3/11/2014 8:43 P.M. ET
Slimmer Diaz getting attention in Reds camp
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reliever Jose "Jumbo" Diaz has already made a name for himself in Reds camp and could be poised for a breakout season.
The right-hander showed up to camp in better shape and is making a case to break camp with the big league team with his performances on the mound. Diaz has allowed two hits and one run in his first four innings of Cactus League play.
"I heard a lot of about him and saw the game reports and heard he had a lot of velocity but sometimes when a pitcher makes a commitment to a significant weight-loss program, they'll lose some fastball and he hasn't," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "His velocity has been consistent in the 94-98 mph [range], a lot of 96 and 98s. He's got a real good split and a usable breaking pitch, a slider."
Diaz, 30, went from 347 pounds at the end of last season as a closer for Triple-A Louisville to 278 pounds when he showed up in Arizona for camp. He's pitched 11 seasons in the Minor Leagues but has never reached the Major Leagues.
"Maybe baseball was waiting to see him make a commitment to being in baseball shape," Price said. "Baseball players don't have to look like they are sprinters or running backs but you have to be in baseball shape, and it's hard to carry that kind of weight and as an organization feel that you have a player that is committed to being a professional."
Broxton has successful first live batting practice
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton faced hitters in live batting practice for the first time this spring Tuesday morning and emerged pain-free.
Broxton, who had been throwing 20- to 25-pitch bullpen sessions, threw close to 45 pitches, including warmup pitches. The right-hander had right forearm surgery to repair a torn flexor mass tendon in August.
"Arm-wise I feel great," Broxton said. "Command-wise I struggled today but that was the first time I faced batters since before the surgery. All of that will come around. I'm really pleased with the way my arm is bouncing back and how I'm feeling out there on an everyday basis."
Broxton expects to throw a bullpen session in two days and possibly another live batting-practice session. It remains unclear if he will be ready to start the season with the big league club when camp breaks at the end of the month.
"We are all excited to see him back out. It's one step closer to getting him in games and get ready to help us," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We just don't know if he will be ready for Opening Day. That's undecided but certainly there's a chance he will be."
Broxton went 2-2 with a 4.11 ERA in 30 2/3 innings for the Reds last season. He's 31-27 with a 3.16 ERA in 480 2/3 innings in parts of nine seasons with the Dodgers, Royals and Reds.
"Right now, we will go day by day and see how he gets through it and how he feels," Price said. "If he gets through this OK, we'll reassess and decides if he needs another live BP or if we want to get him into a game."
Marshall nearing first bullpen session
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reliever Sean Marshall is "a couple of days" away from getting on a mound, Reds manager Bryan Price said Tuesday morning.
The left-hander, who is dealing with left shoulder tendinitis, is participating in a throwing program but is not throwing bullpen sessions. Marshall was limited to 16 games last season because of the shoulder-related issues.
"He's feeling great but with his history and the shoulder from last year and not feeling great here early in camp, we are going to go on the ultra-conservative side and just make sure he does everything in his throwing protocol to verify that he's feeling great and then get him back on the mound," Price said. "He's not starting from square one. He threw all offseason and threw a handful of bullpens before he got here and three or four bullpens while he was here. He's more advanced than somebody that had to completely shut down for three or four weeks."
Injuries could create openings on Reds roster
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds made roster cuts Tuesday, but there are questions still left unanswered.
Here's what we know: Starter Mike Leake, who has dealt with an abdominal issue, is expected to be ready for Opening Day, but the club is not sure if pitchers Mat Latos (knee and elbow), Jonathan Broxton (forearm), Sean Marshall (shoulder tendinitis) or third baseman Jack Hannahan (shoulder) will be ready to start the season with the big league club.
Reds manager Bryan Price said the club hopes to get a better grasp of the Opening Day roster in the next seven to 10 days and will continue to explore all of its options in the meantime.
"They all have a ways to go so there is some opportunity for some of these guys right now to come in and make our club, at least for Opening Day," Price said. "Of course, as you saw, with [Ryan] Ludwick getting hurt on Opening Day last year, it created an opportunity for guys like Donald Lutz and Derrick Robinson, who were significant contributors over the course of the year, especially Derrick."
Price has been impressed with a group of players that includes infielder Neftali Soto, outfielder Roger Bernadina and reliever Jose "Jumbo" Diaz so far this spring.
"[Pitcher] Pedro Beato has been terrific and a guy that has some Major League experience," Price said. "He's had a really nice start to his spring so there is reason to be optimistic if you are either a pitcher or a position player on this club that there might be some opportunity on this club to be on the Opening Day roster."
Reds make 16 cuts to Spring Training roster
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds made several roster moves following Tuesday's game against the Giants.
The club optioned right-handed pitchers Carlos Contreras, Daniel Corcino and Chad Rogers along with left-handed pitcher David Holmberg, outfielders Ryan LaMarre and Donald Lutz to Triple-A Louisville.
Outfielders Juan Duran and Yorman Rodriguez along with left-handed pitcher Ismael Guillon were optioned to Double-A Pensacola. Right-handed pitchers Tim Crabbe, Michael Lorenzen and Robert Stephenson along with catchers Rossmel Perez and Max Ramirez and infielder Reynaldo Navarro were reassigned to Minor League camp. The club also released infielder Henry Rodriguez.
There are 44 players remaining in big league camp.