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Bronson Arroyo returns as Reds beat Brewers and Rockies in split-squad games

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Perhaps it’s the start of another long fake-win streak.

Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Split-Squad Games Screw Up the Entire Recapping Format We’ve Had Established for Years Please Stop Those Player of the Game Day

Bronson Arroyo returned to the mound for the Cincinnati Reds officially on Sunday, tossing a pair of scoreless innings of Cactus League ball against the Milwaukee Brewers. He struck out 2, walked none, and allowed just a single in his time on the mound, and according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon’s sources was sitting 84-87 mph with his fastball.

After all the roster overhauling and stockpiling of pitching prospects, it’s hard to bend your brain enough to actually want a 40 year old junkballer who hasn’t pitched since 2014 to make the roster out of Spring Training, really. Sentimentality aside, there’s enough to suggest at this point that having to rely on a guy like that in year three of a major rebuild suggests other underlying failures, but that’s obviously not Arroyo’s fault in the slightest. Given the news this morning that Anthony DeSclafani’s elbow may not be in any better shape than Homer Bailey’s at the moment, however, and a guy like Arroyo suddenly becomes the potential ‘next guy up,’ which comes with equal parts terror and intrigue.

Hopefully, he’s something close to the guy who compiled 21.5 bWAR across 8 solid seasons with the Reds in his first stint, since even that version of Arroyo didn’t throw his fastball much harder than 87 mph.

Honorable Mentions are due to: Sal Romano, who continued his torrid spring by striking out 7 Brewers in just 3.2 IP; Devin Mesoraco, who went 0 for 1 but actually caught for a few innings in a real, live, sort of fake baseball game; Adam Duvall, who had a 2 for 3 day against Milwaukee pitching; Jesse Winker, who doubled in a run against the Beers; Zack Cozart, who doubled, scored, and drove in a run; Luis Castillo, who fired a pair of scoreless innings against Colorado; Scott Schebler, who dingered against the Rockies; Drew Storen, who fired a perfect inning against Milwaukee; and Phil Ervin, who tripled and scored according to one of the box scores I toggled through just a minute ago, I swear.

Key Plays

Tony Bracketino

Other Notes
  • His overall line was quite muddy - 1 H, 2 BB, 2 ER, 0 K in 1 IP - but Ariel Hernandez was throwing serious gas in his outing against Colorado. As The Enquirer's Zach Buchanan noted, he was routinely hitting 100 mph with his fastball.
  • Joey Votto went 0 for 3 against Milwaukee and is hitting just .174 this Spring. At this point, you have to wonder if the young man is every going to get it.
  • Rookie Davis doubled in a pair of runs against Colorado in a game that finally featured pitchers getting a chance to hit. He apparently flashed the 95 mph fastball he's had throughout the spring, too, though he did allow 3 ER in his 3 IP. He eventually left the game after rolling his ankle covering 1B on a grounder, but not until after he hit Ian Desmond while trying to pitch through it, apparently.
  • Turns out that series of events ended up with a worst-case scenario for Colorado, since Desmond's left hand is now fractured, according to the latest reports. Welp.
  • The Reds will host the Oakland A's in Goodyear on Monday, with first pitch set for a daylight savings time-induced 4:05 PM ET. DeSclafani was originally scheduled to start for Cincinnati, but since that's obviously not happening I'm sure there'll be some other arm on the mound with a C on his hat instead.
  • Tunes.