Price not worried about Barnhart's wild start to spring

Catcher known for strong defense has trouble with errant throws

Price not worried about Barnhart's wild start to spring

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Known for being a strong defensive catcher for the Reds organization with a good arm, Tucker Barnhart has made some uncharacteristic throws of late.

Starting behind the plate in Friday's game vs. the Cubs, Barnhart had two throws tail away from second base in both the first and second inning as he tried to throw out basestealers. He was charged with an error in the first. In the fifth inning, however, Barnhart caught a runner stealing.

Also during some drills, Barnhart has had throws that haven't been on target. When asked on Saturday morning about his prospect, Reds manager Bryan Price wasn't concerned.

"It looks like he's building his arm strength," Price said. "He doesn't have a throwing issue. He hasn't been as accurate to start camp. The last throw [Friday] certainly was more indicative of what we've seen in the past. I think he has a little ways to go as far as building up his arm strength. ... I think because of that there are times when he's trying to get rid of the ball quicker and then his accuracy suffers a little bit."

Barnhart nabs Marte

Another item of note for Saturday:

• The Reds entered Saturday leading the Majors this spring with nine errors. Price attributed that to a few different issues, including having some players playing new positions and some problems with the infield at Goodyear Stadium.

"That being said, there have been plays out there to be made," Price said. "We've had a bunch of rookie kids out there that basically played between the Arizona rookie league and Billings club on the field two days ago to finish that game after the "B"game [Thursday]. We're not representing ourselves the way I think we're used to seeing ourselves defensively, but it's early [in] camp with a lot of new players, young players, excited players. So I imagine it's going to improve exponentially throughout the course of the month."

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.