"It's not bad at all," Cotham said. "I've had a labrum surgery [in 2010]. It's nothing that could even come close to comparing to that. We just decided it would be best for everybody to give it a blow and get everything taken care of and working right and be back pretty soon, I would think. Just back to being able to compete and get outs like I know I'm capable of."
The season started out well for Cotham, who had a 1.54 ERA through his first 11 appearances over 21 games. Over his last 12 outings, the ERA jumped to 12.79. Since the bullpen was needed so often this season, he was used a lot, including seven times with no days of rest.
"I definitely think that's part of it," Cotham said of his frequent use. "I do trust my preparation. I think I was pretty prepared in my mind for a heavy workload. I think it's something I wanted to do and was ready to do. It's one of those things you have to address. Hopefully it's super quick and I'm back into action."
Cotham, who was acquired in the Dec. 28 trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to the Yankees, did not become a full-time reliever until last season. He worked 35 games, including 12 in the big leagues. Reds relievers, who have the highest ERA in the Majors, also have logged the fourth-most innings.
"If we knew his shoulder was bothering him, we certainly wouldn't pitch him," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "It wasn't a matter of going, 'The kid's sore, he's beat up and we'll use him anyway.' It's hard to say why a kid gets sore. I think [that happens to] anyone in their first substantial amount of time in the big leagues, and I'd say we really want to put a focus on preparing guys for this type of workload, maybe a little sooner than he would actually get here.
"He's coming from a different organization. I think they were a little more cautious. He didn't pitch a lot of back-to-backs over the course of his time in the Yankees' system. Here we don't have the luxury of being that conservative."
This season, 11 different Reds players have had 12 stints on the DL.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.