Luke Weaver hasn’t pitched since Monday due to a sore forearm, and “I think we’d have to push pretty hard to get him ready for Opening Day,” Reds manager David Bell told the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale and other reporters. Despite the ominous nature of forearm-related injuries, Weaver’s issue seems to be just soreness, and he might throw a bullpen session in a few days’ time. However, that still doesn’t leave the right-hander with much time to fully build his arm strength in advance of the Reds’ first game on March 30.
Weaver was projected to be Cincinnati’s fourth starter, creating another wrinkle in what was already a battle for the fifth starter’s job. Connor Overton, Luis Cessa, Brandon Williamson, and non-roster invitee Chase Anderson were all in the running for the final rotation job, and two of those pitchers might now earn jobs if Weaver indeed needs to miss any regular-season time. Cessa is also a bit of a question mark for workload-related reasons, as he might need to build up his arm since he hasn’t pitched much as a member of Mexico’s World Baseball Classic team. Even if Cessa doesn’t make the rotation, Bell said the right-hander will still be a member of the Reds’ bullpen.
More from around the NL Central…
- Cubs manager David Ross provided media (including MLB.com) with an update on Seiya Suzuki, as the outfielder continues to recover from an oblique strain. Suzuki will likely need to begin the season on the injured list to make up for his lost Spring Training time, but he has been steadily increasing his workouts, and been taking part in some light baseball activities within the last week.
- Hayden Wesneski has become the favorite for the Cubs’ fifth starter role, The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma writes, which could mean that Adrian Sampson will begin the season as a depth starter at Triple-A. Wesneski made his MLB debut last season, with an impressive 2.18 ERA, 25% strikeout rate, and 5.3% walk rate over the small sample size of 33 innings. Besides Sampson, Javier Assad is also still in the competition for a rotation job, though Assad hasn’t been amassing innings in spring camp, but rather with Mexico’s WBC team. Sharma feels Assad might also have a path to Chicago’s roster as a reliever rather than as a starter, if Keegan Thompson’s velocity continues to be inconsistent.
- The Brewers have been working Owen Miller out in center field, as the team attempts to give itself another outfield option with Tyrone Taylor injured and top prospect Garrett Mitchell nursing a sore hamstring. “It’s good to get game reps like that. I’ll keep working every day to see as many balls out there as I can,” Miller told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. Acquired in a trade from the Guardians over the offseason, Miller has seen action at all four infield positions (but primarily first and second base) over his two MLB seasons with Cleveland, but one Triple-A game in 2021 represents the entirety of his professional experience as an outfielder. Still, becoming even more versatile can only help Miller’s chances of carving out a spot on Milwaukee’s roster.