Garrett clears next hurdle in return to mound

Schebler clicking in leadoff role; Reds prepare for tough southpaw stretch

September 9th, 2018

CINCINNATI -- As it poured rain early Saturday afternoon, Reds left-handed reliever passed a test in the indoor cage when he threw 25 pitches to a hitter. The hitter wasn't swinging but simply standing in the batter's box.

"I was just locating my pitches. I felt good and I feel good," Garrett said on Sunday. "It went very well. We'll see how it goes today but I feel good. I feel like I am ready."

Garrett has been on the 10-day disabled list since Aug. 29 with a bone bruise in his left foot.

Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman planned to consult with the medical staff to see when he can get Garrett back into action. With in the rotation and Garrett on the DL, Cincinnati's lone available lefty reliever is .

"We need another left-hander. I'd like to get him activated as soon as possible," Riggleman said.

Over his 58 appearances this season, Garrett is 1-2 with a 4.21 ERA in 57 1/3 innings and has prevented 31 of 39 inherited runners from scoring.

Schebler clicks as leadoff hitter

Reds center fielder 's return to the leadoff spot last month proved not to be permanent. When Hamilton batted ninth on Saturday vs. the Padres, it snapped a streak of 18 consecutive starts at the top of the order. Right fielder batted first on Saturday and Sunday.

Hamilton entered the day hitless in his past 14 at-bats and 3-for-26 in his previous seven games. After a slow start in his return from the DL, Schebler has come on strong, including a grand slam on Friday.

"Billy did a good job. He kind of put himself back into that position to hit leadoff. Schebler was not playing with the injury," Riggleman said. "We just kind of feel like that's a place where Schebler is more successful, for himself and for the team."

Lots of lefties to face Reds

The left-handed-hitting Schebler may not be in the leadoff spot as much this week. Monday will mark the beginning of a stretch where Cincinnati is scheduled to face six consecutive left-handers against the Dodgers and Cubs.

"Six in a row, that's a lot. I've never seen that," Riggleman said.

Counting the Padres series, the stretch is eight of 10 games vs. lefty starters.

"Knock on wood, we've done OK against lefties. Scooter [Gennett] and Schebler and Joey [Votto] have hit lefties," Riggleman said.

Cincinnati is batting .264 this season against left-handed starters as opposed to .256 entering the day against right-handers.