The Sports Xchange

MLB Team Report - Cincinnati Reds CINCINNATI -- Although his team is enduring an injury-riddled season and is 2-10 since the All-Star break, Cincinnati manager Bryan Price doesn't believe the Reds should be sellers at Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline.

"I think we're looking to get better. I don't think we're a team looking to 2015," Price said. "The way we've battled and stayed in this thing, and knowing there's a chance we're going to get (second baseman) Brandon (Phillips) and (first baseman) Joey (Votto) back, I don't think there's any reason to lose optimism."

Both Phillips (thumb) and Votto (quadriceps) are out until at least late August. The Reds remain just six games out of the National League Central lead, largely due to solid starting pitching and defense.

It is possible the Reds could deal for a first baseman or outfielder. Filling voids at second and first weakened other defensive positions at times. Utility man Jack Hannahan came off the disabled list this week, giving the Reds an extra body.

However, Cincinnati (53-54) needs offense, and general manager Walt Jocketty might be able to find reinforcements.

"He's working the phones, I know that," Price said. "It often comes down to the last 24-48 hours. Sometimes there's a big bang at the deadline, other times it's a thud."

Price said the approaching deadline hasn't created any added tension in the clubhouse.

"Not that I've seen," Price said. "It's always exciting in baseball at this time of year. If you're not in contention, you're looking to get pieces to help you in the future. If you're in contention, you're looking for someone that can help your club that last few months."

----------------------------------------------- MLB Team Report - Cincinnati Reds RECORD: 53-54

STREAK: Lost one

NEXT: Reds (RHP Johnny Cueto, 11-6, 2.08 ERA) at Marlins (RHP Tom Koehler, 7-7, 3.91 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--CF Billy Hamilton was out of the starting lineup Wednesday. Manager Bryan Price is making an effort to keep Hamilton fresh, understanding the demands of playing center field every day. "I need to stay aware that he's an everyday player at the big-league level playing center field," Price said. "I have no concerns about Billy. He competes and fights every single game." Hamilton, ranks second in the National League with 41 steals, singled as a ninth-inning pinch hitter.

--RHP Alfredo Simon's start on Wednesday was better than his previous outing, but it still resulted in a third straight loss. Simon gave up two runs on six hits in seven innings against Arizona. On Friday against Washington, Simon lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and a season-high nine hits.

--3B Todd Frazier's struggles since the All-Star break continued Wednesday. Although he's not alone on his club in terms of a post-break slump, Frazier has just nine hits in 47 at-bats (.191) with a homer and two RBIs. Frazier earned a spot on the National League All-Star team after hitting 19 homers with 53 RBIs before the break.

--RHP Carlos Contreras has been impressive since being promoted from Double-A on June 21. On Wednesday, though, he had his first rough outing, allowing two runs, both on Didi Gregorius' two-run homer, a hit and three walks in one-third of an inning. He had gone six appearances without allowing a run.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He wasn't sharp early today. He was kind of side to side, but he made some adjustments. He made some outstanding pitches with his sinker. He had them hitting the ball on the ground." -- Manager Bryan Price, on RHP Alfredo Simon, who took the loss Wednesday as the Reds fell 5-4 to the Arizona Diamondbacks.

----------------------------------------------- MLB Team Report - Cincinnati Reds MEDICAL WATCH: