Going into Reds right-hander Scott Feldman’s start against the Washington Nationals on Monday, he and manager Bryan Price and Cincinnati’s medical staff all thought they had licked his lingering knee problem.
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Well, not quite. The soreness that had plagued him for much of the season returned while he was warming up in the bullpen and, unlike most of his previous starts, he couldn’t shake it. The ugly result? Nine batters, five runs, five hits — including home runs by Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman on back-to-back pitches — for a 5-0 Washington lead before the Reds even swung their bats.
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As Price suspected after Monday’s 6-1 loss, the Reds placed Feldman on the 10-day disabled list before Tuesday’s opener of a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Great American Ball Park.
“I don’t know for sure,” Price said of whether more time might be needed. “He’s getting a second opinion just to make sure that we cover all the bases as far as figuring out the extent of the injury and what we have to do to get him back on the mound. I anticipated that it would be more than one start, but I don’t know that for sure.”
Feldman and the Reds stepped up their treatment of Feldman’s problem after it persisted through his start in Colorado on July 5, Price said.
“He had an MRI in Arizona because he had some soreness coming out of his start in Colorado,” Price said. “He felt good after his treatment in Arizona and coming out of the All-Star break, he felt much better. That’s why we felt yesterday would be no problem.”
Feldman becomes the sixth Reds pitcher who’s started at least one game this season to go on the disabled list, and that’s not even counting right-handed Anthony DeSclafani, a projected rotation member before developing elbow problems late in spring training. DeSclafani is soon expected to graduate from bullpen sessioins to pitching in simulated games in Arizona.
Slot-filling: Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, who bailed out Cincinnati’s bullpen with a career-high five innings of relief Monday, remains a candidate to start in Feldman’s slot Saturday against the Miami Marlins.
“He won’t be available for two or three days,” Price said. “He could make that start. Our other option would be calling up somebody from Triple-A, especially if we need to use Asher before that. I like him in that long role.”
Wojciechowski (1-1, 5.22 ERA), who was released by the Diamondbacks late in spring training and signed a minor-league contract with Cincinnati on April 21, has made four starts for the Reds and five with Louisville.
Busy Mesoraco: Catcher Devin Mesoraco went 1-for-4 — the one hit being a grand slam — on Monday in the first game of his rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville.
“He got a lot of at bats,” Price said. “He came out of it well. How he feels today is important. He’s supposed to catch again today.”
Welcome back: Former Reds right-handed reliever J.J. Hoover was activated from Arizona’s disabled list Sunday, just in time to travel with the team to Cincinnati. Hoover, who alternated between terrible and brilliant in the last three of his five Cincinnati seasons, was 1-0 with a 4.18 earned-run average in 31 games before going on the disabled list June 23 with right shoulder inflammation.
“He’s gotten some big outs and pitched some big innings for us,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “We’re excited to have him back.”
Back-to-back Zack: Right-hander Tim Adleman (5-7, 4.99 ERA) is Cincinnati’s scheduled starter in the second game of the series at 7:10 p.m. on Wednesday. He’ll be opposed by right-hander Zack Greinke (11-4, 2.86 ERA), who will be making his first start since July 7, when he shackled the Reds, limiting them to four hits and one walk with seven strikeouts in a 6-3 Diamondbacks win at Arizona.
Greinke improved to 8-2 with a 2.21 ERA in 13 career starts against the Reds.
Adleman was the losing pitcher in that game, giving up six hits and three earned runs with one walk and four strikeouts in five innings. Adleman has lost his last three starts and five of his last six.