The Cincinnati Reds are facing some very tough obstacles going into the second half of the 2014 season. The cause for a lot of these problems–injuries.
Gold Glove 2B Brandon Phillips was put on the 15-day DL due to a injured thumb, which required surgery to repair, and will miss 8-to-12 weeks. They will also be without their franchise cornerstone–1B Joey Votto–who has an injury to his quadriceps that will cause him to miss 4-5 weeks (according to Reds General Manager Walt Jockety).
The rotation isn’t immune to the injury bug either, as starting pitchers Mat Latos (back) and Homer Bailey (knee) have been working to get back to the mound as close to the All-Star Break as possible.
Without Votto and Phillips, and Latos and Bailey, it has become a very tight race in the NL Central between the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Cincinnati Reds (just 2.5 games separates the first place Cardinals from the fourth place Reds). While Alfredo Simon and Johnny Cueto have been outstanding in the rotation, and Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco have been great with the sticks, this team needs its star players back as soon as possible, and needs them to produce at their All-Star levels, if Cincy is going to have a shot at winning the NL Central.