When Tejay Antone walked off the field after playing catch with a trainer before Tuesday's game, he said it was the best he's felt since he went on the 10-day injured list.
"I’m not ready to absolutely rip it yet, but it’s getting better every single day," Antone said. "I’m happy with where I’m at. I’m making progress. I can’t complain. I’m going to stay on track, communicate with the staff, let them know exactly how I’m feeling and go from there.”
Antone is one of several injured Cincinnati Reds players who could return in early August. Here are the latest updates:
• RHP Antone – Sidelined with a right forearm strain, he began throwing again last Friday. He was shut down from throwing for a few weeks after receiving a PRP injection and he could throw his first bullpen session next week.
"It’s coming along good," Antone said. "The first few days were like 'what is this?’ Every day has gotten better so far. First day (of throwing) was not painful but some soreness and stuff. The second day was a little less and the third day was a little less than that. Today was the best day so far. I want to keep making strides like that.
"I’m not rushing it this time. I want to be 100%. I don’t want to be back on the IL again this year after I come off it this time.”
Antone went on the injured list twice in June.
"I keep going back and thinking about that," he said. "I really don’t think I rushed it. I feel I was ready. My velo was there and that’s a big factor for me.”
• CF Nick Senzel, RHP Lucas Sims, IF Alex Blandino – All three players are expected to play at Triple-A Louisville next week on a rehab assignment. Senzel has been taking batting practice and fielding at multiple positions, including shortstop.
Sims (sprained right elbow) has been throwing throughout the last week. Blandino, who broke his right hand when he was hit by a pitch in early June, has ramped up his baseball activities over the past couple of weeks.
• 3B Mike Moustakas – He's been participating in fielding drills throughout the last two days and making strides in his recovery from a heel injury. He went on a rehab assignment last month, but he reaggravated his injury in his first game.
"Moose is progressing a lot quicker now which is great news," Reds manager David Bell said. "He’s going to start a field progression in the next couple days."
• RHP Michael Lorenzen – It appears Lorenzen dodged the type of hamstring strain that would sideline him long-term. He played catch Tuesday about 60 feet away.
"Michael is still early stages of his injury," Bell said, "but very encouraging so far. He can throw fine, can’t fully push off yet to throw a bullpen. That could actually happen in the next week or 10 days. Really good news there."
• RHP Michael Feliz – He halted his rehab assignment during the All-Star break, recovering from a right elbow injury. He's expected to begin a rehab assignment Saturday and throw at least a couple of outings before potentially rejoining the Reds' bullpen.
ROSTER MOVE: With a taxed bullpen from two extra-inning games in the past three days, the Reds called up right-hander Ashton Goudeau before Tuesday's game and optioned Vladimir Gutierrez to Triple-A Louisville.
Gutierrez started Monday's game, so he's unavailable for at least four days. The Reds are already operating with a six-man rotation, which includes Jeff Hoffman, so he may not miss a start.
HEY, FRIEND: Before Tuesday's game, Antone took a picture with injured New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard.
The two pitchers were high school teammates in Mansfield, Texas.
“When I played with him, he was a senior and I was a sophomore," Antone said. "He was nasty in high school. He was like 94-98 in high school. All right, you’re No. 1. I was a little sophomore throwing probably 86 and spot it up good.”
Antone said it was tough that they were both on the injured list because it would be "the dream" to pitch against each other. He laughed at the memory of how Syndergaard grew five inches before his senior year and transformed from a "pudgy" pitcher into his strong physique.
“It was funny," Antone said. "We were like, ‘what did you do this summer?’ He was like, ‘yeah, I did P90X.’ This was back when P90X was kind of cool. Of course, after that season during the summer, I’m like, ‘I’m going to buy P90X.’ I did it after my sophomore year. I didn’t get as jacked as him.”
Antone and Syndergaard played in the same league growing up, but Antone said he had nothing to hold over Syndergaard's head as a hitter.
“Maybe next year, I will be a starter and we’ll both be healthy, and we’ll get a start against each other," Antone said. "Then I can get a ‘W’ and then I can hold something over his head.”
CASTELLANOS STILL OUT: Nick Castellanos remained out of the lineup Tuesday. He had one at-bat in the 11th inning Monday as the last position player on the Reds' bench.
In his first at-bat in three games, Castellanos flew out to the warning track in right field on a one-handed swing.
"As great of a player as Nick is, as great of a year he’s having, he’s injured," Bell said. "That was an amazing swing he got off (Monday), that’s encouraging. But to be able to have him be an option ahead of our other position players, with this injury we got to make sure it’s healthy enough to where he’s not going to reinjure it."