Moscot progressing in Triple-A rehab

Starter needs to prove later-innings endurance before he can return to rotation

Moscot progressing in Triple-A rehab

CLEVELAND -- Reds right-hander Jon Moscot had what appeared to be a successful rehab assignment start on Sunday for Triple-A Louisville. Moscot threw 69 pitches over five innings vs. Columbus with two earned runs, two hits, three walks, four strikeouts and one homer allowed.

On the disabled list since May 7 with inflammation in his surgically-repaired non-throwing shoulder, Moscot appeared likely to get another start in the Minors before activation.

"A two-run homer in the fifth was really the only damage. He said he felt good, but a little stiff getting started," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Monday. "He had no issues at all with his shoulder. We'll discuss it. One thing we'll consider is another start. I think he felt the fatigue at the end of the fifth inning."

For Moscot to return to the rotation, he would need to show he can go deeper into a game without feeling fatigue.

"He needs to be physically able to throw 100 to 100-plus pitches comfortably without us feeling like he's on fumes there going out for the fifth if he's got 80 pitches," Price saiid. "We have to create some sense of reliability in his ability to be strong for 100-plus pitches."

When he is ready to be activated, it's likely Moscot will go back into the rotation, but Price left the door open somewhat.

"I don't think he was throwing the ball badly when he got hurt," Price said. "I'll leave it open that if [Tim] Adleman is throwing great, he stays in the rotation, and we can look at some other options as well."

Worth noting
• With the Reds optioning reliever Drew Hayes to Louisville on Monday to clear a roster spot for the return of Billy Hamilton, the club is back to seven relievers for the time being. With the designated hitter in place, Price wanted the extra bench player, and there might be less need for an eighth reliever since the pitcher wouldn't need a pinch-hitter for more offense.

"It gives us a chance to give [Jose] Peraza a little bit of a look and experience up here. Then we'll see what we do when we get back home," Price said.

It's a strong possibility that the Reds will add an eighth reliever when they return home on Wednesday.

"I don't want to beat the crap out of the guys who are down there that get the most time, and I still haven't seen enough consistency out of our rotation from an innings perspective to think that a seven-man bullpen's a great idea," Price said. "I imagine we'll be swinging back and forth throughout the year."

• Since being demoted to Louisville on May 7, reliever J.J. Hoover has had three appearances and 2 2/3 scoreless innings. But they all haven't been smooth, and the club would like to see more improvement.

"I think we wanted to see that the command and the stuff is crisper," Price. "When he's locked in, he's 93-95 [mph]. He's had a lot of 90-92 to this point. … When we start to see not just the velocity, but see the hop back in that fastball, we'll know that he's closer to being able to help us."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. 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.