SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Reds manager Dusty Baker knows what you're thinking. He knows the question you are about to ask.
Save your breath.
Baker said he is still mulling his options for the ninth inning and doesn't know how his club will replace Ryan Madson as the team's closer this season -- yet. Madson, who signed a one-year, $8.5 million deal in January, is out for the season and scheduled for Tommy John surgery next week.
"I've been getting that question from all my friends, family and people in restaurants," Baker said. "We have to talk to the guys. You just don't throw somebody in that role. A closer, ideally, needs to go three or four days in a row, because that's how the closer thing goes, and he might not get work for another week. There are very few guys out there who have gone three, four or five days in a row."
Sean Marshall could be a top candidate to close, but Baker said the club wants to stay away from pitching him three days in a row. Bill Bray, Nick Masset and Aroldis Chapman are all candidates to pitch in the final inning.
The club could also explore options outside of the organization, such as former closer Kevin Gregg, who is reportedly being shopped by the Orioles.
"It might have to be by committee, which I hate," Baker said. "Hopefully, somebody will emerge and then you hate to have to go through it until somebody fails and you have to go to somebody else. That's the thing you don't want to get into. These are valuable games for a starter and for us. Usually, it takes about 30 seconds to mess up two and half hours of work by everybody."
Baker shouldn't expect the questions about closer's job to end anytime soon.
"I'm sure I'm going to get a whole lot to advice on it," he said.