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Lorenzen shut down with muscle strain

Righty, competing for rotation spot, had 8.38 ERA this spring
MLB.com @m_sheldon

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds' pitching depth must absorb another blow as Michael Lorenzen has been diagnosed with a grade 1 strain of the teres major muscle near his right shoulder.

"It's milder than what [Brandon] Finnegan went through last year. But it does mean he won't throw for several days," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Tuesday.

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GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds' pitching depth must absorb another blow as Michael Lorenzen has been diagnosed with a grade 1 strain of the teres major muscle near his right shoulder.

"It's milder than what [Brandon] Finnegan went through last year. But it does mean he won't throw for several days," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Tuesday.

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Lorenzen, a reliever the past two seasons, was competing for a spot in the Reds' rotation. Already viewed with an outside shot to land in the starting five going into camp, his chances dimmed as the right-hander was at times erratic.

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In his four games, including three starts, Lorenzen had an 8.38 ERA.

"It's been challenge to get him to repeat the delivery and make good quality pitches throughout the entire spring," Price said. "That being said, you can make that same argument for a lot of the guys that are here in camp. The challenge for a guy like Michael was to come and look like a Major League starting pitcher and be polished and command his pitches. He wasn't quite there yet."

Price would not comment on whether a stint on the disabled list would be needed for Lorenzen. But with only nine days remaining before Opening Day on March 29, it would seem unlikely that he could be on the active roster if he doesn't resume throwing soon. Finnegan strained his teres major muscle in late June and wasn't expected back last season even before he hurt his right shoulder in an off-the-field accident.

Lorenzen's injury is just the latest test for the Reds' pitching staff, as Anthony DeSclafani will start the season on the DL after straining his left oblique.

If Lorenzen didn't make the rotation, he was expected to be back in the bullpen as a key late-inning reliever. The 26-year-old was 8-4 with a 4.45 ERA in a team-leading 70 appearances last season.

Finnegan, Castillo pitch
Pitching in a Minor League game on Tuesday afternoon, Finnegan worked two innings with one earned run, two hits, one walk and two strikeouts. It was his first game action since he departed in the first inning from his March 11 start with a left forearm spasm.

Finnegan is scheduled to pitch in a Cactus League game again on Saturday vs. the Padres.

Luis Castillo also pitched on the Minor League fields Tuesday, his first game since returning to camp after the birth of his daughter. Castillo pitched five innings and allowed one earned run and four hits with one walk and five strikeouts while throwing 71 pitches.

"I did see them throw and look very efficient. I think that they did come through fine," Price said.

Hughes feels ready
One of the Reds' free-agent signings in the offseason, reliever Jared Hughes has had a strong spring. During Monday's 5-4 win over the Cubs, Hughes pitched a perfect seventh inning and got three ground-ball outs.

Over his six games, Hughes has a 1.50 ERA with three runs (one earned), five hits, two walks and four strikeouts. He was signed to a two-year, $4.5 million contract in December.

"I'm definitely ready to go," Hughes said. "I'm ready to compete and win in Cincinnati. Right now, I need to continue getting better and use these last week and a half remaining to work on my consistency and my changeup. I want it down in the zone and have that as a weapon this year. I think I am getting pretty close."

Price sees Greene pitch
As he checked out Finnegan and Castillo pitch, Price also had a chance to get his first in-person view of Hunter Greene pitching in an intrasquad game. Greene was the overall No. 2 selection in the 2017 Draft and is the No. 2 prospect in the organization, according to MLB Pipeline.

Video: Top Prospects: Hunter Greene, RHP, Reds

"Nice athletic delivery. Quick arm," Price said. "That's really what you want to see from a 17-, 18-year-old kid, to see the body type and the arm action that doesn't look like it's going to need to be fixed. They usually don't find those guys in the Draft.

"With Hunter, it looks like he has a good, repeatable delivery and an arm action that works well. I know he has plenty to work on between now and the time he reaches Cincinnati, but he's in good hands."

Up next
The Reds will get their second off-day of camp on Wednesday. They will face the Rangers on Thursday at 9:05 p.m. ET in Surprise, Ariz. Sal Romano (1-1, 3.00 ERA) will have a chance to further improve his chances of making the rotation when he starts.

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, Michael Lorenzen