Chris Carpenter begins rehab assignment at Double-A

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Chris Carpenter took a big step yesterday in his recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome, making his first minor-league rehab start at Double-A.

Carpenter threw 2.2 innings in his first game action since last year, striking out five and walking two while allowing three runs on six hits. In terms of numbers it wasn’t an impressive outing for Carpenter, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the 38-year-old right-hander was clocked as high as 95 miles per hour with his fastball.

Allen Vaughan, who was at the game reporting for MLB.com, had a slightly different velocity story, writing that “his fastball sat between 89 mph and 92 mph, and his cutter ranged from 86 to 88.”

Either way, Carpenter’s fastball averaged 90.5 miles per hour in 2012 and most importantly after yesterday’s start he seemed very optimistic about how he felt physically.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.