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Fay: Reds camp means opportunity for prospects

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Posted at 2:57 PM, Feb 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-26 14:57:07-05

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — If this were a normal Reds camp, Zack Weiss would have little chance of making the team.

But this isn’t your usual camp, so Weiss is likely to get a hard look with so many bullpen jobs open. He deserves it based on what he did last year.

He went 1-3 with a 1.98 ERA last year in stop at high-A Daytona and Double-A Pensacola. His numbers indicate good stuff: He struck out 90, walked 15 and allowed 42 hits in 63 2/3 innings. He converted 30 of 32 saves.

“It was fun,” he said. “It was a good year. It ended where I wanted it to end in Pensacola. I was excited to get to play there. Playing in the (Arizona) Fall League was a good experience, facing those every day is always good.

“Got to go to the playoffs in Pensacola, which was a fun experience. They never had playoff baseball there. It didn’t end how we wanted it, but it was a lot of fun.”

Weiss was the Reds six-round pick in the 2013 draft out of UCLA. This is his first big-league camp.

“It’s good. A lot of guys I came up with are here,” he said. “As well as veteran guys, I’ve been watching for years.”

Weiss is probably slotted for Triple-A, but Reds manager Bryan Price has talked about opportunity often at this camp.

“In a lot of organizations, Bryan said, you come into your first big-league camp you don’t always have the chance to win a job,” Weiss said. “But here, there’s a lot of open jobs and a lot of guys are fighting for the opportunity to play for the Cincinnati Reds. It’s exciting.”

SCOOTING ALONG: Raisel Iglesias preferred mode of transportation in Goodyear is an electric scooter. He rides it to and from the workout facility to his apartment about a mile away.

“I ride it in Cincinnati, too,” he said. “All over downtown.”

GAME 1 STARTER: Price isn’t ready to say who will start the exhibition open Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians.

“To be decided,” Price said. “I’ll start getting that stuff out. I know who it is, but I don’t know who it is.”

LEANING ON LOU: Price and Lou Piniella go back a long way. Price’s first big league camps as a coach were with Seattle when Piniella was managing the Mariners.

The familiarity helps with Piniella in camp as a senior advisor.

“He doesn’t have to feel like anything he says is implying anything,” Price said. “He can be very candid. He’s extremely willing to share. He has great perspective. He matured in every aspect. He matured as a hitter. He matured as a student of the game. He matured as a manager. He grew to be just an exceptional major league manager. He understands exactly where I am in the process of developing, as we all continue to develop as managers. His perspective has been terrific.”

MAGILL UPDATE: Right-hander Matt Magill, obtained from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Chris Heisey last offseason, only pitched three games for Triple-A Louisville before his elbow blew up. He had Tommy John surgery the same day as Homer Bailey.

Magill is back into camp as a non-roster player.

“He threw 15 pitches (Thursday) and looked great,” Price said. “However, I don’t think we’ll see the best of Matt before we leave. He’s a hair behind Homer. Homer’s been on the mound three or four times now, and Matt’s been on the mound once.”

Magill will probably start the year in the rotation at Louisville. He’s seen as a bullpen or starting option if he returns to form.