Price opts to sit Lutz against lefty Ryu

Price opts to sit Lutz against lefty Ryu

LOS ANGELES -- For Monday's series opener vs. the Dodgers, Reds manager Bryan Price contemplated having lefty-hitting Donald Lutz make his first start of the season at first base against lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu. Price changed his mind and started regular third baseman Todd Frazier at first base while Ramon Santiago took Frazier's spot.

"He may get a start in this series," Price said of Lutz, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville on Friday. "In this situation, you don't want to have guys coming up from the Minor Leagues like Lutz, who is swinging the bat well, and not play him."

Not helping is that the Reds faced Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia on Saturday and St. Louis ace righty Adam Wainwright on Sunday. After Ryu, the Reds will see 7-1 right-hander Zack Greinke and another lefty in reigning National League Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.

Price isn't afraid to use Lutz against any of those pitchers, but decided that Santiago needed the playing time.

"Keeping him active is even more of a priority. Ramon is playing once every five games and somehow gets in there to do something in one other game," Price said. "It's been hard to rotate him around, because our infield is pretty much set up with regulars except for first base until Joey [Votto] gets back."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.