CINCINNATI -- Reds reliever Sam LeCure threw 25 pitches off a mound Saturday. It was his first time throwing since he was placed on the disabled list with a strained right forearm Sunday, and he said he threw all of his pitches.LeCure has never been on the DL with an arm injury before, but he said he had no issues on Saturday. "I felt pretty good about that," he said. "After we did the MRI and figured out what it wasn't, it's a lot more comforting knowing I'm not going to go out there and hurt myself. If there is a little bit of stiffness, I don't feel like that's going to get in the way. As far as mentality goes, that's a big thing." LeCure, who started four games in April, has made eight appearances out of the bullpen this year, allowing one earned run on six hits in 13 1/3 innings as a reliever.
Cautious Baker happy with recent relief work
CINCINNATI -- The Reds entered Saturday's game ranked ninth in the National League with a 3.27 ERA, but manager Dusty Baker has been pleased with his relievers this week.Since Johnny Cueto's complete game against the Braves on Sunday, the bullpen has not allowed an earned run in 11 2/3 innings. On Friday night, Logan Ondrusek, Nick Masset and Francisco Cordero combined to toss three innings of one-hit ball. In particular, Baker was pleased to see Ondrusek pitch a 1-2-3 seventh inning. The 6-foot-8 righty only needed 12 pitches to get a trio of groundouts, and Baker said he would have let Ondrusek pitch the eighth inning, but he wanted to ease Ondrusek back. Prior to Friday night, Ondrusek had not pitched since May 28 against the Braves -- his fifth appearance in six days. Ondrusek complained of soreness after that game, but he said he was fine upon returning to the mound in the Reds' 2-1 win against the Dodgers. "I felt good and everything, but there's no reason to push it this early," said Ondrusek, who pitched 6 1/3 innings last week. "If it was a matter of making the playoffs or we were in the playoffs, then yeah I would have gone ahead and gone back out there." Ondrusek, Jose Arredondo and Carlos Fisher were unavailable in Tuesday night's 7-2 loss to the Brewers, which limited Cincinnati's bullpen and caused Baker to keep starter Chad Reineke in to hit with the bases loaded and the Reds facing a three-run deficit in the fourth inning. Baker later said he would have pinch-hit for Reineke had the bullpen been healthier. Overuse has been a concern of Baker's for most of the season, and he reiterated that on Saturday. Reds relievers have thrown an NL-leading 201 innings this season. "I don't like the frequency of how we've had to use them, but somebody's got to fill the nine innings," he said. "It helps to see what happens when your starters go deep in a game. [The relievers are] more effective, they're more rested, they can match up."
Hanigan working through hitting slump
CINCINNATI -- While Cincinnati's homestand has proved kind to the team as a whole, the road woes seem to have carried over for catcher Ryan Hanigan.He has gone just 1-for-11 at the plate since the team returned to Great American Ball Park on Monday, and he is riding a 2-for-23 slump dating back to May 23. Hanigan, who sat out Saturday as Ramon Hernandez got the start, chalked up his lack of hits to a bad eye at the plate and, at times, bad luck. "It's probably a combination," he said. "What I'm working on right now is trying to get pitches I can handle and hopefully put good swings on them. I've hit some balls well that haven't found holes. I've had bad at-bats as well. I think if I can get pitches to hit, I'll be fine." Prior to this slump, Hanigan had hit .273 in his first 29 games of the season. Hanigan and Hernandez split playing time, with Hanigan specifically working with Bronson Arroyo and Hernandez with Saturday starter Johnny Cueto. Hernandez is hitting .308 this season.
Volquez penciled in to start Tuesday
CINCINNATI -- Manager Dusty Baker said Edinson Volquez is tentatively scheduled to start against the Cubs on Tuesday.Baker said the decision is not official, but he has been impressed with how Volquez has thrown in two starts at Triple-A Louisville. Volquez is 1-0 with a 1.88 ERA with the Bats, walking six and striking out seven in 14 1/3 innings. If Volquez starts Tuesday, Baker said he will probably move Mike Leake's start to Monday. Chad Reineke, who made his debut with the Reds last Tuesday, is currently scheduled to throw on Monday. Reineke allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits in 6 1/3 innings in a loss against the Brewers. Homer Bailey, meanwhile, extended his long toss program to 230 feet on Saturday. He plans to throw a side session either Sunday or Monday. Bailey was placed on the disabled list with a sprained posterior capsule in his right shoulder on May 27.
Tyler Jett is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.