Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reds could have three injured players back by week's end

The cavalry is nearly here for the slumping Reds.

Cincinnati is set to get a huge shot in the arm by week's end as it expects to get back a trio of ailing players who have been on the disabled list, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Reliever Jonathan Broxton (elbow) is scheduled to come off the disabled list prior to Wednesday's matinee against the Athletics. Catcher Ryan Hanigan (left wrist) and left fielder Ryan Ludwick (right shoulder) are expected to be activated by the end of the week, too.

“Hanny’s close, Ludwick’s close,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “By week’s end, this could be a very good week. We’ve been operating with less than our team. The guys who taken their place have done a good job. But it’s time the big boys to come back.”

Broxton has been on the disabled list since June 15 due to a nagging elbow. He recently made two rehab appearances for Triple-A Louisville, allowing no runs and no walks, while striking out five over two innings.

Hanigan, who has been sidelined since July 11, took batting practice on the field before Tuesday's game and said his injured wrist only bothers him when hitting. Nonetheless, the veteran catcher said he hopes to be ready to go by Friday.

The one player from the group that fans are probably most eager to see return is Ludwick. The 34-year-old injured his shoulder while sliding into third base on Opening Day and has been out of service ever since. But the Reds are hoping he can provide some life in a batting order that has been so desperately lacking lately.

Manager Dusty Baker commended Ludwick for his hard work in recovering.

“This guy worked as hard as anybody I”d ever seen,” Baker said. “That can get monotonous. You see the season ticking away. . . I’m proud of the way he worked. He’s a big part of our team. He’s the spirit of our team.”

Ludwick is expected to be activated on Sunday.

The addition of these three players may not be enough to ignite a long winning streak. However, it is safe to assume their mere presence can only help revitalize a club that needs a lift.

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