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Moscot motivated to rejoin rotation

After season-ending injury last June, winter 'prehab' has helped righty regain strength
MLB.com @m_sheldon

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As the Reds turned to an all-rookie rotation for most of the second half of 2015 and gave younger pitchers valuable chances to learn on the job, one rookie could only watch from the dugout. Right-hander Jon Moscot's season ended on June 15, which was his third big league start.

Moscot dove to make a tag play on a Detroit runner and separated his non-throwing shoulder in the process. He required surgery to repair a torn labrum, and for the first summer he could remember, he watched baseball rather than played it.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- As the Reds turned to an all-rookie rotation for most of the second half of 2015 and gave younger pitchers valuable chances to learn on the job, one rookie could only watch from the dugout. Right-hander Jon Moscot's season ended on June 15, which was his third big league start.

Moscot dove to make a tag play on a Detroit runner and separated his non-throwing shoulder in the process. He required surgery to repair a torn labrum, and for the first summer he could remember, he watched baseball rather than played it.

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"That was the hardest part," Moscot said. "You want to be out there competing with your teammates. You want to be on the field. When you're sidelined by something that maybe could have been avoided, it's harder. That was definitely something to get over mentally. But you get to the point where you start to learn from the game a little bit. Instead of just sitting there watching, you can actually take stuff away. You can take little positives out of anything."

This is a big camp for the 24-year-old Moscot, who is part of a wide-open competition for one of three spots in the rotation.

A throwing program for Moscot resumed in September, but he tried to keep his right-arm strength up as he rehabbed the left.

"Everything I did with my left arm, I tried to do with my right arm," Moscot said. "It was almost like I was rehabbing my right arm but I was completely healthy. I've come back in pretty solid shape. My right arm feels great. It's called 'prehab.' You're prehabbing your arm so you don't have any of those injuries down the road. Hopefully it stays that way. I feel strong on both sides right now."

Moscot was 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA in his three big league starts after he went 7-1 with a 3.15 ERA in nine starts for Triple-A Louisville.

Reds manager Bryan Price felt like even the limited big league exposure would pay dividends.

"What he lost was the experience a lot of these others had a chance to gain by pitching throughout the summer and into the fall for us. That was time lost," Price said. "However, when he came up, he was considered arguably our most mature and our most ready starting pitcher in our system to come up and pitch in our rotation. He had earned his way to the big leagues.

"I think the three games he was in probably gave him a little bit of comfort on what to know and what to expect. He's not going to be a first-timer when he makes his first appearance in 2016. He's going to have already been through that."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cincinnati Reds, Jon Moscot