Offseason moves offer Price lineup flexibility

Offseason moves offer Price lineup flexibility

CINCINNATI -- Spring Training is just about here as Reds pitchers and catchers are slated to report to camp in Goodyear, Ariz., on Wednesday and hold the first workout on Thursday.

MLB.com has brought you a series of Spring Training preview stories -- including the players who need to rebound, new faces, prospects to watch and more. This entry is often a fan favorite -- the projected Cincinnati starting lineup and rotation.

Going back to the Winter Meetings, manager Bryan Price was asked if he had any thoughts yet about his 2015 lineup. About a month after the club acquired Marlon Byrd on Dec. 31, Price joked after Winter Caravan that he learned creative ways to avoid answering questions about lineup construction featuring his new left fielder.

There is definitely room for flexibility, despite the projection below. For instance, Joey Votto could likely bat second or return to his familiar third spot in the order. For the final two rotation spots, Tony Cingrani and Anthony DeSclafani are viewed as the leading candidates. But they could be pushed in competition by Raisel Iglesias, Jason Marquis, Paul Maholm, Dylan Axelrod and David Holmberg. In the bullpen, multiple spots are up for grabs.

Once camp opens, Price and the Reds will have about seven weeks for the lineup and pitching staff to take shape. Here is a glance at how things look heading into Spring Training:

2014 record
76-86, fourth place in the NL Central

Projected batting order
1. CF Billy Hamilton :
.250 BA, .292 OBP, 6 HR, 48 RBIs, 56 SB in 2014
2. 1B Votto:
.255 BA, .390 OBP, .409 SLG, 6 HR, 23 RBIs in 2014
3. 3B Todd Frazier :
.273 BA, .336 OBP, .459 SLG, 29 HR, 80 RBIs in 2014
4. RF Jay Bruce :
.217 BA, .281 OBP, .373 SLG, 18 HR, 66 RBIs in 2014
5. C Devin Mesoraco :
.273 BA, .359 OBP, .534 SLG, 25 HR, 80 RBIs in 2014
6. LF Byrd:
.264 BA, .312 OBP, .445 SLG, 25 HR, 85 RBIs in 2014
7. 2B Brandon Phillips :
.266 BA, .306 OBP, .372 SLG, 8 HR, 51 RBIs in 2014
8. SS Zack Cozart :
.221 BA, .268 OBP, .300 SLG, 4 HR, 38 RBIs in 2014

Projected rotation
1. RHP Johnny Cueto , 20-9, 2.25 ERA in 2014
2. RHP Homer Bailey , 9-5, 3.71 ERA in 2014
3. RHP Mike Leake , 11-13, 3.70 ERA in 2014
4. LHP Cingrani , 2-8, 4.55 ERA in 2014
5. RHP DeSclafani, 2-2, 6.27 ERA in 2014

Projected bullpen
Closer: LHP Aroldis Chapman , 36/38 saves, 2.00 ERA in 2014
RH setup man: Burke Badenhop , 0-3 2.29 ERA in 2014
LH setup man: Manny Parra , 0-3 4.66 ERA in 2014

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.