Found April 08, 2012 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
CINCINNATI One of the major questions for the 2012 Cincinnati Reds evolves around two positions shortstop and catcher.
The critics ask: How can you play two regulars at the two most important positions on the field?
And manager Dusty Baker says, Just watch me. Highly criticized for favoring veteran players and ignoring young prospects, Baker is playing rookie Zack Cozart at shortstop and easing rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco into at least half the games.
With the 26-year-old Cozart, a second-round draft pick out of the University of Mississippi, it is so far, so great.
Quicker than a third-grader can spell M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-I, Cozart is showing that he is major-league ready.
There was never a question about his glove major-league all the way. But how about his bat?
On Opening Day, Cozart had a hit and scored a run. In Game 2, he had three hits, including a home run and a triple. In Game 3, he doubled and scored a run in the first inning, then drew a walk in the eighth inning with one out and the Reds down by a run.
The Reds didnt score, but they scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth, first on Jay Bruces third home run that tied it, then on pinch-hitter Scott Rolens infield single that scored the winning run, a 6-5 victory.
Im glad for Cozart, said Baker. He is just picking up where he left off from spring training, thats all. They say spring training doesnt count, but it helps your confidence to do well, especially when you are a young player.
Brandon Phillips (leadoff hitter) isnt getting on base yet, said Baker, so that second hitter (Cozart) is your second leadoff hitter, which he batted in Triple-A last year for the first time.
Cozart realized a fast start with a bat was good for both his own well-being and to display his relevance to his teammates.
I feel great and my swing is great, but it sure makes it a lot easier hitting in front of Joey Votto, he said. Im getting a lot of good pitches and putting good swings on them.
As far as playing good in spring training, well, I hadnt played since last July, so coming to spring training I had to be ready.
Cozart was into just his 11th game in the majors last July after a call-up from Triple-A Louisville when he was involved in a freak mishap covering second base.
While making a tag, the runner bent his left elbow in a untenable position and Cozart ended up undergoing the pitchers procedure, Tommy John surgery. Fortunately it was on his non-throwing elbow.
Coming out and getting a good start is important for everybody, he said. I felt like for me, to get the team behind me, I had a brief stint last year and played well, but it was only 11 games, so tried to improve off that. I want to prove mostly to my teammates that I can help them win.
Cozart is in an unique situation in that everywhere he looks around the infield he is surrounded by Gold Glove defenders Scott Rolen at third, Brandon Phillips at second as his double play combination and Joey Votto at first.
That makes it easier on me, especially playing up the middle with Brandon, he said. He keeps me out of harms way. Then I have Scott to my right and Joey is making some great picks out of the dirt at first base. The pitchers sure like it, even more than me but defense is a big thing for us.
One could have forgiven Cozart for having jittery and cold feet on Opening Day, a special day in Cincinnati. But he didnt.
Opening Day was fun, he said. Id a big deal here in Cincinnati, but it was lot more than even I expected. Winning made it nice. And we sold out our second game, too, the first time since 1970. You can tell the fans are pumped up about the team.
BEST OF MAXIM
CINCINNATI Scott Rolen made an error on the second play of the season and it was as shocking as if somebody opened a bottle of Dom Perignon and found distilled water.
It just doesn't happen and Rolen has eight Gold Gloves in his Jasper, Ind., den to prove it.
And he proved it later in the game with at least three above-and-beyond plays, two of them of the spectacular persuasion...
Mat Latos admitted that he let the pressure of his first start in a new uniform before a sellout crowd get to him.
The right-hander, acquired from San Diego for pitcher Edinson Volquez and three highly regarded prospects in December, was roughed up for seven hits and four runs in 4 23 innings of Cincinnati's 8-3 loss to Miami on Saturday.
"It was sloppy," Latos said...
Janish is on fire to start 2012.
Look who's making noise for the Louisville Bats. After being one of the last players to be left off the Reds' 25-man roster, Paul Janish is doing his best to get back to Cincinnati. After the first four games, Janish has been named the Hitter of the Week by the International League, according to press release from minor league baseball...
