Shoulder issue keeps Travieso a bit behind

Reds' No. 17 prospect has been able to throw from 75 feet

Shoulder issue keeps Travieso a bit behind

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Nick Travieso would like nothing more than to be among the fleet of young Reds pitchers to show what they have from the mound this spring. But Travieso is behind schedule, slightly, because of a shoulder issue.

During the offseason, Travieso's scapula was pushing against his right shoulder, causing an impingement and discomfort. That's now behind him and he's catching up.

"We started throwing three days ago. It's been going great," Travieso said on Saturday. "I'm just kind of dealing with getting back to my arm slot. I think I found it yesterday getting back to 75 feet. I'm starting to feel back to normal."

Travieso expected to play catch at a distance of 90 feet on Sunday and he hoped to be back on a mound in the next week and a half. He estimated he might be two weeks behind the rest of the pitchers.

Ranked as the organization's No. 17 prospect by, the 23-year-old Travieso was the Reds' first-round selection (No. 14 overall) in the 2012 Draft. With the exception of repeating a season at Class A Dayton in '13-14, he has gradually moved upward each year.

Last season was mixed for Travieso. While he was able to make 23 starts while going 5-7 with a 3.84 ERA in 117 1/3 innings for Double-A Pensacola, he was bogged down by injuries. Two stints on the disabled list were needed for a strained right groin in April and a bruise on the same right shoulder in July.

Travieso's walk rate also jumped to 4.1 per nine innings from the 2.9 he had at Class A Advanced Daytona in 2015.

"Last year was a stepping stone for me. I felt like I learned a lot and went through a lot of ups and downs," Travieso said. "That's part of the game. I think I learned a lot being in Double-A and facing some older guys for the first time, really. If I pitch the way I know how this year, I will be ready to go -- whether I'm in Double-A again or Triple-A."

Travieso found hitters to be more selective at the Double-A level, which forced him to make an adjustment.

"It's more about trusting your stuff and not trying to pitch to the hitter's weaknesses," Travieso said. "That's what I realized throughout the year. I just need to stick to my stuff. If I trust my stuff, I can get anyone out that I want to. If l have the mindset this year, I will be all right."

While prospects such as Amir Garrett, Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed are among those competing for big league rotation spots, pitchers like Travieso, Rookie Davis, Jackson Stephens and Tyler Mahle are viewed as part of the next wave right behind them. They could be nearing a chance at the Major Leagues in the near future if they keep progressing.

Travieso would like to put himself into better position to get that call.

"This is the year where we start showing what we've got. Not just me, but the guys that are coming up in the system together," Travieso said. "There is a lot of opportunity this year. It's there for the taking. I'm looking forward to this season -- whether it's now or midseason or the end of the year -- showing what I've got and hopefully I get a shot to get up there."

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