Just when it looked like the Reds were starting to get healthy, we receive seriously bad news.

Various outlets, both local and national, are reporting that Jay Bruce will undergo surgery to repair a torn knee meniscus tomorrow. He’s expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

On the bright side, at least the Reds didn’t let Bruce play with the injury for two weeks and then finally get around to doing an MRI. They diagnosed the problem quickly and, other than the one pinch hit AB today, didn’t risk further injury.

On the negative side, Reds fans are well aware how easily estimates of 3-4 weeks can turn into six weeks. Joey Votto had similar surgery, with the same predicted 3-4 week DL stint, in 2012 and missed time from July 15 to September 5. Votto’s injury took place on June 29, but he continued to play for a couple weeks, including at the All-Star game.

Even worse, Votto’s injury impacted his hitting for more than a year. The two situations may not be comparable. Votto may have aggravated and worsened his injury. He reinjured it during rehab and required a second surgery. That said, Votto didn’t hit a home run the remainder of the 2012 season after his return. The Reds first baseman also attributes a drop off in power in the 2013 season in part to the prolonged recovery.

Expect Chris Heisey to take Bruce’s spot in RF. Billy Hamilton should return to action Tuesday night and play CF. Skip Schumaker can play across the OF as a backup. He may share time with Heisey in RF.

To replace Bruce on the roster, I believe they can recall Roger Bernadina, who they designated for assignment at the start of the weekend to make room for Skip Schumaker.

The 2012 Reds did a great job filling in for Joey Votto’s loss. Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier, in particular, stepped up in his absence. It will take a similar effort for the Reds to not lose significant offensive firepower. Even though Bruce hasn’t had a big season yet (.216/.352/.363) he has still contributed to the offense through taking walks, among other things.

Check back here for more details as they develop tonight.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 151 Comments

  1. Just shoot me now and get it over with. This death by a thousand cuts sucks.

    • It isnt like we are going to miss his bat… He was stinking it up this year, but yeah i hope at some point we get to see if Lutz can hit at the ML level

      • Really?

      • The Reds are not going to miss Bruce in the line up for over a month?

      • That is ridiculous.

      • A month can make you think crazy things, like Pena is a better hitter than Bruce, BP is washed up, Homer is a wast of $100 million… I hope the other 2 are not true but I am sure Bruce is the most important run producer on the team

        • Hey guys! Five starts into his contract Homer has been declared a waste of $100 million dollars!!!!

      • I’m with Dale here. Bruce gets a pass for who knows why..

        • Well it is true that also that historically Bruce is only a hot hitter in May and September so maybe I am wrong. Bruce is over rated if you ask me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guy and he sure is exciting to watch but dang he is just about the streakiest hitter I have ever seen also! When he is hot he is the best bat in baseball but we also have to be fair and say that his stats are well padded from those hot streaks. I am still looking for the ultimate stat out there to identify the most “consistent” players in baseball, at least for batters. Pitchers… well the win column is all that matters in the end for a player that plays just once every 5 games at best.

  2. Ouch! Let’s hope Jay has a speedy and uneventful recovery!

  3. Donald Lutz, come on down. Get well Jay.

    • Lutz is crushing the ball and looks ready for the bigs.

    • He’s had about 2 good games last season, do not get too excited, how about letting OF’s have some success at AAA before bringing up the AA all-stars, any body got some waiver wire gems

  4. Sad thing is, I am not even surprised anymore when I find out more Reds players are hurt. Is it time we just accept that the Baseball Gods hate us this year and there won’t be a “when we get healthy”? Ludwick/Schumaker/Heisey doesn’t seem like the greatest outfield.

    Did we hear anything about Pena? Hope he’s not hurt seeing as how Mesoraco isn’t back until like the 11th.

    Also when is Hamilton expected back in the lineup?

  5. The hits just keep on coming. Hope the severity of it isn’t bad. Votto wasn’t back in 3-4 weeks and wasn’t the same hitter for some time.
    Will Jocketty finally do something, or is it tread water again until well into June now?

    • We’re all suspicious, of course, but Votto’s continuing to play with the injury certainly could have worsened it–the size of the tear increases. My meniscus surgery went fine, and I was, in fact, back at work climbing trees and roofs in a few weeks. Jay isn’t hitting much now, but the Reds will certainly miss his defense.

  6. I don’t think Lutz will be called back up unless the Reds can’t get Bernadina back. I don’t fully understand how that works though with the Reds DFAing him. I wish the Reds had an actual backup 3B so Frazier could slide out there some.

