Reds taking extra-cautious approach with S. Marshall

Reds taking extra-cautious approach with S. Marshall

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Shoulder issues beleaguered Reds lefty reliever Sean Marshall for most of the 2013 season. The club is trying to stave off more problems in 2014.

Marshall has yet to appear in any of Cincinnati's first four games this spring. His throwing program has already been more limited than others so he would not peak too soon and get overworked.

Now the Reds want to slow him down a little more.

"He's just a little stiff," Reds manager Bryan Price said on Saturday. "We're going to be on the front end of this thing. We're going to back him off. He doesn't need a full Spring Training to be ready for Opening Day. He did all of his offseason throwing. Slowing him down a little bit here, hopefully, will pay dividends later in the spring."

Marshall was limited to 16 games last season after he spent May 24-Sept. 15 on the disabled list, first with a left shoulder sprain. While nearing the end of his original rehabilitation in July, he developed tendinitis and was out another two months.

In those 16 games, Marshall was 0-1 with a 1.74 ERA, two walks and 10 strikeouts over 10 1/3 innings.

Marshall, 31, isn't expected to see any action the first week of Cactus League games, possibly the first two weeks.

"We're going a lot slower with him, No. 1, to make sure he's completely strong, he's pain free and we don't have any setbacks," Price said. "We're going to be cautious on the front end."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.