07/17/12 12:39 AM ET
Dusty warns Reds about letdown
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Manager Dusty Baker, who had 15-20 ticket requests for Sunday night's game vs. St. Louis and only one for the series opener vs. Arizona, wanted his club to guard against a letdown.
"This is a big day today when you come off of a tough series," Baker said Monday. "We spent a lot of emotional and physical energy playing those Cardinals. You're curious to see how they'll be today too. That was a playoff game [atmosphere]. I don't anticipate as many fans so we'll have to come up with our own motivation."
Frazier plays first base in Votto's absence
CINCINNATI -- When rookie Todd Frazier came to the ballpark on Monday and learned he was making his first start of the season at first base in place of Joey Votto, he assumed it would be a one-day thing.
Later, it was revealed that Votto would need left knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He will miss three to four weeks.
"It's a huge blow," Frazier said after he went 1-for-4 with a double in the Reds' 5-3 loss to Arizona. "We knew his knee was hurting, but we didn't know the extent. We'll have to come together a little more and keep working. We've got a good core of guys that can step up, including myself. It's going to be a tough grind, but at the same time, our pitching staff has been doing it all year."
Frazier logged one game at first base last season and primarily played third base when Scott Rolen was out with injuries. He can also play second base, shortstop and left field.
Defensively, Frazier caught a first-inning line drive from Lyle Overbay with a runner on first base, then touched the bag to get a double play.
Reds manager Dusty Baker could give Frazier more starts at first base, while mixing and matching with veteran Miguel Cairo.
"I don't know. It's a good possibility," Baker said of Frazier starting. "He'll play some first and some third. Miggy will play some first. Miggy is an outstanding first baseman. We just have to get Miggy swinging, because he saved us a couple of years ago when Joey was out for an extended period of time."
"Dusty talked to me yesterday during [batting practice] and told me to take some ground balls at first," Frazier said before the game. "That usually means I'm going to play that position for one day or whatever. I'm ready. I've played there a lot. It comes natural to me."
Frazier is batting .278 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs. He also batted in Votto's third spot of the lineup against Arizona.
"Maybe I'll give Scotty a break at third when he needs or play mostly first," Frazier said. "I've been doing it two, three years now, of bouncing to all the different positions. No problem, I'm just trying to contribute like everyone else."
Despite blister, Cueto on track to make next start
CINCINNATI -- After he was scratched from Sunday's start because of a blister on his right index finger, Reds ace Johnny Cueto was considered good to make his next start on Tuesday vs. the D-Backs.
"Yeah, I think so," Cueto said. "It's better."
Manager Dusty Baker confirmed Cueto's status a little while later.
"He's getting better every day and should be all right by tomorrow," Baker said.
The Reds have used only five starting pitchers through the first 89 games of the season, a modern franchise record. The Marlins are the only other club this season to use only their five original starting pitchers.