Reds' Promising Season Beginning To Unravel

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Reds' Promising Season Beginning To Unravel
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

An achy back sidelines your dominant young hurler.

A freak accident causes a hairline fracture to the thumb of your hot-hitting all-star second baseman.

A strange ailment that started as mysterious dizzy spells and has changed to a stress-related condition has put your best hitter on the DL.

Just like that, the promising season of the Cincinnati Reds has begun to unravel.

Reds’ manager Dusty Baker has to be wondering to himself, “What’s next?” To his credit, Baker has kept the Redlegs competitive despite fielding a patchwork lineup filled with a number of “no-names.”

Edison Volquez, he of the aforementioned bad back, is due back on Monday. His return will bolster an already solid staff, with the Reds ranked in the top five in the National League in pitching.

Brandon Phillips, whose thumb has turned every color but green since his injury last week, is said to be available but will probably not be at his best. The troublesome thumb may be one of those lingering injuries that gives Phillips a fit the rest of the year.

The injury could not have come at a more inopportune time, with Phillips leading the NL with 27 RBI during the month of May. Phillips has hit .350 (28-for-80) with five home runs in May, boosting his overall average from .188 to .275.

The loss of Votto may prove to be the most damaging to the Reds’ prospects. The young phenom, hitting .357 with eight homers and 33 RBI in 38 games, had to leave the Reds’ game Friday in Milwaukee against the Brewers, after again experiencing dizziness.

Over the last 17 games, Votto has missed 12 games entirely and left two other games early. He has been placed on the 15-day disabled list and will be out until mid-June.

The timing of these injuries could not have been any worse, with the Reds in the midst of a crucial 10-game stretch in which they play the class of the NL Central—the Brewers, Cardinals, and Cubs.

Lost in all this misery is the fact that Cincy lost their starting third baseman, Edwin Encarnacion, earlier in the year with a wrist injury. His timetable for his return is still uncertain.

Not many teams can weather the storm of three positional starters being out for an extended period of time. The Reds’ fortunes need to change soon or this season of promise may quickly head south.

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