By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer
SARASOTA, Fla. - The list of pitchers competing for the Reds' fifth starting spot is long enough to fill an entire big-league staff.But the Reds were able to sell the opportunity to prospective candidates. Jimmy Anderson, a 27-year-old left-hander, is one of those.
"They've brought in a lot of guys," Anderson said. "But it's a good situation for me. The fifth spot is open. I wanted to stay in the National League, so I thought I'd come here and try to win a job "
Jason LaRue, wearing shin guards and using a catcher's mitt, fields ground balls at second.
(AP/Al Behrman photo)
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Anderson spent most of the last three years in the Pittsburgh Pirates' rotation. His numbers haven't been good - 24-42, 5.17 ERA - but the Reds were willing to take a flyer on him. Maybe it was because Anderson always looked good when pitching against them.
Anderson went 8-13 with a 5.44 ERA last year, but he was 3-1 with a 3.46 ERA against the Reds.
"That probably had something to do with them signing me," Anderson said. "I heard about it from a lot of people."
Anderson, Lance Davis, Osvaldo Fernandez, Pete Harnisch and Jose Rijo are the non-roster players vying for the fifth spot. The Reds also have Chris Reitsma, Jose Acevedo, Luke Hudson and Seth Etherton in the race.
CASEY'S HERE: Sean Casey showed up at the Ed Smith Stadium complex Saturday for a little early work.
Casey is coming off arthroscopic surgery to repair torn muscles in his left shoulder Sept.12.
"I'm feeling good; everything is on schedule," Casey said. "The rehabbing got a little old. It felt like a job. But I know coming in I'll be healthy."
Casey has been hitting - soft toss, not live pitching - for about four weeks. The plan is to ease him into live pitching and be ready when exhibition games start Feb.27.
NULL AND VOID: The Reds voided the contracts of left-hander Jose Rosado and outfielder Greg "Toe" Nash.
Rosado, an oft-injured left-handed pitcher formerly of the Kansas City Royals, was physically unable to pitch.
The Reds backed away from Nash, the Bayou legend, for legal reasons.
Nash, 20, hasn't played in nearly two years, spending nine months in jail after admitting to consensual sex with a 15-year-old girl. According to an Associated Press report, Nash got into a fight three weeks ago in Louisiana.
"He is in our facility and the two charges are probation violation and second-degree battery," said Lt. Todd Weber at the Ascension Parish jail in Donaldsonville, 65 miles northeast of New Orleans.
Nash, who didn't play high school ball, originally was signed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who released him after he got out of jail. The last time Nash played, he hit .240 in Single-A.
STILL MISSING: Neither Rijo nor Ricardo Aramboles had reported to camp as of Saturday afternoon.
Aramboles is dealing with visa problems in the Dominican Republic. The increased scrutiny after the Sept.11, 2001, terrorist attacks has made it more difficult for players to enter the United States.
PROKOPEC EXPECTED: Right-hander Luke Prokopec, a Rule 5 selection, is expected to arrive in camp today. He was given permission to report late to attend a funeral in his native Australia.
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