TEMPE, Ariz. -- As bad as the optics were when Brandon Finnegan left his start on the same day the Reds announced the oblique injury that will prevent Anthony DeSclafani from joining the Opening Day roster, Finnegan's injury situation is not yet considered that serious.The Reds are calling the issue
TEMPE, Ariz. -- As bad as the optics were when Brandon Finnegan left his start on the same day the Reds announced the oblique injury that will prevent Anthony DeSclafani from joining the Opening Day roster, Finnegan's injury situation is not yet considered that serious.
The Reds are calling the issue that prompted Finnegan's exit from the first inning of Sunday's start against the Mariners a biceps strain, and Finnegan stressed that it was addressed effectively with treatment.
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"I was feeling fine [Sunday], had no pain," Finnegan said Monday. "Just a knot … and it wasn't allowing me to grip the ball. Just not ideal to continue pitching."
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Finnegan said he felt tightness all week.
"They just decided it was a good idea to come out and not risk anything getting worse. So I came back and got it worked on. The knot's gone, and I feel fine."
Manager Bryan Price said Finnegan will get more treatment over the next couple days, and then the Reds will decide when the left-hander will be ready to resume throwing. But Finnegan said he does not anticipate the issue drastically impacting his spring schedule and, ergo, his readiness for the regular season.
"It better not, because I won't be happy," Finnegan said. "But that's not my call. They just want to be cautious, but I feel fine. It's easy to work on a knot. It's not hard to do, and they already did it. In my eyes, I'm good to go. I don't think there are any red flags anywhere, they just want to be cautious and get me ready for my next start."
Finnegan was limited to just four starts at the big league level in 2017 because of injuries to both of his shoulders (a strain in his throwing shoulder and a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder that was suffered in a boating accident).
Bailey searching for sharpness
The first and most important thing to know about Homer Bailey is that he came through another spring tune-up feeling great. Bailey was sure to find a piece of wood to strike with his knuckles when making that proclamation to reporters, because three elbow surgeries have a way of teaching you to appreciate good health.
As for Monday's outing against the Angels itself, Bailey was charged with four runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts over four innings in the 4-3 loss and said he's still working on pitch execution.
"Right now because it's still kinda early, you are going to have those misses, you are going to catch more plate," said Bailey, who has a 9.00 ERA through 12 innings over four starts. "Right now I'd rather that [catching the plate] than maybe walking three guys a game. As you sharpen up, those ground balls are going to get hit a little softer or they swing and miss, and you start to have a little better idea of where your stuff is and how to go about it."
Bailey had been looking forward to facing Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani, who started the game at DH for the Angels. He got Ohtani to ground out twice.
"He just missed a curveball that I threw him," Bailey said. "I was really glad he did. Had it caught more of the plate, it might not have landed."
Senzel showing skills
So much attention has been paid to the time Nick Senzel, the Reds' top prospect per MLB Pipeline, has spent at shortstop this spring in his bid to have a role with the big league club in 2018. But don't forget he's pretty darn good at the hot corner, even if he's blocked at that position by Eugenio Suarez.
Senzel showed his strength at his primary position in Monday's game against the Angels. In the first inning, he did a nice job knocking down a sharp Justin Upton ground ball and gathering himself to make a laser throw to first in time for the out. Later, he back-handed a Michael Trout grounder and got the out on a nice one-hop throw to Joey Votto.
"He was spectacular," Price said. "Some really tough plays … He just looked really comfortable, with an accurate and strong arm."
Old friend, new position
There was familiarity to seeing Zack Cozart wearing red, but everything else -- right down to the position he played -- was unfamiliar Monday.
For the first time since signing a three-year free-agent contract with the Angels over the winter, Cozart faced the club that drafted him and groomed him into an All-Star shortstop. And Cozart's splendid 2017 season earned him a $38 million commitment in Anaheim, albeit with a shift to third base -- a position change that he hopes goes as well for him as it's gone for Suarez.
"I'm trying to be a stud like him," Cozart said.
Cozart has kept in regular contact with his old mates and said he'll always cherish his time in Cincinnati, but the writing was on the wall for him to leave this past winter.
"Everybody kind of knew the direction they wanted to go," Cozart said. "It was no secret about the rebuild and trying to give the young guys more opportunities. Mr. C [Reds CEO Bob Castellini] and Dick [Williams], they know how much I want to be with the Reds. I hope the fans know that. I know the guys I played with know that. Probably every day I get a text from somebody over there."
The Reds have Tuesday off before resuming their Cactus League schedule with a visit to Scottsdale to play the D-backs on Wednesday at 4:05 p.m. ET. Right-hander Robert Stephenson will continue his bid to make the Reds rotation, opposing D-backs starter Zack Greinke. Reds right-handers Kevin Quackenbush, Kevin Shackelford, Zack Weiss, Vance Worley, Tanner Rainey and Jimmy Herget are also scheduled to throw. The game can be seen on MLB Network and heard on Gameday Audio.
Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcasts and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.