Garrett vies for rotation after impressive '16

Reds' No. 2 prospect made his first Spring Training start on Saturday

Garrett vies for rotation after impressive '16

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Not just because he knows he has a strong chance to earn a rotation spot, Amir Garrett had some jitters before taking the mound on Saturday vs. the Indians.

It's Garrett's third big league Spring Training, but it was the first time he made a start in a big league Cactus League game. The left-hander pitched 1 2/3 innings in Cincinnati's 8-2 loss and allowed one earned run, two hits, two walks while striking out two.

"I didn't know what my nerves would be like today. Going into the game, I was pretty nervous, I'm not going to lie," Garrett said. "I'm all calm now. I got the first one out of the way, and I'm ready to roll."

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Garrett encountered some trouble in the first inning, when Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez doubled to the right-center-field wall and Edwin Encarnacion drove him in with a single.

Both of Garrett's strikeouts came on sliders, including against Indians designated hitter Carlos Santana. Later in the first inning, he struck out catcher Yan Gomes looking.

The Reds' No. 2 prospect and No. 66 in all of baseball, according to, the 24-year-old Garrett went 2-5 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 12 games, 11 starts, and 67 2/3 innings for Triple-A Louisville. That came after he was 5-3 with a 1.75 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 13 games, 12 starts, over 77 innings for Double-A Pensacola.

"Certainly no one is more intriguing than Amir coming off of the season he had last year," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Garrett is competing with Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed, Lisalverto Bonilla, Tim Adleman and Bronson Arroyo for a rotation spot. He is living with Stephenson, Reed and Sal Romano this spring.

"It's going to be tough," Garrett said. "All of those guys are my good friends. We're all competing for the last spot. It can be any one of ours. We all have got great stuff, and we all compete. I'm just looking forward to seeing what happens at the end. Whoever gets it, I'm happy for them."

Through the early part of camp, Garrett felt like he has impressed so far.

"I've been executing my pitches a lot," he said. "Even when I miss, I'm missing to the side that I want to miss on. I'm locating my pitches and showing them that I'm able to do that. I'm going out there and working hard. I think that's being noticed, as well."

More camp notes from Saturday

• Right-hander Louis Coleman, a non-roster invitee to Major League camp, has been shut down from throwing because of right biceps tendinitis.

"We're going to give him some time to let it cool off and get the inflammation out of there," Price said on Saturday. "We don't think it's going to be a long-term issue at all."

• Starting pitcher Nick Travieso, who was dealing with an impingement in his shoulder since before camp opened, has yet to throw off of a mound, but the 23-year-old is continuing to make progress in his throwing program, Price said.

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.