Bryan Price promoted from pitching coach to Reds manager

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Jocketty hired him to replace Dick Pole in Cincinnati, where he helped the Reds’ staff develop into one of the NL’s best during his four seasons working with Baker. Now, Jocketty has several important lineup decisions to make to try to keep the Reds competitive in the NL Central, which sent three teams to the playoffs.

Division champion St. Louis opens the World Series against Boston on Wednesday. The Pirates passed the Reds for second place and home-field advantage for the wild-card playoff during the final week of the season.

The pitching staff will have some changes, with starter Bronson Arroyo eligible for free agency. Left-hander Tony Cingrani made his debut last season and showed he could win in the majors, but was sidelined by back problems in September. Ace Johnny Cueto missed most of the season with shoulder problems.

The Reds have to decide whether to keep left-hander Aroldis Chapman as their closer or move him into a starting role. Price would have preferred making him a starter. If he gets moved into the rotation, the Reds don’t have anyone with appreciable experience at closing games.

He and Jocketty said they hadn’t made any decisions on the pitching staff or the everyday lineup.

The offense struggled last season with no consistent right-handed hitter. Cleanup hitter Ryan Ludwick tore cartilage in his right shoulder on a slide on opening day and missed most of the season. He returned in mid-August and hit only two homers with the shoulder still bothering him.

Joey Votto and leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo led the NL in on-base percentage, but Choo is a free agent. Billy Hamilton created a sensation with his speed when he was called up in September, but struggled to get on base consistently in Triple-A before his first promotion to the majors.

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