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Garrett (left lat strain) placed on injured list

Gennett could avoid IL; Wood to begin rehab assignment
@m_sheldon
July 4, 2019

CINCINNATI -- The Reds placed key left-handed reliever Amir Garrett on the 10-day injured list on Thursday because of a left lat strain. Cincinnati recalled utility player Josh VanMeter from Triple-A Louisville as a roster replacement. Garrett’s transaction is retroactive to Wednesday and came after he struck out the side

CINCINNATI -- The Reds placed key left-handed reliever Amir Garrett on the 10-day injured list on Thursday because of a left lat strain. Cincinnati recalled utility player Josh VanMeter from Triple-A Louisville as a roster replacement.

Garrett’s transaction is retroactive to Wednesday and came after he struck out the side on 16 pitches during Tuesday’s 5-4 win over the Brewers in 11 innings. He hadn’t previously felt anything and was sore after the adrenaline of pitching wore off.

“I’m not too concerned about it. It’s just regular soreness,” Garrett said. “I started throwing more fastballs. Everybody knows I throw mostly sliders. I guess I need to throw more fastballs so my arm gets used to it again.”

Garrett threw 12 sliders and only four fastballs on Tuesday.

“Yeah, but they were hard. Only four fastballs, but usually I throw two,” said Garrett, who averaged a 97 mph fastball velocity in that outing.

Losing Garrett will be a temporary blow to the Reds, who have no southpaws left in a bullpen that once carried three.

In a team-leading 42 appearances this season, Garrett is 3-1 with a 1.70 ERA and hasn’t allowed a hit in his previous six games spanning 5 2/3 innings.

“Definitely taking a cautious approach to this,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He may not even [need] the full 10 days. At the same time, he’s so important to us -- all of our guys are -- and we have to look at the long term of keeping guys healthy for the whole year. It’s the right decision. It’s going to be hard not to have him for 10 days. In the end, I think we’ll able to look back and realize we did the smart thing.”

Cincinnati designated veteran lefty reliever Zach Duke for assignment on Monday while another southpaw, Wandy Peralta, is on the 10-day IL with a right hip flexor strain. Peralta threw his third side bullpen session on Thursday and might need a game or two on a rehab assignment before he can return.

One more lefty reliever, Cody Reed, remains on the Louisville IL because of a left knee sprain. Reed has recently resumed throwing.

One good thing for the Reds is much of Garrett's IL stint will occur during the All-Star break. But Garrett was still disappointed.

“I’m upset because I’m not out there competing with my team,” Garrett said. “I always want to be on the field as much as I can.”

Gennett could avoid IL

The Reds felt a little better about the status of second baseman Scooter Gennett, who exited Wednesday’s game before the fifth inning with left groin tightness. Gennett has only played five games since missing the first three months of the season with a severe strain of his right groin.

“I think it’s just a minor setback,” Bell said. “He woke up today and was really encouraged that it wasn’t more sore than it could have been. It felt a lot better than he anticipated. No talk of IL at this point. We’ll see how he is today. Probably not available today, but with the off-day [Friday], we’ll see how he responds over the next 24-48 hours.

“Scooter’s uncertainty made more sense to bring Josh back. It’s good to have him back today.”

Wood to begin a rehab assignment

Reds left-handed starting pitcher Alex Wood, who has missed the entire season with lower back spasms, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Louisville on Saturday at Columbus.

Wood was originally slated to join Louisville last week, but he endured his third setback and it was pushed back when he felt sore. Wood threw on the side earlier this week and had no issues.

“That took a nice turn from when he woke up sore,” Bell said.

With the Reds having the fourth-best starters' ERA in the Major Leagues, Wood does not have an obvious rotation spot as of now. Bell was asked if the club could accelerate Wood's timetable by having him pitch out of the bullpen.

“Right now, we’re thinking of what’s best for him. He’s been a starter," Bell said. "Nothing has changed in our thought process there. Mainly, it’s been so focused on getting him healthy. We’ll have a lot of conversations like that coming up, I’m sure, especially with the break and getting our rotation set."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.