Chapman to keep working multiple innings in Spring Training

Hamilton, Mesoraco due back in Reds lineup Sunday vs. Royals

Chapman to keep working multiple innings in Spring Training

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- During his latest appearance for the Reds on Friday against the Dodgers, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman worked two innings. Chapman also pitched two innings in his previous game against the Angels on Monday.

A couple of springs ago in 2013, the Reds stretched Chapman out for longer appearances because the club considered making him a starter.

"The repetitions were what I felt really helped him get comfortable with his mechanics and get comfortable throwing that slider and changeup," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Even though we're going to limit him to one or two innings during the season, Spring Training is a great opportunity for him to connect with his mechanics and off-speed pitches.

"We figured it's not broke, let's not try to fix it. He's not going to throw four or five innings but multiple-inning outings in the spring will be something fairly commonplace for Aroldis."

Chapman allowed one run vs. the Dodgers and has allowed two hits, one walk with six strikeouts in his five innings over three appearances.

Other items of note from Saturday at Reds camp:

• The Reds got right fielder Jay Bruce back in the lineup on Saturday after he missed three games with a strained right calf. Catcher Devin Mesoraco and center fielder Billy Hamilton are expected back on Sunday.

Mesoraco sustained a concussion on March 7 against the Royals when a foul tip struck his mask. Hamilton hurt his right shoulder in a wall collision vs. the Cubs on March 6.

"My understanding is everything is a go with Devin," Price said. "There is paperwork that has to be filed with MLB and the players union. They have to sign off on it. That's really the only thing we're waiting for. … Unless they don't sign off, he'll be in the lineup [Sunday]."

• Several Reds relievers have seen less action through the early portion of spring games, which was intentionally planned. With Minor League games beginning next week, more opportunities and innings will be created for the pitching staff.

"The other initial challenge for the first two weeks of games is the number of pitchers we have and the number of guys we're trying to stretch to look at as starters. You'll see the relievers back loaded as far as appearances and innings in the second part of the spring schedule," Price said.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.