Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Walking Wounded

The Reds desperately needed to win last night. They did; even though Edinson Volquez's return from the 15-day DL lasted exactly one inning before "tingling" felt from his elbow down to his fingers forced him to exit the game. The Reds' pitching has been superb this season but sub-par of late, and the return of Volquez to the rotation should have been a much needed boost. Instead, it was a too familiar bust. Just two months into the 2009 campaign the Reds are the walking wounded, or, as the venerable Hal McCoy writes in the Dayton Daily News, "All the Cincinnati Reds need is a third baseman with a bandaged head playing the flute and the picture would be complete." Here is the sick call:
  • Edwin Encarnacion wrist - he has missed most of the season.
  • Wily Taveras - hamstring
  • Jarry Hairston, Jr - flu
  • Brandon Phillips played last night, but with a fractured thumb
  • 1B Joey Votto. His lost is felt the most. Votto has missed most of the last three weeks with the flu and then an inner ear infection. A couple of nights ago he was placed on the 15-day DL because of stress related issues.

Considering all of the above I'm amazed the Reds won last night. Their recent collapse in Milwaukee was a mammoth disappointment, but the team has shown character in the face of all thesee injuries.

I've enjoyed the play of Adam Rosales and Ryan Hanigan, and Ramon Hernandez has been great at the plate, behind it, and at 1B in place of Votto. Phillips has recovered from a horible April, has played banged up and played well. After seeing the Brewers, Cardinals, and Cubs - supposedly the three best teams in the NL Central - I have no doubt that the Reds can be competitive with them, but the pitching staff must be more consistent and Joey Votto has to be in the line-up every day. The replacements have stepped up, but how long will that last?

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