The big news of the last two weeks is the return of 2B Brandon Phillips to the lineup. Out since July 9 with a torn ligament in his thumb, Phillips returned to the team ahead of schedule on August 18, missing slightly less than 6 weeks. However, we quickly learned that BP was able to beat the initial timeframe because he returned to action before getting fully healthy, by his own admission. It's only been 7 games so far, but his .580 OPS since returning does not speak much to the wisdom of returning unhealthy. Still, if Kris Negron isn't bumped from the lineup, it is nominally stronger with Phillips than without him; such is the state of the offense.
Joey Votto spoke about his injury and, more pointedly, about his disillusion with how some people have portrayed his injury situation and his handling of it. Various media personalities have insinuated that Votto should be playing through his pain, and questioned whether he cares more about his selfish interests than those of the team. Votto clearly is bothered by these sorts of accusations, and you can see his interview and read about his thought process on the injury in C Trent's article at USA Today. Considering that Votto did in fact try to play through obvious pain earlier in the year to disappointing results, it's easy to understand why Votto is upset. It seems that he's in a lose-lose situation among certain circles of the Reds commentariat. Votto was moved to the 60-day DL last week, and with the Reds firmly in contending-only-on-a-prayer territory, his return for this season is uncertain. As I've stated before, I would be fine and may actually prefer to simply see Votto take the rest of this season for rehab and try to get fully healthy for next year and the future. But a September return is not out of the question.
Homer Bailey's injury, which initially was only supposed to push his start back one time in the rotation, now looks as though it may end his season. Having last pitched on August 8, Bailey received a platelet rich plasma injection in the elbow on August 20, and also admitted that he has been pitching through pain for much of the season. I wish there were some way to make the athletes realize this is just a dumb thing to do, but no one on this Reds team wants to sit out and actually get healthy.
RP Logan Ondrusek returned to action out of the bullpen on August 18 after missing 36 days with a shoulder strain. With the bullpen's struggles all season, his return is a welcome one, though in four appearances since then, his ERA is over 7. Aroldis Chapman has been dealing with minor nagging injuries since before the All-Star break, and the latest one is a sore shoulder which had him sidelined for three recent games which were all very tight, and where his absence was felt acutely. After walking four straight batters in the devastating loss at Colorado on August 17, Aroldis was held out of the next three games, two of which were lost on walkoffs by the opponent as Price was forced to go with relievers lower on the bullpen chain, holding Broxton back for potential save situations. Chapman has pitched four nearly flawless innings since returning on August 21, so hopefully the rest served its purpose.
Backup C/1B Brayan Peña sat out several games with a sore hamstring (pinch hitting once), but returned to the lineup on August 12 and has been playing regularly again since then. 3B Todd Frazier has been dealing with a stiff lower back for at least a week, but is playing through the discomfort. He recently rediscovered his power stroke, hitting 2 HRs in the last 6 games after going nearly a month without one prior. Frazier has said that the biggest challenge is running the bases and not swinging the bat. As of right now, Tony Cingrani has been out for 60+ days, but has not been moved to the 60-day DL as far as I know. Considering that Cingrani abandoned a throwing program because the discomfort worsened afterwards, there's very little chance he could return this year, and no reason not to open up that roster spot. Instead, Cingrani is on the 7-day DL for Louisville's roster, but I really don't know why the Reds elected to burn an option in his case.
In the minors, At AA Pensacola, 2B Ray Chang returned from his third DL stint of the past two months on August 18 after missing 6 days (again, they really just must not care). OF Juan Duran was placed on the 7-day DL on August 23 with a bruised right wrist. At A+ Bakersfield, OF Junior Arias returned on August 19 after missing 129 days with an undisclosed injury. SP Ismael Guillon was placed on the DL on August 19. Injuries can be checked, as always, via the link.