“His elbow’s feeling good, but he’s under house arrest right now,” Price said. “I believe it’s a 12- to 14-day no-throw standard protocol with that (PRP injection). I think we’re about at that threshold to where he could start throwing. Once he’s out of quarantine, I think he’ll be able to start playing catch.”
Anthony DeSclafani, who is recovering from a strained left oblique and tentatively scheduled to start Sunday, threw three simulated innings Wednesday. He is expected to throw a bullpen session Friday, and if that goes well, he will be scheduled for his season debut Sunday.
Starters sit: Price gave Zack Cozart, Billy Hamilton and Devin Mesoraco a rest Thursday while Brandon Phillips was not in the lineup for a second consecutive game due to a bout with the flu.
Wednesday night’s hero, Scott Schebler, got the start in center for Hamilton, while Ivan De Jesus started at short for Cozart and Tucker Barnhart was behind the plate for Mesoraco. Jordan Pacheco made his Reds debut by starting at second for Phillips.
“We have Billy, Devin and Zack on certain protocols,” Price said of the three players who had offseason surgery. “Billy would probably be the best to play today, but I wanted to make sure I got Schebler and (Adam) Duvall out there every now and again together.
“This will be a month select days off for those three players,” Price said. “I think it’s important that these guys that are going to spend more time off the bench get some at bats early in the season to stay familiar with their swings.”
BP anniversary: Thursday marked the 10-year anniversary of the Reds acquiring Phillips in a trade from Cleveland. Phillips was designated for assignment on April 1, 2006, and six days later the Indians sent him to Cincinnati for a player to be named.
The deal was finalized April 17 when the Reds sent minor league pitcher Jeff Stevens to Cleveland. Stevens never pitched for the Indians, who traded him to the Chicago Cubs in 2008. Stevens appeared in 33 games over three seasons for the Cubs with one career win. Phillips has 1,703 hits, 186 home runs, 184 stolen bases, four gold gloves, three All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger award.
Up next: The Reds open a three-game series at home against Pittsburgh, which is coming off a three-game sweep of St. Louis. Cincinnati will start right-hander Alfredo Simon (13-12, 5.05 ERA in 2015), while the Pirates will counter with lefty Francisco Liriano (1-0, 0.00 ERA).