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Organizational Injury Report 5/26/14 - Bruce Returns Early

Bruce returned from knee surgery earlier than expected, Cingrani returns, Votto moved to DL, Latos starts minor league rehab, plus minor league updates

That was fast.  Hopefully not recklessly fast.
That was fast. Hopefully not recklessly fast.
Andy Lyons

There's a whole bunch of injury news for the last week-plus.  First of all, Jay Bruce returned to the lineup on May 23, well ahead of expectations after suffering a torn meniscus - he missed only 20 days, when the average time lost for this injury is 60 days.  In fact, several Reds have returned to the lineup ahead of expectations this year.  In addition to Bruce, Aroldis Chapman returned ahead of schedule, Skip Schumaker returned right at the early part of his timetable.  But Bruce has gone 1-12 in three games since returning, dropping his season OPS to .671, and Bruce is dangerously close to the Mendoza line.  Bruce's struggles this year are a major reason that the offense has been disappointing, so let's hope the knee injury was the main driver of his complete loss of power to date, and that it's healed now.

Joey Votto was moved to the 15-day DL last week, retroactive to May 16, because of a quad strain in his left leg.  The hope is that Votto will miss only the minimum 15 days; according to Baseball Prospectus' Collateral Damage report, the average time lost to this injury is 26 days.  However, Bryan Price has admitted that Joey probably will not get back to 100% during this season.  This naturally raises questions of when was the last time Joey was at 100%, or whether he has been at all since knee surgery.  It also naturally has been raising speculation from numerous sources that Votto's best days are definitively behind him.  Undeniably, Joey's power has been diminished since the knee injury, and to know that he still is not fully healthy in that leg almost two years later is disconcerting to say the least.  This is the first year of Joey's 10-year $225 million contract, and angst is getting high.

Tony Cingrani returned to action on May 18, basically right on schedule from his 15-day DL stint for shoulder tendinitis.  Since returning, he has given up 8 runs in 12 innings, continuing his sophomore slump.  Cingrani has only 3 quality starts in 8 tries this season, the same number of time he has failed to pitch more than 5 innings.  The encouraging news is that his velocity has been back up in the low 90s since returning.

Mat Latos was sent to Louisville to begin his minor league rehab on May 25, where he pitched 4 innings, giving up 2 ER on 4 hits and a walk.  32 of Latos' 49 pitches were strikes.  He may need only one more rehab start to build his pitch count before returning, or he may need two.  The interesting question at the moment is who will be removed from the Reds rotation to make room for Latos.  Cingrani may actually be pitching himself into the bullpen or a demotion, whereas several weeks ago it was nearly set in stone that Alfredo Simon would return to the bullpen.  Both will likely need to have their innings limited, but Simon has been far more effective on the season.

In minor league news, at AAA Louisville, OF Ryan LaMarre was activated on May 16, as was OF Josh Fellhauer, who was also demoted to AA at that time.  RP Justin Freeman was activated on April 30 and also demoted to AA at that time.  CI Mike Costanzo was placed on the 7-day DL on May 19.  C Max Ramirez was released from the organization on May 22; he had been on the DL since May 5.

At A- Dayton, 1B Sean Buckley returned from the 7-day DL on May 24 after missing 25 days.  SP Ismael Guillon returned on May 19 after missing only 10 days.  RP Zack Weiss was placed on the DL on May 19 due to elbow tendinitis.  RP Evan Mitchell was placed on the DL on May 22, and 3B Tanner Rahier was placed on the DL on May 25 with a broken finger.  OF Jon Matthews was placed on the DL on May 24.  Matthews can't seem to stay healthy, as he has played a maximum of 58 games in the three previous seasons in the organization.  He was flashing superb walk and K rates, but his line was being dragged down by a .158 BABIP (also, no XBHs).  At 23, he's not much of a prospect in low-A ball.

Check organizational injuries any time via the link.