03/13/12 10:37 PM ET
Home split-squad doubleheader on tap
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
Leake feels good despite bumpy outing
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- For the second consecutive day, a Reds starter struggled. Blame it on the dry Arizona air, the hard ground or simply nearing the end of the second week of Cactus League games."I feel good. I felt strong, especially in that last inning," said right-hander Mike Leake, who was pounded around in his three innings of work during a 7-5 loss to the Royals on Tuesday at Surprise Stadium. "I was just dropping the elbow. Getting 2-0 counts. Otherwise, I feel good where I'm at." Leake allowed four runs on eight hits, walking two and whiffing two. Ten of the 18 batters he faced reached base safely. On Monday against the Cubs at HoHoKam Stadium, Bronson Arroyo allowed eight of the 12 batters he faced to reach base safely. Is there a trend here?
"He wasn't sharp, but it's Spring Training. We know what Leake can do," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He's working on some things and he doesn't like it. We're not crazy about it, either, but you're here to get some work. The same thing with Arroyo yesterday. You've got to get your work. You've got to get your endurance. You stick with them longer than you want to sometimes, but if you don't they'll never get it together."Arroyo threw 45 pitches on Monday and Leake tossed 55 Tuesday in his third spring start as he's beginning to stretch it out. Leake figured he'd throw 10 to 15 more the next time around.
Larkin to be honored Friday in Goodyear
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Former Reds shortstop and recent Hall of Famer Barry Larkin will toss out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday night's Reds game against the Rockies at Goodyear Ballpark.Larkin, a veteran of 19 big league seasons -- all with the Reds -- and a native of Cincinnati, was elected to the Hall earlier this year by eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He was the only one elected. Larkin will join Cubs third baseman Ron Santo, who will be inducted posthumously, during the annual ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., on July 22. Santo was elected by the Golden Era Committee late this past year. Larkin was a 12-time All-Star and the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1995. He's the 10th player going into the Hall who played a majority of his career in Cincinnati. There now are a total of 42 players, managers and executives in the Hall who spent at least a portion of their careers with the Reds.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.