Redding uncertain after outing goes awry

You look at right-handed bullpen candidate Tim Redding’s rough stat line — five runs and seven hits in two innings — and wonder if it would have been different had something gone right.

There was a close pitch to Mark Kotsay that could have been his second strikeout of the seventh inning. Instead, Kotsay lined a pitch to left that Eric Young Jr., trying to build his outfield skills so he can play a utility role, couldn’t pull in after getting a glove on it. There were a couple of grounders that went right past Redding. There was a bloop single.

Redding (1-1, 8.74 ERA in five Cactus League games) couldn’t wrap his mind around it all.

“The strikes I’m throwing are getting hit, balls are finding holes … I really don’t have anything for you,” Redding said. “I’m not overthrowing. I’m not trying to do anything other than throw strikes and get guys out. Today just seemed everything that I threw that was a strike, a good strike or a bad srike, was getting hit hard. The balls that weren’t hit as hard found a way to get through somewhere.”

Redding, who has been used mostly as a starter, was brought in under a Minor League contract as insurance in case left-hander Jeff Francis needed more time. Francis is returning after missing last season because of shoulder surgery, but his health has not been an issue. The Rockies told Redding recently his best chance to make the team is as a reliever.

Redding is competing with right-handers Justin Speier and Juan Rincon, as well as lefty Joe Beimel, for a long man role in the bullpen. Beimel, signed just days ago, pitched one inning in a Minor League game (two hits, two runs, one earned) on Sunday, and will pitch in a Cactus League game on Monday.

Rincon pitched out of a first-and-third situation and forced an inning-ending double play in the ninth, and has a 4.00 ERA in four games. Speier has a 2.70 ERA in nine appearances, and has a split-finger pitch that allows him to attack right-handed and left-handed batters.

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