Pair of Reds prospects ranks on Top 100 list

Righty Stephenson, outfielder Winker earn spots Nos. 24 and 26, respectively

Pair of Reds prospects ranks on Top 100 list

CINCINNATI -- The Reds' top two prospects -- right-handed starting pitcher Robert Stephenson and outfielder Jesse Winker -- found themselves Friday listed in upper portion of baseball's Top 100 Prospects.

MLBPipeline.com named Stephenson the No. 24 prospect, while Winker was two spots behind at No. 26.

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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.

Bridges, Reds infielder in 1950s, dies at 87

Original Angel played 11 seasons, was longtime Minor League skipper

Bridges, Reds infielder in 1950s, dies at 87

Rocky Bridges, whose career in baseball as a player, coach and manager spanned four decades, died Tuesday. He was 87.

An infielder who mostly played up the middle, Bridges spent 11 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1951-61 with seven teams -- the Brooklyn Dodgers, Reds, Washington Senators, Tigers, Indians, Cardinals and Angels -- and was an American League All-Star in 1958. Though he finished the season with a .263 average for Washington, he had maintained a .300 average for most of the first half.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ervin turns rough patch into learning experience

After slow start to '14, outfielder remains one of Reds' top hitting prospects

Ervin turns rough patch into learning experience

CINCINNATI -- During the 2014 season with Class A Dayton, Reds outfield prospect Phil Ervin went through an extended funk at the plate for the first time in his brief professional career. How Ervin reacted to it proved to be one of the most significant learning experiences he's had.

Ervin, 22, batted .237/.305/.376 with seven home runs and 68 RBIs in 132 games. Over 561 plate appearances, he walked 46 times while accumulating 110 strikeouts.

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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 No. 4 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 OF Prospects list

Twins' Buxton leads list again, followed by Pederson (Dodgers), Soler (Cubs), Winker (Reds)

Winker No. 4 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 OF Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com's 2015 Top 100 Prospects list will be unveiled on Friday, Jan. 30, on MLB.com, with the Top 50 revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to that, MLBPipeline.com takes a look at baseball's Top 10 prospects at each position.

The top 10 outfielders list annually has some of the most athletic and exciting prospects in the Minor Leagues, and this year is no different. Though half of the players on last year's preseason list lost their rookie eligibility in 2014, the other half returns, led by last year's No. 1 overall prospect, Byron Buxton.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Winker aims to continue rise at big league camp

After impressive AFL stint, Reds prospect being groomed for Majors

Winker aims to continue rise at big league camp

CINCINNATI -- When he was in Minor League camp during Spring Training last year, Reds outfield prospect Jesse Winker greatly appreciated the three times he was summoned to the big league side for Cactus League games. After all, it was a taste of what might be ahead if his career stayed on track.

This spring, Winker will get an even bigger bite. The 21-year-old left fielder will be in Reds Major League camp as a non-roster invitee. It's sure to mean valuable experience being among players at the highest level and facing more competitive pitching.

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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 lock up Mesoraco with four-year pact

Homegrown catcher avoids arbitration, makes long-term commitment

Reds lock up Mesoraco with four-year pact

CINCINNATI -- Keeping their young and blossoming talent in the organization has been something the Reds have done the past few years. Homegrown players such as Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto were all signed to multiyear contracts as they approached their years of arbitration eligibility.

Catcher Devin Mesoraco became the latest Reds-developed player to join that list. On Monday, Mesoraco and the club avoided arbitration by agreeing to terms on a four-year, $28 million contract.

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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.

No more winter in Punxsutawney for Mesoraco

Reds catcher packed up for Cincinnati to start ramping up workouts

No more winter in Punxsutawney for Mesoraco

CINCINNATI -- It's not quite time for Spring Training yet, but Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco and his wife already have packed up their belongings and left their hometown of Punxsutawney, Pa.

