CINCINNATI -- A lot of attention has been paid this offseason to what the Reds might look like on the field in 2016. But what might be in store on the business side and for fans watching the game? MLB.com recently spoke to Reds chief operating officer Phil Castellini about the fan experience at Great American Ball Park this coming season.
MLB.com: Coming off a year with the All-Star Game and all the successes on the business side, how do you follow up in 2016?
CINCINNATI -- This is Part 2 of a series previewing the Reds for the 2016 season, which gets underway next week when pitchers and catchers report to the team's complex in Goodyear, Ariz., with the first workout on Feb. 18. The series began Tuesday with a look at the team's bounce-back candidates. The focus of the second installment is "The New Guys."
Understandably this offseason, there has been more focus on a couple of popular players who departed the Reds in Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman. And unlike recent seasons when Cincinnati took aim at winning the National League Central, there has not been a big or even a medium-name acquisition. But there still are some new players to get to know:
CINCINNATI -- Back in July amid All-Star Game festivities, the Reds and Major League Baseball brought together Cincinnati's African-American community, business leaders and the Black Lives Matter movement for a diversity summit. It was viewed as a way to avoid the threat of divisive protests about criminal justice problems for minorities and instead have a real conversation about the issues.
Several months after the All-Star spotlight has dimmed, the conversation has not stopped and it continues to shine a light on issues affecting the African-American community. On Wednesday at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the focus was on economics. The African American Chamber of Commerce, Cincinnati Reds, Major League Baseball and DeFuze It partnered for a Black History Month community forum called "Black Businesses Matter: Pathway to Prosperity."
CINCINNATI -- Funeral arrangements have been set for longtime Reds clubhouse manager Bernie Stowe, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 80.
Visitation for Stowe will be from 3-7 p.m. ET on Sunday, at the Schaeper Center in Elder High School on 4005 Glenway Ave. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. ET on Monday at the Holy Family Church, on 3006 West 8th St.
Spring Training is just days away, a time when anticipation is at its highest for all baseball fans. This is the first of a series of preview stories that look at the 2016 Reds. In it, we consider players who are on the rebound. Upcoming stories will examine newcomers to the team, prospects who could contribute as well as projected lineups and pitching staff makeup.
CINCINNATI -- When a team wins 98 games, a lot has to go right during a season. For a team that loses 98 games, like the Reds did last season, a whole lot has to go wrong. For Cincinnati, attrition due to injuries took a large toll, but there were some disappointing performances that also contributed.
CINCINNATI -- A light snowfall was enough to close schools throughout Greater Cincinnati on Tuesday, and temperatures are expected to nosedive to near zero degrees later in the week. Nevertheless, a sign of spring still sprung from the loading dock inside of Great American Ball Park.
A truck with a 53-foot trailer arrived and backed in, ready to be loaded with all the equipment for Spring Training.
CINCINNATI -- Bernie Stowe, a Reds fixture and an employee for six decades, died Tuesday after a long illness. Stowe, who had up-close-and-personal experiences with great players and teams that included the Big Red Machine, was 80 years old.
In a career that saw him working out of three different Reds homes -- Crosley Field, Riverfront Stadium and Great American Ball Park -- Stowe began as a clubhouse boy for the team in 1947 before elevating to clubhouse manager in '68. He retired in 2013, long after he had already passed on the family business to his sons, Rick and Mark.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Throughout his career in the Minor Leagues, Adam Duvall has demonstrated he has power that can clear the fences. If Duvall can prove able to do that in the Major Leagues for the Reds on a consistent basis in 2016, he could emerge as their regular left fielder.
Duvall, 27, came from the Giants in the Trade Deadline deal for pitcher Mike Leake. This spring, he is part of a large pool of candidates seeking either the vacant starting spot in left field or a place on the bench.
CINCINNATI -- The last manager to win a World Series with the Reds is back with the club in a consulting role. It was announced Friday that Lou Piniella will be a senior adviser to baseball operations, and he is expected to spend some time with the team during Spring Training.
Piniella, 72, spent 23 seasons as a Major League manager following his playing career and posted a record of 1,835-1,713.
CINCINNATI -- For the first time in more than a decade, the Reds on Thursday argued in an arbitration hearing against one of their players in reliever J.J. Hoover. On Friday, the arbitration panel ruled in favor of Hoover.
The right-hander will receive $1.4 million in his one-year contract for 2016. The club had submitted a figure of $1.225 million. The last time the Reds went to an arbitration hearing against a player was 2004, when they won their case against pitcher Chris Reitsma.
CINCINNATI -- Reds outfielder Juan Duran received an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball on Friday for testing positive for performance-enhancing substances that are in violation of Major League Baseball's joint drug prevention and treatment program.
Duran, who was suspended without pay, tested positive for the drugs Drostanolone, Stanozolol and Nandrolone.