  7. Can a player who has been DFA’d be recalled? ie) Bernadina?

    • Who can POSSIBLY want Bernadina back? In WJ’s recent cabinet of bench horrors, Roger Bernadina may be the LEAST talented player yet. I wish I was just saying this to taunt the “baseball gods” to show me how foolish I am (in which case, C’MON BB GODZ!!), but WJ’s continual downward spiral in antique “utility infielders” (former Cards shortstops with vanity plates) and 4th/5th outfielders is just horrifying. We really have to deal off the reservation to get warm bodies who strike baseballs in anger with results…

    • It looks like a player can be brought back who has been DFA. Basically the first option under the DFA rule states that the player can be put back on the 40-man roster. That said, I’m not sure Bernadina is the best option.

  8. keep it everybody on the 40 man roster will be on the DL or with the big league club

  9. Many people express concern about the Reds medical staff, mostly based on the botched episode with Votto’s knee. No one was more critical than I was about that mess, but I don’t place much culpability for that on the surgery or rehab stages. In Votto’s case, the problem was the delay in diagnosis. Now that Bruce has reached that stage, I have more faith the process will go well.

    • How much do we bet that Bruce’s knee had been bugging him for awhile now? I know a game like 7-10 days ago he was on third base and flexed his knee. Don’t recall the exact game, but nothing was ever said afterwards, so I forgot about it until today.

      My money is on it bothering him for a bit now, would explain his struggles and complete loss of power seeing as how he hasn’t had an XBH since April 21st.

      • I also remember the game where Bruce was flexing his knee. I believe he remained in the game and I never heard anything more about it until you brought it up just now. I wonder which game that was?

    • Except they had to go BACK in and do a second surgery…that’s not a good medical practice.

  10. Worst part of this is not the 3-4 weeks out (although that’s bad), but how long after the surgery this will impact Bruce’s power. Remember that Joey Votto didn’t hit a home run the entire month after he returned from his rehab and said he felt the effects lingered through 2013.

  11. This is going to be interesting. It will be interesting to see if Schumaker gets to take some of Billy’s at bats in CF, or if he and Heisey split Bruce’s ABs in RF. I’m not even sure who the Reds view as the better CF, Heisey or Schumaker? I assume Heisey, but Bruce has always been viewed as the constant in RF so this should be very interesting.

  12. I’m going to try out for the team. Who knows, they might be forced to let me play by the end of the season.

    I hereby promise never to take a called third strike.

    • If Pena’s hurt for any length of time, I’m going to try out too. Of course I’m older than even Corkey… And he’s a better hitter.

  13. I definitely didn’t feel that way at the time, but it was a good thing that Bruce struck out today. A sac fly would have been even better, my point being it’s good that he didn’t do any running, sliding, etc.

    It’s all been said but the Reds will also miss his defense.

    • Makes you wonder if they knew it was severe enough to put him on the DL at the time of the AB, I wondered at the time if they were bluffing to get a lefty to face a righty bat, if he was that hurt that caused that painful to watch AB, why risk making it worse if he hit a ground ball and had to run it out

  14. Price said on Saturday that Bernadino had cleared waivers; and, that he has right to refuse reassignment and would take a few days to make his decision so his agent to could test the waters to see if there was a situation that might get him back to the majors with more certainty and quickness than accepting assignment from the Reds.

    This was said on the Saturday pregame manager’s radio blurb, So, now, I’d think if the Reds want to bring back Bernadino, all they have to do it to get him to accept the outright assignment then they can “reselect” him. Schumacher was on the 15 day MLB DL which means he was already on the 40 man roster and did not take the spot opened when Bernadino was DFAed. So, that slot should be available for Bernadino.

    The question would seem to be do they really want him back? Also it is doubtful they would have made the move with Bernadino on Saturday to bring back Schumacher had they known anything might be pending with Bruce. Logically they would have just DLed Bruce for Schumacher or waited a day to two to see how Bruce’s knee responded before making a move.

    • Not positive, put my count 22 pitchers, 3 catchers, 8 IF, 8 OF on the 40 man roster, Brett Marshall & Hanahan I think do not count since they are on the 60 day, Bernadina not even on it. Anybody know if they put another in his place. Only 4 position players- all OF’s- no of who look ready- including Lutz

      • You’ll find a link to the official 40-man roster at the top of this page, under the menu item Players.

        • I will keep reading and maybe somethings come up, I count 41 players from the link, but think the 2 mentioned 60 day DLed do not count, so that makes 39 with is an open spot

  15. Reds will certainly miss Bruce but I seem to recall they did ok in 2012 when Votto was out. I think they’ll circle the wagons now and get it done.

  16. I think one thing the difference between how Votto was handled in 2012 and how Bruce has apparently been handled points out is that that there is a gap in the level of care between when the team is at home and on the road. One would think on the road it should be simple enough to get the home team’s medical staff to order up an MRI that would be transmitted to whatever Dr. the road team wanted it sent to for evaluation; but it doesn’t seem to work that way.

