OAKLAND -- Bronson Arroyo isn't exactly sure what's been wrong, but he's making adjustments to fix it. The Reds starting pitcher, winless since May 6, has altered his diet and his throwing and workout programs lately. So far, to no avail. He has felt like his fastball lacks the zip it used to have. "I feel 100 percent as far as throwing the ball. It's just not coming out of the hand," Arroyo said on Monday. "I can definitely tell a difference. I could really tell the other day. I had nine good starts to start the season, and I wasn't throwing as hard as I was last year. It's not like it's the sole reason for it. It just makes it easier to get away with more mistakes when guys have to respect you a little bit more instead of just sitting on the soft stuff."
Arroyo gave up seven runs, six earned, over six innings in Sunday's 11-4 loss to the Rangers. In nine starts since May 6, the right-hander's record has gone from 2-2 with a 2.85 ERA to 2-8 with a 5.24 ERA. The only thing Arroyo hasn't tried yet is pushing a start back a couple of days or so for some extra rest and recovery. Because of a scheduled off-day on Thursday, Arroyo will start Saturday at Seattle on five days' rest instead of the usual four. But it's possible he could be given a couple of more extra days if Reds manager Jerry Narron adjusts his rotation. "We've talked about it, but we haven't talked with Bronson about it," Narron said. Arroyo normally doesn't like getting extra days off, but he wouldn't complain if Narron ordered it. "Last year, the way I threw all season, I felt like I had a right to say, 'Hey, me and Aaron [Harang] should stay on five days," Arroyo said. "Aaron still has the right to say that. I have no right to say anything. I'll pitch when you give me the freaking ball. I've had five out of six bad outings. I'm on the bottom of the totem pole." Narron believes Arroyo has been nibbling around the plate and hasn't been aggressive enough -- and not just with his fastball. "He's going deep in the counts," Narron said. "He's got the kind of stuff that he can get guys out quick. He's got command off all his pitches that he can throw them all in the strike zone."
No worries: Trade rumors? What trade rumors?Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn entered Monday's game with the A's batting a combined .413 (19-for-46) with seven homers and 15 RBIs since Tuesday. That coincided with Dunn being moved to the order's cleanup spot behind the No. 3-hitting Griffey. It's also when trade rumors about Dunn started really heating up. Griffey's name has also circulated through the rumor mill lately. "I don't even worry about it," Griffey said. "We don't have control over it. They can talk to whoever they want to. I've got to worry about things here, not who they're talking to and who they're not talking to." Ditto for Dunn, who on Monday was named the National League's Player of the Week. "There's nothing I can do about it," said Dunn, who was 12-for-24 (.500) with four homers last week, including two on Sunday against the Rangers. "People make a lot bigger deal of it than I do." Unlike Dunn, Griffey is a 10-5 player (at least 10 years service, five with one club) and can't be traded without his approval. "The Reds have not approached us about any potential trade," said Griffey's agent, Brian Goldberg. Guardado update: Rehabilitating closer Eddie Guardado had his first rough outing on Sunday. In his latest appearance for Triple-A Louisville, Guardado gave up two earned runs with three hits and a walk in just one-third of an inning. He threw 19 pitches in the game vs. Rochester. Guardado, trying to return from September ligament replacement surgery on his elbow, returned on Monday with a scoreless inning and one hit allowed in 10 pitches at Buffalo in his first back-to-back outing. The 36-year-old Guardado's 30-day rehab assignment began on May 28, which means the Reds will have to make a decision soon whether to activate him. "It's going to be a lot where we look to Dr. [Tim] Kremchek and our medical staff to help us out here," Narron said. "I want him back, and I'm sure everybody in the clubhouse wants him back. But we don't want him to jeopardize his career coming back too soon. This is in somebody's hands besides mine. Selfishly, I'd love to push for him, but I'm not going to do that." As the lineup turns: With the Reds in an American League park for Interleague Play, Griffey served as the designated hitter on Monday. Narron indicated he could have different players in the DH role over all six games in Oakland and Seattle. Norris Hopper started in right field, his first start since June 10. Despite Griffey and Dunn's success back-to-back, they were split up against Oakland. Brandon Phillips was the fourth hitter, with Dunn batting fifth. Phillips left Sunday's game early after getting hit in the hand by a pitch in the first inning. X-rays were negative. More signings: Four more 2007 Draft picks were signed on Monday, including pitchers Harris Honeycutt (10th round), Raymond Jeffords (19th round) and Robert Rhoden (22nd round) and outfielder Brandon Menchaca (13th round). Coming up: Rookie Homer Bailey (1-0, 5.73 ERA) will make his third big-league start when the Reds face the A's at McAfee Coliseum on Tuesday at 10:05 p.m. ET. Chad Gaudin (6-1, 2.85) is scheduled to start for Oakland.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.