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Reed's new approach helping him stand out

Reds acquire 20-year-old right-hander Medrano from Rangers
Special to MLB.com

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Cody Reed has already impressed manager Bryan Price with what he's shown on the mound in early bullpen session and the way he's bounced back from what Reed called a "bitter" 2017 season.

"He was really sharp," Price said of Reed's Tuesday bullpen session. "Fastball, slider, changeup were all good, were all spot on. Just like they've been in the first two bullpens."

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Cody Reed has already impressed manager Bryan Price with what he's shown on the mound in early bullpen session and the way he's bounced back from what Reed called a "bitter" 2017 season.

"He was really sharp," Price said of Reed's Tuesday bullpen session. "Fastball, slider, changeup were all good, were all spot on. Just like they've been in the first two bullpens."

Perhaps even more importantly, Price has taken note of Reed's renewed focus on getting back to the big leagues in any capacity.

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"The first challenge is getting to the big leagues, but the second and probably even larger issue is how you handle when you get sent back down," Price said. "Because it doesn't matter what we say as an organization, as a staff, as a manager. A lot of these guys feel like the demotion is the organization telling them, 'We don't believe in you, we don't trust you, we don't want you.' There's nothing further from the truth.

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"Cody completely refocused and recommitted to having a positive attitude and being opportunistic instead of the alternative. He's been very impressive in everything he's done."

Reed certainly enters Spring Training with a competitive approach, ready to fight for a spot on the Major League roster. He hopes it's in the starting rotation, although Price has already told him he's competing for a spot in relief this spring.

"Maybe I'll have a start or two and prove myself, and who knows?" Reed said. "Who says that I can't start? Who says that I'm only going for the bullpen? Who says that I can't pitch 30 games in the Major Leagues? I just need the opportunity. Give me one start, and I'm going to take advantage of it. If I do help the team in the bullpen, that's perfect. I had some pretty good stints out of the bullpen last year. I never came out of the 'pen until last year. Now I know I can do both, so whatever works and whatever helps the team."

Reed pointed to Chris Sale, who spent his first two seasons in the Majors coming out of the bullpen before establishing himself as a starter.

"Hopefully it doesn't take me two years, but we'll see," Reed said. "He's had a pretty good career so far."

Reed's aggressive attitude is a turnaround from the baggage he took to the hill in 2017.

"Last year, I was pretty bitter," Reed said. "I started all spring, and they told me I was in the 'pen, and it was kind of a shockwave. I'd never done it before."

Video: CHC@CIN: Reed fans Russell in the 1st inning

Last season, the 24-year-old struggled with control, walking 61 in 106 1/3 innings for Triple-A Louisville and 19 in 17 2/3 frames for the Reds. He still managed a 3.55 ERA for Louisville, but it was 5.09 in the Majors. While he was with Louisville, he reframed his mental approach.

"It took me all season," Reed said of dealing with his move to the bullpen. "I was in Triple-A and thinking I shouldn't be there, thinking I'd already proved myself in Triple-A. I should be able to go. I had 20 starts there [last season], and I didn't do really well. Every time out, I was just so mad at the world. I probably had about 10 good games in Louisville over the 20 or so starts. Most of the time the bad ones were because I felt the way I felt. I'd go in to a game feeling like, 'Why me? Why am I here?'

"Now I know that I am a Major League pitcher and I can get guys out and I can strike guys out. I can go long in the games. I know I can. So this year, I think, is going to be really good."

Reds acquire right-hander Medrano

The Reds acquired right-handed pitcher Miguel Medrano from the Rangers on Wednesday in exchange for $350,000 in international bonus pool money.

Medrano, 20, has spent two seasons in the Dominican Summer League. He's pitched 15 games for Texas there, including 12 in 2017, 10 of which were starts. Medrano went 5-1 with a 2.59 ERA last year, striking out 61 and walking seven in 59 innings.

The $350,000 represents the remainder of the Reds' allocation for international signings.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com.

Cincinnati Reds