EARLY SETBACKS - The Reds made it through the first few days of camp without any significant injuries, but it was only a matter of time before something happened.
This year's first victim is infielder William Bergolla, who will see a specialist in Sarasota today after an MRI revealed he has a hernia. Bergolla reported some problems with his abdomen during winter ball in Venezuela but played through it. When the time came for his physical Wednesday morning, Reds physicians noted the pain on the right side of Bergolla's abdomen and had it checked out.
No matter how today's doctor's appointment goes, Bergolla appears ticketed to open the season on the disabled list.
"The only way that this is going to be fixed is through surgery," said Reds trainer Mark Mann. "We'll have a better idea as far as time in regards to how long he'll miss after tomorrow's appointment."
According to Mann, Bergolla had surgery to repair a hernia on his left side two years ago.
The Reds had another brief medical scare Thursday morning, but it turned out not to be too serious. Left-hander Kent Mercker was warming up for his scheduled live batting practice session but kept feeling stiffness and soreness in the muscles of his shoulder and upper back. Mercker walked off the mound and, after some discussion with the medical staff, headed for the clubhouse.
"He really didn't feel like he was getting loose to where he needed to be to throw live BP, so we just backed him down," Mann said. "He had (a similar problem) last spring. It's something that just worked itself out with some treatment and some stretching over the course of a few days."
Mann said he doesn't think the current problem is anything serious and said Mercker will be reevaluated today.
In addition, it seems flu-like symptoms are making the rounds in the clubhouse again. Several players and coaches were felled by the bug last spring, and bench coach Bucky Dent and outfielder DeWayne Wise have felt under the weather so far this spring. Thursday, reliever Ryan Wagner reported to camp with a 101-degree temperature and was immediately sent home.