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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.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Reds Open Camp With Higher Goals And Jose Peraza At Secondbase

Bryan Price Wants To Set Higher Goals

The Reds won 68 games last season, a four-game improvement from 2015.  Price wants more improvement than that.
“It’s time to go out there and figure out what we can do,” Price said.  “We have a nice group of regulars. We can’t just settle for 72 wins, we have to set much higher goals.  To do that we need a lot of step up from a group of young guys.”

Peraza Inherits Phillips Position
The Reds and Brandon Phillips parted ways after 11-years and manager Bryan Price feels both the personal and business effects.
“It’s tough,” Price said of losing Phillps, the other BP.  “The emotional component because he’s been here so long, is difficult.  But going into the offseason, we knew we were going to incorporate Jose Peraza. I hope it works out for Brandon. I have my fingers crossed that he gets playing time in Atlanta.”
Peraza is the new secondbaseman. It is his job unless he plays poorly or someone like Dilson Herrera takes it away from him.
“From Peraza’s body of work, he is a regular.  He’d have to play his way off the position,” Price said. “It’s an opportunity for Herrera to play in front of coaches.”
Herrera will get playing time in the World Baseball Classic as a member of the Colombian team.
Peraza will play shortstop and outfield in spring games just to “keep him fresh”
“It’s established in my mind that he is a middle infielder,” Price said. “We will learn a lot more about him as a secondbaseman. It’s the same with Adam Duvall.  He is our regular leftfielder but he will play some thirdbase and firstbase.”
Trading Phillips gives Price the opportunity to do that.
“We’d have had to take starts away from Brandon and Zack (Cozart).  It’s not right to take a start a week from established players like that.”
LHP Andrew McKirahan and RHP Carlos Portuando, who were obtained for Phillips are not in the Reds’ Major League camp.

Filling Other Roles
The Reds other position battles will be fourth and fifth starters, three or four bullpen positions and the bench.
Homer Bailey won’t throw for 4-6 weeks.

Nick Travieso will be brought along slowly with shoulder issues. Vladimir Gutierrez, who signed out of Cuba, is getting acclimated to pitching regularly again.
“You will see Gutierrez but not a lot,” Price said.
Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan and Tim Adleman are the incumbents.  Cody Reed, Robert Stephenson and Amir Garrett lead the candidates for the other two spots.  

Rookie Davis, Sal Romano, and Jackson Stevens will get a chance to impress coaches this spring to elevate their status.
Mesoraco Will Start Slowly

Devin Mesoraco is recovering two surgeries.  He had a torn labrum in his right shoulder repaired on May 10 and a torn labrum in his right hip repaired on June 18.  He resumed hitting right after Christmas and catching activity a week after New Year.
“We will be building his endurance,” Price said. “We are going to use a tempered level with him.  He will get more playing time at the back end of spring training.  We don’t want to feed him too much, too soon.”

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