06/19/11 1:58 PM ET
Decision time approaching fast on Chapman
Reds could activate struggling reliever or option him to Triple-A
By Mark Sheldon and Tyler Jett / MLB.com
Nelson honored as Cincinnati's 'MVP Dad'
CINCINNATI -- Phil Nelson of Tipp City, Ohio, was honored prior to Sunday's game as Major League Baseball's MVP Dad for the Cincinnati region. Nelson, a father of four and grandfather of two, was greeted by Dusty Baker, Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce at the first-base line. He also presented the Reds' lineup card to the umpires at home plate before the game."It's quite an honor; it's great," Nelson said. "My daughter Jenna nominated me, and it's a really proud moment for me as a father." Nelson has been in a wheelchair since 1981. Working for a moving company, Nelson suffered a spinal cord injury when a homemade camping trailer fell on him while he was loading it into a van. His oldest daughter, Megan, was only 1 when the injury occurred. The wheelchair has not kept him from being involved in his children's lives, though. Nelson has volunteered as a coach on several youth basketball and baseball teams, and he does his best to follow his son Zach's rock band. "All the kids have adapted pretty well," said Nelson, who has lived in the greater Dayton, Ohio, area his whole life. "They don't really know any better than, 'Dad's in a wheelchair.' I tried to do all the normal things that fathers did." Today, Nelson is a branch chief in contracting at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and he was honored on Sunday alongside Jenna, who is going into her senior year of high school. She plays basektball and soccer, and she is spending the summer attending camps, hoping to catch the eye of a college coach. Phil said he goes to as many camps as he can with her.
LeCure hurls three innings for Triple-A
CINCINNATI -- In what could be his final rehab appearance, Sam LeCure pitched three scoreless innings Saturday for Triple-A Louisville. LeCure allowed three hits without a walk and struck out three while earning the save in a 3-1 win over Toledo."The first inning, I just felt like my direction to the plate was not very good," LeCure said Sunday while in the Reds' clubhouse. "The second two innings, it was great. I felt really good. I was throwing the ball hard. I had some action on everything. I threw everything. The first couple of outings, I didn't throw any curveballs because that was giving me the most trouble." LeCure has been on the 15-day disabled list since May 29 with a right forearm strain. In four appearances for Louisville, he has a 1.35 ERA. "We'll see how he responds the next couple of days from the workload," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Burton departs for Arizona
CINCINNATI -- Reds reliever Jared Burton was scheduled to depart Sunday afternoon for Arizona and begin throwing at the team's player development complex in Goodyear.Burton has not pitched for the Reds this season and had right shoulder surgery in April. He began a throwing program last month and has worked off a mound for several days. A trip to Arizona was postponed last week because of shoulder tendinitis. "We wanted to make sure that was gone before we ramped up to live BP," Burton said on Sunday morning. "As fast as we were improving, it was almost too good to be true and we hit a little snag." Burton is slated to throw a bullpen session on Monday and face hitters in simulated game action on Wednesday or Thursday.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto did not reach base in either game on Friday or Saturday before singling in his first at-bat on Sunday vs. the Blue Jays. It was the longest streak he's had since he did not reach safely over three consecutive games on Aug. 30 and during an Aug. 31 doubleheader in 2009.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Tyler Jett is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.