JUNE 27: In encouraging news, Antone told reporters (including Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer and C. Trent Rosecrans of the Athletic) that an MRI revealed no damage to his UCL. The righty suggested he’s targeting a return immediately after the All-Star break, although he’ll be shut down from throwing for the moment.
JUNE 26: The Reds announced that right-hander Tejay Antone has been placed on the 10-day IL due to a right forearm strain. Left-hander Cionel Perez was recalled from Triple-A Louisville in the corresponding move.
Antone only just returned earlier this week from an 11-day stint on the injured list due to inflammation in that same forearm. It certainly isn’t a good sign that the righty is so quickly headed back to the IL with what looks like an even more serious forearm issue, especially since Antone already has a Tommy John surgery in his health history. It certainly looks like Antone will miss more than just a minimal amount of time with his latest injury, as the Reds will want to be as cautious as possible in avoiding any more serious damage.
In part because of that earlier TJ procedure that wiped out his 2017 season, Antone didn’t make his Major League debut until 2020, but he has made up for lost time with some impressive numbers. Over 69 innings in the big leagues, Antone has a 2.22 ERA/3.32 SIERA, 32.5% strikeout rate, and 48% grounder rate. While a .194 BABIP has helped minimize the damage from all those ground balls, Antone also isn’t allowing much hard contact.
There was some speculation in Spring Training that Antone could win a rotation job, though a minor hip injury scuttled that idea and placed him in the Reds’ bullpen. It ended up working out for the best, given that Antone has been more or less the only consistent arm in a very shaky Cincinnati relief corps. Even with Antone’ s 1.60 ERA over 33 2/3 relief innings this season, the Reds bullpen ranks last in the majors in ERA. Assuming Antone misses a noteworthy amount of time recovering from this forearm strain, it will put even more pressure on the Reds’ front office to land some bullpen help before the July 30 trade deadline.