The Reds put right-handed reliever Jonathan Broxton on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a sore pitching elbow, expecting to have him back in two weeks.
Broxton’s elbow bothered him during the week. He had an ultrasound on Friday that found swelling in the elbow. Manager Dusty Baker said the problem doesn’t appear to be serious.
"Actually, it turned out better than it could have," Baker said. "There’s no structural damage, no ligament damage. That’s a big plus. This will give it time to clear up. He could be throwing in two or three days, so it’s not too bad of a situation. He could be ready to go when his time is up."
Broxton pitched the 14th inning and took the loss in a 6-5 defeat at Wrigley Field on Thursday. Baker was trying not to use him, but the long game forced his hand.
"They assured us in the beginning that we couldn’t make it worse by pitching," Baker said. "If it had been structural, we would’ve put him on the DL right away. If anything, we’re overly cautious, especially at this time of year. If it was September, it might be a different story."
The Reds replaced him on the roster — at least temporarily — by calling up right-handed starter Pedro Villarreal, who was brought up from Triple-A Louisville earlier in the month to make an emergency start for Johnny Cueto. Villarreal lasted 3 2-3 innings in a 12-4 loss to Colorado on June 5 at Great American Ball Park, giving up 10 hits, six runs and three homers. He was sent back to Louisville.
Cueto is on the disabled list for the second time this season with soreness behind his right shoulder. The Reds plan to activate him on Sunday to start the final game of the series against Milwaukee.
The Reds called up left-hander Tony Cingrani to start in Cueto’s spot last week. Baker said there’s a chance Cingrani could stay on the roster when Cueto is activated, giving Cincinnati another reliever for its worn-down bullpen. The Reds played back-to-back extra-inning games on Thursday and Friday.