The Reds announced six roster moves today, most prominently the returns of some of their biggest names. Joey Votto and Jonathan India were both activated from the 10-day injured list, while Hunter Greene was activated from the COVID-related injured list. Right-hander Lyon Richardson was optioned to Triple-A, while infielder Alejo Lopez and right-hander Carson Spiers (both on the roster as substitute players) were respectively returned to Triple-A and Double-A.
India last played on July 28, as a case of plantar fasciitis in his left foot resulted in a longer absence than expected on the IL, and there was at least some concern that the second baseman might have been sidelined for the rest of the 2023 season entirely. However, the Reds’ rough planned timeline for India in mid-August ended up basically going to plan, so he’ll now look to step back into his normal duty at second base. Votto has missed a little over two weeks due to left shoulder discomfort, and given Votto’s history of shoulder problems, it counts as very good news that the longtime first baseman is already back on the field.
Cincinnati’s waiver-wire additions of Hunter Renfroe and Harrison Bader have further added to what has become a bit of glut of position players for the Reds, though injuries have essentially kept the team’s list of options from becoming a true surplus. Star rookie Matt McLain will still be out for at least another week or two in recovering from an oblique injury, and Noelvi Marte just suffered a broken nose yesterday after being hit in the face by an errant throw during pregame warmups. Manager David Bell told reporters (including Gordon Wittenmyer of the Cincinnati Enquirer) that Marte isn’t yet being placed on the IL since the rookie infielder will attempt to play through the discomfort, possibly wearing a protective mask.
With Marte a question mark, the Reds’ infield figures to shake out as Votto and Christian Encarnacion-Strand sharing first base and DH duty, India at second base, Elly De La Cruz at shortstop, and Spencer Steer probably taking the bulk of third base work. If Marte is able to continue playing, Steer can split time at second base, third base, and in the corner outfield, which creates a bit of a logjam in the outfield but Steer’s playing time will certainly be prioritized given his strong numbers.
Greene is set to start today’s game against the Cardinals, with the right-hander set for his first action since August 30. Greene was hit hard in his first two outings back from a 60-day IL stint (due to hip pain) before looking much sharper in that August 30th outing against the Giants, but Greene was then sidelined again by the COVID outbreak that has hit the Reds’ clubhouse in recent days.