2/22/2014 3:20 P.M. ET
Reds expect Mesoraco to carry biggest workload yet
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In past seasons, the Reds have had clear a definition of catching duties: Ryan Hanigan caught three pitchers from the rotation and Devin Mesoraco took the other two.
The Reds signed Brayan Pena in the offseason and traded Hanigan to the Rays, making Mesoraco the No. 1 backstop. Reds manager Bryan Price doesn't expect to have Pena catching certain pitchers.
"There's going to be certain times when the matchup is going to be in our favor having Brayan back there as an offensive weapon," Price said Saturday.
In 2013, Hanigan caught Johnny Cueto, Homer Bailey and Bronson Arroyo, while Mesoraco caught Mat Latos and Mike Leake.
Price made clear what the catching depth chart looked like this year.
"Devin is the No. 1 catcher," he said. "He's going to catch more than he's caught in the past here. We feel like he's ready to lead our staff. Brayan is going to be our second guy. Unless there is a reason to do it, I don't have an intention to line up our starters with one catcher throughout the course of the entire year."
Price gives green light to improve baserunning
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Drivers dream of stretches of streets with only green lights ahead. For Reds baserunners during Spring Training, the light to run will always be green.
Manager Bryan Price wants his team to be more aggressive on the bases and is encouraging the players to run and take extra bases.
"The one way to find out where we need to improve is giving these guys more responsibility and more freedom in Spring Training and see what they do with it," Price said on Saturday. "We're not going to get to Opening Day and then give the green light to everyone. However, in Spring Training, it's the perfect time to evaluate what these guys are capable of doing and which guys need extra help."
Price believes giving players the chance to run during camp will create more discussion between them and the coaches and the opportunity for more teaching.
"We were a really good, aggressive baserunning team back in 2010," Price said. "A lot of people said it was the Scott Rolen effect, because he's such a professional. He took advantage of everything that was given to him. I think we want to get back there."
Reds right fielder Jay Bruce embraced the approach of running more this spring.
"We didn't run the bases very well last year in my opinion," Bruce said. "We have to do a better job of that and we're going to. That's one thing that's on the docket for me: take the extra base and be the best baserunner you can. That's something you can control."
The Reds were tied for 10th in the National League last season with 67 stolen bases. Only a handful of players attempted more than 10 steals, and Zack Cozart did not make any attempts. The club often relied on the big home run rather than manufacturing runs.
The presence of rookie Billy Hamilton atop the order will bring more steals, but Price would like to see improvement all the way down the order.
"I know that we need to be able to create scoring opportunities, especially in that bottom third of our lineup," Price said. "Being station to station didn't give us as many opportunities to score that I would have liked. I think we have to be somewhat creative."
"I think it's great. It's letting baseball players play baseball," Bruce said. "Each player will -- from the results -- will be aware of what they can and can't do. And if the player isn't, I'm sure Bryan and the staff will be watching. They will know who can and who can't."
Price calls prospect Corcino a bright spot early in camp
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Right-handed starter Daniel Corcino has long been one of the Reds' rising prospects in the organization. The 2013 season was a year when the momentum stopped.
Corcino, 23, struggled at Triple-A Louisville, going 7-14 with a 5.86 ERA in 28 games, including 23 starts. He walked 73 and struck out 90 in 129 innings.
"It was a step back last year for Daniel Corcino," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But I don't think he was ever right. He turned it around in the second half a bit. When he was with us [last spring], his arm slot was low. His stuff was flat. His velocity on both his fastball and slider dropped down. His command kind of fell by the wayside."
During the early days of camp, Price has seen marked improvement. Corcino's velocity, command and confidence seem to have returned.
"This spring, he has been one of the many bright spots," Price said. "He would be that comeback player of the year if he throws like he is now. He would have a dynamite year. He's going to be a guy that would quickly put himself into position to be toward the top of the list of guys that could help us this year."