Organizational Injury Report - 2013 Off and Limping

Sept 23, 2011: Masset walks off the field in the 3rd-to-last appearance he's made in MLB. The walkoff single was delivered by Ryan Ludwick. - Jared Wickerham

The new season is still young, but the Reds already have injury woes.

The major injury news for the Reds at our first look-in on the 2013 season is Ryan Ludwick's dislocated shoulder, which will most likely have him sidelined for over 3 months, and maybe significantly longer. Ludwick had just signed a multi-year contract in the offseason coming off a productive year where he anchored the offense in Joey Votto's absence, but was lost in the first game of the season. The good news is that the injury is to Ludwick's non-throwing shoulder, but the bad news is that it's a shoulder injury and a serious one. Even if Ludwick can manage to return at the early end of the timetable, there are questions about how the injury could effect his production, and particularly his power. This on top of the issue that Ludwick was perhaps a strong regression candidate to begin with. The optimistic viewpoint on this injury is that Ludwick was perhaps the one player the Reds could most afford an injury to with Chris Heisey a fringe starter candidate and Xavier Paul also a capable backup in LF, and the two happening to align as RH/LH platoon options.

The other major injury story so far this year has been Sean Marshall's "shoulder fatigue" (now labeled tendinitis when the Reds placed him on the DL). Marshall last pitched in Spring Training on March 22, and then went unused for the next 16 days, meaning the Reds played with a short bullpen for the first 5 games of the season, even though Marshall would have been eligible to come off the DL by the time he actually appeared in a game. He made one appearance on April 7, after which he was placed on the DL, and is now eligible April 23 at the earliest. This was yet another example of the Reds' often baffling reluctance to use the DL and play with a full roster. Considering that the Reds played two extra-inning games with the short bullpen, it really was not a wise move. J.J. Hoover has had to pay the price with a pretty extreme workload in Marshall's absence.

Wrapping up the injuries at the MLB level, Nick Masset still has not recovered from the shoulder injury he sustained in Spring Training of last year, and for which he had surgery in September. Masset has been throwing from 130 feet, but not been on the mound. John Fay provides this quote: "Actually, I’m really excited. I’m entering a whole new phase... I feel loose. I’m able to recover quickly." That last point is rather debatable, as there is still no timetable for Masset's return. The team has placed Masset on the 15-day DL to start this season. To date, he has missed 176 consecutive MLB games, not including spring exhibitions.

The minor league affiliates remain largely unscathed to this point in the year, except for a few apparently minor injuries in AAA Louisville. Utility infielder Emmanuel Burriss was placed on the 7-day DL on April 7 for a strained right hamstring, and catcher Nevin Ashley was placed on the 7-day DL on April 10 for shoulder tendinitis. Neftali Soto was activated from the 7-day DL on April 11, though his injury was not disclosed on the IL transactions page, and I haven't found a reference to it anywhere.

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