  17. In 19 games at AA Lutz is OPSing .439/.733/1.172. I wouldn’t bet against him being the call up for Bruce,

    • I wouldn’t be against letting him play in AAA for a month instead sitting next to Soto on the bench

  18. According to Doug Gray, Lutz has a hamstring injury and has only played 1 game in 10 days, and he had to leave that game early.

    • I’m not sure if it’s funny or sad that even the AA choice for backup OF is hurt. Give it like 10 days and Jesse Winker will get called up from A+ at this rate, no doubt.

      • Last I heard, Winker is also hurt. Also, Yorman Rodriguez. And Erwin has an OPS < .600.

        The Reds should either re-sign Bernandina or call up Jason Bourgeois. The guy can at least pinch run. Who cares if Bourgeois isn't on the 40 man? Why keep a AAAA in Louisville if you can't use him in these circumstances?

        • Yeah, I know Erwin had offseason wrist surgery and hasn’t been quite the same hitter yet. I didn’t know Winker and Yorman were both hurt though.. there’s seriously almost nobody healthy in the organization top to bottom it seems.


        • So who actually is on the 40? I would think Bernandina is not since the DFA, and it is mentioned that he could just take his space and be back in his previous role, otherwise can they not bring up anyone and put thme on the 40 in his spot?

  19. So as far as catcher goes, are we down to Barnhart and Soto?

    • Corky is still in AAA, but I saw on the news that Pena expects to be able to play Tuesday.

      • The fact that Corky Miller will likely start a major league baseball game in 2014 is absolutely astounding to me. I love the guy, but he should have been finished a couple years ago.

        • I have no doubt he would be much more helpful than Soto is at this point, it seems that Soto needs to be playing every day at AAA as pinch hitting is not his thing

        • Is the beloved, benign Porky Lopez still the Reds’ bullpen catcher? Someone, PLEASE, answer if you know.I’ve asked this before. There’s still time for a Corky ‘n’ Porky bobble-head day at the ol’ ballyard…

        • @IMMACULATECONCEPCION – Nilson Antigua is the bullpen catcher. Stephanski also catches some in the bullpen and is the catching coach.

  20. Don’t kill me but what if we traded Simon for a RH OF? Latos and Chapman are coming back and we have some decent pitchers that could spot start in AAA. Simon’s value will never be greater than it is right now. Maybe we trade him to a team that needs pitching and get a good bat in return!

    • We currently have 4 healthy major league starting pitchers in the organization and you want to trade one of them.

      • Im with Joey, because its going to take a fairly drastic move to make up some ground. Latos will be back, someday. Chapman will be back soon. We’ve got guys that could fill in for a spot start in the minors. The real reason I say to trade Simon is, do you really see him keeping this up for long? How many people would be suprised if he goes out and gives up 6 runs each in his next 3 starts? His value is as high as it ever will be, trade him. (let it be known, that I believe even if we offered him, no team would bite. Simon is a 5th starter at best, maybe a 4th guy on some teams)

        • Who’s in the trade market to give up a legitimate middle of the order bat in May? The notion of a Simon trade has been floated over the past couple weeks, but I think most teams are as wary as you are – It’s hard to expect him to keep this up. And even if you think he can keep it up for a while, I doubt there’s anyone who thinks he can give you 175+ innings this year. So you’re going to give up a power hitting middle of the order major league bat for a SP who may or may not give you another 2 months of bottom of the rotation starts? Good luck swinging that trade.

        • Gotta agree with ERIC NYC. I think you’d have a hard time getting a really good bat for Simon. Then there’s the fact that the Reds kinda need Simon right now. I just don’t see a Simon trade as being an answer.

    • I have been in the school of thought that as soon as Latos comes back try and trade Simon for RH bat. There has to be someone out there in need of a starting pitcher silly enough to give up a bat… We may need to package someone else to get it but I’m ok with that. Just don’t know who that would be.

      Only major problem with that now is the injury to Cingrani. That makes getting rid of Simon a huge problem. He is really the only safety net to an injury to the rotation… Unless the Reds are willing to see what Stephenson has to offer as a big league starter.

      I just worry about how much longer Simon can continue this pace as a starter or if he will fall off hard here in a little bit. If he goes back to the bullpen he will be a long reliever and held for multiple innings. In the bullpen he becomes the 4th or 5th option at best…. Possibly 6th. I would be willing to trade a bottom half reliever to get a RH bat.

      • If a team “needs” a starting pitcher they probably are in contention or want to be in contention such that it would be unlikely that the team to trade a middle of the order bat for said starting pitcher.

        • That’s the point, isn’t it? A lot of our trade proposals seem to assume that the other team is run by gullible fools. Also, I have no idea whether Simon can continue to pitch as well as he has been, but it’s not as though he’s been doing it with smoke and mirrors. Good velocity, good breaking stuff.

