The Cincinnati Reds might have fallen to 2-5 Monday with a 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, but the cavalry is coming and boy do they need their key pieces back, before things get feisty in this organization.
Cincinnati fielded an Opening Day roster with eight players on the disabled list, the most in MLB and its most since 2007, when it also had eight on the shelf. Slowly but surely, its desired roster is taking shape.
It welcomed back catcher Devin Mesoraco on Monday, although he sat so that backup Brayan Pena could catch Tony Cingrani, They also got center fielder Billy Hamilton back from a jammed left middle finger suffered on Friday night in New York.
Manager Bryan Price expects right-hander Jonathan Broxton, who will be the team’s closer until lefty Aroldis Chapman returns from multiple injuries suffered when he took a line drive off the head in a spring training game on March 19, to return Tuesday night from his rehab assignment in Double-A Pensacola.
Starting pitcher Mat Latos is making a rehab start tonight for Louisville at Columbus and could be back next week. Utility man Skip Schumaker (dislocated left shoulder) could also return before April flips into May.
So if the Reds can hang on against a difficult April schedule until they get key pieces back, they might be able to challenge for a playoff berth, but they have to play better than what they have shown the first seven games because Reds fans are already pushing the panic button.