Storen ready to fill any role in Reds bullpen

Storen ready to fill any role in Reds bullpen

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- There has been a debate brewing for a while over how closers should be used, and how managers should use their bullpens to get to the ninth inning. Some skippers go by the traditional standard -- hold the closer until the end.

But, is it better for the best reliever to get three outs with no runners on base for a save in the ninth, or to be used in the highest-leverage situation to escape a jam in perhaps the seventh?

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Votto makes spring debut; Suarez homers

Votto makes spring debut; Suarez homers

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It didn't take long for Edwin Encarnacion to look comfortable in an Indians uniform. The sound of his powerful swing made that clear on Saturday afternoon, when Cleveland's new slugger delivered the club's first run of the spring season.

In the first inning of the Indians' 8-2 Cactus League win against the Reds, Encarnacion drilled a pitch from Reds left-hander Amir Garrett into left field for an RBI single. Encarnacion stood on first base amidst cheers from the Goodyear Ballpark crowd, which was dotted with Tribe jerseys. It was an early look into why the Indians invested heavily into Encarnacion this winter.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garrett vies for rotation after impressive '16

Reds' No. 2 prospect made his first Spring Training start on Saturday

Garrett vies for rotation after impressive '16

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Not just because he knows he has a strong chance to earn a rotation spot, Amir Garrett had some jitters before taking the mound on Saturday vs. the Indians.

It's Garrett's third big league Spring Training, but it was the first time he made a start in a big league Cactus League game. The left-hander pitched 1 2/3 innings in Cincinnati's 8-2 loss and allowed one earned run, two hits, two walks while striking out two.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Indians-Reds interrupted by a quick sprinkler break

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Indians-Reds interrupted by a quick sprinkler break

Spring Training is a time to shake the rust off and get back in the swing of things after months away from the diamond. This is true for the players, yes, but also for everybody else -- like, say, grounds crews. 

Case in point: Saturday's Reds-Indians game, which was headed to the bottom of the eighth inning when, well ...

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Move to bullpen has benefited righty Brice

Move to bullpen has benefited righty Brice

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Coming off of his first exposure to the Major Leagues with the Marlins last season, reliever Austin Brice had every expectation of competing for a spot in Miami's bullpen this season.

All of that was turned upside down on Jan. 19, when Brice was one of three prospects traded to the Reds for starter Dan Straily. He is now vying for one of the two openings in the Cincinnati bullpen instead.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Injuries behind him, Davis eyes spot with Reds

Right-hander reaches 93-95 mph in 2-inning outing in Cactus League opener

Injuries behind him, Davis eyes spot with Reds

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The main stats that Reds pitching prospect Rookie Davis posted for Double-A Pensacola in 2016 would indicate he had some good numbers. But a closer look revealed some issues that frustrated the right-hander.

Davis suffered a hip flexor injury in Spring Training and spent most of May on the disabled list with a right groin strain. It led to lowered velocity and a decreased strikeout rate, as the groin soreness lingered the rest of the year.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds jump on Bumgarner in Cactus opener

Reds jump on Bumgarner in Cactus opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Marrero blasted a three-run, walk-off homer as the Giants rallied past the Reds, 6-4, in Friday's Cactus League opener at Scottsdale Stadium.

Marrero, who finished 2-for-3 with four RBIs after replacing first baseman Brandon Belt in the fifth, followed Orlando Calixte's walk and Christian Arroyo's single off Reds right-hander Kevin Shackelford.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Now 40, Arroyo's celebration tastes have changed

Now 40, Arroyo's celebration tastes have changed

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Often the coolest person in the room and the most easygoing, it's hard to imagine Bronson Arroyo as the oldest guy anywhere. But the Reds pitcher hit the big milestone Friday, when he turned 40 years old.

How did Arroyo plan to mark the big day?

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Setback forces Reds' Herrera out of Classic

Shoulder inflammation will keep second baseman from representing Colombia

Setback forces Reds' Herrera out of Classic

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Right shoulder inflammation has slowed Reds second-base prospect Dilson Herrera and will prevent him from representing Colombia in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

Herrera, who was acquired from the Mets in the Aug. 1 trade for Jay Bruce, has been shut down from throwing. But he can still hit, and manager Bryan Price said he would start Herrera as the designated hitter on Saturday vs. the Indians. The game, which starts at 3:05 p.m. ET, will be shown live on MLB.TV.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds take hands-on approach to Glove Day

Reds take hands-on approach to Glove Day

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- On an unusually chilly Thursday morning in the desert, Reds shortstop Zack Cozart walked outside behind the clubhouse and was handed two brand-new gloves from his representative at Wilson.

The black glove simply said "Cozy," while the tan glove trimmed with black features was embroidered with "Cooper Zachary."

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Votto at crossroads as Reds eye resurgence

'We're happy to quietly sneak up on everyone,' 10-year veteran says

Votto at crossroads as Reds eye resurgence

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It was a mere two springs ago that plenty of people wondered if Joey Votto could still be great. Votto, ever the realist, understood the doubt.

"So if I've got this massive contract in my backpack and I'm carrying it around and not performing as well as everyone wants or expects, that's really going to bother me," Votto said Thursday morning. "That's going to sit with me."

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cozart eager to play, but Reds aren't rushing

Cozart eager to play, but Reds aren't rushing

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds shortstop Zack Cozart won't be in the starting lineup on Friday when Cactus League play opens against the Giants (3:05 p.m. ET, live on Gameday Audio). Cozart, who finished last season on the disabled list with tendinitis in his surgically-repaired right knee, is 100 percent, however.

"He's fine. He could play tomorrow," manager Bryan Price said on Thursday. "They want to do some baserunning stuff with him to make sure his legs are conditioned coming off the DL at the end of the year. There's no reason he couldn't play. But why rush it with the length of Spring Training?"

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Breaking' news: Cingrani develops cutter

Reds lefty works in offseason to add another pitch offering

'Breaking' news: Cingrani develops cutter

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds left-hander Tony Cingrani can throw his four-seam fastball 95 mph, and consistent with his career, he used it often in 2016. It was so often that PITCHf/x data showed he threw his fastball more than 87 percent of the time.

Cingrani started using a split-fingered fastball sometime in the second half, but he realized it was time to diversify the repertoire even more. He needed a breaking ball and used the offseason to develop a cut fastball.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lefty Peralta impresses Price early in camp

Lefty Peralta impresses Price early in camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- A game has yet to be played, but Reds lefty reliever Wandy Peralta hasn't wasted his chances to impress during the early portion of Spring Training. Peralta has stood out during bullpen sessions and again on Tuesday, when he faced some Reds hitters.

"I don't know if there is anyone who has impressed me more than Wandy Peralta, as far as his bullpen quality, his pitch quality," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Wednesday morning. "[He has] a really good changeup and a slider that's impressed me as being better this year. The command and sharpness has been better."

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arroyo faces batters as comeback attempt continues

Reds starter hasn't pitched in Majors since 2014

Arroyo faces batters as comeback attempt continues

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds hitters facing Bronson Arroyo during batting practice on Tuesday weren't being fooled, and that's exactly how the veteran starting pitcher wanted it.

Arroyo threw 40 pitches to Brandon Dixon, Aristides Aquino and Gabriel Guerrero. The almost 40-year-old knows hitters like to face him in BP, and the Minor Leaguers now know why.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds leaders don't want to settle for 'moral victories'

Price, Williams focusing on winning, not just rebuilding

Reds leaders don't want to settle for 'moral victories'

PHOENIX -- As Reds manager Bryan Price and general manager and president of baseball operations Dick Williams gathered with their peers at the Cactus League Media Day event on Tuesday afternoon, many of the reporters' attention was trained on the teams that are viewed as contenders in 2017.

Meanwhile, the Reds are still largely viewed as a rebuilding club. Both Price and Williams would like to see that tag removed, but realize it has to be done by team performance on the field.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mesoraco progressing, taking it slow early in camp

Mesoraco progressing, taking it slow early in camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Through a week of workouts, catching bullpens and taking batting practice, all seems to be progressing with Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco. The plan is to bring Mesoraco along slowly, and that is working well.

