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Reds dump pitcher Hancock for reporting overweight

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Josh Hancock was released Saturday by the Cincinnati Reds a day into spring training after the right-hander
reported to camp overweight.

The 27-year-old Hancock missed most of last season with a groin injury suffered in spring training. Hancock and the rest of the
Reds pitchers and catchers took physicals on Friday.

Manager Jerry Narron said Hancock, whose weight is listed at 207 pounds, reported 17 pounds too heavy. General manager Wayne Krivsky
went along with Narron's suggestion to release Hancock a day into
spring training.

Narron spoke to his players at the end of last season and urged them to be serious about their offseason conditioning programs. He was stunned that Hancock showed up overweight.

"I have no clue what Josh Hancock was doing," Narron said. "As far as I know, he might have been running a marathon all
winter long. He may have been throwing off the mound. But he was 17
pounds over his requested reporting weight.

"Can he be a successful major league pitcher 17 pounds more
than he's asked to be? Maybe. But we looked at last year -- he was
on the disabled list for 133 games -- and just did not see the
commitment that we wanted to see this winter."

The Reds acquired Hancock from Philadelphia in 2004.

He went 5-1 with a 4.45 ERA in nine starts and three relief
appearances for Cincinnati in 2004, putting him in the competition
for a bullpen spot when spring training began last year.

He hurt his groin in his final spring game and aggravated the
injury during a rehabilitation stint with Triple-A Louisville in
June. During another rehabilitation assignment with Louisville, he
developed a sore elbow that sidelined him again.

Hancock made 11 relief appearances in September, going 1-0 with
a 1.93 ERA -- an encouraging showing. Narron hopes that Hancock's
release on Saturday makes him realize what he has to do to pitch in
the majors.

"I really believe you earn things in this game," Narron said.
"When you're on the disabled list 133 games, you haven't earned
the right to come in 17 pounds overweight."