    • I’m down with that, esp. if it yields a right-handed hitter with some pop and at least above average speed. Should be doable…

    • Cuz teams love trading for guys with significant legal problems hanging over their heads.

      If I’m the Rockies/Yankees/whoever’ GM and I get a call from Walt Jocketty proposing a Simon trade, in my mind, I immediately see the headline scroll across the bottom of the MLB Network tv screen, “Rockies Acquire Alleged Rapist In Trade”.

  21. Opportunities for Heisey and Schumaker. Not worried.

  22. Not much to be said that hasn’t been said already. 2012 we went most of the year without a healthy Votto. 2013 it was Ludwick. 2014 it’s going to be Bruce. There’s no way to paint a rosy picture. Everyone has to step up – they’ve shown in the past they can, but the odds are against them weathering it well. Heisey will start in his place and put up an OPS+ of roughly 20 points lower than Bruce. And, as has been repeated, don’t expect Bruce to have much power the rest of the year. We can try to be optimistic, but it’s his back leg. That’s where the power comes from. The good news is that Ludwick and Frazier seem to be having up years and hopefully Mes comes back with something like the power he had before the injury. He really could be the savior in all of this.

  23. What exactly is the deal with Donald Lutz? He was good enough to stick with the big league club for the better part of last season and now he’s relegated to AA ball, where he is clearly overmatching pitchers, when there is literally no one with a legitimate bat in Louisville or even on the Reds bench? If Walt thinks he’s not ready to be with with big club or wants him to play every day, why not at least play him in AAA?

    • Wasn’t it a few years back that I remember that some teams viewed the AA level as a better level to place higher prospects because the AAA level was watered down with retreads and such.

  24. The Reds depth in the minors seems pretty shaky if needed to replace the Major League roster. Is there a back up for any of the infield spots? Bernadino is the best option to bring up for Bruce?

    Are we sure Latos will be back before the All Star Break?

    • Are we not replacing Bruce with Heisey/Shumaker? We are looking at whom we replace their places on the bench with minor league talent.

      • I was referencing younger players that might be the future in the IF and OF. Heisey/Shumaker are 4th OF types that are not the future.

        On the OF side, the Reds have produced Hamilton, so, that is a positive.

    • He was throwing on the field yesterday. Last I heard they were aiming for mid to late May. I’d bet he’s on a rehab assignment by the end of next week.

      • Sounds good – just hope for no set backs. All pitchers eventually get injured. Latos has had a few issues in the past half year with injuries, not counting on him until he is starting a MLB game.

  25. Flashback to 2012, Votto loses all power contribution, prior to the all star break, while maximizing his OBP in lieu of power. It turns out that Votto’s loss of power was from playing with a torn meniscus that required surgery. Flash forward to 2014, Bruce loses all power contribution while maximizing his OBP in lieu of power. It turns out that Bruce has a torn meniscus that requires surgery. Schumaker is rushed through a rehab assignment and Bruce goes to the DL one day after Schumaker is activiated from the DL. This just smells of another medical mishandling of a serious issue requiring surgery to one of the key, core players on the team.

    • I believe we have a winner. Makes sense in retrospect.

    • Ah conspiracy theories…What would the internet be without them?

      Injuries to back legs usually cause a loss of power. Just because that also happened with Joey doesn’t connect the two. Also with Joey there was a clear incident whereas for all we know this has been a lingering issue that Bruce never told anyone about until yesterday. I’m inclined to believe that, because if there was any sense from the organization at all that he was actually injured they never would have put him in to PH. And Schumaker was raking in AAA and looked completely healthy. Considering we had exactly 1 major league bat on our bench, there was no reason to wait to bring him up. Wouldn’t exactly call that rushing. People are going to look for reasons to blame the medical staff because for some reason that’s one of RLN’s favorite pastimes, but just like with Joey’s injury I’m putting this one on Bruce. He knew he wasn’t 100% and it sure sounds like he never said anything to anyone. And a cold month for Jay Bruce doesn’t exactly raise any red flags. He has those all the time.

      • What is one mans consipriacy theory is another mans par for the course.

        • I’ll ask what I always ask. Which is more likely: That a TEAM of highly trained medical professionals at the top of their field repeatedly misdiagnose and mistreat very common athletic injuries and are never replaced, or that a professional athlete in a rush to get back on the field or hoping to stay off of the DL doesn’t speak up about what he hopes is just a minor ailment or setback in recovery?

          Conspiracy theories sound good usually because people are inclined to want to believe things happen for a reason and when you go back you can cover everything from every possible angle and craft a convincing case. In reality Occam’s Razor usually holds true: The simplest explanation is usually the right one.

  26. Per ctrent via twitter…
    Donald Lutz’s hamstring had been an issue, but now that’s OK — and he has the flu.

    If this is true (and no reason to believe otherwise), the Reds just got in a lot better shape for roster moves.

