Marquis makes bid for Reds’ rotation spot
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Cincinnati right-hander Jason Marquis continued his strong comeback with six good innings in the Reds’ 8-6 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
Marquis, 121-114 in 14 big-league seasons, is competing for a spot in the rotation after missing all of 2014 following Tommy John Surgery on his right elbow. In his sixth spring start, he worked six innings and allowed seven hits and three runs with two walks and three strikeouts.
“He needs the innings and the repetitions,” Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. “He’s really taking advantage of his opportunities. I’m pleased with the way he’s throwing the ball.”
Andrew Heaney, acquired from the Dodgers in the Howie Kendrick trade, struggled again in his fifth start for the Angels. He allowed eight hits and six runs with five strikeouts over five innings. The left-hander, who has a 9.00 ERA this spring, is expected to be sent to the minors after manager Mike Scioscia announced he would go with a four-man starting rotation to start the season.
C. J. Cron hit his fourth spring homer, a two-run shot off Marquis in the third inning. Cron figures to see more action as the Angels’ designated hitter this season with Josh Hamilton’s status uncertain.
“Crony is comfortable in the box,” Scioscia said of the first baseman who is hitting .421 this spring. “He put down a hit and run and hit a home run, so he’s showing versatility.”
Chris Dominguez hit his third spring homer off Heaney and had four hits and four RBIs. Irving Falu had three hits for the Reds.
Reds: Marquis has been out since having Tommy John surgery on his elbow in June 2013. He went 9-5 with a 4.05 ERA with San Diego in 2013.
He said he’s happy with his spring.
“I’m excited about any opportunity,” Marquis said. “I feel that I’ve put myself in a good position to possibly claim one of those (rotation) spots, but we’ll see how it goes. Other than that, it was a good day to get myself stretched out and time will tell. We’ll wait for the decision-makers to make their decision.”
Angels: Heaney was believed to have been in contention for a fifth spot in the Angels rotation had Scioscia opted to open the season with five pitchers, but Scioscia told reporters Sunday that he will go to a four-man rotation to start the season. Right-hander Garrett Richards is also expected to return to the team by mid-April. The first date the Angels would need a fifth pitcher would likely be April 14 and that could be Richards.
Heaney said he was disappointed with his spring.
“I came in to camp wanting to make the team,” Heaney said. “I didn’t come into camp wanting to break with Triple-A. It’s not up to me to make decisions, it’s up to them. I want to make decisions easy for them. I don’t feel like I’ve performed to be able to have that.
“When I was ahead in the count, I didn’t put guys away the way I wanted to.”
Reds: C Devin Mesoraco came out of Sunday’s game with a cramp in his left quad that he suffered while rounding second on Brennan Boesch’s double. “I think I got that cramp feeling in there and it’s tough to tell if you actually pulled it or if it was a cramp,” he said. “Right now my strength is good. I’ve missed opening day enough. I want to be in there. Hopefully I’ll be fine.” Mesoraco missed last season’s opening day with an oblique injury.
Angels: Monday figured to be a big start to Angels’ right-hander Nick Tropeano but Scioscia’s decision to go with a four-man starting staff to open the season leaves Tropeano likely to be sent to the minors. He’ll face Seattle’s Taijuan Walker in Peoria.
Reds: RHP Anthony DeSciafani will start vs. San Diego’s Ian Kennedy in Goodyear.