04/16/2013 6:39 PM ET
Pitching around Votto just fine for Reds, Phillips
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- Reds first baseman and No. 3 hitter Joey Votto has yet to really take off at the plate but entered Tuesday batting .317 in 13 games. His Major League leading 21 walks were 10 more than second-place's Albert Pujols -- and three more than the entire White Sox team.
Opposing pitchers have worked Votto carefully and he has never been afraid to take walks. Reds manager Dusty Baker doesn't expect pitchers to change their approach with Votto, which would make cleanup hitter Brandon Phillips the biggest beneficiary.
"If they don't, Brandon could have a whole bunch of RBIs," Baker said on Tuesday. "I don't care who does it, as long as somebody does it. Brandon seems pretty happy with it."
Phillips entered the night fourth in the Majors with 16 RBIs and has eight multi-hit games during a great start to his season.
Reds pay tribute to Boston with 'Sweet Caroline'
CINCINNATI -- It's hard not to have Boston heavy on the mind. It's a city in need of a lift, and any kind will do after Monday's shocking terrorist bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three and injured nearly 200.
Why not a little "Sweet Caroline"?
Each night the Reds play the "Twitter DJ" song of the game, but that was the one song seemed fitting for a miniature tribute to fans in Boston.
"Tonight's song of the game has become a part of the everyday game day experience at Fenway Park. Here is Neil Diamond," said Reds public address announcer Joe Zerhusen.
"Sweet Caroline" has traditionally been played during the eighth inning at Red Sox home games. Many teams around Major League Baseball paid homage to Boston and the Red Sox by playing the song -- including the rival Yankees on Tuesday night.
As it was "Bark in the Park" night at Great American Ball Park, fans and some of the 600 dogs in attendance were shown on the video board merrily singing along.
Ludwick begins slow rehab process for torn labrum
CINCINNATI -- Still in the early stages of recovering from right shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum, Reds left fielder Ryan Ludwick is shaking hands awkwardly with the left hand.
Ludwick was seen in the Reds clubhouse Tuesday for the first time since he injured his shoulder sliding head-first into third base on Opening Day against the Angels.
"I know I'm in a sling for two more weeks," Ludwick said. "I can't wait to get it off because it's like a second wife right now. I sleep with it, I eat with it and I do pretty much everything with it but shower with it. I feel good for being only two weeks out. They say my range of motion is pretty good. It's my non-throwing arm, that's a positive."
Ludwick, 34, isn't expected to return to the lineup until around the All-Star break. Currently, he's in the beginning of his rehabilitation.
"Slow, very slow," Ludwick said of his rehab. "The process at this point is very slow, very boring. It's not fun. I think when I get that sling off in two weeks, we can do some more active stuff. They've got a dog collar on me now holding me back. We'll get going."
Since the injury, and subsequent surgery, Ludwick has consulted former Padres teammate Adrian Gonzalez.
"He had the same deal, except his was on his throwing arm," Ludwick said. "It's a little different. It took him longer to come back than three to four months. When you throw, it's a whole different ballgame."
Baker: No four-out saves for Chapman
CINCINNATI -- With lefty setup man Sean Marshall (shoulder tendinitis) not eligible to come off of the disabled list for another week, Reds manager Dusty Baker is not going to consider using lefty closer Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning.
During Monday's 4-2 win over the Phillies, Bronson Arroyo gave up a game-tying two-run, two-out home run to pinch-hitter Chase Utley -- a left-handed hitter -- in the top of the eighth. Chapman was not warming up at that point.
"When do you warm him up? Do you warm him up at the start of the eighth?" Baker asked on Tuesday. "That's what you'd have to do to have him ready at the end the eighth. It's easy to have somebody loose but you're going to tire your bullpen out before they even get in the game. It's easy afterwards."
After the Reds scored two in the bottom of the eighth, Chapman got the save during a perfect top of the ninth. Baker has considered the notion of using Chapman for four-out saves, but is opposed to it for the time being.
"As we get more into the season, you might do it," Baker said. "Right now, we've got to keep these guys strong."
Bruce on hand to dedicate field in memory of scout
CINCINNATI -- Right fielder Jay Bruce never forgot the Reds scout who signed him out of high school as a first-round Draft pick in 2005. A year later, that scout, Brian Wilson, died suddenly from a heart attack -- a terrible shock since Wilson was only 33 years old.
On Tuesday at the Batavia Township Community Center in Clermont County, Ohio, Bruce was on hand for the dedication of Brian Wilson Field. Ground was broken last May to begin field renovations, and it was underwritten by Bruce through the Reds Community Fund.
"It was great," Bruce said. "I feel fortunate to be able to help out with something like that and I'm one of the smallest parts of it. I just had the name and financial backing but all the guys that put in the work and dedicated the time are the ones who really need to be praised."
The field is to be used for youth players in the Reds Rookie Success League and by the University of Cincinnati-Clermont County baseball team.
"Those guys have a place to play now," Bruce said. "It's a nice token of appreciation to Brian and his family, and his efforts. But it doesn't begin to explain the effect he had on me and the Reds organization in general."
Also attending the ribbon cutting were Wilson's widow, Prairie, and their three children. Besides Bruce, Wilson also signed current Reds players Sam LeCure and Logan Ondrusek and former Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs.
"He was one of the most genuine, nice, pleasant people I've ever come across in my life -- still to this day," Bruce said. "That's the one thing that sticks out in my mind when I think about him - how genuine he was. That's important when it comes to amateur scouting. … He made you feel at home. He was a great extension of the Reds organization. He represented them very well."