Cincinnati Reds: Offense off to slow start

Joey Votto and Billy Hamilton are still looking for their first hit of the spring — 11 games into the 31-game Cactus League schedule.

The Reds are hitting .218 as a team. The projected starters have seen very few hits. Adam Duvall, Scooter Gennett and Jose Peraza each have two hits.

“I’m not concerned we’re hitting .212 as a team. “Nobody is off to what you call a robust start,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “Billy is getting a lot of input. At some point in time he has to go out there and do what comes naturally. He is working hard on his bunting. He’s getting a lot of work on hitting. As the at bats come more frequently for all these guys we’ll see more offensive production. Right now its just three at bats every other day.”

There are some starters hitting. Eugenio Suarez is hitting .385. Jesse Winker has a .273 average. Scott Schebler has three hits and hitting .300.

The Reds have hit 10 home runs as a team. Only Suarez, Duvall and Barnhart have hit home runs among those expected to be on the roster.

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The power is coming from Brandon Dixon, three homers and Aristedes Aquino with two among Reds farm hands. Rosell Herrara, a free agent signing has two.

Dixon goes deep

Brandon Dixon hit his third home run of the spring against the Cubs on Saturday. He had a big home run last week against the White Sox to tie the game in the ninth inning.

Dixon arrived in the trade with the Dodgers along with Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza, in the Todd Frazier, three-team deal.

Dixon, 26, is an infielder but the Reds have put him in the outfield this spring.

Last year, the Dodgers third round pick in the 2013 draft, led the Louisville Bats with with runs scored (58), doubles (31), home runs (16), RBI (64), extra-base hits (50) and total bases (201). Dixon’s offensive numbers are nearly identical to those he put up with Pensacola in 2016.

“Dixon was a very impressive player last spring,” Price said. “I think you kind of wait for the big season where they go above and beyond what they’ve done historically. He had a solid season last year, a lot of extra-base hits. He has a lot of room to get better. He has the talent to get better. I think he’s going to end up being a Major League player. When that happens we’ll all be excited. He’s a great kid. It hasn’t come easy. He’s had to fight for every opportunity, he’s gotten.”

Roster move

The Oakland Athletics claimed LHP Jairo Labourt from the Reds Double A roster at Pensacola.

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