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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.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Price Wants To Keep Jose Peraza and Zack Cozart Together

New DP Combo

Reds' manager Bryan Price would like to keep Zack Cozart and Jose Peraza together as much as possible this spring.

The pair will form the double play combination that will provide the Reds' young pitching staff with defense up the middle.

Cozart will not play against the San Francisco Giants on Friday.  While Peraza will.

 "We will probably start Zack Monday or Tuesday," Price said.  "He's fine.  He could play tomorrow but they (trainers) want to do some baserunning stuff with him to make sure his legs are under him.  They want him to be comfortable coming off the DL at the end of the year."

There is no reason he couldn't play but they don't want to rush it with the length of this spring training.

Mesoraco Working Slowly

Devin Mesoraco has been  the victim of two years of surgery.

The Reds' are not sharing Mesoraco's workload

"I have a sense of what Mes is going to do but it isn't worth talking about," Price said.  "We don't want to set a timelind. We are probably several days away from even talking about it.  We don't want to set a timreline."

Pitchers On Schedule.

RHP Nick Travieso is being held back with shoulder soreness and Homer Bailey is shut down after surgery.

The other 35 pitchers are fine and throwing in their normal routine.

There are 21 pitchers who are in Major League camp for the first time and there are several more that are new to the Reds.

"our concern is workload for the guys that we anticipate making the team," Price said.  "The front end of spring training is a great time to see these young guys."

Position The Players To Watch.

Price is looking forward to seeing Gabriel Guerrero, Aristedes Aquino Jesse Winker and Stuart Turner.

Guerrero, 23, was claimed off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks in November.  He is the nephew of former Montreal slugger Vladimir Guerrero and former Red Wilton Guerrero.  Gabriel Guerrero played 34 games at Triple A Reno, hitting .212 in 34 games.  He hit ..241 in 94 games at Double A Mobile with eight home runs and 45 RBI. 

Aquino was signed to a contract as a 17-year old in 2011.  He hit .273 at Daytona with 23 home runs and 79 RBI.  He also hit 26 doubles and 12 triples.

Winker, 23, was the Reds first round pick in the 2012 draft (49th) over all.

He hit .303 at Louisville last year with three home runs and 45 RBI.  He hit 16 home runs with Dayton in 2013, 13 with Bakersfield in 2014 and 13 with Pensacola in 2015.

Turner, 25, was taken off the Minnesota Twins roster in the Rule V draft.  The Reds either have to keep him on the 25-man Major League roster or offer him back to the Twins for $25,000.  Turner adds depth to Reds' catching with Mesoraco still a question and the loss of Ramon Cabrera, who signed with another organization.

"Guerrero has always been a tools player and Aquino is a guy that has always run very good numbers except for the years he hurt his wrist," Price said.  "Aquino has put up numbers and is a spectacular defensive outfielder.  Winker has the bat.  We talk about power but I'd like to just see him hit.  Aquino is making the jump out of A ball.  With his work ethic, he's been fun to watch and he's been a performer.  It is a test to make the jump out of A ball.  A lot of time that defines your career to see how you perform in AA against better players."

Turner has an additional challenge because he has to learn the pitchers in a short period of time. The 25-year old hit .239 with six home runs and 41 RBI at Double A Chattanooga last season.

""It's tough to be a young catcher with expectations for sure.  It's tough to be a young catcher in a new organization," Price said. "Going from Double A to the big leagues is very, very challenging but we think he can do it or we wouldn't have made the claim."

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