Straily instills confidence with solid start

Right-hander's 5-frame, 1-run outing comes after 3 innings in relief Friday

Straily instills confidence with solid start

CINCINNATI -- Dan Straily doesn't know if his time in the Reds rotation is a short-term or long-term situation. On Monday vs. the Rockies, Straily put the ambiguity aside and pumped strikes.

During a 5-1 Reds loss, Straily picked up a no-decision after he threw five innings and gave up one run, two hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He was lifted from the game with the Reds trailing, 1-0.

"He's been very efficient for us out of the bullpen and very durable," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We didn't know what we would get today. However, we ended up getting five real nice innings and a chance to win the game."

Straily was an April 2 waiver claim from the Padres, who had just acquired him in a trade with the Astros. A career starter, Straily was used as a long reliever by the Reds. He worked three solid appearances, including Friday for three innings vs. the Cardinals, which earned him a chance to replace the struggling Tim Melville in the rotation.

"It was nice to go out there and jump into my routine, and basically just get hot for one time in the day. It was nice to get a start," Straily said.

Straily on solid start

Hovering mostly in the 88-91 mph range and topping out at 92 mph vs. Colorado, the right-handed Straily threw 52 of his 76 pitches for strikes and first-pitch strikes to 13 of his 18 batters.

"That was the goal for today," Straily said of the first-pitch strikes. "I knew [Price] was going to limit my pitch count just based on the way we got to where we are at this point. I knew the only way to get deep enough in the ballgame and save the bullpen as much as I could was to be efficient. So I was trying to get ahead and trying to get everybody out in three pitches or less. It's the stuff you're supposed to do every time, but it was the main focus tonight."

Straily gave up Nolan Arenado's leadoff single in the second inning, followed by Ben Paulsen's walk. Following a sacrifice, Arenado scored on a groundout. After that, Straily faced one over the minimum batters.

"He'll have a little bit more room to accumulate pitches and innings his next start," Price said. "Just two days removed from a three-inning relief stint, it didn't make sense to extend him beyond where he went today."

The Reds are getting some injured starters back soon. John Lamb is on a rehab assignment while Anthony DeSclafani is expected to get two starts on his rehab assignment, and Homer Bailey is slated for three. When the reshuffling is complete, could more outings like this keep Straily in the rotation?

"I think all those things work themselves out over time," Straily said. "There are needs everywhere all the time over the course of the season. I'm not trying to worry about that or think about that. I'm just trying to come in each day and prepare myself to pitch for the next time out."

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.