This wasn't done to avoid nasty winter weather or the onslaught of tourists headed that way for Groundhog Day next week. Last week before heading out on Reds Caravan, Mesoraco moved back to Cincinnati for the final month before camp to take his offseason workouts into a higher gear.

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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 close out caravan with 'select-a-seat' event

Reds close out caravan with 'select-a-seat' event

CINCINNATI -- Despite it being late January, the field at Great American Ball Park appeared ready and a smattering of Reds fans were looking for their seats Sunday.

Of course, no baseball games were to be played on this day. It was all for the club's annual "select-a-seat" event for new and returning customers seeking season tickets for the 2015 season. Besides being motivated for the new season, many fans were well aware that having season tickets gained them access to tickets for the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

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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 enjoys give-and-take with passionate fans

Second-year manager anticipates improvement in coming season

Price enjoys give-and-take with passionate fans

DAYTON, Ohio -- One of the benefits of events like Reds Caravan is that members of the team can have a more direct and personal dialogue with fans than they can during the grind of a season.

Of course, that goes both ways. Fans in places outside of Cincinnati get the rare chance to offer their feelings and feedback to the club.

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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.

Frazier flies jet simulator, sings at caravan stop

Third baseman joined by Price at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Frazier flies jet simulator, sings at caravan stop

DAYTON, Ohio -- When Reds Caravan stops at a place like the National Museum of the United States Air Force, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, one can't help stopping and looking around at the collection of aviation history that other places would be challenged to rival.

Although time was short Saturday morning before meeting with fans on the northern leg caravan stop, Reds third baseman Todd Frazier was able to try flying inside of an F-15 jet simulator.

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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.

Castellini eager for start of new Reds season

CEO: 'We think we are contenders, and we know we are contenders'

Castellini eager for start of new Reds season

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A 76-win season for his club was hardly enjoyable for Reds president and CEO Bob Castellini, and it has only made his anticipation for Spring Training next month even more intense.

"We're really looking forward to it," Castellini said Thursday night, moments before a Reds Caravan stop at Louisville Slugger Field. "It was a long end of last season, and you want to get back at it again. We feel like we're in pretty good shape. We'll see."

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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 confident in Votto's health entering spring

Team pleased with reports of rehab from left quad strain, which cut short slugger's '14 season

Reds confident in Votto's health entering spring

CINCINNATI -- With the Reds set to open Spring Training in about one month, there is continued optimism about the health status of first baseman Joey Votto.

Votto missed 100 games last season because of a distal strain in his left quadriceps. The 31-year-old was working out with the club and taking batting practice when the season ended. His offseason rehabilitation has been monitored by Reds strength and conditioning coach Sean Marohn.

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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.

Trades lead to rare Reds rotation openings

With Latos, Simon gone, club enters spring with a number of candidates vying for two spots

Trades lead to rare Reds rotation openings

CINCINNATI -- A big strength of the club over the past four seasons, it's been a while since there were spots up for grabs in the Reds' rotation. And there isn't just one, but two, places for the taking among a handful of candidates.

Ace and 20-game winner Johnny Cueto, plus Homer Bailey and Mike Leake, are locked into the top three spots. For the fourth and fifth starters, Tony Cingrani and Anthony DeSclafani seem to have the early inside track, but David Holmberg, Dylan Axelrod, Raisel Iglesias and Jason Marquis are also contenders.

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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.

Previous riders on board as Reds Caravan departs

Mesoraco and Co. talk about player camaraderie, interactions with fans during annual journey

Previous riders on board as Reds Caravan departs

CINCINNATI -- As a collection of Reds players, former players, broadcasters and front-office members gathered Thursday morning for the start of the 2015 Reds Caravan, it was hard to find people who hadn't boarded one of the buses in previous winters.

It seems that once a player experiences Reds Caravan, they are game for being repeat participants.

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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.

