SARASOTA, Fla. -- Jay Bruce and Dusty Baker are back on the same page about the outfielder's history of leg injuries -- or the lack thereof. Bruce hasn't played since Sunday when he suffered a mild strain of his left quadriceps muscle. On Monday, Baker indicated concern because he thought it was a recurring problem for the top prospect. "One thing makes me a little wary is he's had this a couple of times," Baker said Monday.
By Tuesday, Baker was given a more accurate report from Bruce. "He was under the impression I had missed a lot of time with it," Bruce said. "He can only go by what he was told. I'm glad he came up to me and talked to me about it, and let me have a chance to clear it up." Bruce had a minor hamstring issues last season, but hasn't had any problems with his quadriceps. "I missed three games with it last year, and it wasn't anything major," Bruce said. "I didn't play in the World Cup out of precautionary reasons. This is my first real quad injury ever, and I wouldn't even consider it an injury. It's just a little sore and tight. It's not a big deal at all." "I'm learning and some people said this and some people said something else," Baker said after Tuesday's game. "I wanted to hear it right from him." Baker said Tuesday afternoon that Bruce would not play again on Wednesday vs. Boston. The 20-year-old is 6-for-12 (.500) in five games this spring. Bruce is trying to win the Reds' starting center fielder's job. The task got tougher with free agent Corey Patterson in camp to compete as a non-roster player. Ryan Freel, Norris Hopper and Chris Dickerson are also in the mix. "It's no different," Bruce said of Patterson's addition. "There's already competition in camp. It'll add to it a little bit. Like I've said before, no matter who's here, I'm trying to make the team, regardless of who is vying for a spot. It's my job, and everybody else's job. It'll play itself out."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.