Outlook: Latos a lock for 10-plus wins, 180-plus K's

CINCINNATI -- Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos isn't going through his typical offseason after having surgery in October, but it's not too far off from the norm.

Latos, who had arthroscopic surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow, has been long tossing without issues. He reported that his elbow felt better than it had in years.

"I'm at 120 feet. Everything is fine," Latos said on Thursday before the start of the 2014 Reds Caravan. "I'm getting everything stretched. I want to long toss, get extended and get everything stretched out."

Latos, who is from Florida but has a home in Southern California, has spent much of his winter in Cincinnati rehabilitating.

"I actually feel like I'm behind right now. They said I'm on schedule," Latos said.

After taking a break from throwing because of the caravan, Latos will resume on Saturday and throw from 120 feet next week also. On Jan. 31, he said he'll throw 10-15 pitches from an indoor mound.

"It's just to see where I'm at kind of thing," Latos said. "We're not letting it loose. I'll be in regular shoes. No cleats. The whole idea is to try and get between four to six bullpens before we start Spring Training. Nothing spectacular -- fastballs and maybe changeups. It depends on how everything feels."

Latos, 26, reported feeling soreness in his elbow and lacked flexibility during the final week of last season. Originally slated to pitch in the National League Wild Card Game vs. the Pirates, he was replaced by Johnny Cueto.

In 32 starts last season, Latos was 14-7 with a 3.16 ERA. Over his 210 2/3 innings, he allowed 197 hits and struck out 187 batters compared to 58 walks. He stepped into the ace's role while Cueto spent three stints on the disabled list.

"Not a bad season for four bone chips floating around in there," Latos said.

Jocketty: Sizemore changed mind at last minute

CINCINNATI -- It appeared that all free-agent outfielder Grady Sizemore had to do was sign the contract and his comeback would start with the Reds. General manager Walt Jocketty seemed confident that would happen.

That was, until it didn't. Sizemore signed a one-year contract with the Red Sox on Wednesday. It will pay a base salary of $750,000 but could reach $6 million with incentives.

Jocketty said the Reds did offer a big league contract as well to the 31-year-old Sizemore, who hasn't played in the Majors since 2011.

"That's all I will say about it. We thought we were going to get it done," Jocketty said on Thursday morning at the 2014 Reds Caravan kickoff. "He changed his mind at the last minute. That's his prerogative."

Once a three-time All-Star for the Indians from 2004-11, Sizemore's career has been derailed by injuries -- including the need for microfracture surgery on both knees.

It appears that the Reds will not be making any big moves ahead of pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training on Feb. 14.

"There's nothing big out there to do. We're not going after any of the top free agents," Jocketty said. "We really haven't talked to anybody about trades. I don't think there will be much of that going on. At this point, I'd just assume we get to Spring Training, see what we have, evaluate what we have and make adjustments if we have to."

Reds bring in Tinsley as assistant hitting coach

CINCINNATI -- The Reds have hired Lee Tinsley to be their new assistant hitting coach, general manager Walt Jocketty revealed on Thursday.

Tinsley, who will assist new hitting coach Don Long, was previously the Cubs' Minor League baserunning and outfield coordinator. This coming season, the 44-year-old was slated to be the manager in Ogden, Utah, for the Dodgers' Rookie-level Pioneer League affiliate.

"He was the No. 1 pick in Oakland [in 1987] when I was there," Jocketty said. "Bryan [Price, the Reds' manager] worked with him in Arizona. He's a great guy. He'll help with hitting, and he'll help [coach Billy] Hatcher with the outfield and baserunning stuff."

In a five-year Major League career from 1993-97, Tinsley played for the Mariners, Red Sox and Phillies. In Cincinnati, he replaces Ronnie Ortegon, who took Long's former job as the Braves' Minor League hitting coordinator.

The Reds also promoted Sean Marohn to strength and conditioning coordinator after he did the same job in the Minor Leagues for the organization the past 10 years. Marohn replaced Matt Krause, who left in December to join the Yankees.

Marohn recently returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic, where he observed some workouts for pitcher Johnny Cueto. The rotation's ace, Cueto battled a strained right lat muscle much of last season and was limited to 11 starts.

"[Marohn] said he looked great, felt good," Jocketty said.

Worth noting

The western leg of the Reds Caravan made its first stop in Bridgetown, Ohio, with the winners of the first annual Reds Caravan Home Takeover contest. It was the home of Keith and Sherry Gregor, who were picked from a pool of 200 contestants vying for the caravan stop.

For the contest that began in December, Reds fans were asked to submit an essay on why a stop at their home would make a great addition to the caravan. As the winners, the Gregors were able to invite 20 people to their home for the stop to meet broadcaster Marty Brennaman, catcher Brayan Pena and Reds great Eric Davis -- among others.

Incidentally, Keith Gregor played college basketball for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats from 1992-96.