Votto, seen here promoting his new cereal, will
likely be the face of the franchise for a long time now
The Cincinnati Reds front office continues to buck the trend. After a rather inactive offseason leading up to the 2011 campaign, it's been anything but that for 2012. In fact, you could even make a strong case that they've been as trigger-happy as Yosemite Sam...
CINCINNATI Brandon Phillips slashed a solid single to center field off Miami's Carlos Zambrano and was startled when the Great American Ball Park crowd erupted.
The fans kept roaring and stood applauding. A perplexed Phillips looked at first base coach Billy Hatcher and said, "What's that all about?"
Said Hatcher, "Damned if I know."
Any hope of an undefeated season went astray on Saturday as the Marlins (1-2) raced past the Redlegs (1-1) 8-3 on Opening Night. Mat Latos made his much-anticipated Reds debut, but the results proved to be less than stellar. Nonetheless, the team still has a chance at taking the series on Sunday.
But for now, let's focus on the good, the bad and some notables from Saturday...
The Cincinnati Reds had to give up plenty to acquire Mat Latos in the offseason, but general manager Walt Jocketty was certain that having Johnny Cueto and the young right-hander at the top of the rotation would make a significant impact.
Cueto did on Opening Day, and now it's Latos' turn.
Latos makes his Reds debut Saturday night at Great American Ball Bark, where he&...
4/7 Game Review
Louisville lost 6-4. Box Score
Denis Phipps went 1-4 with a double, HBP and a run.
Danny Dorn went 1-4 with a double and a walk.
Bill Rhinehart went 2-5 with an RBI and a run.
Paul Janish went 2-4 with a double, walk, RBI and a run.
Corky Miller went 1-4 with a walk, HR (1) and 2 RBI.
Kristopher Negron went 2-4 and a steal (2).
Kanekoa Texeira threw 2.2 hitless...
4/8 Game Review
Louisville lost 7-4. Box Score
Kristopher Negron went 1-4 with a run and a steal (3).
Danny Dorn went 1-3 with a walk, HR (2), 2 RBI and 2 runs.
Neftali Soto went 1-4 with a double.
Bill Rhinehart went 1-3 with a walk and a run.
Paul Janish went 1-3 with a double.
Dioner Navarro went 0-2 with 2 walks.
Chad Reineke allowed 3 runs in 6 innings with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts...
Scott Rolen drove in the winning run in the ninth inning with a sharp infield single that third baseman Hanley Ramirez failed to handle, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Miami Marlins on Sunday.
Jay Bruce started the comeback with his second home run of the game and third of the season, an opposite-field drive into the left-center field seats that...
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Scott Rolen drove in the winning run in the ninth inning with a sharp infield single that third baseman Hanley Ramirez failed to handle, lifting the Cincinnati Reds to a come-from-behind 6-5 win over the Miami Marlins on Sunday.
Jay Bruce started the comeback with his second home run of the game and third of the season, an opposite-field drive into the left-center...
The Cincinnati took the rubber game of their first series of the year this afternoon by beating the Miami Marlins 5-6.
Bronson Arroyo took the mound for the Reds and was downright good through six innings. Unfortunately, he pitched 6.1. At the end of his tenure, Arroyo allowed 5 runs (4 earned) … [visit site to read more]
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Matt Holliday, David Freese and Yadier Molina homered during the St. Louis Cardinals' big first inning, and Jake Westbrook found his control after a rough start, beating the Cincinnati Reds 7-1 on Monday night.
The defending World Series champions improved to 4-1 with an offense that hasn't missed Albert Pujols so far.
Only 20 pitches into the game, Reds...
* “I tell my guys all the time don’t be that give-me-another-chance guy because you might not get another chance.” -Dusty Baker
* “I feel like the Cardinals are the best team in the division because they won it all last year. They’re playing good baseball like they always do. I feel they’re the team to beat. I feel we’re going to give many teams a run for...