03/30/12 8:59 PM ET
Cueto ready to go for Opening Day
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Reds have tough roster decisions to make
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- With 28 healthy players remaining in Reds camp, there are at least three players who have to be cut before Opening Day. And that's assuming the club doesn't pursue any players from outside the organization in the final days."It's a very difficult thing, because you can't keep everybody," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Friday. "If we could keep 28, it'd be no problem. But then we'd probably want 30." One of the biggest decisions facing the Reds is figuring out who will take up the final two bench spots. There are five candidates in Todd Frazier, Juan Francisco, Willie Harris, Paul Janish and Wilson Valdez. "They all bring something, strengths and some weaknesses, to the situation and the table," Baker said. "It just depends if we can use their strengths and live with their weaknesses in the present. Or can they go down and get better and be prepared to come back?"
Complicating matters are Valdez and Francisco being out of options. Valdez was a good bet to make the club anyway, especially since he is batting .318 this spring. Janish is having a solid camp and batting .289. Francisco has struggled all spring, batting just .184, but he has four homers and is the only left-handed power hitter of the group.Frazier is having a strong spring, batting .280 with a team-leading five home runs and 12 RBIs. He can also play every infield spot and both corner outfield positions. The infielder/outfielder has his suitcases packed, but does not know whether they will be headed to Cincinnati or Triple-A Louisville. He isn't worried. "It's pretty exciting just to know you're with the team this far and understanding this might be your year to go," Frazier said. "I'm never really a nervous guy. I'm happy-go-lucky. I try to keep everything to myself when it comes to that stuff. Everything will be fine." During Friday's 6-5 win over the Indians, Frazier and Francisco hit back-to-back solo home runs to right field. Frazier, 26, believes he has shown the club everything he's got. "Three, four days ago, I slowed down a bit. You guys saw," Frazier said. "It's going to happen. Then [Thursday], you have a day like that [3-for-5] and it puts it all in perspective -- the game of baseball. I think I've proved myself -- that I belong in the Major Leagues -- for sure." Baker pointed out that the best spring results don't automatically mean making the team. "Just like when I got sent to the Minor Leagues, I didn't really agree with it. But it was the correct thing," Baker said. "It's better for some players, younger players, to go play instead of sitting on the bench and spot playing -- especially when you're seeing improvement from some of the guys."
Latos has no issues during 'pen session
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Starting pitcher Mat Latos, who strained his left calf in his start on March 27, threw in the bullpen on Friday morning as pitching coaches Bryan Price and Mack Jenkins watched. Latos appeared to be pain free."All good," Price said. "No issues." Latos is scheduled to pitch on Sunday for the Reds against the White Sox. The final decision on whether the right-hander will be ready for the season has not been revealed.
Lefty reliever Sean Marshall had his seventh straight scoreless appearance, totaling eight innings, against the Indians on Friday. Marshall has three walks and 15 strikeouts this spring. Reliever Jordan Smith, who has not pitched since March 8, will start the season on the disabled list because of an injured right elbow.