Left-handed pitcher Alex Wood is scheduled to test his back with a flat ground throwing session on Sunday, Reds manager David Bell said on Saturday.
Wood, 28, was scheduled to make the first start of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville on Thursday, but he felt soreness in his lower back after throwing live batting practice on Tuesday. Wood, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a multi-player trade in December, hasn’t pitched all season after suffering a lower back strain in spring training.
“He’ll just play catch,” Bell said of the Sunday plan.
Wood is 52-40 with a 3.29 earned-run average in 129 starts and 43 major league relief appearances with Atlanta and the Dodgers. The Reds starting pitchers all have been right-handers this season.
Speaking of left-handers, Cody Reed is close to returning to the Bats after missing the entire month of June with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, an injury he suffered while pitching two innings of relief against Pittsburgh in the second of a May 27 doubleheader at Great American Ball Park.
“He’s 10 days to a couple of weeks away,” Bell said. “He’s coming along.”
That appearance against the Pirates was Reed’s third for the Reds in three different stints this season. He has no record and a 1.42 ERA in 6-1/3 innings over three games with Cincinnati and is 1-2 with 2.61 ERA, eight walks and 25 strikeouts in 20-2/3 innings over 18 games with Louisville.
Reed, 26, was the 26th man allowed by Major League Baseball rules to join teams for doubleheaders. Even though he was injured with the Reds, that same rulebook forces players injured as 26thmen to go on the minor league injured list. Reed has been on Louisville’s list since May 30.
Mix and match: Right-hander Michael Lorenzen logged a rare five-out save in Cincinnati’s 6-3 win over the Cubs on Friday, his fifth save of the season and eighth of his career. Right-hander Raisel Iglesias still leads Cincinnati with 13 saves, but Bell plans to continue deploying all of his relief pitchers in situations he feels they’ll be most effective, regardless of when they come up in games.
“Every day is different,” Bell said. “Not limiting guys to pitching in certain innings just makes sense.”
Several different factors enter into his decision-making, from fatigue to matchups to swing paths, he said. That means pitchers should be prepared to work in situations that are different from where they’ve worked previously in their careers. Bell didn’t mention names, but his recent use of Iglesias earlier than the ninth inning is an example.
“Certainly, we want every one to have success, but success isn’t defined just by saves,” Bell said. “Success is defined as getting outs and helping us win games.”
Palm Beach: The Reds and Cubs wrap up their weekend series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m., and the Reds are expected to wear the sixth in their series of 15 throwback uniforms as part of the franchise’s celebration of the 150thanniversary of the first season as an all-professional team.
Sunday’s uniforms were worn in 1936 and are known as “Palm Beach” alternates. They feature a lighter-weight and more breathable fabric, red pants below a white jersey with “Reds” in red script letters on the left side.
The Reds are 2-3 in games in which they’ve worn throwback uniforms.
Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (4-4) is Cincinnati’s scheduled starter in his first appearance since last Sunday in Milwaukee, when he became Major League Baseball’s second pitcher this season and, according to the Reds, the only Cincinnati pitcher since at least the 1920s to pile up nine strikeouts in the first three innings. While striking out the side in the third, he allowed six hits and five runs, tying his career high for runs allowed in an inning, and the Reds lost, 7-5.
Left-hander Jon Lester (7-5) is Chicago’s scheduled starter. Lester is 7-1 with a 3.88 earned-run average in 16 career starts against Cincinnati.