GOODYEAR, Ariz. — When Billy Hatcher volunteered to move from coaching first base to third base, Reds manager Bryan Price asked if Hatcher was sure.
“He’s such a fan favorite,” Price said. “He has such a legacy in Cincinnati and he’s just invited himself to a world of judgement and criticism. Hey, you’re doing this to yourself, buddy. You could have kept your mouth shut and stayed at first.”
Hatcher spent 10 years as the first base coach for the Reds before moving to third this year.
“I’m looking forward (to the move),” he said.
Hatcher coached third for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2000.
“He’s thick-skinned,” Price said. “He’ll do a good job over there. He understands the game. I love it, somebody that actually wants to do a job that’s a tough job. It’s demanding and takes you out of a safer place. It puts you in a position to take on more scrutiny. I admire that he wants to do it. I’m happy to give him that opportunity. I think he’ll do a great job.”
Hatcher’s move to third is part of the overall coaching shakeup for the Reds. Jim Riggleman, who coached third last year, moves to bench coach. Freddie Benavides takes over at first base.
Mark Riggins replaced Jeff Pico as pitching coach.
NO HELMETS: None of the Reds’ pitchers are wearing the head protection that is now available.
“It does protect a portion of your head but you’ve still got your face, your temple and things like that still exposed. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide protection. There is also probably a weight differential there that affects pitchers. I know they’re available if guys want them but I haven’t seen any of our guys discussing anything about using one.”
B GAME: The Reds will play a B game against the Chicago White Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the Goodyear complex.
“Just pitching on the front end, (we’re) trying to get everybody some work here,” Price said. “That’s all. As you can see, it’s really more for the pitching right now than the position players. Position players, they’re all going to play a fair amount on the front end. Getting the pitchers work is going to be the bigger challenge.”
ARMS RACE: Price continues to be impressed by the arms in the camp.
“Rookie Davis had a really nice day down below,” Price said. “We knew he was a good pitcher when we got him, but to see him against live hitters, fastball and curveball are crisp. His changeup really improved.”
Davis, the 22-year-old right-hander, was the key pitcher in the Aroldis Chapman trade with New York Yankees.
“We know Cody Reed's name is going to be bouncing around all spring because he's just an impressive kid,” Price said. “Not just as a pitcher and an athlete, but as a real competitor, really polished young man. Nick Travieso's been terrific. Sal Romano, for a young guy who struggled a little bit when he was in Double-A last year, has been really good in camp for me. I've been very, very impressed with him.
“Dayan Diaz, who is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum there are far as overall size. He threw the ball really well yesterday. I'm very impressed with him. HIs numbers last year in Double-A and Triple-A are off the charts. That's a really good minor-league performer that deserves a good chance here in camp.”
Price has mentioned Reed, Taviesoa and Romano before. Diaz, 27, spent last year in the Red Sox organization. He went a combined 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA and six saves at Doivble-A and Triple-A.