We get the first (and always highly anticipated!) injury report of the season four weeks in. Mainly, this delay is because I have been waiting for minor league rosters to shake out, but it also coincides with the breaking of the first devastating bit of injury news for this year. Homer Bailey will miss all of 2015 and probably part of the 2016 season as well with Tommy John surgery. In a season where the Reds were (are) probably going to need some good luck to be in playoff contention, losing the #2 starter for basically the whole year is a major blow to their hopes. Bailey already missed 95 in-season days to a forearm injury between the end of last season and the start of this one, though Jocketty says the two injuries are unrelated. In any case, this is yet another setback on the ledger of the largest contract the Reds have ever given to a pitcher.
The other major injury news for the Reds right now is the baffling situation of Devin Mesoraco. In the interests of thoroughness, I should mention that the newly extended All-Star catcher suffered a concussion in spring training, but that is not the issue at hand. After the start of the season, we learned that Mesoraco had been dealing with hip soreness throughout the year, which hopefully is what was driving his .309 OPS to begin the year (and maybe small sample size). Beginning April 13, the Reds decided rest was the appropriate course of action to see if the discomfort would go away. Three weeks later, it has not, and knowing that the injury is hip impingement, is not at all likely to just go away with rest. In the interim, the Reds have sent Mesoraco to pinch hit twice, last on May 1, making a backdated DL stint impossible. In terms of backdating, it really probably doesn't matter. If Mesoraco goes on the DL for this injury, it is certainly going to take more than two weeks to clear up no matter what course of treatment is decided upon. But what's baffling is that for three full weeks the Reds have played with a 24-man roster (or less) for the benefit of two pinch hit appearances. The roster situation also led to the release of two bullpen arms in the minors. It is additionally baffling because the Reds just invested in Mesoraco to the tune of a 4-year contract, and rather than have their All-Star go on the DL to try and get healthy, again they are just letting him sit on the bench for weeks at a time and make a pinch hit appearance once every other week. If anyone can explain this situation, I would love to hear the rationale for all of this.
In the minor leagues, at AAA Louisville, SP Jon Moscot went on the 7-day DL on April 14 and was activated after the minimum time. RP Matt Magill began the year on the 7-day DL and was activated on April 25, missing 20 days of the regular season. Infileder Josh Satin went on the 7-day DL on April 25. Once-prospect 1B/OF Donald Lutz had Tommy John surgery on May 1. This probably ends his small chances of sticking with the Reds in any capacity. It also occupies a spot on the Reds 40-man roster with a player who will be unavailable for the entire year.
At AA Pensacola, OF Juan Duran went on the 7-day DL on April 9, and C Yovan Gonzalez on April 28. RP Keyvius Sampson began the year on the 7-day DL and was activated on April 30, missing 25 days of the regular season.
In housekeeping news, the following players ended last season on the DL and appear to have been released from the organization, as they are not on any minor league roster: RP Joe Mantoni, RP Trevor Bell, RP Edgar Gonzalez, IF Mike Costanzo, 1B Daniel Pigott, 2B Donnie Murphy, OF Gabriel Rosa. SP Mike O'Brien left as a minor league free agent.
RPs Austin Salter and Daniel Renken were released from the organization. RP Junior Morillo, RP Nick Routt, and OF Juan Silva are still in the organization (I believe), though not listed on rosters presently (the fudge around minor league rosters and transactions never ceases to amaze me). OF Ryan LaMarre was just re-signed by the Reds at the end of last season, but also is not on any minor league roster. Thanks to Doug Gray for his help in sorting out which players were released, which are still likely with the organization somewhere, and which were FAs.
The last bit of housekeeping news is that RP Sean Marshall is still on the DL and it basically seems that he's not expected to pitch for the Reds again. If true, Marshall's $21 million contract bought 24.1 innings of a 73 ERA+. Can we get a do-over?