SAN DIEGO -- After missing a week because of back spasms, third baseman Scott Rolen was back in the Reds lineup for Sunday's first-half finale vs. the Padres.
That also meant that hot-hitting Todd Frazier, who was 4-for-7 over the previous two games and 10-for-25 (.400) in the seven games while Rolen was out, was sitting. Reds manager Dusty Baker felt that Rolen, who was healthy enough to return on Saturday, was better suited to face Padres starter Jason Marquis.
"I've got to play Scotty sometime and it's the best kind of guy to play here. This guy here [Marquis] can trick you," Baker said. [Saturday] and the day before, it was more of a matchup thing. I was going to play Scotty yesterday but Frazier has been so good against left-handers. This guy here throws right up Scotty's alley and not up Frazier's alley."
Baker bristled about the topic of whether it was tough to not play Frazier when he is the hot hand of late.
"I don't want to have to be answering this every day about Scotty and Frazier and who's playing and who's not playing," Baker said. "From now on, it's 'manager's decision,' like basketball. It's easier. I don't know what I am going to do but I will figure it out.
"It's a good problem to have but you get tired of talking about. It's going to be talked about over and over the rest of the year. Let them talk and let me work."
The rookie Frazier, who can also play left field, entered the day batting .279 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs this season. He stepped in for Rolen well when the 37-year-old missed 34 games with a left shoulder injury. Rolen, in the final year of his contract, came in batting .184 this season. Baker revealed that Frazier is in the club's future plans.
"And eventually, if Frazier keeps it [going], the job will be Frazier's. Eventually," Baker said. "It's not to say when, but Scotty isn't a spring chicken. Frazier has a good attitude about things. People fall in love real quick around here and then they fall out of love real quick at the same time. Since I've been here five years, there have been six, seven guys that everybody has fallen in love with and the next month or next year, you never hear their name. I'm just trying to win ballgames."
Heisey's long homer at Petco 'felt good'
SAN DIEGO -- During the Reds' 6-5 win over the Padres on Saturday, it was a booming home run to left-center field by Chris Heisey that snapped a 3-3 tie. It was Heisey's first homer since June 22 vs. the Twins at Great American Ball Park.
Heisey, who did not start on Sunday, entered Sunday with only three home runs and 19 RBIs over 220 at-bats. Last season he had 18 homers and 50 RBIs in 279 at-bats.
"It's been a little while," Heisey said. "Even the couple of home runs I had, they were home runs, but I didn't really get them as good as I got that one. It was good to finally really run into one, especially at a ballpark like this. You knew you had to get it pretty good to get it out of here in center field. It felt really good."
Baker inserts Hanigan to catch Chapman
SAN DIEGO -- As Aroldis Chapman took over in the ninth inning to close out Saturday's 6-5 Reds win over the Padres, manager Dusty Baker did something he hadn't previously done this season. Baker removed rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco in favor of veteran Ryan Hanigan.
Baker said the switch didn't have to do with Chapman's comfort level working with either Hanigan or Mesoraco.
"Not more comfortable. He's just more experienced," Baker said of Hanigan. "He's been catching longer. Chapman's ball is electric. It's a situation where you want your absolute best defensive catcher in there in that situation. Nothing against Mesoraco, just full credit to Hanigan. I told Hanigan he gets part of that save."
Chapman struck out the side for his 10th save with all of his strikeout pitches being 100 mph or over.