CINCINNATI -- Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs snapped an 0-for-15 skid with a ninth-inning single Friday, but he was still batting only .174 with 30 strikeouts in 97 at-bats entering Saturday. Reds manager Dusty Baker was armed with printouts about former players that also had trouble hitting after their rookie seasons."I pulled some stats and was checking it out [because] we were talking about Stubbs," Baker said. Baker pointed out that Mark McGwire batted .201 in 1991, his sixth big league season. There was a sheet on Ozzie Smith, who batted .211, .230 and .222 over his second through fourth seasons. Reds great Dave Concepcion batted .205 in his sophomore season and .209 his third year. "In today's world, they would not have been patient about that," Baker said. "Mike Schmidt hit .196 in 132 games [in 1973, his second season]." Especially because Stubbs is so fast on the bases and strong defensively, Baker is prepared to give him time to get his hitting together. Stubbs was dropped from the leadoff spot to seventh on Friday and batted there again on Saturday. "I'm willing to give rope because I know what's there," Baker said. "I'm known to give rope. I'm criticized for giving rope. You just don't get it out of everybody at the same rate or the same pace."
Votto not afraid to make adjustments
CINCINNATI -- Joey Votto isn't hard-headed or stubborn in his approach to hitting. If something isn't working, the Reds' first baseman is willing to make the necessary adjustment.When something is working, Votto -- who extended his hitting streak to seven games with a two-run homer in the first inning Saturday vs. the Cubs -- isn't afraid to make a change anyway if he thinks it can lead to a hit or a way to help the team. "[I've made adjustments] in good times and bad times and ups and downs," Votto said. "Failure was inevitable had I not made an adjustment. I felt like I did make it and apply it in game situations. I could go 0-for-15 but be headed in the right direction, because I'm making the appropriate adjustments that I feel work at 7:10 p.m. "I would say overall adjustments -- I make them several times a year. Adjustments go from pitch to pitch for me. I do all my homework beforehand, but I could see something in the middle of the at-bat that I feel I can apply to my swing or situation." Votto had hit safely in 10 of the previous 11 games entering Saturday and was batting .357 (15-for-42) with two home runs and six RBIs in that stretch. He came into the night batting .317 with five homers, 15 RBIs, 20 walks and 28 strikeouts. A couple of weeks ago, Votto was striking out more often than he usually does, stemming from a more aggressive approach. He wasn't happy with his approach and was watching video to make the corrections he wanted. "You have to do what's best to facilitate success," Votto said. "Sometimes the path that is more difficult is the path you have to take. Sometimes you have to hit the ball in the zone that normally you're not comfortable with to have success in a given at-bat. I feel like I'm doing more of that now. You have to taper it back sometimes. You can't always be up there swinging 90 percent. Sometimes you have to take it back to 50 percent.
"Sometimes I'm feeling good at the plate, but no, you have to switch it right away and adjust what the game situation says and what the pitcher's situation is and apply it. The game happens so quickly."
Chapman looks to bounce back in sixth start
CINCINNATI -- Coming off of his least successful outing thus far, lefty prospect Aroldis Chapman will make his sixth start of the season Sunday, when Triple-A Louisville hosts Rochester.First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. ET and the game will be carried on MiLB.TV and MiLB.com. Against Buffalo during his previous start on Monday, the 22-year-old pitched five innings and allowed a season-high six earned runs and nine hits with one walk, one hit batter and eight strikeouts. Chapman is 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA this season. In 26 innings, he's allowed nine earned runs, 23 hits and 13 walks while striking out 30.
Reds run well from first to third
CINCINNATI -- Manager Dusty Baker was handed a sheet of paper on Saturday that pleased him. It showed that the Reds were ranked first in the Majors with 25 runners that have gone from first base to third base on a single this season. The Twins were the second-best team in the category with 20. The Blue Jays were ranked 30th with only two."Everybody gets on our baserunning, but we've been really conscious of running," Baker said. "We're doing something right. We get thrown out sometimes, but we're first. Imagine when we start hitting -- or when the guys that can really run start hitting."
Left-handed reliever Bill Bray, who had Tommy John surgery on his elbow nearly a year ago, threw in a simulated game the other day in Goodyear, Ariz., with no complications. The Reds are eyeing a mid-June return for Bray. ... Jared Burton, who has been on Triple-A Louisville's disabled list since April 8 because of a thyroid issue, pitched in an extended spring game on Saturday in Goodyear without issue.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.