HAMILTON — Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell said there’s been a concentrated focus on accomplishing what the organization can off the field.
The big thing right now? Communication.
“It’s been a busy offseason already,” Bell said Monday night at Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill during the Reds Caravan. “We’re working every day — reaching out to staff, reaching out to players.
“We’re going to have to accomplish a lot during spring training.”
As spring training approaches, Bell said this offseason has been different than previous years. But the Reds, who finished tied last in the National League Central Division with Pittsburgh in 2022, are trying to use that to their advantage. Reds pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear, Ariz., on Feb. 15. Position players report Feb. 20.
“We had the labor disagreement last year, and we got off to a late start with spring training,” Bell said. “So we’re looking forward to a full spring training. … The last month we’ve been talking every day. Putting together strategies for spring training.”
With the new rules and changes going into play during the 2023 season, Bell said understanding those modifications will be beneficial now — and in the early stages of spring training.
“We’re creating ways to deal with those and get off to a good start,” he said. “First, we explain all of the rules and explain how we’re going to turn all of those rules into an advantage.”
The pitch time and defensive shift limits were addressed by Bell. Bigger bases will also be added to the list of changes for the upcoming 2023 season.
“A lot of the minor leaguers on our staff have experienced some of those changes already,” Bell said. “Base running is going to be affected a lot. There’s going to be a lot more of an opportunity to steal bases.
“From a pitching standpoint, it will be about controlling the running game, especially with pitchers who tend to work a little slower,” Bell added. “There’s a lot of adjusting that is going to have to happen.”
Bell said in terms of player health, he’s happy where the team stands currently and will be once the season rolls around.
“We know that injuries are a part of the game,” Bell said. “But all of our players are doing well. Guys are getting healthy. We can’t wait to get going. It’s that time of the year.”
IN THE KNOW
The Reds Caravan’s North Tour will be making a stop in Dayton on Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
Accompanying the caravan will be major league infielder Alejo Lopez, minor league third baseman Cam Collier, Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman, Reds/Bally Sports Ohio broadcaster Jim Day and general manager Nick Krall.
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