ATLANTA -- Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos resumed a throwing program this week and has been playing catch for three days. It's been Latos' first throwing since he came down with a flexor mass tendon strain near his right forearm on April 11 and was shut down.
Latos, who had October elbow surgery to remove bone chips and Feb. 14 surgery to repair a torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee, was scratched from a Minor League rehab assignment game in early April because of the latest setback.
It appears that Latos will not have to go all the way back to the drawing board, however.
"Part way back. It was a 10-day period of no throwing to get the inflammation out of his elbow," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Friday. "It looks like from everything we've heard that mission so far has been accomplished. He's throwing without discomfort. He's been doing a lot of cardio work and strengthening work. So that part has been good. He's not going to go back and throw six bullpens and two live batting practices and start with one inning in a simulated game. If we don't have any setbacks, I imagine he could go out and throw somewhere in neighborhood of 45-60 pitches. I think it would be relatively safe if he's feeling good."
Latos has spent the regular season on the disabled list. Alfredo Simon has a 1.30 ERA in four starts while taking his place in the rotation.
Price did not have an estimated time for when Latos could throw off of a mound again.
"I probably have to lay eyes on him to know for sure and get the recommendation of Dr. [Tim] Kremchek," Price said. "I don't know when the intensity of the throwing will pick up, the length, the duration and distance. When he can go out there and play a good long toss and throw the ball aggressively on flat ground, the next step would be to throw. It's probably a small handful of two or three bullpens before we get him back to facing hitters."
Mesoraco, Frazier exit due to injuries
ATLANTA -- It was a costly Friday night for the Reds during their series-opening 5-4 loss to the Braves as two key players -- catcher Devin Mesoraco and third baseman Todd Frazier -- exited early with injuries.
Mesoraco suffered a strained left hamstring while scoring on a Billy Hamilton double in the seventh inning. He fell down after rounding third base and limped home to score the run.
"It balled up once I got my right foot off the bag and once my left foot planted there, it kind of balled up," Mesoraco said.
Before the bottom of the seventh, Mesoraco was replaced by Brayan Pena. Mesoraco could not say how serious the injury was.
"I don't know. We'll see tomorrow," Mesoraco said. "We'll see in the next couple of days. It definitely doesn't feel like it's a day or two thing. It feels like it's a little bit longer than that. It's just tough to tell right now."
The Reds did not announce a roster move, but prospect Tucker Barnhart was pulled from the game at Triple-A Louisville on Friday evening. Barnhart could be in Atlanta in time for Saturday's game, in case he is needed.
"The severity is it could be significant or it could be something that's a couple or three days," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We'll see. I think we'll have more news for you tomorrow."
If Mesoraco is out long term, it would mean the loss of the club's hottest hitter. Mesoraco, who had a career-high 11-game hitting streak end on Thursday, is hitting .468 with three home runs, and his 13 RBIs are second on the team. He was 1-for-3 with a single in the seventh inning on Friday.
Mesoraco already spent the first week of the season on the disabled list because of a strained left oblique.
Frazier, who was diagnosed with tightness in his left groin, was 1-for-2 in the game and hit a leadoff double in the second inning. He initially showed some discomfort after that hit, enough to bring head trainer Paul Lessard and Price out of the dugout to check on him. Frazier remained in the game, however, and grounded back to the pitcher in the fourth inning. He was lifted before the bottom of the fifth and replaced by Neftali Soto.
"Before the game, it felt pretty tight," Frazier said. "I was on second trying to tell [third-base coach Steve Smith], because after I hit the double, I felt just a little tighter than usual. I told him not to send me if it's going to be close with two outs. It brought them out and I explained to them my legs were tight. They know it's been going on for a little bit. Nothing popped, nothing like that. Maybe just a day off would probably help it out 100 percent. I'm not really worried about it. I'm just being precautious."
Having started all 23 games this season, Frazier is batting .256 with a team-leading four home runs and also 10 RBIs. He had been hitting .389 (7-for-18) over his previous five games.
"My concern was that if it gets worse, it could be significant loss of time," Price said of Frazier. "As all these guys are, they're very valuable pieces to our club and our ability to be successful. He's a big part of our lineup and brings energy every day. I just didn't want to think about any long-term injury and came to the conclusion he needed to come out."
Chapman to throw live BP for second time
ATLANTA -- In what is expected to be his final hurdle before heading out on a Minor League rehab assignment, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman is scheduled on Saturday to throw live batting practice for the second time this week.
Chapman threw 27 pitches against Reds hitters Brayan Pena and Neftali Soto in Pittsburgh on Wednesday and came through with no problems. Saturday's session will be more like a simulated game.
"We'll probably be able to do something in the neighborhood of 35-40 [pitches] divided into two one-inning situational increments," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Friday. "That in of itself gets him closer to being with us. He still has to get out there and do a rehab and face real hitters in game situations, but because he threw so well and has been so good with his throwing, he's in great throwing shape."
Chapman, who was struck in the face by a line drive on March 19 vs. the Royals and suffered fractures above his left eye and nose, pitched from behind a screen on Wednesday. It was not known if he would go with or without the screen on Saturday.
"We haven't gotten that far yet," Price said.
Ondrusek aims to build off outing vs. Bucs
ATLANTA -- When Reds reliever Logan Ondrusek pitched a scoreless seventh inning during Thursday's 2-1 win over the Pirates, it was important for his confidence. Ondrusek was coming off back-to-back bad outings, with the previous one coming last Saturday when he allowed three runs and four hits in two-thirds of an innings vs. the Cubs.
"You've got to build on one," Ondrusek said. "If you have a bad one, you have to forget about it as quick as you can. Once you get back out there, have a good one and build off of it and keep getting better. That's how streaks get started."
It's been tough for Ondrusek to get momentum. The Cubs outing was his first action in 10 days after he gave up two runs and two hits to the Cardinals on April 8. It left him with an 11.25 ERA.
"You try to do your best with it and try to be ready when you're called," Ondrusek said.
On Thursday, Ondrusek gave up a two-out single to Neil Walker and had to face Andrew McCutchen. Entering the at-bat, McCutchen was 4-for-8 with two home runs against Ondrusek, but he grounded into an inning-ending fielder's choice.
"You've got to face guys and can't be afraid of anyone. You have to go after them and do the best you can," Ondrusek said.
Woman files civil suit against Simon
A woman has filed a civil suit against Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon in Washington, D.C., Superior Court, USA TODAY reported Thursday, claiming he sexually assaulted her in April 2013. The unnamed woman is seeking $5 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.
"The allegations are totally baseless," Simon's lawyer, Jack Quinn, told USA TODAY. "Mr. Simon will defend this matter fully and will be totally exonerated."
The woman filed a police report on May 1, four days after the alleged assault was said to have taken place. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia received the report and launched an investigation on May 2. The woman reportedly testified before a grand jury on May 9, but there was no indictment handed down and assistant U.S. attorney Sharon Donovan informed the woman's attorney on May 16 that they would not be pursuing charges in the case.
Simon, 32, is in his third season with the Reds and has gone 3-1 with a 1.30 ERA in four starts this season as injuries forced the reliever into the rotation. The Reds declined comment.