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Price wants more running out of Reds

The SportsXchange

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- New Cincinnati manager Bryan Price plans to have the Reds run more. And he's not just talking about leadoff man Billy Hamilton.

That starts with the spring games.

"What we're going to do is open things up in spring training," Price said. "One way to find out where we need to improve is to give these guys more responsibility and more freedom during spring training and see what they do with it. It creates more dialogue between the players and the staff.

"Until you give them the freedom to do it, you don't really know where you need to put some focus, who needs extra work, who's more adept than you're giving them credit for."

The Reds were 10th in the National League stolen bases last year. With Hamilton in the lineup, that is going to go up given he stole 155 bases in the minors two years ago.

But Price wants shortstop Zack Cozart and third baseman Todd Frazier to run as well. Cozart, who stole 30 bases in 34 attempts in Triple-A in 2010, did not attempt a steal last year. Frazier, who stole 17 in 21 attempts in 2011 at Triple-A, stole six in 11 tries last year.

"We've got a couple guys there in Frazier in Cozart who are capable base-stealers who simply need to seize the opportunity," Price said. "If we get into a situation where a pitcher is consistently slow to the plate, we need to create those scoring opportunities but getting more guys in scoring position. I think both those guys are capable base-stealers. It may not be 30 in a year but it maybe it's 12 to 15. Who knows? We'll see.

"We'll learn more about them in course of spring."

Frazier is all for it.

"We talked about in the offseason," he said. "I think it's great. I'm not slow, but I'm not really fast. Bryan said maybe I can get 20 or 25. When I heard that, I was smiling ear to ear."

NOTES, QUOTES

--RHP Alfredo Simon started the exhibition opener and went two scoreless innings. With Mat Latos on the mend, the Reds are considering Simon as a starter. "We do know we're short one starter right now with Mat, so someone's going to be making that start," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We have an interesting situation with Tony Cingrani looking really good as our fifth starter. We've got to look really hard at the guys who are next in line, if we were to have any setbacks where Mat wasn't ready to start the season, we've got to look at the group we have here, which would include Simon. He's got a starter's background and a very, very durable arm, so we want to look at him in longer stretches because we know he can pitch out of the bullpen. He's a big, durable kid, who throw strikes. We're going to stretch him out possibly beyond (two, three innings) as a just-in-case as we get toward the back-end, decrease the workload."

--RHP Jonathan Broxton threw his first bullpen session since his August elbow surgery on Monday. It went well. Broxton is still in line to be ready by opening day.

--3B Scott Rolen may return to the team in a non-playing role. "We want Scott to be part of our organization," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "His presence is a positive thing. We've got a lot of really good baseball people in our system as it stands. We've got a lot of iconic Reds, former players that help influence our club. Scott would be another outstanding influence."

--RHP Mat Latos is working out with the team again. Latos was held out of drills for a week and a half after having minor knee surgery on the Feb. 14. "I feel like I'm part of the team again," he said. "I was going crazy, pulling my hair out. It was fun to be out and joke around again." Latos is progressing well, but he still hasn't thrown of the mound. "I feel fantastic," he said. "I'm taking it day to day. I don't want to put pressure by setting a date."

--SS Zack Cozart hit .254 overall last year. But he hit .287 from July 11 till the end of the season. "I ended the year pretty confident," Cozart said. "I wanted to continue on that. My simple thought the last two months was: middle, the other way. I'm staying with that approach. I think you can look back at those last two months and see I hit probably double the amount of balls to right field and I did early in the year. I want to stick to that approach."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was step back for (him). But I don't think he was ever right. He turned around a bit in the second, but his arm slot was low, his stuff was flat, his velocity was down on both fastball and slider. His command fell by the wayside." -- Reds manager Bryan Price on Daniel Corcino, who entered last year as club's fourth rated prospect but went 7-14 with a 5.86 ERA at Triple-A.

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