Baker: Better, much better
Dusty Baker said he was going to address some things with the team before Friday’s work out. He did. And the results?
“It was better – much better,” Baker said. “The overall intensity of the drills was much better. It’s hard to simulate (game conditions) but you practice as you play. You’re looking for perfection even though you’ll never get it.”
Baker is spending time on the tower between fields. He’s starting to get to know his pitchers. He’s been impressed so far.
“Some guys are throwing good," Baker said. "You can tell the guys who played Winter Ball. (Johnny) Cueto, (Edinson) Volquez. They’re ready. (Josh) Roenicke showed a pretty good arm yesterday.”
The competition among left-handers in the bullpen is going to be stiff. The Reds have Bill Bray, Jon Coutlangus and Mike Stanton on the roster, plus non-roster veterans Kent Mercker and Scott Sauerbeck.
“Mercker’s throwing the ball good," Baker said. "All our left-handers are throwing good. It’s going to be tough decision. I had never seen Coutlangus. He’s throwing the ball good. Sauerbeck’s throwing good.”
Baker singled out right-hander Gary Majewski again: "Majewski’s throwing the ball well. He’s in better shape than I heard he was last year. He’s stronger.”
Jared Burton’s make a favorable impression as well.
“He was breaking some bats yesterday," Baker said. "The ball was moving all over everywhere.”
Here's the scoop on Tuesday's intrasquad game:
SCRIMMAGE: The intrasquad game will be held at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Ed Smith Stadium. The 11 pitchers scheduled to throw an inning each are RHP Aaron Harang, RHP Bronson Arroyo, RHP Josh Roenicke, RHP Richie Gardner, RHP Johnny Cueto, LHP Alexander Smit, LHP Matt Maloney, RHP Daryl Thompson, RHP Sergio Valenzuela, LHP Tyler Pelland and RHP Ramon Ramirez. Proceeds from the $5 general admission tickets will benefit the Reds Community Fund.