Inbox: Could Lorenzen be a two-way star?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers questions from fans

October 29th, 2018

Is there any chance of making serious use of as a two-way player? That guy simply rakes! -- Yehoshua F., Israel
Although Lorenzen hits very well and would be the closest thing Cincinnati has to of the Angels, the Reds would be prudent to not overuse him as a hitter. One of the perks in how he was used this past season by Jim Riggleman was opponents couldn't always game plan for him, and Lorenzen wasn't overexposed. Riggleman could also deploy Lorenzen when the matchups were most beneficial. He batted .290 with four home runs in 34 plate appearances. That's still a small sample size. I think new manager David Bell should pick his spots as well.
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Mark, I used to watch Bell's grandfather Gus play for the Reds at old Crosley Field in the good ole days. The first thing David needs to do as Reds manager is to name Mike Matheny his bench coach. What is your thinking on that? -- Paul P, Nashville, Tenn.
Bell told me he isn't limiting himself to having a bench coach with managerial experience in the big leagues, but Matheny could be interesting, with his experience as Cardinals manager and given that he and Bell have worked together in the past.
On the other hand, one of the knocks on Matheny in St. Louis was his communication skills and trouble relating with younger players. That might not fit with the Reds' environment. I also found it intriguing that with all the managerial openings around the league, I didn't hear Matheny's name as a candidate for any.
Have the Reds given any thought to playing in center field next year to accommodate Nick Senzel in the infield? He has experience. I believe they will trade in the offseason. -- @jbur8 on Twitter
I could see Senzel playing shortstop if Peraza were unavailable, or if the Reds were out of shortstops. But I think Peraza would be better at shortstop than in center field, and I think Senzel has the makeup to be a center fielder or left fielder. The club got a long look at its top prospect at shortstop last spring and decided that second base and third base were his better positions on the infield. Senzel's ability to play up to five positions can only help him and the Reds.
If Homer Bailey is given a chance in Spring Training to earn a spot in the starting rotation and he doesn't produce, what are the club's options? -- Bernie R., Olney, Ky.
Really, there are only two options if Bailey doesn't fit into the 2019 rotation -- try him in the bullpen, or release him and eat $28 million.
With obvious lack of power last season, have you heard any discussions of them adding some power on the bench? -- Terry Vincent on Facebook
The Reds were ninth in the National League in home runs in 2018, which is not great for a team that plays half of its games in smallish Great American Ball Park. However, the bench is often one of the last things clubs address in the offseason. The Reds should focus on the main need of starting pitching -- which will cost the most -- and when there are players without a club as Spring Training nears, see what they can get for as little as possible.
I am excited that the Reds are back in Chattanooga. Who is the manager and who are the players to watch in 2019? -- Jeff G., Ringgold, Ohio
Minor League managers and staffs are usually named later in the offseason, around January. Rosters aren't filled until after Spring Training. But I could see right-hander Tony Santillan, who was recently named Reds Minor League Pitcher of the Year by MLB Pipeline, being there after a half-season in Double-A. And the website's Reds Minor League Player of the Year, outfielder Taylor Trammell, should be a candidate after a strong year in Class A Advanced Daytona.
• Pipeline names Reds' 2018 Prospects of the Year
With the upcoming season being the 150th anniversary, will the Reds have any new uniforms? -- Adler Ingalsbe on Facebook
Good question. The Reds recently announced they will unveil all their plans for the 150th anniversary on Monday, Nov. 5, at Great American Ball Park. I will have a story from the event on and