Notes: Wind doesn't cease for Arroyo

Notes: Wind doesn't cease for Arroyo

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Bronson Arroyo had his first start limited because of the flu, and he still made quick work of the Blue Jays. His second start, scheduled for Friday night, was rained out.

The Reds starter threw 55 pitches in four innings on Saturday morning during a simulated game. Working on a back practice field, Arroyo had a stiff wind blowing in behind him that gusted upwards of 25-30 mph.

"It was miserable," Arroyo said of the conditions. "I don't think there's a ballpark around that was that windy, except Candlestick. I don't think Mark McGwire could hit a ball out of there today, even in batting practice."

The weather certainly wasn't Florida-like, with temperatures in the high 50s, low 60s. Of course, it didn't compare with the blizzard back in Cincinnati. But in between innings, Arroyo sat on a wooden bench in the open dugout and kept warm with a coat on. He also had a shirt stretched over his legs.

Arroyo couldn't use his breaking pitches -- fearing they'd straighten out because of the high winds.

"I haven't even thrown a breaking ball yet in a game," Arroyo said. "I threw all fastballs and five changeups today. I was trying to get sore. I'm probably not, but I just feel like I'm behind. I missed a day and threw only 20 pitches the other day. I wanted to really give my arm a pounding. If my arm is nice and sore tomorrow, I'll be happy."

Arroyo is scheduled to pitch again on Thursday vs. the Phillies.

"I'll be fine if I get four or five solid innings against the Phillies," he said. "I just want to get my pitch count up, throw some breaking balls and feel like I'm in a real season game. I haven't felt that yet."

Affeldt starts: Inside Ed Smith Stadium for his start against the Braves, lefty Jeremy Affeldt had the opposite issue with the wind than Arroyo. It was blowing out.

"When the wind is blowing, usually your changeup and curveball are really good, and they were," Affeldt said. "My fastball seemed to be moving way more than I wanted to, and it moved back over the plate, which was not helping."

Affeldt pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed six earned runs, six hits and two walks with two strikeouts in the Reds' 13-8 win over Atlanta on Saturday. He used just eight pitches each in scoreless first and second innings. Back-to-back walks to start the third led to two runs.

In a four-run fourth, four straight batters notched hits, including Diory Hernandez's homer that finished Affeldt's day.

Still, Affeldt finished with 58 pitches for his third start. He felt the conversion from being a reliever to a possible starter was on track.

Spring Training
News and features:
• Jerry Hairston on being with Reds  400K
• Dusty Baker on the first game  400K
• Belisle on his spring debut  400K
• Reds' Green on his '08 hopes  400K
• Mercker on his spring debut  400K
• Fogg on his spring debut  400K
Spring Training info: coverage  |  Schedule  |  Ballpark  |  Tickets

"My arm felt good," Affeldt said. "It might have felt too good today, because I was getting a little ahead of myself sometimes. I don't feel like I'm getting tired. I don't think my command issue with my fastball today was because I was tired. It was just running a lot."

Getting up to speed: Recent acquisitions Corey Patterson and Jerry Hairston Jr. were among the hitters that faced Arroyo in the simulated game. Since arriving in camp earlier this week, both have facing a steady diet of pitching to catch up after signing late.

"We saw a lot of pitchers throw the past two or three days. It's going great," said Patterson, who will compete for the center-field job. "You just work on your approach every day. Some people made a big deal that, 'Oh, you're weeks and weeks behind.' But when you do something for years and years, it doesn't take long to catch up."

Manager Dusty Baker hoped to get Patterson and Hairston into their first game by Tuesday, when the Reds have split-squad games.

"Everybody else had four or five days before they started playing," Baker said.

Freel OK: Outfielder Ryan Freel had just a small contusion on his left wrist on Saturday, a day after he was hit by a pitch against the Pirates and left the game. Freel, who turned 32 on Saturday, said he was OK and ready to play.

Cuts? The Reds still have 62 players in camp, including 35 pitchers -- some of whom have yet to get work. Although Baker met with general manager Wayne Krivsky on Saturday morning, the team has yet to make any roster cuts. Baker gave no indication about when the trimming would start.

"I don't really know. If I did, I really wouldn't say," Baker said. "It'd be like walking death row for some guys. Cut day is no joke. It's the day I hate most in baseball season, especially the later cuts. Those are really tough. There might be more than 25 guys that deserve to be on the team. That makes it tough, too."

Up next: Cincinnati righty Matt Belisle will make his third start and Josh Fogg is scheduled to follow on Sunday, when the Reds meet the Rays at 1:05 p.m. ET in St. Petersburg. Edwin Jackson is Tampa Bay's scheduled starter.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.