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Injury Report 5/31 - Injuries Slowing Key Pieces

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Mesoraco most likely will have surgery, Phillips returns to lineup (again), Cueto not back yet, minor league injury updates

I hope we see lots of this in the future.  Well, not *this* specifically...
I hope we see lots of this in the future. Well, not *this* specifically...
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds are finally seeing the huge graffiti display plastered on the wall, as it looks like Devin Mesoraco is headed for surgery to deal with his hip impingement.  Mesoraco and the Reds will seek one more opinion on the matter, but chances are they will opt for surgery, which most likely will end Mesoraco's season.  The All-Star catcher had not played the field for 40 days when he experienced a setback on May 22 after simply testing out his ability to get into a crouching position.  The next day the pain flared up bad enough that it could not be ignored, and Mesoraco was placed on the 15-day DL.  Devin accumulated a total of 28 plate appearances over those 40 days between pinch hitting and playing DH in AL ballparks.

The prognosis for Mesoraco is tough to figure.  Hip impingement is not a common injury for baseball players, and it is especially difficult for catchers.  Rest/rehab are not avenues that are going to lead to a resolution for impingement, and I am not aware of other catchers coming back from this surgery (or even having this surgery).  It is possible that Mesoraco's days behind the plate are done.  Hip impingement basically ended Alex Rodriguez's fielding days, and it goes without saying that catching is much tougher on this injury than any other position.  Peter Bourjos had surgery for hip impingement at the end of last season, and the early returns (FWIW) on his 200 innings in CF this year aren't great, but they aren't terrible either.  Again, he's not trying to crouch for an hour and a half every game.  The chances of Mesoraco remaining a catcher, IMO, are non-zero, but not great.  If he can sustain an offensive level of being above league average, or especially if he can approach a repeat of last year's offensive level, the Reds may simply decide his bat is too valuable to risk re-injury and try him in LF.  If last year was something of a fluke and his offense is average or worse, he's going to have to try and make it work at catcher in some degree.  Of course, the best-case scenario is that the surgery is a complete success on all fronts and the problem is essentially eliminated.  The Reds deserve for something to break their way for once, the way injuries have played out for this franchise over the past three years, so here's hoping.

It was mentioned last time that Brandon Phillips had returned to the lineup after missing only 2 days due to his turf toe, but that it was a situation that may require further monitoring, especially given BP's "gamer" attitude.  He started all of the Reds' games between May 15 and May 25, but then did not start again until last night on May 30.  All told, he has missed 7 days with the injury so far, if you don't count 2 games where he was too banged up to play the field, but did pinch hit.  His .220/.250/.341 batting line since returning does not inspire confidence - especially the one walk in 44 PAs, which is even more walk-averse than the usual BP.  It seems that something like this happens to Phillips every year, unfortunately.  Hopefully this injury does not drag out (or drag down his performance) for a matter of months as we have seen before.

Johnny Cueto has missed two starts since experiencing elbow soreness, but Bryan Price says he is expected to be back during the series with Philadelphia this week.  He has been throwing, but not off a mound, and Price is encouraged by the progress so far, and does not expect Cueto to throw off a mound before making his return.  "We just want to make sure all of the inflammation is out," as quoted by Rosencrans.

In the minor leagues, at AAA Louisville, OF Steve Selsky returned from the 7-day DL on May 18 after missing 10 days, and IF Josh Satin suffered a concussion on May 16 and is on the 7-day DL.  At AA Pensacola, SP Chad Rogers suffered a meniscus injury in his left leg on May 17 and is on the 7-day DL.  C Yovan Gonzalez was placed on the DL on May 21 with an undisclosed injury.  At A- Dayton, OF Narciso Crook returned on May 16 after missing 8 days with a hamstring injury, and 2B Ty Washington was placed on the 7-day DL on May 17.

Check Reds injury statuses via the link.