Simon gaining confidence
*Reds manager Bryan Price may be “optimistic” that Mat Latos will start working from a mound this week. But each turn that Latos misses in the rotation makes it a little more realistic that someone else could take that spot when the season opens. Thus far, Alfredo Simon has looked like he could very well be that guy.
Simon’s line vs. the Mariners on Monday was a good one: 3 ip, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K. 41 pitches.
“I did great today,” Simon said. “All my pitches were working really good. I’m happy to throw three innings. My two-seamer, my changeup and my breaking ball worked good.”
*Through his two starts, totaling five innings, he has yet to give up a hit. Meanwhile, he is gaining confidence.
“When I was a starter in Baltimore, every five days I just put my mind for that day and did the best I can every time I went out there,” Simon said. “I just try to feel the same way right now.”
The Reds wound up taking a 6-5 loss to the Mariners. The game story with more details will be on MLB.com/Reds.com.
Other items from Monday:
*Closer Aroldis Chapman replaced Simon in the fourth and worked two innings in his second outing of spring. Chapman gave up one run and three hits (all coming in the fifth) with three strikeouts. The plan is to stretch out Chapman but it has nothing to do with possibly making him a starting pitcher.
“The last two years, we’ve gotten him ready as a starter and we built his innings up,” Price said. “It gave us a chance to work more on his slider and change-up. You may have noticed he threw about eight change-ups today in the game, which is as many as he may have thrown at any point in time last year when he was starting in spring training. The repetition is really good for Aroldis, he enjoys it. So we’ll build him probably up to about three innings and start to work him back down.”
*Skip Schumaker was 2-for-2 with a RBI, hitting a double off the left field wall in the first inning and a single to center field in the third inning.
*Billy Hamilton did what Billy Hamilton does best — run and cause trouble. After drawing a leadoff walk in the fifth, Hamilton stole second base and catcher Jesus Sucre’s error throw into center field moved him to third base. He scored on a Schumaker sac fly near the seats in left field foul territory.
*Neftali Soto replaced Joey Votto at first base in the fifth inning and ripped two very hard doubles to the same area of the center field wall. Off to a nice start, Soto is 7-for-12 (.583) through his first five games.
*First pitch temperature was 68 degrees.