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Arroyo slated for spring debut Sunday

MLB.com @m_sheldon

MESA, Ariz. -- Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo will make his 2017 Cactus League debut Sunday when he starts in a split-squad game against the Brewers, manager Bryan Price said Thursday.

Arroyo, who had been playing catch-up after missing time with a stomach virus, previously threw one inning in an intrasquad game Tuesday.

MESA, Ariz. -- Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo will make his 2017 Cactus League debut Sunday when he starts in a split-squad game against the Brewers, manager Bryan Price said Thursday.

Arroyo, who had been playing catch-up after missing time with a stomach virus, previously threw one inning in an intrasquad game Tuesday.

"He came through everything OK," Price said. "We've got to get him out there and see what his arm is ready to do, his body, after a bit of a respite. It'll be the next step in, hopefully, what is a continuation of building up his endurance."

Video: Arroyo reflects on health at Reds Spring Training

Price will be managing the other split-squad game against the Rockies, so pitching coach Mack Jenkins will be on hand to monitor Arroyo's performance.

Although Arroyo is competing for a rotation spot as a non-roster player and trying to make a comeback after two years away from the big leagues, Price did not rule out a bullpen role for Arroyo.

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"I think his stuff plays in any role," Price said. "It's more the durability question. I don't think he's just an isolation right-hander who has to come in and throw sidearm breaking balls to get hitters out. The velocity's going to go up. I think he was 82-85 [mph] in his last game.

"I'm going to evaluate him based on his arm durability, and his ability to get people out."

Worth noting

• Pitcher Anthony DeSclafani is tentatively slated to make his first start on Monday against the A's. DeSclafani, who had been pushed back because of right elbow tenderness, has his second side bullpen session scheduled for Friday.

• Catcher Tucker Barnhart was scratched from Thursday's lineup with lower back stiffness and replaced by Stuart Turner. Barnhart is expected to be back catching over the weekend.

"It's not a big concern," Price said. "He's going to be fine, but he'll need another day or two before he's back in the action."

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, Bronson Arroyo