Reds send down five from big league camp

Reds send down five from big league camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Reds announced five more cuts to the spring roster Saturday morning, which dropped the total to 39 players.

Optioned to Triple-A Louisville were right-handed pitchers Pedro Villarreal and Curtis Partch, infielder Henry Rodriguez and first baseman Neftali Soto. Outfielder/first baseman Donald Lutz was optioned to Double-A Pensacola.

Reds manager Dusty Baker was especially pleased with the play of Lutz, who entered the day batting .360 (9-for-25) in 14 games with one home run and seven RBIs. Lutz, who still started in right field during a split-squad game vs. the Giants on Saturday, hails from Germany and didn't start playing baseball until he was a teenager.

"There was a lot to be impressed with," Baker said. "He did a lot of things well. His upside potential is great. He's relatively new to the game and catches on quickly."

Baker also liked what he saw from Soto and Rodriguez.

"Soto had a great spring too. Pollo had a really good hitting spring," Baker said. "I told them all what they need to do, what they need to improve on. It's not that much, but to enhance what they're already doing well."

Rodriguez still has work to do in the field, as he committed a team-high five errors in his 14 games.

"Defense encompasses a lot of things," Baker said. "It's not only defensively, it's judgment on certain things. In order to improve judgment, you either have to be really instinctive or play more and hone in those instincts."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.