Dontrelle Willis fails to make Reds’ bullpen, heads to Triple-A

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Dontrelle Willis’ latest comeback attempt has hit a snag, as he failed to secure a spot in the Reds’ bullpen and has been reassigned to Triple-A.

Willis had to agree to the Triple-A assignment, so clearly he thinks the Reds still give him the best opportunity to get back to the majors at some point.

Dusty Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Willis “was real close to making it 10 days, 10 weeks ago” but “kind of regressed a little bit” late in camp.

Baker also indicated that he’ll be used as a starter in the minors, although that may be mostly due to the Reds’ recent rash of injuries sapping their once-strong rotation depth. Willis is still just 29 years old, but hasn’t been healthy and effective as a starter or a reliever since 2006.

Tim Beckham to miss six to seven weeks after undergoing core muscle surgery

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Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com reports that Orioles third baseman Tim Beckham underwent core muscle surgery in Philadelphia on Thursday and is expected to miss the next six to seven weeks.

Beckham, 28, was originally diagnosed with a strained left groin. He sustained the injury during spring training and reaggravated it on Monday against the Indians.

Beckham was off to a slow start, batting .179/.247/.262 in 93 plate appearances. Danny Valencia and Jace Peterson should handle the hot corner while Beckham is out.