Bryan Price narrows Cincinnati Reds rotation race as spring training begins

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 3:58 PM

Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price, center, watches from the dugout in the second inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Mark Duncan/AP
Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price, center, watches from the dugout in the second inning of a spring training exhibition baseball game against the Chicago Cubs Saturday, March 8, 2014, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)(Mark Duncan/AP)

The Cincinnati Reds reported for spring training Tuesday, and manager Bryan Price brought some clarity to the most important situation facing the team between now and Opening Day. 

That, of course, is who will be his starting pitchers. 

RELATED: Assessing Ohio State’s Big Ten title chances as Reds head to spring training

Price had said during the offseason he saw 80 percent of his rotation being set — Luis Castillo, Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani and Brandon Finnegan — with a large group of prospects to vie for the fifth spot

Tuesday he amended that when meeting with reporters in Goodyear, Ariz. 

Per MLB.com, Finnegan is not a sure thing, though it sounds like he is ahead of the other contenders when it comes to joining Bailey, Castillo and DeSclafani. 

"I plug in Finnegan as a guy I'm very confident will make our rotation. But, I've made this clear, this is not a spring training for anyone, Brandon included, to be thinking they just have to get their arm in shape and be ready to be in our starting rotation," Price said. "This is a competitive group. Lack of competitiveness would not bode well for anybody that wants to be in the starting rotation.” 

Price also broke down the rest of the group contending for a spot into tiers. 

Robert Stephenson and Sal Romano will get the most opportunities to make it.

They both finished last season strong after struggling early in the season. Romano was a revelation last spring while Stephenson is a former No. 1 pick. 

Tyler Mahle and Michael Lorenzen will also get looks, though not as long as those two. Lorenzen has been a key member of the bullpen the last two seasons while Mahle made the jump from Double-A and looked good before reaching his innings limit and being shut down late in the season. 

Beyond them, Jackson Stephens and Amir Garrett are next in line but are apparentl long shots. 

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Also new Tuesday: Cody Reed’s chance to make the major-league roster will be as a reliever. 

Finnegan, Garrett and Reed are lefties. 

The first on-field workouts of the spring are scheduled for Wednesday. 

The first game is Feb. 23 against the Cleveland Indians. 

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Gressly’s two home runs super-charge Lebanon in regional semifinal win

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 2:19 PM

Lebanon junior Grace Gressly had two homers in a 6-3 defeat of Lakota East in a high school softball D-I regional semifinal at Centerville on Wed., May 23, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

With one swing, junior Grace Gressly jump-started Lebanon’s tourney journey on Wednesday afternoon. With another, she sealed the deal.

Gressly’s two home runs and five RBI’s provided the bulk of Lebanon’s fireworks in a 6-3 defeat of Lakota East in a Division I high school softball regional semifinal on Wednesday. Lebanon (26-3) will take a six-game win streak into Saturday’s regional final against Lakota West (24-3) also at Centerville. West advanced by eliminating Mason 9-3 in Wednesday’s other semi.

»ONE FOR THE RECORD: Butler senior matches regional best set in 1971

»REGIONAL TRACK: “It’s all about moving on”

Trailing 1-0, Gressly delivered a no-doubt, three-run bomb in the third inning. The designated hitter, she trumped that with another two-run missile in the sixth.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” said Gressly, who verbally committed to Wright State University prior to this season. “I was just trying to put some runs on the board. It was a bit of a rush. We really want to make it back to state and I think we have the team to do it.”

Lebanon designated player Grace Gressly keep her eye on the ball Wednesday during a Division I regional semifinal against Lakota East at Centerville. Gressly had two home runs and five RBIs in the Warriors’ 6-3 victory. MARC PENDLETON/STAFF

»IT’S A RECORD: Lakota East flash passes mark that stood since 1990

»PHOTO GALLERY: D-I district track at Wayne

Gressly’s shots made a winner of junior pitcher Kat Frank (24-3), who went the distance. When centerfielder Madison DeGennaro secured the final flyout, Warriors catcher Molly Osborne leaped into Frank’s awaiting arms in celebration.

“It was awesome out there,” Frank said. “We talked the other day with (coach Brian Kindell) how this has become an expectation for Lebanon, but we really need to enjoy it because it’s awesome to make it this far in the tournament.”

Lebanon has been to the D-I state final four five times since 2012, including last season. The Warriors were the state runner-up in the 2015 and ’12 seasons.

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

»RELATED: Butler making surprise D-I baseball run

Clinton-Massie 11, Greenville 4: Clinton-Massie (27-5) scored five runs in the first inning and three in the second to avenge a loss to Greenville in the same round a year ago. Claire Carruthers had the big hit in the first inning, a two-run home run. Victoria Severt hit a two-run home run in the second inning.

It was the 16th straight season for Greenville (26-6) to finish with 20 or more victories for coach Jerrod Newland, who took over the program in 2003. Greenville’s Sydney Grote drove in the team’s first run in the second inning. Morgan Gilbert hit a solo home run off the top of the fence in right field to provide Greenville’s second run in the third inning.

Greenville against Clinton-Massie in a Division II regional semifinal on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at Mason High School. David Jablonski - Staff Writer

»RELATED: Elks’ vaulters push each other to the limit

Greenville, which won the state title in 2007, was seeking its fourth state berth. It made the final four in 2010 and lost in the state final in 2012. It lost 5-3 to Jonathan Alder on a walk-off home run in the ninth inning last season in the regional final.

Massie will play Jonathan Alder in the D-II regional final on Saturday.

»OHSAA: No more stacking teams

Jonathan Alder 14, Kenton Ridge 5: Jonathan Alder handed Central Buckeye Conference rival Kenton Ridge (23-2) its only losses this season, including a D-II regional semi at Mason. Carly Turner hit a two-run home run with two outs in the fifth inning with the Cougars trailing 12-1 to help Kenton Ridge avoid losing by the run rule. Jade Espinosa hit a solo home run in the seventh inning.

Kenton Ridge against Jonathan Alder in a Division II regional semifinal on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, at Mason High School. David Jablonski - Staff Writer

»RELATED: D-I baseball sectional photo gallery

North Union 5, West Liberty-Salem 1: North Union tallied two runs in the first inning and made that lead stand in a D-III regional semi at Wright State. Kayle Henderson had a double for the Tigers, who finished 21-3 overall, won the Ohio Heritage Conference (14-1) and were district champs for the second straight season.

North Union (24-2) will play Williamsburg in Saturday’s D-III regional final. Williamsburg advanced by defeating Indian Lake, 10-2.

»RELATED: Senior basketball standout a one-season wonder

Bradford 2, Mechanicsburg 0: Winning pitcher Skipp Miller struck out 12 and allowed just three hits as the Railroaders extended their record-setting postseason in a D-IV regional semi at Greenville. Miller also had two hits, including a double. Bailey Wysong added a run-scoring single and Elisa Martinez knocked in a run.

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Bradford (22-3) will play Parkway (21-4) in Saturday’s D-IV regional final at 11 a.m. Parkway advanced by eliminating Newton 12-2 in a regional semi.

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Butler senior matches regional track record set in 1971

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 12:47 PM

Butler senior Daiton Sharp tied a long jump D-I regional record of 23-11 at Wayne on Wed., May 23, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Butler’s Daiton Sharp took a giant leap into regional track and field history on Wednesday night at Wayne High School.

A senior, Sharp unloaded a long jump of 23 feet, 11 inches on his final attempt to win the Division I meet. That puts him in rarefied air, matching the 23-11 that Jeff Parks of Dayton Roosevelt initially set way back in 1971 (Class AAA), a quantum span of 46 years.

“I knew that was the one,” beamed Sharp, who overcame an outstanding long jump field and will be among the state title contenders in the event. “I was flying and floating in the air.”

»REGIONAL TRACK: “It’s all about moving on”

»IT’S A RECORD: Lakota East flash passes mark that stood since 1990

The top four regional placers advance to next week’s season-ending state track and field meets at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Columbus. Wednesday’s only running final was the 4x800 relay; all other racing was to qualify for Friday’s finals. About half the field events were finals; the other half will be contested on Friday.

The first day of the D-III regional also was held on Wednesday at Troy. It too is on the same schedule as D-I and will resume on Friday.

»PHOTO GALLERY: D-I district track at Wayne

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

Sharp had record company. Lakota East sprinter Serena Clark eclipsed a regional record that had stood since 1990.

Just a sophomore, Clark’s clocking of 11.79 in 100 meters qualifying bested the previous record of 11.81 that D’Andre Hill of Cincinnati Mt. Healthy established in 1990. Hill was an All-American at LSU and ran for the United States in the 1996 Olympic Games at Atlanta.

Clark also qualified first in the 200 (24.42) and ran on East’s 4x100 relay (47.41) that qualified first.

Bellbrook senior McKenna Kramer was second in the high jump. The D-I regional track and field meet was at Wayne on Wed., May 23, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

»RELATED: Butler making surprise D-I baseball run

Springfield senior Quincy Scott had a final long jump of 23-5.25 to pull even with Centerville junior Yariel Soto. Then Sharp answered. He would have been closer to 25 feet had he not fallen back in the landing pit on his hands. An appreciative crowd gasped, then roared in approval after he bounced out of the sand. Competitors raced to congratulate him.

Scott is the defending D-I state runner-up; Sharp was seventh.

»RELATED: Elks’ vaulters push each other to the limit

Soto was awarded second in a tie-breaker of better jumps. All three should be in contention for a D-I state title, which likely will require a leap of 24-plus.

“It’s pretty awesome,” said Sharp, who signed to jump at Saginaw Valley State University. “I’ve been trying to get 24 (feet), I’ll get that at state, though. I’ve been putting in a lot of work and I want to win state this year. That’s my plan.”

»OHSAA: No more stacking teams

Scott had a qualifying-best 10.67 in the 100, was third in the 200 (21.79) and anchored Springfield’s 4x100 relay (42.32) to a third best.

“This is a very special meet for me,” Scott said. “My birthday is on Friday and it’s a regional final.”

»RELATED: D-I baseball sectional photo gallery

• Sophomore anchor Taylor Ewert rallied Beavercreek to a win in the girls 4x800 relay (9:11.75). That also vaults the Beavers into state-title contention. Centerville won the boys 4x800 relay (7:57.57).

• The only other area winner was Centerville’s Collin Jasin in the pole vault (15-2). The senior missed three attempts at 16 feet. Elks teammate Soto was third (14-6).

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• Wayne junior Zarik Brown was first in 200 qualifying (21.59), second in the 100 (10.73) and ran on the fastest 4x100 (42.06) and 4x400 (3:22.29) relays.

• In the D-III regional at Troy, Minster won the girls 4x800 relay (9:25.32) and Fort Loramie the boys (8:10.58).

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Other area winners were Tri-County North senior high jumper Hailey Thies (5-6), Stivers sophomore Ivynn Spears in the long jump (21-10.25), Covington junior Lauren Christian in the shot put (42-8) and Covington senior Jett Murphy in the pole vault (14-8).

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MLS expected to announce Cincinnati expansion bid Tuesday

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 10:42 AM
Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 12:37 PM


            FC Cincinnati lost to New York Red Bulls 3-2 in overtime of their 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal game Tuesday, Aug. 15 at Nippert Stadium on the University of Cincinnati Campus in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
FC Cincinnati lost to New York Red Bulls 3-2 in overtime of their 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal game Tuesday, Aug. 15 at Nippert Stadium on the University of Cincinnati Campus in Cincinnati. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Major League Soccer is expected to announce Cincinnati as its next expansion team on Tuesday.

A press conference ‘regarding Cincinnati’s soccer future’ will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Cincinnati. FC Cincinnati owner Carl Lindner III, MLS Commissioner Don Garber, FC Cincinnati President and General Manager Jeff Berding, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley will be in attendance.

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MLS awarded a bid to Nashville in December and had expected to announce another team at that time as well but delayed a decision as finalists Cincinnati, Detroit and Sacramento all had elements of their bid that needed addressed.

Cincinnati was still sorting out its soccer-specific stadium plans at the time. However, the club finally completed its bid with a West End stadium deal passing with a 5-4 City Council Vote on April 9. The club signed a Community Benefits Agreement was signed with a group representing West End residents last week.

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Springfield standout: ‘It’s all about getting to state’

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 11:01 AM

Springfield senior Quincy Scott was third in the long jump in the D-I regional track and field meet at Wayne on Wed., May 23, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Other than not getting off a legal jump in the Greater Western Ohio Conference meet two weeks ago, Springfield High School senior Quincy Scott had been unbeatable in the long jump.

That changed in the first day of the Division I regional track and field meet at Wayne on Wednesday. The defending D-I state runner-up, Scott sank to third, the first time he hadn’t won this season other than the conference.

»IT’S A RECORD: Lakota East flash passes mark that stood since 1990

»PHOTO GALLERY: D-I district track at Wayne

“It’s all about getting to state and the bigger picture,” Scott said. “Next week is when I make my money. It’s just move on to Friday and get ready for state in four events. It’s like a win-lose situation (on Wednesday).”

The top four regional placers advance to next week’s season-ending state track and field meets at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Columbus. Wednesday’s only running final was the 4x800 relay; all other racing was to qualify for Friday’s finals. About half the field events were finals; the other half will be contested on Friday.

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton

»RELATED: Butler making surprise D-I baseball run

The first day of the D-III regional also was held on Wednesday at Troy. It too is on the same schedule as D-I and will resume on Friday.

Scott was part of an outstanding boys long jump competition that could repeat at state. His final jump of 23-5.25 pulled him even with Centerville junior Yariel Soto, who led with other better jumps. Butler senior Daiton Sharp answered with a final leap of 23-11.

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

»RELATED: Elks’ vaulters push each other to the limit

That matched one of the oldest regional records that initially was set by Jeff Parks of Dayton Roosevelt in 1971 (Class AAA), a span of 47 years.

Scott unloaded a qualifying-best 10.67 in the 100, was third in the 200 (21.79) and anchored the 4x100 relay (42.32) to a third best. Also on the relay were Austin Tyree, Jacob Yost and Michael Brown-Stephens.

“This is a very special meet for me,” Scott said. “My birthday is on Friday and it’s a regional final. My main problem was I was just focusing too much on the meet. I was just worrying too much, but I’m not going to be too hard on myself.”

»OHSAA: No more stacking teams

»RELATED: D-I baseball sectional photo gallery

Tyree, a junior, also advanced to the 300 hurdles final with a third-best time (38.65).

• The Tecumseh boys were seventh in the D-I 4x800 relay (8:06.47) and the Arrows’ girls 4x400 relay advanced to the final (4:06.62).

»RELATED: Senior basketball standout a one-season wonder

• West Liberty-Salem loaded up the four girls relays in the D-III regional at Troy. The Tigers placed third in the 4x800 (9:40.97). Its 4x100 relay (50.67) was second, the 4x400 (4:06.73) third and the 4x200 (1:46.79) fifth in finals qualifying. WL-Salem senior Raiph LeVan also was third in boys 400 qualifying (51.35).

Southeastern junior Charlie Bertemes was fourth in the discus (143-0) and advanced to the D-III state meet. However, Yellow Springs senior Amani Wagner was fifth in the shot put (36-8), missing state by one place.

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