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.

4 things to know about Reds righty Iglesias

4 things to know about Reds righty Iglesias

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Cuban pitcher Raisel Iglesias is in his first Spring Training in the United States and he is competing for one of two open rotation spots in the Reds' rotation.

Back on June 27, the 25-year-old Iglesias signed a seven-year contract worth $32 million and was projected to be a starting pitcher. Ranked the No. 2 prospect in the organization by Baseball America recently, he could be a big addition to the pitching staff if he meets expectations.

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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.

Prospect DeSclafani a strong candidate for rotation

Righty was acquired from Marlins in deal that sent Latos to Miami

Prospect DeSclafani a strong candidate for rotation

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Anthony DeSclafani is only 24 years old with 13 big league games, including five starts, on his resume to this point. But Reds manager Bryan Price already has the right-hander labeled as an inside-track candidate for one of the open spots in the club's rotation.

In December, the Reds traded established starting pitcher Mat Latos to the Marlins to get DeSclafani and Minor League catcher Chad Wallach. Part of the move was payroll-related. Latos was arbitration-eligible and a year away from free agency. But the club also really liked DeSclafani.

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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.

Leake glad he wasn't moved, focused on 2015

Righty open to signing extension with Reds, but also OK becoming a free agent

Leake glad he wasn't moved, focused on 2015

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When the offseason began, the Reds had four starting pitchers who were one year away from free agency in Johnny Cueto, Mat Latos, Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon. Because of payroll constraints and the idea that one or all could leave without compensation, there was talk that some of them would have to go. All were subjects of trade rumors.

The two pitchers who departed in deals were Latos (to the Marlins) and Simon (to the Tigers). Leake avoided arbitration for the third time last month when he signed a one-year, $9.775 million deal.

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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.

Price, Bailey discuss pace of play initiatives

Price, Bailey discuss pace of play initiatives

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Ongoing efforts to speed up the pace of play moved forward Friday with the announcement on new initiatives that will be enforced in 2015.

Included are enforcing rules that require hitters to keep one foot in the box during an at-bat (subject to certain exceptions). Timers will be used to ensure that games resume immediately at the end of inning breaks, and managers will no longer be required to leave the dugout to make a video replay challenge.

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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 being cautious with prospect Stephenson

Reds being cautious with prospect Stephenson

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- All of the Reds pitchers and catchers passed the physicals that were taken on Thursday, but minor issues are occasionally presented. That's one reason why the club is going to limit No. 1 prospect Robert Stephenson from throwing off of a mound.

"Robert Stephenson will most likely be off the mound a couple of days behind because we want to make sure his shoulder is totally strong and he's headed in a great direction," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Friday. "He won't be throwing on the side today if you're looking for him. He's a couple of days behind because we want to be cautious, and that's it."

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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.

Cueto has mind on helping Reds, not individual value

Reds ace could become free agent next winter with no new deal by Opening Day

Cueto has mind on helping Reds, not individual value

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When talking to reporters, Spanish-speaking Reds ace Johnny Cueto often uses a translator. But when asked Thursday if it made him happy to see free agent Max Scherzer sign a $210 million contract with the Nationals, Cueto did not need the Spanish translation. He cracked a big smile.

"Good for him," Cueto replied through translator Tomas Vera. "But you never know what can happen. All I ask is for health, faith in God. You never know what can happen. I just don't think about that."

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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.