More banged up Reds

The Reds are in some ways, literally, limping to the finish with several player injured and either limited or completely unavailable.

“Never have I seen a team with so few options in September as we have right now. It’s something to see,” manager Bryan Price said on Saturday morning.

*Billy Hamilton remains out with a mild concussion. While feeling better, he still has symptoms.

“Right now, it seems somewhat unlikely that he’ll be able to play this weekend,” Price said.

*Devin Mesoraco is back in the lineup. He missed the last two games with a left intercostal (rib) strain.

“He could have hit,” Price said. “He was on deck [Friday] if Barnhart or Cozart would have gotten on. He could have given us an at-bat yesterday. It was really receiving that was more of the challenge. I wanted to give him the one more day to make sure, because I want him today and I want him tomorrow to catch. I want him to catch Johnny [Cueto].”

*Brayan Pena is limited because of an undisclosed injury. When asked, Price would not reveal what Pena was dealing with.

“He’s more of an emergency option right now behind the plate,” Price said. “I’ll tell you after tomorrow’s game. He’s a little banged up. He might have to still end up getting back there. Like a lot of guys, he has some physical maladies here at the end of the year that are making what they do a little more challenging. I have to pick my ways on how to use them.”

*Via the teams’ media relations departments, Price reached out through channels to Cardinals manager Mike Matheny to explain why many of his regulars weren’t playing vs. the Pirates — including closer Aroldis Chapman, who also couldn’t pitch Friday with a stiff shoulder. St. Louis is trying to hold off Pittsburgh for the NL Central title.

“I felt it was fair that they understood that. We’re not going ‘hey we’re taking a look at our younger guys’. There are guys that cannot play or will not play or are limited in their ability,” Price said. “That was just three players. There are others on there that can’t play but I wasn’t going to announce to Major League Baseball who is an active player on our roster and who isn’t. I felt like it was the right thing to do simply because I think we’ve really honored this September. We utilized the Baltimore and Chicago series to play more of the younger guys. In the other series, I feel like we’ve played it as straight-up as we possibly can and tried to put the best team on the field based on the matchups and based on who was healthy enough to play. I did want them to know that we’re not trying to just play out the season and take a look at our younger players. We’re trying to put the best team on the field with what we have to choose from.”

“I value the relationships I have with the other managers. As a first-year manager, I don’t want these guys to think I don’t have any understanding of the teams that are in a playoff chase are going through.”

Matheny appreciated Price’s gesture.

“That was a professional move and I’d hope I’d do the same thing,” Matheny told St. Louis reporters on Friday night. “They have to take care of their guys and do what they have to do.”

As for missing so many players all season, Price was asked if he ever thought about what his team could have done if it had only an average number of injuries.

“I don’t,” Price replied. “I played for Rich Morales, who was my Double-A manager with the Mariners. One time in a meeting, he said to our farm director – Jim Beattie … he said ‘Jim, you deal the cards and I’ll play ‘em.’ What I got out of that was whoever I have, give me whoever you want and I will play that hand. I’m not going to complain about it. It is what it is and we’ll manager whoever I have on my roster. I always admired Rich a great deal and appreciated it. We can all complain about it but it doesn’t make you any better.”

7 Comments

I go back to first following the Reds in the early 50’s. It seems baseball was different then. It wasn’t the touchy, feely game it is today. I may be wrong but I don’t think managers back then gave a damn what another manager thought of them. They just wanted to win. Now we have to notify a manager of a team we are not playing of why our lineup is what it is. We do this because we don’t want to have the other guy think badly about us or God forbid be mad at us. It’s gotten to the point that the explanations of injuries, or in Pena’s case the ‘I’m not going to tell you what it is, but maybe I will tomorrow’, and how much we care what others think and feel, it makes me want to puke.
Can we just play ball, kick some ass, take no prisoners, and let the rest of the league know we are the REDS and this is how we play the game….TO WIN!

I started following in the late 40s and I will say this that this team compared to some of those teams back then this team would look like a world championship team. How soon we forget LOL. I can remember managers following this tradition since I started following the game it is nothing new guys. You put out your best most experienced team against anybody heading toward the playoffs. It has been that way and the players and those involved in the game have respected that, thank goodness it keeps the integrity of the game what it is.

Hoosier. I don’t like the tradition, but I understand it. I was complaining about feeling the need to notify Matheny why the lineup was what it was. WIMPY. Not what I want in a manager.

It does seem a little wimpy to have to reach out to another manager. I mean, the automatic assumption is that pro players do their best and their incentive is to be paid well for that. When you are 15 games out of first place and have the future to think of, that’s just tough. The Cardinals are supposed to win it on their own anyhow. It’s not Price’s place to make sure they get to back in.

I just think that is Price’s personality . I can’t imagine Matheny doing that , regardless of what he says . We live in world of political correctness.

Def. agree to that.

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