August 2013

Reynolds here and ready

**UPDATE — Reynolds to start, Reds announced postgame.

LHP Tony Cingrani (lower back strain) said he’s fine and able to start on Sunday, but the Reds aren’t taking any chances. A short time after talking to Cingrani, RHP Greg Reynolds had arrived from Triple-A Louisville.

A decision will be made on Cingrani after tonight’s game.

“He’s our guy if Cingrani can’t go,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Reynolds. “It’s kind of leaning that way or else he wouldn’t be here.”

Reynolds last pitched on Tuesday, the same day Cingrani lasted only 3 2/3 innings when his back got sore vs. Arizona, and pitched a complete game with one run and five hits allowed.

“I don’t really know what will happen but I will be ready if they call my name, for sure,” Reynolds said.

Cingrani was sore during his Friday bullpen session that was stopped after only 12 pitches. He still wants to pitch on Sunday but gets that it’s not his call.

“I feel fantastic. Everything is moving good,” Cingrani said. “It’s not up to me, that’s for sure. I’d pitch every day but that’s not how it works.”

If Cingrani goes on the 15-day DL, the hope would be he’d only miss two starts and be able to return on Sept. 5 to face the Cardinals.

More to come later on Reds.com/MLB.com.

Game 130: vs. MIL

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Baker prays for strength, team

The 2013 season has been challenging all around for the Reds, in large part because of all the injuries the club has dealt with this season.

Johnny Cueto is on the disabled list for the third time; Sean Marshall is on the DL for the second time and hasn’t pitched since May. Jonathan Broxton had season-ending forearm surgery on Friday. Ryan Ludwick missed four months for shoulder surgery. Ryan Hanigan, Manny Parra and Chris Heisey have also had DL time.

Reds manager Dusty Baker has had to work around these injuries and his third-place team is very much in the hunt for the NL Central Division race and has a Wild Card spot already if the season ended today. Baker admitted Friday to seeking some divine help and that he does hear the critics of his job performance.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries,” Baker said. “It started out with [third base coach] Mark Berry having cancer. Now which would you rather have, injuries or cancer? You understand what I’m saying? It tests you and your strength. I pray for strength all the time. I went to St. Peter in Chains [church] today. I was praying for strength and to heal some of our guys. Sometimes, I need strength too. I’m very strong but sometimes you need some more. When you’re the leader, most of the blame falls on you whether it’s unjust or right. You still need strength. Sometimes you just get tired of hearing criticism when you’re doing the best job that you can. Our guys are busting their butts for us. It goes two ways. I bust my butt for them. I ask a lot of them. I push them pretty hard but that’s how championships are made.”

Cingrani iffy for Sunday

Friday was going to be a key day in determining whether LHP Tony Cingrani could make his next start on Sunday after he strained his right lower back in his previous start. Cingrani had his side bullpen session.

It did not go very well. After only 12 pitches, Cingrani was told to stop.

“It was just so-so, unfortunately,” head trainer Paul Lessard said. “Everything on flat ground was good. He threw off the mound and it was just average.”

What does that mean for Sunday vs. the Brewers?

“That means a lot of heads have to get together and figure out what we’re going to do for Sunday, whether he’s going to pitch or not,” Cingrani said.

If the Reds need a starter, they could call up RHP Greg Reynolds from Louisville. Reynolds is on the same schedule as Cingrani and it would be his day to pitch. But Reynolds is not on the 40-man roster and an added move would be required. Jonathan Broxton’s season-ending forearm surgery could very well have him moved to the 60-day DL.

Cingrani exited his start on Tuesday vs. Arizona after only 3 2/3 innings when he felt some back soreness.

Game 129: vs. MIL

Reds lineup vs. Brewers:

Choo 8
Frazier 5
Votto 3
Phillips 4
Bruce 9
Ludwick 7
Cozart 6
Hanigan 2
Bailey 1

Broxton has surgery, 6-month rehab

The Reds announced Friday that RHP Jonathan Broxton had season-ending surgery to repair a torn flexor mass in his right forearm. Dr. Tim Kremchek performed the operation. The rehab timetable for an injury of this type is six months.

