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Baker is understanding of young pitchers' nerves


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Through the first two games of spring, Reds pitchers gave up a total of 12 walks -- six in each game. However, with the exception of Alfredo Simon, none of the pitchers are expected to be on the big league roster on Opening Day.

"We just have to tell a lot of these young guys to relax," Reds manager Dusty Baker said Sunday. "They were throwing strike after strike in the bullpen. You have to remember a lot of them are kids. Some of them played 'A' ball and here they are playing in a big league game. As much as you don't like it, it's a learning period. Sometimes you wonder if you're expecting more than they're capable of doing, at this time -- especially their first times out."

With games starting earlier than usual because of the World Baseball Classic, Baker has been holding back using veteran pitchers for a few days so they aren't overused before the season starts. Mindful of being a young player once, he is being patient.

"I try not to forget what it was like sometimes to be a young player and try to be tolerant," Baker said. "The worst thing as a manager or coach that was a pretty good player is to be greater in your own mind than you really were. You need to remember that you made mistakes too."

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