Thoughts on Jay Bruce's Oblique Injury

I’m completely pissed off. I’ve been in a bad mood this Labor Day weekend, and the reason is Jay Bruce and the Reds.

As the Reds are about to predictably drop 2 of 3 to the St. Louis Cardinals in what was one of the biggest series of the year, Jay Bruce sits out the entire weekend. Day after day we’re told that “Jay Bruce is better. Jay Bruce is fine. Jay Bruce is getting there.”

What a sack of horse shit.

The way I see it is Jay Bruce has been extremely inconsistent for three years and I finally saw signs of him raising above the average tier of players in this league. Then what happens is what has happened every time you see the flash of anything special out of Bruce; a setback.

He was putting it all together, and then a phantom injury. Something that ‘happened in batting practice’ (I’m told it happened in the post game celebration after he won the Reds the game Monday night). A mysterious side injury. Let’s just say an oblique injury. That’s sure as fuck what it is.

The way I look at it is; you only have so many opportunities in this game to make your mark as a player who is anything more than ordinary. There were times when I saw it with Jay Bruce. There were times when he was close. But if you continue to have things like injuries and slumps happen instead of taking the next step (especially in crunch time), pretty soon you run out of chances. At that point you’re just an ordinary player and you’ve cost your team a shot at some pretty special runs.

I want Jay Bruce to be more than just a ‘good’ player in this game. But he’s running out of time.

  • Um, he's 23 years old. When Joey Votto was his age, he spent the entire year in Double-A. It makes less than zero sense to be this down on a kid who's in just his third full season (and who has improved every year thus far).If he goes another, say, two or three years without putting it together? Then I can see where some frustration would be warranted. At this point, though, I think it's pretty ridiculous to say that he's "running out of time".Man, your favorite team is playing well. They're going to the playoffs for the first time in a long time. Why not kick back and enjoy the ride?

  • I was enjoying the ride, a lot just a week ago. And then another setback. Bruce injured either during batting practice (a rare occurrence) or during the walk-off celebration a week ago tonight (something that two different readers have e-mailed me about, saying they have inside sources with the team).Either way, it's extremely frustrating. Most of all, because Bruce is an integral part of the thin Reds. Gomes, Stubbs, and Heisey are not of starting big league caliber. Bruce being out is going to allow the Cardinals to climb right back in this thing. But most of all, every time Jay shows a glimpse that he might deliver on some of his potential or promise, there is a setback. A month of sub .200 and no home runs for 7 weeks with 2 RBI; or a horrifying injury. This cannot continue to happen or like I said, he's going to end up just mediocre. There is no crime in being mediocre but we all believed that this kid was going to be one of the greatest Reds of all-time. Many still believe that he has that potential, including us here. That's what I meant by the setbacks must stop. We're all excited about Jay, and every time he starts to look legit, he's injured seemingly overnight, or there is some type of set back (whether it's his fault or not). This most recent time it appears to be an injury (albeit one he will not own up to) that occurred while he was not playing.So he just missed the biggest series of the year and in many years for the Reds (in St. Louis) because of a something that happened in batting practice; or a walk-off celebration (inexplicable). We had the chance to bury St. Louis and we didn't because our outfield is a bunch of has been's and never will be's. This is painful for a fan(s) to deal with. Compounding that is the media reporting each day that "he's fine" and "he's improving" or "He's getting there". Jay said a week ago tonight that there was nothing wrong, basically downplayed it. That's irresponsible as Hell. The whole thing smells rotten to be honest, and I wouldn't be surprised if he missed the rest of the season.Bottom line, you're right; he's young. But we've been saying that now for three years. Longoria, Braun, etc. other guys who have delivered on there promise and delivered in a pennant race for their teams didn't miss exorbitant amounts of time due to a phantom injury. He's really costing us right now.