MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Reds have talent to write new ending this year

After falling to Giants in 2012 NLDS, Cincinnati looking to rebound

Reds have talent to write new ending this year

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Some losses leave scars that last years.

Ask the Reds about not being able to put away the Giants in the 2012 National League Division Series. They had three cracks in front of their home fans at Great American Ball Park and delivered what the kids would call an epic fail, beginning with a 10-inning loss in Game 3.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Healthy Phillips eyes return to form at plate

Veteran Reds second baseman won't be limited after 2014 thumb injury

Healthy Phillips eyes return to form at plate

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Among key Reds hitters who were knocked off by an injury last season, the club missed getting offensive production from second baseman Brandon Phillips. The longest-tenured player in Cincinnati, Phillips missed 33 games in the second half with a torn left thumb ligament that required surgery.

All expectations this spring are that Phillips is fully recovered.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Bailey reports no issues after first throwing session since surgery

Reds starter says 'everything was free and easy' over 20 pitches, but Opening Day long shot

Bailey reports no issues after first throwing session since surgery

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds starter Homer Bailey experienced no issues in his first bullpen session since right forearm surgery last September. Still, the club isn't counting on the veteran right-hander to be ready in time for Opening Day.

Bailey, who had flexor mass tendon surgery last season, long-tossed from flat ground before throwing 20 pitches on the mound Friday morning.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'He's special': Cueto brings HOF-type praise from manager

Price says Reds' ace has stellar instincts, precision on mound

'He's special': Cueto brings HOF-type praise from manager

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Johnny Cueto's live batting practice session Thursday must have gone pretty well. How else could you explain names like Greg Maddux and Pedro Martinez popping up during Friday morning's media session with Reds manager Bryan Price?

To be fair, Price wasn't exactly equating Cueto wholly with Maddux and Martinez -- one a Hall of Famer and the other to be inducted this summer. But Price says he sees certain aspects of them within Cueto.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boesch hopes to stand out amid Reds' crowded outfield

Injuries, recent struggles have newcomer fighting for roster spot

Boesch hopes to stand out amid Reds' crowded outfield

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds have a crowded outfield situation on their hands, and whittling down the backups won't be an easy task for manager Bryan Price.

Newly acquired Brennan Boesch is hoping to make Price's decision especially tough this spring -- though Boesch wouldn't go so far as to call the outfield battle a "competition."

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hamilton feels less pressure with rookie campaign behind him

Reds' speedy center fielder focusing on bunting for more base hits

Hamilton feels less pressure with rookie campaign behind him

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Less than a week into Reds camp, Billy Hamilton already feels a noticeable difference when he enters the clubhouse adjacent to Goodyear Ballpark.

"I'm just more comfortable, more relaxed," the Reds sophomore speedster said before Friday morning's workout. "I've been able to come here and not put so much pressure on myself. My work ethic is going to be the same, always, every single year. But it's more relaxing now. I come in every day being able to breathe."

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Frustration fuels Cozart's motivation for 2015

Shortstop determined to rebound offensively

Frustration fuels Cozart's motivation for 2015

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A lack of offensive production often killed the Reds last season, leaving many hitters with a lot to prove during the 2015 campaign. Coming off of the worst year of his career, shortstop Zack Cozart is one of them.

"I tell everyone that I'm at the top of the list," Cozart said. "I want to prove I'm the hitter I was before last year. I look at last year and throw that one out of the door."

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Marquis to start Reds' Cactus League opener

Veteran righty is one of several pitchers vying for Cincinnati's rotation openings

Marquis to start Reds' Cactus League opener

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The competition for the open spots in the Reds' rotation will commence from the first pitch of Cactus League action. Manager Bryan Price announced Thursday that veteran right-hander Jason Marquis will start the first game for Cincinnati on Tuesday vs. the Indians.

Marquis, 36, was signed to a Minor League contract in the offseason and is competing to make the roster.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Command, efficiency on display by young prospect Moscot

Right-hander in big league camp for first time

Command, efficiency on display by young prospect Moscot

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- They have the upper hand to begin with and add in the fact that they've been in camp longer, and pitchers are usually pretty well ahead of the hitters in the first couple of days of live batting practice. That doesn't mean pitchers don't stand out, however.

