05/17/12 12:09 AM ET
Frazier working through kinks of everyday role
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Reds manager Dusty Baker previously said whether Frazier stays in the lineup long term is up to the player. It's been tough sledding thus far, as Frazier entered the day 2-for-15 since assuming a starting role, including a 0-for-10 drought that he snapped with a seventh-inning single in Atlanta on Tuesday."He's been OK. We just need a little more contact," Baker said. "They've been pitching him tough." "At first, I put a little pressure on myself, and you could see a downward last three or four games," Frazier said. "I have to understand to relax. It's a great opportunity for me. I have to do the little things and everything will take care of itself." Frazier, a native of Toms River, N.J., expected to have 20 people at Citi Field on Wednesday, and a lot more this weekend when the Reds play the Yankees. "A couple of busloads are coming up this weekend," Frazier said. "It will be fun to see family and friends."
Baker: Chapman needed most in bullpen
NEW YORK -- As Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman continues to post zeroes on the board, the questions persist as to when he will become Reds starter Aroldis Chapman.On Wednesday, Reds manager Dusty Baker maintained the club's need to have Chapman as a setup man, but that his likely future was as a starter. "We lost [Ryan] Madson. We lost [Bill] Bray. If he wasn't in the position he's in now, we wouldn't be in the position that we're in," Baker said. "He's gotten people out of trouble. He's won games. Imagine where we'd be without him in this role right now. I have to do what I think is best for him and us right now." In 15 appearances, including the eighth inning of Wednesday's 6-3 win over the Mets, Chapman has yet to allow a run through 19 1/3 innings -- the most scoreless innings from any reliever in the National League. He has a 3-0 record with five walks and 34 strikeouts. In 14 appearances entering Wednesday, Chapman had yet to allow a run through 18 1/3 innings -- the most scoreless innings from any reliever in the National League. He has a 3-0 record with five walks and 32 strikeouts. "A lot of times, that eighth inning is tougher than closing. Some day he might end up being the closer," said Baker, which he hadn't previously hinted. "But you have to graduate to that. He just barely graduated to being a reliever last year. Now he's graduated to setup man. Who knows where he may graduate to? "It's not a matter of only when [Chapman starts], but who takes his place. Replacement cost is something sometimes. At this point, is he more valuable to us three or four days a week, or one day a week on what we need right now?"
Bruce gets breather with day game looming
NEW YORK -- Reds right fielder Jay Bruce was not in the lineup Wednesday against the Mets. Bruce was 2-for-11 lifetime versus Mets starter Johan Santana, but that wasn't the only reason."It's just manager's decision," Reds skipper Dusty Baker said. "If I don't give it to him today, he's not going to get it anytime soon. Late night, day game tomorrow. We need to get [Ryan] Ludwick started so he can DH at Yankee Stadium." Chris Heisey started for Bruce in right field, while Ludwick played left field. With the Reds in a stretch of 20 games in 20 days, other regulars could soon get a break. That includes Joey Votto, who has started every game this season. "Everybody is going to get a day. I just have to decide when and against whom," Baker said.
Bruce is batting .361 with seven home runs over his last 22 games.
According to Stats Inc., the Reds' two series in New York against the Mets on Wednesday and Thursday, and the Yankees from Friday-Sunday, will mark the seventh time since Interleague Play began in 1997 that a visiting team will play consecutively versus both Major League teams in a shared market. It's the first time it's happened in New York.