Prior to the game tonight against the San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell provided some updates on several of the injured players who are working their way back.

Tony Santillan was scheduled to pitch in a minor league game today. He is working his way back from a back injury suffered last summer that kept him from being able to ramp up in time for the start of spring training. He is currently expected to pitch in his first spring training game on Saturday, which is the second to last game on the schedule before the team heads to Cincinnati to prepare to begin the regular season.

When meeting with the media in Goodyear prior to the game, Bell said that both Lucas Sims and Luke Weaver were likely to start the year on the injured list – first reported by Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Sims dealt with back spasms last week and that kept him off of the mound long enough that he’s probably not going to be ready to go in time to begin the year. Weaver experienced some forearm tightness while pitching in a minor league game earlier in the month. Both Sims and Weaver were expected to throw 20-pitch side sessions off of the mound today in Arizona.

With this news it could mean that two spots have opened up on the roster. Sims was almost assuredly going to make the team out of spring training if he were healthy. Weaver wasn’t as sure of a bet, but he certainly seemed to have a leg or two up on the competition for one of the spots in the rotation. Yesterday we took a look at the roster battles, and much of it came down to the pitching staff and who would take the rotation spots because that could determine how many spots could be available in the bullpen.

Nick Senzel will be making his spring debut in tonight’s game against the Padres. He’s not in the starting lineup, but he is with the team and is expected to enter the game from the bench. Bell told the media before the game that Senzel will be on the injured list as he recovers from a toe injury (and subsequent surgery on that toe) he suffered last year. Mark Sheldon of reported that he’d begin in Louisville on a rehab assignment when the season begins. Louisville’s season begins on Friday the 31st, so Senzel won’t really have to wait to get on the field.

14 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Some interesting decisions to be made about the 26-man that include some 40-man shifting as well. I don’t think Nick Senzel ends up on the 60-day, so doesn’t that mean his spot on the 40-man stays and the moves on up to Cincy whenever they say he’s ready to rock and roll?

    I may watch a little bit of the game tonight. 9PM start is still pretty late for me on a Wednesday.

    • Melvin

      Senzel starting the year in AAA is probably the best option all the way around for everyone. I hate to say it but the poor guy may get injured before being called up. Wishing him the best. He still has talent inside of him. May not realize it in Cincinnati.

  2. LDS

    I’ve never been confident that Sims and Santillan would bounce back this year. Maybe well get lucky and they make it back but back injuries don’t always recover.

    • Optimist

      Can anyone compare and contrast the Sims and Santillan situations? Not knowing much about either, but there is a 3 year age gap, and am I incorrect in recalling that Sims has had back issues before? Has Santillan? Have either had surgery/rehabbing from procedure vs. simply time off? Santillan is listed as much larger/heavier – does that affect recovery?

      My hunch is that Santillan will return sooner, but don’t know if that’s at all to be expected.

      • LDS

        I haven’t seen the details either. I’ve known a number of folks in far less physically demanding roles than pitching, that were never the same after back injuries/surgeries. We tend to have higher expectations of a professional athlete’s ability to recover, better physical condition, doctors, etc than the average guy on the street. While that’s true, the physical demands are typically greater as well.

      • David

        Sims did have back surgery last year.

        If you recall John Lamb, one of the pitchers the Reds acquired in the Johnny Cueto trade, had back surgery the winter after he joined the Reds. He was never the same….bounced around with a few other teams in their high minors, and then was out of baseball.

      • Old-school

        Santillan was in so
        Much pain last season he left the team and went home. Was physically and mentally whipped per an article. No mention os surgery but it was reported his back feels great and his delay was just getting his arm ready from
        So much downtime.

        I am optimistic on Santillan
        Sims set back cant be viewed well.

  3. Bdh

    Sims, Santillan, and Weaver shouldn’t miss much time to begin the year

    Before they return I’d go

    Rotation – Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Cessa, Williamson
    Bullpen – Diaz, Farmer, Sanmartin, Gibaut, Cruz, Young, Kuhnel, Law/Duarte

    When they return

    Rotation – Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Cessa, Weaver/Williamson

    Bullpen – Diaz, Santillan, Sims, Farmer, Sanmartin, Young, Gibaut, Cruz

    • Rcsodak

      Why the love for sanmartin? I can’t remember the last clean frame he’s thrown. He belongs in the minors still, imo.

      • Old Big Ed

        Two of Sanmartin’s four appearances in March for the Reds were “clean.” In 4 IP in March for the Reds (remember he pitched in the WBC), he’s allowed 3 hits, 0 BBs, and 1 run, and has struck out 4.

        I’ll take 8 relievers who can do that, which would be the best bullpen in baseball.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Because he may give up a hit or two but he gets people out. Gets out of innings. So far he is the only lefty reliever who is any good.

    • RedsGettingBetter

      Good and after them get back, should coming the long awaited Tejay Antone claiming a spot… Depending on the performances in the BP, somebody will give the spot up to him…

  4. Mike Caldwell

    I don’t understand why injured players; such as, Senzel don’t have surgery in the off season so they are ready for spring training.