Friday, March 10, 2006

Reds upbeat despite injuries
BY KEVIN KELLY | ENQUIRER STAFF WRITER

BRADENTON, Fla. - Aaron Harang is not worried, and neither are the Reds.

Scratched from Thursday's start against the Pirates because of right shoulder inflammation, Harang is certain the ailment will be short-lived.

"I've had this before when I've tried to adjust some pitches and work on little things with my mechanics," he said. "My strength is good. I'm just going to take a couple days off and let the inflammation go away."

The Reds' injury report now includes three starting pitchers: Eric Milton, Paul Wilson and Harang. Together the trio made 75 starts last season.

"Right now there's not as much concern as there would be if it was after March 15," Reds manager Jerry Narron said. "Then it becomes a concern."

Milton re-aggravated a strained right calf during his spring training debut Tuesday and will miss his next scheduled start. He instead will throw a simulated game Sunday.

"We want to make sure he's 100 percent pain-free with all running and agility before we send him out there in another major-league spring training game," Reds head trainer Mark Mann said. "His throwing has never been a concern throughout this whole calf injury."

Wilson continues recovering from right shoulder surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and frayed labrum. He will throw live batting practice today, but no timetable has been set for his return.

Non-roster invitee Tommy Phelps started in Harang's place Thursday at McKechnie Field. In his first start this spring, and second appearance overall, Phelps threw three scoreless innings in a 2-1 Reds win.

Phelps is one of nine pitchers to start for the Reds this spring. Only Michael Gosling (1-0, 0.00 ERA) has two starts.

Phil Dumatrait (0-1, 4.50) is scheduled to start against the Yankees today. Justin Germano (0-0, 5.40) will start in Milton's place against the Phillies on Sunday.



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