Considering that Homer Bailey is one of the starting five, that they've gone 113 games without missing a start is even more impressive. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
This needs to be expounded upon, because it feels rare and remarkable (and deals directly with the topic of my purview - injuries). It is mid-August, over four months into the regular season, and not a single member of the starting rotation has spent a day on the DL. Johnny Cueto had one start moved back a few days because of a blister, and that is the entire extent of the adverse effects of injuries on the Reds rotation to this point. That's 113 games using the same 5-man rotation without interruption. For reference, last season, 38 starts were made by pitchers other than the main 5. Obviously, there are other factors besides injuries which can cause turnover in the rotation (namely, suckage), but even given the talent from those guys, keeping them all healthy this far into the season is quite a feat.
In 2003, the Mariners 5-man rotation completed the entire season without an additional start from any other pitchers, so it has been done before. But I am not good at looking this stuff up, so I don't know exactly how rare it is. Somebody help me out.
On to the more somber news of dealing with actual injuries, Joey Votto re-injured his knee practicing sliding on August 8, and had another surgery to remove cartilage on August 10. This is expected to push Votto's return date back 7-10 more days. He was on track to return Tuesday, August 14, which would have been right on schedule (for full disclosure, if the team announces a range for an expected return, I always use the end of the range for the expected return). The winning streak that the Reds ripped off immediately after Votto's loss was incredibly fun, but we have seen in the last week that Votto is still a very important piece of this offense, and the sooner we get him back, the better. As if anyone needed to be told.
Brandon Phillips also made his return to the lineup after dealing with a strained calf. He missed a week of action, but the Reds opted to play short-handed during that stretch, as is Jocketty's wont. The Reds did expect to have BP back after missing only 3-4 days, but that did not work out. In any case, the Reds also had the option of placing Wilson Valdez on the DL if they wanted to carry a backup on the roster. Valdez also missed a week of action with a stiff neck. So the Reds spent a week with no backup infielders, and Cairo as a starter. At first base. Hmm, no wonder the winning ways went south all of a sudden.
Scott Rolen has missed 4 straight games as well, due to "soreness" which the Reds were adamant about not clarifying any further. Is Rolen's shoulder in bad shape again? Was his back problem flaring back up? Update: yes it is Rolen's back giving him problems, and now Baker says he is unsure of whether Rolen will need to go back on the DL. As of right now Rolen is not on the DL, so as usual the Reds are short-handed.
Devin Mesoraco returned from the 7-day concussion DL on August 9, one day after he was eligible to play, as Baker is fond of doing. I actually like his habit of giving guys that one extra day after they've been cleared, and especially when it's not urgent to get a player back in the lineup. I'm not sure I'd be a fan of giving Votto that extra day; I want him back ASAP. Update: so much for that.
On the minor league front, pitcher Tanner Robles was placed on the 7-day DL for high-A Bakersfield Blaze on August 10. He has a strained back. He's been having a decent season between Dayton and Bakersfield, actually looking much better after his promotion, so hopefully this injury doesn't sideline him for too long.