Frazier more comfortable with role at first base

Frazier more comfortable with role at first base

CINCINNATI -- Todd Frazier's route from the field to the dugout and back has become a little shorter over recent days. Normally the Reds' third baseman, Frazier's time at first base has been increasing.

On Thursday vs. the Cubs, Frazier started his third straight game at first base, and it was also his fourth time in five games. It has allowed manager Bryan Price to get hot-hitting utility player Kristopher Negron into the lineup at third base.

"I haven't really talked to [Price] about it, but with Negron doing so well, why not?" Frazier said Thursday morning. "He's a great defender. He's a great utility guy. You want to put the guy in that's hot right now. You have Skip [Schumaker] doing well too.

"As a manager, you have to play the guy that's hot and find the right place for him. If that means moving me to first base, that's awesome."

To try to fill the void without the injured Joey Votto since July 6, the Reds have often used backup catcher Brayan Pena at first base. On days Pena needs to catch, Frazier has been used to step in. Thursday marked his 27th game at first base. He didn't play there at all last season, when Votto played all 162 games. In 2012, Frazier played the position 39 times.

"I feel great over there," Frazier said.

During Wednesday's 7-5 win, Negron sparked a four-run fourth inning by hustling for a double and scoring the go-ahead run. He also helped turn a key double play in the first inning.

"He's looked very comfortable over there," Frazier said. "He made some great plays yesterday. He's got a great arm."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for 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.