After sitting out 2014, Marquis gets invite to Reds camp

After sitting out 2014, Marquis gets invite to Reds camp

CINCINNATI -- The Reds added a veteran arm on Wednesday, albeit one trying to make a comeback, when right-handed pitcher Jason Marquis agreed to terms on a Minor League contract that includes an invite to big league camp.

Marquis will compete for a spot in the rotation, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said via text message.

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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.

Phillips won't let others wake him from living the dream

Reds star tuning out distractions, focusing on what he can control as he eyes postseason return

Phillips won't let others wake him from living the dream

Brandon Phillips is trying not to let anyone get in his head.

Not the media -- Philips put a moratorium on press sessions during the 2014 season -- not the rumormongers who speculate on the season ahead, and, most of all, not himself.

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Meggie Zahneis, winner of the 2011 Breaking Barriers essay contest, earned the job of youth correspondent for MLB.com in the fall of '11. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mijares could be Reds' latest low-risk, high-reward hurler

After sitting out 2014, lefty could carve niche in Cincinnati's bullpen in '15

Mijares could be Reds' latest low-risk, high-reward hurler

CINCINNATI -- One area where many payroll-limited clubs often spend less and hope to get more is the bullpen. Sometimes, formerly successful pitchers that encountered a period of struggles can find a groove once again.

With limitations on payroll but needs to improve, the Reds went this route with the signing of left-hander Jose Mijares to a Minor League contract on Dec. 14. Mijares, who enjoyed past success with the Twins, Royals and Giants, will be in the big league camp with Cincinnati.

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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.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Stephenson No. 8 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 RHP Prospects list

Nats' Giolito leads list, followed by Mets' Syndergaard, Pirates' Glasnow

Stephenson No. 8 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 RHP Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com's 2015 Top 100 Prospects list will be unveiled on Friday, Jan. 30, on MLB.com, with the Top 50 revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to that, MLBPipeline.com takes a look at baseball's Top 10 prospects at each position.

There are always a ton of right-handed pitchers on our Top 100 list. The 2015 version is no different. All 10 on the list below are in the Top 100, and then some.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Pipeline Perspectives: Winker will be Minors batting champ

Reds outfield prospect has tools at plate to have top average

Pipeline Perspectives: Winker will be Minors batting champ

There's a good amount of subjectivity regarding baseball prospects. With the evaluation of talent being in the eye of the beholder, finding consensus is often difficult. Even Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLBPipeline.com don't always see eye to eye. They discuss their viewpoints regularly in a feature called Pipeline Perspectives. Submit a topic for them to debate.

Certain statistical categories are a little easier to project. If a hitter has power, he's likely going to hit some home runs. A power pitcher is probably going to strike out a few batters along the way. Sure, there are variables that come into play, but they are a bit more quantifiable.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Browning explains why he went missing in WS Game 2

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Browning explains why he went missing in WS Game 2

On Oct. 17, 1990, Tom Browning had a choice to make. He could remain in the dugout with his team, as the Reds were in the middle of World Series Game 2 against the A's. Or, he could go to the hospital and witness the birth of his child.

He made the right choice.

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'Nasty Boys' integral part of 1990 Reds' identity

Spotlight on Dibble, Charlton and Myers in 2nd installment of Costas-hosted series

'Nasty Boys' integral part of 1990 Reds' identity

CINCINNATI -- The 1990 "wire-to-wire" and World Series winning Reds didn't just have colorful personalities. They oozed with characters on and off the field.

Nearly 25 years ago, the Reds that swept the A's in the Fall Classic featured a future Hall of Fame shortstop in Barry Larkin, a superstar outfielder in Eric Davis, a strong starting rotation and a fiery manager in Lou Piniella. And there was the ever-intimidating trio known as "The Nasty Boys," -- Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton and Randy Myers.

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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.

PGA champ Watson buys into Reds' Double-A club

Two-time Masters winner a Pensacola native

PGA champ Watson buys into Reds' Double-A club

CINCINNATI -- PGA Tour golfer and two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson is now connected, in a sense, to the Reds. On Monday, it was announced that Watson purchased a minority ownership stake in the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Reds' Double-A affiliate.

