Bronson Arroyo keeps things simple in first batting practice pitches of return to Reds

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Bronson Arroyo threw his first live batting practice session of spring training on Tuesday. He did what he always has.

“Four-seam fastballs, right down the middle,” Arroyo said.

Arroyo was facing Aristides Aquino, Brandon Dixon and Gabriel Guerrero. He’s 15 years older than any of them. He could have tricked them with a big arsenal. But that’s not the point at this stage in his comeback with the Reds.

“I always pump fastballs for those guys to hit,” Arroyo said. “It’s a whole other level up from a bullpen as far as intensity. Just purely going out there and throwing 40 pitches gets you tired, winded. You’re working pretty fast. I like those guys to be hitting the ball. I don’t try to trick ’em. It’s much more daunting to have guys take stuff.

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“I’m tired. My forearm's feeling it. That’s what you’re building toward.”

Aquino, Guerrero and Dixon wore out pitchers Monday, sending balls over the fence on regular basis.

“That crew? They cost the team some money down there on Field 3, didn't they?” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “Did you guys go and watch that? That was a joke.

“The thing is, (facing Arroyo will) be good experience for them, too. Seeing him with his high-leg kick, you get a chance to face somebody that you know -- you’re familiar with, that you would have known before you ever signed a professional contract. Everyone knows who Bronson Arroyo is, I think there's a certain hump you have to get over as a young player to look out on the mound and realize that you're facing somebody that's a really good player.”

Arroyo is three days from his 40th birthday and coming off two years of rehab from elbow and shoulder surgery. The key is how it felt and location.

“It felt fine,” he said. “I threw the ball about where I wanted to most of the time. That’s all I care about. As long as I’m pain-free, I’m good. As far as the ball coming out, it’s subjective. It’s not going to be coming out like everyone else in this camp. That doesn’t mean you can’t get outs with it.”

Arroyo wasn’t throwing 98 mph.

“I don’t think I was throwing 88,” he said. “It might have been 78. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got movement and command.”

Arroyo will throw one more live BP session, then appear in a game. He’ll throw all his pitches in the game.

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