Shots Across the Bow: Problems in the Central

Bill Brink 3 years ago

ST. LOUIS -- One after another, the news started coming out Thursday.

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips needs surgery on a torn ligament in his left thumb. He will miss six weeks. 

The Reds already lost Joey Votto to the DL again, and Homer Bailey left his start early Thursday because of pain in the patellar tendon in his knee. The Reds don‘t e‍xpect that injury to be serious.

“It‘s ‍not going to be an easy series,” Neil Walker said.

Then Yadier Molina needed surgery on a torn ligament in his right thumb that could keep him out for eight to 12 weeks.

Those are big blows to important players on division rivals. The Pirates head into Cincinnati today, while the Cardinals go face the Brewers in Milwaukee. The Brewers are 1-9 in their past 10 games and have lost five in a row. The Pirates lost three of four to the Cardinals and are only 31/2 games back of first.

The Pirates‘ offense produced Thursday and Edinson Volquez put forth his fourth consecutive good start since his implosion against the Reds in June. Francisco Liriano will return Sunday and Starling Marte could be back as early as Saturday, after the All-Star break at the latest.

In today‘s paper:‍ Pirates avoid sweep, new reports on Sanchez and PEDs.

Coverage of the Cardinals from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Jenn Menendez will take over the team in Cincinnati and I will see you from Minneapolis, where I will cover the Futures Game and All-Star festivities.