The Reds have placed setup man Jonathan Broxton on the 15-day DL with a strained flexor mass in his right elbow, the team announced. He will have surgery that could be season-ending, but the full extent of the injury won't be known until the actual procedure.
“They don't know until they get in there and see what's wrong,” said manager Dusty Baker to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “I'd just be guessing right now until the doctors get in there.”
Broxton, 29, left Wednesday night's game with the trainer and said he felt a sharp pain in his forearm. He missed close to two months with a similar injury earlier this season and had been activated off the DL on August 9. Broxton had surgery to remove loose bodies from his elbow in 2011.
In 34 games between injuries, Broxton has a 4.11 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 30 2/3 innings. The Reds signed him to a three-year, $21 million contract this past winter with the idea of making him their closer and transitioning Aroldis Chapman to the rotation. Broxton moved into a setup role when Chapman remained the closer.
Right-hander Nick Christiani was called up from Triple-A Louisville to replace Broxton on the roster. The 26-year-old had a 4.05 ERA in 53 1/3 relief innings before being called up, his third straight year at the Triple-A level.
Johnny Cueto was transferred to the 60-day DL to open a 40-man roster spot for Christiani. The team's ace is out with a lat strain and is eligible to be activated on August 29.