During Reds live BP on Wednesday, one of the pitchers that manager Bryan Price identified was right-handed prospect Jon Moscot. The 23-year-old was ranked the 16th-best prospect in the organization by MLBPipeline.com.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Winker faces Chapman in BP

Left-handed prospect faces Reds' lefty closer

Winker faces Chapman in BP

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds top hitting prospect and outfielder Jesse Winker is getting his first exposure to big league camp this spring. Nothing will open one's eyes more than stepping into the batter's box to face flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman in live batting practice like Winker did on Thursday.

Winker, rated as the organization's No. 2 prospect and 26th in baseball by MLBPipeline.com, enjoyed the experience even though the lefty hitter was facing one of the toughest left-handed pitchers around.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Byrd embraces high expectations in first year with Reds

Byrd embraces high expectations in first year with Reds

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As the biggest acquisition made by the Reds in the offseason, which was to fill their biggest need in left field, Marlon Byrd is keenly aware that expectations for him are high.

Byrd, 37, also knows why the Reds wanted him.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Votto looking good early on at Reds camp

Votto looking good early on at Reds camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Just by going through a couple of workouts in the early days of Spring Training, Reds first baseman Joey Votto answered a key question about his health. Votto has participated without limitations and came away feeling fine.

Votto's 2014 season was marred by a distal strain of his left quadriceps, which had him out for 100 games. He did not play again after July 5.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Reds' top pick Howard relishing first big league camp

Reds' top pick Howard relishing first big league camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Starting pitcher Nick Howard's first Spring Training as a professional has him located in the most preferred of spots -- big league camp. Howard, a non-roster invitee, was the Reds' first-round pick in the 2014 Draft.

Wearing No. 83 and keeping a lower profile, Howard is trying to soak in as much as possible.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Bailey nearly ready for mound work in recovery from surgery

Bailey nearly ready for mound work in recovery from surgery

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds right-hander Homer Bailey is continuing to make solid progress with his rehabilitation from surgery and could be working off a mound soon.

Bailey, who had surgery Sept. 5 to repair a torn flexor mass tendon near his right elbow, came to camp slightly behind from where he would have been after a typical offseason.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Votto defends Reds' clubhouse leadership

Votto defends Reds' clubhouse leadership

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- There had been speculation and criticism about the Reds lacking clubhouse leadership last season before former pitcher Mat Latos fired shots at his old team in a published Q&A on Sunday, bringing the issue to the forefront again during Spring Training.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto already pushed back last week against personal criticism about his hitting approach. On Tuesday, Votto took to task those who say that his team has no leaders, especially since the departure of veteran Scott Rolen, who retired after the 2012 season.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Byrd: Reds camp has great energy, attitude

Byrd: Reds camp has great energy, attitude

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- All 64 players in Reds camp took part in the club's first full-squad workout on Tuesday afternoon. Position players that reported on Monday underwent physicals on Tuesday morning, followed by a team meeting.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who was limited to 62 games last season because of a distal strain of his left quadriceps, was a full participant without limitations.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Bubba Watson challenges Billy Hamilton to a race

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Bubba Watson challenges Billy Hamilton to a race

The only thing pro golfer and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson wanted on Tuesday was a piece of Reds speedster Billy Hamilton, mano-a-mano in a foot race. Instead, Watson had to settle for an autographed bat.

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Holmberg takes steps to move forward with Reds

Holmberg takes steps to move forward with Reds

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Lefty pitcher David Holmberg's career with the Reds clearly got off on the wrong foot last season, beginning at Spring Training. With lessons learned, the mistakes Holmberg made aren't likely to be repeated this year.

"There's always an opportunity to improve," Holmberg said.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Reds refute Latos' comments about club's medical staff

Reds refute Latos' comments about club's medical staff

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds emphatically responded Monday to published comments from former starting pitcher Mat Latos, who criticized the team's medical staff and clubhouse culture.

