Reds send handful of top prospects to Minors camp

Cincinnati cuts 11 total, including bullpen hopeful Contreras

Reds send handful of top prospects to Minors camp

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds made their first wave of Spring Training cuts on Monday, sending 11 players out.

Right-handed reliever Carlos Contreras was optioned to Triple-A Louisville, while pitchers Rookie Davis (the Reds' No. 12 prospect), Amir Garrett (No. 4) and Sal Romano (No. 15) were optioned to Double-A Pensacola.

Reassigned to Minor League camp were infielders Alex Blandino (No. 8 prospect), Calten Daal (No. 30) and Eric Jagielo (No. 14), outfielder Phillip Ervin (No. 10) and pitchers Matt Magill and Nick Travieso (No. 9) and catcher Chad Wallach.

Of this group, Contreras was the only one with big league experience, and he was vying for a spot in the wide-open bullpen. In four appearances this spring, he allowed six earned runs and nine hits over 3 2/3 innings, for a 14.73 ERA. Manager Bryan Price wanted to see better command of the strike zone from him.

"This is more of a challenge for Carlos to really put a focus on how he really mentally locks into game situations," Price said. "Because he physically has the stuff to pitch in the big leagues, in my opinion."

A non-roster invitee, Ervin had an impressive spring, batting .391 (9-for-23) with two home runs and five RBIs in nine games. He is likely headed back to Double-A.

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.