Sean Marshall has been limited to just 31 appearances in the majors since 2013 due to shoulder issues and now the southpaw needs season-ending surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule. Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday and will be performed by Dr. David Altheck.
Marshall, 32, made 15 appearances last season before undergoing surgery in June to repair a torn labrum. The hope was that he would be ready to contribute this season, but he had a setback with his throwing program early on during spring training. Shoulders are tricky and rehabbing from capsule surgery is a rough road, so his future is very much in question.
Marshall struggled as a starter early on in his career with the Cubs, but he soon emerged as one of the game’s best relievers, posting a 2.44 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 247 appearances from 2010-2013. The Reds committed $16.5 million to him from 2013-2015, which looked like a reasonable deal at the time, but his situation is a reminder that giving a lucrative multi-year contract to a reliever is risky business.
Cincinnati is going to be without second baseman Brandon Phillips (thumb) and first baseman Joey Votto (quad) for another month at least, so to stay in contention in a crowded National League Central race upgrades will probably have to be made at the July 31 deadline. And the hunt has already begun.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Reds have expressed interest in acquiring outfielder Marlon Byrd and left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo from the Phillies, who are expected to be one of the most active sellers later this month.
Byrd, 36, is batting .264/.317/.476 with 18 home runs and 54 RBI in 96 games this season for Philadelphia. He signed a two-year, $16 million contract over the winter that includes an $8 million vesting option for 2016.
Bastardo, 28, has a 3.38 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, and 51/24 K/BB ratio in 42 2/3 innings this season out of the Phillies’ bullpen. He’d fill the Reds’ need in lefty relief with Sean Marshall (shoulder) done for the year.
Bastardo is making $2 million this season and will be arbitration-eligible for the final time in 2015.
Reds reliever Sean Marshall hasn’t been healthy since 2012, posting an ugly 7.71 ERA between disabled list stints this year, and now the southpaw setup man will miss the remainder of the season following shoulder surgery.
Back in 2011 the Reds acquired Marshall from the Cubs for a three-player package that included left-hander Travis Wood, who went on to become a solid mid-rotation starter in Chicago.
At the time Marshall was one of the elite setup men in baseball and he had a very strong 2012 season in Cincinnati, posting a 2.51 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 61 innings. Unfortunately he’s thrown a grand total of 24 innings in the two seasons since then.
Marshall is under contract for $6.5 million next season, but it’s unclear at this point if the Reds even expect him to be a factor.