Entering Tuesday, the Cincinnati Reds hadn’t won a game since the smokestacks in center field burned. No one blamed the fire for the nine-game losing streak, but all the news has been negative since May 15.
The Reds did get some good news Tuesday before the second game of a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies. An MRI revealed no structural damage in the right elbow of ace Johnny Cueto.
Cueto missed his start Sunday because of soreness and likely will miss at least one more start. The news could have been much worse.
“He has a little bit of inflammation in his elbow, which is a part of pitching,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “More than anything, it gives us a little bit of piece of mind that there’s no major structural damage, no injury that would linger or get worse. That being said, he still has to go out there and throw and make sure the stiffness and soreness is out before we can schedule a bullpen and, in turn, schedule his next start. It will still be at least probably a couple of days before we know more about when we’ll see him back in the rotation.”
Mike Leake (2-3, 4.14 ERA) will start against the Rockies in the series finale at 12:35 p.m. today. Beyond that, the Reds have not announced the starting pitchers for Friday, Saturday and Sunday when they host the Washington Nationals.
“Until we know what we have with Johnny, until we know we can slot him back into the rotation,” Price said, “it’s really hard to make a commitment to who (the five starting pitchers) will be.”
Marshall news: There was more good news Monday when injured reliever Sean Marshall revealed he could start throwing again in six weeks. He has not pitched since June 10, 2014, because of a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Marshall expected to miss all of this season after having more shoulder surgery last week. The surgery revealed the damage wasn’t as bad as thought.
“For a guy who was looking at six months, that’s epic,” Marshall said. “The range of motion should come back quickly. It was mind-boggling. I couldn’t have been more happy about the results.
“When they got in there, they saw that it was sealed and healed. When they told me it wasn’t as serious as they thought, it took a little while to settle in. For the last two years, it’s been nothing but bad news. I was on the fast track to come back, but I just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Bruce hitting: During the nine-game losing streak, Reds right fielder Jay Bruce raised his average from .174 to .224. He had three three-hit games in the last four games.
“The results are there lately,” Bruce said. “It makes it tougher to enjoy when the team’s not doing well.”
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