Choo under scrutiny during first workout with Reds

By Mark Sheldon /02/15/2013 7:20 PM ET

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- After the full squad reported to camp on Friday, the Reds held an afternoon workout. No player came under as much scrutiny as new center fielder Shin-Soo Choo.
According to Rob Butcher, media relations director, 25 members of the South Korean media were issued credentials to cover Choo's first workout. There were numerous still and video cameras documenting his stretching, batting practice and other drills.
Choo, 30, was acquired in December's three-team trade with the Indians. After the workout, he and agent Scott Boras spoke to the Korean media inside an empty Minor League clubhouse at the Reds' complex.
Choo and Boras avoided arbitration on Monday by signing a one-year, $7.3 million contract.
"The Reds and Choo had very amicable contract negotiations," Boras said. "He was treated very fairly, and he's happy to be here."
It's widely believed that Choo will spend only one season in Cincinnati, because he can be a free agent next winter. The Reds are also grooming top prospect Billy Hamilton to be their leadoff hitter and center fielder in 2014. There were no efforts during the negotiations to get Choo signed to a multiyear deal.
"We really focused on the one-year approach," Boras said.
Illness keeps Arroyo from Friday's workout

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Pitcher Bronson Arroyo was not able to participate in Friday's workout because he's been battling flu-like symptoms the past few days.
Manager Dusty Baker praised Arroyo's dedication, because he still tried to get in some work.
"He's going to throw and then go home because he wants to get his arm in shape," Baker said. "That's how Bronson is. Most guys would just go home. He wants to throw first and then go home."
Izturis trying to make team as backup shortstop

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- In each of the past two offseasons, the Reds signed a veteran infielder to serve as backup shortstop. Two years ago, Edgar Renteria served that role; last season it was Wilson Valdez. This spring, Cesar Izturis will try to make the team as backup to Zack Cozart after signing a Minor League contract last month.
"It all depends on the dynamics of the team. You don't want to have him around just to have him around," manager Dusty Baker said on Friday. "He has to be part of the team. He has to bring something to the table."
Izturis, 33, briefly played for Baker (22 games) in 2006, with the Cubs.
"He was injured when I had him," Baker said. "I'm curious to see if he's still the same. He could pick it, big time. He had a relative bat, decent speed and knows how to play the game."
Worth noting

Might Joey Votto, who learned Spanish in order to communicate with Latin teammates, pick up Korean in order to talk with Shin-Soo Choo?
"If he's a good enough teammate, I may," said Votto, who also knows French.
Three pitchers -- Nick Masset, Justin Freeman and Kyle Lotzkar -- are behind as they deal with shoulder injuries, although Lotzkar threw off a mound for the first time on Thursday.