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Game 160: Pirates at Reds

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Chapman “a little stiff”

Reds closer Aroldis Chapman notched his 35th save with a 1-2-3 ninth inning during a 5-3 win over the Brewers, but it wasn’t without a bump. As Chapman struck out first batter Rickie Weeks, he appeared uncomfortable. It brought out the trainer and pitching coach Jeff Pico. After a few moments, Chapman was allowed to continue.

“He was a little stiff; he had a hard time getting loose, which isn’t unusual,” manager Bryan Price said. “I think if you wanted to go through the clubhouse right now and ask anybody if they feel real good when they go out there, if they were honest, they’d probably say, ‘No, not real good.’ But I think we’re right there; we’re right there towards the finish line. And I think we’re just trying to survive and make it all the way. And you’ve noticed, there’s guys that haven’t pitched in a week; there’s a reason for that, it’s not just personal choice.”

Chapman threw 12 pitches, nine for strikes. Only one of them was 100 mph.

Among those who haven’t been used lately — Manny Parra last pitched on Sept. 17 and Logan Ondrusek’s last appearance was Sept. 14.

Game 159: Brewers at Reds

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Hamilton robs Braun of homer

A good guess for defensive play of the night…

UPDATE — Hamilton left the game in the 5th inning, diagnosed with “a mild concussion,” according to the Reds.

Reds optimistic re: Latos, Bailey

Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos is no longer in the picture for what’s left of this season because of the bone bruise in his right elbow. Latos is already working on his rehabilitation to be ready for 2015.

“I don’t think there’s concern that there are long term issues,” manager Bryan Price said on Wednesday. “I think he has some inflammation. It’s been strictly a rehab process to this point. He’s been able to throw but not able to throw completely pain free. He’s been examined by Dr. [Tim] Kremchek. He’s been getting regular attention from [head trainer] Paul Lessard and training the staff. We anticipate him — without any hiccups, any concerns at all – going into Spring Training 2015. There are no reservations at all in that regard.”

*Price said he visited with injured pitcher Homer Bailey for 30 minutes in his office on Tuesday. Bailey, who has been working out at Beacon Orthopedic while the club was out of town, hasn’t been in the clubhouse when the media has been allowed in. He had surgery to repair a small tear in the flexor mass tendon near his right forearm earlier this month.

“He’s one guy who is ready to get that sling off of his arm, I’ll tell you that,” Price said.

The expectation is that Bailey should be ready to be in the rotation when next season starts.

“I don’t think he’s in jeopardy of missing any significant time during next year, if any at all,” Price said. “We’re hoping he’ll be ready by Opening Day but if not, it should be somewhere to close to it.”

Game 158: Brewers at Reds

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Pena sits with Cueto pitching

Brayan Pena has caught most of Johnny Cueto’s starts this season but not his last two, including Tuesday vs. the Brewers. Pena was also not at first base and out of the starting lineup altogether for the fourth time in five games.

Once again on Tuesday, Todd Frazier played first base while Kristopher Negron played third base.

Brayan’s had a terrific year for us; he’s done way more than we ever expected as far as playing first,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He’s played a lot, he’s played more than he ever has played at this level. I may periodically play him at first and pinch hit and stuff like that, but I’m giving some other guys a chance to play right now.”

Although the backup catcher, Pena started 43 games at first base this season — a gigantic leap considering he played only parts of four games there his entire career. While he wouldn’t be considered a Gold Glove talent in the field, he really has done a nice job filling in for Joey Votto. He made just one error and has also turned in a more than a few nice defensive stops this season.

Here is one of his finer stops:

Game 157: Brewers at Reds

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Price impressed by Yo-Rod

Reds outfield prospect and September callup Yorman Rodriguez was given his third start of the month and his first one in left field on Sunday vs. the Cardinals.

Rodriguez has played only five games entering the night, but has impressed manager Bryan Price in that short amount of time.

“I think he’s performed well in his limited opportunities,” Price said. “I’m excited to see him out there and see him play. He’s really impressed me with his approach. Even if you’re out there for batting practice, he has that middle-of-the-diamond to right-center approach. For a guy who has enough power to think he’s a home run hitter, at this point in his development he could be a pull approach guy and he’s not. I’m kind of anxious to see a little bit more of it before the season is out.”

Rodriguez, 22, was signed on his 16th birthday out of Venezuela in 2008 for a then-record bonus of $2.5 million. He has five-tool ability and the potential of offering the Reds some things that don’t currently have — especially offensively.

“We think he can,” Price said. “He’s getting the opportunity to show the Major League staff what he can do at the Major League level. We’ve seen him in Spring Training once. Kind of like the showcase of Billy Hamilton last year in September, he didn’t play a lot but when he played, he impressed. I think it made us all feel better going into this season that he was ready to come up here and challenge for that spot in center field.

“I don’t know that Yorman is quite to the same place developmentally because he hasn’t played any Triple-A yet but this is a great opportunity for him to kind of give us an idea of what he offers at this point in time of his development. He does provide us with a guy that we’re all organizationally we are very excited about being an impact player for us in the near future.”

Game 156: Reds at Cardinals

Reds are 10-20 all-time on Sunday Night Baseball and 2-5 vs. STL in those games.

Hamilton 8
Negron 5
Frazier 3
Mesoraco 2
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Rodriguez 7
Cozart 6
Simon 1

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