Despite speculation, no Reds roster shakeup
GM Jocketty plans for Volquez to pitch for Cincy on Sunday
ST. LOUIS -- In a span of 10 minutes early Wednesday afternoon, Triple-A Louisville tweeted that Dontrelle Willis was replacing Travis Wood as a starter for that night's game and then said that the starter was "TBA." An hour later, Willis was bumped again in favor of Wood.Considering there was a closed-door meeting between general manager Walt Jocketty, manager Dusty Baker and the coaching staff after the Reds' game Tuesday, all of it led to easy speculation that a roster move was imminent. Struggling starter Edinson Volquez was slated to pitch again on Sunday. Not so, revealed Jocketty. Wood started for Louisville against Columbus. Willis was scheduled to pitch in relief but didn't. "It's Wood's day to start and I wanted to keep Wood on [his turn]," Jocketty said. "We didn't want to deviate." In 13 starts for Louisville, Willis is 5-2 with a 2.63 ERA, 20 walks and 67 strikeouts. In six starts since his return from Louisville, Volquez is 2-2 with a 5.29 ERA after he was tagged for seven runs over 5 1/3 innings in an 8-1 loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday. When asked if the Reds were still planning to go with Volquez, Jocketty replied, "Yeah." The Reds haven't played very well heading toward the All-Star break, but the usually patient Jocketty isn't looking to a roster shakeup as a way to get improved play. "I don't normally react that way," Jocketty said. "If I make a move to do something, it's not to shake things up. It's to make the club better. "I'm not going to sit here and predict what's going to happen. I can't. We only have a few days left before the break." The organization has a collection of young players at Louisville doing quite well -- including shortstop Zack Cozart, catcher Devin Mesoraco and outfielders Yonder Alonso and Dave Sappelt. Asked if anyone at Triple-A could help make his club better, Jocketty declined to respond. "I'm not going to answer a question like that, so stop asking," Jocketty said.
Baker makes tweaks to Reds' lineup in finale
ST. LOUIS -- After scoring just one run in the previous two games and losing four of the previous five, Reds manager Dusty Baker shuffled his lineup on Wednesday. The biggest move was sitting center fielder Drew Stubbs in favor of Chris Heisey, who led off and homered on the first pitch of the game as part of a five-run first inning. Second baseman Brandon Phillips was moved from second to fourth, and Edgar Renteria started at shortstop while batting second."If it ain't working, you have to try something new, right?" Baker said. "I'm just trying to create some balance and some consistent offense. We scored one run in two days. Part of that is good pitching, but we've had opportunities to score, too." The last time Phillips batted fourth was May 23 at Philadelphia. In his previous stint in the four-spot this season, the Reds went 15-12 while Phillips batted .291 (30-for-103) with three homers and 20 RBIs. "Whatever can get the team going, I'm really down for," Phillips said. "Dusty told me yesterday. He said we just have to get a little spark and change it up a little bit. I'll go back to fourth or first because it worked last year. We have to go back to things that helped us win and got us going." As for Stubbs, he was 0-for-4 with a walk and four strikeouts in Tuesday's loss to St. Louis. In his last six games, he is 2-for-18 with nine strikeouts and he leads the Majors with 118 strikeouts overall. Baker declined to say whether Stubbs would sit for multiple games. "He's still one of the best center fielders in this league, and a big part of our team is defense," Baker said. "We need him to make contact. If you make contact, you can hit." Baker is trying to keep Stubbs' confidence up and prevent him from internalizing his struggles at the plate. "If anybody is going crazy, it's him," Baker said. "He sees what he can do and he knows how much is in there. That will wear on you."
As part of the "Make It Official" campaign to have Opening Day recognized as a ceremonial holiday in Cincinnati, there is a "Canvass the City" event for volunteers to help obtain signatures for this grass-roots effort. Fans can meet at the entrance to Great American Ball Park from 8-10 a.m. ET on Saturday to pick up petitions and to select neighborhoods to canvass.