Reds manager calls Latos’ comments ‘unfair and inaccurate’
Reds manager Bryan Price said it’s "unfair and inaccurate" for Miami pitcher Mat Latos to suggest that Cincinnati rushed him back from an injury last season and lacked leadership in the clubhouse.
One day after Latos made his comments in an interview with FOX Sports MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal, Price, Reds general manager Walt Jocketty, and several Reds players on Monday took exception to several of the pitcher’s assertions.
Specifically, they objected to Latos’ comment that the training staff pushed him too fast as he recovered from surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee during spring training. Latos later developed more knee problems and elbow issues, limiting him to 16 starts.
Outfielder and second baseman Skip Schumaker defended the team’s training staff telling the Cincinnati Enquirer, "It’s really disappointing because we have a really good training staff, one of the best I’ve ever been around a long time. I’ll just say it’s addition by subtraction and I’ll leave it at that."
Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco added, "For him (Latos) to say they’re rushing people to get back in the game couldn’t be further from the truth."
In fact, Latos’ comments were the opposite of what he said when he was in Cincinnati last season. Then, he told reporters that he wanted to return to the rotation but the medical staff was being too cautious with him.
"We follow very strict protocols after surgeries," Jocketty said on Monday. "We treat everyone the same. We make sure they are ready to go. If anything, I’ve always had the philosophy that if a guy says he is ready, wait an extra day or so just to make sure."
Latos, who was traded to Miami in the offseason, also said the Reds lacked leadership in the clubhouse while he was there, resulting in young players not doing what was necessary to prepare for games. He also said players didn’t encourage each other in the dugout enough.
"That is unfair and inaccurate," Price said. "We have outstanding leadership from ownership through the front office, through the coaching staff, and we have outstanding quality character people in our clubhouse.
"It is ridiculous that we even have to discuss something of this nature. We have done nothing to deserve this."
Jocketty was most upset by Latos’ remarks about a lack of leadership and players’ poor preparation for games.
"It is something that is not true," Jocketty said. "There were more than a couple of things that were exaggerated."
"If this was a court of law," said Reds starter Homer Bailey, "the cross examination would go after the credibility of the witness."