CINCINNATI -- Injured Reds reliever Nick Masset hopes that his recovery from shoulder problems have indeed, finally, turned the corner.
"I am starting to feel real good. My strength is back. My mobility is there," Masset said on Tuesday. "I will be trying to throw this week to see where I'm at, probably later in the week."
On the disabled list since Spring Training, Masset has yet to pitch this season because of a strain inside his right shoulder. Initially expected to be out a short time, the ordeal is likely to consume much of the season's first half.
Masset has been largely limited to therapy and exercise to this point.
"They just really want me to not do anything until I don't feel a thing in my shoulder," Masset said. "Right now, it feels like I'm almost completely healed. The next test is to try to throw, see what happens, see how I rebound after I throw and see what my recovery is.
"It's kind of like starting Spring Training all over again. It's a tough situation. It's tough not being out on the field. At the same time, I feel like I'm going to make a good recovery from this."
Masset made one attempt to throw last month but shut it down after five tosses and had another MRI that revealed the continued presence of some inflammation.
There are currently no plans to give Masset another MRI exam.
"We're basically going on a feel. As long as I am feeling good, we're going to try and keep throwing," Masset said. "What I was told is, if I'm completely healthy and everything goes on pace, I could be back in three-four weeks max, once I start. Let's say I start throwing this week, everything goes good, my strength is back and I have no setbacks, it could be around a month. But I'm not a doctor and I've never been in this situation before."
The Reds have been fortunate to not need to rush Masset back into service. The bullpen has been a strength for the club, with relievers like Jose Arredondo and Logan Ondrusek stepping up in the right-handed setup role.
"He's the one that has to feel good, not us," Reds manager Dusty Baker said of Masset. "Nobody knows how you feel better than him. The problem with being injured for a while is you forget sort of what normal is after a while. We hope he's pain free. He's been doing a lot of work, and I know it's tough on him being hurt."
Without Chapman, Reds mix, match to get save
CINCINNATI -- The ninth inning of the Reds' 4-1 win over the Braves on Monday was a prime example of the mixing and matching that will be needed in games when new closer Aroldis Chapman isn't available. Chapman was shelved after he worked four games in five days.
Right-hander Jose Arredondo notched two outs but couldn't close out the game. He walked two batters on full counts before left-hander Sean Marshall was summoned to face lefty hitter Jason Heyward, who flied out to end it.
"Arredondo got two quick outs but tried to rush for the third one," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That's what happens sometimes. That last out is something, because you can tell."
Marshall, who lost the title of closer on Sunday, has faced two batters in the last two games -- both lefties. But he got the job done both times.
"That was the best matchup at the time, and it happened to be the last out," Baker said of Monday's situation. "We're going to have to do some things you wouldn't normally do to save ballgames and stay in ballgames. We would have loved to have had Chapman last night, but we didn't."