CINCINNATI — The MRI is back on Mat Latos’ pitching arm and, while it’s not the best news, it’s not the worst news in the world either.
Latos has a strained flexor mass in his right forearm. He will not throw a baseball for the next 10-14 days with the hope that the inflammation subsides so Latos can return to working his way back to the Reds’ 25-man roster. Latos’ spring training was interrupted almost as soon as it began because of knee surgery on Feb. 14. He had elbow surgery last October to remove bone spurs.
"It’s a setback in his recovery," said manager Bryan Price on Sunday morning. "We do know he’s going to miss some time from throwing. We also know this is not going to require any kind of surgical procedure. We’re very optimistic that he’ll be back throwing in the next 10-to-14 days and by that time should hopefully not have any further issues, but time will tell."
This latest injury is not related to the other two other than what it’s doing to Latos’ state of mind. Latos has won 14 games each of his two seasons with the Reds and set career highs in innings pitched both seasons, throwing 209 1/3 innings in 2012 and 210 2/3 last season.
Latos pitched in a couple of minor league games during spring training and was placed on the 15-day disabled list to start the regular season. He made a rehab start at Double-A Pensacola on April 3, allowing seven hits and five runs (three earned) in four innings, but was scratched from a scheduled start for Triple-A Louisville at Columbus last Tuesday.
"It’s frustrating to not be able to get out there and throw," said Latos on Saturday. "We took care of the bone chips that were bothering me at the end of the year to get fully healthy or try to be healthy and come back stronger for this year and it seems that every time I make a step forward I’m taking eight steps backwards."
Alfredo Simon has taken Latos’ spot in the rotation and been outstanding in both appearances, including Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay. Simon equaled a career high with eight innings pitched. He has allowed just two runs on nine hits in 15 total innings this season, striking out 10 batters while walking only two.
Simon will remain in the Reds’ starting rotation while Latos is out.