*At 59-44, the Reds are a season-high 15 games over .500 for the third time this season.
*Todd Frazier is taking an eight-game hitting streak into Friday. He is 13-for-32 (.406) during the streak with six doubles. Frazier has hit safely in 17 of his last 19 games.
*The Reds have won six of their last 10 games vs. the Dodgers. Since Los Angeles swept all four three-game series at Dodger Stadium from 2006-09, the Reds have won two of the last three series at Chavez Ravine.
*In a non-Reds story, please check out MLB.com writer Doug Miller’s long-form piece on Dr. Frank Jobe — the man who invented Tommy John surgery. It’s really good. Click here to read.
The non-waivers Trade Deadline is less than a week away (Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET) and there hasn’t been much in the way of rumblings from the Reds.
“It’s very quiet. There have been a lot of conversations but nothing of substance,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Thursday during batting practice at Dodger Stadium.
Jocketty and much of his inner circle is on the road trip. Among the things the Reds have their eye on is a right-handed bat to help the offense. But the team is in a situation where they feel they can afford to wait on the return of left fielder and right-handed bat Ryan Ludwick, who began a rehab assignment on Wednesday. It’s a similar situation with pitching as the Reds await the return of ace Johnny Cueto and key relievers Jonathan Broxton and Sean Marshall.
“When we get them back, it strengthens our club even more,” Jocketty said. “I don’t want to trade prospects to improve the club.
“Unless something develops in the next week, I’m not sure you’ll see us do anything.”
I will have more from Jocketty in my Reds notebook tonight — including his thoughts on whether the July 31 deadline should get pushed back.
Reds lineup vs. Dodgers
Some notes for pre-game
*Zack Cozart is out for a third-straight game. He has been bothered by a sore left hip. I will update that later.
*The Reds have won two of their last three series at Dodger Stadium. They dropped two of three in 2012.
*During the four-game series vs. the Giants, the Reds notched 55 hits, 15 doubles and 22 extra-base hits — all were AT&T Park series records for any team.
*Joey Votto has reached safely in 36 games entering tonight — the third-largest on-base streak in the Majors this season. The Rockies Michael Cuddyer’s 46-game streak that ended June 30 is the leader.
I’m off for this series and back on the job from Los Angeles on Thursday. Stay with Reds.com and MLB.com for all of your Reds news and game stories.
Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick, out since separating his shoulder on Opening Day with a headfirst slide, will play in games again this week. Ludwick will report to Class A Dayton on Wednesday. The Dragons will be playing at Lansing.
“I feel good,” Ludwick said. “I’ve had some sore days but nothing that hasn’t gotten better within a day or two. I’d say I’m getting more sore if areas other than my shoulder – my back and my legs and wrist. It’s going to a progress. It’s obviously going to be a longer rehab assignment. We’ll see how he plays out.”
Usually veterans go to rehab assignments where affiliates are playing home games. This week, Triple-A Louisville, Double-A Pensacola and Dayton are all on the road.
Ludwick, who had surgery to repair a torn labrum, can be on a rehab assignment for up to 20 days. He hoped he would not need all of them.
“But I’m not in charge either,” Ludwick said. “I let those guys make the decisions and I play.”
Reds OF Derrick Robinson might have gotten a start on Saturday vs. the Pirates since Dusty Baker liked the matchup potential against A.J. Burnett. Chris Heisey is starting instead. Robinson has been bothered by a sore left shoulder since July 9. In that game at Milwaukee, he was going for an inside-the-park homer and slid head first into the plate and catcher Martin Maldonado.
“I try to tell these guys and young kids, don’t head-first slide into home plate. I was told that years ago,” Baker said.
The player that told Baker not to do it was an opposing player in Donn Clendenon when they were out after a game.
“He told me to never do that again,” Baker said. “He told me there are three guys in particular that can hurt you – Johnny Bench, Jerry Grote and Randy Hundley. Sliding into Johnny Bench was like sliding into a fire hydrant. It ain’t going nowhere.”
Baker, who saw Ryan Ludwick tear the labrum in his right shoulder sliding into third base head first, was asked if he would consider disciplining players that slide that way.
“How do you discipline someone that’s risking career?” Baker replied. “You’re risking injury. All you can do is tell them. It’s a natural instinct. They’ve been sliding head first since they were coming up. That’s what they see on SportsCenter. That’s what they see everywhere. It’s not like I can put a shock collar on them when they’re about to slide head first.”
Reds lineup vs. Pirates
*Reds LHP Sean Marshall, who has been on the DL since May 24 with a sprained left shoulder, has had a setback in his throwing program. Marshall last threw in the bullpen on Sunday in Atlanta and was slated to throw a live batting practice to hitters during Thursday’s post-All-Star game workout.
“At the end of the bullpen, he was a little tender,” Reds head trainer Paul Lessard said on Friday. “After treatments at the end of the day, he was feeling OK. Yesterday, we were planning on starting our workout with that live BP session and while he was long tossing and warming up, he was still feeling some tenderness in the back of the shoulder. We shut it down.”
A medical exam today confirmed he had shoulder tendinitis.
“Thank God there is nothing else involved. We shut down the throwing program through this weekend,” Lessard said. “We’ll see how he responds. If he does well, he will resume his throwing program probably on Monday.”
*OF Ryan Ludwick, who hasn’t played since Opening Day because of right shoulder surgery, could begin a rehab assignment early next week. Ludwick has been taking batting practice with the team the last two days and has been hitting on his own for about the last 10 days.
“As long as this weekend goes well, no setbacks or something, he’ll start the rehab assignment,” Lessard said.
“He looked real good,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “These other guys are four months ahead of him and he’s kind of a slow starter anyway. … We have to give him enough at-bats so when he comes back, it’s not Spring Training.”
*RHP Jonathan Broxton is slated to have his first bullpen session on Saturday. Broxton has been on the DL since June 15 with an elbow injury.
*Catcher Ryan Hanigan, on the DL since July 11 with a left wrist sprain, started swinging a bat today. Lessard felt that Hanigan would be ready to return when he’s eligible for activation on July 25.
*Ace Johnny Cueto could begin a new throwing program in a week. Cueto is not currently with the team because he is home in the Dominican Republic dealing with a personal issue. He is expected back on Saturday.