I figured that Broxton was done for the year yesterday when it was learned he needed surgery. What this more specific news tells me is that Broxton’s status heading into the 2014 season is uncertain. If there are no setbacks, it sounds like his rehab period will be done around Spring Training, but it’s clear when he’ll start throwing, etc. Of course, there also has to be no setbacks.

Broxton is in the first season of a three-year, $21 million contract signed over the winter.

Broxton to DL, needs surgery

The Reds on Thursday placed RHP Jonathan Broxton on the 15-day DL with a flexor mass strain in his right forearm, a similar injury to the one that put him out for two months. He had just returned on Aug. 9.

Broxton will need a surgical procedure for the injury, which could mean he’s done for the season. The details and timetable were vague, however.

“They don’t know until they get in there and see what’s wrong,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “I’d just be guessing right now until the doctors get in there.”

Broxton was pitching in the eighth inning on Wednesday when he allowed a Gerardo Parra homer, followed by a four-pitch walk to Wil Nieves, when Baker, pitching coach Bryan Price and trainer Paul Lessard visited the mound.

This is the first season of a three-year, $21 million contract that Broxton signed in the off-season.

Johnny Cueto was moved to the 60-day DL so a 40-man roster space could be cleared for RHP Nick Christiani, who had his contract selected from Triple-A Louisville. Christiani was 6-5 with a 4.05 ERA, 15 walks and 48 strikeouts in 47 games this season for the Bats.

I will have more later on Reds.com/MLB.com.

Game 128: vs. ARI

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The non double switch

Lots of questions in a wild game tonight. In the eighth inning after Jonathan Broxton exited with an injury, the Reds called on Aroldis Chapman for a two-inning save. The pitcher’s spot was due up third in the bottom of the eighth and Dusty Baker did not double switch.

Baker admitted to making a mistake in the process and explained what happened. You are allowed to double switch when removing an injured pitcher.

“You can, if you double switch before you signal who you want in the game,” Baker said. “They asked me ‘who do you want?’ I said Chapman. That was just like signaling to the bullpen. That was the first time I’ve ever experienced anything like that.”

“I went back out and said ‘you sure I can’t do that?’ He said ‘no, you can’t do that.’”

Incidentally, Baker would have had Ryan Ludwick double switch into LF if he had been allowed.

More from Baker:

“That was really disheartening to have to go and get Broxton. I went out there. Bryan Price said ‘aw man, he’s done.’ At least it was not the same part of the elbow as before. It was in the muscle. The umpire asked me and Bryan who did we want? We said we wanted Chapman. Me and Bryan pointed out to Chapman and we couldn’t double switch after that. I’ve never been in that circumstance where you have the injured player and I was sort of distraught by the fact that I had to go get Chapman and the fact that we were going to lose Broxton. It worked out fine. Chapman got his first at-bat. He needs to work on his bunting. We let him hit because he’s a good hitter. Not only is he a good hitter, he’s probably one of the fastest guys in this league. I was hoping he’d hit one to the gap and everybody could see it.”

Broxton wasn’t available

During Tuesday’s 5-2 Reds loss to the D-backs, it was night when the bullpen was needed in a big way after Tony Cingrani went down with a lower back strain after only 3 2/3 innings. Conspicuous in his absence was RHP Jonathan Broxton.

Reds manager Dusty Baker gave Sam LeCure a second inning of work in the eighth. LeCure wound up loading the bases with three-straight one-out singles. J.J. Hoover took over and allowed a Paul Goldschmidt grand slam. At no point did Broxton get warmed up.

“He hasn’t been [available],” Baker said Wednesday. “I think he’s OK tonight but he wasn’t OK last night or the night before.”

Baker would not disclose the issue with Broxton specifically. Broxton missed nearly two months with a strain in his elbow and returned on Aug. 7.

“It’s similar stuff,” Baker said. “We just have to take care of him.

“Hopefully he is available tonight. We need him tonight. Our bullpen is kind of spent.”

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