CINCINNATI -- Reds lefty reliever Bill Bray will not have a late-inning setup role to start the season. Manager Dusty Baker felt Bray isn't sharp yet, and that he couldn't be used as much early on.
Bray missed most of the Cactus League slate because of a strained left groin. It limited him to 3 2/3 innings over four games. His ERA was 12.27 with three walks and five strikeouts.
"He's had enough to pitch, but not enough to pitch in the role we are accustomed to seeing him or with the regularity we're accustomed to seeing," Baker said Thursday. "He's still in Spring Training [mode]."
Bray not being 100 percent ready prompted Cincinnati to put Aroldis Chapman in the lefty setup role. In 2011, Bray led all Reds pitchers and tied for second in the National League with a career-high 79 appearances.
"We want to use him more in the middle vs. late right now," Baker said. "If something happens adversely and he's not sharp or whatever, you have time and innings to come back, vs. if it was in the eighth or ninth when you don't have time to rebound or come back. You hope nothing does happen. If a guy isn't as sharp as usual, you sort of have to prepare for that."