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Reed eager to make good impression in start

Lefty to take mound against Phils while Finnegan rehabs; Winker thriving at top of lineup
MLB.com @m_sheldon

PITTSBURGH -- Left-hander Cody Reed only knows he is the starting pitcher for the Reds on Monday vs. the Phillies. Reed doesn't have the luxury of knowing what happens next, and realizes he has to be OK with that.

At Triple-A Louisville, Brandon Finnegan will also be starting a game on Monday and hoping he shows he's ready to be activated from the disabled list after a left biceps strain. Either Finnegan or Reed could make take the next turn in the rotation on Saturday vs. the Cardinals.

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PITTSBURGH -- Left-hander Cody Reed only knows he is the starting pitcher for the Reds on Monday vs. the Phillies. Reed doesn't have the luxury of knowing what happens next, and realizes he has to be OK with that.

At Triple-A Louisville, Brandon Finnegan will also be starting a game on Monday and hoping he shows he's ready to be activated from the disabled list after a left biceps strain. Either Finnegan or Reed could make take the next turn in the rotation on Saturday vs. the Cardinals.

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"I can't think of the worst-case scenario. I've already had people tell me that," Reed said on Sunday. "So I will just go out there and compete and hope for the best. I can only control what I can control. I can control the game tomorrow. After that, it's not really in my hands."

Reed missed out on his last chance to start on Tuesday, when that game vs. the Cubs was rained out. On Wednesday at Louisville, both Reed and Finnegan threw in a simulated game.

While he threw 89 pitches and got the work in, Reed noted the feeling of higher stakes of a real game lacked. He only met his catcher, Tony Sanchez, just before he started pitching and gave him a quick rundown of how he likes to pitch.

"There were no fans. There were no umpires. No stats. It was based off the catcher calling balls and strikes," Reed said. "I was just getting the work and tried to stay sharp. I think the adrenaline will definitely be there tomorrow."

Reed's Spring Training began with him being told by manager Bryan Price that he would compete for a bullpen spot. Injuries to the rotation and Reed's improved command while throwing strikes, elevated his chances. He got a chance to start a Cactus League game and a Minor League game. He was optioned to Louisville at the end of camp, only to be brought back when an Opening Day rainout meant a fifth starter was needed Tuesday. That game didn't happen, but a fresh chance to impress is now before him.

"It is a good opportunity for Cody Reed to come in here and make a start for us and see where that goes, see how Finny goes," Price said. "We don't have to rush Finnegan up here. He just needs to be up here when he's ready. And I'd love to see Cody go out there and throw the ball the way that I think he's capable of throwing it and give us a chance to win the game in Philly."

Video: CIN@PIT: Winker drives in Peraza with single to right

Winker looking good leading off
Reds outfielder Jesse Winker started in the leadoff spot for the sixth time this season on Sunday at Pittsburgh and has shown he can handle the job. Winker, who reached base four times in Saturday's 7-4 win over the Pirates, entered the series finale batting .375 with a .565 on-base percentage when at the top of the order.

As center fielder Billy Hamilton has had difficulty reaching base, Price is comfortable writing Winker's name in the leadoff spot and moving Hamilton to the bottom of the order. Winker has been able to get on base ahead of Eugenio Suarez, who drove in five runs on Saturday, and the team's best hitter in Joey Votto to form a potent 1-2-3 in the order.

But Price didn't commit to using Winker at the top, full time.

"I'm just going to let it play out," Price said. "I try to look in advance who is pitching. Not having Scott Schebler has made it pretty easy as far as putting lineups together. I was able to get Phillip Ervin a start yesterday, but with Schebler coming back, it will still be the rotation work, but I do anticipate that Jesse will be hitting at the top of the lineup quite a bit."

It doesn't matter to Winker where he bats in the order.

"I've never put much emphasis on spots in the lineup, I just go out and do my job," Winker said. "That's what I try to do, I just try to be a tough out, a tough at-bat and put good swings on the ball. I try to keep it that simple."

Injury report
• Reliever David Hernandez, who is on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw a bullpen session on Sunday morning.

• Reliever Michael Lorenzen, on the DL with a strained right teres major muscle, will begin a throwing program on Monday by playing catch for the first time since he was injured in Spring Training.

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.

Cincinnati Reds, Brandon Finnegan, Cody Reed