8/7/2014 11:55 P.M. ET
Negron seizing Majors opportunity with Reds
Utility player tabbed as Outstanding Player in Ohio Cup series win over Tribe
By Manny Randhawa / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- It's been a long road to the Majors for utility man Kris Negron. But now that he's in the big leagues, he's making the most of his opportunity.
Negron, who was selected by the Red Sox in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and traded to the Reds in '09, made his Major League debut in 2012 and appeared in four games for Cincinnati that season. Since being called up on July 10 of this season, the 28-year-old has performed well, coming on particularly strong at the plate recently.
In the Reds' Ohio Cup series win over the Indians, Negron was named Most Outstanding Player after going 7-for-13 (.538) with two doubles, a home run, five RBIs and four runs scored. He had a career-high three hits and three runs scored in Wednesday's victory.
After hitting three homers in 219 at-bats this season with Triple-A Louisville prior to his callup, Negron entered Thursday's series finale having hit three in 43 at-bats with the Reds.
"He's a guy that seized the opportunity," manager Bryan Price said. "He hasn't become a callous Triple-A player, and I think, unfortunately, that's what happens. I don't think it's uncommon. I do think it's human instinct: sometimes you wonder what you've got to do to get yourself out of Triple-A."
"You just never give up," Negron said. "I've been wanting to get up here and play my entire life, and you're not going to have a bad attitude or not give it my all. So I just told myself: 'You know what, I'm just going to play as hard as I can and leave it up to whoever's hands it's in.'"
Negron suffered a setback in 2012, his seventh season in the Minors, when he sustained ACL and medial meniscus tears in his right knee on July 5. The injury required season-ending surgery.
"Last year, the whole year, I had that big knee brace on, and I was kinda worried about it just because I had never been hurt in my life," he said. "It was a long season, but I went to Puerto Rico this offseason and I played for Caguas down there and didn't wear the knee brace. That helped me out mentally, and when I came to Spring Training, I felt healthy and rode it through Spring Training."
Price said Negron's confidence has been palpable over the last three weeks.
"I know when he's out there, he carries himself like he expects to be successful," Price said.
Price staying status quo with Reds' rotation
CINCINNATI -- Reds manager Bryan Price said before Thursday's series finale against the Indians that he doesn't plan to shuffle or reset his starting rotation any time soon.
"We've got 31 games in 32 days [going forward]," Price said. "So chances are, I would think we would stay with the rotation because it gives us a chance to get everybody that extra [fifth] day, which is a benefit to this rotation because I've asked them to throw a lot of innings this year.
"[The off-day on Sept. 1] might be the earliest time I'd think about resetting the rotation if that was necessary. But because we've been getting good production from our group, it seems to me that something would have to change between now and then in order for us to change it around much."
Price shuffled the rotation after the All-Star break in order to give right-handers Homer Bailey and Mat Latos extra time to recover from injuries sustained in their last start prior to the All-Star break. Bailey had a slightly strained right knee and Latos experienced lower back spasms.
Any resetting of the rotation, if it happens, would involve utilizing an off-day, Price said.
• Latos threw a season-high 113 pitches in Wednesday's 8-3 win over Cleveland. Price said on Thursday that while the impetus behind leaving the right-hander in to throw that many pitches wasn't to prepare for important games down the stretch and in the postseason, that's a good side effect.
"I'm not a big believer in 140- or 150-pitch games anymore," Price said. "But I do believe a starting pitcher should be able to throw 125 pitches ... I think at some point, if we're going to ask a guy maybe in a big playoff game or a game late in the season, I'd hate to say we extended him 35 pitches because we never got him over 85 or 90."
Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.