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Home split-squad doubleheader on tap

Home split-squad doubleheader on tap

Home split-squad doubleheader on tap
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Reds have a rare split-squad home doubleheader on Wednesday. They host the Padres at 4:05 p.m. ET and the Dodgers at 10:05 p.m. at Goodyear Ballpark.

Manager Dusty Baker said that all hands will be available and all of the regulars will play, noting that he already has second baseman Brandon Phillips slated for the first game and first baseman Joey Votto in the lineup for the second. Votto hasn't played in the last two Cactus League games, but Baker said that wasn't an issue.

"He's fine. He's working on some things," he said on Tuesday before his club dropped a 7-5 decision to the Royals at Surprise Stadium. "There will come a time when Joey is going to get a lot of playing. Like every day. We're programming him to get ready for the season. With Joey's stroke, he's like Barry Bonds. You want to be careful for them not to peak too early because then they get bored. It's hard to sustain that high level of concentration. That's why you want him to peak right when the season starts."

The big show on Wednesday will be hard-throwing left-hander Aroldis Chapman starting against the Padres. The Cuban pitcher is vying for a slot in an already-crowded Reds starting rotation.

Baker said he hasn't made a decision whether to do that or keep Chapman in last year's setup role, along with newcomer Sean Marshall, another left-hander.

"We can't have six or seven [starters] in there," Baker said on Monday. "We're grooming [Chapman] to be a starter, but we can always shorten him back up to a reliever. He can't go the other way. We'll place more importance on the team need than his. The team is always more important. That's why it's called team."

{"content":["spring_training" ] }
{"content":["spring_training" ] }