***WARNING: Video shows scary injury.***
Players expected to start season on disabled list
RHP Mat Latos (Arm and knee surgery this offseason)
LHP Aroldis Chapman (Facial fracture—expected to miss four to eight weeks, via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com)
RHP Jonathan Broxton (Right forearm, via Sheldon)
LHP Sean Marshall (Left shoulder, via Sheldon)
INF/OF Skip Schumaker (Dislocated left shoulder-expected to miss a month, via Sheldon)
INF Jack Hannahan (Surgery in October to repair torn labrum, via Sheldon)
RHP Brett Marshall (Finger)
Players who dealt with injuries during spring
RHP Johnny Cueto (Right scapula, via Sheldon)
RHP Homer Bailey (Strained right groin)
RHP Mike Leake (Abdominal injury)
C Devin Mesoraco (Strained left oblique muscle, via Sheldon)
Reds fans, set some time aside to read this slide. There’s a lot to talk about, unfortunately.
Mat Latos missed the National League Wild Card Game due to bone chips in his elbow. He had that issue taken care of shortly after the season ended. It looked like he’d be ready for the start of the season, but he tore his meniscus while throwing after showing up to spring training a few days early. Now, he is rehabbing and is likely to start the season on the disabled list.
Latos’ injury has overshadowed the spring, but he is hardly the only starter dealing with an injury.
Cueto was recently scratched from a start due to irritation in his scapula. Homer Bailey, who signed a six-year, $105 million deal this offseason, continues to work his way back from a groin strain. Mike Leake has made his past few starts, but he missed a start earlier this spring because of an abdominal injury. Tony Cingrani was dealing with a “dead arm” after a recent start. The dead arm shouldn’t be much of an issue as he continues to build his arm strength back up.
For a team that doesn’t have much depth in the minors, the health of the rotation couldn’t be more of a concern than it is right now.
Unfortunately, we are just getting started with injuries.
The three highest-paid members of the bullpen are all expected to start the season on the disabled list.
Closer Aroldis Chapman suffered the scariest injury of any player in baseball during the spring after his 99-mph fastball was lined right back at him last week. He suffered facial fractures and had to have a plate inserted in his head. He is expected to start throwing in a couple of weeks, and he is expected to begin throwing in game conditions in four to eight weeks.
It’s a difficult situation to handle. The doctors can clear him to throw, but the southpaw will have to overcome the mental part of the injury as well. When you throw as hard as he does, something like this has the potential to have serious ramifications. It looks like Chapman may have lucked out, if you can say that, by suffering only fractures and a mild concussion. However, it will be a slow process to get the electric pitcher back on the mound.
The Reds have three proven closers in the bullpen, so Chapman’s scare wouldn’t typically be much to worry about on the field. This season, though, it’s not a good situation now that Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton aren’t expected to be ready on Opening Day.
Marshall is looking for a way to stay healthy throughout the season, and the Reds were able to do well without him for the majority of last season. The club needs to take it slow with him and make sure that he is ready to go down the stretch.
Broxton is throwing in spring training games, but he still has to build up his strength after having forearm surgery last season.
It looks like Broxton and Marshall may only be out for a short period of time, but it’s not known when they are expected to return.
Even the offense has been hit by the injury bug.
Catcher Devin Mesoraco recently suffered an oblique injury. This season was his time to shine, but this injury could impact his performance if it doesn’t get better. Cincinnati has a tough choice to make as to what to do with Mesoraco to start the season.
The bench is also banged up. Jack Hannahan had surgery to repair a torn labrum back in October, but he will start the season on the disabled list. He was Todd Frazier’s main backup. Utility man Skip Schumaker, who was having a strong spring at the plate, suffered a dislocated should while diving for a ball during a game. He is expected to miss about a month, but he is optimistic that he will return sooner.
Here’s what the Reds could potentially be missing on Opening Day: No. 1 starter, closer, two setup men, starting catcher and two bench players. That list could grow if either Cueto or Bailey suffers a setback. Yikes.