03/02/07 10:20 PM ET
Notes: Lohse has rough night vs. Twins
Ex-Minnesota pitcher tweaks hamstring, beans Hunter
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Lohse was a combined 5-10 with a 5.83 ERA in 34 games, including 19 starts, with the Twins and Reds in 2006. He is expected to be Cincinnati's third or fourth starter this season.Hermanson arrives: Even losing his luggage didn't dampen new Reds reliever Dustin Hermanson's enthusiasm. In the past couple of days, Hermanson flew from Phoenix to Cincinnati with a layover in Chicago. After he passed his physical and signed a Minor League deal with the club on Thursday, the 34-year-old flew from Cincinnati to Sarasota, with a connection in Charlotte. The only bag of his that made it to his final destination was the one with his baseball stuff. The multi-flight journey certainly wasn't ideal for someone that missed most of last season with back problems, but Hermanson was eager to prove he's put his injury issues well behind him. "I feel great. I'm excited the Reds gave me an opportunity," Hermanson said Friday. "There were a lot of teams looking at my medical reports and they just didn't like it. They didn't care about seeing me or anything. They looked at that and said, 'That's it.' I think a lot of times, you have to diagnose the person and not diagnose the injury." The injury was a serious one and enough to give some clubs pause. In 2005, Hermanson was the White Sox closer when he came down with a dual fracture of his L2 vertebrae and a condition called spondylolisthesis -- a weakening of the vertebrae. Amazingly, he continued to pitch through pain but had to yield his closer's job to Bobby Jenks as Chicago made its way to a World Series title. "The only reason I was pitching was because we were in the playoffs," said Hermanson, who had 34 saves and a 2.04 ERA in 2005. "There was no way I was going to give that up." Although Hermanson chose not to undergo surgery, the fractures healed. But the 12-year veteran spent most of 2006 rehabilitating and appeared in only six games for the White Sox last season. The right-hander began a new workout regimen that focused less on using his back and he also dropped about 10 pounds. He said he is throwing 89-90 mph during his bullpen sessions and expects to add a couple of more ticks on the radar gun before camp ends. "I am throwing just as hard as I was before I went down with the injury," Hermanson said. Cincinnati currently lacks a closer until Guardado can return from elbow surgery in June or July. Stocked with several veteran relievers in camp this spring, Reds manager Jerry Narron said he would "find a way" to get everyone enough work. "He competes extremely well," Narron said of Hermanson. "He did a great job with the White Sox in the closer's role. We'll do everything we can do to make sure he's healthy, and we'll give him a chance to show us he's healthy and see what happens." Griffey update: Center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. said he felt OK following Thursday's batting practice session, his first of the spring. Griffey is trying to come back from a broken left hand suffered in December. The 37-year-old Griffey told Narron he wasn't 100 percent yet, but didn't hold back with his swings. "I'm more or less getting the hand strong," Griffey said Friday. "Structurally, everything is intact." Griffey, who is left-handed, planned on testing his hand with some throws on Friday. There was no word when he would make his spring debut for the Reds. Seen and heard: Reliever David Weathers returned to the team Friday after leaving camp for a few days to be with his ailing mother. Reds.com will broadcast seven exhibition games live this spring that are not being carried by flagship radio station WLW. Former Reds voice Steve Stewart will have the call of the games being played on March 5, 8-9, 12 (at 1:05 p.m. ET) and 14-16 (at 7:05 p.m.). Sign up for Gameday Audio to hear every call.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.