    The Big Lutz is slashing .387/.439/.733 to lead the AA Southern League with a 1.172 OPS. He returned after missing a little over a week nursing a hamstring, to go 2-2 with 1-BB & 2-RBI before leaving the gam in te 6th inning on 5/2/14. He’s been out of the lineup since then, but if he’s was removed due to the flu and he just been struggling with his recovery from the flu, the Big Lutz should be on his way to Boston with the intent to play every day until Bruce returns.

    • I think Schumaker will get an extended look playing every day before they give the job to Lutz. And if Hamilton is healthy then Heisey’s higher on the food chain, too. I am looking forward to having Lutz’ bat on the bench though.

      • Recalling their best OF prospect who is absolutely destroying the league, only to have him take a spot on the bench doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it is certainly a possibility. If the Reds intend to play Heisey and Schumaker in RF on a regular basis, certainly a possibility, then I would rather see the Big Lutz shipped to Louisville and have a less valuable, non-prospect riding the bench in Cincinnati with only an occasional pinch hitting opportunity, like Soto.

        • I guess that’s always the argument. Development versus immediate production for the big league club. I don’t know…25 years old, still in AA ball (even if he is tearing it up). 6 years of development in the organization. I just don’t think he projects as an everyday player. But his bat can certainly make him another Chris Heisey. Considering how thin our bench has been in recent years that’s a big upgrade.

        • The Big Lutz is a unique prospect. He came VERY late to baseball, so he was way behind the curve when originally signed. He lost an entire season last year with the mishandling by using him as a pinch hitter at the major league level and then suffering an injury when he went back to AA after his stint in the show.

          His problem was pitch recognition and plate discipline last season so he played in the Mexican League (AAA equivalent) during the off season to specifically improve in those areas needing development. The ONLY reason Lutz is not playing in AAA is that WJ signed a slew of AAAA minor league FA to fill the AAA roster and refuses to move them out in order to provide opportunities for legitimate prospects at AAA.

          At least that’s how it looks to the Old Cossack, but I will admit I have been a fan of the Big Lutz for a while and really want to see him succeed. What if Lutz joins the 25-man roster and hits with an .800+ OPS over the next month+ while Bruce is on the DL and completing a rehab assignment? I like the tough decision that would be facing Bryan once Bruce is reactivated. Just sayin’…

        • I think we’d all love to see that, but I’m not sure what the decision would be. You’re not suggesting Bruce wouldn’t get the job back are you? I’d think the only decision would be regarding Schumaker. I’d think they’d probably go ahead and send Santiago down and cross their fingers Skip could play some 3B or SS in an absolute pinch. I’ve never understood being too worried about that kind of thing – worst case scenario a guy goes down in a game and you have a player out of position for a couple of innings before you bring someone up the next day. Maybe it costs you a game, but that seems trivial when compared to keeping guys on the bench who have zero value as hitters just because you need someone who can step in and play SS in an emergency.

      • Heisey and Schumaker. Schumaker does not hit LHed pitching.

        • I was all set to come back with “Well Heisey only has a career OPS of .688 against LHP” but then I checked Skip’s splits. Ouch. Can’t seem to find splits for minor league numbers but Lutz was actually worse than both of them against LHP in his brief stint in the majors last year.

        • Minor league split for Lutz:

          2014 v. LHP .308/.308/.308 in 13 PA
          2013 v. LHP .205/.292/.295 in 89 PA
          2012 v. LHP .229/.258/.415 in 124 PA

        • What a weird slash line for 2014.

        • Schumaker has an exceptional (maybe dramatic would be a better description) career split of 110 OPS+ v. RHP compared to a 50 OPS+ v. LHP, but showed some regression last season with a 90 OPS+ v. RHP compared to a 79 OPS+ v. LHP.

          In a VERY small sample size last season, Lutz put up a 104 OPS+ v. RHP and a 91 OPS+ v. LHP. The Big Lutz just has tremendous power potential. The question has always been pitch recognition and plate coverage/discipline.

        • @Eric – Yeah, 4/13 and all singles w/ no walks. Small sample size makes for strange slash-lines.

  27. So any word on Pena? Hamilton? I assume Hamilton is making the trip but never heard an update on Pena.

  28. I’m a little late here today, But let me start out with “I’m a Bruce fan”. But how many times has his bat gone quiet for a month or so in his career? and we still won. I mean were talking about replacing a guy that is currently battling the “Mendoza Line”. This is not the end of the season as I see it. The Reds are based on good pitching. Heisey and Shumacher should be just fine for a while. I predict the Reds are in or close to 1st place whenever the Bruce comes back….Which I hope is soon.

