Bullpen issues forced the move, after the Reds used five pitchers in Monday night's rain-delayed 10-7 loss to the Rockies. They brought up left-hander Travis Wood and disabled Ondrusek, who is 4-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 56 appearances. Reds manager Dusty Baker couldn't afford to head into Tuesday night's game with a short bullpen, even though Ondrusek was on the verge of returning.
As it turned out, Dontrelle Willis made the start and pitched eight innings of five-hit ball in a 3-2 loss, his longest outing in nearly four years. Who knew? All these developments probably will be a blessing in disguise for Ondrusek, who now doesn't have to rush back to action.
"The [94-minute] rain delay made us use the bullpen for six innings," said Ondrusek prior to Wednesday night's Game 3 of a four-game series against the Rockies at Great American Ball Park. "We couldn't afford to be short on Tuesday. I understand that. That's OK. It just gives me a little more time to improve, even though I probably would've been ready."
Still, with the season in the balance and the Reds trying to avoid oblivion in the National League Central, Ondrusek feels unsettled, because it's not a great time to be injured.
"Yeah, it's frustrating," he said. "Nobody ever likes to be put on the DL. Nobody ever likes to be hurt. It'll be good to just make sure everything is right. I want to be out there, but it could be one of the better things that happened. I don't want to sit around doing nothing. I want to help the team. It's going to be frustrating the next couple of weeks just watching. But hopefully by then, I'll be back into form and ready to get back into my spot."