ST. LOUIS -- The Reds certainly would have preferred not to have opened the regular season with three relievers on the disabled list and another one in the rotation.
Alas, the adversity has yielded a bright spot, as it's given rookie reliever Nick Christiani a chance to step up. Christiani has worked three games, allowing just two hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings.
"I feel like I'm throwing the ball pretty well," Christiani said on Wednesday. "I'm able to be used in a multitude of situations and I'm trying to be useful to help the team any way I can."
Because of injuries, Cincinnati is without Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall and was missing Jonathan Broxton until his activation from the disabled list on Tuesday. Alfredo Simon is in the rotation until Mat Latos can return. Those losses enabled Christiani and Trevor Bell to make the team. While Bell struggled in his two outings and is now on the DL himself, Christiani has thrived thus far.
"He's been terrific," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I think we're all confident Nick would do a good job if he made our club out of Spring Training. If we were whole, he would have been hard-pressed to have made the team. He's taken advantage of his opportunities. He's given me one more guy to have confidence in bringing in late-game situations. That's how it starts -- opportunity, taking advantage of opportunity and then increasing your role on the club. He's certainly headed in that direction."
Christiani, 26, had twice entered in the fifth inning before working the eighth of Tuesday's 7-5 loss to the Cardinals. He pitched two innings in Monday's 5-3 defeat. The right-hander has yet to enter with a lead to protect, but he's kept the opponent from adding on, which at least enables the possibility of a comeback for his team.
"My mindset is to be ready from the time the first pitch is thrown," Christiani said. "You never know when your number will get called. Those important innings can be in the ninth inning or the third inning. You never know when the game can swing."
Reds playing it safe with rehabbing Latos
ST. LOUIS -- Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos, who had a rehab start with Triple-A Louisville scratched on Tuesday because of right elbow inflammation, has been told to rest his arm before he resumes pitching.
"We're going to give him a couple of days off from throwing," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Wednesday. "He had some improvement [Tuesday], but we're going to give him a little more time off before he starts to throw again. It doesn't look like a significant setback at this point."
Latos was close to returning to the Reds' rotation after he had offseason right elbow surgery to remove bone chips and February surgery that repaired a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Frazier finds way to contribute in off night
ST. LOUIS -- Todd Frazier would be more than happy to forget his night at the plate during Tuesday's 7-5 loss to the Cardinals. The third baseman was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Frazier did have a memorable moment in the field, however, in the fourth inning. With pitcher Homer Bailey struggling in a 4-4 tie, Frazier made a nice diving stop on a hard grounder from Allen Craig. He was able to turn an inning-ending double play.
"That was great. I didn't do much at the plate yesterday, but I thought that could have been a really big key play in the game," Frazier said. "We went up one run the next inning. It kept us in the game. If you can't hit that day, figure out a way to make a play on defense. I always take pride in my defense."