2/20/2013 10:15 P.M. ET
Reds to keep Cueto from Classic; Votto in limbo
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It was learned on Wednesday night that Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto would not be permitted to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. First baseman Joey Votto's status to participate for Team Canada still remained officially unresolved.
"Reds exercised right to disallow Cueto's participation in WBC as he finished on DL. Despite his desire to play, he respects their decision," Cueto's agent, Bryce Dixon, posted on Twitter
Cueto strained his right oblique muscle during the National League Division Series vs. the Giants last October.
The final Classic rosters were due to be submitted on Wednesday. Since both players are coming off of injuries last season, the league, team and the player's country have to approve the decision.
Reds exercised right to disallow Cueto's participation in WBC as he finished on DL. Despite his desire to play, he respects their decision.- Bryce H. Dixon (@brycehdixon) February 20, 2013
From Cincinnati's 40-man roster, only second baseman Brandon Phillips (United States) and reliever Alfredo Simon (Dominican Republic) are leaving camp next week to participate in the Classic.
Because of the event, Spring Training camps opened about a week earlier and Cactus League games start earlier, on Friday. The Reds have 37 exhibitions, which is more than usual. More camp and more games could lead to more injury, but Reds manager Dusty Baker chose the more optimistic outlook.
"Or it's a one-seventh chance that someone gets sharp," Baker said. "Or a guy who is a slow starter gets one more look. Brandon being gone, or whoever may be gone, that's more [at-bats] for someone to show us what they've got. There's a plus side to it. I will have to play Brandon more innings to get him ready for the WBC so he doesn't get hurt. Then I have to play him when he gets back so he and [Zack] Cozart and whoever the utility guys are can get together on their exchange for double plays.
"Guys who haven't played with Brandon might not know his range going out for fly balls. These are little things that can add to victories or lead to injuries. There are plusses and minuses. It all depends on how long they go."
Frazier opens Topps pack, finds own card on top
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A representative from the Topps baseball card company dropped off dozens of its 2013 baseball card packs inside the Reds' clubhouse on Tuesday.
The rep handed a random pack to third baseman Todd Frazier, who opened it up and saw his own card leading that particular stack.
"Bam! A Todd Frazier rookie card right on top," Frazier said Wednesday morning. "We were laughing our butts off. It was right on cue."
Reds manager Dusty Baker recalled when he signed his first contract with Topps as a player.
"They gave you $500 or golf clubs. I took the $500," Baker said. "Everybody collected bubblegum cards. I was on a rookie card with Don Baylor and Tom Paciorek. It kind of means that you've arrived.
"As a kid, you kept the good players in a box and the bad players on your [bicycle] spokes."
Rain moves most of club's workout indoors
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Because of rain Wednesday morning, the Reds' planned workout was abbreviated. Players could still hit in the indoor batting cages and pitchers could work on some of the mounds that are covered by canopies.
"It's a good day to work in the weight room," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's a good day for maintenance work. You can always find something to do. It's not an off day by any means."
Only a couple of miles to the south of the club's complex, snow could be seen on a peak of the Estrella Mountains.