Baker preparing for numerous playoff decisions

Baker preparing for numerous playoff decisions

Baker preparing for numerous playoff decisions

PITTSBURGH -- The potential playoff scenarios the Reds might have once the regular season ends next weekend are multiple. Just like the fans, the club's decision-makers are thinking about all of the possibilities.

Inside a binder on his desk, manager Dusty Baker has several sheets of paper that detail potential rotations and rosters that hinge on who the opponent might be.

"I've got it written down," Baker said. "Sometimes, you think about your roster, if you've got a one-game playoff or a Wild Card home advantage or if you win the division. It's going to be different on who you probably keep, [depending] on the opposition. If they have a bunch of left-handed hitters or if they're right-handed strong in the bullpen -- there are all kinds of things you think about."

Final roster decisions are naturally fluid at this point. Teams can change rosters between the one-game Wild Card and Division Series rounds.

"No matter what you do, you're not going to make everybody happy," Baker said. "Somebody is going to be unhappy, whether it's the fans or whether it's somebody on the team or whatever it is. It's not an easy decision."

The rotation is subject to change, although Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake are locked in for Monday and Tuesday, respectively, vs. the Mets. Cincinnati plays the Pirates again next weekend at Great American Ball Park, which should provide implications on both the division race and Wild Card spots. Mat Latos, Homer Bailey and Bronson Arroyo are tentatively slated to pitch in that series.

"First, you've got to get there. Then you have to know where you are when you get there," Baker said. "We're not there yet, we're close. You can't overlook the Mets thinking about the Pirates and then the Mets mess you up. They're going to try and beat us, too."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.