In a story published Sunday, Latos -- now with the Marlins -- told FOX Sports that the Reds rushed him back from his arthroscopic left knee surgery last year. Latos was injured the day before Spring Training 2014 opened, and he later suffered a setback while rehabbing, as he strained the flexor mass tendon near his right elbow.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Badenhop looking to make difference with Reds

Reliever trying to find home with fifth team in five seasons

Badenhop looking to make difference with Reds

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- On his fifth club in five seasons, new Reds reliever Burke Badenhop is either very respected or quite underappreciated.

"It's a little of both. It's an either everybody wants me but nobody wants me type of thing," Badenhop said.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

MLB, The Color Run team up again for 5K run

Participants will be 'splashed in colors' for untimed race on July 11

MLB, The Color Run team up again for 5K run

Major League Baseball and The Color Run are joining together for the second year in a row to host The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K presented by Nike on July 11 in downtown Cincinnati as part of the All-Star Week festivities.

"You can go out and run a 5K, or you can go out and get splashed in colors and run 5K," actor/comedian Rob Riggle said at last year's race. "I think that's the better way to go."

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

On eve of Reds' first workout, full squad reports

On eve of Reds' first workout, full squad reports

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Monday marked the reporting date for the full squad at Reds Spring Training. Everybody was accounted for, including lefty reliever Jose Mijares, who was a late arrival on Sunday night after having trouble getting a flight out of Venezuela.

Mijares threw a bullpen session with the other pitchers on Monday morning.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Marquis confident in earning rotation spot on Reds

Veteran righty puts injuries behind him, feels good in first days of camp

Marquis confident in earning rotation spot on Reds

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Veteran pitcher Jason Marquis is 36 years old, didn't pitch in the Majors last season while coming back from Tommy John surgery and is in Reds camp on a Minor League contract with no guarantees.

Even amid a large pool of candidates for the final two rotation spots, Marquis is one confident New Yorker and not worried at all about his chances of making the team.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Marshall questionable for Opening Day

Lefty had throwing program shut down due to inflammation in his shoulder

Marshall questionable for Opening Day

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Although he was coming off shoulder surgery, Reds lefty reliever Sean Marshall's smooth offseason throwing program had given him every indication that he could be in for a setback-free spring. But unlike elbow-procedure comebacks that often progress quicker, shoulder rehabs are a trickier proposition.

Marshall is now a question mark for Opening Day after not throwing for the past week and a half. After arriving to camp about two weeks early, his throwing program was shut down because of inflammation in the shoulder.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Top prospect Stephenson cleared to throw

Righty completes 'pen session after being held back due to concerns about shoulder

Top prospect Stephenson cleared to throw

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds top prospect Robert Stephenson worked off the mound Sunday for the first time after being held back at the start of camp.

As a precaution, the medical staff delayed the right-handed Stephenson from pitching because of concerns over his shoulder. After getting the green light, he threw 20 pitches in the bullpen.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Votto addresses health, hitting approach after camp arrival

Votto addresses health, hitting approach after camp arrival

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Sporting a scruffy beard and shaved head, Reds first baseman Joey Votto was an early arrival to Spring Training on Saturday, two days ahead of the club's full-squad reporting date.

As expected, Votto was asked about his health and progress from the distal strain of his left quadriceps that limited him to 62 games last season. But he also waded into the ongoing debate that continued this past offseason in Cincinnati over his hitting approach that values getting on base more, along with his selectivity with pitches out of the strike zone.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Iglesias taking aim at spot in Reds' rotation

Iglesias taking aim at spot in Reds' rotation

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In part because he didn't pitch last season after defecting from Cuba and then waiting to get into the United States, Raisel Iglesias is a bit of an X-factor in how he fits into the Reds' plans.

With a great Spring Training, the right-handed Iglesias could pitch himself into one of the two open spots in Cincinnati's rotation. His experience as a reliever in Cuba could make him a fit in the bullpen. Or, he could end up spending time getting more experience in the Minors.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Mijares' arrival to Reds' camp delayed

Mijares' arrival to Reds' camp delayed

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Not everyone is present and accounted for among Reds pitchers and catchers at Spring Training. The lone missing player is reliever Jose Mijares, who is a non-roster invite after he signed a Minor League contract in the offseason.

Mijares, a left-hander who will compete for a bullpen spot, remains in Venezuela.

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Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.