Baker finds playing time for bench vs. Cubs

Baker finds playing time for bench vs. Cubs

CINCINNATI -- For a variety of reasons, Reds manager Dusty Baker wrote a lineup on Thursday morning that was a departure from the norm.

Center fielder Drew Stubbs was not in it, nor was third baseman Scott Rolen, shortstop Zack Cozart and catcher Ryan Hanigan. Against Cubs starter Ryan Dempster, Chris Heisey started in center field and led off, while the struggling Willie Harris played third base, Wilson Valdez was at shortstop and Devin Mesoraco was behind the plate.

"We've got a lot of [baseball to play], and you have to get some guys playing time so they're ready when you need them," Baker said. "Sometimes you do it one at a time, and sometimes you do it as mass substitutions. Plus, the guys I am not playing haven't had a whole bunch of success against Dempster."

Stubbs entered the day in a 0-for-14 funk and was 4-for-21 lifetime (.190) vs. Dempster.

"Drew was going pretty good, and now he's starting to scuffle a little bit," Baker said. "I want to stop it before it gets chronic."

Stubbs was on a tear for a while, especially when he batted second in the order, where he was 13-for-39 (.333) with one homer and six RBIs.

One player who really needs to get going is Harris, who entered the day batting just .097 (3-for-31) this season.