Reds reliever Tejay Antone is not going to be ready for Opening Day, he announced this evening on Instagram (h/t to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer). The right-hander received a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat a flexor strain in his forearm today and will have to shut down his throwing program for the time being.
Antone didn’t provide many specifics on his recovery, though it appears he’ll be out for an extended stretch. While he cautioned the issue was a “small, little strain, nothing crazy,” he concluded by noting he’ll be ready “for the playoff push in the second half.” If he’s indeed out until near or following the All-Star Break, it’ll be a significant hit to a Cincinnati bullpen that already looked thin.
The 29-year-old Antone was arguably the Reds’ best reliever from 2020-21. He combined for a 2.48 ERA over his first 69 MLB innings, striking out 32.3% of opponents with an above-average 48% grounder rate. His 10.8% walk percentage was higher than ideal, but the combination of missed bats and ground balls pushed him into high-leverage work by his second season. Antone collected three saves and held eight more leads over 23 appearances in 2021 but began battling forearm issues that June. He twice landed on the injured list before making brief returns, but a third IL stay culminated in August Tommy John surgery.
That was the second TJS procedure of Antone’s career, as he’d also gone under the knife in 2017. He spent all of last year on the injured list rehabbing and seemed on track to be ready for the start of the upcoming season. Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reported last month Antone had been dealing with a forearm concern that was unrelated to his surgically repaired elbow ligament. While this flexor problem isn’t as serious as another Tommy John procedure would be, it’s a nevertheless disappointing development for a talented hurler whose past year and a half have been defined by injuries.
Alexis Díaz broke out as Cincinnati’s closer last season. He’ll be joined in high-leverage innings by Lucas Sims, who’s hoping to bounce back from an injury-wrecked 2022 campaign himself. Ground-ball specialist Reiver Sanmartin is probably the top left-hander in the group. Cincinnati will need some less heralded relievers to take steps forward as Díaz did last year. They haven’t made any MLB additions this offseason to a bullpen that ranked 28th in the league with a 4.72 ERA.
Antone has exactly three years of MLB service time. He and the Reds previously agreed to a $770K contract to avoid arbitration. He’ll continue to collect service while on the injured list and be eligible for arbitration twice more. He’s on track to hit free agency after the 2025 season.
You Can Put It In The Books .
Worst franchise in baseball. Move them to Vegas.
This one belongs to the Reds
It is the oldest franchise in baseball. It’s not moving anywhere.
Maybe they can get Pete Rose to manage a team in Vegas. I mean they are in bed with Bally Sports already, right?
You Can Put It In The Books .
*They should* move them to Vegas. Doesn’t mean they will.
It seems much more concerning than what they’re making it out to be. It’s a flexor strain which often precedes TJS, and he’s already had two within a relatively short time frame (2017 & 2021). And “forearm issues” preceded his second TJS as well.
I hope it’s nothing but this seems like a huge red flag. If I was a betting man, I know where my money would go.
deGrom Texas Ranger
I wonder if 2023 availability suppresses arb salary. I know Brett Martin signed for lower than MLB TR expected after Texas announced his surgery. I wonder if the leverage is more from the team saying they will non-tender a player if he doesn’t settle for less, given injury. Arb is probably still cheaper than free agency, though.
At this point Antone seems like a solid non-tender candidate
Is there any significant history we can look to that suggests platelet rich plasma injections ever does anything except postpone the inevitable? We hear about it quite often, but rarely do we seem to hear that it offers a full recovery for significant periods. Logic says it must, or they wouldn’t keep suggesting it.
I had the procedure done and I was told by the sports doctor that there’s no discernible way to figure out if the procedure will work ahead of time. It’s person specific but often recommended before the knife. Some cases are clear enough that they don’t bother, but many times it also depends on the treating physician’s recommendation and the patient’s preference.
In reality, it’s like 50/50 on any individual person. Kind of like having kids – you may have a boy or a girl (50/50) but some people end up with 10 boys and one girl despite the original odds at the inception of the pregnancy.
I know Tanaka had PRP when it looked like he was going to require TJS.
This one belongs to the Reds
Just goes to prove what I have been saying all along, sign some of those guys available for that bullpen to get them from those three good young starters to Diaz. Otherwise their confidence will be shot and they will never reach their potential. Too many of their games were blown by a terrible bullpen last year.
Seems the typical case of injuries derailed career, not the first and certainly not the last one.
So how long until TJ?
I’ve had 3 PRP injections after a podiatrist destroyed my foot from tarsal tunnel release surgery. Actually, I think the surgery was fine, but the old dirt dog told me to lay in bed for months = scar tissue. In 2013, I saw the doctor who revolutionized PRP. Her office was down the street from where Paul Walker was killed in a car accident. That’s my story. PRP is amazing though. I believe it can do a lot of good.
Reds have the most fragile players in existence.
If Antone says he will return for the second half “playoff push” then we may never see him.