MILWAUKEE -- Reds manager Dusty Baker has been careful not to assume his team will clinch the National League Central. And that includes how he parcels days off to regular players. He isn't resting many players for now."I think that's the wise thing to do," Baker said on Monday. "You've got to cross the finish line before you start thinking about the next race. This is a strange game and strange things have happened. You don't want one of those strange things to happen to you." Baker has selectively given breaks like those to Jonny Gomes on Saturday and Brandon Phillips on Thursday, and he plans on not having center fielder Drew Stubbs in Tuesday's lineup. "The one real guy that hasn't had a break that probably really needs a break at this time is Joey Votto," Baker said. "It's hard when you're going for the batting title and all these other titles he's going for, too."
Phillips still trying to shake off recent slump
MILWAUKEE -- No matter what manager Dusty Baker has tried, the slump following Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips has been tough to break.Baker talked hitting philosophy with Phillips. He gave him a day off on Thursday. So far, no dice. Since being drilled on his right hand by a pitch on Aug. 25 at San Francisco, Phillips came into Monday batting .132 (9-for-68). He had only three hits in his previous 37 at-bats. Is it the hand, or is it more than that? "It started out with his hand and went into pitch selection," Baker said. "And then it went into hitting the ball hard and not getting to show for it. As long as he is hitting the ball hard and keeps hitting the ball hard -- you'd like him to mix in some walks somewhere. And that goes back to pitch selection sometimes."
Heisey back on the field after left triceps strain
MILWAUKEE -- With his left triceps strain mended, Chris Heisey started for the Reds for the first time since Sept. 12. The right-handed-hitting Heisey played right field for lefty hitter Jay Bruce on Monday against the Brewers and southpaw Chris Capuano."The last two or three days, I've been back to normal," Heisey said. "I've never had anything like that before. It was more scary because I didn't want anything to tear, but I'm back to normal." Heisey has been struggling of late. When he filled in for an injured Bruce, he batted .200 (9-for-45) over a 12-game stretch. Overall, he came in batting .247 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs.