Cingrani progresses to bullpen session

Reds lefty rehabbing oblique strain; Alcantara making tough job look easy

Cingrani progresses to bullpen session

CINCINNATI -- Injured reliever Tony Cingrani made some progress on Tuesday in his efforts to return from a strained right oblique. The Reds left-hander worked in his first side bullpen session since he went on the 10-day disabled list April 21.

Reds manager Bryan Price and head trainer Steve Baumann were among those supervising the session.

"He threw a 15-pitch bullpen with no restriction," Price said. "The ball came out of his hand good. He didn't have any issues. So he'll progress and throw another bullpen on Friday."

It hasn't been determined if Cingrani will travel with the team to San Francisco to keep throwing, or remain in Cincinnati. If he starts a rehab assignment after the next bullpen session, he might stay behind as the club begins a seven-game road trip Thursday.

"We don't want this kid flying to San Francisco and flying back here," Price said. "If he's going to throw a couple of more bullpens, I would say it's possible he could go on the road trip and throw with us."

Alcantara stays ready to hit

When Arismendy Alcantara stepped up as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning of Monday's 10-4 loss to the Yankees and hit a single to right field, he extended the Major Leagues' longest active streak with a hit in seven straight plate appearances.

Alcantara entered Tuesday's two-game series finale with hits in eight of nine plate appearances and nine of his last 12. To Price, Alcantara's production while playing sparingly so far this season has been impressive.

Alcantara's single to right

"It is when he is 25 years old, a guy who has never had regular at-bats at the big league level, not like 300, 400 or 500 at-bats," Price said. "I think if you look at a guy like [Miguel] Cairo or [Skip] Schumaker, guys that have had really nice careers as regulars and had those seasons of 450-600 at-bats and then moved to that bench role, I think it's a little bit easier. I can't say it's an easy job, but it's easier for the veteran player than it is for the young player."

Alcantara, who was claimed off of waivers during the offseason and made the team in Spring Training, keeps himself occupied during games with assistant hitting coach Tony Jaramillo.

"We have a cage behind the dugout, and every other inning we go inside and get loose and hit against the machine, get flips from Tony and take BP sometimes," Alcantara said.

Alcantara has only 26 at-bats in 20 games but was batting .385/.407/.538 while making three starts. However, he likes his role.

"It's not easy, but you work hard every day and get better," Alcantara said. "You've got to put it in the game when you get a chance, just try to do what you've been doing."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com 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.