The Cincinnati Reds got some more bad news about their pitching staff on Friday evening. The team placed right-handed reliever Derek Law on the injured list, retroactive to Wednesday, with a right elbow sprain. They also called up right-handed reliever Alan Busenitz from Triple-A Louisville in order to fill out the spot vacated by Law.

There’s plenty of bad news here for Cincinnati and Derek Law. The reliever has been the second best reliever on the team this season. Law had an ERA of 2.57 through 20 games this year. He even had a save earlier this season. Losing a reliable, and good reliever, is not something that the Reds could afford.

Update: May 20th, 3:45pm ET

Prior to the game on Saturday afternoon, manager David Bell said that Law had a minor flexor mass strain, as reported by Mark Sheldon of That’s quite different than reporting that there was a sprain. Bell went on to say that Law would rest for 10 days and then he would resume activities. That seems like much better news that it could have been based on the limited information from yesterday when the move was announced.

Back to the original article

As for the injury, it’s a little bit confusing. A sprain is a tear. So something in Derek Law’s pitching elbow has a tear. That is never good. Not all tears are something that requires Tommy John surgery. Some tears are small and will just require rest before getting back out there. In some cases guys can get PRP injections and some time off, along with rehab, get back on the mound without any kind of surgery. For now, Cincinnati hasn’t said what the plan is for Law. But the fact that they made the move retroactively to Wednesday seems to suggest that maybe he’s not going to miss months or the next year. We’ll have to wait and see what the word is on the specific injury.

Alan Busenitz is back in the big leagues. He was called up and then sent back to the minors this past week. The 32-year-old pitched in his first game in MLB since 2018, allowing a run in 0.2 innings while giving up three hits and being asked to intentionally walk a batter. Due to the fact he’s being called up to replace an injured player he did not have to spend 10 days in the minor leagues before returning to the 26-man roster.

5 Responses

  1. Redsvol

    Gee, I wonder why Derek Law has a sprained elbow……could it be because he has had to pitch way too often because the starters aren’t carrying their water? Reliever are having to pitch way too often this year and Bell needs to use them for multiple innings instead of 1 inning per outing. 1 inning per outing makes no sense when the pitcher no longer has to hit in the national league now. San Martin and now Law with an elbow.

    • greenmtred

      He has used them for multiple innings some times. Multiple innings require more days of being unavailable. and when the pen only has a few reliable guys, that’s a problem. The pen is better now–or was until Law went on the IL–but since it has to regularly cover three or four innings per game, the demands on it are high. MLB starters do not average six innings per start, so the Reds are far from being the only team dealing with this. And, of course, we don’t know what caused this injury. We can guess overuse, but it might have been one pitch thrown wrong.

  2. AllTheHype

    Uh oh. Not the article I wanted to see.

  3. Mike in Ottawa

    While the starters are part of the problem. The manager pulls them way too early at times. How are they to get better when they get to 5IP, and give up a leadoff hit. Bell yanks them. Even if the only have 75-80 pitches.

    • JayTheRed

      Amen to that. Starters should be going at least 100 pitches, unless they are getting shelled by hits and runs.