Cincinnati Reds watch injuries mount as season winds down

Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

The last thing that the rebuilding Cincinnati Reds wanted to see to end the season was a series of injuries.

As the 2016 season has wound down, the Cincinnati Reds have seen a series of disappointing injuries impact their ability to prepare for 2017.  The Reds have seen relief pitchers Alfredo Simon and Caleb Cotham be lost for the year.  More recently prospect Cody Reed and center fielder Billy Hamilton ended their season by landing on the disabled list.

Perhaps the most disappointing injury is that of Homer Bailey.  The Reds were hoping that he would make every start in September and be ready to be the opening day start in 2017.  Instead, Bailey has only made six starts since returning from the disabled list, none since September 1.

Hamilton’s injury is also frustrating.  He injures himself every year as a starter.  Even more frustrating is that this year was his best offensive season in his career.

Another player that the Reds wanted to see healthy was Zack Cozart.  After missing a large portion of 2015 with a knee injury, the Reds were hoping that Cozart would stay healthy all season long.  He made it through most of  the year before knee inflammation slowed him down.  Now there is doubt as to whether he’ll be able to return this year.

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This has been an issue all season long.

This comes after another lost year for presumed All-Star catcher, Devin Mesoraco.  Mesoraco has essentially lost two seasons in a row to injury.  Tucker Barnhart and Roman Cabrera have filled in admirably, but Mesoraco is still the presumed superstar for the Reds.

Really, the losses of Hamilton, Reed and Baiiley for different reasons are the biggest.  Losing Simon and Cotham hurt the bullpen depth, but neither is going to be anything more than a fringe contributor in 2017.  Mesoraco’s career fell apart with injuries.  Cozart may have just worn down.

Then there is the other three.  Reed’s injury is the most disappointing because he would benefit the most from more maturation.  He dominated in the minors, but needs more time in the big leagues to be ready to contribute next year.

Hamilton is at the point of his career where he needs to prove that he can last a season.  With his injury this year, Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza have been filling the hole in center field.  Hamilton could lose his starting job to injury.

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Of course, Bailey is the player that the Cincinnati Reds most want to see be healthy.  He is either a good trade candidate or the team’s top starter when healthy.  As it stands now, Bailey is just one of a handful of Reds watching instead of playing the games.