Reds reliever Tejay Antone announced last week he’d miss the start of the season after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection to address a flexor strain in his forearm. He didn’t provide many more specifics but implied he could be sidelined by the All-Star Break. While that’s potentially still on the table, manager David Bell only indicated today that Antone would be out at least through the end of April (via Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer).
Antone’s coming off a lost 2022 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery towards the tail end of the ’21 campaign. That was the second such procedure of his career, with injuries conspiring to rob the Reds of arguably their best reliever. Before his surgery, the former fifth-round draftee had pitched 33 2/3 innings of 2.14 ERA ball with a 32.8% strikeout rate.
Getting him back as quickly as possible will be crucial for a Cincinnati club that didn’t make any MLB additions to its bullpen this offseason. The Reds’ relief corps was a bottom ten unit by both ERA and strikeout/walk rate differential last season. The expected returns of Antone and Lucas Sims from surgery rehabs would’ve reinstalled a pair of high-leverage options. Sims is on track for full spring participation, Bell informed reporters today, but Antone’s loss subtracts one of the highest-upside hurlers from the mix.
Cincinnati might also be without Tony Santillan to start the season, Bell indicated. The 6’3″ righty didn’t pitch in last year’s second half on account of a lower back injury. That apparently carried into his offseason, and Santillan is behind schedule in his throwing program. A former second-round pick and once one of the more intriguing pitching prospects in the Reds’ system, he’s settled in as a reliever at the MLB level. Santillan came out of the bullpen 21 times last year, allowing 14 runs in 19 2/3 innings.
In more fortunate health news, center fielder Nick Senzel appears to be mostly ready to go for camp. The 27-year-old told C. Trent Rosecrans of the Athletic he feels good and has recovered from offseason toe surgery (Twitter link). While he indicated he might be built up a little more slowly than most players, it seems he’s on track for Opening Day. Senzel still looks the favorite for regular center field reps, though the Reds added a potential alternative with the acquisition of Will Benson from the Guardians last week. A former second overall pick, Senzel will be looking for a breakout year after hitting .240/.303/.360 through his first 273 MLB games.
After getting a plasma injection in the forearm, your arm definitely feels like night and day. I’ve had to have them in the elbows as well and it helps considerably. Good luck Tejay.
Interesting. How long did it take for you to feel any difference?
Is was an immediate difference in the feeling, but the underlying problem was still there. In the elbow I ultimately had surgery, but the forearm was fine. I’m curious to see what the real issue is with Tejay.
I’ve had several Cortizone shots to my right shoulder, do these Plasma injections basically do the same thing? I felt like a new man afterwards, but three months later every ache and pain I had ever felt came back with a vengeance..
I’d rather see Will Benson in CF than Senzel. I’d also like to see Jake Fraley play everyday.
Senzel needs to play 3rd …he deals with too many injuries and perhaps his bat will be what it should
If Senzel is moved to 3B it won’t be in Cincinnati. Spencer Steer is likely the future there or Jonathan India once Noelvi Marte is ready.
Senzel is probably on his last legs with the Reds as another injury plagued/unproductive season probably gets him nontendered next winter
@Rsox – I agree, this is probably the last season for Senzel in Cincinnati. He’s not going to be their long term CF, and there are way too many young infielders coming up behind him. The Reds are probably hoping Senzel starts the season stong and builds up enough value that they can get something in return for him at this year’s trade deadline.
Senzel isn’t going anywhere. Making under $2MM this season, he has options & the Reds control him through 2025. Senzel may end up being a versatile utility man, as Reds added several outfielders (Myers, Benson, Solak) competing with Friedl, Fraley, Fairchild, & Nick for those 3 starting jobs.
In 2025, the infield will consist of De La Cruz, India, Marte, Steer and Stephenson. Senzel is either an outfielder or a minor leaguer. The Reds should let Senzel play until he is inevitably injured again. When Senzel starts in outfield, platoons or is a backup, depends upon Spring Training but it is Nick’s job to lose. Wil Myers will get plenty of at-bats until he is flipped, too. I think Wil will have a tremendous bounce-back in the first half of the season.
This one belongs to the Reds
I agree with you except I see De La Cruz in CF. His tools and body type remind me of a young Eric Davis.
Little bit of Daryl Strawberry too.
Senzel can be controlled until 2025, that’s three more full seasons. At some point, if health and/or low performing issues continue, he won’t be able to hold a roster spot. I’d say 2023 is a make-or-break for him.
This one belongs to the Reds
Da Tillman and Antone not ready for opening day. The bullpen should have been addressed big time in the offseason. Instead, we are going to watch guys not ready for the big leagues blow leads for Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcroft. What do you think that does for their confidence at a young age when they lose close to, if not, 20 games?
This one belongs to the Reds
Santillan not Da Tillman. Geez, I hate auto correct.
I could see Senzel becoming a designated hitter whether in Cincinnati or elsewhere. Less chance of getting hurt by not playing the field. I think Jonathan India will be traded before 2024. I think the infield in 2024 is Marte at 3rd, McClain at SS, Steer at 2nd, Stephenson at 1st. De La Cruz will be center fielder with Farley in left and either Austin Hendrix or a trade or free agent playing right.
What would an injury report be without Nick Senzel? SMH… In the 4 years that he has played, he’s put up a WAR of nearly -2… ouch. It’s been 4 years of either being hurt or sucking while he plays. His draft investment is the only reason that he is still on the Reds, he hasn’t earned playing time. I’d love to see him have a breakout year but even if he does, you know that the following year will be injury plagued. What about the information that we aren’t privy to? Does he still battle with blurry, dizzy spells? Eventually the Reds need to move on. Hopefully he somehow puts up a decent first half and the Reds can move him for a reliever or mid level prospect.