10/05/12 8:59 PM ET
For Stubbs, it's 'refreshing' to start with clean slate
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
In 47 games since Aug. 6, Stubbs batted .160 with no homers.
"It's refreshing seeing zeros up there for everybody," Stubbs said. "It kind of gives you the sense that it's a new season and a new start. I can forget about everything that's happened to this point and start from scratch.
"I had a few weeks during the season where I felt like things were coming together, but it kind of dismantled shortly after that. I lost the comfort of what it's like to see the ball and make good swings. I fought all year with that and never got my feet under me, where I could consistently have the approach and the at-bats I needed to."
Stubbs, who batted from the eighth spot during the final week of the regular season, could figure prominently on defense in the National League Division Series vs. the Giants -- with Game 1 starting at 9:30 p.m. ET on Saturday on TBS. His speed should be an asset in the spacious AT&T Park outfield.
"I actually enjoy playing here," Stubbs said. "With all of the quirks and nooks and crannies in right field, and the way conditions with the wind are sometimes, I know it can be tough on a right fielder. I try to do my best, not really to shade that way, but be aware of those things and help him out."
Baker hints at returning to Reds next season
SAN FRANCISCO -- In the final season of a two-year contract, Reds manager Dusty Baker rarely discusses or takes questions about his future. That was not the case on Friday afternoon.
While in his office before his team's workout in preparation of Saturday's National League Division Series opener vs. the Giants -- on TBS at 9:30 p.m. ET -- Baker appeared to be very relaxed as he listened to music at his desk. He subtly hinted about his intentions to return to Cincinnati and didn't seem like a lame duck.
"The way I look at it, we'll get even better in the future," Baker said. "The more mature these guys get, we've got a bunch of guys here still learning how to hit, still learning how to play, basically."
Does that mean he will be back in 2013? Baker's face cracked a smile.
"This is my team, you know," Baker replied.
After the workout, Baker was fielding questions in the interview room when his contract status was brought up by a reporter.
"I plan to manage," Baker said. "I've been through this so many times, so I've learned not to worry about something that's really out of your control right now. The only thing that's in my control is to win ballgames, and God is always taking care of me. I know people don't want to hear that, but God has always taken care of me, so why wouldn't he take care of me now?
"I'm not worried and, God willing, I'm going to manage some more because I think I'm getting better and I'm still enjoying it. As long as I'm enjoying it, and as long as my family doesn't object, I will be somewhere."
Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has not publicly discussed Baker's future and has repeatedly said it would be handled after the season.
The 63-year-old Baker, who is ranked second among active managers with 1,571 wins, missed 11 games in September after being hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat and then suffering a mild stroke. The episode left Baker not only appreciative of his life and family, but also his team, which he says he genuinely likes.
"Maybe [the stroke] was a sign I am supposed to stay maybe where I am," Baker said. "I believe in signs, so sometimes it happens."
Reds to reveal NLDS roster on Saturday
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Reds and Giants don't have to submit their National League Division Series rosters until Saturday prior to Game 1 -- set to be played at 9:30 p.m. ET on TBS. Cincinnati wasn't prepared to reveal its choices on Friday.
"We're not going to talk about it until [Saturday]," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
The Reds brought 28 players to San Francisco -- 15 position players and 13 pitchers -- and will have to make three cuts. Catcher Devin Mesoraco is one of the players on the bubble, and his chances hinge on whether the club decides to carry three catchers in the NLDS.
"I'm here and happy to be a part of this, for whatever they've got planned," Mesoraco said.
Mesoraco, the Reds' top prospect entering the season, struggled in a backup role and batted .212 with five home runs in 54 games. He was demoted to Triple-A Louisville on Aug. 23 and has had only three at-bats since returning as a September callup -- and none since Sept. 10.
"I've been working hard to keep my swing together," Mesoraco said. "Whatever happens, I'll be fine either way."
Under MLB rule 10.22(a), Reds first baseman Joey Votto finished the season as the National League leader in on-base percentage at .474 in 475 plate appearances.