• Starting pitcher John Lamb had disc surgery in December that will put him behind schedule, possibly mid-April.

Lamb was part of the Johnny Cueto trade with Kansas City. In 10 starts for the Reds last year, he had an impressive 26.4 percent strikeout rate (would have been 11th best among all major league pitchers) and 3.56 SIERA.

• Baseball America published their Top-30 prospects for the Reds system. They ranked Robert Stephenson, Cody Reed and Amir Garrett as the top three. The ratings were made prior to the Todd Frazier and Aroldis Chapman trades. You can see their entire list here, at Doug Gray’s site, side-by-side with Doug’s rating.

• In another sign that Spring Training is closing in, the moving truck began loading up at Great American Ball Park.  The truck leaves tomorrow on a three-day, 1800-mile trip to Goodyear, Arizona.

The usual game equipment — like bats, baseballs, extra uniforms and helmets — is headed to the Reds’ player development complex in Goodyear, Ariz. But also included are front-office items, kitchen and food supplies for the clubhouse, all the equipment of the medical and training staff, marketing and promotional materials and audio/visual equipment needed for the scoreboard crew shoots. There were some other items, too, including a guitar, a bicycle and a treadmill.

Many of the Reds are already in Goodyear working out.

• Former Reds player Skip Schumaker signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres.

• Another former Reds player, Mat Latos, signed a 1-year, $3 million contract with the Chicago White Sox.

That’s a huge fall for Latos, who as recently as 2013 had a big year starting for the Reds.

33 Responses

  1. TR

    Matt and Todd will be team mates at New Comiskey.

  2. WVRedlegs

    Sad news on John Lamb. Now with he and Moscot coming off of injuries and surgery it will definitely change the possibilities of what the rotation will look like on Opening Day. So much for Lorenzen and/or Finnegan moving to the bullpen. It is going to be a very, very interesting spring training.

    • ohiojimw

      Moscot’s injury was to the nonthrowing shoulder. Unless there have been “hidden” complications, he should be ready to go.

      However I agree they will probably use Finnegan and/ or Lorenzen in the rotation prior to starting the clock on any of their “Big Three” of Stephenson, Reed, or Garrett. This could turn into a really good opportunity for Rookie Davis if he is near being ready and has a good ST.

      • ohiojimw

        There is also Timothy Macgill Melville:


        He’s the 26 year old RH pitcher the Reds signed to a minor league deal relatively soon after the end of the 2015 season to provide organizational depth at SP. He was in the Detroit org last season, starting 27 games at AAA. In 2014 he started 26 games at AA in the KC org. The BBRef data infers that he had an injury in the 2012 season when he made 9 starts (AA 5; A 2; rookie 2 ) in the KC org and was in recovery/ rehab mode most all of 2013. He pitched 151.2 innings in 2015; so, if nothing more, he is a candidate a la Josh Smith to send to the mound every 5 days if that is all the Reds are looking for.

    • sezwhom

      An interesting Spring Training usually translate into a moot point by the end of April.

  3. Patrick Jeter

    I wonder who the guitar belongs to and why they wouldn’t just bring it with their own personal effects! There’s gotta be a story there!

    • ohiojimw

      I was thinking maybe it was something Arroyo had left behind they were hauling out to Arizona to return but remembered he is with the Nats now and will be in Florida for the spring.

  4. jessecuster44

    Surgery in DECEMBER. Season over in OCTOBER.

    Clearly I do not know all the facts, but bottom line is that Lamb’s behind schedule. Why was the surgery so late?

    The mind boggles at this sort of thing.

    • deLuxe

      He could have injured the back after the season. Or, they could have been using physical therapy and injections to alleviate the situation. Surgery is always the last remedy as serious complications can and do develop. Discs are not trivial.

      • ohiojimw

        Yes, Lamb had a really strong AAA year before coming to the Reds and did not pitch like a man in serious back pain when with the Reds; so, maybe this happened late in the season or after the end of the season.

        On the other hand if he was pitching through a back injury that ended up requiring surgery, assuming all goes well with the fix and recovery, he might be even more to be excited about when he returns to action.

      • RFM

        Price implied that John Lamb’s rehab is going slower than expected, making it sound like since the procedure they expected him to be ready by spring training, only recently pushing that back into mid-April.

        For people wondering why the Reds didn’t announce it, probably they hoped it’d go unnoticed and cause no distraction.

      • jessecuster44

        But really – not being ready for the season because surgery was done too late… this is a Reds thing.

      • ohiojimw

        Evan Gattis (Astros DH/C/OF) just had hernia surgery Tuesday and is out 4-6 weeks. That too is the sort of thing that would seem on the surface to be a manageable situation that was mismanaged. We don’t know the details with Lamb (of Gaddis); but, sometimes things just play out in an awkward way. These could be two examples.

      • greenmtred

        You just can’t know that, Jesse. As others have pointed out, he may not have injured himself during the season. Plenty of ways to get hurt besides baseball. And it’s also true that back surgery is not always a first resort. The Reds have plenty of problems: We needn’t set up strawmen.

      • jessecuster44

        If this was the first time a recent Reds player wasn’t ready for the season due to late surgery, I’d be less critical.

