Cincinnati Reds: Iglesias looking for steadier season in 2020

After a roller-coaster 2019 season, Reds closer Raisel Iglesias decided to alter his offseason training program a bit.

This winter the right-hander started throwing in November rather than December.

“I worked on the same things that I have in other seasons,” Iglesias said through interpreter Jorge Merlos. “I did what the coaches asked me to do but with respect to the 12 losses last year, I thought why not do something different and come into camp feeling good.”

It was good and bad in 2019.

Iglesias was third in the National League with a career-high 34 saves but he also was on the wrong side of 12 decisions at 3-12. With a 4.16 ERA it was the first time in three seasons that the 30-year old Cuban native was above 2.53. He had nine blown saves in 43 chances.

Iglesias pitched 2/3 inning in his first spring outing, giving up four hits and four unearned runs. He was the victim of poor defense.

“My first outing was a bit rough, obviously, but I haven’t faced a batter in five months,” Iglesias said. “I feel good, I feel strong and I’m healthy.”

The Reds used Iglesias as a starting pitcher his first two years until giving him the closer’s job after the departure of Aroldis Chapman. Iglesias started 21 games in 2015 and 2016, including the nod on Opening Day in 2016. The Reds put him on the injured list for six weeks in 2015 and for six weeks in 2016. His last start was on April 25, 2016, against the New York Mets.

“Since my first two years my arm has felt good and is healthy,” said Iglesias, who spent just six days on injured list last season with a strain in his non-throwing left bicep.

The Reds have brought in some experienced bullpen help this offseason with Pedro Strop, Nate Jones and Tyler Thornburg. With the new rule that a relief pitcher must pitch to three batters or to the end of an inning — and with teams being limited to 13 pitchers on the 26-man roster — Igelsias’ durability is more important that ever.

Bauer tips his pitches?

Reds starter Trevor Bauer signaled his pitches to Los Angeles Dodgers batters during his three scoreless innings on Tuesday. During Bauer’s outing, Fox Sports Ohio’s Jim Day did an in-game interview with Derek Dietrich, who provided commentary on it.

Bauer downplayed the incident on Wednesday morning. He has been critical about the Houston Astros sign stealing and baseball’s response to it.

“There is an inside story that I can’t tell you guys but I was just having fun,” Bauer said. “It had nothing to do with the Dodgers. It wasn’t team specific. I did it a couple of times last season in games. There are a lot of interesting outcomes from it, psychologically and competitively. Spring training is time to work on things. I’m not surprised it blew up on social media. Derek dumped a bunch of gasoline on that fire, which I thought was pretty funny. It’s good for baseball overall.”

Notes: Nick Castellanos was not in camp for the fifth straight day with the flu. David Bell said that he will start on Thursday against Milwaukee…. Mike Moustakas returned after missing time for the birth of his daughter. .Nick Senzel, who had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, will make his spring devbut as the designated hitter on Thursday against Milwaukee…. The Reds have split the roster into two groups for the weekend. One group will go to Las Vegas to play the Cubs in two games on Saturday and Sunday. The other half will play at Kansas City on Saturday and at home against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.

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