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Price not concerned with Simon's struggles

CINCINNATI -- Alfredo Simon didn't expect to be in the Reds' starting rotation before the season began, but his performance in the first half earned him his first All-Star nod.

Since the All-Star break, however, Simon has struggled. After going 12-3 with a 2.70 ERA before the Midsummer Classic, he's 0-4 with a 4.78 ERA in five starts since. The right-hander received a no-decision in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Marlins, going five innings and allowing two runs on four hits while walking four and fanning five.

Manager Bryan Price isn't worried about Simon, however, especially since he was primarily a reliever prior to this season.

"From a technical standpoint, he's not getting out front where he's creating a good downward plane, working the ball to the bottom of the zone," Price said. "He's not a big strikeout pitcher; he's a good sinker and early-contact ground-ball pitcher who can strike some guys out. But he's pitching behind more and he's elevating a lot more pitches.

"This is the first time he's trying to go start-to-finish in the Major League Baseball season, so a possibility of fatigue, as long as he doesn't pitch well, will be a talking point. ... The way I see it is as comparable to anybody else on our team, where there's going to be an ebb and flow to the season. ... I'm confident that this will be a stretch that we'll look back on and say it was his rough patch of the season, but he finished strong."

Manny Randhawa is an associate reporter for
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