GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Even when he didn't know the velocity of his pitches, Reds starter Bronson Arroyo could feel the difference from a year ago when mononucleosis slowed him down.In the Reds' 5-0 loss to the Padres on Wednesday, Arroyo worked three innings and gave up one run and two hits with one walk. In the first inning, Jeremy Hermida hit a first-pitch home run. Arroyo was slated to pitch two innings, but his pitch count was low enough that he needed one more. "I felt good. My body definitely felt better, more lively and less aching than the first time out in years past," Arroyo said. "I felt like I've been out there, not as much for my feel of the game, but physically more than just one time. I felt like the ball was coming out of my hand than it has the last couple of years."
A reporter told Arroyo that his fastball velocity was in the 88-89-mph range."That's good this early. He's going to get even better," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "If I can throw the ball 90 mph, I feel good about what I can do out there," Arroyo said. "Last year, I was humping up for 86 a lot of times with everything I had. It was nice to be out there and feel healthier." Last season, Arroyo was 9-12 with a 5.07 ERA in 32 starts. He allowed a club-record 46 home runs as he battled with location issues and fatigue from his illness that stymied his velocity. Arroyo, who is signed through 2013, had three straight 15-win or better seasons and six straight with at least 200 innings until 2011. He fully realizes that this is going to be a big year for him, especially after the extra training he put in to get his body ready. "I'm 35 now. If I duplicate what I did last year, then I'm definitely coming down the other side of the mountain, you know?" Arroyo said. "I feel too young and vibrant, especially in the weight room with the young guys, that I don't feel that's the case. The next eight months will tell."
Madson's name removed from injury report
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds closer Ryan Madson, who has yet to pitch in a game because of right elbow irritation, has been playing catch for the past couple days."It's going good," Madson said on Wednesday. "Hopefully, I will get off of the mound here the next couple of days, as soon as my arm feels 100 percent again. We want to make sure everything is out of there so it doesn't creep back in." Manager Dusty Baker was pleased to see that Madson's name was off of his medical report Wednesday morning. "No news is good news," Baker said. "I read faces, and he didn't look worried. You can usually see when a guy is worried." There was no estimation of when Madson will debut in a game for the Reds. "I just want to be healthy and build off of that," Madson said. "The good part is I don't need a lot of time or to face a lot of hitters. I feel like the season just ended for me. I got enough reps the last couple of years. Usually I have time left at the end of Spring Training. Hopefully this year it will be timed pretty good and I will be ready to go."
After groin muscle barks, lefty Bray sits
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds lefty reliever Bill Bray suffered a setback on Wednesday when he aggravated his sore left groin while throwing a simulated game.Bray faced hitters Didi Gregorious and Chris Valaika until discomfort cut the session short. "It was barking a little bit," Bray said. "I could have stayed out there bur we didn't want to aggravate it anymore." "He wasn't in pain but he felt tightness," Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said. Bray was originally injured during a bullpen session earlier in camp. He has yet to see action in an exhibition game.
Reds reliever Nick Masset pitched two-thirds of the seventh inning on Wednesday but did not finish after he allowed one hit and two walks with one strikeout. Logan Ondrusek took over to complete the inning and pitch the eighth."We got him out of there as a precaution," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He said he was feeling a little tender. He had 28 pitches in the middle of the inning and threw a bunch of breaking balls." When asked Wednesday morning about whether Brandon Phillips was definitely the Reds leadoff man instead of Drew Stubbs, Baker did not say that decision was final. "Who knows? Everything is subject to change, unless you've got Rickey Henderson usually hitting leadoff," Baker said. "It's Spring Training. Brandon was my leadoff man at the end of last year. Stubbs would my epitome of my leadoff man. We're just trying to take a little pressure off of him. Brandon is the only guy I've got that can hit all over the lineup. There aren't many guys like that. Everybody has a comfort zone and where they prefer to hit in the lineup."