Fast-rising Somsen has shot to make Reds

Hamilton scratched with stiff shoulder; prospects slated for 'B' game

Fast-rising Somsen has shot to make Reds

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Reds bullpen candidate Layne Somsen has a delivery that is both somewhat atypical and familiar.

"Some people say it's like [Tim] Lincecum to a certain degree, but there is deception there, some command and real good stuff," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He seems to have a very confident attitude, which I think is an essential part of being a big leaguer."

"I've been throwing like that my entire life," Somsen said. "I just continued it and picked up little tidbits of what people have been telling me and incorporated it into my mechanics. It's worked out well."

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Somsen, 26, has moved quickly through the system. After being taken in the 22nd round of the 2013 Draft by the Reds out of South Dakota State University, the Yankton, S.D., native reached Triple-A Louisville in less than three seasons. Last season at Double-A Pensacola and Louisville, he had a combined 2.74 ERA in 27 games with 62 1/3 innings, 47 hits, 30 walks, 60 strikeouts and a 1.235 WHIP. He missed time in June and July with a broken right toe from being hit by a comebacker.

After last season, Somsen also pitched in nine games for Peoria in the Arizona Fall League.

"The Reds have been good to me," Somsen said. "When I was drafted, I was a little bit older. They told me they would move me along as fast as they think I can go. It seems to have worked out for me so far. Hopefully, we can continue the trend."

The Reds have no roles defined in their bullpen and several candidates for jobs, including Somsen, a non-roster invitee. With this being the right-hander's first big league camp, Price hasn't seen him pitch much to draw any conclusions.

"He's coming off a nice year and there are people here who have had him and seen him a lot longer than I have that believe this kid can pitch in the big leagues," Price said. "I'd like to see a lot more of him."

Somsen, who also started four games last year, felt like he'd be comfortable in any role he earned.

"Whatever they want me to do, I'll do it," he said. "Everybody is looking for a utility pitcher."

Friday camp notes:

Billy Hamilton, who was slated to start as the designated hitter Friday, was scratched because of a stiff right shoulder. Hamilton has been working his way back from September surgery on that shoulder.

• Prospects Nick Travieso, Rookie Davis and Zack Weiss will pitch in a "B" game Saturday for the Reds at 11:30 a.m. ET in Goodyear. Another "B" game is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET Monday vs. the Indians, which will feature a start by Robert Stephenson.

"At this point in time it's about the pitching," said Price, who is trying to find enough innings for his 34 pitchers in camp.

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