Positive development Wednesday in Reds camp.
According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, starter Mat Latos tossed two scoreless innings against minor league hitters in his first live appearance since undergoing surgery on February 14 to repair a tear of the meniscus in his left knee.
Latos threw 31 pitches — 19 strikes — giving up three hits but fanning four. His fastball averaged 92-94 mph and a couple of times touched 95 mph.
“I can’t really complain for the first time,” the right-hander told Rosecrans after his outing on Wednesday. “That first inning I was amped up and (was full of) adrenaline — I was shaking on the mound, just trying to get the nerves out. It’s something I’ve done for a long time, but with the crap I’ve been through the last couple of months, it was definitely exciting.”
Latos is aiming to join the Reds’ regular-season rotation on or around April 6.
He had a stellar 3.16 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 210 2/3 innings last year.
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.