CINCINNATI -- With Brandon Phillips out of the lineup on Tuesday against the Cardinals because of a sore left hamstring, utility player Willie Harris started for the first time this season."I'm excited, but you hate to get out on the field when one of your teammates is injured," Harris said. "But when you're a utility player, that's your job and role: To fill in for those guys until they can get back on the field." Harris was signed to a Minor League deal in January and made the 25-man roster out of Spring Training. He is the lone lefty bat off of the bench and was 0-for-3 in pinch-hitting appearances before Tuesday. "I'm not quite settled in," Harris said. "I'm still trying to learn my way around all the one-way streets. But I feel comfortable here at the ballpark. It's a great group of guys, a great coaching staff and it just seems like a happy place to be. I just want to win and show them who I am as a player and person. "We know our role and what our job is. It's definitely tough -- [Miguel] Cairo, me and [Wilson] Valdez -- have been doing it for a few years now. We expect to win this year. It will be very important for everybody to be on board, not just the guys that start every day. Everybody has a significant role on this ball club."
Hamstring to keep Phillips sidelined
CINCINNATI -- On the night he was signed to a six-year, $72.5 million contract extension, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was not in the starting lineup on Tuesday against the Cardinals.According to manager Dusty Baker, it might be a few more days before Phillips returns from a sore left hamstring. "I'm realistically thinking at least four days," Baker said. "He may not like it, but I've got a pretty good idea about injuries and playing hurt, what you should do and what you could do. This isn't a time for heroes. If it was August or September, it might be a different story." Phillips' hamstring cramped up as he scored from first base during the fifth inning of Monday's 7-1 loss to the Cardinals. "I'm good. I feel like I'm getting better," Phillips said. "I don't know what the freak happened, but I'm not hurting like that. I ran on the treadmill today and felt good. I haven't been drinking water. I think that's what it is." Willie Harris made his first start of the season at second base and was the leadoff hitter in place of Phillips. "His mind says he can play. His body says 'no,'" Baker said of Phillips. "That's the attitude you want but we have to think about the long run and big picture."
Masset remains on DL with sprained shoulder
CINCINNATI -- Reds reliever Nick Masset was eligible to come off of the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday, but there was no chance of that happening. Out with a sprained right shoulder, Masset has yet to resume throwing."I'm definitely chomping at the bit, but it's one of those things that it's a process," Masset said. "You want to make sure everything is healed." Masset has been doing therapy and strength exercises in lieu of throwing. He hopes to play catch soon, before getting on a mound for some side sessions and ultimately a rehab assignment in the Minors before he can be activated. He was not sure if he would be with the club to continue his rehab for the road trip that begins after Wednesday's game. "As of right now, my arm feels great," Masset said. "It feels free, loose and strong. That's basically where we want to be. Hopefully it stays that way."