When a team's record sits at 60 wins and 60 losses, it's lived to the definition of "one step forward, one step back," and it once again appears that the Cincinnati Reds may be packaging some positive news with another heaping helping of the negative kind.
The Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans is reporting that Reds starter Homer Bailey is likely headed to the 15-day DL thanks to a flexor mass issue in his throwing arm, which is just great grand glorious fantastic hoo-ha fun. Bailey, of course, was originally scheduled to start today's game against the Boston Red Sox before an "elbow" issue caused his turn in the rotation to be bumped to Saturday's game in Denver against the Colorado Rockies which, of course, now appears to be off the table, too.
This all comes on the heels of earlier reports that 2B Brandon Phillips - sidelined since early July with torn tendons in his left thumb - is nearing a rehab assignment that will likely take just a few days.
Flexor mass strains are no small issue to deal with, and Rosecrans noted that both Mat Latos and Jonathan Broxton have dealt with them in recent memory and both returned in reasonably quick fashion to their usually dominant selves. Sometimes they're just that - a strain - but sometimes they're a precursor for Tommy John surgery, as evidenced by the original diagnoses of pitchers Hunter Harvey, Dylan Bundy, Tyler Skaggs, and countless others.
Considering Bailey is just 23 starts into the 6 year, $105 million extension he signed prior to the start of the 2014 season, there's plenty to be concerned about.
It's also another crushing blow to the 2014 Reds, who at 60-60 sit just a few games out of the 2nd National League Wild Card position despite playing much of the season woefully short of their projected cast of stars. Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips have been out for over a month, and each of Aroldis Chapman, Jay Bruce, Mat Latos, Jonathan Broxton, Devin Mesoraco (2x), Skip Schumaker, Jack Hannahan (Jack Hannahan!), Sean Marshall, and Tony Cingrani have been shelved on the DL at various points of the season. In fact, I'm probably forgetting one or seventeen of the other guys who have run into serious injuries at some point in this season. Losing Bailey for an extended period will just add to the pain, as the righty has rebounded from a slow start to his season to post a 3.71 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 2014.
With Cingrani still weeks away from recovering from his shoulder issues, only Double-A Pensacola starter Daniel Corcino and Triple-A Louisville starter David Holmberg sit as projected starting pitchers on the 40-man roster (aside from the recently signed Raisel Iglesias, but he's not a viable option here.) Corcino pitched last night, and Holmberg is still tentatively scheduled to start for the Bats this evening. If I was a wagering man, however, I'd place a hundy on Holmberg being scratched tonight and recalled to start for the Reds on Saturday in Denver.
Someone please kick 2014 in the shins. Please.