GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Tim Adleman did not have a great outing in his spring debut — two innings, four hits, two runs. Last year, that would have been a major concern.
Adleman, after all, was trying to separate himself from the pack of non-roster invitees. The odds were long, considering Adleman is a former independent ball pitcher. This year, the 29-year-old right-hander has a little more rope, based on what he did over 13 starts for the Reds last year.
“Definitely, a good takeaway for me was by breaking stuff was good,” Adleman said. “You don’t ever want to give up runs. But certainly is better to have a bit of a resume is better than coming in here fresh.”
Adleman went 4-4 with a 4.00 ERA for the Reds in 14 starts. Adleman did not make the club out of spring. He was called up on May 1. He made four starts before going on the disabled list with a strained oblique. He made nine more starts after coming off the DL.
“He pitched extremely well,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “He’s one of the few guys who took advantage of his opportunity last year. I don’t know if he was any better when he came back, I just felt like he got enough opportunity to get comfortable on the mound and pitching every fifth day and learning to pitch at that level.”
Adleman is competing for one of the two open spots in the rotation.
“That’s what you want,” Adleman said. “Any time you can come into spring training with a chance to make the club and be a contributor is great. I’m going to work hard everyday.”
Adleman showed improvement over his 2016 spring performance. He was 0-1 the 22.85 ERA in four games, and he gave 17 hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Sunday, he broke two bats.
“I felt OK,” he said. “I thought the breaking ball was pretty good. The fastball command was a bit of a coin flip today until the last couple of hitters. All in all, feeling good is one of the more important things early in spring.”
Veteran right-hander Blake Wood would not have made the team last year based on spring training performance.
He was not very good.
“Let’s clarify,” Price said. “Wood had one of the worst springs I’ve ever seen a pitcher have for a guy who’s going to make the team,” Price said. “Let’s call it as we see it. That was a straight beat down. He was pressing because he knew we signed him to major league contract.”
Wood, the 31-year-old right-hander, had an advocate in the system in Triple-A manager Delino DeShields.
DeShields had seen Wood pitch for Pittsburgh’s Triple-A affiliate at Indianapolis the year before.
“I think the thing that made the difference in his particular situation was that Delino DeShields had seen him and recommended him,” Price said.
Wood ended up appearing 70 games for the Reds. He was 6-5 with a 3.99 ERA — best of anyone who spent the whole year in the Reds’ bullpen.
ARROYO UPDATE: Bronson Arroyo is dealing with a flu-like illness.
He was scheduled to come in Sunday and play catch after the rest of the players left for the game with San Francisco.
“He’s going to come in when everyone is over at the stadium and play some catch, just in case there might be anything that’s contagious, and then head out,” Price said. “He still has some of the overall muck, but we’re hoping (Monday) he can be able to do something here at the facility other than playing catch.”
John Fay is a freelance sports columnist; this column represents his opinion. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.