I have pointed this out on more than one occasion, but it bears a mention here. One thing that aided the Reds in winning the NL Central last season was the non-use of the disabled list. Can’t say the same for 2011. The Reds, at times, have resembled a hospital ward with all the players that have been placed on the DL.
That’s why I was concerned when Dontrelle Willis was pulled from his last outing. At first, we heard that it was a forearm strain. And that had me even more worried. As it turns out, Willis should be able to make his next start, but back to my worries.
The last three Reds pitchers that were placed on the DL had the same issue…forearm stiffness in the throwing arm. And if my memory recalls, that was also the original diagnosis on Johnny Cueto. It was determined that Cueto had irritation in the biceps and triceps.
Sam LeCure, Jose Arredondo, and Logan Ondrusek have all resided at some time or another with this ailment. It makes you wonder a couple of things. One is if they have been overworked this season. No question the Reds bullpen has been called upon earlier in games than most other pens. At the time LeCure hit the DL, the Reds bullpen was putting in more innings than starters. You could say the increased workload led to Arredondo and Ondrusek finding a spot on the DL, too.
For Arredondo, we must remember he had Tommy John surgery prior to the 2010 season. He must re-condition his body and arm for the work. Ondrusek is a little different case.
Prior to his injury, Ondrusek was on pace to pitch more innings and games than last season while pitching for both Louisville and Cincy. He was in 74 games last year going 78.1 innings total. He sits at 56 games and 51.1 innings for 2011 so you might not think it’s that big of a deal. Maybe, maybe not.
But consider this as well. In 2010, Ondrusek pitched with 0 or 1 day of rest 38 times (17 with no rest, 21 with one day of rest). This season, Ondrusek has already equaled the no rest days and has pitched in 18 games with only one day of rest. That’s only three less. Some of these outings came in the same stretch that saw the Reds pen decimated due to the ineffectiveness of the starting staff.
So now I am also wondering if there could be a snag in the throwing program. Is something amiss here? Again, maybe, maybe not, but there’s something in the water.