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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.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Reds Regret Trip To Mesa

The Reds traveled to Mesa to take on the Oakland Athletics and probably wished they would have stayed in Goodyear.  The A’s had 20 base runners in the first two innings and half of them scored as the Reds went down 12-5

Tim Adleman, who finished strong last season with the Reds, is in the mix for one of the two starting rotation spots.  He was paired with one of his rivals Robert Stephenson.

Adleman KO’d

Adleman’s day was rotten as he was literally knocked out of the game by Jed Lowrie. A line drive caught the right-hander on the muscle in his right shoulder. Adleman’s injury is listed as a right shoulder contusion.  He will be evaluated on Friday.

“I’m fine. It caught me flush in the shoulder but kind of the muscle part<” Adleman said. “It’s a little sore but I’ll be fine.  I felt good enough to keep going if I had to.  It depends on how it reacts but from what I can tell so far, it will be a small blip.”

Adleman recovered from the impact and recorded one of his four outs, throwing to Zack Cozart to force Matt Joyce at second.

“I thought for a split second I could glove it but it gets on you pretty quick,” Adleman said. “i’m lucky it didn’t catch me in the teeth.”

His line was as ugly as the bruise.

Adleman pitched 1 1/3 innings with five earned runs on three hits and four walks. He had no strikeouts and chipped in a wild pitch.

Adleman had a horrible spring statistically because he gave up seven runs in one inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  He went to the minor leagues and worked his way back.  Now, he is hoping this outing can be absorbed without costing him a chance for the starting job.

Bryan Price knows Adleman well enough now that one bad outing won’t ruin Adleman’s chances of winning the spot.

“From a mechanical standpoint it looked like he was struggling with the mound,” Price said. “He was looking down at the mound a lot, kicking at the hole. It was very unlike him not to be able to control any of his pitches. There wasn’t a reliable go-to pitch when he needed a strike.  I hate to say its just a spring training outing because all these outings are important but he has a track record of being a lot more pitch efficient.”

Adleman had two decent outings preceding Thursday’s disaster.  He had five innings with two earned runs on four hits, a walk and four strikeouts.

“It’s out of my control,” Adleman said. “You never want to have these obviously. I’ll just try to forget this and get back out there when the next opportunity happens and try to get better from this one.”

Robert Stephenson’s line was three innings, one run on three hits, two walks, three strikeouts, and a wild pitch.

Stephenson allowed four runs in one inning in his first Cactus League game.  In his last two games he has allowed one run on three hits over five innings, striking out seven.

“Robert had to battle his way through his innings,” Price said. “He was better at working down in the zone. We’ve been working on him trying to get the ball to the bottom of the zone.  He has to continue to work on his secondary stuff for a strike. He’s got the big curve ball and the split change.  The ability to manage the fastball command and be able to throw a breaking pitch for a strike is really going to be important for his success.”

Arroyo Returns

Bronson Arroyo is scheduled to make his first Cactus League appearance on March 12 against Milwaukee.  Arroyo pitched in a ‘B’ on Tuesday. He recovered from it with no pain.

“We have to get him out there to see what his arm and body is ready to do after the respite,” Bryan Price said. The respite was 2 1/2 years off from pitching in the Major Leagues. Arroyo is expected to throw two innings. 

Arroyo is being considered for any role.  He could start, pitch in long relief or shorter stints when middle relievers are taxed. 

“We just to want to listen to his body to determine his workload,” Price said.  “I think I’ve made it fairly clear that he’s competing for different positions on the staff, not just the rotation. We feel like his body can’t handle the workload as a starter, he can help us in the bullpen.  His stuff plays in any role. It’s just a durability question.”

Price believes Arroyo’s velocity will increase from the current 82-85.

“That’s going to go up,” Price said. “I don’t think it has to go up to his last year here which was 87-90.  He is one of those guys you’re not going to evaluate based on velocity.”

DeSclafani Cactus Debut

Anthony DeSclafani is tentatively scheduled to make his first Cactus League start on March 13 against Oakland.  He will throw another bullpen on the side on Friday.   DeSclafani had tenderness in his elbow but has passed all of his most recent tests.

DeSclafani suffered a strained quadricep in his last start, last spring. He missed the first two months of the season, returning on June 10.

Barnhart Ailing

Catcher Tucker Barnhart is resting a stiff lower back.  He is expected to return on the 11th and 12th.

Power Up

Adam Duvall hit his first home run of the spring off Sean Manarea in the first inning...Duvall is hitting .176 in seven games this spring. Arismendy Alcantara, who is battling to win a job on the Reds’ bench hit his second home run off Bobby Wahl.

That was the sum of the Reds offense until the ninth inning. Two walks and a single by Joe Hudson loaded the bases.  Phillip Ervin, the Reds first selection in the 2013 draft, cleared the bases with a double over the head of left-fielder Jaff Decker.  Ervin is hitting .357 now in nine games.

“He’s having a better spring, lately in particular,” Price said. “He’s taken advantage of limited opportunities.”

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