CINCINNATI — It is never-ending, a long list that seems to have no end. Another Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher landed on the disabled list Sunday and, as always, it was for a different-than-normal reason.
Robert Stephenson is the latest victim/occupant and he landed there after the best start of his major league career last week in Pittsburgh.
During a game last Thursday, Stephenson dove trying to catch a popped up bunt. He missed the bunt and landed on his right shoulder.
He took some practice throws and said he was OK and stayed in the game. But later in the inning he left. At that point, he had pitched 5 2/3 innings and given up one run and two hits.
BUT THE SHOULDER STIFFENED overnight and remains sore so Stephenson will miss Monday’s scheduled start against the San Diego Padres.
Asked if he is sorry he dove for the bunt, Stephenson laughed and said, “It would have been a lot better if I had caught it. You can’t think about that. It is all hindsight.”
And about the incident, he said, “That day I was throwing with a lot of adrenaline, so I didn’t feel anytbing. I went to bed that night and woke up a little stiff.
“I had it checked out the next day and the doc said it was just a bruise of the rotator cuff,” he added. “He said I could have started (Monday), but there is no reason to push it. I’ll do some rehab and get it strong so I can come back and get back into the rotation the next time through.”
Stephenson has been advised to take three days off with no throwing and then do rehab and start playing catch Monday, then do a couple of bullpens and be ready next time through the rotation.
AND MANAGER BRYAN PRICE continues to scramble the deck for pitching, like a kid playing Go Fish.
Tim Adleman, demoted to the bullpen Fridayo for ineffectiveness and replaced in the rotation by Asher Wojciechowski, has been quickly ressurrected into the rotation and takes Stephenson’s start Monday.
And on Saturday Price was optimistic about disabled starter Scott Feldman returning to the rotation this week. Now it isn’t going to happen.
“I know I mentioned Scott Feldman as a possibility for the next turn through the rotation,” said Price. “That is now not quite as likely on further review. He is not quite ready and it isn’t the pitching. He has to run the bases and do some agility stuff around the mound to test his knee. I’m not comfortable that he is ready to do all that yet.”
Of Stephenson, Price said, “It won’t be long. We think over the course of the 10-day stint on the DL he’ll be fine. He just has some soreness and bruising from the dive on the bunt in Pittsburgh. There was some residual soreness from that and we did an MRI and we are being cautious, don’t want to rush him.”
So, the DL list of starting pitchers so far this season: Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, Bronson Arroyo, Amir Garrett, Rookie Davis, Scott Feldman, Robert Stephenson and a player to ble named later.
A PRE-GAME DISCUSSION was brought up whether Joey Votto is fully appreciated for his talents outside the reach of the Cincinnati Reds.
After the All-Star break, Votto went into a 5-for-39 (.128) slumber that dipped his batting average from .315 to .295.
Everybody but Votto thought he was tired from playing every game so far this season and needed a day or two off. Manager Bryan Price did not rest him and it was a wise decision.
Now Votto is on a 10-game hitting streak during which he has reached base 27 times (15-32, .469) and lifted his batting average back to .309.
“Joey consistently does the things that he does — he’s Just Joey — and he does them as well as anybody in the game,” said Price. “But he is playing in a situation where people who see it and really admire it are here in Reds Country.
“People who follow their teams and are regionally oriented are going to be less aware of all the things that Joey has accomplished,” said Price. “And we need to be a more front-and-center team. He doesn’t get the exposure because we’re not winning as much. Being on a winning Reds team would draw more attention to him.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
When asked what the Reds were trying to do the rest of the season, manager Bryan Price said, “You don’t want to concede wins for development. But we are bringing up these young players to give them the opportunity to perform. The goal is to go out there every game and make every effort to win every ball game that we play to get out of last place. And we wamt to feel good about ourselves in 2018 over how we finished in 2017.”