Cincinnati Reds Spring Training Report: Sean Marshall, Robert Stephenson Held Back


The Cincinnati Reds entered Spring Training this week with hopes that the injury problems that plagued them in 2014 were behind them, but three days in, they’ve been hit with three setbacks.  After Homer Bailey admitted on Wednesday that he was behind schedule, Friday hit us with the news that Sean Marshall and Robert Stephenson were concerns, too.

As Marshall tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, he was doing well a few weeks ago but has had a set back related to shoulder soreness:

"Two weeks ago, I was doing three sets of long-tossing from 120 feet, feeling pretty good. But I kind of had a little soreness in my shoulder. I got out here (to Arizona) Feb. 6. I had to slow down a bit. I’m not on the mound yet."

Meanwhile, Fay Tweets some concerning news about prospect Robert Stephenson:

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p>Robert Stephenson is being held back a few days from throwing off the mound as a precaution. Want to make sure his shoulder is strong. <a href=””>#reds</a></p>&mdash; John Fay (@johnfayman) <a href=”″>February 20, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Stephenson will be battling for one of the rotation spots opened by the trades of Alredo Simon and Mat Latos this winter, though he seems likely to start the season in the minors.  The youngster has battled shoulder soreness during his career, so this move may be just precautionary.  It could also be a strategic move to keep Stephenson’s Major League arbitration clock at bay for as long as possible.

Marshall, on the other hand, will be counted on to help reverse the poor performance of Reds’ middle relievers in 2014.  Marshall underwent shoulder surgery last June, so it’s definitely concerning that he continues to recover slowly.

In order to contend this season, the Reds need markedly better health across the roster than they had last season, and the early Spring Training returns are not encouraging.

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