GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Wilson Valdez already beat the Reds as a pitcher. This winter, he joined them to perform his regular duties as a utility infielder. Cincinnati acquired Valdez in a Jan. 25 trade with the Phillies for reliever Jeremy Horst."I'm glad to be here," Valdez said. "I will do what I can to help the team. I got here early to get myself set up and be ready for the season." Valdez, 33, primarily plays shortstop and second base. Last season in 99 games for Philadelphia, he batted .249 with a .294 on-base percentage, one home run and 30 RBIs. Out of Minor League options, he will be battling for a roster spot with the likes of Paul Janish, Willie Harris and Todd Frazier. On May 25, 2011, during a 5-4 Cincinnati loss in a grueling 19 innings at Citizens Bank Park, Valdez was needed to move from second base to take the mound when the Phillies ran out of pitchers. Facing the heart of the Reds' order, Valdez got a flyout from Joey Votto, hit Scott Rolen with a pitch and got another flyout from Jay Bruce. Pitcher Carlos Fisher popped out to end the inning. The Phillies defeated Fisher with a run in the bottom of the 19th to end the game. Valdez, who had never previously pitched in a professional game, became the first position player to start a game in the field and earn a win since Babe Ruth for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1921. "It was a long day, but it was exciting," said Valdez, who had three hits in that game. "They didn't think I could do what I did that day. I was glad I faced those guys when they were tired." Janish has been the Reds' resident emergency pitcher if the bullpen was cleaned out. That job could belong to Valdez if he makes the team. "Hopefully, it's not needed. But if the time comes, I will help the team," Valdez said. "That's what I am here for. If one day Dusty [Baker] needs me to pitch and I am able to pitch, I will pitch."
Reds react to Brewers' Braun winning appeal
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Brewers star Ryan Braun's victory in his appeal of a 50-game drug suspension on Thursday certainly had ramifications for his National League Central rivals, the Reds.With the Reds making some aggressive moves and Milwaukee already absorbing the loss of Prince Fielder to free agency, a Braun suspension might have been a boost. "There was no guarantee because he was possibly going to miss some games," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You certainly can't be a rotten-hearted person and be glad about that either. There's going to be a tremendous amount of discussion and dialogue. That's created a big story inside of baseball for tweeters and bloggers, TV and radio stations. You've got an instant story."
The 2010 NL Most Valuable Player, Reds first baseman Joey Votto, did not worry about the outcome for Braun, the 2011 NL MVP."I don't care about that. I think we have enough here. All I care about is here," Votto said. "I don't have enough information. Nobody knows why he got off, why it was public or why he even got popped in the first place. That he got off is good for him and good for his reputation and good for the city of Milwaukee and certainly for the team." Baker was still digesting the news and wondering what the long-term ramifications could be for the league's performance-enhancing-drug testing policy going forward. "It doesn't matter what I think. I'll say it's interesting," Baker said. "I like Ryan Braun. I'm glad things worked out for him. But I imagine there could be some guys that did go down that are wondering why his was reversed and theirs wasn't. It definitely opens future doors and it might open some past doors. What good it does, I don't know."
All 58 players in Reds camp had reported on time for Friday's first full-squad workout. In honor of Black History Month at the Reds Hall of Fame, all full-price paying visitors through Sunday will receive a free Frank Robinson bobblehead. From 12-2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Chuck Harmon, the club's first African-American player, will sign autographs and meet fans.