Thursday, March 25, 2004

Miley may keep 12 pitchers

Jimenez starts at shortstop; Acevedo's walkless streak ends

By Kevin Kelly
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LAKELAND, Fla. - Things can change of course.

But as of Wednesday afternoon, the Reds were favoring the idea of keeping 12 pitchers.

"Right now, without me committing to it," manager Dave Miley said, "I would say we're leaning toward 12."

Aside from the five starting spots, there appear to be five relief pitchers vying for a spot on the 25-man Opening Day roster.

Danny Graves, Chris Reitsma, John Riedling and Ryan Wagner are considered locks in the bullpen.

That would leave lefties Jesus Sanchez, Phil Norton and Mike Matthews in addition to Todd Van Poppel and Brian Reith as candidates for three open spots.

Norton, Reith and Van Poppel are out of options and the club would risk losing them if they were sent to the minors.

GETTING A LOOK: Reds second baseman D'Angelo Jimenez started instead at shortstop against the Tigers Wednesday night.

"We talked to him a couple, three weeks ago (about it)," Miley said. "He's been working out there. This gives us a different look, another option."

Jimenez has played shortstop in 95 career regular-season games: 85 with the Padres in 2001 and 10 with the White Sox in 2002. He committed an error Wednesday.

Juan Castro started at second base.

STREAK OVER: Jose Acevedo's walkless spring ended at 16 innings Wednesday.

The right-hander, who remains a strong candidate to make the starting rotation, allowed one run on two hits over four innings against the Tigers.

He struck out five but walked four in his fifth start.

"It was not about the umpire," said Acevedo, who is 2-0 with a 3.66 ERA in 19 2/3 innings this spring. "He missed and I missed, too."

LISTEN UP: The Reds had their annual MLB security meeting prior to Tuesday's game against the Yankees.

Part of the presentation, which addressed player safety, dealt with the murder of Dernell Stenson.

The Reds outfielder was carjacked, bound and murdered Nov. 5 in Chandler, Ariz.

"(The MLB representative) was just telling us to be careful," Riedling said. "That if you're going out, try to mix up where you're going, especially at night.

"And if you're going somewhere, make sure you're going somewhere with other people, and not just yourself."

ODDS AND ENDS: Cory Lidle and catcher Corky Miller will start in a minor-league game today.

• The Reds entered Wednesday's game with a .241 team batting average, lowest in the majors.

• With two more Wednesday, the Reds have committed 30 errors in 25 spring games.

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