SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The getting acquainted portion of his time with the Reds has long since passed for starting pitcher Mat Latos. Last spring, he arrived in the major off-season trade to help the club, making him the new kid on the block.
Latos, who made his spring debut with two scoreless innings against the Royals on Friday, is more comfortable with a year on the club behind him.
"It's comforting to know what to expect from the guys I am around," Latos said.
Latos began his start with back-to-back walks before he got a fly out to left field and an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play on the ground. With one exception, he threw all strikes in the second inning and allowed only a two-out double by Xavier Nady before escaping. Latos felt like he made the right adjustment in the second.
"I stayed on a straight line," said Latos, who threw 24 pitches overall, including 17 strikes. "Throwing in the first inning with a little adrenaline, I kind of opened up the front shoulder a little bit."
During his first season with Cincinnati, Latos was 14-4 with a 3.48 ERA, and his 33 starts and 209 1/3 innings pitched were both career highs.
The first month was rocky as Latos had a 5.97 ERA in five April starts before straightening out and finishing strong the rest of the way.
"A struggle early is better than a struggle late," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You're going to struggle. If you don't struggle, you don't win 20 games. You're going to struggle some if you win 20 games. I will just take more of the same. That's pretty good for a kid, to be 14-4 and struggle."
Choo, Hanigan out of lineup with minor injuries
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Reds scratched a pair of regular players from Friday's starting lineup against the Royals.
Center fielder Shin-Soo Choo remained at the Reds' complex with tightness in his right quadriceps muscle. Catcher Ryan Hanigan had irritation in his left oblique area. Neither injury was considered serious.
"[Choo] is just tight. Hanigan is a little tight," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "This is the aches and pains of Spring Training, and the aches and pains of not having much time [before games start]. Choo works hard and is in shape, so is Hanigan. They are hard-working guys. Both of them are off tomorrow, too."
The new Reds leadoff hitter after his trade from the Indians, Choo is batting .273 (3-for-11) in five games this spring. He's also making the position switch from right field to center field, which Baker felt was going well.
"My read is he's taking good routes," Baker said. "He backs up. He runs. He hustles. He can throw."
Hanigan, the Reds' primary catcher, is batting .200 (1-for-5) in three games.
Ryan LaMarre started in center field for Choo while Devin Mesoraco caught in Hanigan's place.
Broxton's strong spring continues
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Expected Reds closer Jonathan Broxton has had only two outings this spring thus far, but has made them relatively quick work. Broxton has retired all six batters faced, including his one perfect inning on Friday against the Royals.
"I feel good. It's still early," Broxton said. "I'm still working on getting in shape, getting the arm there and working on my timing. All of my pitches aren't there. We've still got a month."
Broxton, who was re-signed to a three-year, $21 million contract in November, will be the team's closer if the Reds ultimately decide at the end of camp that former closer Aroldis Chapman will go into the rotation.
The Reds acquired Broxton in a July 31 trade with the Royals for Minor League pitchers J.C. Sulbaran and Donnie Joseph. It was the first time he worked against Kansas City.
"It felt a little weird out there going against the team I was with last year for a half season," Broxton said. "It doesn't matter, we're still professionals out there and you still have to go about your business, no matter what."