The Reds had some injury setbacks this week
Things were looking up for a battered Cincinnati Reds roster, with Homer Bailey making rehab assignments and being on the verge of returning in a likely bullpen role, all indicators were towards a healthy roster to begin the second half of the MLB season. Scott Schebler, part of the four-man outfield rotation for Jim Riggleman, crashed against the rightfield wall in St. Louis last Saturday, spraining the AC joint in his right shoulder.
Schebler sat out on Sunday against the Cardinals, presumably to get him some extra rest during the All-Star Break and hopefully have him ready for last night against the Pirates. It was announced late Sunday Night that Schebler was headed to the DL with the sprain and resulting inflammation in his right shoulder, forcing the Reds to bring up Phillip Ervin from Triple-A Louisville. Ervin made a start last night for the Reds, playing in the outfield while Adam Duvall played first base for Joey Votto. Last night, another Reds player got bit by the injury bug, beginning yet another downward trend at potentially the worst possible time.
In the ninth inning, while attempting to turn a double play with the Reds down big to Pittsburgh, Infielder Alex Blandino tore his ACL on the wet, muddy infield surface. Blandino, a backup that plays every infield position with the exception of first base, doesn’t bring a lot of pop with him to the plate. He is hitting .234 off the bench, with a lone home run with eight RBI this season in 51 appearances so far in 2018. Again, not much to impress with at the plate but he is a blow in terms of being a solid defensive depth player.
Granted, this could be a complete overreaction from a frustrated Reds fan who feels that our season has been derailed with injuries that lead to our atrocious start, but it feels as if the injury bug is nested in Cincinnati. We are currently 14.5 games behind the first place Cubbies in the NL Central race, with a ten-game homestand against the Pirates, Cardinals, and Phillies to begin the second half. All three of those teams are in the thick of their division races, with Philadelphia leading their division over the Braves and Nationals. It is a tough slate to kick off a potential run at the playoffs, but with the injury bug still lingering around the Queen City, the road to the playoffs just got much harder.