GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- On an unusually chilly Thursday morning in the desert, Reds shortstop Zack Cozart walked outside behind the clubhouse and was handed two brand-new gloves from his representative at Wilson.The black glove simply said "Cozy," while the tan glove trimmed with black features was embroidered with "Cooper Zachary.""That
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- On an unusually chilly Thursday morning in the desert, Reds shortstop Zack Cozart walked outside behind the clubhouse and was handed two brand-new gloves from his representative at Wilson.
The black glove simply said "Cozy," while the tan glove trimmed with black features was embroidered with "Cooper Zachary."
"That might be the best one I've ever made. It has my son's name on it," Cozart said of his A2K-model glove.
• Cozart eager to play, but Reds aren't rushing
During the offseason, players aligned with Wilson to make personal design choices in their orders. They receive two new gloves from Wilson representatives, which include the company's glove "guru" Shigeaki Aso. Along with Cozart, Jesse Winker, Jose Peraza and Arismendy Alcantara also received their gloves.
Cozart's game glove -- the 1786 -- has been the same for several years, and he remains reluctant to stop using it because it's exactly to his liking. But he prefers to use a different glove for batting practice and get a backup 1786 game glove, just in case.
"When I came on with Wilson, that's the exact model I went to because I always use an 11 1/2-inch and the eye web is always my go-to also. It happened to be perfect."
The A2K glove Cozart received was the type of model former Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips preferred to use.
"I wanted to try it out," Cozart said. "This one right here, I'll probably be using in batting practice to see how it breaks in."
Winker, one of the Reds' top prospects, knew exactly what he needed when he came outside -- a black 1799 model outfield glove with a microfiber "super skin" material.
"I have this exact same glove and I got it three years ago. It's just what I'm comfortable with. I don't really like to try anything too new," Winker said. "I'm kind of pumped I've got two of the same ones. I was thinking the other day that I only had one outfield glove and probably should get backups. They kind of came in right at the perfect time."
Although not signed with Wilson, non-roster utility player Hernan Iribarren came out and purchased a new first baseman's glove on Thursday morning because he had been borrowing a teammate's.
Cozart, Winker and Iribarren have the same routine when it comes to breaking in new gloves -- just use them.
"I just play catch with it and let time do it," Winker said.
"That's kind of the beauty of Wilson gloves," Cozart said. "They don't come in overly stiff so you can just play catch with them. If it's a little stiff, sometimes I will put a ball in the pocket and wrap it with a belt just like old-school style. I don't use oils or anything like some guys do. I just let it ride and if it works, it works."
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.