickerson was given a chance to compete for the job in center field, but he will likely play a lot of left and some in center. He is prepared to go with the flow."As long as I'm playing and get a chance to contribute, I'm happy," Dickerson said. "If you look at us as a collective group, no matter who's in there, we're all going to be productive. [Coach] Billy Hatcher put it best that this is probably one of the better groups of outfielders he's had, especially defensively. We can all make a difference at any time."
Getting kicks wearing No. 66
CINCINNATI -- One of the biggest surprises to make the club out of camp, Logan Ondrusek was offered a new jersey number, but he opted to keep the No. 66 he wore in Spring Training."I told them I'm sticking with it," Ondrusek said. "It keeps me grounded. It tells me where I've been and where I don't want to go back to." Ondrusek earned a spot in the Reds' bullpen with 10 scoreless innings over seven appearances with just four hits, two walks and eight strikeouts. His parents, aunt and uncle flew up from Texas to see his debut. "It's a dream come true right now," Ondrusek said. "I'm really excited." Ondrusek's spring excellence continued into his big league debut. During Monday's 11-6 loss to the Cardinals, he pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
Lucky No. 13 for Cairo?
CINCINNATI -- Utility infielder Miguel Cairo was putting on a pair of customized Nike spikes that had No. 13 on them. Cairo wears No. 43 with the Reds."[Thirteen] was my number with the Mariners [in 2008]," Cairo said. The No. 13 is retired in Cincinnati for great shortstop Dave Concepcion, who is Venezuelan like Cairo. "It would be a great honor to wear that here," Cairo said.
CINCINNATI -- This is the first Opening Day experience for several Reds players, including Homer Bailey, Drew Stubbs, Logan Ondrusek and Juan Francisco. ... Mike Leake, who won the fifth-starter's job in Spring Training, is still in Arizona to get extra work. When Leake is brought up for his start on Sunday, he will wear No. 44. He wore No. 76 during camp. The last Red to wear No. 44 was Adam Dunn from 2001-08.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.