Leake latest Reds starting pitcher with injury woes

There are four weeks remaining in spring training, plenty of time for healing and strength building. But it seems as if the staff is a band of brothers, aching and paining brothers.

Starting pitcher Mike Leake is the latest. He was unable to make his scheduled Sunday start against San Diego due to something called, “Abdominal issues.” He plans (hopes) to make his next scheduled start Friday. We’ll see.

Mat Latos (knee surgery), Jonathan Broxton (forearm surgery) and Sean Marshall (shoulder stiffness) have not appeared in games yet this spring and there is no appearance date set for any of them.

Leake said he has had abdominal issues for about a month, but didn’t think they would slow him down. But they did, about a week ago, when he felt it grab during a long toss session.

Leake, though, doesn’t have an appearance plan.

“A bullpen Wednesday and start Friday,” he said. “I’ve had it for about a month. I was doing an exercise and kind of overexerted it. Then it hit me a week ago on a long toss throws.

“Hopefully it goes away for Friday,” he said. “It has been getting better every day and I expected it to be gone in the next day or two. I’m not concerned and I don’t think anybody else is, either. It is better to skip a turn this early and you can push it later in the month if you need to.”

It’s a rout: The Reds put their projected starting eight in the lineup Sunday for five innings and they constructed a 10-0 lead over the San Diego Padres.

Zack Cozart had two hits and scored three runs, Billy Hamilton had a hit and a walk and scored, Jay Bruce was 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI, Brandon Phillips had a two-run triple, Todd Frazier had a run and an RBI and Devin Mesoraco had a run and and RBI. Joey Votto and Ryan Ludwick both went 0-for-3.

Run Billy run: Manager Bryan Price on Billy Hamilton: “We’re not just looking at him as a table-setter, a game-changer on the bases, but a guy who can play a competitive center field. He is only a year-and-a-half removed from being an infielder (shortstop) and from all we’ve heard from our scouts is that he was one of the best center fielders in Triple-A last year. That will help us immediately.”

New trick: Back-up catcher Brayan Pena is 32 and a six-year major-league veteran, but he is willing to listen and learn, and Price appreciates that.

“He has worked hard on his defense this spring, his throwing, and it is a nice commitment from him to continue to improve even though he is an established player who is 32. We expect him to play fairly regularly,” said manager Bryan Price. “His work ethic and his energy has been great.”

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