The All-Star break is over and the Cincinnati Reds are welcoming the Milwaukee Brewers to the Queen City for a 3-game set starting tonight. Cincinnati won’t be at full strength, though they will be getting Michael Lorenzen back from the injured list if the game actually takes place tonight (there’s a bunch of potential rain in the forecast). But manager David Bell did provide updates on several players who are on the injured list, and floated out the idea that the Reds could use a 6-man rotation.
A 6-man rotation coming to Cincinnati?
Jeff Hoffman is set to make a rehab start tonight for the Dayton Dragons. After that, the right-handed pitcher should be returning to the Reds as his allowable rehab time will be up. For weeks the Reds have been rather non-committal to the plan for Hoffman when he returns from the injured list. He’s been rehabbing as a starting pitcher, which makes sense because you’d rather have him be ready just in case you need him in that role than have him not be ready if it’s needed. But today in his meeting with the media, manager David Bell answered the question, sort of, about Hoffman’s role.
“He is ready to go,” Bell said. “There is a chance, we have not finalized our rotation beyond this weekend, but there is a chance he could factor in as a starter for us as early as this home stand in the next series against the Mets.”
With a rotation that already has five healthy pitchers in it, the question was asked as to whether that meant the team would remain with a 5-man rotation or what the plan was exactly.
“There is a chance we add Hoffman in. For a couple of reasons – he’s ready to go. And also, some of our starters, with Mahle pitching tonight and Luis pitching tomorrow. They’re getting an extra day or two, but not an extra four days. There’s only so many guys we could that for and give them a larger break – like Wade, Vladimir. There’s a chance we could either temporarily, it would probably be temporarily going to a 6-man rotation for this home stand and create a couple starts where guys are getting an extra day or two as opposed to a big long break.”
While we won’t know right away, it sure sounds like the plan is to have a 6-man rotation for the short term. The quote itself seems to suggest it might only be for the next week in order to give guys a little bit of additional rest to begin the second half. That, however, is a bit of an assumption on the part of this author. You can read the quote and form your own opinion on it.
Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone “hopefully” ready in August
The Reds bullpen is pitching well of late. And they’re getting Michael Lorenzen back tonight. But they could still use both Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone. It sounds like it’s still going to be a few more weeks before we see them on the mound in the big leagues.
“They’re progressing,” said manager David Bell. “Being in the middle of July, the more realistic month is August. The beginning of August is what I’m hoping for. I don’t see them pitching in the Major Leagues with our team by the end of July at this point with where they are right now. That is not a setback. I know I mentioned July a few times, and I think that was more of my hopeful or wishful thinking than anything that I was told to be for sure. So this is not a set back.”
Michael Feliz has a bit of a set back on rehab
The Reds sent reliever Michael Feliz out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville on July 3rd. He pitched in three games with the Bats with the last one coming on July 9th. After that outing – a shutout inning with two strikeouts – he was returned from his rehab assignment.
“He did have somewhat of a setback,” Bell said. “He wasn’t recovering properly. I don’t think it’s much of a set back. He’s going to pitch, but there was one night specifically his velo as down a bit and he didn’t feel great. We’re going to extend the process for him a bit, but he’s going to continue to pitch. I would not expect him back in the next few days or even this home stand.”
Nick Senzel won’t return in July
Cincinnati’s centerfielder is still recovering from knee surgery earlier this year. There was an initial thought that it may be possible he could return after the All-Star break. The recovery time from the surgery he had is typically 6-8 weeks, and the All-Star break would have been about that 6-week mark. For Senzel it sounds like it’s going to be closer to the latter part of that timeline.
“He’s still making his way, adding in activities,” said Bell on Friday afternoon. “He’s taking ground balls, taking fly balls. Doing more and more. We’re not going to see him in July, at this point I can’t imagine that would be the case. He’s also August. I would say other than Michael and Sonny, with only two weeks left in July, I would expect all those guys back in August.”
Art Warren expected to miss several weeks
Before the All-Star break Art Warren left his final appearance in Milwaukee with an oblique injury. Today we learned that he’s likely going to miss more than the minimum amount of time with the injury.
“It’s a little difficult to say (exactly how long he will be out),” Bell said. “Those injuries usually take a little bit longer than you want them to. You have to make sure they heal all of the way to make sure he doesn’t re-injure it. I haven’t heard exactly the amount of time. I would guess somewhere between 3 and 6 weeks. Hopefully closer to three, so it was unfortunate. Art was doing a great job in our bullpen. He stepped in and made the most of his opportunities. He was becoming a big part of our bullpen.”