GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- With Brandon Phillips departed for the World Baseball Classic, utility player Jason Donald started at second base for the Reds on Sunday against the Royals.
Donald, who was part of the trade with the Indians that brought Shin-Soo Choo, hopes to benefit from the playing time.
"This is one of those different kinds of years with the World Baseball Classic," Donald said. "It's going to benefit some guys in our position to get more at-bats. I'll gladly take them."
Donald, who was 0-for-2 against Kansas City, is still batting .313 (5-for-16) in nine games this spring. He is competing against non-roster players Emmanuel Burris and Cesar Izturis for a bench role. Last season with Cleveland, Donald played shortstop, second base, third base, left field and center field. That versatility could help him earn a spot, but it might be a while before he sees time in the outfield.
"I've got enough outfielders until we make some cuts," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. I don't have the room to put him out there, or Burriss. They're in the same boat. Both of them can [play outfield]. I will find out before we leave from here. I can't do it yet."
Besides already being on the 40-man roster, Donald has the added advantage of being out of Minor League options. He would have to clear waivers if the Reds cut him.
"It's not even something that's crossed my mind," Donald said. I don't recall that thought entering my mind once. It's something that's there. I'm usually pretty focused on the task at hand and not possibilities. It doesn't do any good for me to think about 'what if?' I'm about what's going on right now. What's going on right now is working to make the ball club."