Heisey practices at second just in case
Lack of infielders on roster creates some interesting options
CINCINNATI -- By sending third baseman Juan Francisco to Triple-A Louisville on Sunday, the Reds find themselves with an unbalanced 25-man roster.The club, while carrying six outfielders, has only one extra infielder. "All of our outfielders are playing pretty good. We theoretically have too many outfielders," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. One of those outfielders, rookie Chris Heisey, has been taking groundballs lately at second base. That included Sunday morning as he fielded balls hit by bench coach Chris Speier and practiced flipping them to the shortstop. "It's in case of emergency," Heisey said. "I've played shortstop my whole life, and then in college, the second half of my junior year was spent at shortstop. I would not say I'm comfortable in the infield, but I don't feel like a stranger. I trust my hand-eye coordination and reflexes enough to at least knock the ball down and throw it across the infield." If he had to, Baker could shift second baseman Brandon Phillips to shortstop and third baseman Scott Rolen to first base. Miguel Cairo can play every position in the infield. When Joey Votto was ejected in the first inning of Sunday's game, Jim Edmonds moved from center field to first base and Drew Stubbs took over in center and in Votto's spot in the lineup.
"You start thinking of different scenarios," Baker said. "If something happened seriously, we'd have to get somebody in here. Whatever it is, it'd be a stopgap situation until we got somebody in here."
Francisco optioned as Bailey comes off DL
CINCINNATI -- Before Sunday's game, the Reds activated starting pitcher Homer Bailey from the disabled list so he could face the Marlins in their series finale.To make room for Bailey, third baseman Juan Francisco was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Francisco was recalled Aug. 3 when Orlando Cabrera was placed on the DL. He batted .375 (6-for-16) with four RBIs over nine games during his second big league stint. "He did an outstanding job," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We didn't want to send him down. We didn't want to send anybody out. We needed Homer's spot today." Bailey had been on the DL since May 24 because of right shoulder inflammation. Baker pointed out that several spots will be needed soon. Cabrera is eligible to be activated Wednesday, and pitchers Aaron Harang and Russ Springer also need to come off the DL soon. Pitcher Travis Wood is likely to be recalled from Louisville this week to rejoin the rotation. "We'll do what's best for the club and try to explain it the best we can to whoever until Sept. 1," Baker said. "One thing we'll be is as honest as we can with them." Rosters expand on Sept. 1, which means the Reds will be allowed to bring back players like Francisco.
Travis Wood pitched two scoreless innings with three hits, one walk and two strikeouts Saturday in a start for Triple-A Louisville at Columbus. Why only two innings? It was to keep him fresh and ready for a callup to the Reds, who have a rotation opening for Thursday's start at Arizona. ... During his two-game suspension Friday and Saturday, manager Dusty Baker found some appropriate music. He listened to Van Morrison's album "Too Long in Exile." Said Baker: "I broke it out. That's how I felt."