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Hall of Fame baseball writer Hal McCoy shares his thoughts on the Cincinnati Reds

Mahle solidifying spot in Reds rotation

12:45 am Mar. 21, 2018

Tyler Mahle continues to solidify his grasp on a spot in the Cincinnati Reds pitching rotation — and if things continue on the current path his effectiveness might be sorely needed.

Before the Reds faced the San Diego Padres Tuesday night, it was announced that starting candidate Michael Lorenzen is down for at least a few days with a strained right lat muscle (under the armpit).

Lorenzen joins Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon

Another ‘messy’ start for Stephenson

12:12 am Mar. 20, 2018

If Robert Stephenson was trying to make a statement that he belongs in the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation, he graded out at about a D+ Monday night.

As one of the contestants for one of probably two available spots, Stephenson was trying to match or better what two of his competitors accomplished in their last starts.

On Saturday against the San Francisco Giants, Cody Reed pitched four innings and gave up two

Homer Bailey’s first-inning mishaps continue

7:42 pm Mar. 12, 2018

Maybe somebody with the Cincinnati Reds should tell Homer Bailey it is the second inning when he takes the mound to start a game.

Throughout his career, the first inning has been the unkindest cut for the lanky Texan. Bailey’s career earned run average in the first inning hovers about 8.00.

And it has continued this spring as Bailey tried to come back from three seasons of injuries and three surgeries.

Bailey started

DeSclafani, Finnegan suffer injuries, rotation in flex

9:42 pm Mar. 11, 2018

Stop reading right now if you’ve heard all this before and don’t want to hear about history repeating itself.

All right, if you’re still with us, the Cincinnati Reds suffered a double punch to the solar plexus Sunday when they lost not one, but two starting pitchers to injuries in a short span.

Injuries to starting pitchers have been the norm for the Reds the past two seasons and has struck again,

Romano rock solid, but Reds lost, 5-2

10:45 pm Mar. 10, 2018

It is obvious that Salvatore Romano, known around camp as ‘Big Sally,’ sniffs a spot in the Cincinnati Reds rotation like a steaming pizza fresh out of the oven.

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound righthander, mowed his way through the Seattle Mariners lineup Saturday night in Goodyear, Ariz. like a John Deere tractor — and Romano is as big as a tractor.

Romano pitched four innings and gave up no runs, one hit, walked

Reds score 12, still lose as Bailey bombs

7:20 pm Mar. 7, 2018

They played a wild, wild, wild one out west in Glendale, Ariz., a spring exhibition game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox.

The Reds scored 12 runs and bashed 14 hits. They weren’t enough.

When the sagebrush quit blowing Wednesday afternoon, the White Sox owned a 14-12 victory at Camelback Ranch Stadium.

The Reds couldn’t hold a 12-9 lead in the eighth inning. The White Sox scored five runs in

Finnegan’s debut OK as Reds beat Tribe

6:07 pm Mar. 6, 2018

Brandon Finnegan’s first spring appearance on the mound for the Cincinnati Reds began with a bang, a bang on his first pitch.

The bang was off the bat of Cleveland superstar Francisco Lindor, a home run to left field.

Inauspicious? Yes. But Finnegan shook that off and gave up only an infield hit and a walk against the rest of the hitters he faced in two innings.

So his line was two innings,

DeSclafani, Mahle good, but Reds lose, 6-3

5:57 pm Feb. 27, 2018

With one hitch and glitch by Robert Stephenson on Monday, the starting pitchers the Cincinnati Reds have sent to the mound in the early spring training going have been spot on.

The Reds have pretty much gone through the rotation one time and Anthony DeSclafani continued the trend Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers in Maryvale, Ariz., even though the Reds lost again, 6-3.

DeSclafani, who missed all of last season, pitched two

Are Reds sending a message to Hamilton?

6:19 pm Feb. 26, 2018

The significant news Monday out of the Cincinnati Reds camp in Goodyear, Ariz., had nothing to do with the team’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

It was a ‘B’ day for the Reds — the only regular in the lineup was Scott Schebler and he was the designated hitter. And the Reds lost, 5-2. So far they’ve won one, lost three and tied one.

What everybody was talking about Monday was that

Bullpenners Hernandez, Hughes make Reds spring debuts

7:53 pm Feb. 25, 2018

In addition to filling out a starting rotation, manager Bryan Price and the Cincinnati Reds hope to find some sand bags to shore up baseball’s worst bullpen — three years running.

To do that, the Reds added a couple of veteran journeymen bullpenners, signing David Hernandez and Jared Hughes to two-year contracts.

Hernandez and Hughes made their spring training debuts Sunday afternoon in Goodyear, Ariz., against the Cleveland Indians.

So far, so good.