    • Bruce goes quiet for a month all the time, and then follows it up with a month where he puts up a 1.200 OPS. So we got the cold month and now don’t get the chance at the hot one. Not to mention, Mendoza line aside, he was still putting up an OPS+ of almost 110 when he went down. Missing Jay Bruce for a month will hurt this club. Full stop.

      • I’m not saying he won’t be missed, I’m saying this club can make up for his absence in the short term. Banking on a hot month from Bruce is not a good way to win championships. Pitching, Pitching, Pitching! Thats what we got!

        • Well I’d never bank on a PARTICULAR month to be hot for Bruce, but at this point in his career I’d bank on at least 2 or 3 incredible hitting streaks a season. Take 4-6 weeks (let’s be realistic) away and it just lowers the odds of him having more of those streaks. I don’t think it will CRIPPLE the team, but it’s a big blow. Luckily it looks like Frazier is finding another gear in his game, Cozart is finally coming around, BP seems to have gotten his head on straight, and Ludwick is looking a lot more like the guy we signed. Once Joey comes out of his current funk I think we’ll be fine, and if Mes can come back and look even half as good as he was when he went down we’ll start racking up some runs.

        • Yes, but there is no candidate (maybe Heisey, to some extent) who will replace Jay’s glove, and defense is a prerequisite for effective pitching which, as you point out, is the fragile vessel in which the 2014 Reds hopes are carried.

      • We were all looking forward to Bruce’s typically hot May. It’s a shame, but the Reds will be OK if Votto, BP, Ludwick, Frazier hit. The 2012 Votto injury set off an incredible run – something like 35-5.

  29. Fay: “#Reds could outright Bernadina to Louisville and then recall him for an injured player.” My guess is that they’ll do that.

  30. With all of these injuries, maybe it’s time to look at different trainers for the organization. This seems to be an epidemic.

    • The training staff is fine. Players seem to get hurt more in the modern game. I actually think it’s because the modern player is pushing the boundries of human athleticism and because modern medicine now finds injury where once they couldn’t. The Reds have been unlucky with the injury bug this year but if you look around baseball, there are a lot of teams fighting a lot of injuries.

  31. Odd schedule…Three days off in the next week. Hopefully that’s good news for Pena and Hamilton. Just saw that Mes was doing some running and throwing before the game yesterday. Everything sounds pretty positive on that front and he’s scheduled to come off the DL just after the Rockies series. Hopefully he won’t need a rehab assignment.

  32. The Reds are still playing well, and winning some good games. Mostly we’re winning with pitching. Our starters were fantastic in the 4 games against the Brewers, and if they keep pitching like that, we’ll keep winning some games.

    But this does have the feel of a lost season. Absolutely nothing has gone our way, between injuries, and little breaks leading to one-run losses. Our record doesn’t reflect the talent on this team, but at the end of the season it’s all that counts.

    I’ll keep watching, and rooting, but it’s hard to have high expectations at this point.

  33. Cincinnati Reds via twitter…
    OF Roger Bernadina accepts outright assignment to Louisville.

  34. Mark Sheldon‏ via twitter…
    Jocketty said Bruce surgery went routinely. Expected to miss a month.

  35. Bruce, Votto, Broxton, Marshall, Latos, any other botched injury situations coming from the Reds medical staff? This is not good at all. Well we need guys to step up NOW.

    Hamilton, Votto, Phillips, Frazier, Heisey, Ludwick, Pena, Cozart

  36. The Reds have an open slot on the 40-man roster, so they can make any roster move they like to replace Bruce on the 25-man roster. With Pena gimpy after the final game of the homestand, they may wait until they’re sure that they don’t need an additional catcher on the 25-man roster for the Boston series before making any roster move. If an additional catcher is needed for the Boston series, Corky could be added to the 40-man roster and DFA’d after the Boston series (or whenever Pena or Mesoraco would be ready to play).

    If Pena can at least backup Barnhart if necessary, then the Reds could promote Lutz, Bernadina, Bourgeois, Nelson or Navarro without any roster issues. When Bruce returns, Lutz could simply be optioned back to a minor league roster. Any of the other players would be DFA’d but would almost certainly go through waiver claims.

    • Shchi, I buy your comment about issue of plate coverage/discipline and pitch recognition for the Big Lutz, but why isn’t it an issue for Bruce, Frazier, Phillips, and Cozart? They all seem to be suckers for the low-and-away, slow, breaking stuff. Drives me crazy to watch, at times!

      • You and me both, but Bruce and Frazier have looked better this season and Phillips and Cozart have looked better lately. I have no basis for any insider info, but I get the distinct impression that someone recently issued and edict to Heisey, Phillips and Cozart regarding their hitting approach and playing time. All three seemed to suddenly start making a more concerted effort to increase their plate discpline with positive results. Then again, maybe that’s just wishful thinking…

  37. Per C. Trent…
    Roger Bernadina will replace Jay Bruce when the Reds’ right fielder goes on the disabled list on Tuesday, according to a source.

