CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Cincinnati fans hope Price is right this season and supporters from across the Kanawha Valley visited Charleston Town Center to meet the Reds Caravan, including first-year manager Bryan Price on Friday.
Price, who assumed managerial duties following the offseason firing of Dusty Baker, headlined the annual winter stop alongside right-handed starting pitcher Homer Bailey.
Many fans lined the mall seeking autographs, but perhaps just as many wanted to hear from Price, who served as the ball club's pitching coach for four seasons, to learn about the man and his plan for taking the Reds past its recent playoff woes.
Price said consistency and playing with focus will be among the team's keys this season.
"I think what we want to do is really focus on our situational baseball and continue to develop as an organization, so, I think, more than anything is you want to be in a situation where our team represents what we believe in organizationally," he said. "Every day, whether we win or lose, that we go out there prepared and are not out-hustled and you're not out-performed. We understand what we're trying to do when we're out there executing, and we're held accountable to performance."
As a pitcher, Bailey said it's welcoming to have a former pitching coach now as a manger, but lauded Price more for his overall approach.
"I think Bryan's got a great baseball mind," Bailey said. "One thing that he's really good at is recognizing problems and solving them. That's typically your first step: recognizing you do have a problem. We know that we did. He's really good about communicating and going about things the right way.
Perhaps Baker, who led Cincinnati to two National League Central Division championships undeservedly suffered the blame or players' attitudes toward him forced the front office to make a move. One aspect that cannot be argued was the amount of injuries the Reds suffered in 2013.
Outfielder Ryan Ludwick played just 38 games, hitting .240 after suffering an Opening Day shoulder injury, following a year in which he recorded 26 home runs and 80 RBI.
In addition, No. 1 starting pitcher Johnny Cueto and relievers Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton each missed significant time with injuries last season.
"We feel like if we're healthy with Ludwick back in our lineup and having Cueto and Broxton and Marshall back healthy that we have a dynamite team," Price said.
The team will need its roster playing at full health and ability to compensate for the production lost by center fielder/lead-off hitter Shin-Soo Choo and dependable starting arm Bronson Arroyo.