CINCINNATI — Nearly every day, it seems, somebody walks into Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price’s office bearing bad tidings. Another day, another pitcher down.
The list is extensive and disheartening: Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani, Raisel Iglesias, Jon Moscot, John Lamb, Michael Lorenz and a partridge in a pear tree.
On Sunday in Pittsburgh Iglesias was scheduled to pitch but lapsed onto the disabled list with an impingement in his shoulder. Moscot’s name is still listed as Tuesday night’s starter but he was in the training room Monday afternoon having his left shoulder checked. List him as doubtful.
“It bothers him enough that we are concerned about him being able to pitch tomorrow,” said Price. “It isn’t his throwing shoulder, but if it bothers him it might affect the way he delivers the ball and be at risk for missed locations and worst-case scenario a change in mechanics that could affect his arm slot.”
AND OVER THE course of the last two days Price learned that the comebacks of Homer Bailey and Anthony DeSclafani, both on the fast track, have been sidetracked with slight setbacks.
“Unfortunately, I’m getting conditioned to this and that’s the problem,” said Price. “I’m getting conditioned to the fact we’re dealing with a lot of injuries dating back to 2013. Keeping our players healthy has been a real problem.”
Asked if there might be something the team is missing in its handling of players, particularly pitchers, Price was bluntly honest and said, “Anybody that has copious injuries that runs over a stretch of time you have to look to see if we’re doing anything we have to look into. I have a great confidence in what we’re doing here. I don’t believe we’ve made any drastic changes that would suggest we’ve put our players in a different environment from a health or conditioning standpoint. I trust our people. We have good people.
“You have to look internally, but there is nothing to find, there is no smoking gun,” he said. “We’re just in a bad stretch. There is some bad health mojo going on right now.”
BAILEY WAS BREEZING in his stage-to-stage comeback from Tommy John surgery, until a start last week in Pensacola.
“About 27 pitches in I thought, ‘Something is going on in my elbow,’” said Bailey. “I could feel something that wasn’t right. The next day I knew, ‘We have a problem, some weird soreness.’”
So they shut him down and he won’t throw again for a least a week.
“Instead of trying to push through it, they told me straight up, ‘We’re just shutting you down,’” said Bailey. “They’re not taking any chances and it is the best thing to do. It is part of (the healing process). You are going to have problems and I just haven’t had any. The last thing I want to do is to get into a month of pitching and have to be shut back down again. I’d rather go through this one time so I can come back and stay back. If I miss a start or two in May, big deal.”
Said Price, “Both Bailey and DeSclafani are limited in what they can do right now. Bailey is going to have to be pain-free before he can throw again. DeSclafani is having some discomfort with his oblique. We don’t know if that’s scar tissued breaking away or the injury is not healed. He is not 100 per cent.”
SHORTSTOP ZACK COZART and catcher Devin Mesoraco were not in Monday’s lineup. Mesoraco, along with pitcher Jon Moscot, underwent an MRI before the game. And would it surprise anybody to learn that Mesoraco has a torn labrum (left shoulder) and was placed on the disabled list. Louisville catcher Ramon Cabrera was immediately summoned from Class AAA Louisville to backup Tucker Barnhart.
Cozart left a game for the second time this season on Sunday in Pittsburgh after running from home to second base. As it was diagnosed on the previous occasion it is tendinitis, something that was expected after his reconstructive knee surgery last mid-season.
“It is irritating to him, something he has been playing with, but sometimes that gets exacerbated,” said Price. “It is part of the recovery process, something our doctors told him to expect and knew it was something he had to deal with when he started playing. Something usually triggers it and when that happens it is a sharp pain.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY: There was at least one non-Cincinnati Reds observer who was not surprised when 28-year-old Tim Adleman came up from Class AAA Louisville for his major league debut and shut down the Pirates Sunday on two runs and three hits over six-plus innings. Said one American League scout: “I saw Adleman in Louisville just before he got called up and it is not surprising because he has been throwing like that.”