Michael Lorenzen will have an MRI on his right elbow to rule out structural damage, Reds manager Bryan Price said Monday.
A candidate for several roles, the pitcher felt discomfort when he tried to play catch Sunday after resting a few days.
“Lorenzen’s not great,” Price said. “He will not be pitching as scheduled.”
Lorenzen worked two perfect innings in his lone start this spring, striking out two.
Better pitching news came from Raisel Iglesias, who made his first Cactus League start Monday against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 26-year old Cuban was shut down in September with fatigue in his right shoulder, leading to a winter of rest and flexibility exercises.
The Reds may have an innings limit on Iglesias as well as other members of their young staff.
“I try to stay away from numbers because it paints me into a corner,” Price said. “Sometimes you have to look at guys and see if they can pass the smell test. If we say this guy’s only going to pitch 180 or 165 innings and he’s locked in and throwing as well as he has all year, that might be something that we re-visit.
“We have an area where we want to be. Very rarely do we exceed that by a large number of innings. There are a lot of guys who have parameters on how many innings we want them to throw.”
The Reds are more concerned with Iglesias’ growth as a pitcher.
“We want to see him manage a game,” Price said. “We want to see him find outs without reaching back for more velocity. In the past he’s been vulnerable in the early innings, that three-run inning. We want him to find quick outs that allow him to manage the third time through a lineup.”
New position: Jose Peraza was in the lineup against the Angels — in center field.
The 21-year old prospect, centerpiece of the Todd Frazier trade, has played shortstop and second base this spring.
In his two previous games, Peraza was 6 for 7 with a home run. He entered Monday’s play with a .400 batting average, a homer and three stolen bases. Peraza impressed Price by going first to third on a single by Joey Votto on Saturday night.
“We knew he was going to play center this week,” Price said. “With Zack Cozart out we had the opportunity to see him at shortstop, and at second every other day for Brandon (Phillips). With Billy Hamilton out, I’ve had a chance to see (Tyler) Holt, (Jake) Cave and (Scott) Schebler quite a bit. So, it’s a good time to get him out there. I’ve already formed an opinion on him at shortstop and second base. He plays both rather well.”
Peraza has worked with coach Billy Hatcher in the outfield, but not as much as he’s worked on the infield. He did play center field in Triple-A and also could be a solution for the Reds’ long-standing desire for a table-setting leadoff hitter.
“One of the considerations that we had when we were trying to get him from the Dodgers was this is a guy that can really hit,” Price said. “He can hit for a high average and bunt and steal bases. He can do things with his speed. That is the kind of guy you want to get at the top of the batting order.”
Roster moves: In the first round of roster reduction, the Reds sent pitcher Carlos Contreras to Triple-A Louisville. They also sent pitchers Rookie Davis, Amir Garrett and Sal Romano to Double-A Pensacola while catcher/first baseman Chad Wallach, second baseman Alex Blandino, shortstop Calton Daal, third baseman Eric Jagielo, outfielder Phillip Ervin, and pitchers Matt Magill and Nick Travieso, were re-assigned to minor-league camp.
The cuts were no surprise except for Contreras, the only one in the group with major-league experience.
“That decision was really challenging,” Price said. “He has a fastball, curveball and change-up that are all major-league quality. The biggest challenge we put in front of Carlos is to manage the game better. He has to command the strike zone better. We wanted to see improvement in that and we really haven’t.”
Ervin did well with a .391 batting average, two home runs and a stolen base.