CINCINNATI — For now, defeat-plagued pitcher Mike Leake (0-5, 7.11) is expected to take his act to the mound on Thursday on Broadway — well, at least in Citi Field in Flushing against the New York Mets.
For one thing, there are few options for the Cincinnati Reds because nobody is drawing attention in Louisville, not Jerry Francis, not Brett Tomko, not Andrew Brackman, not anybody.
“We haven’t covered it yet, but I’d like to think he’ll start,” said Manager Dusty Baker. “You don’t like to have somebody looking over your shoulder like you are on death row, or something. We are going to a bigger ballpark in New York, which will help, too.
“Right now he is off to a bad start, but there is such a thing as just bad starts, you know?” Baker added. “We know he can pitch, so hopefully we can get him straightened out and hopefully he stays positive and confident that he can still pitch. A lot of it depends upon the state of mind he is in.”
Baker paused and said, “So, as of right now, yes, he’ll pitch.”
IT WASN’T A day game after a night game, but third baseman Scott Rolen was not in the lineup, replaced by Todd Frazier.
That’s because Rolen was examined by team doctors late Saturday afternoon and it was discovered he has a strained left shoulder.
He was placed on the disabled list and the Reds recalled
Baker said it wasn’t just a day off, it was more because Rolen was not feeling well and was scheduled to see a doctor just before game time.
The contract of Louisville third baseman Mike Costanzo, 28, was purchased. He has been in the minor leagues eight years since the Reds signed him off an independent league roster in 2005.
“Yes, Rolen is struggling a little bit (.174, two homers, 11 RBI), but he isn’t feeling real good,” said Baker before the DL announcement.
Rolen fought it as long as he could, but for the good of the team, he gave it up in hopes that 15 days of rest can make a difference.
“I called the park at noon and said, ‘This isn’t working,’” said Rolen. “I’m hurting and I am in pain. I’m not healthy. As much as I went to help the team, I’m hurting the team.”
So, being the team player that he is, Rolen is stepping aside.
“I’m not taking competitive at-bats and, actually, they are going the wrong way,” he added. “I fought to stay on the field because I want to play the whole season, no DL, so I didn’t want to talk about the pink elephant in the room.”
But the elephant brayed loud enough for all to hear, Rolen couldn’t catch up to even the most mediocre of fastballs.
“We’ll address this, take some time off to get the inflammation out of there that is in there now,” said Rolen. Asked how long it bothered him, he said, “That’s a good question. How about seven years. But that’s an easy excuse and I’m responsible for my bat-bats when I walk out there and I haven’t taken good at-bats and haven’t been helpful for the team.”
WONDER CHILD Bryce Harper took ten stitches in his forehead after Friday’s game when he banged his bat against a wall and the bat bit back, clobbering his forehead and opening a wound.
Dusty Baker said it is a part of youth, a learning curve, and recalled when he was young with the Atlanta Braves and threw a batting helmet.
“Hank Aaron came up behind me and grabbed me by the neck,” said Baker. “He told me, ‘Pick up that helmet, walk to the rack and put it where it belongs, then go sit in the dugout and figure out you are going to get that pitcher next time.’”
Baker said he didn’t see the Harper incident, few did, but his son, Darren saw it on television. Said Baker, “That’s a good lesson for my son to see — the repercussions of your actions.”
JOEY VOTTO has a cereal out, Votto’s, they gave away a Joey Votto bobblehead doll Saturday night and on Sunday they are giving away Jay Bruce cereal bowls.
Relief pitcher Sean Marshall checked it all out and said, “Well, I guess the Joey Votto bobblehead can now eat his Votto’s out of a Jay Bruce cereal bowl.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY: Dusty Baker on winning his 1,500th game Wednesday in Milwaukee: “I hope I’ve made it easier, by whatever success I’ve had, on the people of color.”
Baker on the short three-day homestand: “I emptied my suitcase when we got home Wednesday, repacked it on Thursday and on Sunday I’ll hug my kid, kiss my wife, pet my dog and hit the road again.”Tweet