3/22/2014 3:20 P.M. ET
Injuries leave Reds with difficult roster decisions
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
MESA, Ariz. -- With the possibility of at least six Reds players beginning the regular season on the disabled list, several players could make the team who were long shots when camp started.
An additional headache is presented in roster management. Several players in camp who could make the team are non-roster players who would have to be added to an already full 40-man roster. There are few likely candidates who could be designated for assignment to clear space.
"If these guys are options for us, how do we get them on the roster?" Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It's a challenge, for sure."
Skip Schumaker, Aroldis Chapman, Mat Latos, Jonathan Broxton, Sean Marshall and Jack Hannahan are expected to be on the DL. Devin Mesoraco, Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto have battled injuries.
Outfielders Roger Bernadina and Jason Bourgeois, infielders Ramon Santiago and Kristopher Negron, catcher Corky Miller and pitchers Jumbo Diaz and Trevor Bell are all non-roster invites with chances to make the team.
"With the injuries we do have, we may not have a single one that is a 60-day DL," Price said. "That limits your ability to create roster spots for these non-roster players."
Marshall taking advantage of opportunity in spring
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Claimed off waivers by the Cubs from the Yankees in December, pitcher Brett Marshall had already made his way to Spring Training a couple of days early with his new club. On Feb. 12, Marshall's plans, and his uniform, changed abruptly.
"I got here for three days and they said, 'Hey, you got claimed by the Reds.' I was like, 'All right, it was nice meeting ya'll and I'll see ya'll later,'" said Marshall, who turned 24 on Saturday.
Because of injuries to both Mat Latos and Homer Bailey, Marshall has gotten a long look from the Reds this spring. He is 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in five games, including four starts. He has walked 10 and struck out 15 in 13 innings.
"I'm definitely excited about the opportunity," Marshall said. "It sucks that we keep losing guys. That's not OK. We've got a good team. Hopefully, we'll get back healthy and we'll be able to start the year off with a healthy team.
"Every game, I felt like all of my stuff has been on. My command is getting a little better. I'm starting to find pitches a lot more. All of my offspeed is starting to work well. I'm really excited about that, especially going into the season."
Marshall logged three big league appearances last season for the Yankees and posted a 4.50 ERA in those 12 innings. He had 13 wins and a 3.52 ERA at Double-A two seasons ago but struggled in Triple-A during 2013 as he went 7-10 with a 5.13 ERA in 25 starts.
The attrition to the pitching staff could get Marshall on the Reds when they break camp. It's possible he could be in the rotation. His being the long man in the bullpen is also a possibility.
"He could be [in the bullpen]," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It helps that he's thrown the ball well. It helps that he's on our 40-man roster. It helps that he's getting stretched out as a starter. It looks like a strong possibility that [Alfredo] Simon will start the season in our rotation so we'll need length. Brett has worked hard."
During Friday's start vs. the Royals, Marshall gave up two runs and two hits over four innings with three walks and four strikeouts. He allowed only one hit over his first three scoreless innings before giving up a double and all three walks in the fourth.
"I was lost a little bit and I got it back. I buckled down and I got those strikes," Marshall said.
"He's got to be able to stay away from those periods of time where he gets erratic with his command," Price said. "That role as a long man in the bullpen, or as a starter, it's imperative that you keep yourself in the game and force the opposition to get base hits to get on base. We re-emphasized that he needs to work within the strike zone."