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03/01/11 5:52 PM ET

Reds prospect Sappelt turning heads

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Through the early portion of Spring Training, outfield prospect Dave Sappelt has been productive. Through three games, he is 4-for-7 with a home run and he was 3-for-3 in Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage.

"He can hit," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He doesn't overswing. He's very under control and real short to the ball. His swing is similarly short to like Bill Madlock and he has power like Larvell "Sugarbear" Blanks. He looks like him and acts like him."

On Sunday vs. the Indians, the 5-foot-9 Sappelt crushed an impressive-looking homer well over the left-field fence.

"He has surprising sock," Baker said. "He has to improve some at other areas of his game. He's coming rather quickly."

Cueto lasts three innings in Cactus debut

TEMPE, Ariz. -- In his first outing of spring, Reds No. 3 starter Johnny Cueto pitched three innings during a 2-1 loss to the Angels on Tuesday.

Cueto gave up two earned runs and two hits with no walks, one strikeout and two hit batters.

"I am very happy with my first outing," Cueto said. "I had pretty good location and was able to do what I wanted with my pitches."

In the first inning, Cueto hit leadoff batter Erick Aybar with an 0-2 pitch, but would escape unscathed when Torii Hunter grounded into an inning-ending double play. Cueto had a quick 1-2-3 second inning.

After a strikeout to begin the third inning, Cueto gave up Brandon Wood's double to left field and hit Peter Bourjos with a pitch.

"I threw an 0-2 changeup they ended up hitting for a double," Cueto said. "Maybe normally I wouldn't throw that pitch, but since it was Spring Training, I wanted to work on some pitches. I want to make sure I have everything ready for when the season starts."

Aybar singled to move Bourjos to third base, and Bourjos scored on a Bobby Abreu sacrifice fly.

"Cueto threw the ball very well," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He had just two 1-2 hits and the hit batsmen. That was the difference in the ballgame. Other than that, he threw the ball great."

Reds take look at Minor Leaguers

TEMPE, Ariz. -- With the Reds playing a pair of split-squad games on the road Tuesday, they had to tap into their Minor League camp for a few prospects against the Angels.

Outfield prospects Kyle Waldrop and Juan Duran, both 19, saw their first action in a big league game. Duran just missed a homer to center field late in the game, settling for an out at the warning track.

One of the Reds' exciting shortstop prospects, Billy Hamilton, also got into the game. In the bottom of the eighth with two outs and a runner on second base, Hamilton knocked down a sharp line drive to his left from Alexi Amarista and threw out the runner heading to third base.

"That was a great play," Baker said. "That was heads-up from the beginning. He didn't hesitate. If he hesitated at all, that guy was safe."

Worth noting

One of the reasons Baker decided to manage the split-squad game vs. the Angels was so he could see pitching prospects Scott Carroll and Jerry Gil for the first time in action. Carroll pitched two scoreless innings with one walk and two strikeouts. Gil pitched a scoreless eighth inning with two hits and one strikeout. "Carroll has been looking good the whole time," Baker said. ... Baker had a few fond memories of the Angels spring home at Tempe-Diablo Stadium. He recalled playing instructional leagues there in the late 1960s. "I remember coming to a Janis Joplin concert and maybe Cream was here," Baker said. "They [fans] stormed the fence there on the hill and pushed the fence down."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.