CINCINNATI -- It's not like Tyler Holt was an uninvited guest to the Reds Spring Training, but he probably wasn't on the early projections to make the big league club's 25-man roster, either.Holt forced his way onto the team, though, and when Opening Day rolled around, there he was in
CINCINNATI -- It's not like Tyler Holt was an uninvited guest to the Reds Spring Training, but he probably wasn't on the early projections to make the big league club's 25-man roster, either.
Holt forced his way onto the team, though, and when Opening Day rolled around, there he was in a Reds uniform. The 27-year-old earned his place as the team's fourth outfielder.
With Billy Hamilton being placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list Friday, Holt will be getting more time to contribute in any way possible, as he did in Saturday's 2-1 victory against the A's when he ended an Oakland scoring threat with a diving catch on a sinking liner by Billy Burns with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth inning.
He wasn't in the starting lineup for Sunday's series finale against the A's -- Reds manager Bryan Price chose to give Steve Selsky the start -- but entered the game in the top of the seventh inning and immediately made his presence known, when he threw out Jed Lowrie attempting to stretch a two-out single into a double. Holt was backing up right fielder Jay Bruce on the ball hit towards the gap.
"I'm not trying to compare myself to anyone. I'm just trying to do what I do and help this team win," said Holt. "I feel like I bring a lot of energy. I feel like I can get a lot of things done and play great D. In any situation I think I have that feel for the game and what needs to be done."
Holt is hitting .278/.348/.329 and has scored 12 runs in 79 at-bats and 47 games this season.
"You talk about that Jonny Gomes affect," Price said. "It's having people that accept their role and thrive in it, and when they're not playing, they're providing some other element of positive influence on a team. That's what Tyler does. He keeps guys energized.
"He's always jabbing the players, and he doesn't discriminate. It could be a salty veteran or a rookie, it doesn't matter. He's poking the angry pig whenever he gets the chance. He's a lot of fun, and he's always ready to play. He'll help us in any way possible."
Holt was picked in the 10th round of the 2010 Draft by Cleveland out of Florida State, where he started every game of his collegiate career and twice helped the Seminoles reach the College World Series. He made nine appearances for the Indians last season but was designated for assignment on Sept. 23. The Reds claimed him off of waivers four days later and he played in five games to close out the season.
"He has fit in perfectly. He's a ballplayer, man. He just kind of epitomizes that," Bruce said. "He brings that energy to the field every single day. He's ready to go every single day. He can fill in. He understands his role, he embraces it and really excels at it.
"He's a guy that was maybe on the outside looking in coming into Spring Training, but he came in and earned a spot. He convinced people that he belongs on this team. He's shown it every day."
Kevin Goheen is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati.