PHOENIX -- It's probably not surprising to many that Joey Votto is scorching-hot at the plate from the get-go. But manager Dusty Baker indicated the best is yet to come for the Reds' first baseman.
"His timing is not really locked in, yet. It's pretty close," Baker said on Saturday. "You can tell [pitchers are] trying different things on him they didn't try last year. He makes the adjustment rather quickly when he recognizes the changes in what they're doing to him."
Votto, the 2010 National League Most Valuable Player, came into Saturday batting .407/.485/.741 with two home runs and five RBIs. He had collected hits in each of the first seven games of the young season, though Votto's streak ended with an 0-for-1 and three walks on Saturday night.
As for the adjustments, Votto sees fewer from the pitchers than he's made himself. For example, on Thursday against the Astros, in the ninth inning he moved up a couple of steps in the batter's box against Brandon Lyon just before he hit a laser off the first baseman for a two-out single.
"I've got to do what I've got to do sometimes," Votto said Saturday. "It's nothing new I made up. It's stuff I've seen from other guys, real good hitters, that have done it before. It's a trick you use sometimes to take advantage of a pitch that's been giving you trouble."
The fast start is not surprising to Baker, or Votto -- who slugged a long solo home run to right field in the ninth inning of Friday's 13-2 loss to Arizona.
"I try to make a point in Spring Training to treat it like April," Votto said. "Usually, I'm a slow starter, and I do my best to be as intense and focused during the games that I can, because you can't slop through them or get through them. I think that helps. I tried to make the adjustment a couple of years ago, and it's paid off in Aprils."
"Joey stays after it," Baker said. "The thing about Joey is he doesn't give away at-bats. He doesn't take plays off. Close game, blowout game, he's real good at concentrating, focusing and doing what he's supposed to do. As much as anybody, Joey has accepted the responsibility and the role of being MVP."
Burton shut down from throwing
PHOENIX -- Injured reliever Jared Burton remained in Cincinnati during the road trip after his throwing program was shut down. Burton, who is on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, felt something in his last bullpen session on Thursday morning.
"He went to throw and he felt the same thing he had before," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Saturday. "That's why these things are so hard to predict. You just don't know when you're going to have a setback."
Burton, who went on the DL March 30, was told not to throw for one week and will instead do strengthening exercises.
Maloney moving on from tough outing
PHOENIX -- Although relatively new to being a reliever, Reds lefty Matt Maloney has already developed a long-held reliever's axiom -- have a short memory. Maloney was clobbered for seven earned runs, including three home runs, over 1 2/3 innings in Friday's 13-2 loss to Arizona.
"I can't dwell on it. It won't do me any good," Maloney said on Saturday. "I wasn't as sharp as I should've been last night and left some pitches up, and they hit them."
Maloney's pitches were up in the strike zone, and he gave up six hits -- mostly hit hard.
"I'd get one quick strike on a guy, then instead of putting a slider or curveball down, I threw get-me-over pitches for strikes instead of being aggressive and down in the zone," Maloney said. "I can't do that. I have to come in, be aggressive and throw my best pitches."
Baker hoping Bruce is on upswing
PHOENIX -- Reds right fielder Jay Bruce entered play Saturday as the team leader with 10 strikeouts in 26 at-bats, but had hit safely in each of his previous four games and was batting .269. Bruce also had yet to hit a home run.
"We need him to get going, too, just make a little more contact," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "When he makes contact, it's a hit."
Reliever Jose Arredondo, who remained in Goodyear, Ariz., and on the DL after camp broke in order to rehab all the way back from 2010 Tommy John surgery, will start a rehab assignment in the Minors next week. Arredondo threw on Friday at the team complex without issue. ... Outfielder Fred Lewis (right oblique) took batting practice at Chase Field with the Reds on Saturday. Lewis' extended Spring Training game at the team complex in Goodyear was rained out.