Reds catcher out, closer nears return

ATLANTA — The Reds placed C Devin Mesoraco on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained left hamstring. But injured closer Aroldis Chapman made a "big step" in his recovery from facial fractures.

Mesoraco hurt his hamstring while scoring from second in Friday night's 5-4 loss at Atlanta.

Chapman was hit by a line drive during an exhibition game March 19, breaking his nose and a bone above his left eye. The left-hander looked strong while throwing 43 pitches in batting practice before Saturday night's game against the Braves.

The session was divided into two "innings," separated by a five-minute break.

It was Chapman's second time throwing batting practice and his first without a protective screen in front of the mound. He is scheduled to throw another simulated game on Tuesday in Cincinnati before beginning a rehab stint in the minors.

"I think it was a big step (Saturday) to throw without a protective screen for the first time since the incident happened," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I thought it was a big step, and if one more outing makes him feel physically and mentally more prepared to face hitters in a game situation, that's great."

Chapman said he is still regaining the stamina he needs to feel ready for games.

"I think everything went well," Chapman said through a translator. "I don't feel physically the same way I was feeling in spring training but I believe with a little work I will be in the physical shape that I want to be."

Chapman said he wasn't worried about throwing without the protective screen normally used in batting practice.

"Actually, I'm really positive," he said. "Since everything that happened to me, I've been really positive."

AILING PIRATES: Pittsburgh placed C Russell Martin on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring and was successful in a second attempt at putting closer Jason Grilli on the DL with a left oblique strain. The Pirates' first attempt Friday was denied because of a procedural error. Also, LHP Francisco Liriano left the game against the Cardinals in the third inning because of flulike symptoms and dizziness.

CUBS: Struggling RH reliever Jose Veras went on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique.

BREWERS: SS Jean Segura left the game against the Cubs after the top of the first inning with an apparent head injury. A television replay showed Segura apparently getting hit accidentally on the right side of his head with a bat being swung by teammate Ryan Braun.

NATIONALS: LF Bryce Harper was out of the starting lineup with a left hand injury but was available to pinch-hit.

ORIOLES: 1B Chris Davis was held out with a strained left oblique, but the slugger expects to avoid a trip to the disabled list.

TIGERS: RHP Anibal Sanchez left in the third inning with a blister on his right middle finger.

Reds catcher out, closer nears return 04/26/14 [Last modified: Saturday, April 26, 2014 11:13pm]

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