Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Reds notebook: Lineup shakeup



By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

PITTSBURGH - The biggest effect of adding Brandon Larson is to the bench. Or at least it was until Austin Kearns was injured when hit by a pitch Monday.

With Larson starting at third, the Reds had Ryan Freel on the bench instead of catcher Corky Miller.

If Larson hadn't been in the lineup, Freel would have been.

But with Kearns' injury, Freel figures to get more at-bats in the outfield.

Miller was optioned to Triple-A Louisville to make room for Larson.

Miller was the least used player on the bench because he only played the one position.

He had started three games at catcher but lately Javier Valentin had taken over as the No. 2 catcher.

"The at-bats weren't going to come for (Miller)," Miley said.

VALENTIN'S ROLE: Valentin has been the Reds' most frequently used pinch-hitter. Valentin, a switch-hitter, is 0-for-6 as a pinch-hitter.

But Miley won't be able to use him as early without the third catcher.

"A lot of times, he's the only left-hander on the bench," Miley said.

Valentin said the biggest change for him is he'll spend more time in the bullpen getting pitchers ready.

"This isn't a new role for me," he said. "I'll do whatever (Miley) asks me to do."

HAPPY 40Th: Barry Larkin turns 40 on Wednesday.

He'll become the 10th 40-year-old in the majors. The others: Julio Franco 45, John Franco 43, Roger Clemens 41, Jamie Moyer 41, Edgar Martinez 41, Jeff Fassero 41, Terry Mulholland 41, David Wells 40, and Randy Johnson 40.

Larkin also reached a milestone when he played in Monday's game. It was his 2,014th appearance at shortstop. That tied Pee Wee Reese for 13th on the all-time list.

MINOR NEWS: Dustin Moseley, the first round pick in 2000, pitched five shutout innings Sunday in Chattanooga's 4-2 win over West Tenn.

Another Chattanooga player, Edwin Encarnacion, has been slowed by a hamstring injury. He is hitting .333 for the Lookouts this season.




REDS / BASEBALL
Casey, Dunn bring their bats
Kearns' forearm broken
Larson back with big club
Reds notebook: Lineup shakeup
Reds vs. Brewers series preview
April sours fall on Yankees
Mariners designate Jarvis and his $4.25M contract
Monday's other games

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