Reds-Cubs series opener rained out
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Reds lost a game to the weather — a recurring problem this season — and took a couple more steps toward getting some injured players back on the roster.
The opening game of a series with the Chicago Cubs was postponed on Monday following a 57-minute delay to the first pitch. It was the eighth postponement in 12 years at Great American Ball Park.
The game wasn’t immediately rescheduled. Manager Bryan Price said the game won’t be made up during this series. The Cubs visit for a four-game series from July 7-10.
“There’s no way we’ll make it up in this series,” Price said. “The way it works out, we’ll probably be able to make it up during that series in July before the All-Star break.”
Rain has been a problem in Cincinnati this season. The Reds have had one game postponed and another suspended overnight because of rain. They’ve had rain delays for four of the 10 games totaling 8 hours, 57 minutes.
The teams will stay on schedule with their starters. Chicago’s Jeff Samardzija will face the Reds’ Alfredo Simon on Tuesday night.
It will be Simon’s first scheduled start since an unidentified woman filed a civil lawsuit against him in a Washington, D.C. court last Thursday, claiming he sexually assaulted her in a hotel one year ago.
“I take him at his word that nothing happened and he’s assured me that he’s ready to pitch and his focus is on pitching,” Price said.
Simon has been one of Cincinnati’s best starters while filling in for the injured Mat Latos, who had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee on Feb. 14. Simon is 3-1 with a 1.30 earned run average in four starts.
Latos had a setback in his recovery from the knee problem when he developed soreness in his pitching forearm near the elbow. He has resumed playing catch and could get back to throwing off the bullpen mound later this week.
“Once we get him on the mound a couple of times, then we go out there and do a simulated game and then get him into rehab games,” Price said. “He’s not like starting from square one, even though he’s just playing catch now.
“If we don’t have any setbacks, we should be able to progress pretty quickly through this rehab.”
Closer Aroldis Chapman is scheduled to throw to Reds batters again on Tuesday before the game. If that goes well, he could start a rehab stint in the minors.
Chapman was hit on the forehead by a line drive on March 19 and had a metal plate inserted in his forehead to help fractures heal.
“If everything goes well with that (on Tuesday), then we anticipate getting him out on a short rehab and then having him back with us pretty quickly,” Price said.
Samardzija is trying to break a streak of 11 straight starts without a win since last Aug. 30. Samardzija has pitched well — quality starts his last eight games — but the Cubs have scored only 21 runs while he was on the mound in the last 10 games.
Last Wednesday, Samardzija left with a 5-2 lead before Arizona rallied for a 7-5 win.
The Cubs haven’t fared well against the Reds overall. They dropped two of three at Wrigley Field this month and haven’t won the season series against Cincinnati since 2009. They’re 6-16 against Cincinnati over the last two seasons and 10-28 over the last three.
NOTES: Cubs RH Jake Arrieta will be activated off the DL and could start later this week. He’s been sidelined since March 21 with tightness in his pitching shoulder. RH Carlos Villanueva will move into the bullpen. … RF Nate Schierholtz was going to get a day off. … The Reds’ Skip Schumaker started a rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville on Monday. He’s recovering from a separated left shoulder sustained during spring training.