Several players are bothered by nagging injuries which always seem to crop up at this time of the year. Aroldis Chapman is suffering shoulder fatigue and has not pitched since September 10. This is hopefully supposed to be only a matter of a week or so, but with a gigantic lead in the division, I would advise the strictest caution with Chapman, as he will be critical for the postseason, but not so much with our efforts to reach it.
Zack Cozart remains sidelined with a strained oblique muscle, though he seems to be progressing nicely. He has done soft tossing drills pain free, and has also taken grounders. Since Valdez is the player who will be on the postseason roster, he's the one who has taken all the playing time in Cozart's absence, which is currently at 10 days. Please hurry back, Zack.
Scott Rolen is in an all-too-familiar sort of injury limbo. He returned to the field after 6 off days on September 11, played the 12th as well, and has been on the bench since. Maybe Dusty is utilizing Todd Frazier to give Scott ample rest, or maybe Rolen's back is still not feeling all that great. Probably both.
Last week, the book was closed on Bill Bray's season. This week, Nick Masset's 2012 story comes to a conclusion. Masset had shoulder surgery on September 7, which puts an official end to any of his comeback hopes for this year. Vale.
It's amazing to think that the Reds bullpen lost two guys who were figured to be high-leverage workhorses at the back end, and still is probably the best bullpen in baseball with depth to spare. Neither Masset nor Madson threw a pitch for the Reds this year, and Bill Bray threw 8.2 poor innings. Last year, those three would have been three of the most important relievers on the team. Keeping Chapman in the 'pen certainly can help offset the loss of a good reliever or two, but who knows whether that was (is?) just an unfortunate necessity or a blessing in disguise? I try not to think too much about it and just enjoy the dominance he's displayed with regularity this year.