One injured player the Reds shouldn't expect to return anytime soon is southpaw reliever Sean Marshall. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer caught up with manager Dusty Baker before Wednesday's game in Chicago and asked whether he expected to have Marshall back in the bullpen in the near future. Baker didn't seem too optimistic.
“I’m not expecting it,” Baker said. “If you expect things and they don’t happen, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re not expecting it and you get them back, you’re elated.”
Marshall has been sidelined since May 24 due to tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. According to Fay, he still needs to pass a strength test before resuming a throwing program. A test is expected to be done in the next few days.
In the meantime, Cincinnati will have to make due with the combination of Aroldis Chapman and Manny Parra as its left-handed arms in the 'pen. Chapman has been dominant for the most part throughout the season, while Parra has really blossomed lately, as well. However, Baker still believes the Reds could use a third lefty on its relief staff.
“It’s tough to go a long ways in the playoffs and the World Series — I’ve seen a couple of teams do it — (with one left-hander). You better have the some righties who can get lefties out...We’ve got to try to win with what we’ve got,” Baker said.
Although Baker likes the roster he currently has at his disposal, the veteran skipper appears to be more than open to acquiring more help before the Aug. 31 deadline. That is the last day players can be obtained and be eligible for the postseason.
“Am I satisfied? I always want more,” Baker said. “There are some areas that we’re a little down in. How hard is it to make a deal and how much do you have to give up?
Since I’ve been here, we haven’t done much in the middle of the season.”
I wouldn't expect the Reds to make a move this time around, either. They seem more than content to hold steady with the duo of Parra and Chapman until the postseason. If the Reds do make the playoffs, and Marshall is still not healthy, the plan seems to be to move Tony Cingrani to the 'pen to serve as the third left-hander, which wouldn't be the worst option in the world.
Marshall, who saw action in 73 contests in 2012, has appeared in just 11 games this year, which is on pace to set a new career-low for the 30-year-old. His previous season low for appearances came in 2007 when he appeared in 21 games for the Cubs. However, 19 of those appearances were starts.