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Reds hoping Hernandez will be back for opener

Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- With the final spots in the Reds' bullpen still undecided, right-hander David Hernandez is working to recover from shoulder stiffness in time to make the Opening Day roster. Hernandez resumed light throwing duties Monday before the Reds' 6-5 loss to the Rangers.

"We'll see how he responds to that and then assess tomorrow and hope to have a definitive answer," Price said. "It was OK, it wasn't perfection, but the question is if we decide to go with him on the Opening Day roster, would we feel confident he was ready?"

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ARLINGTON -- With the final spots in the Reds' bullpen still undecided, right-hander David Hernandez is working to recover from shoulder stiffness in time to make the Opening Day roster. Hernandez resumed light throwing duties Monday before the Reds' 6-5 loss to the Rangers.

"We'll see how he responds to that and then assess tomorrow and hope to have a definitive answer," Price said. "It was OK, it wasn't perfection, but the question is if we decide to go with him on the Opening Day roster, would we feel confident he was ready?"

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Hernandez signed a two-year deal in January and is expected to help anchor the back end of the Reds' bullpen. He pitched in 64 games combined with the Angels and Diamondbacks last year, posting a 3.11 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 55 innings. He hasn't pitched since making his sixth spring appearance on March 19.

Austin Brice, Zack Weiss, Vance Worley and Justin Nicolino, who was claimed off waivers on Sunday, are in the mix for the final two or three bullpen roles (depending on Hernandez's status). Nicolino had not yet joined the club in Arlington on Monday.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Mahle stumbles after strong spring

Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle pitched four rocky innings Monday, allowing six earned runs. Mahle, 23, earned his spot in the Reds' rotation with a good showing this spring, including only two earned over 10 innings in his last two starts.

"Today it didn't go well with locating the ball, but that happens. On to the next one," Mahle said. "As a whole, I'm happy with where I'm at right now."

Mahle was greeted with misfortune to start the game, as Delino DeShields beat out a seemingly routine grounder. DeShields would score on Elvis Andrus' double to center, and Nomar Mazara homered to cap the Rangers' three-run inning. Texas picked up three more runs in the third inning, including a two-run homer by Rougned Odor.

"The command just wasn't as good with the fastball, but he's always on the attack, and he got his work in," manager Bryan Price said. "He wasn't as good as we had seen, but he's going to be fine. You can't allow a single spring or a couple of spring outings to define who a player is; you have to do the eye test for all the outings. He's going to be a really good big league pitcher, I'm confident of that."

Weather threatening Tuesday's spring finale

As of game time Monday, Arlington was under a flash flood watch for Tuesday. The Rangers and Reds are scheduled to play their final spring exhibition game, but the forecast calls for a 90 percent chance of rain. Right-hander Sal Romano is currently scheduled to start.

"I would prefer to have Romano get his start in tomorrow and get some work in, but we know we can't control the weather," Price said before Monday's game. "It does look a little ominous."

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Texas.

Cincinnati Reds, David Hernandez