LOS ANGELES -- Reds manager Dusty Baker was aware that the Dodgers were hosting Korea Day Sunday at Dodger Stadium, but also knew he needed to make what could be an unpopular decision for the fans.
Baker gave his center fielder, and South Korean star, Shin-Soo Choo a day off from the starting lineup. Derrick Robinson took Choo's place in the leadoff spot and played center. It was Choo's first time out of the lineup since June 16.
"I hate to give it to him on Korea Day," Baker said. "If I had to choose between yesterday and today, everybody would have hung me yesterday. It might get me in hot water today."
In Saturday's 4-1 loss, Choo faced fellow South Korean pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu and went 0-for-3 with a walk.
Choo has been in high demand during the road trip due to the large South Korean populations in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He's held several press conferences with South Korean media and has been sought out for autographs and photos at local restaurants.
"This has been a tough trip on him. His parents are here and don't speak English. His family is here," Baker said. "We're a routine-type of players. You're used to getting up at the same time, eating at the same time. He's so accommodating that it breaks the routine and he's tired. He's accommodating with interviews. I don't know what he's doing off the field. He's the first one to the ballpark. I don't know when he sleeps. He's here working. It's hard for me to beat him here and I'm usually one of the first ones here."
Choo entered Sunday 5-for-26 on the road trip and batting .285 with 14 home runs and 33 RBIs. His 20-game on-base streak ended on Friday.
"He didn't fight me for a change," Baker said. "Usually, he kind of fights you. I think he was almost relieved I made the decision for him, because he wasn't going to say anything."
Reynolds DFA'd to make room for Cingrani
LOS ANGELES -- As expected, left-hander Tony Cingrani was recalled from the Reds' Arizona League affiliate to start on Sunday against the Dodgers. To make room on the roster, pitcher Greg Reynolds was designated for assignment.
Because he was out of options, Reynolds will be exposed to waivers over the next 10 days. If he is not claimed or traded, he can return outright to Triple-A Louisville, where he was 10-2 with a 2.54 ERA.
"Selfishly, you hope he passes through waivers," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "But the unselfish part of me wants the kid to be in the big leagues. Everybody wants to be in the big leagues. We'll see. If not, he's expressed interest in staying in the organization. He thanked us for treating him fairly."
Reynolds, the former No. 2 overall Draft pick by the Rockies in 2006, was called up on Tuesday to pitch Game 2 of a doubleheader at San Francisco. In his first big league game since 2011, he gave up five earned runs and eight hits over five innings in a 5-3 loss.
Speier enjoyed stint as third-base coach
LOS ANGELES -- Throughout the current 11-game West Coast road trip, Mark Berry has been back coaching third base for the first time all season. Berry took leave from his position to undergo cancer treatments in his tonsils and lymph nodes. His return meant that Chris Speier, who filled in as third-base coach, returned to his normal duties as bench coach.
Speier enjoyed his brief stint back on the coaching lines.
"I've always enjoyed coaching third base. That's where there's action," Speier said. "I'm ecstatic he is back. It means he's healthy and it makes us better. But, I loved it over there. If I got to choose what I wanted to do, I'd do it again.
"There are two sides to it. At third, you're involved in the offensive side of the game. There is so much that goes into all the decisions on the offensive side. Your mind never turns off at third base. People think there's nothing going on, but even with nobody on base, there are still so much you're thinking about and the possibilities down the road. Your mind is always engaged."
Although Miguel Cairo served as interim bench coach, Speier remained in charge of aligning infield defense and defensive signs, so he was active on both sides of the game at all times.
"It reminded me of when you manage in the Minor Leagues," Speier said. "You coach third base and do everything. The only thing I didn't do was make pitching changes here."