Bronson Arroyo pitched one inning against an “all-star” team from minor league camp Tuesday. His catcher was Devin Mesoraco.
“It felt a little strange like it always does early in camp, but my arm’s not hurting so I’ll take that,” said Arroyo, who threw 15 pitches, 10 strikes. “The fact that my arm could withstand another inning is encouraging. Last spring, by the time I got up to two innings, I was in severe pain.”
Arroyo, in camp on a minor-league contract, gave up two hits and a run, struck out one and threw a wild pitch. If he and Mesoraco — who is coming off shoulder and hip surgery — report nothing beyond normal soreness today, they could participate in a Cactus League game as early as Sunday against Milwaukee.
Among the “all-stars” were third baseman Nick Senzel, the Reds’ first-round pick from last June, and outfielder Taylor Trammel, No. 35 overall.
Arroyo, who turned 40 in February, was drafted 27 days before Senzel was born, on June 29, 1995. Senzel, who starred in Dayton last summer, drove in the run with a groundout.
“So much of my game is strategy,” Arroyo said. ‘Sometimes young hitters beat me up and other times I make them look silly. Results here aren’t indicative of pitching to big-league hitters during the season. I know these guys are young. I’ve had so many guys come up to me in the last three weeks and tell me, ‘You played with my father in Double A.’ I’m like, ‘Wow.’ “
Arroyo has recovered from a recent bout with the flu. Mesoraco has been building up endurance.after three surgeries in two years.
“We are putting Mes in a controlled environment,” manager Bryan Price said. “He will catch an inning but we can get him more at-bats if we need to. There are still things we want him to do, like run the bases for the medical staff. When he passes the tests, they will sign off on him and we can see him in a game.”
Mesoraco struck out against Rookie Davis in his lone at-bat.
Catching on: Stuart Turner, selected in the Rule 5 draft from Minnesota, has had a good camp, batting .444 and showing major-league skills behind the plate.
The Twins’ third-round pick in 2013, Turner has never played above Class AA. At Chattanooga last year he hit .239 with six home runs and 41 RBIs. Under terms of the Rule 5 draft, the Reds have to keep him on the 25-man roster or offer him back to the Twins for $25,000.
Rob Brantly, who has caught for the Marlins and White Sox, is also having a good spring.
“They’ve both been impressive,” Price said. “I have really been pleasantly surprised with Rob Brantly and what he brings to the club. He’s working on his defense, his quick release. He’s swinging with more power than he did with the Marlins.”
Romano competes: Sal Romano gave up a home run to Mike Moustakas in the first inning Tuesday against the Royals, the first run he allowed this spring.
“It was a lot of fun,” Romano said. “That first inning I was a little bit nervous, excited to be out there. The ball was a little up but I was able to use all my pitches. It was nice to get a start. My body feels great. I’m confident. I’m excited to show what I can do.”
Romano pitched three innings last spring. He has seven already, allowing one run on six hits with two walks and nine strikeouts.
Walker arrives: The Reds claimed first baseman/outfielder Christian Walker on waivers from the Braves on Monday. Walker, 26, was the Orioles’ fourth-round pick in 2012 out of the University of South Carolina. The Braves picked him up on waivers Feb. 25.
“We like his bat,” Price said. “We got some good reports on him. He’s a nice offensive player. He’s played first base and been introduced to the outfield. I’ll move him around and get a good look at him.”
Walker hit 18 home runs in each of his last two seasons with Class AAA Norfolk. He joins the mix of Patrick Kivlehan, Ryan Raburn and Desmond Jennings for a bench spot.
Pitcher Jumbo Diaz was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster, although the door is not closed on the 33-year-old who is currently competing for Team Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.
“Jumbo hasn’t lost favor at the big-league level,” Price said. “If he comes back here and there are some innings left, he gives us depth. I am comfortable putting him out there.”
Diaz would have to clear waivers to come back to the Reds.
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