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Choo welcomes challenges in center this spring


GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Through two exhibition games, it's been pretty routine in center field for the Reds' Shin-Soo Choo. He hopes it doesn't stay that way.

"I want to get a tough play," Choo said on Sunday morning. "I want to make a mistake so I can learn something before the season -- a line drive, a sun ball, something like that. I want to be challenged."

During the first inning of Friday's game vs. the Indians, Choo did a nice job cutting off a hit to right-center field on one hop to hold Carlos Santana to a single. On Saturday vs. Cleveland, he ran down a Jason Giambi drive for a catch near the wall.

No big deal, felt Choo.

"I didn't have any tough plays. Everybody can make those," said Choo, who did not play in Sunday's game.

Choo, a former right fielder for the Indians, is expected to be the center fielder and leadoff hitter for Cincinnati. Even if Choo's not fully comfortable yet, Reds manager Dusty Baker has been pleased with his early progress. And Baker was impressed with Choo's handling of the Santana hit.

"That was a great angle," Baker said. "This guy is an athlete. He has a lot of pride. He works hard. He'll be fine. We just have to preserve his legs."

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