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IL notes: Frazier fired up to play third

Reds farmhand remains on cusp of returning to big leagues
April 16, 2012
As Spring Training ended, Todd Frazier learned he had made the Reds' Opening Day roster.

That news was no surprise to those who watched Cincinnati in Spring Training. Frazier hit .291 in the Cactus League and led the Reds in homers (five) and RBIs (15).

Then Frazier was told he did not make the team. When the Reds claimed pitcher Alfredo Simon on waivers at the end of the spring, Frazier was sent to Louisville to make room.

"It's an unfortunate circumstance, but it happens," Frazier said. "I wanted to be with the team. It would have been my first Opening Day, and that would have been cool to experience.

"But I understand that I need to get on a roll and get back up there. I know I can play there, and they know that, too."

Frazier admitted it isn't easy to keep a good attitude after that disappointment.

"I'd be lying if I said that it was," he said. "At first, it was a shock. When they told me, I realized I had to take a couple of hours to get it out of my system.

"But I realized there was nothing I could do, so I'm trying to step up to the plate and prove that I belong there."

While Frazier struggled coming out of the gate -- he batted .188 with a homer and three RBIs in his first eight games with the Bats -- Louisville manager David Bell said he likes Frazier's attitude.

"He's approaching it the way he should," Bell said. "He's doing a great job of playing with enthusiasm. When the time comes [for him to be called up], he'll be ready.

"Sometimes these things happen for a reason. Maybe the opportunity will be a better one, and it will be a blessing in disguise that he didn't make the team."

Bell said Frazier is a versatile player, but he began the season as Louisville's everyday third baseman. Because Frazier has less experience at third than at other positions -- he's played all four infield positions as well as left field since the Reds chose him as a supplemental first-round pick in the 2007 Draft -- the plan is for Frazier to play third for the Bats most days to become more comfortable at that position.

"It's good knowing that they want me to play one position," Frazier said. "I consider myself a utility guy, but at the same time playing third base every day is pretty cool."

So Frazier said he will continue to work and wait, preparing himself for that callup to Cincinnati.

"I realize that I'm a big league player and I keep that in my head," he said. "I know I need to get ready to go. And it's exciting to know that I'm in Triple-A, which is one step away. You can get back up there in a heartbeat."

In brief

Word to the Wise: Outfielder Dewayne Wise didn't start the season with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, instead joining his wife for the birth of the couple's child. Once he joined the Yankees, he went on a tear, batting .550 with three homers, eight RBIs and seven runs scored in his first five games. His first 11 hits included five doubles to go with the homers and gave him a 1.250 slugging percentage. With two walks, he had a .591 on-base percentage.

First team to score wins: Just because a team scores first doesn't mean it will win -- except in the IL at the start of the season. Every league team except one has at least a .500 record in games in which it scores first, led by Lehigh Valley's 6-1 mark. The IronPigs are followed by Gwinnett (5-1), Columbus (4-1), Pawtucket (4-1) and Durham (3-1). The only team with a losing record when scoring first? Buffalo was 2-4.

He said it: "It's a blessing to be in Triple-A and be with the guys I'm with. I just try to live for today and play for today and not see past two weeks or a week or tomorrow. I don't really think about being a kid. I just try to come every single day and play. I'm really excited to be here in Syracuse." -- Chiefs outfielder Bryce Harper to the Syracuse Post-Standard. He batted .222 with two doubles and a triple in his first nine games.

John Wagner is a contributor to