SAN DIEGO -- Reds reliever Sean Marshall has returned to Cincinnati for another medical examination, as his progress from a sprained left shoulder has been slowed.
Marshall, who has been on the disabled list for the second time since May 24, experienced soreness after a July 14 bullpen session and hasn't worked from a mound since.
"We're going to make sure everything is OK with his arm as we progress," Reds pitching coach Bryan Price said on Tuesday. "He's had just some little moments where he's had a little bit of tenderness. It hasn't necessarily been consistent with his shoulder injury. Since we're going to be in Cincinnati in a couple of days anyway, we figured we'd get a head start on it."
Team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek will look at Marshall. The news is disconcerting since the lefty setup man seemed to making solid progress during his throwing program.
"I'm concerned in that he's had some discomfort in his shoulder, on and off, since March 20," Price said. "We haven't been able to get him completely pain free. I think he's stronger now than he was early in Spring Training, but we haven't been able to get him to the point where we can take the next step, which is a rehab assignment. We've gotten close, but not over the final hurdle."
Baker doesn't focus on Trade Deadline rumors
SAN DIEGO -- The Trade Deadline was less than 24 hours away and a countdown clock was on the television in his office as Reds manager Dusty Baker watched a Pirates-Cardinals game Tuesday afternoon.
All signs point to the Reds being quiet when the 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline strikes on Wednesday.
"I don't pay attention to it. It's mentioned to me," Baker said. "It's hard to make a trade. We have hardly made any deals during the season since I've been here. Most of them are called 'trade rumors.' They're not called trades. I don't have time to pay attention them.
"I don't like rumors. Realistically, what can I do about it? I can't stop it."
The Reds have made only two major acquisitions around the Deadline during Baker and general manager Walt Jocketty's tenure since 2008. In '09, the Reds traded for third baseman Scott Rolen from the Blue Jays and last season, reliever Jonathan Broxton came over from the Royals.
Cincinnati has been keeping its eye out for a right-handed bat, but is also hoping that bat can be supplied when Ryan Ludwick returns from the disabled list. Baker didn't expect the Reds to make the transaction wire on Wednesday.
"Probably," Baker said. "Even if it's quiet tomorrow, some guys end up getting traded after the Deadline anyway, which I've always wondered how everybody passes through [waivers]."
Choo bats second, moves to left field due to injury
SAN DIEGO -- Shin-Soo Choo, who missed Monday's game with a minor sprain of his left ankle, returned to the Reds' lineup on Tuesday against the Padres. But things weren't all back to normal. Not only did Choo not lead off as usual, he wasn't in center field either.
Choo played left field for the first time this season and batted second, to keep his bat in the struggling lineup while also giving his sore leg somewhat of a break.
"It's less running, and this is Yellowstone National Park out here," manager Dusty Baker said. "We need some good, fresh legs. Hopefully he can do some damage on offense and we can get [Chris] Heisey in the game late."
Choo has not appeared in left field since playing 20 games there for the Indians in 2009.
"It's a matter of doing what you can do to win the game," Baker said. "Anybody that's been on a championship team knows you have to overextend sometimes, especially this time of year when very few people are 100 percent. If they are, they haven't played much. I discussed it with Mr. Choo. He's played [all outfield spots]."
More at-bats necessary before Ludwick returns
SAN DIEGO -- Reds left fielder Ryan Ludwick wasn't able to play on Tuesday because his rehab assignment game with Triple-A Louisville was rained out. Ludwick played his second game in left field on Monday and was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
In five games with Louisville and Class A Dayton, Ludwick is 2-for-12. Don't expect Ludwick to be activated when the Reds open a three-game series at home vs. the Cardinals on Friday. It's out of the question.
"Not when he's played five-six innings and is 2-for-12," manager Dusty Baker said. "There was no way I figured we'd have him for the Cardinals anyway. He said he needs 30 [at-bats]. I think he needs at least 50. He's not only operating from behind, he's operating from way behind. But he's worked his butt off to get to this point."
Ludwick has not played for the Reds since Opening Day, and he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Cincinnati has struggled from the right side of the plate at times this season and the offense has been in a major funk during a four-game losing streak entering Tuesday.
The club will still not rush Ludwick back to the lineup.
"We've got to have some guys to produce here. We can't wait on Ludwick," Baker said.
• Because of a scoring change, a hit has been taken away from Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who hit a single vs. the Dodgers on Thursday. Running on the play, Choo was fooled into heading back to first base and was tagged out.
It was originally ruled a single, but according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Votto's single has been changed to a fielder's choice "pursuant to Rules 7.08(3) and 10.05(b)(1) ... in summary, although Choo reached second safely on Votto's single, when he attempted to return to first base, the force play at second was reinstated and Choo thus was put out by a fielder's choice, 8-6."