I hope we haven't seen the last of you wearing that uniform, Nick. Best of luck in your attempts to make it back. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Nick Masset had another setback in his rehab after his outing on August 21. He felt soreness in his shoulder and went for an MRI; obviously he hasn't pitched since. Masset started having trouble at the beginning of spring training and has not thrown a single pitch for the Reds this year. At this point it is doubtful whether he will, especially since even if he does get healthy, he probably would not represent an upgrade to anyone currently in the bullpen. It has to be incredibly difficult and frustrating for a professional athlete to miss an entire season to an injury, but especially so when the initial thought process was that it would only take a month or two of rehab. I wish Masset nothing less than a full recovery, and as speedy as possible at that.
Continuing the bullpen coverage, Bill Bray made an appearance for Louisville on August 23, where he gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on a hit and three walks in his inning of work. It's been not quite a month since Bray was placed on the DL for a lower back issue. He too has basically missed an entire season to injury, having pitched only 8.2 innings for the Reds.
Joey Votto continues to progress, and he may be able to return in time for the series with the Houston Astros. He says he feels apprehensive about his return, which is understandable when a player has been out of action for over a month. Votto went to Dayton to get some live game action before making an MLB return. This serves two probably purposes; one, to give Joey plenty of time and ample opportunity to get back in game shape, and have a better guage as to his readiness to return to real baseball activities; and two, to give the Reds more roster flexibility. Recalling Votto before the September roster expansion would force the Reds to either option someone from the roster, or more bluntly, cut Miguel Cairo from the roster altogether, which the Reds clearly have no desire to do. Probably inconsequentially to the matter, this delays a decision about where to find playing time for Todd Frazier as well. As one of the Reds most potent bats, he needs to find it somewhere.
No real injury news to speak of on the minor league front. Bill Rhinehart was injured for AAA Louisville, which only prompted his release on August 20. A+ Bakersfield Blaze activated Andrew Brackman from the DL on August 25, after the minimum 7 days. A- Dayton Dragons placed RHP Cole Green on the DL with a shoulder injury on August 15, and he remains inactive. On the year, Dayton has been notably effective at keeping it's players off the DL and on the field.