Cincinnati right hander Mat Latos' return to the Reds will delayed due to elbow inflammation, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer's John Fayman. Latos was in the process of rehabbing from minor knee surgery and was expected to resume pitching big league games soon.
The inflammation in his right (pitching) elbow throws up immediate red flags due to the recent ubiquity of Tommy John surgery.
Such an operation would end Latos' season before it began, but the team has given no indication that the issue is that serious.
Last season, Latos put up the numbers that everyone has started to expect from him. In 210⅔ innings -- a career high -- the 26-year-old posted a 3.16 ERA with 187 strikeouts to 56 walks. He underwent surgery this winter to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
The Reds are currently using former reliever Alfredo Simon to fill in, and it appears as though he may be with the team at least a little longer than expected. In his only start this season, the 32-year-old struck out six over seven innings, allowing just one run to the Mets and leading the Reds to a 2-1 win. He only threw 79 pitches in the game despite his strong performance.
If Latos is forced miss a long stretch, the Reds can lean on Simon or call up top prospect Robert Stephenson. They also have veterans Chien-Ming Wang and Jeff Francis in the minors.