GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Both the Reds and Indians opened their Cactus League seasons Tuesday showcasing pitchers who are competing for rotation spots.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- To contend in the National League Central, the Reds will be counting heavily on contributions from a healthy Joey Votto during the regular season. But the club will not rush its first baseman into the starting lineup during Spring Training.
Votto, who missed 100 games last season with a distal strain of his left quadriceps, does not currently have a target date for making his Cactus League debut.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Looking all winter to upgrade their bullpen, the Reds found the reliever they wanted just before Spring Training when they signed veteran Burke Badenhop on Feb. 7 to a one-year, $1 million contract with a $4 million mutual option for 2016.
Badenhop, 32, had a career-best 2.29 ERA in a career-high 70 games last season for the Red Sox. Over 70 2/3 innings, he allowed 70 hits and 19 walks (five intentional) with 40 strikeouts.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When the All-Star Game returns to Cincinnati this summer, one of the Reds' iconic players will be there to take it all in. Hall of Famer Tony Perez is among the club's former members who will attend.
"I can't wait to go and see another All-Star Game played there," said Perez, who played 16 of his 23 seasons with the Reds.
Alex Johnson, the 1970 American League batting champion, died Saturday at age 72, reportedly due to complications from cancer.
The Detroit News and WXYZ-TV in Detroit reported Johnson's death, and visitation and memorial information was posted by a funeral home in his native Detroit.
Bobbie Dittmeier is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When the Reds open their exhibition schedule on Tuesday vs. the Indians, the only regular position player not in the starting lineup will be the one whose status is under the most scrutiny -- first baseman Joey Votto.
Instead of Votto, non-roster invite Josh Satin will start in Votto's place. Last season, Votto was limited to 62 games because of a distal strain of his left quadriceps and didn't play at all after July 5. Votto is thrilled with his camp thus far.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds utility player Kristopher Negron doesn't hit many home runs, but he doesn't take the time to admire them when he does clear the fences. For example, his July 21 homer vs. the Brewers was timed at a robust 16.18 seconds by the website, TaterTotTracker.com.
Negron plans to keep running hard after he hits homers.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Rain on Monday cut short much of the Reds' normal activity, but starting pitcher Homer Bailey was able to get his work done in the bullpen. It was Bailey's second time on the mound as he returns from surgery on the flexor mass tendon near his right elbow.
Bailey threw 26-27 pitches without issues. They were all fastballs.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Following about two weeks of drills, meetings, batting practice and bullpen sessions, Spring Training moves to a much-anticipated and more tangible phase. Tuesday will mark the start of games, as the Reds will play the first of three straight vs. the Indians at Goodyear Ballpark (3:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV and Gameday Audio).
"You put all the work in, but you finally get a chance to get on the field and play a game where the real competition comes out," Cincinnati center fielder Billy Hamilton said. "It's been a good spring. I felt like last year, we were working in camp for 2 1/2 weeks before we played the game. Now, it feels like we just started camp and the games come. That makes it even better. Practicing is a good thing, but you always want to show what you can do on the field. I'm excited about it. It should be fun."
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- After Zack Cozart endured the worst offensive season of his career in 2014, some wondered if Eugenio Suarez was brought in to challenge him for the regular shortstop spot on the Reds.
On Dec. 11, the Reds acquired two players from the Tigers in the trade for pitcher Alfredo Simon -- right-handed pitching prospect Jonathon Crawford and Suarez. General manager Walt Jocketty had conveyed a message during the offseason that Cozart, who was a .221/.268/.300 hitter in 2014, needed to improve offensively to remain an everyday shortstop. However, Reds manager Bryan Price put an end to any thoughts that Cozart needed to look over his shoulder for Suarez.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Even with Spring Training well underway and Cactus League games set to begin on Tuesday, Reds manager Bryan Price has been intentionally coy about the regular lineup he will write out in the regular season.
The only three locks are center fielder Billy Hamilton as the leadoff hitter, shortstop Zack Cozart in the eighth spot and the pitcher batting ninth. As for spots 2-7? Keep guessing, because Price isn't tipping his hand.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds got a long look at right-handed pitching prospect Daniel Corcino when he was a September callup last season. Corcino made three starts and fared well, but he doesn't appear to be under consideration for one of the rotation spots up for grabs this spring.
Ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Reds' No. 12 prospect, Corcino's future role remains open.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As far as Reds right fielder Jay Bruce was concerned, talking about his knee, and his struggles at the plate last season, was so 2014.
Bruce missed only two weeks in May after having arthroscopic surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee. The issue had ramifications the rest of the season, but he said that's no longer the case. Bruce allowed only one question about his knee, and one more about his performance in 2014.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds starting pitcher prospect Nick Travieso wasn't entirely thrilled Saturday with his performance in live batting practice, but he liked how he finished.
"I think I started off trying to do a little too much," Travieso said. "I didn't have my best stuff today so I tried to compensate by throwing it harder. Tucker Barnhart behind the plate kind of calmed me down and told me to get in line with my front shoulder. After that, everything was pretty smooth."
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.
Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.