CINCINNATI -- With the Reds approaching one of the toughest stretches of the season, manager Dusty Baker continues to rest regulars. Shortstop Zack Cozart and center fielder Drew Stubbs were not in Tuesday's lineup vs. the Padres.
Stubbs cooled any suspicions of a Cincinnati departure shortly before the 4 p.m. Trade Deadline by noting that Baker told him and Cozart about the off-day following Monday night's game.
"It's nice to have some days of rest here or there," Stubbs said. "I understand that any time [Baker] feels the need to give us the day off when we've got a lot of games coming up, it's good to take it. In that case, we usually don't come take any extra swings. We normally just kind of get an actual day off."
Stubbs came in batting .340 with four home runs over his previous 14 games. But Baker felt his matchup was less favorable for Stubbs, who is 1-for-6 with five strikeouts against Padres starter Jason Marquis.
The Reds are also in a stretch of 53 games in 56 days, including a current stretch of 17 consecutive games followed by another streak of 17-consecutive games entering August.
"This is the epitome of dog days in August," Baker said. "I'm going to have to give some guys some time off in order to keep them strong. This is where you want a capable bench. This is where you want to have some interchangeable parts and you want some depth. If not, you'll just wear them right down. If you get worn out, there's no return.
"In Cozart's case, I've got to give him some time off to keep him strong down the stretch. I told Stubbs and Cozart, 'Make sure you eat a lot today, drink a lot of liquids, sleep late.' We're on a tough stretch here."
Baker also said the high altitude of playing in Colorado, where the Reds just wrapped up a three-game sweep of the Rockies, can tire out a player when making the transition back home.
"One thing about leaving Colorado, for whatever reason, I don't know if it's altitude or whatever, it takes a lot out of you," Baker said. "Not to make excuses or alibis, but our guys will be better today. Our guys were kind of out of it [Monday], everybody."