GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Wednesday marked the first time that manager David Bell got to address Reds players as a group when he spoke to pitchers and catchers ahead of their first workout of Spring Training.Bell put a lot of thought into what he wanted to tell them."I've tried to put
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Wednesday marked the first time that manager David Bell got to address Reds players as a group when he spoke to pitchers and catchers ahead of their first workout of Spring Training.
Bell put a lot of thought into what he wanted to tell them.
"I've tried to put myself in the position of the players," Bell said. "What would they want to know today? Part of the challenge today is that it's not the whole group, but every conversation we have, every time we get together, it's an opportunity that we want to make the most of.":: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
Of course, with so many new faces on the roster and coaching staff, much time was dedicated to introductions and learning names. But there was also an explanation of expectations of what the manager, coaches and front office want from the players.
"I think that will allow them to understand how we think a little bit," Bell said. "I think if we can do that, without going too deep on Day 1, it'll give a nice introduction, pique their interest, and satisfy, probably, what they are looking for today."
What will be the expectations?
"I think No. 1, we have to create an environment where people are comfortable being who they are, but being the best that they can be," Bell said. "There's a lot of responsibility that comes with that, because when we have all these unique individuals, then the challenge becomes we have to do this thing as a team. We've got to bring all that together."
The first day of workouts followed the meeting. Pitchers including Jared Hughes, Amir Garrett, Alex Wood and Michael Lorenzen played catch and a few had bullpen sessions
"I think it's one of the big things that David stresses, our chemistry and everyone being on the same page and accountable for each other. The first day was great. I'm looking forward to tomorrow," Sal Romano said. "The last couple of years have been rough, not just for us, but in general as an organization. Everyone is ready to help turn this place around. It starts with us and with David and the coaching staff being on the same page with what our goals are. It's easy to say, but our goal is to play into October."
Wood, who won his arbitration case with the Reds on Wednesday, is one of the new faces with the Reds this spring, and he praised Bell's level-headed nature.
"I think in the grind of a 162-game season, the emotions of the clubhouse and the players having to compete at the highest level of the game, [Bell] seems like a pretty even-keeled guy," Wood said. "I think having a pulse like that where no situation seems to get too big for him, it's good to have a leader with that type of mentality. He just wants to build us up and be that foundation. I am really excited."
During daily workouts, Bell will delegate responsibilities to his 11-man coaching staff, and Spring Training scheduling is being handled by third-base coach J.R. House. But Bell plans on being hands-on with players during hitting and fielding instruction. He will also have a fungo bat to hit ground balls, and despite a balky right shoulder, he plans to throw batting practice.
"That's why I'm in this is: to find ways to help in any way I can," Bell said. "To contribute on the field is something I enjoy. I'm very hopeful that I'm going to have time to be on the field and be able to connect with players and be able to offer insight and to teach."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.