Prior to the game tonight against the San Diego Padres, Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell provided some updates on several of the injured players who are working their way back.
Tony Santillan was scheduled to pitch in a minor league game today. He is working his way back from a back injury suffered last summer that kept him from being able to ramp up in time for the start of spring training. He is currently expected to pitch in his first spring training game on Saturday, which is the second to last game on the schedule before the team heads to Cincinnati to prepare to begin the regular season.
When meeting with the media in Goodyear prior to the game, Bell said that both Lucas Sims and Luke Weaver were likely to start the year on the injured list – first reported by Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Sims dealt with back spasms last week and that kept him off of the mound long enough that he’s probably not going to be ready to go in time to begin the year. Weaver experienced some forearm tightness while pitching in a minor league game earlier in the month. Both Sims and Weaver were expected to throw 20-pitch side sessions off of the mound today in Arizona.
With this news it could mean that two spots have opened up on the roster. Sims was almost assuredly going to make the team out of spring training if he were healthy. Weaver wasn’t as sure of a bet, but he certainly seemed to have a leg or two up on the competition for one of the spots in the rotation. Yesterday we took a look at the roster battles, and much of it came down to the pitching staff and who would take the rotation spots because that could determine how many spots could be available in the bullpen.
Nick Senzel will be making his spring debut in tonight’s game against the Padres. He’s not in the starting lineup, but he is with the team and is expected to enter the game from the bench. Bell told the media before the game that Senzel will be on the injured list as he recovers from a toe injury (and subsequent surgery on that toe) he suffered last year. Mark Sheldon of Reds.com reported that he’d begin in Louisville on a rehab assignment when the season begins. Louisville’s season begins on Friday the 31st, so Senzel won’t really have to wait to get on the field.