The club announced their first roster moves last night, cutting the number of players in the big league camp to 44:
- Optioned to AAA Louisville: RHP Carlos Contreras, RHP Daniel Corcino, RHP Chad Rogers, LHP David Holmberg, OF Ryan LaMarre and OF Donald Lutz;
- Optioned to AA Pensacola: OF Juan Duran, OF Yorman Rodriguez and LHP Ismael Guillon;
- Reassigned to minor league camp: RHP Tim Crabbe, RHP Michael Lorenzen, RHP Robert Stephenson, C Rossmel Perez, C Max Ramirez and IF Reynaldo Navarro
- Released: IF Henry Rodriguez
So far, so good. Billy Hamilton (.318/.444/.409) is 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts this spring. Spring training stats are generally meaningless in predicting how players will perform in the regular season, but two to watch for Hamilton are these: 5 walks, 2 strikeouts. Bryan Price isn’t the first Reds’ manager to face the issue of starting an inexperienced player in centerfield. Read John Errardi’s excellent column on how Sparky Anderson and Bill McKechnie handled similar situations.
After several strong starts, Tony Cingrani met Buster Posey yesterday. Mike Leake, who has been battling an “abdominal issue,” takes the mound at 4:10 (ET) today against the Colorado Rockies. You can hear it on WSAI-AM (1360). Tomorrow’s afternoon game against the Los Angeles Dodgers will be televised on the MLB Network.
Fox Sports Ohio announced its 145-game broadcast schedule for Reds’ games this week.
Mat Latos remains on track to take the mound during the first week of the season, possibly. “We’re not going to do anything irresponsible to get him ready simply to have him on the opening day roster,” said Bryan Price. “But if he stays on his protocol that he’s on now, there’s a good chance he could be ready to start somewhere after that off day on April 1. He could pitch on (April 6), but the priority isn’t the sixth — it’s making sure he’s ready to go.”
Cautiously positive news from the bullpen:
- Jonathan Broxton threw close to 45 pitches in live batting practice for the first time this spring and reported being pain-free. He’s recovering from right forearm surgery in August. The plan is for Broxton to throw another bullpen session in a couple days then maybe another live BP. His timetable in relation to Opening Day is still uncertain. “There’s a chance he will be (ready for Opening Day),” said Reds’ manager Bryan Price.
- Sean Marshall is “a couple days” away from pitching off a mound, according to Price. Marshall is still battling the shoulder tendinitis that limited him to 10.1 innings pitched in 2013. He’s been throwing the ball, but not off a mound. “He’s feeling great but with his history and the shoulder from last year and not feeling great here early in camp, we are going to go on the ultra-conservative side and just make sure he does everything in his throwing protocol to verify that he’s feeling great and then get him back on the mound,” Price said. “He’s not starting from square one. He threw all offseason and threw a handful of bullpens before he got here and three or four bullpens while he was here. He’s more advanced than somebody that had to completely shut down for three or four weeks.”
Spring training stats may shed light on the outcome of the competition for roster spots:
- Hot – Skip Schumaker (.550/.583/.800), Roger Bernadina (.500/.650/.875), Neftali Soto (.375/.375/.708).
- Not – Ramon Santiago (.118/.250/.176).
From the “just can’t let it go” department:
- Aroldis Chapman pitched three innings yesterday.
- Grady Sizemore (.308/.357/.308) remains healthy and “looks more and more like the elite player he was back in his glory days.” Sigh.
The glorious tradition that is Opening Day in Cincinnati is a mere 19 days away. In case you didn’t know, the Reds play the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park at 4:10 ET on Monday, March 31. The Grand Marshall for the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade is Davey Concepcion, shortstop for the Big Red Machine.