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Hmm no mention of Smitherman? not yet.. but just you wait.By John Fay The Cincinnati Enquirer Feb 20th wrote:TAYLOR'S BACK: Reggie Taylor thought about going elsewhere when the Reds did not tender him a contract, making him a free agent.
But he decided to return to the club as a non-roster player with an invitation to big-league camp.
"I was just traded over here from Philadelphia two years ago," he said. "I didn't want to go to a new club every two years."
Another factor: Taylor is coming off Aug. 29 shoulder surgery. Reds medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek performed the surgery and the Reds' staff planned the rehab.
"I was familiar with them," Taylor said. "(Trainer) Mark Mann and (physical therapist) Tim Elser were really doing a great job with me."
The injury to John Vander Wal practically assures Taylor of a roster spot. Right now, Wily Mo Pena is the fourth outfielder.
"I don't look at it like (I have the team made)," Taylor said. "I've been fighting for a spot the last two years. I worked my butt off in rehab. I'm going to work hard to make the team."
Taylor, 27, will probably make then team on defensive skills alone. He hit .217 with five home runs and 19 RBI in 100 games last year
The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote:Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Pena no longer a sure thing
He must now earn spot on the roster
By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer
SARASOTA, Fla. - Wily Mo Pena arrived at Reds camp Monday. He was not immediately awarded a free "Go To Opening Day Pass."
"He is the same as any other roster or non-roster outfield candidate," Reds general manager Dan O'Brien said. "He has to win a job on the Major League roster by virtue of his performance."
Pena, a 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic, is aware there's a new GM in town.
"I'm ready to go," he said. "I came here with a clear mind. If I make the team, I go to Cincinnati. If I don't, I go down and play (in the minors)."
Because of Pena's contract situation, it isn't that simple. Pena signed a five-year, $3.7 million contract with the New York Yankees as a 17-year-old on April 5, 1999. He brought that contract with him when he was acquired for Drew Henson and Michael Coleman in spring training of 2001. That meant he was out of options by last season. The Reds couldn't ship him to the minors without first exposing him to waivers.
That's the case again this year.
Pena was viewed by former GM Jim Bowden as five-tool superstar waiting to happen. Bowden was convinced Pena could turn out to be the next Sammy Sosa.
The Reds kept him on the roster last year, although he clearly wasn't major-league ready. Pena had only three hits in 35 at-bats before the All-Star break. Pena got to play quite a bit after the break. But it was still basically a lost year.
Pena is competing with third-year outfielder Reggie Taylor, Reds' minor league player of the year Stephen Smitherman and sixth-year, minor league free agents Jermaine Clark and McKay Christensen for a roster spot. All but Smitherman are more experienced than Pena.
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