03/04/2013 7:11 PM ET
Cueto slims down but plans to regain weight
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Reds ace Johnny Cueto has looked leaner than he has in past camps, and it's apparently for good reason. Cueto reported last month weighing 209 pounds and dropped two more pounds in the past three weeks.
"My normal weight is usually 214. I feel better at 214," Cueto said via interpreter Mario Soto.
Cueto said he was told he could put some pounds back on and planned to do so.
During his second spring start vs. the D-backs on Monday, Cueto gave up one run and struck out four in three innings. There was a scare during a rocky first inning when Cueto slipped and fell trying to field Jason Kubel's check-swing grounder as a run scored. He was on the ground for a moment and was checked out by the trainer and manager Dusty Baker.
"I didn't want the run to score and that's when I slipped," Cueto said. "It's not a problem."
Baker forced to switch lineup after D-backs drop DH
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Reds manager Dusty Baker and D-backs skipper Kirk Gibson didn't see eye-to-eye over having the pitcher bat during Monday's Cactus League game, which led to a heated exchange.
In the original Reds lineup posted on Monday morning, Shin-Soo Choo was leading off and the designated hitter. That was the plan Baker wanted to go with because Choo had missed a few days with tight right quadriceps and he didn't want to use him in center field again just yet.
"He's well enough to DH. He was well enough yesterday but I want to make sure he's feeling good," Baker said before the team left its complex in Goodyear.
Upon arrival at Salt River Fields, the Reds found that Gibson had a different plan.
"He wanted his pitcher to hit and I wanted Choo to DH," Baker said following a 7-2 Reds loss. "They sent over word that's what they wanted to do. It would have been fine with me to do both. It's up to the home team of what they want to do. Usually here we let teams DH early."
Baker also was denied the offer of letting his team use a DH while the D-backs use their pitcher to hit.
In the new Reds lineup, second baseman Cesar Izturis -- originally the No. 2 hitter -- moved up to bat leadoff. Baker said he would have been OK with his team using a DH and Arizona having the pitcher hit. But that didn't happen.
Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto had to bat for the Reds and struck out looking in the third inning.
"That was a big surprise. I was not allowed to swing the bat," Cueto said.
D-backs starter Brandon McCarthy also had one plate appearance in the third and grounded out to the catcher.
"It was a good locker-room talk. Read between the lines," Gibson said after the game. "It was a good talk. It was just, whatever. They knew that we were going to do it that way. I had it happen last year with a team, they tried to put the DH in there and that's not the way it's done. I wanted to play a National League game, I notified them several times and they just wanted to do it their way and they couldn't do it. So they didn't like that. But we play by the rules here, that's the way it is. We go over there, we play by their rules. It's very simple."
At the exchange of lineup cards, there were some words between the two managers. Gibson offered to shake hands, but Baker refused.
"We didn't have a very pleasant encounter at home plate," Baker said. "That's how it goes. It's over."
Choo did appear as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning and flied out to left field.
Cingrani brings effective pickoff move to camp
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Reds left-handed pitching prospect Tony Cingrani has one part of his game well-developed already. Cingrani, 23, recorded eight pickoffs in 16 games at Double-A Pensacola last season.
Cingrani, the Reds' No. 3 prospect according to MLB.com, has been honing his move since his college days.
"It wasn't very hard to work on," Cingrani said. "At Rice, we worked on it every couple of days during the fall and everything. We just worked on getting to that 45 [degree angle] and changing up head movements. I really didn't do too much with my head. I just work on that 45 degree angle and make everything look like I'm going home and then coming over."
Catcher Ryan Hanigan (sore left oblique) remained out Monday. Hanigan hasn't played since Friday.
"He's getting better," Baker said. "He hit this morning. I would say realistically, two or three [more] days."