Now in bullpen, Harang ready to step up
Ex-starter struggled to find groove since returning from injury
CINCINNATI -- Aaron Harang said he will be ready to pitch whenever he's called upon now that he has been replaced in the Reds' starting rotation.
"I'll just go out there when I get called upon to pitch. Basically that's what it comes down to," Harang said. "I've had my struggles the past couple of years, a couple of injuries, a couple of fluke injuries. It's frustrating, but I've got to go out there and pitch when I get the opportunity to pitch."
Harang was originally scheduled to pitch Saturday against Pittsburgh, but he was bumped in favor of Edinson Volquez, who is returning from a two-start stint at Class A Dayton.
Volquez was sent to the Minors after consecutive tough starts against San Francisco and Arizona with the hope he could fix his mechanics and regain control of his pitches. In those two appearances, Volquez allowed 11 hits and 10 earned runs in just 5 1/3 innings.
Harang is in the final guaranteed year of a four-year, $36.5 million deal he signed after back-to-back 16-win seasons. Since then, he has won just 18 games. Harang missed time this year due to back spasms, and the time off did not to ease the suffering he's had on the mound.
"I came back up and I was kind of rusty," Harang said. "I hadn't pitched in two months. It's kind of like Spring Training, where you've got to get those innings in and get beat around before you start getting the feel back. I'm having a hard time finding that feel and getting into a good groove with the catcher."
Reds' injury carousel puts Cairo in right field
CINCINNATI -- Miguel Cairo started in right field for Saturday's victory over the Pirates after manager Dusty Baker decided to sit a banged-up Chris Heisey. The Reds have been playing short-handed in the outfield, with only three "healthy" bodies, but Heisey's condition forced Baker to make the move.
"He plays hard and he wants to play," Baker said. "I had to supersede today what was best for him and what's best for us, because we certainly can't lose anybody else."
Heisey was hit by a pitch Friday and collided with Pittsburgh first baseman Garrett Jones in the seventh. Baker said Heisey has been hurting for a while, and Friday night's events only worsened his status.
The Reds have played with Jonny Gomes, Drew Stubbs and Heisey as their only outfielders since injuries sidelined Jim Edmonds, Laynce Nix and Jay Bruce.
Cairo took the assignment in stride. He hasn't played right field this season and made just his 14th career appearance (third start) at the position.
"It's just another game. That's it. Whatever happens, happens," Cairo said. "You can look in the book."
Cairo delivered a sacrifice fly and was lifted for Heisey as part of a defensive substitution in the eighth. Heisey ended up smacking the game-tying double in the ninth.
Shortstop Orlando Cabrera was back in the starting lineup Saturday after missing the past three games with soreness of the left oblique muscle, a problem that previously had him on the disabled list for a 26-game stretch. He went 1-for-5.
That enabled Baker to use Paul Janish off the bench. Janish has been practicing in the outfield in case he might be needed there as well.
"That's how it's been for a while now," Baker said. "One leaves and one comes back."
Bruce told Baker he could play defensively, but Baker didn't want to take that risk.
"I don't want him doing nothing today so he can give that side a rest because he's been really, really pressing it," Baker said. "He told me he could play defense [Friday] night, which he probably could have, but I didn't want to do that because if they tied up the game then he'd have to hit, and then I'd have no real outfielders left."
Reds honor memories of Sept. 11 attacks
CINCINNATI -- In connection with honoring the memories of the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Reds and local Toyota dealers gave away a Tundra truck to the Florence (Ky.) Fire Department.
The truck has been sitting above the left-field wall at Great American Ball Park all season as part of a giveaway promotion should any Reds player hit it during a game. No player had hit the truck, so local Toyota dealers decided to give it away instead.
A U.S. Navy Seals unit delivered the game ball, entering the stadium over the outfield walls in a special demonstration. Army Specialist Mike Dinkle threw the first pitch to Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan. Dinkle was wounded in Iraq and recently returned from Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Kevin Goheen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.