    • They may have had to promise the spot to Bernadina to get him accept the outright versus looking elsewhere as per Price, Bernadina had the right to decline the outright and elect free agency.

      Also Bernadina is the safe move until they know exactly where they are with Hamilton and whether Lutz is ready to play.

    • Agreed, and Bernadina was a WJ minor league FA signing and WJ tends to hang on to those minor league FA signings. With Heisey and Schumaker on the 25-man roster to cover CF if Hamilton is slow to heal, I personally hope that Lutz still gets the call up after the Boston series, once he gets fully recovered and up to strength. The Big Lutz apparently got it bad and that can really zap a guy’s strength and stamina for a few days. The cup half full is that it allows additional time to make sure the hammy is fully healed.

  38. Per the Enquirer:

    Jocketty: “Bruce has been dealing with knee injury for much of the season.”


    • So much for the thought of Bruce keeping the problem to himself and not allowing mangement or the medical/training staff to completely and properly diagnose the problem.

      • Not necessarily. It’s possible he told them nothing until it became too bad to battle through then said he had been battling it all year.

        As many on here can attest, I’ve been known spin as good of conspiracy theory as the next guy. I just don’t see it clearly cut as the case here.

        Yes, Votto should have not have kept playing after his original injury (that we know of) and it was an probably an error by the player or training staff that led to his second surgery. But I don’t see that here (yet at least).

        • Yeah, Jocketty left himself some wiggle room.

          Jocketty should go into politics when he is done with the Reds.

        • I think Jocketty will retire on his giant pile of money when he’s done with baseball.

        • I don’t see a conspiracy here, either. Of what could such a conspiracy consist, anyway? The medical staff, secretly betting on the Cards, intentionally misdiagnoses injuries? Who has anything to gain from conspiring about injuries? Most guys play hurt, I suspect, and the point at which a normal ding becomes an injury needing surgery is the point at which you operate. A meniscus isn’t torn until it’s torn. You don’t operate to cure sprains and inflammation.

    • That sure helps explains the severe problems Bruce has had at the plate this season after an .896 OPS in spring training.

      • This I do agree with,

      • I definitely agree that the knee is probably Suspect #1 in Bruce’s power outage this year. But I still don’t necessarily put it on the trainers.

  39. Yes, the digs at the Reds medical staff are getting redundant. It’s possible that Bruce didn’t tell anyone and then when he finally told someone, he said he’d been battling it for a while. Also, guys tend to want to stay in there so sometimes even if the trainer or doctor asks about it, they’ll say “Just a little sore. I’ll be fine.”

    • And I know someone will say “Well, if it’s sore then they should do an MRI just to be sure!!” That doesn’t fly though. Guys are almost always dealing with something and throwing an MRI at them every time something hurts is going to lead to a lot of MRIs for no injuries and a lot of guys trying to cover up aches and pains even more than they already do.

      Orel Hershiser summed it up pretty well. An MRI should be done when the likelihood of injury is higher than the likelihood that there’s no structural damage. Orel even said he told his ortho that MRI stood for “Maybe really injured.” and “May require incision.”

      • Exactly. A lot of people think that an MRI is free. You can’t go sticking guys into MRI’s every time they’re a little sore. These are professional athletes playing big league ball – they’re all sore all the time. With Joey you had a clear cut case of an incident that that occurred in front of everyone’s eyes so suspicions should have been raised. If this was just “My knee’s been a little sore the last few weeks” no doctor would jump to an MRI. It’s also entirely possible that yesterday was added the final bit of aggravation that pushed it over the top for both Bruce and the staff. Those HUGE whiffs he took in that AB could have made what was a very small tear bad enough that it was clear they needed to do the test.

    • Ah, but everyone loves a good conspiracy theory. It doesn’t have to be true or even plausible, just remotely possible to get a blogger’s juices flowing. heaven knows the Old Cossack needs all the help he can get these days to get the juices flowing…

  40. I’d just like to once again recall Broxton’s injury, which definitely reflected either medical malpractice (“well, I guess he can pitch”) or managerial malpractice (“better to pitch an injured Broxton than pitch a healthy Chapman because of The Book”). I’m still puzzled why so little fuss was made about that sequence of events.

    And I sure hope LeCure has had every inch of his arm from his shoulder to his wrist MRI’d. He’s a warrior, but he will not survive with a mid-80s fastball as tape of him gets around.

    • As a fan of the show House my first assumption is always that patients lie. And I think you multiply that time 1000 when it comes to professional athletes. These guys are all hyper competitive or they never would have made it to this level. They don’t want to come out unless they absolutely have to. I will always give the benefit of the doubt to the trainers because ultimately all they can rely on is how good a guy says he feels. And I’d bet it’s roughly 100% of the time that a player says he’s ok until he’s well past being ok.

