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Athletic Kivlehan competing for bench spot

MLB.com @m_sheldon

TEMPE, Ariz. -- When Patrick Kivlehan joined the Reds as a waiver claim from the Padres, there were only three games left in the 2016 season. Kivlehan is back this spring as a non-roster player trying to earn a bench spot.

"Even just coming here in the beginning [of camp], I didn't know who remembered me or if anybody remembered me," Kivlehan said on Sunday. "I kind of re-introduced myself as if nobody knew who I was."

TEMPE, Ariz. -- When Patrick Kivlehan joined the Reds as a waiver claim from the Padres, there were only three games left in the 2016 season. Kivlehan is back this spring as a non-roster player trying to earn a bench spot.

"Even just coming here in the beginning [of camp], I didn't know who remembered me or if anybody remembered me," Kivlehan said on Sunday. "I kind of re-introduced myself as if nobody knew who I was."

Kivlehan, 27, started at third base on Saturday and made several slick defensive plays. He began his professional career at the position in the Mariners' organization but had shifted to the outfield in recent seasons.

"I don't think he left third base because the feeling was he couldn't play it. I think he was perfectly fine at third or first, and the outfield presented more opportunity for him, perhaps, at making a ballclub," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "But I'm pleasantly surprised at how well he's played the position and how well he's swung the bat. It's an eye-opener in Spring Training, for sure, a first real look at him live."

A right-handed hitter, Kivlehan is competing for a spot along with Desmond Jennings, Ryan Raburn, Hernan Iribarren and Arismendy Alcantara, among others. Kivlehan could bring power the others lack. He hit a career-high 22 homers at Triple-A in 2015.

Video: ARI@SD: Kivlehan crushes his first Major League homer

"Definitely athletic. Big power," Price said. "That's one thing we did see when we claimed him. We started looking at some video of him when we knew we had him. He hit some absolute bombs. He just needs to find a home, maybe like [Adam] Duvall."

Kivlehan went to Rutgers University and played football all four years as a safety and special teams player. He did not play baseball until his senior year, but he still won the Big East Conference Triple Crown and Player of the Year honors in 2012.

"I was one of the last guys on the team to get a hit. I finally just got hot," Kivlehan said. "Those guys there really helped me. They kind of re-taught me the game and just kept it loose. It was a blast and fun."

Worth noting

Bronson Arroyo will pitch for the first time on Tuesday morning in a special intrasquad game against Minor League players on a practice field.

"We were backed up with the pitching. What we opted for was to have an in-camp game and bring up some of our young prospect players from player development and put together a team, and just have our pitchers throw against each other, basically," Price said. "I'm hoping that our representatives from our Minor League group include some of our finer young prospects because it gives us a chance to watch them play as well."

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.

Cincinnati Reds, Patrick Kivlehan