By all accounts, Mat Latos has pitched exceptionally well for the Reds this season. But he says he has been doing so hurt since late June.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Latos told a reporter that he has been battling an abdominal strain since pitching at Texas on June 30.
His comments came while discussing his discontent with fans criticizing his performance against the Pirates on Friday to his wife, Dallas, on Twitter.
“It was Pirates fans and Cincinnati Reds fans,” Latos said. “Let’s be honest. I pitched real well all year and I hear nothing but good things. But I pitched against the Pirates and I have a bad start. (With) certain Reds fans – I’m not allowed to have that. Let alone, no fan knows that I’ve been dealing with an injury since the Texas Rangers game. And I’ve been pitching with it. So I’ve been pitching the way I’ve been pitching, but I’ve been pitching hurt.”
The 25-year-old was then asked whether he cared if the injury was reported to the general public.
“It doesn’t really matter to me,” he said. “I could care less because I’m not trying to win over fans or anything like that. I’ve been pitching with an abdominal strain since the Texas game. I think it was at the end of the June.”
His revelation has to be at least some cause for concern. The Reds are entering the most crucial part of their season and a lot of their success or failure will ultimately ride on the shoulders of Latos. However, it's highly improbable the team wasn't aware of the fact that he is ailing. And it hasn't been completely noticeable that he has been struggling with being hurt at all.
Since June 30, he has compiled a 7-4 mark, and his ERA has risen only slightly from 3.03 to 3.23. Plus, Latos is still striking out hitters at his usual rate and he has pitched in at least six innings or more in each of his last 11 starts.
Latos is slated to make his next start against Pittsburgh on Friday. He will have the luxury of pitching on six days of rest, too.