“If all goes well there, we’ll take the next big step,” Bell said. “He’s getting excited. You can tell he’s getting close because of the competitive juices, just the things he’s said in the clubhouse, things he’s said to me. I know he’s anxious. That’s a great sign. That will help him get over the hump and get back to us as quick as possible. He’s doing everything he can. No need to push it too hard now because he’s so close.”
Wood made one start in spring training Feb. 25 but then was scratched from his next start because of back pain. He suffered a setback in March, and the Reds announced then he would start the season on the injured list. Bell expected him back in mid-April at that point.
» INJURY NEWS: Gennett begins rehab assignment
However, progress for Wood slowed in April and May. He began a throwing program at the spring training complex in Goodyear, Ariz., in late May.
“It’s been pretty frustrating,” Wood said. “You come to a new place, and you know some of the guys. You’ve played against a lot of the guys over the years. Anytime you’re the new face in the clubhouse, you want to come in and try to have an impact and become friends with the guys. They already know what you can do, but there’s something about getting started with that team and proving and showing you’re here to win games and help this team accomplish everything they want to accomplish. So not being able to do that out of the gate has definitely taken a toll mentally. Those days are a little behind me. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and being able to contribute.”
Astros at Reds, 12:35 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410