Thompson Shoulders Load In Return For Reds

CINCINNATI—The 2010 season was not a good one for righthander Daryl Thompson. He was coming off shoulder surgery, and then he dealt with a case of mononucleosis and the flu.

"I don't think we ever saw him physically 100 percent in the summer," farm director Terry Reynolds said. "He really struggled."

He's not struggling anymore. Thompson regained his form in the Arizona Fall League, where he finished with a 4.50 ERA after six appearances. He allowed 18 hits, struck out 16 and walked eight in the 18 innings.

"I saw him a couple of times," Reynolds said. "He looked really good—probably as good as he's looked in a year and a half."

Thompson, 25, was on the fast track a couple of years ago. The Reds got Thompson in 2006 as part of an eight-player deal with the Nationals. He was coming off a shoulder injury when the Reds got him.

Thompson was healthy and pitched well in 2007, then started '08 at Double-A Chattanooga, where he went 3-2, 1.76 in 10 starts. He went 5-0, 2.76 in seven starts at Triple-A Louisville, which led to a promotion the big leagues on June 21.

Thompson pitched five scoreless innings at Yankee Stadium in his big league debut and ended up making three starts for the big league club, going 0-2, 6.91.

The first real hint of trouble came when he was sent back to Louisville. He spent a month on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder. Still, he was named the organization's 2008 minor league pitcher of the year based on his 8-4, 2.76 mark.

Injury problems became more pronounced in 2009. A sore elbow and then a sore shoulder limited him to eight games. He finally had shoulder surgery on Aug. 25. He began this year rehabbing, pitched briefly in the Rookie-level Arizona League, then went 0-5, 3.71 in 51 innings for Double-A Carolina.

"He's back throwing like he was before the surgery," Reynolds said. "He'll go to spring to compete for a job. He's been in the big leagues before. I would rule anything out."


• The Reds still had not named the staffs for any of the minor league affiliates, other than Louisville. Manager Rick Sweet, pitching coach Ted Power and hitting coach Smokey Garrett will be back for the Bats.

• Third baseman Juan Francisco was leading the Dominican League in slugging for the second straight season, batting .347/.400/.644 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs after 25 games.