GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds and manager Bryan Price have seen all of the young pitchers competing for the two open big league rotation spots at least once in Spring Training games.At this point, the club feels its two starters are still somewhere within that group. Nobody has separated themselves,
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds and manager Bryan Price have seen all of the young pitchers competing for the two open big league rotation spots at least once in Spring Training games.
At this point, the club feels its two starters are still somewhere within that group. Nobody has separated themselves, or pitched their way out -- but the sample size is small.
"I haven't lost any faith in anybody's ability to win any of those positions at this point," Price said on Thursday. "It's too early for me. I like to settle in and kind of get in the middle of the schedule before I start making too many assessments. However, what I look for is demeanor, because guys are going to struggle.
"Even some of our better pitchers, or more accomplished or guys who at least have some Major League time, have scuffled. It's just watching the mound presence and seeing how resilient they are, how competitive they are. That is something I assess from the first game through the last of Spring Training."
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Amir Garrett, Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson are among the top-tier prospects vying for spots while Tim Adleman, Lisalverto Bonilla and Bronson Arroyo are also in the mix. Prospects Sal Romano and Rookie Davis are also getting looks but aren't viewed to be at the front of the pack.
Garrett, the Reds' No. 2 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, certainly helped himself with three scoreless innings vs. the Cubs on Thursday. He allowed one hit with two strikeouts. Through 4 2/3 innings, the left-hander has given up one earned run.
"I know a lot of guys are pitching really well," Garrett said. "I would think it's wide open right now. We're definitely putting a tougher decision on the front office when everybody is pitching good. I'm just going to continue to go out there and pitch to the best of my abilities and just work hard. Hopefully it pays off."
There have been some issues that could be of concern. Anthony DeSclafani missed a few days with elbow tenderness but resumed throwing on Thursday. Arroyo has yet to get into a game after being out several days with a stomach virus, though he threw in the bullpen on Wednesday.
Stephenson (No. 4 prospect) was roughed up in his first outing with four earned runs, three hits and two walks on Sunday vs. the Giants, when he appeared from the bullpen. The pitcher he replaced, Adleman, had a mixed outing with two runs and four hits -- including several barreled balls -- in his two innings.
The Reds could always add depth during camp, which they did last year when Alfredo Simon was signed in mid-March. The club worked out former Indians and Red Sox pitcher Justin Masterson on Thursday. Masterson, who dealt with shoulder problems in 2015-16, did not pitch in the Majors last season and would only likely be a candidate for a potential Minor League deal.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.