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Reds anticipate Marshall's strength will grow

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Reds anticipate Marshall's strength will grow

PITTSBURGH -- Reds lefty reliever Sean Marshall faced two left-handed batters on Wednesday, and none of his six pitches were thrown harder than 81 mph. Marshall got the third out for starter Alfredo Simon in the seventh inning by getting Pedro Alvarez to ground out toward the mound. To begin the eighth, Ike Davis also grounded softy to Marshall for the routine out.

"I thought those first couple of sliders he threw to Alvarez were just off the plate, and then another one to get back into the count and a rollover," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Thursday. "Then he faced Ike Davis and was able to get him out. It was good."

It was Marshall's second appearance since returning from the disabled list on Saturday. He missed all the Reds' Spring Training games with a sore left shoulder. But not throwing any fastballs Wednesday nor having any high-velocity pitches weren't indications that his shoulder is having issues.

"When he was in Triple-A [on a rehab assignment], the numbers that we got on his fastball were 86-91 mph, which is getting closer to where he is," Price said. "And it's cold. I don't know if we have a guy coming out of our bullpen that's shown his typical velocity -- not just our club, but a lot of the clubs we've played. ... He's certainly not in midseason shape at this point, but he's getting there."

There have been no concerns at all about Marshall's shoulder since his return. A similar injury limited him to 16 games last season.

"Now it's just building up the stamina and the strength," Price said. "Probably the only way to do that will be through pitching."

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.

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