CINCINNATI -- The dreaded illness known as "flu-like symptoms" has descended upon the Reds' clubhouse.
Shortstop Zack Cozart was out of the starting lineup in Tuesday's series opener against the Indians at Great American Ball Park because he was sick and replaced by Wilson Valdez. Drew Stubbs, who hasn't played since last Tuesday because of an oblique injury, was also ill. Joey Votto was also feeling under the weather, but he played.
"Some on the field are even sick, just not maybe as sick as those who are very sick," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's what you dread every year, something going around the team. We've been pretty lucky the last couple of years with that.
"I tell guys, 'Don't shake hands.' Whoever came up with the fist bump, that's the most sanitary way to shake hands."
There were other players who were sick as well. Not sure if he would be short-handed on the bench, Baker was planning on consulting with the training staff to see which players were healthy enough to play, if needed.
Baker recalled being very sick during a game as a player with the Dodgers.
"[Manager Tommy] Lasorda wouldn't let me go home," Baker said. "He made me put my uniform on and lay down on the training table. ... They woke me up around the 11th [inning] and told me to hit. I hit a home run off of Jim Kaat and I won the game with a walk-off, and I don't even remember it. I hope we don't get that far, but that's how it was. They didn't let you stay home in those days. They put you in a dark room in case they needed you."
The date of Baker's walk-off homer was Sept. 5, 1981, vs. the Cardinals for a 4-3 Dodgers victory.
Bray in good spirits after latest rehab outing
CINCINNATI -- Reds left-handed reliever Bill Bray, who has been on the disabled list since April 24 because of left groin and back injuries, made his second rehab appearance for Class A Dayton on Monday.
Bray pitched 1 2/3 innings of perfect relief and reported feeling good.
"Dayton was a lot of fun. I was able to get out there and get a couple innings and get a lot of good work," Bray said on Tuesday while in the Reds' clubhouse. "It was definitely a good thing for me."
Bray is expected to continue his rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville on Thursday and Friday. It will be an important test to show that he can pitch on back-to-back days.
"That's my job here, being able to pitch two, three or four days in a row," Bray said. "That will be a big milestone for me."
Originally bothered by the groin injury during Spring Training, Bray pitched only five games in the regular season before he went on the DL. He changed his pitching mechanics to improve the groin injury, which led to the back trouble.
"By the time we figured out what I had done mechanically, it was almost too late," Bray said. "We fixed that problem, then I wrenched my back again and had to take six days off. But once I was able to get throwing again, things have been moving pretty quickly."
Reds manager Dusty Baker was anticipating how Bray's return could benefit his bullpen.
"You'd certainly like to have more than one left-hander in the bullpen," Baker said. "Even though we have two, one of them is closing."
No plan on rehab assignment for Rolen
CINCINNATI -- Third baseman Scott Rolen, on the disabled list since May 12 with a strained left shoulder, could be back relatively soon. But there will be no rehabilitation assignment in the Minors before his activation.
"We've been discussing that -- probably not," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Tuesday. "He's been getting a lot of hitting. I think he's been on a rehab before and a couple of times he didn't go on a rehab. There are some guys that their strokes are such that they might not need it."
Rolen has continued to take batting practice and ground balls for the past week and has reported no problems.
Triple-A Louisville infielder Chris Valaika had arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday to repair torn medial meniscus in his right knee and an inflamed anterior cruciate ligament. Valaika, who is expected to miss three-to-four weeks, had surgery to repair a torn ACL in the same knee on Sept. 19.
Reds manager Dusty Baker and his 13-year-old son, Darren, spent part of the Reds' Monday off-day at the Air Force Museum at the Wright-Patterson base near Dayton. "It's pretty awesome," Baker said. "It made the day a little better after that tough Sunday night ... for a little while." Baker also visited Class A Dayton's ballpark and spent time with some players and manager Delino DeShields before the Dragons' game.