Harris makes first start in place of Phillips

Harris makes first start in place of Phillips

CINCINNATI -- With Brandon Phillips out of the lineup on Tuesday against the Cardinals because of a sore left hamstring, utility player Willie Harris started for the first time this season.

"I'm excited, but you hate to get out on the field when one of your teammates is injured," Harris said. "But when you're a utility player, that's your job and role: To fill in for those guys until they can get back on the field."

Harris was signed to a Minor League deal in January and made the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. He is the lone lefty bat off of the bench and was 0-for-3 in pinch-hitting appearances before Tuesday.

"I'm not quite settled in," Harris said. "I'm still trying to learn my way around all the one-way streets. But I feel comfortable here at the ballpark. It's a great group of guys, a great coaching staff and it just seems like a happy place to be. I just want to win and show them who I am as a player and person.

"We know our role and what our job is. It's definitely tough -- [Miguel] Cairo, me and [Wilson] Valdez -- have been doing it for a few years now. We expect to win this year. It will be very important for everybody to be on board, not just the guys that start every day. Everybody has a significant role on this ball club."