      • lwblogger2

        We’re not sure of that. He could have injured it in November or even a week before the surgery. As Deluxe said, they also may have been waiting as long as possible before deciding on the surgery. Surgery should always be the last option, even if it makes a players a month or so behind schedule.

      • jessecuster44

        This is the first we’ve heard about the injury. That’s pretty strange – but given the Reds, not so strange.

      • greenmtred

        What could we have done if we had known about the surgery earlier? Picket the Reds’ offices?

      • jessecuster44

        “For people wondering why the Reds didn’t announce it, probably they hoped it’d go unnoticed and cause no distraction.”

        I’m not picketing, but I’m not ticketing either. This organization is a dumpster fire, and the only way it gets put out is by a complete personnel and culture change.

      • Ken Goldsberry

        Really depends on what type of back surgery and where it was done on his back. I’m living testament that back surgery of the fusion variety can take a long time to rehab and leave scarring that still causes issues. Lower back fusion is probably a 6 – 12 month recovery time.

  5. WVRedlegs

    A bad right elbow and a bad attitude are worth $3M on the open market in MLB? We all should be so lucky.

    • ohiojimw

      I wonder if the no strings $3M MLB offer was the best Latos had on the table without taking the risk of coming into camp on a minor league deal; or if perhaps if a less competitive team offered more, but he chose to go with a team that figures to have a decent shot at the playoffs? Maybe the Pirates who were mentioned as a fit for a pillow deal for Latos saw enough of him as a Red not to be interested? Or maybe he hopes to get a positive bounce by switching leagues?

      • WVRedlegs

        Bone chips in the elbow, a deminished fastball, and only 4mph difference between his fastball and change-up have spelled doom for Latos. I think that was his best offer. I read that Latos was in Chicago for a physical before he signed. So he must have passed their team’s physical and his elbow checked out OK.

      • Patrick Jeter

        Also possible (but maybe less likely) is that he wanted a 1 year deal so he can re-enter free agency in next year’s weak class after, perhaps, having a decent year. He’d stand to make a lot of money next year if he can get back to form this year.

      • ohiojimw

        I think it is a given he was looking for a single year “pillow” deal.

        However most of the national “pundits” I follow I think were expecting double the $3M although some of them thought he would have to take an MiLB deal or incentive filled deal out of the chute to work his way there. Instead he signed for $3M/ 1 year with apparently no incentives involved. All in all, its really a pretty low risk deal on both ends given today’s baseball economics.

  6. dan

    back surgery for a disc problem at such a young age doesnt bode well for this guy to have either a long or a successful career.

  7. WVRedlegs

    They didn’t say what kind of disc surgery he had. So it is hard to speculate on what happened. It could have been minor surgery or something more complex. Discs lose fluid, or the fluid flows over to one side and bulges out. Both cause nerves to be pinched down on, which can cause some severe pain. Most of the time, going to a chiropractor will solve the issue over time. But sometimes the disc doesn’t respond and then surgery is necessary to replace the disc. By the timing, it sounds like they may have tried that for a time, then decided that in December it would require surgery. The timing really is bad, but it could have been worse. They could have waited until spring training to see how it affected him before doing surgery. That would have really put Lamb behind schedule by half a season.

  8. Redgoggles

    Bummer for him. New team that has openings in the rotation and he’s towards the front of the pack, and now this. Hoping for a speed recovery!

    • Joe McManus

      I wonder if this opens the door for Cody Reed with a good spring training?

      • ohiojimw

        I think the door has been ajar a bit for Reed based on the numbers he put after he came to the Reds org last season. However, he is not yet on the 40 man roster; and, on the recent caravan Jocketty indicated it was likely they would start Reed out at AA again this year instead of moving him up to AAA to start the season. So, I think barring further attrition in the ranks of prospects and suspects, Reed will be held back.

        I suspect they are trying to create some stagger in the arrival of their top guys in order to avoid the type of situation they found themselves in with regard to the contract status of the incumbent rotation heading into 2015.

  9. WVRedlegs

    The Phillies DFA’d LHRP Bobby LaFromboise. He would be a nice addition to the Reds bullpen options. He has been DFA’d 3 times this winter. Though that in itself might be a warning, I think it is mostly about numbers. The Phillies picked up an INF the Angels DFA’d. LaFromboise pitched well for Pittsburgh and their AAA team last couple of years. He has a good track record with a couple of hiccups along the way. He misses bats at a rate of 1 per inning. Looks as if he did away with his fastball and throws sinker-slider-change up. The Phiilies picked him up on waivers just before the Reds would have had to pick or pass. If the Phillies can’t trade him then they have to waive him, then the Reds should jump. If Finnegan is going to be counted on to start and lamb is going to get a late start, then adding LaFromboise to the bullpen options might be a good idea.

  10. james garrett

    Tough break for Lamb but lets hope the surgery fixes the problem.As far as Reed or anybody else who pitches or performs well they won’t see the field if there service time clock hasn’t started.The Reds must get rid of players they don’t see as part of the future before they start the clock on players who are part of the future.Outside of BP I don’t think they even know who those players are and will use this year to evaluate.So as much as me the fan wants to see this guy or that called up and given a chance it just won’t happen.Walt and Price have all but said the names of the roster will be familiar names with an exception or two.