The Reds hope Bronso Arroyo's velocity is back. AP Photo/Paul Connors

The Reds received a mixed bag of news yesterday on the status of several relievers.

–Ryan Madson, who has been held out of action with right elbow irritation, has been removed from the medical injury report. He has been throwing from flat ground the past few days, and is expected to pitch from the mound in the next couple of days

–Bill Bray (left groin injury) had to shut it down while throwing a simulated game Wednesday. The latest setback was described as “discomfort” and “tightness” instead of pain

–Nick Masset was pulled after two-thirds of an inning Wednesday, after throwing 28 pitches and complaining of “tenderness”. Like the other relievers, the news from Arizona is that this was a precautionary move and nothing serious

–LH reliever Ron Mahay is off to a rough start in Spring Training. The lefty allowed two more runs, 3 hits and a walk in one inning of work yesterday.

–On the other hand, Bronson Arroyo had a very encouraging outing Wednesday. He was the first Reds starter to go three innings, and more importantly, it appears that his velocity is back. beat writer Mark Sheldon provides us with a variety of Arroyo quotes:

“I felt good. My body definitely felt better, more lively and less aching than the first time out in years past,” Arroyo said. “I felt like I’ve been out there, not as much for my feel of the game, but physically more than just one time. I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand than it has the last couple of years.”

A reporter told Arroyo that his fastball velocity was in the 88-89-mph range.

“That’s good this early. He’s going to get even better,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

“If I can throw the ball 90 mph, I feel good about what I can do out there,” Arroyo said. “Last year, I was humping up for 86 a lot of times with everything I had. It was nice to be out there and feel healthier.”

“I’m 35 now. If I duplicate what I did last year, then I’m definitely coming down the other side of the mountain, you know?” Arroyo said. “I feel too young and vibrant, especially in the weight room with the young guys, that I don’t feel that’s the case. The next eight months will tell.”

–Sheldon also provides a very good article on Reds converted reliever Sam LeCure.

“In the bullpen, I realized I would get more chances to pitch. It was exciting,” LeCure said. “I took to it pretty good. It fit my mentality pretty well. It actually taught me a lot about pitching, how to be aggressive and things like that.”

Starting is no longer on his mind.

“I’m not looking to get back into the rotation,” LeCure said. “I am looking for more opportunities to pitch and instill confidence in them, so when a situation comes up, they don’t have any doubt about putting me in there.”

Here are some stats most relievers would like to have: LeCure retired his first batter a team-best 82 percent (32 of 39) of the time and allowed only five of his 28 inherited runners score. Opposing batters hit only .205 against him.

–Mike Leake gets the start today at 3:05pm ET in Phoenix against Zack Greinke and the Milwaukee Brewers. Sean Marshall is scheduled to follow. The game can be heard on or via the MLB At Bat app.

I never thought there would be a day where the Reds radio audio announcers are describing game action that is not played over the radio.

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. For Arroyo, the velocity is important, but the elephant in the room is how much lefties killed him last year. He’d better work on throwing the slider at the back foot of the hitter–does wonders for Leake.

  2. Arroyo has always had trouble w/ LH batters.

  3. Baker said today that Chapman could be in the bullpen this year again. Glad to see that him and Walt are on,the same page. Baker never wanted Chapman as a starter. I don’t get it.

  4. I think Arroyo will be much better this year. I know (unfortunately) from experience how much mono knocks it out of you. I got it in high school and lost 15 pounds (when I didn’t need to lose that much weight, but I sure do now) in two weeks. It was a good year before I regained my strength and stamina. So I’m willing to give Arroyo a pass on last year’s horrible performance and chalk it up to a lingering illness. Last year was so uncharacteristic of him that I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt. And as he said, if he goes out and stinks it up this year like he did last year he knows he’s on the other side of his career. But I just don’t see that happening. Look for him to be back in the 15-win range and be an innings eater when they need him to be. His ability to go out and give the bullpen a rest when it is needed is yet another “stat” that doesn’t show up in any sabermetrics.

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