Reds shuffling ninth-inning options

Reds shuffling ninth-inning options

CINCINNATI -- As the Reds rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning on Opening Day against the Cardinals before losing a 1-0 game, reliever J.J. Hoover was warming up in the bullpen for a potential save situation in the top of the ninth. After the rally fizzled, Logan Ondrusek returned to pitch instead.

That did not mean that Hoover is the interim closer for the Reds, according to manager Bryan Price.

"He was the guy in that situation to close out that particular situation," Price said on Wednesday. "We had used [Manny] Parra. It was really a good matchup between Logan and [Matt] Holliday [in the eighth] and that worked out well.

"Logan could have done it. It could have been [Sam] LeCure. It could have been Parra. It could have been [Alfredo] Simon. I'm not to the point where I'm going to designate a guy."

The Reds are without a closer as Aroldis Chapman recovers from fractures above his left eye and nose after being hit by a line drive on March 19. Chapman has yet to begin throwing. His would-be backup, Jonathan Broxton, is on the disabled list after a late start to throwing in spring.

Broxton, who had right forearm surgery in August to repair a torn flexor mass tendon, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Double-A Pensacola on Friday and pitch one inning. He could return for the start of the series in St. Louis on Monday.

"He will be that guy to hold down the fort until Chapman is ready to go," Price said. "He has a little bit more work to do. He's got some back-to-back outings that he's got to have and get through that OK. There has to be a certain amount of durability that's required if he's to be activated early in the season."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.