Iglesias tosses inning in spring debut vs. Cubs

Gray set to face hitters; Hernandez (shoulder) feeling better

March 4th, 2019

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds top reliever  made his delayed 2019 Cactus League debut during Monday's 9-1 split-squad loss vs. the Cubs. Iglesias worked one inning, allowing one earned run on one hit and one walk with one strikeout, when he pitched in the sixth.

“I felt really good today,” Iglesias said through an interpreter. “My pitches were there, my velocity was there. That’s my main focus right now -- keep throwing my pitches and get ready for Opening Day.”

Iglesias opened by walking Daniel Descalso, then later gave up a two-out RBI double to right-center field to Mark Zagunis.

“It was really good to see Iglesias get out there and get the first one out of the way,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I thought he was throwing the ball well. In some ways, it looked like he hadn’t been out there. But the velocity was there. I think he was trying to find his groove a little bit.”

Injuries were not behind the decision to keep Iglesias out of Cincinnati’s first nine spring games. It was worked out as a plan with Bell and pitching coach Derek Johnson.

“Last year, I started throwing pretty early,” Iglesias said. “By the end of the spring, I was kind of tired, so I decided to talk to the coaches and maybe try getting into the games later this spring so I would be 100 percent and ready to go for Opening Day.”

Gray to face hitters

Starter , who has yet to get into a Cactus League game because of right elbow stiffness, will face Minor League hitters in batting practice on Tuesday.

“With his injury, he’s making great progress,” Bell said. “Every day since I found out about it, it’s gotten better. He’s going to be fine.”

Hernandez’s shoulder better

Reliever David Hernandez has yet to get into a spring game. Originally on a plan similar to the one Iglesias had, he came down with right shoulder soreness.

“After my first live BP and the next couple of days, I felt a little more sore than usual,” Hernandez said Monday morning. “Instead of having the same thing go on that happened last year, I decided to say something immediately rather than wait until the third or fourth week of March and then miss the first three weeks of the season.”

Hernandez, who signed a two-year, $5 million contract as a free agent before the 2018 season, missed most of the first month of the 2018 season because of right shoulder inflammation.

After throwing two bullpen sessions, including one on Monday, Hernandez is scheduled to face hitters in batting practice on Wednesday. He could get into a game by the end of the week.

“It all depends on how the live BP goes,” Hernandez said. “Playing catch, I feel fine. It’s ramping up the intensity is what inflamed my shoulder.”

Ervin having hot spring

Bell already has his hands full in trying to find spots for corner outfielders. And now, another one is having a fantastic spring in Phillip Ervin, who is batting .353 and leads the team with three home runs.

“He’s a guy, what he’s doing right now, we could be seeing some growth, some adjustments that he’s made, it’s something we think could continue into the season,” Ervin said. “We’ll see him the rest of spring. He’s definitely in the picture. We know him. We know what he can do. The way he’s playing right now, he’s making a strong case for himself.”

Votto not in camp

Reds first baseman Joey Votto was not present in camp on Monday, which was planned.

“There’s some guys in camp that we’ve strategically given days off to, to not come in. Today was his day,” Bell said. “It’s part of the individual plans we’ve put together.”

Up next

The Reds have a scheduled off-day from Cactus League action on Tuesday. They resume play with Wednesday’s 8:05 p.m. ET game vs. the Padres in Goodyear. Bell has not yet revealed his probable pitchers.