04/29/12 1:04 PM ET
Reds players lead successful recycling drive
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Cairo's return may be just around the corner
CINCINNATI -- Eligible to come off the disabled list while the team is off on Monday, utility infielder Miguel Cairo could return as soon as Tuesday when the Reds open a series vs. the Cubs.Whether that actually happens remains a mystery. Cairo, who has been out with a strained left hamstring, has been running and hitting for a week and has reported no issues. "I feel good but I think I have to run the bases first," Cairo said. "I go by what the trainers tell me. I'm the worker and do what they tell me to do. Hopefully in the next couple of days, I don't know the plan. I wish I could tell you. The good thing is, I feel good and my legs feel good. We'll see what happens on Tuesday, Wednesday or whatever." Cairo, who turns 38 on May 4, was batting .111 in four games when he was hurt on April 14 at Washington. Manager Dusty Baker has a policy when he deals with injured players and it's likely to apply to Cairo. "I don't know," Baker responded when asked if Cairo would be activated for Tuesday. "You say you're feeling good and then I give you another day. We'll see."
Frazier making the most of time off the bench
CINCINNATI -- Reds infielder Todd Frazier has not wasted his latest big league opportunity, even if he has played sparingly. Frazier entered Sunday batting .500 (5-for-10) in six games with a five-game hitting streak. Most of his at-bats have been as a pinch-hitter since he was called up on April 17 when Miguel Cairo went on the disabled list.Frazier started on Sunday at third base when Scott Rolen had the day off. "I knew it was going to mainly be a pinch-hit role and helping out Scotty at third base when they need it for a day game," Frazier said Sunday morning. "Coming in to start today, I'm very excited. I try to bring a lot of energy to the table, like I've been doing on the bench and helping the guys." Despite his excellent camp, Frazier was the final cut out of Spring Training when the Reds decided to carry an extra pitcher. He played every day at third base at Triple-A Louisville, as he has throughout his pro career, but the 26-year-old has adjusted to the bench role in the Majors to this point. "It's funny, you think it would be [tough] but it's not when you're focused on team stuff and bring enthusiasm to the game," Frazier said. "I've never had that role before and you've got to be tough. It's fun though. You don't want that role because you want to start, ultimately. But knowing it's your time to come up in that pinch-hit role to make a difference in the game, that's pretty exciting to me. If a runner is on, try to get him in. That's basically the rule of thumb for pinch-hitting." Frazier's play has made it possible for the Reds to not rush back Cairo, who is eligible to be activated ahead of Tuesday's game vs. the Cubs. Frazier has also made it quite tough to be sent back to Louisville and has presented the front office a difficult decision.