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Reds open season with eight on DL
, AP Baseball Writer
Monday, March 31, 2014 11:00 AM
CINCINNATI - The Reds open the season today in Cincinnati with a major league-higheight players on the disabled list, including starter Mat Latos, closer Aroldis Chapman and catcher Devin Mesoraco.
Cincinnati put all three on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday, along with relievers Sean Marshall and Jonathan Broxton and infielder Skip Schumaker. Infielder Jack Hannahan and pitcher Brett Marshall went on the 60-day disabled list.
Cincinnati opens against defending National League champion St. Louis this afternoon, only the second time in the last 20 years the two Central Division rivals have squared off to start the season.
They've won four of the last five NL Central titles - two apiece - and played some of the most intense games in the division. Cardinals 19-game winner Adam Wainwright will start against Johnny Cueto, the Reds' ace who is trying to stay healthy.
And health is a huge issue for the Reds from the outset of this season.
Latos had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left knee on the day Cincinnati opened spring training. He's throwing without problem and is expected back in April. Chapman was hit on the forehead by a line drive and will miss at least a month. Mesoraco injured an oblique muscle.
Broxton is recovering from surgery on his forearm last season and could be ready to rejoin the team in April, giving the Reds a proven closer while Chapman is sidelined. Sean Marshal has been slowed by shoulder problems each of the last two years.
Hannahan had shoulder surgery after last season and still is recovering. Brett Marshall hurt a tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand during a spring training appearance. By placing them on the 60-day DL, the Reds created openings on the 40-man roster.
"It seems like we have caught some bad luck," first baseman Joey Votto said. "A lot of teams deal with this. It's very common. I think we're a resilient team. I think we're deep in talent and I think we can withstand this."
Cincinnati then added reliever Trevor Bell, outfielder Roger Bernadina and infielder Ramon Santiago to the 40-man roster. Catcher Tucker Barnhart and relievers Curtis Partch were recalled from Triple-A Louisville and added to the opening day roster.
The Reds also reassigned outfielder Jason Bourgeois, relievers Jumbo Diaz and Jeff Francis, catcher Corky Miller and utility player Kristopher Negron to Louisville. Reliever Pedro Beato was designated for assignment. Infielder Chris Nelson was released.
A capacity crowd at Great American Ball Park will be there to boo St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina - they still haven't forgotten about that brawl at home plate with Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips from 2010.
They'll also be there to cheer a newcomer - speedy Billy Hamilton, who stole 13 bases in his debut last September and will be leading off this season and playing center field.
"Opening day is big in the minor leagues, but nothing like here," Hamilton said.
Dusty Baker, fired in the offseason, is replaced by Price, a former pitching coach who is starting his first season as a manager.
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