CINCINNATI -- There is little room for sentimentality when assembling a postseason roster, but the Reds found some to end the regular season.Aaron Harang, the longest tenured Reds player and the starting pitcher who's gotten the ball the last five Opening Days, has rather dicey chances of being one of the 25 players going to the playoffs. But after Saturday's 7-4 win over the Brewers, manager Dusty Baker revealed that Harang would replace Edinson Volquez, who was named the starter for Game 1 of the National League Division Series, and start Sunday's regular-season finale. All indications are that it could be Harang's last start in a Cincinnati uniform. "He's been here for a number of years. We think he deserves to start tomorrow," Baker said. Before the news of his start was known, Harang wasn't sweating the outcome of the postseason roster decisions. "I haven't heard anything," Harang said. "There's nothing I can really do about it. It's up to Dusty [Baker], Bryan Price and Walt Jocketty to figure out the best possible players to take." Harang is 6-7 with a 5.25 ERA in 21 games, including 19 starts this season. He lost his spot in the rotation and has pitched sparingly from the bullpen. He hasn't pitched in a game since taking a line drive off his right ankle on Sept. 22 at Milwaukee. It left him with a bruise, but he's now fine to play. He's thrown off a bullpen mound a couple of times. If Harang didn't make the postseason roster, how would that be received? "I haven't really thought about it. I don't know," he said. "Of course I want to be in there, and be on the field participating and helping out." Harang has 212 starts in a Reds uniform since 2003 and had a 32-17 record with a 3.75 ERA over his two best seasons in 2006-07. Over the last three seasons, he's gone a combined 18-38 with a 4.33 ERA. In the final guaranteed season of a four-year, $36.5-million contract, the 32-year-old Harang isn't expected to return next season. The club holds a $12.75-million option that carries a $2-million buyout. But the parting of ways won't likely be without some emotion. One of the truly good guys in the game, Harang and his family became heavily involved in community service activities around Cincinnati. Like his postseason limbo, Harang isn't dwelling on what's ahead for him in the offseason. "I have no clue. I'm going home [to San Diego], no matter what," Harang said. "My wife is six months pregnant with twins, right now. That's what I will be doing this offseason and that's at the top of the priority list, making sure everything is good with that and she gets through it."
Votto, Rolen sit out on Saturday
CINCINNATI -- Reds first baseman Joey Votto was not in Saturday's lineup vs. the Brewers, as manager Dusty Baker wanted to give him a break leading up to the playoffs.Votto came in with hits in 14 of his last 17 games, including five home runs, while batting .345. But he was 1-for-7 with two walks and a sacrifice fly the past two games. "He looks a little bit slow, a little bit off. He'll play [on Sunday]," Baker said. Rookie Yonder Alonso started at first base for Cincinnati. Miguel Cairo was at third base, as Scott Rolen was also given a break. Rolen was lifted in the fifth inning on Friday in a pre-planned decision. He is expected to start in Sunday's regular-season finale. The 35-year-old Rolen has been banged up with myriad aches and pains as the season nears its end. "We need Scotty bad," Baker said. "We need him to be sharp, but have to preserve him at the same time."
Baker keeps Reds' roster plans mum for now
CINCINNATI -- As the Reds await the outcome of the National League West and Wild Card races, they are trying to determine their NL Division Series roster.It's all but assured that the Reds will use a three-man starting rotation, especially if they draw the Phillies. That portion of the bracket has the best-of-five series being played over eight days. With a rotation that's been deep with Bronson Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, Travis Wood, Edinson Volquez and Homer Bailey, someone deserving to start likely won't get to. "That's why it's such a tough decision. How do you pick three out of the five?" Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's easier and the rest of the guys on the team understand when you've got [Roy] Halladay, [Cole] Hamels and [Roy] Oswalt. They've got three No. 1's. We've got some guys that will be No. 1's." Many of the decisions have already been made, but not revealed publicly as of yet. "We just have to talk to some players first, before I talk to you," Baker said. "I know everybody wants to know, but I have to let the players know first -- before they read it. We have some of it figured out. We don't have all of it figured out. We probably won't until practice on Monday." While it would seem conventional that they would go with 11 pitchers and 14 position players, Baker wasn't revealing even that much. "I don't need them [the players] figuring it out. They can count real well," Baker said.