Reds activate reliever Marshall

Marshall appeared in just 16 games with 10 1/3 innings pitched last season for the Reds because of a shoulder strain.

David Kohl/David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Slowly but surely the Reds are getting healthier. The team activated left-handed reliever Sean Marshall from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, and he should be available when the Reds play the Cubs in the second of a three-game series in Chicago.

The Reds optioned reliever Curtis Partch to Triple-A Louisville to make room for Marshall on the roster. Marshall’s addition means that Manny Parra is no longer the lone leftie in the bullpen for manager Bryan Price. Parra leads the Reds with eight appearances ,and opposing batters are hitting just .161 against him so far. He allowed a two-run home run to Pittsburgh’s Neil Walker on Tuesday night, the only runs he’s allowed this season.

"It’s a huge boost because Manny has kind of been our do-it-all guy so far," said Price on Wednesday when the prospect of Marshall’s return was brought up. "He’s pitched the ninth inning, he’s pitched the eighth inning, (and) he’s pitched multiple innings. He’s also our only left-hander. He’s got to close, he’s got to set-up, he’s got to get left-handed and right-handed hitters out, which he’s done very well. It would be nice to give him a reprieve by having some support with Sean."

Marshall appeared in just 16 games with 10 1/3 innings pitched last season for the Reds because of a shoulder strain, an injury that continued to bother him in the offseason. Marshall appeared in 73 games for the Reds in 2012 after they acquired him from the Cubs in a trade that sent starter Travis Wood to Chicago.

Marshall remained in Arizona for extended spring training work this year. He made two appearances for Louisville in the minors this past week, starting games against Toledo and Indianapolis. He threw a total of two innings, allowing two hits with one walk and two strikeouts. He did give up a solo home run against Chris Dickerson of Indianapolis.

The Reds still have six players on the DL. They have gotten encouraging reports on the progress of utility player Skip Schumaker (dislocated shoulder) and closer Aroldis Chapman (head) in the past week, although there still is no definitive timetable for their returns.