9/30/2013 8:55 P.M. ET
After 19 games, Reds more than familiar with Bucs
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- The Reds should have no problem recognizing the Pirates on the field during Tuesday's National League Wild Card showdown. The two NL Central division rivals met 19 times in the regular season, including six of the final nine games. Pittsburgh swept the final three games of the season at Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati went 8-11 in the season series, including 4-5 at PNC Park. Two of the wins came in the series played Sept. 20-22. While everything starts over, records-wise, the scouting information remains relevant.
"We know them and they know us," manager Dusty Baker said. "If we get by this series, we're even more familiar with the next team we're playing [the Cardinals]. I kind of like being familiar with the opposition. It means you have an idea of what they're going to do to you and an idea of what you have to do to them. The hardest part of this game is when you don't know somebody. How do you make a game plan for somebody you don't know? That's a very difficult thing to do."
Despite sore left leg, Phillips expects to play Tuesday
PITTSBURGH -- The wrap remained around Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips' left shin on Monday. The limp? At least that was gone.
Phillips was still smarting some after he fouled a ball off of his leg on in the fifth inning of Saturday's game vs. the Pirates. He exited for a pinch-runner after hitting a single in the at-bat and was given the day off on Sunday.
"I'm moving around all right," Phillips said during the Reds' workout at PNC Park on Monday. "When you've got a crucial game that's going on, your injury is going to be the last thing you worry about. I've been playing hurt all year since I got hit in the forearm [June 1]. I'm going to get an MRI on that after the season. You want to be on the field, regardless. There's no excuses, there's no nothing. You want to perform and be there for your team."
Manager Dusty Baker expected Phillips to start against Pittsburgh in Tuesday's do-or-die National League Wild Card Game.
"I saw him yesterday. I told him he wasn't limping, he was pimping. ... Not literally," Baker said.
Said Phillips: "He's got to get it right. I'm always pimping. I'm pimping with the limp, too. It doesn't matter."
Phillips, who batted .261 with 18 home runs and was second on the club with 103 RBIs, isn't the only player that's playing a little banged up after a long season of 162 games.
"Everybody is hurting this time of year," Baker said. "It's just a matter of how hurt you are. If you're not playing a little hurt, you didn't play very much. Those are the only guys going home in the winter time not hurting.
"If you played any kind of way, there are some bones, some ligaments, some muscles and stuff left out on that field. If they go and dig up that field, you could make about eight people out of it."
Latos dealing with bone spur in right elbow
PITTSBURGH -- The arm soreness that Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos has been experience is because of a bone spur in his right elbow, it was learned on Monday.
An X-ray taken recently revealed the injury. Latos was originally slated to start Tuesday's National League Wild Card Game vs. the Pirates. That start is now going to ace Johnny Cueto.
"We've done exit physicals the last few days just to make sure we got a good jump on everybody," Reds head trainer Paul Lessard explained. "His elbow was sore, so we took some films right there."
The Reds are still optimistic that Latos could take the ball and start Game 1 of the NL Division Series on Thursday vs. the Cardinals, if the Reds defeat the Pirates first.
"He should be ready for the next round," general manager Walt Jocketty said.
Lessard believed that Latos could pitch without doing more damage to his elbow. At some point, it's possible he might need surgery to remove the spur after the season.
"It doesn't necessarily have to come out. We would worry if it hinders his range of motion," Lessard said.
Latos was 14-7 with a 3.16 ERA in 32 starts and 210 2/3 innings. Since the Reds announced the switch to Cueto for Tuesday, he has not spoken to reporters.
"I decline to comment about anything," Latos said after Monday's workout.
Reds will wait until Tuesday morning to set roster
PITTSBURGH -- The Reds declined to set or announce a 25-man roster on Monday ahead of Tuesday's National League Wild Card Game vs. the Pirates. The roster does not have to be turned in until Tuesday morning.
"We've discussed it," manager Dusty Baker said. "We have to finalize it, naturally. We have to see how a couple of guys come out today in practice. There are a couple of guys kind of hurting."
General manager Walt Jocketty didn't expect much tinkering to be done in the final hours. Teams are permitted to change the roster between the Wild Card and Division Series rounds.
"We've got a pretty good idea," Jocketty said. "We'll just wait until the morning until we have to submit and make sure nothing happens during the night, nobody gets sick or whatever."
Jocketty declined to say whether rookie and top prospect Billy Hamilton would be included on the roster. It would be a shock if Hamilton wasn't added. His speed enabled him to steal 13 bases in 14 attempts and score two game-winning runs, a go-ahead run in extra innings and a game-tying run.
Hamilton, who was called up from Triple-A Louisville on Sept. 3, was looking forward to experiencing the postseason for the first time.
"Right now, I'm as calm as I can be and relaxed," Hamilton said. "The guys that have been in the postseason before told me it's going to be crazy tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens. Hopefully I'm out there with them."
Hamilton, who would likely be utilized mainly as a pinch-runner for the late innings, hopes he can make a game-changing steal or score.
"I really want that to happen. I visualize it, the Dave Roberts situation [in the 2004 playoffs for the Red Sox]," he said. "If I can make that play, that would be pretty good. It would be awesome to see."