Watson was born in Pensacola, Fla., and raised in the nearby town of Bagdad. Included with the new partnership, the team will begin selling co-branded merchandise, and the restaurant and bar behind home plate at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium will be renamed Bubba's Sand Trap.

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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 exchange arb numbers with trio of All-Stars

Chapman, Frazier, Mesoraco remain unsigned ahead of possible hearings

Reds exchange arb numbers with trio of All-Stars

CINCINNATI -- The Reds' winter arbitration focus is now directed toward getting deals done with three All-Stars, in third baseman Todd Frazier, closer Aroldis Chapman and catcher Devin Mesoraco.

Friday was the deadline for clubs and unsigned arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary figures ahead of a potential hearing.

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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, Reds avoid arbitration with 1-year deal

Leake, Reds avoid arbitration with 1-year deal

CINCINNATI -- For the third time in as many winters, Reds right-handed starting pitcher Mike Leake avoided arbitration with the club. On Friday, ahead of a deadline for clubs and players to exchange salary figures, Leake and Cincinnati agreed to a one-year deal worth $9.775 million.

Leake, 27, made $5.925 million last season, and despite having a sub-.500 record, turned in a solid 2014. He was 11-13 with a 3.70 ERA while setting career highs with 214 1/3 innings, 33 starts and 164 strikeouts.

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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.

Cozart, Reds agree to terms on 1-year deal

Cozart, Reds agree to terms on 1-year deal

CINCINNATI -- Ahead of a deadline for teams and arbitration eligible players to exchange salary figures for potential hearings, the Reds and Zack Cozart agreed to terms on a one-year, $2.35 million contract.

Cozart, who avoids arbitration in his first of three years of eligibility, made $600,000 in 2014.

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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.

Hoover focused on bouncing back in 2015

Reds reliever has already begun throwing in frigid temperatures at GABP

Hoover focused on bouncing back in 2015

CINCINNATI -- Last Thursday, when Cincinnati experienced frigid temperatures in the single digits and wind chills around zero degrees, it didn't stop Reds reliever J.J. Hoover from getting outside and throwing.

At Great American Ball Park, Hoover and fellow reliever Sam LeCure played catch as usual. LeCure even tweeted a "selfie" of the duo and noted that outside of the shot, Hoover was wearing bikini bottoms. It was something Hoover didn't exactly deny during a conversation this week.

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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.

Chapman's generosity benefits college volleyball team

Reds closer donates 80 percent of funds required to refurbish Mount St. Joseph locker room

Chapman's generosity benefits college volleyball team

CINCINNATI -- The Mount St. Joseph University men's volleyball team doesn't have a huge budget, nor does it get a ton of media attention. The Lions do not play home games in front of thousands of fans at their gym.

But this is a program that can say it has one very good friend in Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.

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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.

Can Cozart hit enough to be everyday shortstop?

Reds traded for Suarez in offseason to provide some competition

Can Cozart hit enough to be everyday shortstop?

CINCINNATI -- For the past three seasons, Zack Cozart has been secure as the Reds' everyday shortstop. The club always backed him through streaks and slumps at the plate while he usually provided consistent defensive excellence.

Cozart was Gold Glove-caliber in the field during 2014, but he also endured the worst offensive season of his career. Therefore, it wasn't a coincidence in December when the Reds added an offensive-minded shortstop in Eugenio Suarez.

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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.

Several prospects part of Reds' 19 NRIs

Top Minor Leaguer Stephenson set for second camp; Winker invited to first

Several prospects part of Reds' 19 NRIs

CINCINNATI -- Several Reds prospects, including five of the top six as ranked by MLB.com, will be among those invited to Spring Training 2015 as non-roster players.

The Reds on Monday announced 19 non-roster invites to camp overall.

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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.