MILWAUKEE -- The possibility of adjusting Reds rookie starter Mike Leake's pitch counts from 100 to 90 during his outings the rest of the season remains a fluid situation.In his most recent start on Sunday in Houston, Leake had 84 pitches through six innings, then got into trouble with his final 10 pitches while giving up three runs in the seventh for a 4-0 loss. A similar situation occurred on July 9, when he took 83 pitches into the ninth inning at Philadelphia and allowed five runs despite not showing any signs of fatigue.
After Sunday's game, Reds manager Dusty Baker wondered aloud if Leake should be held closer to 90 pitches. Pitching coach Bryan Price said Leake's pitch counts would likely be considered on a case-by-case basis."I think it continues to be of great importance to us organizationally that we don't ask this kid to do more than he needs to do," Price said on Tuesday. "We are always going to be concerned with the number of innings and pitches that he throws this year. However, I hate to put a limitation or cap on anybody that's throwing the ball well." Leake, who made the leap from college to the Majors, is 7-2 with a 3.57 ERA in 19 starts over 121 innings. Assuming 10 more starts, he projects to pitch 185 innings this season. The Reds are looking for him to finish closer to 170 innings but are also willing to be a little flexible. "I'd like to get to 200 innings if I could. I don't know if they'll allow me," said Leake, who pitched 142 innings for Arizona State last season and an additional 19 innings in the Arizona Fall League. "I'm where I want to be as far as my arm is concerned. It still feels good. Hopefully it will continue to work with me." Price, Baker and the Reds kicked around the idea of moving Leake to the bullpen to keep his innings down, but they decided against it. With eight more scheduled off-days remaining this season, including three in September, the club believes it can spread out Leake's starts to reach the target innings. The club adjusted its rotation with Thursday's off-day, pushing Leake's next start back to Tuesday in Pittsburgh, meaning that he'll pitch on eight days' rest. "Should we find ourselves deep into September and in the hunt, then, hopefully, what we've done earlier in the season will provide us with the opportunity to comfortably allow Mike to continue to pitch as we work towards winning the division," Price said. "Obviously, if our season is prolonged by the playoffs, we'll have to make an organizational assessment of what's best in the long term for Mike Leake and the organization. Those are, hopefully, tough decisions we have to make in early October."
Stubbs trying to break out of skid
MILWAUKEE -- Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs' first-full big league season hasn't just been a roller coaster, it's been The Beast combined with Diamondback at Kings Island. Entering Tuesday, Stubbs had 13 homers, 49 RBIs and 18 steals -- impressive numbers from the seventh spot and evidence that he can often be very good.But Stubbs was also batting .235 with 104 strikeouts and began play on Tuesday mired in an 0-for-23 slump -- signs that he can nosedive as fast as he rises. Those numbers remained static when Stubbs walked and scored in the second inning against the Brewers. Reds manager Dusty Baker spoke to Stubbs in his office on Tuesday afternoon prior to the game. "We have to find out why. We're trying to get him mechanically sound and not have the peaks and valleys," Baker said. "Remember what I said earlier that when you have young players, you battle with inconsistency. The older veteran players know how to get out [of slumps] and a lot of times, not to get in a funk. The young players sometimes don't know how he got in it and even worse, how to get out of it."
Phillips, Cabrera flipped back to usual order
MILWAUKEE -- One day after Reds shortstop Orlando Cabrera and second baseman Brandon Phillips were flipped at the top of the order, Phillips was back to leading off on Tuesday and Cabrera was the No. 2 hitter again.The Nos. 1 and 2 spots of the order -- Phillips and Cabrera -- entered the day a combined 0-for-15 in their last two games. The move paid off immediately, when both players doubled during the Reds' two-run first inning, then both singled in the second. "Sometimes, you have to change things up," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "Cabrera was hot and he was hoping to remain hot and now, neither one of them is hot. So we'll go back to the way it was where at least one of them is hot."
After his four-inning rehab start for Class A Dayton on Monday, Homer Bailey will next start on Saturday for Triple-A Louisville. ... After Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan went on the disabled list with a knee injury caused during a postgame celebration where he put a pie in a teammate's face, Reds manager Dusty Baker isn't setting rules with how his teams handles walk-off wins. "If they haven't learned by now, they don't watch TV or pay attention very good," Baker said. "I'm just hoping that we can get into a situation soon where I can warn them before they go out there."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.