Reds position players report to camp on Feb. 19, but utility player Alejo Lopez had planned on being in Arizona early when I spoke to him at the Caravan stop in Columbus on Jan. 27.
Lopez, 26, batted .259 with one homer and 10 RBIs in 61 games for Cincinnati last season. But he was also on a shuttle back-and-forth to Triple-A Louisville and had four separate stints in the big leagues in 2022.
The Reds love Lopez’s ability to stay ready on the bench. With his bat, he frequently makes contact and handles himself well as a role player. He can also play five positions in the field, but his glovework is an area that needs improvement.
I spent a couple of minutes with Lopez during the Reds Caravan stop.
MLB.com: What’s the offseason preparation been like?
Lopez: I started training a while ago. Now I’m transferring everything into baseball shape for spring.
MLB.com: You obviously will try to make the team out of camp. Where do you view your best opportunity?
Lopez: I will do anything to stay on the team. [Manager] David Bell already knows I can play any position and can do it well. I’m not afraid of any challenge. I want to stay on this team, help this team and I want to keep proving to everyone that I’m really that player.
MLB.com: When last season ended, what was something Bell and the club told you to work on?
Lopez: He told me just to be ready for everything. Every position, I’ve been working on. He knows how good my bat is. I did a lot of defensive work.