Gonzalez reports, ready to go
A fit and trim Alex Gonzalez was in camp as the full squad reported on Tuesday morning. As the regular shortstop, Gonzalez will be a focal point all spring after he missed all of last season with a compression fracture that required microfracture surgery.
Before the team held it’s first workout, Gonzalez said he was fully healthy and ready. He also worked out with his Venezuelan winter ball team before coming to camp.
“I tried to play but they wouldn’t let me play,” Gonzalez said. “I was training with the team, taking groundballs, running drills, running the bases.
“Right now, I feel good. I’ve been moving side-to-side, back and front. I’m running and hitting. I’m doing all that kind of stuff.”
The Reds say they boast a strong middle defense with Brandon Phillips, Willy Taveras and Ramon Hernandez but any hopes for the team to improve defensively will require Gonzalez to be healthy.
Update: Gonzalez looked very smooth taking infield practice and showed no signs of favoring his knee.
Other notes from Tuesday:
- Reliever Bill Bray has yet to throw from the mound because of a tender left shoulder. Bray has had a history of shoulder tendinitis.
“He’ll be on track soon,” Jocketty said.
- Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan arrived in camp as a guest instructor on Tuesday. Morgan, who is now the main game analyst for ESPN, could be seen giving instruction to infielder Chris Valaika and Gonzalez.
- I saw 2008 first round Draft pick Yonder Alonso take batting practice for the first time. One of the first balls he hit cleared the fence and he looked very good swinging to all fields. Of course, it was just BP with coach Freddie Benevides throwing from 40 feet away, and not Jake Peavy from 60 feet, six inches.
- Joey Votto will definitely play for Canada in the World Baseball Classic. He was told that he would likely be the DH since the squad already has Twins first baseman Justin Morneau.