Bottom of lineup being counted on to produce

Bottom of lineup being counted on to produce

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds weren't able to make additions to their offense after some shortcomings last season. To get a boost from within, they will be expecting contributions from all portions of the lineup, including the final three regular hitters -- Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco and Zack Cozart.

Manager Bryan Price believes the trio's success was pivotal for the Reds to having a good season.

"Any team that's going to be consistent throughout the course of the year and competitive has to be able to extract production from throughout the lineup," Price said on Friday. "You can't expect the middle of the order to carry us throughout the season. They're also three of the players that have most room to improve in their ceiling. I don't think we've seen the best of those three players. There is a great deal of optimism here that there is more in the tank for each one of those guys. They have to be motivated to get it, which I know they are, to get the most out of themselves. We as a staff have to be able to create the vehicle to help them reach their potential."

Price spoke individually to Frazier, Mesoraco and Cozart during the offseason.

"They know the importance of where they are in the lineup and the fact they know we're confident and have high expectations that their game is going to evolve to another level," Price said.

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.