Reports from Reds’ Spring Training:

Mike Leake is open to staying with Reds. So far, Reds have shown no interest. (Sheldon)

Leake was open to remaining with the Reds long term, but he’s also not afraid to dip his toes into the waters of the open market. “I’ll be happy to stay in Cincinnati, but I’d also be happy to go to free agency,” he said. “I’d like for them to show interest. They haven’t yet. If they don’t have interest, they don’t have interest.” Leake does not have a price range for what it would take to sign a long-term deal. “Not yet. If the time comes and they say they want to talk, we’ll talk and see what they say and how close they are,” Leake said.

Tony Cingrani looked good in his first bullpen session (Fay)

“He (Cingrani) was fine,” Price said. “He had a short little breaking ball to go with his fastball. He looked like he was throwing the ball without any issue, which was nice. He told our training staff he felt awesome. It was a good start to spring training.”

Devin Mesoraco wants to catch every game (but one). (Rosecrans)

“I’d like to catch 161 (games) and take one day off after we clinch,” Mesoraco said on Thursday, as pitchers and catchers had their first workouts of the spring. “I’m sure there are going to be some times where it makes sense to get Brayan in there and give me a couple of days to just regroup. As much as they want to write my name in the lineup is as much as I want to be back there.”

After ten consecutive offseasons in Florida, Joey Votto spent this one at home in Toronto. Here’s what he did. (Toronto Sun)

Spent time with family. Votto’s mom Wendy is a mainstay at the Via Allegro Ristorante, an Etobicoke landmark. He’d dine there often. He’d drop by to see his brother Tyler, 26, at work. His twin brothers Ryan and Paul, 15, live in Brampton with mom. And that’s why he was at the Brampton Soccer Centre for a minor ball outing, as part RBC’s Sports Day in Canada initiative.”

Rasiel Iglesias already has a better answer to the “what role do you prefer” question than his Cuban counterpart. Read the rest of a long interview with the Reds new $30 million pitcher. (Fay)

Does he prefer to start or relieve? “I’ve been preparing myself for a spot in the rotation. But I’m here to help the team. I will do whatever the team asks me to do.”

Meet Anthony DeSclafani, who appears to have an inside track for the starting rotation (Sheldon)

The Reds feel that DeSclafani has the tools and pitches to be a successful starter in the big leagues. “A lot of it was based on what we saw with our scouting department and on our video and just our background stuff — what we’ve seen visually, what we’ve heard from people that had him about his ability to command the strike zone with quality pitches and his makeup,” Price said.

Homer Bailey is fine with baseball’s new rules for speeding up the game. (Sheldon)

Reds pitcher Homer Bailey felt that the inning-break enforcement was a positive improvement. “I know there have been more times by far that I’m ready to go in an inning and they’re telling me to hold on because of TV,” Bailey said. “A lot of times, I think it’s more the pitchers are ready than anything. Relievers and stuff, I agree, they should only get so much time to get to the rubber.”

Bryan Price favors the new rules, but is wary of speeding up the game too much (McCoy)

“They talk about the pace of the game, but how about the quality of the game,” said Price. “Baseball is a game of strategies. If we have to change the rules to affect the strategies to make it quicker. . .I think we lose sight of the intentions of a storied game. It is a great game for a million different reasons.”

Johnny Cueto wants to stay with the Reds. But when the number $300 million came up in the conversation, it sounds like it was only half-joking. (Fay)

The Reds are unlikely to be able to pay Cueto $210 million. Does he need that top, top dollar to stay? “I don’t know,” Cueto said. “Let’s see what happens. I’m going to put my faith in God and see what happens. I don’t how much it costs — less or more. I can’t tell you that. I don’t know.” The reality is the Reds may not be able to keep Cueto, even though they would love to. “There’s no disrespect,” Price said. “It’s the fact that we have different challenges than teams that can pay $210 million for a starting pitcher. I don’t know if that’s something we can do. But he’s earned the right to be one of those top-tier, top-paid pitchers.

New Reds reliever Burke Badenhop is familiar with advanced metrics. (Rosecrans)

When Badenhop joined the Rays before the 2012 season after four years with the Marlins, he was introduced more to the statistical analysis favored by Tampa and many other teams. Because of his education, the numbers made a lot of sense to him, and he started looking at advanced statistics more, as well as thinking about which numbers were really important.

A couple new Top Prospects lists were published.

Baseball America’s Top-100 included three Reds: Robert Stephenson (#23), Jesse Winker (#47) and Rasiel Iglesias (#58). FanGraphs published a Top-200 list, with these Reds: Stephenson (#25), Winker (#39), Iglesias (#62), Michael Lorenzen (#88), Alex Blandino (#122), Nick Howard (#128), Nick Travieso (#141), also included: Yorman Rodriguez, Aristides Aquino and Amir Garrett.

The Reds are slowing down Robert Stephenson out of concern for his shoulder. Doug Gray advises against panic, for now (Gray).

As noted above, the Reds don’t seem too concerned and we probably shouldn’t be either. With pitchers, it’s better to be cautious and that seems to be the plan that the organization is taking. Time will tell where this goes, and if he’s not throwing in a week, then we can start to wonder. For now, it’s not sounding like much.


9 Responses

  1. Kyle

    Hard not to be concerned by that report on Stephenson and disappointed in the Leake story. Good to see Devin’s quotes.

    I really wish the Reds would sign Dayan Viciedo. To my knowledge, he is still a free agent. It would bolster their outfield and I think there is a very good change he would be as good as or better than Byrd in LF. I’d let him compete with Byrd for the starting job. At the very least, he could give Byrd (and Bruce to a lesser extent) some days off and make it less likely he hits the plate appearance milestone that would trigger another year of salary. As of now, if he doesn’t hit those milestones, it means Shumacher or another unproven guy is playing way too many games.

    • Kevin Michell

      Sadly, he’s pretty redundant with Byrd on the team. Viciedo has to make some strides at the plate with regards to contact rates and discipline, he’s a much worse fielder and baserunner than Byrd and a downgrade even if he can hit a few more homers than Marlon.

      He’s only 25, I would love to see him tap into his potential in an environment like GABP, but unless they can get him on a minor league deal I don’t think the Reds sign him.

  2. vegastypo

    It doesn’t much surprise me that they haven’t approached Leake about a new contract. They have a deadline of Opening Day to work something else out with Cueto. If that doesn’t happen, they could then focus on Leake if they’re interested in keeping him.

    • Grand Salami

      That’s a good point. There is no sense in opening talks with Leake when everyone, including Leake, knows that the talks with Cueto deserve precedent.

      One could argue that talks to Leake could signal that the organization considers a Cueto extension to be DOA. Signing Cueto may be a long shot but if it’s not the organizations first priority and real attempts aren’t made then that would be a much bigger problem than the combination of all the little Mat Latos anecdotes times one thousand.

  3. sezwhom

    I would do my best to keep Leake. Tough to find a SP of his ilk. Love Johnny C. but we can’t afford him after this season. Spread that bank around to lock up or sign others.

  4. Matt WI

    I kind of like the idea of Price and the pitching staff being able to get more out of DeSclafini. Bring him along.

  5. Matt WI

    Price’s comments about pace of play are a little silly. While changing pitchers might be the more “strategy” he’s talking about, the rule changes shouldn’t impact strategy at all. When I go jogging and listen to the game and get back home with it only having been an inning and half, something is wrong, because I’m not that fast.

    • lwblogger2

      Wow, you jog for a whole inning and a half?! I barely jogged that much when I played! Maybe I should have worked out more 🙂