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03/28/11 7:53 PM ET

Baker finalizes Reds' roster, rotation

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The day before his club breaks Spring Training camp and heads home to Cincinnati, Reds manager Dusty Baker finalized both his season-opening roster and starting rotation.

The choices to trim the three players to get down to the 25-man active roster were easy: Going on the disabled list will be outfielder Fred Lewis (sore right oblique) and right-hander Jose Arredondo (right elbow), while non-roster catcher Corky Miller will be reassigned to Minor League camp.

The move with Lewis means the last seat on the bench will be taken by Juan Francisco, a corner infielder who also has outfield experience.

Edinson Volquez, who will oppose the Brewers in Thursday's Opening Day match at Great American Ball Park, will be followed to the hill by Travis Wood on Saturday and Bronson Arroyo in Sunday's finale against Milwaukee.

After another off-day on Monday, Mike Leake will open a three-game series against the Astros. Then Volquez will begin another spin of the four-man rotation, which the Reds can get by using until April 11 due to the early off-days.

It's not the way Baker had originally drawn it up.

As he said, "I had some dynamite plans," before injuries to two of Cincinnati's starting pitchers forced adjustments. Johnny Cueto (shoulder inflammation) and Homer Bailey (shoulder impingement) will both start the season on the DL.

The blueprint had Cueto and Bailey following Volquez and Arroyo -- who himself is slightly impaired as he fights off mononucleosis -- then Wood, with Leake in reserve.

Cueto, who was shut down a week ago, actually has resumed playing catch, which Baker called "a great sign."

"He says he feels great. Part of being a professional is knowing your body," said Baker, who still ruled out any possibility of Cueto being available when a fifth starter is needed. "We're not going to rush him back. He doesn't think it'll take him as long to get back, but it's up to us to slow him down."

Leake closes spring on positive note

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Intent on bringing his sour Spring Training to a sweet finish, Mike Leake avoided trying to do too much on Monday -- and did nothing to spoil his anticipation of the season.

Leake went the first 5 2/3 innings of the Reds' 9-1 victory over the White Sox -- matching the longest outing of the preseason by a Cincinnati pitcher -- and allowed a run and six hits while walking two and striking out three.

This was a far cry from the 2 1/3-inning, seven-run glitch in his previous start, Tuesday against Oakland.

"I was overthrowing then, trying to do too much. This is what I wanted to do in my last tuneup," Leake said. "We worked on some things and talked about a couple of things. I was reminded how I'm supposed to pitch, by mixing and matching. I'm not overpowering."

"He threw very well. That's what we wanted to see, against a very tough lineup," said Reds manager Dusty Baker, alluding to the White Sox use of mostly regulars. "They've got some mashers in there. But [Leake] threw some good strikes and changed speeds off his fastball."

Monday's sharp performance will make it easier for Leake to cool his heels until his next assignment -- as the Reds' season-opening No. 4 starter, his turn will not come up until April 4, at home against Houston -- and relish his first Opening Day.

"I'm just going to enjoy that first game," said Leake, who last year was left behind when the Reds broke camp, and didn't rejoin the club until mid-April. "I'm not going to stop working; I'll mix in an extra workout or two."

Worth noting

Right-handed reliever Jared Burton was forced out of Monday's game following a two-out walk of Chicago's Brent Lillibridge in the seventh when "he said he just didn't feel right. No pain, he just couldn't extend his arm back," said manager Dusty Baker, indicating the back of his shoulder. Burton will be re-evaluated Tuesday morning. ... Jonny Gomes, whose solo shot in the second triggered the Reds' homer-or-nothing offense in the 9-1 win over the White Sox, has four doubles and four homers among nine exhibition hits. His batting average is .188, and his slugging percentage is .521. ... As he did Monday, Baker will play his regulars for the first five innings of Tuesday's Cactus League finale against the Indians. ... Before meeting the White Sox and Indians to wrap up the exhibition schedule, the Reds went 9-8 against National League competition.

Tom Singer is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow @Tom_Singer on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.