02/22/12 4:40 PM EST
Baker mum on rotation order
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Phillips stays patient despite lack of extension
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips arrived to Spring Training last year, he was worried about not getting a contract extension. Ditto for during the season and at the very end.After the Reds picked up Phillips' $12 million option following the season, negotiations dragged all winter without resolution. So as an early arrival to camp on Wednesday, Phillips found himself discussing the lack of an extension once again. "I thought it would be over with by now," Phillips said. "The only thing I can really do is go out there and play the game and do what's best for the team. I love the moves that we made to make the team better. That's what it's all about. We'll all go out there and win and get things done. My day will come. I'm not really worried about it. I'll let my agent and the Reds take care of that themselves. It would have been nice to come to camp knowing that things would have been done with, but it actually didn't work out that way." There has been no known movement in talks for a while. Phillips also hasn't gotten any recent updates from his agents -- the Levinson brothers. "I haven't heard anything since ... I can't remember. It's been that long," Phillips said. "It's been before Redsfest [in December]. I heard my agent was going to come down here and talk to them during Spring Training. Hopefully they can get some things done." Phillips remained in a positive mood about his situation and has been working out all winter his brother P.J. and his father at home in Atlanta. P.J. Phillips was signed by the Reds over the winter and will be in Minor League camp. As for the contract talks, Phillips did not expect a deadline to be set to get a deal done before the season started. "I don't see myself saying anything like that," he said. "I would really love to hear what they've got to say. I am not going to let it bother me. They're going to be talking to my agent more than myself." While winning his third Gold Glove Award and first Silver Slugger Award, Phillips batted .300 with 18 home runs and 82 RBIs last season. The 30-year-old finished the year as Cincinnati's leadoff hitter, which he will likely do this season. After reporting to the complex two days ahead of the scheduled report date, Phillips got on the field to take batting practice and ground balls. "It's always fun to come to see your second family," Phillips said. "Like I've said, this is where I want to be. I'm not trying to break the bank or nothing like that. I don't want Prince Fielder money or nothing like that. I just want to be within the other second basemen. That's what I've asked for."
Slimmer Bruce to adjust hitting approach
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- With Jay Bruce 15 pounds lighter this year as he reported to camp, manager Dusty Baker expects the right fielder to make adjustments in his hitting approach."He has a new body," Baker said. "He's going to have to learn what he can do with that new body, especially hitting. His trunk rotation will be a lot more compact, a lot more powerful. Consequently, he'll have to learn he can wait longer now because he has less trunk to rotate." The club did not order Bruce to slim down. "He was never fat. He just wasn't suave and cut," Baker said. "We'll see. Everybody doesn't necessarily have to be suave and cut. Some guys play better with a little baby fat on them. I've seen that, too. I've seen guys we've put weight back on, guys that I played with. One guy was Fernando [Valenzuela]. He lost all this baby fat and wasn't throwing anything, so we had to fatten him back up again."
Third baseman Juan Francisco is still bothered by a sore left calf and is receiving treatment. Francisco has not been on the field hitting or fielding in recent days. The Reds and Fox Sports Ohio announced a 145-game local television schedule of Reds for 2012. Play-by-play announcers Thom Brennaman and Jim Kelch will be back, along with analysts Chris Welsh and Jeff Brantley. The semiretired George Grande will also do a selected number of games. Jim Day and Jeff Piecoro are also back as pregame and postgame hosts.