CINCINNATI -- No matter who makes up the Reds' pitching staff this season, it will be comprised of many young pitchers with high ceilings and unfinished development.
Reds manager Bryan Price, his pitching coaches and the front office wanted the team's young pitchers to be as prepared as possible heading into 2016, so for a few days in mid-January, the club assembled several of its prospects at the team complex in Goodyear, Ariz., for what was called a "pitching summit."
CINCINNATI -- Rarely are there do-overs in life, but Bill Murray's 1993 film "Groundhog Day" offered a scenario in which a person received multiple chances to get a day right before moving forward.
What if Major League Baseball general managers were offered a do-over? What day would they like to have back so they could make a trade or a signing better the second time? For Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty, that would be Nov. 10, 1997, when he was general manager of the Cardinals.
FLORENCE, Ky. -- A couple of weeks ago, Reds general manager Dick Williams said it would be up to manager Bryan Price to determine how much second baseman Brandon Phillips would play. An heir apparent to Phillips --talented prospect Jose Peraza -- was acquired in a December trade from the Dodgers.
When asked about Phillips on Sunday, Price let it be known that he had no plans to bump the veteran infielder to a lesser role as a youth movement takes hold. Price expects Peraza to get some time in camp at three positions -- second base, shortstop and center field.
FLORENCE, Ky. -- Throughout Reds Caravan this week, kids have wanted a piece of center fielder Billy Hamilton. During the question-and-answer sessions at each stop, youngsters have often asked Hamilton how fast he really is or how many bases he thinks he can steal.
On Sunday, during the Caravan finale at Florence Mall in Northern Kentucky, a young girl threw down the gauntlet on Hamilton. Holding a microphone in front of several hundred of her fellow Reds fans, she asked him if he would like to have a race.
HAMILTON, Ohio -- Certainly by the final stop on the third day of Reds Caravan with the north leg of the tour, Reds president of baseball operations Walt Jocketty knew what would be coming his way during the question-and-answer session with the fans.
After all, Jocketty was acutely aware that the trades of two of his most popular players -- Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman -- were unpopular decisions among many of those fans.
Winker (34) and Stephenson (35) lead way as Cincy system booms
By Mark Sheldon
CINCINNATI -- A positive sign in the burgeoning effort by the Reds to improve their farm system and rebuild at the Major League level came on Friday. It was revealed that the Reds have five players listed in MLBPipeline.com's 2016 preseason Top 100 prospects.
CINCINNATI -- The Reds signed left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez to a Minor League contract on Friday with an invitation to Spring Training as a non-roster player.
Sanchez, 33, is a veteran of eight Major League seasons, but he has not appeared in a big league game since 2013 with the Pirates. He spent '06-11 with the Giants and split the '12 season between the Royals and Rockies. Lifetime, Sanchez has a 39-58 record and 4.70 ERA in 194 games, including 137 starts. In 2009, he threw a no-hitter for San Francisco against the Padres.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Most Reds players working their way up the organization have one more stop to make before they can reach the Major Leagues. That would be with Triple-A Louisville.
While they hope the stay with the Bats is as short as possible, it doesn't mean there isn't a fondness for the city, its people and its ballpark -- Louisville Slugger Field. A Reds Caravan yearly tradition, the south tour made a stop at the stadium on Thursday night.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- As Spring Training gets closer, the less likely it seems that the Reds will make any further additions or subtractions during what's left of the offseason. At the same time, transactions remain possible, especially with several free agents still available.
The Reds made an unsuccessful run at free-agent pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who was interested in returning to his former team. Arroyo received a better offer from the Nationals and signed a Minor League contract on Tuesday.
CINCINNATI -- Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton is just about ready for Spring Training after an offseason of rehabilitation for his surgically repaired right shoulder.
"The rehab is coming along well," Hamilton said Thursday morning at the kickoff for 2016 Reds Caravan. "I'm not 100 percent yet, but close to it. We had a schedule to be ready right around Spring Training. As of right now, we're on track to make that happen."
CINCINNATI -- Reds pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training at Goodyear, Ariz., in about three weeks on Feb. 18. Catcher Devin Mesoraco has every expectation that he will be healthy and ready to go from the first day of camp.
Mesoraco has been rehabilitating his left hip since undergoing season-ending surgery June 29 to repair a torn labrum and remove a spur.
MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.
For the third (and likely the last) time, this Top 10 -- the final by-position ranking unveiled prior to the Top 100 Prospects list -- is headed by the Twins' Byron Buxton. He may not have taken the world by storm during his big league debut, but neither did Mike Trout. And, let's face it, Buxton's tools across the board are unparalleled.
MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's Top 10 prospects at each position.
There has been quite a bit of turnover from last year to the 2016 edition of the Top 10 second-base prospects, with six new names joining the list, thanks to two graduations and four who dropped off the list.