The third-place Reds will have to rely on Devin Mesoraco as their primary catcher over the next two weeks, as Ryan Hanigan was placed on the disabled list today due to a sprained left wrist.
As Mark Sheldon of MLB.com notes, Hanigan received a cortisone shot after sitting out Monday’s game and caught Tony Cingrani on Tuesday, but the soreness has lingered. This will be his second stint on the disabled list this season, as he missed time with a strained right oblique and a sore right thumb from late April to early May. The 32-year-old is batting just .193/.293/.276 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 46 games this season, so it’s been a disappointing season all around.
Mesoraco isn’t 100 percent right now either, as he’s been nursing back spasms, but he should get the bulk of the work behind the plate in the short-term. The Reds have called up Corky Miller to replace Hanigan on the active roster.
Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.
It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.
Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.
Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.