breaking news

Springfield man sentenced for attempted murder case

5 things to know as Reds start Cactus League play


The Cactus League opens Friday as the Reds and Indians meet to kick off the rust of winter.

Players compete for their baseball lives this time of year and now they have to do it in a bigger hurry. That’s because spring training is a few days shorter. Believe it or not, the Reds open the season against the Nationals on March, 29.

Meanwhile, Joe Torre is sweeping through all 30 spring training camps laying out some new rules to speed up the game.

MORE REDS COVERAGE

» Finnegan confident he’ll return to form

» Reds minor-leaguer suspended 50 games

» Barnhart treasures Gold Glove, seeks repeat

» Ex-Dragon Mahle ready for run at rotation

Here are five takeaways heading into Cactus League play:

1. Shorter spring

The Major League Baseball Players Association wanted a shorter spring training. Major League Baseball complied while keeping the same number of exhibition games.

Arizona cities have too much invested in stadiums and training facilities to allow for a shorter exhibition season. Position players reported Sunday. They had a full week last spring to get ready for games, as opposed to five days.

“We are playing 27 outs today, which we usually do later in spring,” Reds manager Bryan Price said, referring to a drill in which the full team works on situational plays.

2. Speed-up rule

After consultation with the union and team personnel, MLB will proceed with a rule change limiting visits to the mound to six — not six manager or pitching coach visits, but those by infielders and catchers as well:

A pitcher and fielder can speak to each other in the normal course of play as long as neither leaves his position, if there’s an injury or potential injury to the pitcher, or a visit during an offensive substitution (pinch hitter).

MORE REDS COVERAGE

»RELATED: Reds changing plans for top prospect?

»RELATED: Reds open spring training with hope for solid rotation

»RELATED: Reds give Castillo rotation spot, now it’s up to him

“Most umpires know the game situations and would give leeway in a tight game,” Price said.

MLB is also taking steps to expedite replay reviews. They are also cracking down on sign stealing with electronic equipment.

“They talked to us about this at the winter meetings,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “I understand what they’re trying to do — take out a lot of dead time without altering the way the game is played. There are going to be some adjustments. We will have to pay attention to things that we didn’t worry about before.”

3. Cactus extras

MLB requires teams to play a 10th inning this spring in hopes of avoiding ties.

This spring, the 10th inning will start with a man on second base. The rule was used in the World Baseball Classic to prevent teams with limited rosters from running out of pitchers. It is the same in spring training. Visiting teams bring a limited amount of pitchers to games in the Cactus League.

“Fans want a win or loss, an end result,” Price said.

Baseball has experimented with the rules with the minor leagues in mind.

“The concern is for minor-league games or special tournament events like the WBC,” Price said. “I’m not sure if that includes the All-Star Game. It’s factual. When you have one of the minor-league teams play one of those 15-inning games, an entire organization shifts. Players are moved to different rosters and people are flying all over the country to have players recover without risk of injury.”

4. DeSclafani live

Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, who didn’t pitch at all last year, threw live batting practice Wednesday.

“I was absolutely thrilled to see Anthony DeSclafani on the mound,” Price said. “The ball came out beautifully. He commanded the fastball, slider, change-up. He threw a couple curveballs that were crisp. That was exciting.”

On the first day of camp, Price listed DeSclafani as one of his four definite starters. Last spring DeSclafani was expected to start on Opening Day but was scratched with a sore elbow. He never returned to form after several setbacks.

5. Exhibition starters

Price named Sal Romano to open the Cactus League season against the Indians, who counter with Mike Clevenger and Ryan Merritt.

Tyler Mahle will follow Romano along with Jackson Stephens, Kevin Schackelford, Keury Mella. Barrett Astin, Jesus Reyes and Jimmy Herget.

“Not all of them will pitch,” Price said. “A lot of these guys are scheduled for multiple innings.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

HS Results 9/17: Tecumseh boys soccer win by one

Boys Soccer Monday’s Results Edgewood 1, Little Miami 1 Jonathan Alder 3, Indian Lake 3 Northwestern 5, Springfield Shawnee 1 Tecumseh 2, Urbana 1 Girls Soccer Monday’s Results Bishop Fenwick 0, Valley View 0 Brookville 6, Greenville 0 Carroll 2, Greenon 1 Centerville 8, Wayne 0 Fairborn 3, Stebbins 0 Franklin 13, West Carrollton 0 Jonathan...
McCoy: Yelich hits for cycle against the Reds again; Cincinnati clinches last place for 4th straight season
McCoy: Yelich hits for cycle against the Reds again; Cincinnati clinches last place for 4th straight season

Shortly after Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich slid into third base with a triple Monday night, the large crowd in Miller Park began chanting, “MVP, MVP, MVP.” MVP? To the Cincinnati Reds, Yelich is all-Galaxy, all-Universe, all-Everything. That triple in the sixth inning gave Yelich the cycle — a single, double, triple and home...
HS Roundup 9/17: Miami East breaks tie against Versailles in golf

With a fifth score of 56, Katie Pottorf broke the tie against Versailles and Miami East won 195-196. The leading lady for Miami East was Paige Lawson with a 44 and second was Kearsten Kirby who recorded a 47. This win helped the Lady Vikings of Miami East improve their record 8-3 overall and 3-3 in league. Boys Golf Bellbrook 167, Franklin 219: Co-medalist...
Everything Urban Meyer said at his Monday press conference at Ohio State 
Everything Urban Meyer said at his Monday press conference at Ohio State 

Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer’s three-game suspension is over, so he made his first appearance at the typical week-opening press conference held at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.  Here is a transcript of the interview provided by ASAP Sports:  COACH MEYER: Hello. I'd like to share a couple of thoughts on the game first before...
5 takeaways from Urban Meyer’s first post-reinstatement press conference
5 takeaways from Urban Meyer’s first post-reinstatement press conference

Urban Meyer spent the first four minutes of his press conference Monday talking about football. The rest of the time — nearly an hour — was spent explaining and in some instances re-explaining the events that led to this being the first time the Ohio State football coach had met with the local media since before the season started three...
More Stories