Reds pregame notes: Bailey to start Game 3

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Reds pregame notes: Bailey to start Game 3

SAN FRANCISCO -- Right-hander Homer Bailey will start Game 3 of Cincinnati's National League Division Series Tuesday at Great American Ballpark, Reds manager Dusty Baker announced Sunday afternoon.Bailey was initially penciled in to start a Game 4, if necessary, with Mat Latos going in Game 3. But Latos pitched four innings of one-run relief in the Reds' 5-2 series-opening victory over the Giants after ace Johnny Cueto left following eight pitches with back spasms.There had been speculation that Cueto could start Game 3, if his health was fine.
Instead"You can't take a chance with Johnny, and we have to see exactly, we can't have him go out there again and have something else happen to him and come up short (with the bullpen) again," Baker said, "When he goes back out there we will make sure to the best of your knowledge that he's okay."RELATED: Vogelsong to start Game 3
In five career starts against the Giants, Bailey is 1-0 with a 5.59 earned-run average with a pair of blown saves costing him wins this season -- on April 26 in Cincinnati -- and in 2010.Bailey authored a no-hitter on Sept. 28 at Pittsburgh.Cueto's one batter and eight-pitch outing in Game 1 was the fewest batters faced by a starting pitcher in a postseason game in Major League history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The previous record of two batters had been held by Washington's Curly Odgen, who faced two hitters in Game 7 of the 1924 World Series, against the New York Giants.Also, per Elias, Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips, who had three hits with a home run and three runs batted in, was the third Reds player in franchise history with at least three hits and three RBI in a postseason game since the RBI became an official statistic in 1920. The other Reds -- Tony Perez ( three hits, three RBI) in Game 2 of the 1975 National League Championship Series against Pittsburgh and Mariano Duncan (three hits, four RBI) in Game 3 of the 1990 NLCS against the Pirates.Baker, on Latos' relief appearance on the spur of the moment: "What Latos did last night is what championships are made of. Here is a guy over there relaxing in the dugout figuring that Johnny is going deep in the game and the next thing you know he's called into service. We try to give them an ample amount of time to get warm, to go in and get stretched out like starters usually do."Latos, meanwhile, said he would be ready, willing and available to start a potential Game 4 in Cincinnati."If they need me to," Latos said. "I threw only four innings and 60, 70 pitches, so it sucks that Johnny went down, and I don't think it's -- I'm young still so it's not like I'm Bronson (Arroyo, who is 35) where I have some miles on me. I'm able to, I feel real good, so if need be and I need to go Game 4, I will go Game 4."Baker said both Bailey and Cueto were flying back to Cincinnati early tonight.

Giants spring training Day 10: Bochy on board with new rules

Giants spring training Day 10: Bochy on board with new rules

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — During his season managing Barry Bonds, Bruce Bochy watched the slugger get intentionally walked 43 times. 

“There were (managers) who had the (signal) up before he even got to the batter’s box,” Bochy said Wednesday. 

That’s part of the reason Bochy is completely on board with a new rule stating that managers only have to signal for an intentional walk. The elimination of the four pitches has been approved by MLB and the MLBPA, with the caveat that a manager can change his mind in the middle of the plate appearance. 

“I’m fine with it,” Bochy said. “I know a few pitchers are happy because they kind of have a thing about throwing (those pitches), not on our team, but last year it happened to us and we didn’t go. I’m fine with it.”

It’s rare that an intentional ball would go to the backstop, but the Giants experienced it last year against the Yankees. Dellin Betances threw wide as he tried to put Brandon Crawford on and Angel Pagan didn’t react quickly enough to score from third. 

Bochy met with league officials last week to go over some of the new rules and ideas, and he said he wants MLB to keep pushing to cut the time of games. 

“We talk about it so much but we really haven’t done a lot,” Bochy said. “I’m all for (limiting mound visits). I’m all for it, I am. It’s gotten more and more popular in the game. It used to be the catcher, and now it’s the catcher and infielders, and they go to the mound and come back and then the pitching coach goes out there.”

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE: Bochy said Madison Bumgarner is currently slated to start Friday’s Cactus League opener, with Matt Cain also throwing an inning. Ty Blach will start Saturday, Matt Moore and Tyler Beede will pitch Sunday, and Jeff Samardzija will start Monday. It’s possible that 18 or 20 different pitchers will take the mound over the first two days since almost all of them will be scheduled for just three outs. With the exception of Will Smith, every projected Giant should see the field this weekend. Hunter Pence is the only guy who has been held back at all, but his intercostal issue has cleared up. Pence put several on the left-field berm during BP on Wednesday.

“Hunter wants to (play Friday). He's ready to go,” Bochy said. “I’ll make that call tomorrow once I talk to the staff, but Hunter assured me he’s a full go with no limitations, and he really wants to play.”

PROSPECT WATCH: Bochy took the van over to the minor league facility to watch some of the projected Triple-A players take part in live BP. Jae-gyun Hwang hit a homer off Jose Dominguez during his session. 

“He’s a guy that rotates (well) and he’s got good power,” Bochy said. “He can go the other way. He’s got some bat control. He’s got a nice swing.”

Over on the main field, Gorkys Hernandez hit an impressive homer to left-center. 

ICYMI: From this morning, Smith is being held out of workouts. Reporters spoke to him in the afternoon and he said there’s no concern. Also, here’s a podcast with Derek Law and Josh Osich. Subscribe on iTunes if you haven’t … there’s a very popular Giant coming soon.

QUOTABLE: Smith missed time last season because he tore a knee ligament while taking his shoe off, so this spring’s speed bump is somewhat easier to take. He had a message for the trainers: “I said I’m going to sit down every day this spring,” when I take my shoes off.

MLB players’ union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

MLB players’ union agrees to pitchless intentional walks

NEW YORK -- There won't be any wild pitches on intentional walks this season.

The players' association has agreed to Major League Baseball's proposal to have intentional walks without pitches this year.

"It doesn't seem like that big of a deal. I know they're trying to cut out some of the fat. I'm OK with that," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said.

While the union has resisted many of MLB's proposed innovations, such as raising the bottom of the strike zone, installing pitch clocks and limiting trips to the mound, players are willing to accept the intentional walk change.

"As part of a broader discussion with other moving pieces, the answer is yes," union head Tony Clark wrote Wednesday in an email to The Associated Press. "There are details, as part of that discussion, that are still being worked through, however."

The union's decision was first reported by ESPN .

"I'm OK with it. You signal. I don't think that's a big deal," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "For the most part, it's not changing the strategy, it's just kind of speeding things up. I'm good with it."

There were 932 intentional walks last year, including 600 in the National League, where batters are walked to bring the pitcher's slot to the plate.

"You don't want to get your pitcher out of a rhythm, and when you do the intentional walk, I think you can take a pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said. "I've often wondered why you don't bring in your shortstop and the pitcher stand at short. Let the shortstop walk him. They're used to playing catch more like that than a pitcher is."

Agreement with the union is required for playing rules changes unless MLB gives one year advance notice, in which case it can unilaterally make alterations. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred expressed hope Tuesday that ongoing talks would lead to an agreement on other changes but also said clubs would reserve the right to act unilaterally, consistent with the rule-change provision of the sport's labor contract.

Some changes with video review can be made unilaterally, such as shortening the time to make a challenge.

"I know they were thinking about putting in a 30-second (limit) for managers to make a decision," Francona said. "I actually wish they would. I think it would hustle it up and if we can't tell in 30 seconds, maybe we shouldn't be doing it anyway."