Navigating the Reds’ Injuries
During the last week, I was away for several days on a business trip and lost touch with the Cincinnati Reds a bit. Well, I didn’t lose touch with how they fared–smart phones make sure you can always know the score–but I did lose track of all the injured players. So here’s my rundown with all of them, including an update on their recovery status.
First, the guys who are still with the team.
- Aroldis Chapman – Chapman was taken out of a game early after his fastball was topping out in the low-to-mid 90s. That’s definitely cause for concern, but the team thinks it’s just a combination of being used in 4 out of 5 games and a little bit of shoulder inflammation. Chapman hasn’t appeared in the last 4 games, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him reappear to face just a batter or two soon.
- Juan Francisco – Francisco left Saturday’s game early after pulling up with a leg cramp after a basehit in the 8th. Well, that’s what it appeared at first. When he still was limping today, the club realized it was more than a cramp. That’s the extent of the information on his injury.
- Brandon Phillips – Phillips missed his third consecutive start on Sunday due to a groin injury. Despite stating he’s unavailable, the Reds and manager Dusty Baker have stated that Phillips won’t be placed on the disabled list. “He’s getting better. We don’t have to rush him back,” Baker said. “We don’t think we have to DL him, either. This (cold) weather isn’t helping.” Baker has always shown a preference for being safer than sorry with day-to-day injuries, and it’s hard to fault him for doing that with Phillips here in April.
So currently there are 3 people on the Reds’ Major League active roster that aren’t able to be used. Nothing like being short-handed. No wonder they’ve struggled so much with the Pittsburgh Pirates. When will reinforcements arrive?
- Jose Arredondo – The reliever was placed on the 15-day disabled list at the end of Spring Training. He’s currently rehabbing in AA and allowed 1 earned run in 1 2/3 innings pitched Sunday.
- Homer Bailey – Bailey started for the Louisville Bats Sunday and was very sharp. It took him 62 pitches to go 5 shutout innings. He struck out 2 and walked one. He’s ahead of fellow injured starter Cueto in his rehab, so Bailey’s likely to return to the Reds’ rotation first, but it probably won’t be until late April.
- Jared Burton – Burton had his first throwing session since being shutdown with shoulder inflammation. The oft-injured reliever will be needing a rehab assignment once he’s healthy enough to throw.
- Johnny Cueto – Cueto started for the Bats Saturday night. He last 3 1/3 innings, allowing 2 hist, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, and 4 strike-outs. But the most important bit from that outing is this quote from Cueto himself, “I feel good, no pain.” Cueto will start at least twice more for the Bats to get his pitch count up before being ready to be activated. Late April is the target time.
- Fred Lewis – Lewis is currently on rehab assignment with the AA team, too. He went 1-4 with a double on Sunday. He’s on track for a late April activation, too.
So there you go. The Reds are fairly banged up, with 3 guys on the 25-man not available the last few games, and 5 guys on the disabled list that could certainly help the team–Bailey and Cueto especially. Late April seems to be the vague projected magic date that these guys will start being activated. I’m confident the Reds will still be in contention by then; I just hope no other injuries will have happened.