The Reds announced Tuesday morning that they’ve reinstated right-hander Tejay Antone from the injured list and optioned Scott Heineman to Triple-A Louisville to open a roster spot. Antone ultimately missed only 11 days due to a bout of forearm inflammation and will be returning at a perfect time; Cincinnati used every reliever on the roster during last night’s 12-inning marathon against after starter Tyler Mahle lasted just four innings. The 27-year-old Antone has been one of baseball’s best relievers in 2021, pitching to a minuscule 1.41 ERA with a lofty 34.5 percent strikeout percentage against a 9.5 percent walk rate. He’s worked multiple innings with regularity, though it remains to be seen whether the club will drop him right back into a multi-inning stint after an injury layoff — even in spite of the taxed bullpen.
Cincinnati right-hander Sonny Gray could also be closing in on a return, as C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports Gray will make a rehab start with the Reds’ top minor league affiliate Thursday. The 31-year-old hit the injured list a couple weeks ago due to a groin strain, and the team was hopeful at the time that he’d only need to miss a pair of starts. It may end up being a bit longer, but if all goes well with Gray’s rehab outing, he’d be looking at only about a three-week absence from the rotation. The veteran righty has a 3.42 ERA and a 30.1 percent strikeout rate in 50 innings for the Reds this season.
A couple more injury scenarios of note around the league…
- The White Sox announced Tuesday that outfielder Adam Engel is headed to the 10-day injured list due to a strain of his right hamstring. Outfielder Luis Gonzalez is up from Triple-A Charlotte in his place. It’s the second IL stint of the season for Engel, who opened the year on the shelf with this same injury and missed almost two months of action. Engel joins fellow outfielder Adam Eaton, who is also dealing with a right hamstring strain, on the injured list, further depleting a White Sox outfield that is also without stars Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert. The 29-year-old Engel batted .241/.313/.552 in just 32 plate appearances between IL stints. The club didn’t place a timetable on his return, although this new IL stint was backdated to June 20.
- The Twins are still determining whether Byron Buxton’s fractured left hand will require surgery, manager Rocco Baldelli said prior to today’s game (Twitter link via Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). Uncertainty as to whether the injury will require surgical repair likely contributes to the vague response Baldelli have when initially prompted for a timetable on the injury to Buxton, who was hit on the left hand by a Tyler Mahle heater last night and found to have a boxer’s fracture. For now, the team is still “looking into the best approaches for recovery,” per Baldelli. It’s common for players to get opinions from multiple doctors and/or specialists when a potential surgery of any kind is on the table.