04/13/10 12:50 AM ET
Baker not worried about lack of offense
Bats connect on 11 hits in series-opening win over Marlins
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Jay Bruce, who began the day batting .053, had two hits and snapped a 0-for-17 skid. Scott Rolen went 3-for-5 with two homers and the game-winning RBI single, and he raised his average from .235 to .318.Orlando Cabrera, batting .207, hit a two-run homer. Jonny Gomes is batting .143 (seven strikeouts in 16 at-bats), and Brandon Phillips is at .185 following a 1-for-4 night. "I think the offense is going to surprise some people," Rolen said after the game. "I think we take good at-bats and swing at strikes. We're all going to get better as we go. That's the plan, anyway." The Reds definitely faced a slew of tough starting pitching the first week, including Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals and Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs. St. Louis right-hander Brad Penny and Chicago's Carlos Silva, who struggled in previous seasons, turned in great outings as well. "Everybody talks about [how] good pitching beats good hitting," Baker said. "But when you don't hit, they want to know what's wrong. That kind of negates that saying."
Stubbs a student of his swing
MIAMI -- The visiting clubhouse was nearly empty on Monday afternoon, but center fielder Drew Stubbs was in the video corner watching some of his swings. In Sunday's win over the Cubs, Stubbs struck out three times and could not execute a sacrifice bunt."The last couple of days, I haven't felt great at the plate," said Stubbs, who finished the weekend batting .250 with one home run, five RBIs and two steals. "[On Sunday], in particular, I saw that my head was moving a little bit when I was swinging and causing me to swing through some balls. You see that and want to get back to the basics and fundamentals of your swing and restart." Through his first six games, Stubbs had delivered a game-winning grand slam, but he also had some rough plate appearances. Through his first 20 at-bats, he had eight strikeouts compared to two walks. "You see what you were doing when you're swinging the bat well and just get back to that," he said. "I'm never going to be a real low strikeout guy. Just look at my past. It's going to happen, and it happens to everybody. I just try to do the things that I do well on the field and exploit those strengths."
Louisville Bats show off their arms
MIAMI -- It was a good first week for the rotation at Triple-A Louisville, which has a 2-1 record and 1.40 ERA through its first four games.
The foursome of Sam LeCure, Travis Wood, Matt Maloney and Aroldis Chapman combined for four walks and 30 strikeouts. "Everybody has pitched pretty well," Minor League director Terry Reynolds said on Monday. "That bodes well for us. All of them had good springs and made a good impression."
MIAMI -- After his strong Major League debut on Sunday in front of 19 family members and friends, Mike Leake had little time to celebrate, as he had to catch the charter flight to Florida.
"I got to give them all hugs and thank them for coming," Leake said on Monday. "It was a great weekend. They got to see me pitch and see Cincinnati and find out what it's about."Showers kept the Reds off the field early Monday afternoon, but the club was able to take batting practice outside. Manager Dusty Baker was concerned about the revamped left-field wall at Sun Life Stadium, where the scoreboard was replaced by advertisements. Balls hit off the high wall apparently will play differently.
"You wish you could see some of these differences instead of waiting for the game to see it," Baker said. "I'm sure [the Marlins] had a lot of practice with that."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.