GOODYEAR, Ariz. — It was an exhibition game in February. Not high-stakes baseball to be sure.
But it didn’t feel that way to Amir Garrett.
“I didn’t know what my nerves were going to like,” Garrett said. “Going into the game, I was pretty nervous. I’m not going to lie to you. But I’m all calm now. I got the first one out of the way.”
Garrett, the 24-year-old left-hander, came out of it OK. He went nearly two innings and allowed a run on two hits against the Cleveland Indians. He walked one and stuck out two. Both strikeouts came on sliders.
“It felt really good,” Garrett said. “I threw a few that weren’t as good."
The rookie is bidding for one of two open spots in the Reds rotation, thus the nerves.
“I never started for the big league club,” Garrett said. “It was the first time. I had a little jitters. I’m always a little bit nervous, but today the nerves were running. I’m fine now.”
Garrett is among a large field of competitors for the rotation. Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, Tim Adleman, Lisalverta Bonilla, Bronson Arroyo, Sal Romano and Rookie Davis are all in the mix.
Garrett is either the No. 1 or 2 pitching prospect depending on the who does the ranking.
“It’s going to be tough,” he said. “All those guys are my good friends. We’re all competing for a spot. It can be anyone of ours. We all got great stuff. We all compete. I’m looking forward to what happens at the end. Whoever gets it, I’ll be happy for them.”