If the Dayton Dragons make the playoffs, they might be doing it without a prized prospect.
Outfielder Phillip Ervin — the Cincinnati Reds first-round draft choice in June — was put on the disabled list Friday with a sprained wrist. Ervin suffered the injury prior to a game Aug. 11 while taking swings. After nearly a week off, his wrist wasn’t progressing.
“It’s mild and everything to this point has been precautionary,” Dayton Dragons manager Jose Nieves said. “He’s going to rest about seven days, and if he’s feeling better he will start hitting off a tee and doing some soft toss.”
Ervin was drafted 27th overall out of Samford in June. He spent several weeks in Billings, Mont., before getting called up to Dayton in July. In 12 games he hit .349 with one home run and six RBIs while splitting time in right and center field.
Despite only one home run, Ervin displayed impressive power in batting practice and smart baserunning. He was immediately plugged into the heart of the lineup and batted third or fourth almost daily.
The Dragons are two games out of a playoff spot in the Midwest League Eastern Division with 17 games left. The Reds have taken their time bringing back highly drafted players off the disabled list, the biggest example top pitching prospect Robert Stephenson, who was out over a month with a hamstring pull earlier in the season. Nieves said he wasn’t sure whether Ervin would make it back before the end of the season.
“We are in a race to make the playoffs and we only have 17 games left,” Nieves said. “If he makes it back it’s all going to depend on how he feels.”
Travieso tough: Nick Travieso continued his solid stretch of starts Thursday, throwing six innings and allowing two hits and no walks in a 6-0 win over Great Lakes.
Travieso, the Reds first-round pick in 2012, has shown solid improvement over the second half.
“It’s confidence,” Nieves said. “He’s adjusted to playing in our league. He’s a power pitcher and he needs to understand he has to attack hitters with his fastball if he wants his secondary pitches to work.”
Travieso regularly threw his fastball in the mid 90s in high school, topping out at 97. His velocity has been down around 92-94 in Dayton, something Nieves said regularly happens to pitchers adjusting to professional ball.
“With all the structure, running, throwing and the activities every day, it’s different,” Nieves said. “When he gets to the offseason and gets a little rest, he’ll come back into spring training throwing a little harder.”
West Michigan vs. Dayton, 7 p.m.
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