Votto added to Team Canada roster for Classic
Whether Reds star plays for his home country remains to be seen
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds first baseman Joey Votto has been added to the roster of Team Canada for the World Baseball Classic. Whether Votto actually plays for his country remains unresolved.
Votto was left off of the original provisional roster submitted last month. The deadline to be added to a team roster was Wednesday.
"They'll put me on the roster and we'll decide in the future based on what myself and the organization decides," Votto said Thursday. "The games will be able to tell me whether or not I'll be ready to go. All of this practicing is just practicing."
Votto, 29, missed 48 games from July 16-Sept. 3, when he needed two arthroscopic surgeries to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. Because of his injury status, Cincinnati could have blocked his participation.
Team Canada will train for the Classic in Goodyear, but Votto will stay with the Reds at least until Canada's first game.
"Joey is a big boy. Joey knows what's best for him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He also knows what's best for us. He's been in contact and communication with [general manager] Walt [Jocketty] and myself. Joey is also a kind of a private dude -- he's not going to tell you. You have to respect that. He'll let you know."
So far at Reds camp, everything has been normal for Votto. He does not wear a brace on his knee and has shown no outward signs of problems.
"I feel very good," Votto said.
Unlike Votto, Reds ace Johnny Cueto learned on Wednesday that he would not get to participate in the Classic for the Dominican Republic. Cueto respected the decision and said it was "no problem."
"I wanted to pitch for the Dominican, but the team [the Reds] said no," Cueto said Thursday. "It's a normal spring. I'll get ready for the season."
Because Cueto ended the 2012 season on the disabled list with a strained oblique, the club also had final say in the decision. Cueto came down with a shoulder injury during the '09 season after he pitched in that year's Classic.
"I don't know if happy is the word, I'm more relieved than anything," Baker said of Cueto. "I understand the pressure that's on him being from Latin America. If he's a 10-game winner, he wouldn't have the pressure of a 19-game winner."
Prospect Cingrani to start Cactus League opener
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The early days of the Reds' Spring Training rotation don't resemble what will likely be seen during the regular season.
When the Reds open Cactus League play on Friday against the Indians, prospect Tony Cingrani will start. Barring the unforeseen, Cingrani -- the No. 3 Reds prospect, according to MLB.com -- is expected to begin the regular season at Triple-A Louisville. He was 10-4 with a 1.73 ERA in 26 games for Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola last season and made three relief appearances for the Reds in September.
Long reliever Alfredo Simon is scheduled to start Saturday's game against Cleveland, while fellow reliever Sam LeCure will start on Sunday against Cleveland. Non-roster pitcher Armando Galarraga is slated to get the nod on Monday against the Brewers. Several young pitchers are scheduled to pitch out of the bullpen in the early games.
"The young guys are probably more ready than the veteran guys," Reds manager Dusty Baker said on Thursday. "We have an extra seven games. You want them to be sharp and ready, but you don't want them to get those extra innings on them. Early, we'll put a lot of it on the young guys."
Homer Bailey is the first projected rotation member to get a start on Tuesday, facing the Padres. He will be followed on Wednesday by ace Johnny Cueto against the D-Backs. On Feb. 28 in split-squad action, Mike Leake will face Arizona, while Aroldis Chapman goes against the Rockies. Mat Latos takes on the Royals on March 1 and Bronson Arroyo pitches on March 2 against the White Sox.
Coleman respects Hamilton for swiping record
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds top prospect Billy Hamilton electrified the Minor Leagues last season when he stole a professional record 155 bases. The man who previously held the record, Vince Coleman, doesn't know Hamilton, but respects the feat.
Coleman, now a Minor League baserunning coach for the Astros, swiped 145 bases in 1983, a record that stood nearly three decades.
"All I know is he broke my record," Coleman told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. "He did it with hard work. He showed he went out every day. You had to run every day to do that, to steal that amount of bases. We'll see where he goes from there."
Coleman played in the Majors from 1985-97 and stole 752 career bases. His single-season high was 110 in 1985, his rookie year with the Cardinals.
Bone marrow donor drive Friday at Reds' Hall
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds will be trying to save the life of one of their own on Friday during a bone marrow donor drive at the club's Hall of Fame.
Reds season sales manager Chris Herrell is battling a rare form of blood cancer and his only hope for a cure is a bone marrow transplant. There is currently no match for Herrell in the transplant registry.
Herrell, 39, is married with three young children.
Friday's program is from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. ET and is open to people ages 18-44. Prospective donors will need to complete a questionnaire and have the inside of their mouth swabbed to see if they are a match.