The spring training article merry-go-round stops today on the young guys. First, this piece on presumed starting shortstop Zack Cozart:
“I’ve been going hard at it for three weeks, taking ground balls, running. Everything feels good,” Cozart said on Thursday, a day before the rest of the position players report for camp.
The Reds have questions about the left side of the infield. Cozart tore a ligament in his non-throwing elbow while trying to make a tag and had reconstructive surgery in August. He also had his right ankle cleaned out.
Third baseman Scott Rolen is coming off surgery on his left shoulder last August. He and Cozart are expected to start if they have no lingering health problems.
Also, enjoy this nugget from our beloved manager Dusty Baker:
Baker will give him a chance to bat second in the order, the place he hit during his brief stay last year. “It’s an important spot,” Baker said. “Age is a small part of the factor, ability, aptitude, unselfishness. That’s where the most unselfish player, the smartest player bats. You have to take pitches that could put you in the hole.”
Read the entire article. Also, read this profile of young Devin Mesoraco:
Mesoraco said that the biggest hurdle he’ll face this season is proving his worth to the team.
“I can’t go in there trying to do too much, I’ve just got to play to my abilities,” he said. “Just learning the pitching staff we have, learning some of the other pitchers in the league to figure out their tendencies, the way they approach an at-bat.”
His teammates have been an invaluable part of his growth and preparation as he assimilates himself into the big leagues. He has plenty of praise for catching mentor Ryan Hanigan.
“He’s a very smart, very sharp guy that it’ll be a joy for me to learn from,” Mesoraco said. “He’s worked with pitchers that have been around for four or five years, so he knows every situation and he is very approachable for me to talk to. He’s always there to help.”
When do the games start???