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03/28/08 1:48 PM ET

Reds cut Bray, Phillips, Capellan

But the team will need to cut six more before Opening Day

ST. PETERSBURG -- In what manager Dusty Baker called the "quickest spring" in recent years, the Reds continued to pare down their roster prior to Friday's game, as three players were reassigned.

The Reds optioned pitcher Bill Bray to Triple-A Louisville, reassigned infielder Andy Phillips to Minor League camp and returned Jose Capellan to the Red Sox via the Rule 5 Draft rule.

"These are real tough," Baker said of the final decisions. "This is when you wish you had a 28-man roster."

Bray was a particularly tough decision for the Reds. The lefty missed the first half of camp with shoulder soreness, and, despite a strong showing, the Reds felt he needed to gain more experience.

The 24-year old has only thrown 65 innings in the past three seasons.

"We've got to see more dependability," Baker said. "You've got to go two, three days in a row."

Despite Bray starting the season in Louisville, Baker noted that Cincinnati would have no problem exercising the depth that has plagued the club in seasons past.

"Everybody we sent down is a potential callup," he said. "Bray was definitely in the mix. ... We have one of the best Triple-A teams there is."

Bray finished his spring campaign with a 3.68 ERA and six strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.

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Phillips was also reassigned, but it is unclear at which Minor League level he will start. The infielder batted .277 with 11 RBIs in Spring Training, but it wasn't enough to persuade the Reds to keep the non-roster invitee.

Capellan was subject to the Rule 5 Draft restriction, which states that if a team does not keep a Rule 5 player on its 25-man roster for the entire season, he must be offered back to the team from which he was chosen in the Draft for a fee of $25,000. Capellan will report back to the Red Sox on Friday afternoon.

The Reds, who now have 31 healthy players remaining in camp, will have to pare down even further over the next 48 hours, to bring the Opening Day roster to the allowed 25 healthy players.

Baker did not specify when those final cuts would come, but the college basketball fan doesn't expect them to come anytime Saturday night, with the start of the NCAA Elite Eight games.

So who will be Baker be rooting for when UCLA plays Cincinnati-based Xavier?

"I grew up on John Wooden," said the Bruins fan, before adding, "But I did root for Xavier the other night."

Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.