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I am a freelance writer. I've covered the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and others since 1992. I have a background in sales as well. I've sold consumer electronics, advertising and consumer package goods for companies ranging from the now defunct Circuit City to Procter&Gamble. I have worked as a stats operator for Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, the College of Mount St. Joe and Colerain High School.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Michael Lorenzen To Have MRI On Right Elbow

Michael Lorenzen will have an MRI on his right elbow.

The right-hander is a candidate for several roles from starting pitcher to closer but after a three days of rest, he felt discomfort when he tried to play catch on Sunday.

“Lorenzen’s not great,” Bryan Price said.  “We’re going to have an MRI done, just to verify that there’s no structural damage.  Then we’ll re-assess the rehab.  He will not be pitching as scheduled.  I will probably be able to tell you  more tomorrow.”

Lorenzen pitched two perfect innings in his lone start this spring, striking out two.

The Reds lose a pitcher and get one back.

Raisel Iglesias will make his first start on Monday.

The 26-year old Cuban native was shut down in September with fatigue in his right shoulder. After a winter of rest and flexibility exercises, Iglesias is scheduled to pitch two innings against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Reds may have an innings limit on Iglesias as well as other members of its young staff.

“I try to stay away from numbers because it paints me into a corner,” Price said. “Sometimes you have to look at guys and see if they can pass the smell test.  If we say this guy’s only going to pitch 180 or 165 innings and he’s locked in and throwing as well as he has all year, that might be something that we re-visit.   We have an area where we want to be.  Very rarely do we exceed that by a large number of innings.  There are a lot of guys on that board (roster) who have parameters on how many innings we want them to throw.”

The Reds are more concerned with Iglesias growth as a pitcher.

“We want to see him manage a game,” Price said.  “We want to see him find outs without reaching back for more velocity.  In the past he’s been vulnerable in the early innings, that three run inning.  We want him to find quick outs that allow him to manage the third time through a lineup.”

Jose Peraza was in the lineup as a centerfielder against the Angels.

The 21-year old was the key in the trade involving Todd Frazier.  He has played shortstop and secondbase this spring.

In his last two games, Peraza was 6 for 7 with a home run.  He goes into the game against the Angels with a .400 batting average, a home run and three stolen bases.  Peraza impressed Price by going first to third on a single by Joey Votto Saturday night.

“We knew he was going to play center this ,” Price said.  “With Zack Cozart out we had the opportunity to see him at shortstop and at second every other day for Brandon.  With Billy Hamilton out, I’ve had a chance to see (Tyler) Holt, (Jake) Cave and (Scott) Schebler quite a bit. So, it’s a good time to get him out there.  I’ve already formed an opinion on him at shortstop and secondbase. He plays both rather well.”

Peraza has taken ball off the bat in batting practice and worked with Billy Hatcher in the outfield but not as much as he’s worked on the infield.  “Jose played quite a bit of centerfield at Triple A,” Price said.

Peraza may also be a solution for the Reds’ long standing desire for a table-setting leadoff hitter.

“One of the considerations that we had when we were trying to get him from the Dodgers, was this is a guy that can really hit.  He can hit for a high average and bunt and steal bases.  He can do things with his speed.  That is the kind of guy you want to get at the top of the batting order.”

The Reds made the first round of reduction in the major league clubhouse.

RHP Carlos Contreras was optioned to AAA Louisville...RHP Rookie Davis, LHP Amir Garrett and RHP Sal Romano  were optioned to AA Pensacola...RHP Nick Travieso,C/1B Chad Wallach, 2B Alex Blandino, SS Calton Daal, 3B Eric Jagielo, OF Phillip Ervin and RHP Matt Magill  were re-assigned to minor league camp.

Ervin put himself on the Reds’ radar with a .391 batting average, two home runs and a stolen base. He played very good defense that is very difficult under the Arizona sky.

The rest were no surprise except for Contreras, who has Major League experience in the group.

“That decision was really challenging because we have a room full of people, who love his stuff, including me,” Price said.  “He has a fastball, curveball and change up that are all Major League quality.  The biggest challenge we put in front of Carlos, is he have to manage the game better. He has to command the strike zone better.  We wanted to see improvement in that and we really haven’t.”

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