Pitchers start to get at-bats in spring games

Pitchers start to get at-bats in spring games

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- For the first time this spring, Reds manager Bryan Price wrote out a lineup that did not include the use of the designated hitter. Starting pitcher Alfredo Simon batted ninth against the Cubs.

"We have to play the National League game. Simon could be in our Opening Day rotation," Price said. "We're still on the fence if [Mat Latos] will be able to start the season in our rotation. We wanted to see him get some at-bats."

The Reds will return to using the DH at times when they play games against American League clubs. As a first-time manager, Price also wanted a chance to manage and make changes under conditions similar to the regular season.

"It prepares our bench players, there are some pinch-hitting opportunities for guys on our bench, there are opportunities to double-switch and do some situational stuff that we don't do in the American League game with the DH," 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.