Cincinnati Reds

Stadium: Great American Ball Park | Manager: Bryan Price
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Reds' Price 'realistically' targets Mesoraco to catch 145 games
by Michael Hurcomb |

Reds manager Bryan Price indicated catcher Devin Mesoraco could see a lot more time behind the plate in 2015, per the Dayton Daily News. He appeared in 114 games in 2014, starting 109 at catcher.

“I’ve been asked that question a lot about Mesoraco playing first base,” Price said. “How much would he play? Only if (Joey) Votto was injured. Realistically, I see him as a Yadier Moilina-type guy, who is going to catch 145 games a year, more so than I see him catching 110 a year and playing 20 or 30 at first base.

“It stood out more last year because I linked up Johnny Cueto with (Brayan) Pena catching. I anticipate Mesoraco catching a lot more games this year, especially if he stays healthy. We won’t pair Pena with Cueto as much. Devin did a real nice job with Johnny the times he caught him.”

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Infield shifts have become an issue for players like Reds' Bruce
by Michael Hurcomb |

Reds outfielder Jay Bruce is not going to use infield shifts as an excuse for his low batting average, but he admits it does play a factor, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

"That's definitely taken some hits away from me," Bruce said. "I don't use it as an excuse. But the bottom line is it takes hits away. You smoke a ball up the middle and you think it's a hit. But the shortstop is playing right behind second base.

"It's definitely cut down on average. You look at a player like Mark Teixiera. He was a .300, .280 hitter. You put the shift on him. He's a guy who drives the ball, pull hitter. He uses the other side of the field some. But guys like that are hitting in the .250s."

Bruce added that beating the shift is difficult. 

"Everyone's like, 'Hit a ground ball to shortstop or hit one down the line.' Like you can do whatever you want." he said. "A lot of times, pitchers pitch to the shift. And shifts are getting more sophisticated. In New York, (shortstop Derek) Jeter was playing third, in on the grass. So you can't bunt. Ideally, you want to get a hit. It's hard to do."

Reds hitting coach Don Long said eventually hitters will be taught in the minors to beat the shift.

"Not everybody's going to be the perfect hitter and be able to do everything," he said. "But I think you're going to find guys who want to have the ability to hit to both sides of the field."

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Reds agree to four-year, $28M extension with Devin Mesoraco
by Michael Hurcomb |

The Reds agreed to a four-year, $28 million contract extension with catcher Devin Mesoraco, according to Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Mesoraco was in his first year of arbitration, so the deal covers all three years of arbitration and his first year of free agency.

Mesoraco was a first-time All-Star in 2014, when he hit .273 with 25 doubles, 25 home runs and 80 RBI in 114 games. He has a career .245/.315/.432/.747 slash line in 289 games.

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Reds' Hamilton works on improving contact to help cut down on Ks
by Michael Hurcomb |

Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton said he has spent the offseason in Atlanta working with Triple-A Louisville manager Delino DeShields, per the Cincinnati Enquirer.

"We're working a lot on bunting and making contact," Hamilton said Thursday. "I struck out way too much."

Hamilton did not play in winter ball for the first time as a pro. He said the focus this offseason has been on strength and conditioning.

Hamilton hit .250 as a rookie in 2014, but he hit .285 before the All-Star break and .200 after it. 

"All we can do is speculate that his second half of the season was just getting used to playing in the bigs for the full season," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I certainly think strength certainly February through October is important. Getting stronger, getting re-acquainted with acumen for bunting, getting more balls hit on the ground, more hard line drives, instead of balls in the air."

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Tony Cingrani considered a favorite for spot in Reds' rotation
by Michael Hurcomb |

Reds manager Bryan Price said Thursday starting pitcher Tony Cingrani is one of the early favorites to win one of the final two spots in the team's rotation, per the Cincinnati Enquirer.

"We don't want to be giving away jobs on our ballclub in January," Price said.

Cingrani missed the final few months of the 2014 season due to a shoulder strain. He is 9-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 39 outings (29 starts) in his MLB career.

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2014 Team Leaders
AVGTodd Frazier , 3B.273
HRTodd Frazier , 3B29
RBIDevin Mesoraco , C80
OBPTodd Frazier , 3B.336
SLGTodd Frazier , 3B.459
RTodd Frazier , 3B88
SBBilly Hamilton , CF56
WJohnny Cueto , SP20
ERAJohnny Cueto , SP2.25
WHIPJohnny Cueto , SP0.96
KJohnny Cueto , SP242
SVAroldis Chapman , RP36
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