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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Reds Find It Hard To Pick A Leftfielder, May Platoon

Maybe it's indecision but Bryan Price wants to play all the outfielders, who have had good springs.

Reds May Platoon in Leftfield

The competition for the open leftfield job in Cincinnati has produced no clear winner with two weeks to go.

Adam Duvall, Jake Cave, Scott Schebler and Yorman Rodriguez have battled hard this spring.  Tyler Holt has also turned some heads among the Reds’ coaches this spring.

“I see it as a potential platoon. I don’t mean a strict platoon, like right, left. I mean two guys that get the bulk of the playing time,” Bryan Price said.  “With young players, you’ve got to do that. It’s tough to have guys sit on the bench like we’ve had in the past with Donald Lutz and Neftali Soto,  Where they have three at-bats a week and be expected to perform in those at-bats.”

“It’s been fun,” Price said.  “Schebler, Duvall, Rodriguez and Cave.  Another guy for me has been Tyler Holt. He has a lot of energy.  To me he is a tremendous defender. He can run, bunt. Historically, he’s hit left-handed pitching very well.  He’s had good at-bats against right-handers this spring. I’m very excited by the camp he’s having. The other part, we just sent down one of our best process in Winker, who is going to push for playing time this year.”

Sanchez Released

The Reds’ released left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez.  The Reds signed Sanchez on January 29, to add a veteran presence to the young pitching staff but the signing of Alfredo Simon, who will be in the starting rotation filled the need.

Sanchez, 33, last pitched in the Major Leagues in 2013.  He pitched for Pat Kelly in Puerto Rico and won the Comeback Player of the Year in Mayaguez.

“Jonathan was a real pro. We wish him well,” Price said.  “I’ve seen him when he’s been good when he was with the Giants.  We just weren’t going to have an opportunity for him when we’re giving our young pitchers the first crack at Louisville.”

Reds Trim Roster

Robert Stephenson

Robert Stephenson, one of the Reds’ top pitching prospects was optioned to Triple A Louisville along with RHP Steven Johnson and OF Kyle Waldrop.

Alfredo Simon’s signing on Friday foreshadowed Stephenson’s demotion.  His 2 1/3 outing against the Cleveland Indians in which he gave up six runs (five earned) didn’t help.

“Stephenson just needs to command his fastball,” Bryan Price said.  “The best part of Stephenson’s spring was that he was able to get his curveball over at a higher percentage and the development of that change up that came on last season.  When he had good outings he kept the ball down in the strike zone.  Yesterday it was back up a bit and he paid the price.”

The Reds expect to see their first round pick in 2011 in Cincinnati at some point.

“He has three above average major league pitches, the command of which will determine when he gets to the big leagues. I told him, I’d be disappointed if I didn’t see him back up here and not just as a September call up.”

Kyle Waldrop

Waldrop was bothered by a strained groin and didn’t get back into games this week.  He didn’t get enough at-bats to get himself into the running for the open leftfield job. He will join Stephenson at Louisville.

Stephen Johnson

Johnson came to the Reds’ in the trade for Marlon Byrd in August.  The 25-year old was the Giants sixth round draft pick in 2012.  He is also headed to Louisville. Johnson pitched in 50 games at Double A last season all in relief.

Jesse Winker

The Reds’ top outfield prospect was re-assigned to minor league camp. Winker, 22, was the Reds’ supplemental pick in the 2012 first round.  He has 144 games in Double A.  The Reds will determine soon whether he returns to Pensacola or is promoted to Louisville.

“My safe assumption is that he will start the season at Triple A,” Price said.  “He started out slowly last season at Double A and was better than the league in the second half.”

C Joe Hudson, RHP Tim Adleman and RHP Zack Weiss were re-assigned to minor league camp.

Weiss was hampered by a tender right elbow.  The 23-year old led the Southern League with 25 saves at Pensacola.

UD Pride

University of Dayton graduate and Versailles native, Craig Stammen, was keeping an eye on the UD/Syracuse game this morning in the Cleveland Indians clubhouse.

“It is making me nervous.  They have a great team and fun to watch.  Beating a team like Syracuse would be good for the Flyers,” Stammen said. “Archie Miller has been a good hire for the Dayton Flyers.  He’s changed the viewpoint of Dayton basketball.  You can tell the hold the true team mantra very seriously.  It makes the Dayton fan base very proud.”

Stammen is coming back from surgery on his right forearm.

“I’m getting better surely but slowly,” Stammen said.  “I’m going to pitch live BP soon.  I’m excited about it.”

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