Reds move Jason Marquis into bullpen, Cueto still not ready

CINCINNATI (AP) The Reds moved struggling starter Jason Marquis to the bullpen Friday, leaving them with three rookies in the starting rotation for now.

Marquis signed with the Reds in the offseason, continuing his comeback from Tommy John surgery. He went 3-4 with a 6.46 ERA in nine starts, prompting manager Bryan Price to rearrange his rotation for a series against the Washington Nationals on Friday.

Marquis gave up four runs and 10 hits during 5 2-3 innings of a 5-4 loss on Monday to the Rockies.

Johnny Cueto remains sidelined by inflammation in his pitching elbow, causing him to miss two starts so far. Price said the earliest he would return is a series in Philadelphia next week.

Until Cueto returns, the rotation will include veteran Mike Leake plus rookies Anthony DeSclafani, Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias. They haven't had so many rookie starters since 2010.

''They'll all settle in as starting pitchers in the future for us,'' Price said. ''Our future's arrived a little early. Every time they go out there and take the ball, I'm optimistic that they'll pitch a nice ballgame. I also know there will be an education along the way. They'll learn some lessons.''

Price said catcher Devin Mesoraco - on the disabled list with a sore left hip - will see one more specialist before choosing a treatment option. He could have surgery to fix the problem.

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Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay

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