Joe Oliver, whose second grand slam of spring training helped Cincinnati defeat the Houston Astros, 7-3, Sunday, will be the Reds' starting catcher this season.
"It's Joe's job," Red Manager Lou Piniella said after the game. "We'll rest him from time to time, but he will catch most of the games."
Oliver batted only .216 last year, when he was plagued by shoulder problems. He underwent arthroscopic surgery Oct. 9 on a cartilage tear in his right shoulder.
New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, who was ordered to give up day-to-day operation of the team in 1990 by Commissioner Fay Vincent, attended Sunday's exhibition game between the Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies at Clearwater, Fla., as a fan. . . . Pittsburgh's Andy Van Slyke, who is playing with several pain-causing degenerative disks, had a painful day Sunday, slamming into the center-field wall to run down a fly ball and being hit in the left hip with a pitch.