Notes: Nuxhall feels good, visits Reds
Not all pitchers to get equal chance; Conine, Castro in camp
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Just as much as Reds legend Joe Nuxhall couldn't wait to get out of the hospital, he couldn't wait to visit the team's Spring Training complex.Nuxhall was released from Sarasota Memorial Hospital on Tuesday after undergoing tests and treatment for blood clots and a recurrence of cancerous lymphoma. The 78-year-old was hospitalized for nearly a week and popped into the Reds' facility briefly. He returned for a longer visit on Wednesday. "I feel good," said the former Reds player and longtime radio broadcaster. "Compared to 10 days ago, it's like day and night. I hope this is the end of it for a while, hopefully." Nuxhall and his wife, Donzetta, drive to Florida each year. Before departing his hometown of Hamilton, Ohio, he was experiencing shortness of breath and was concerned. His physician, Dr. Art Richards, suggested that Nuxhall get a CT scan when he reached Sarasota. The tests, taken last Wednesday by Dr. Richard Brown, revealed that Nuxhall had blood clots in his lungs and in one leg. He checked into the hospital that evening. "If it weren't for Dr. Richard's suggestion, I'd probably be sitting here right now trying to get my breath. I could hardly breathe," Nuxhall said. "Thank God for that. Knowing my stubbornness, I'd probably say, 'The [heck] with it, I'll get better.' It was a very serious thing." Nuxhall received visits from longtime broadcast partner Marty Brennaman, senior clubhouse manager Bernie Stowe and media relations director Rob Butcher, among others. Being idle in a hospital bed wasn't much fun but Nuxhall tried to make the most of it. "Everyone talks about hospital food," he said. "But they had the best soups I've ever had. They had a cream of asparagus soup that was unbelievably good. I might call and order some." Twice a week, Nuxhall will continue to visit the doctor's office to be treated for lymphoma that has spread around his left leg. Revered as "The Ol' Lefthander," Nuxhall is beginning his 63rd year of association with the Reds organization as either a player or radio voice. He began calling games for Cincinnati and radio flagship WLW in 1967 and has been in semi-retirement since the 2004 season ended. Nuxhall plans to remain in Florida for the next month and is slated to broadcast a handful of games during Spring Training. His first game is scheduled for March 4 against the Pirates at Bradenton but he hopes to be active long before then. "If I get out of the doctor's office in time [today], I'm going to go hit some golf balls," Nuxhall said. "I was on my back for a week. That's long enough."
Not equal opportunity? A reporter asked manager Jerry Narron on Wednesday morning if top pitching prospect Homer Bailey would have as good a chance of making the club as anyone else."No, because Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo are already on it," Narron volleyed back. Narron used the opportunity to define, baseball-wise, that not all 29 pitchers in Reds camp are going to be treated equally. "I told all these pitchers the very first day they were here, 'I'm sorry to say that everybody does not get the same opportunity,' "Narron said. "For one thing, I'm not going to lie to everybody and say everybody is going to get the same chance, because you're not. Everyone is not going to get the same opportunity but they are going to get an opportunity if they do well, to go back out there." So will Bailey, who has been given an outside shot of earning the rotation's fifth spot, get a chance to start an exhibition game? "If I say yes, [GM Wayne Krivsky] is going to come down here," Narron joked. "If he starts I'm not going to tell you until the day before. I know what I'm going to do, but I'm not going to tell you." Medical report: Reds reliever Gary Majewski (right shoulder) has yet to throw off a mound and remains on a rehab throwing program. Majewski could still be held back for "a week or so," according to Narron. Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. (hand) has yet to take batting practice. Latest arrivals: New outfielder/first baseman Jeff Conine and infielder Juan Castro reported to Reds camp on Wednesday, the scheduled reporting date for position players. Infielders Alex Gonzalez and Anderson Machado were the only two Reds to not make an appearance in the clubhouse. Coming up: Following another round of morning physicals, the Reds' full squad will hold its first workout at 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.