In May 2016, Mesoraco had an operation to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, then underwent a labrum surgery in July on his right hip. Back in June 2015, the labrum in his left hip was repaired.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Raburn could be strong option off the bench

Veteran aims to prove he can still provide offense in a pinch

Raburn could be strong option off the bench

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As he got comfortable on his first day in Reds camp as a non-roster player since signing a Minor League contract, Ryan Raburn had a firm grasp on why he was brought in to compete for a spot.

Raburn, who will be 36 next month and has been in the Major Leagues since 2004, is vying for one of the four open bench spots.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Turner looks to make most of opportunity

Catcher attempting to make jump from Double-A to the Majors

Turner looks to make most of opportunity

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds catcher Stuart Turner had the benefit of already being on the 40-man roster this spring by virtue of him being a Rule 5 Draft selection from the Twins in December.

"The first thought that came to mind is this opportunity is before me by God. I am going to make the most of it," Turner said. "I have a chance to learn from different guys and better myself in different ways."

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rookie season out of sight, out of mind for Reed

Rookie season out of sight, out of mind for Reed

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When he was at home during the offseason, Reds pitcher Cody Reed could tell people were a little uncomfortable asking him about his rough first big league experience in 2016. So with a dash of self-deprecation, Reed let people know it was OK.

A prospect that arrived with high expectations, Reed went 0-7 with a 7.36 ERA in his 10 starts last season.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Williams: Reds have 'optimism for future'

President of baseball operations seeing payoff of business investments, young talent acquisitions

Williams: Reds have 'optimism for future'

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Dick Williams is in his 12th season with the Reds, his second as general manager and first as the president of baseball operations for the club.

Williams took over the baseball department from Walt Jocketty after the 2016 season and added the title of president in December.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jennings looking for fresh start with new club

Jennings looking for fresh start with new club

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- For the first time in his professional career, Reds outfielder Desmond Jennings found himself with a new organization.

After being selected by the Rays in the 2006 Draft, going through their system and spending seven big league seasons with Tampa Bay, the end of his time there was marred by injuries, leaving Jennings hoping for a fresh start.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reds to go with four-man rotation at closer

Reds to go with four-man rotation at closer

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- How the Reds finish games this season is a question that will not be resolved during Spring Training, and that is by design. Manager Bryan Price isn't looking to have a dedicated closer as the club tries to be more innovative in the mid-to-late innings.

Price wants his back-of-the-bullpen relievers to get fewer appearances but deliver multiple innings. As has been telegraphed during the offseason, the job will be shared among Raisel Iglesias, Drew Storen, Michael Lorenzen and Tony Cingrani.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price: Reds' bench situation is wide open

Veteran acquisitions Jennings, Raburn have opportunity to help ballclub

Price: Reds' bench situation is wide open

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Bench spots are often the farthest from the spotlight, but having the right people who can face some of the toughest relief pitchers in baseball is essential in the later innings.

The Reds were thin with veteran bench candidates until adding Desmond Jennings last week and Ryan Raburn on Friday. Both have Minor League deals with invites to camp, and both are expected to arrive on Sunday. Otherwise, the battles are wide open for the remaining spots.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shoulder issue keeps Travieso a bit behind

Reds' No. 17 prospect has been able to throw from 75 feet

Shoulder issue keeps Travieso a bit behind

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Nick Travieso would like nothing more than to be among the fleet of young Reds pitchers to show what they have from the mound this spring. But Travieso is behind schedule, slightly, because of a shoulder issue.

During the offseason, Travieso's scapula was pushing against his right shoulder, causing an impingement and discomfort. That's now behind him and he's catching up.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iglesias happy to pitch in any role out of 'pen

Iglesias happy to pitch in any role out of 'pen

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- If it's a nice day in downtown Cincinnati, and the Reds are at home, there's a good chance this season you might notice reliever Raisel Iglesias cruising along on his electric scooter toward Great American Ball Park.

The easygoing Iglesias, 27, has enjoyed his time with the Reds since he defected from Cuba in 2013 and signed with the club in 2014.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.