Dusty on old-timers, Votto and more
Dusty Baker loves the idea of having former Reds in camp. Eric Davis, Jack Billingham, Lee May and Ken Griffey Sr. are currently in camp.
“I love having those guys around. They make stuff fun, too. They know the right way and the fun way."
But it's not just for show.
“I told the players to soak up what you can, get their numbers, if need something talk to them. Most of the time, old-timers aren’t going to volunteer – you’ve got to come to them. Todd Benzinger on how to play first base. (Cesar) Geronimo how to play outfield and how to use your arm and when to use it. Talk Jack Billingham about the slider. That was his specialty when I faced him.”
"I told Homer to go to talk to Mario (Soto) during the game because Dick (Pole’s) busy during the game. I saw him down there all game. I like that. It’s like going to school."
Joey Votto's slow spring start does not concern Baker: “Strange you should ask about him. I’m going to talk to him. I see a lot from him. His upside is tremendous. He can run. He’s got a good arm. He’s got some sock. He’s one of those guys you don’t want to use what he's done in the spring. You want to use what he’s done over the course of the year and what you see now. You track a guy’s start and finish. You saw him last year at the end. He was rolling. They told me he hit .185 last April. That can show you he may be a slow starter.”
On cuts coming: “I just don’t know when. I've got to talk to Wayne. I’ve got a lineup (for tomorrow). I’ve got to tell these guys who’s going on trip and who’s not. We’re going to have a meeting and get everyone’s input.”
On pitchers hitting: “We’re going to start using the pitcher hitting next week. Especially guys – if they’re going to make the guy – guys like (Johnny) Cueto and (Edinson) Volquez. I don’t know if Volquez ever hit. If they haven’t done all the way through, they tend to have a little jelly legs. They ain’t been on this side of that 95.”
On sorting out the roster: "Problem right now is how to sort the bullpen, center field and the utility position. There are guys playing pretty good in that utility role. If they don’t make it, we’ve got some backups, which I heard ain’t been the case here.”