  41. Last year we had Dusty apologists. Now its Reds’ Medical Staff apologists. When a volume of injuries occurs, and multiple injuries are ones that were not diagnosed immediately, it’s more than just bad luck. There’s a level of incompetence from the Reds’ medical staff that cannot be ignored. Players are bigger, faster, stronger, etc, but medical diagnosis and treatment tech has kept pace. Except in Cincinnati.

    • Right, because only the Reds are dealing with a rash of injuries…


    • Yeah because the Reds medical staff can control when guys cleats get stuck in turf or when a guy throwing 90+ mph fastballs hurts his shoulder. Clearly everyone should get a full body scan after every game.

    • I’m an apologist for both because the criticism of both is based almost entirely on guesses, rumor and innuendo (“almost” because strategic decisions by a manager are visible). Unless you have been treated extensively by the Reds’ medical staff or are a doctor with first-hand knowledge of the injuries in question, you are voicing opinions, not facts. Opinions are just as good as the information on which they are based.

  42. My meniscus surgery was to be a 3-4 week recovery. It took them at their word and resumed normal activity in that time. But the knee did not feel normal again for six months. That 3-4 weeks must be a measure of the time that it takes the affected tissue to repair itself, but the surrounding muscles and tissues all have to adapt to a new environment too, all connected. That’s all I can figure.

    • Yes, it really just depends on the surgery, the person, and the rehab. I’ve had 5 knee surgeries (yeah, I was a catcher, go figure) and they’ve all gone differently. This despite the fact that two of them were to repair meniscus tears. One recovery took about 2 months and the other took about 4-5 months.

  43. Man. Still no Billy Hamilton today.

    • Or Pena. And no announcement on a replacement for Bruce on the 25-man. Apparently Price doesn’t think we need a bench this week.

      • Seriously. They play in like 4 hours. Fay, this is what you get paid to find out. Who is new in the locker room?

    • Hamilton can’t grip a bat. I don’t expect to see him starting until at least Friday, if then.

    • Soto is the DH tonight. Big Pappi? Soto? You decide.

      • Wow, I forgot about needing a DH. Sure would be a good time to get both our catchers’ bats into the lineup……and I’m not talking about Barnhart and Miller. This injury thing is REALLY apparant when we play AL rules.

        • Not only do the Reds not get both catchers in the lineup, they get neither catcher in the lineup. The team is just snakebit this season. Tonight’s lineup has a backup RF, a backup CF, a backup C and a backup DH. That’s half the lineup and the same problem will almost certainly be present tomorrow. It’s time for Homer to step up and deliver another no-no type of performance.

        • Well, at least we don’t need to worry about double switching. We also have Leake available as a PH.

  44. Homer Bailey in Beantown tonight. That’ll be worth tuning into tonight. HB has the major’s best run support for a SP. Going to need that tonight. Score some runs guys.

  45. So, the Red Sox get to use David Ortiz as their DH, and the Reds have to use Neftali Soto. Wow. Ladies & gentlemen, I submit to you Exhibit A why the DH needs to be uniform across the leagues.

    And sorry guys, the AL isn’t getting rid of the DH anytime soon. This is a fairness issue that has to be addressed. AL teams have massive long term advantages over the NL teams that may affect NL playoff races. The 2014 Red Sox v. Reds is an extreme example of this unfairness, but this issue has existed ever since the beginning of interleague play.

    Ultimately, MLB has to drop interleague baseball, or the NL has to adopt the DH.

    • I’m willing to live with this perceived disadvantage as long as I don’t have to watch the Reds use that abomination 94% of the time.

      • Since 2004, the AL has defeated the NL in head to head play for 10 straight seasons, with a winning percentage of 0.546. There isn’t a “perceived disadvantage.”

        I don’t think MLB will drop interleague play, so I could see the DH rule coming to the NL in the next 5 years or so.

    • The thing I never get about this argument is that whether you’re in the AL or the NL has nothing to do with the size of your market or your payroll. So yes, the Red Sox get to have David Ortiz as their DH, but they also have to pay him $11 million.

      The Reds don’t have a good DH, but they get to spend their money elsewhere, like on Homer Bailey. So I really don’t see this as an advantage at all. They have a better DH but we should have a better something else. If we don’t, then we’re just not doing a good job managing our payroll, or they just have a lot more money than we do.

  46. This is where we are Reds fans:

    Heisey 9
    Votto 3
    Phillips 4
    Frazier 5
    Ludwick 7
    Schumaker 8
    Cozart 6
    Soto DH
    Barnhart 2

    Bailey 1

  47. Light rain in the Boston area for this evening. Cool temps. Cool and damp, Reds kind of weather in 2014.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.