Spring training never goes by without some injuries, and 2019 isn’t any different. While there was some good news on the injury front when it comes to Sonny Gray yesterday. He’s scheduled to pitch this weekend for the Reds in a spring training game. Mark Sheldon of Reds.com provided some updates on some of the other players that have not yet played in games yet.

We will begin with the bad news, first. Alex Blandino will not be ready to play when the season begins. The infielder suffered a torn ACL last season in July while playing for the Reds and had to have surgery to repair the injury. While recovering from an ACL surgery has improved drastically in the last two decades, it’s still a long process. What used to take 12-18 months is now in the 8-12 month range. For Blandino, the start of April would be at that eight month mark.

Whether or not Alex Blandino was going to make the team if he were healthy would have been up in the air. With the Reds and David Bell stating they are looking at a 13-man pitching staff it leaves very few available spots on the bench for position players. Toss in that the team also brought in proven big leaguers like Derek Dietrich and Jose Iglesias it cuts down on the likelihood that another infielder grabs a spot.

On the mound both Matt Bowman and Robert Stephenson have yet to throw in games. Stephenson has been dealing with shoulder inflammation, while Bowman has been dealing with a lat injury. Both pitchers have thrown side bullpen sessions this week. As reported by Mark Sheldon they will both throw live batting practice today. If all goes well the following step is likely to get them into games.

Nick Senzel has been dealing with a tight hamstring. He was held out of the game on Wednesday night. He did, however, participate in practice during the afternoon as normal.

17 Responses

  1. Matt Hendley

    Shame about blandino, at least he will be paid MLB rates while on the DL. Is bowan good, i have heard positive things about him but of course he was a waiver claim so….

  2. Daytonian

    Blandino is a proven major leaguer. If he is healthy he has the tools to fit somewhere–not necessarily as a starter but as a dependable backup. Fortunately for the Reds, Cincinnati now has the position depth to cover Blandino’s absence. A speedy recover, Cardinal–not Cardinals! (Who gets the reference?)

    • JB WV

      Iglesias is a proven MLer, Blandino showed some promise last year but I wouldn’t consider him proven. Iglesias is an upgrade.

    • Grand Salami

      He’s a Stanford guy. Although the only mascot that school has is that screwy tree. 🙂

      Blandino should be able to ease his way back into every day play in AAA. I agree that his spot on the bench is probably occupied this year barring major injuries.

  3. WVRedlegs

    Curt Casali gets his first spring game action today, DHing and leading off. Senzel back in todays lineup batting 6th. Would like to see 3 sharp innings from Luis Castillo today.

  4. MK

    Might it be possible the front office was smart enough to know that Alex would not be ready which is why they brought in Iglesias and Detrich? Were it I, Blandino would be on 60 day DL opening a 40-man spot, stay in Arizona, rehab in Louisville in August, and get a recall in September.

    • David

      Yes, that sounds like a smart roster adjustment. They probably did not do it at first because of how his agent or the MLB labor agreement is worded. If at this point he is evidently not ready, then the roster change could be made. I think the Reds knew that Blandino would not be ready in any way, but sometimes they can’t say things out loud because of the labor agreement.

  5. WVRedlegs

    The Dodgers just DFA’d a really good RH reliever for a LH reliever waiver claim pick up, Josh Fields. He is 32, making $2.5MM this year. Maybe a Hernandez type. He doesn’t have the GB% of Hughes, almost an opposite. But he offers up a good example of Steve and Jordan’s recent pitching evaluation lesson.
    Fields in 2016- 1-0, 0 saves, 4.63 ERA.
    Fields in 2017- 5-0, 2 saves, 2.84 ERA.
    Fields in 2018- 2-2, 2 saves, 2.20 ERA.

    Now look at his pitching slash lines of ERA/FIP/xFIP/SIERA.
    Fields in 2016- 4.63 ERA / 3.26 FIP / 4.15 xFIP / 3.28 SIERA.
    Fields in 2017- 2.84 / 4.18 / 4.11 / 3.46.
    Fields in 2018- 2.20 / 3.62 / 4.61 / 4.21.

    Should the Reds try to make for a trade to better their bullpen? Would Fields be an improvement?

    • Warren Leeman

      At this point, I wouldn’t pursue a trade, but would seriously consider a waiver claim. Rosters are getting tight and the Reds would have a high opportunity for a waiver claim.

    • earmbrister

      Fields does offer up a good example of Steve and Jordan’s recent pitching evaluation lesson.

      However, does it support your view that Fields is a “really good RH reliever”?

      Per the evaluation lesson: “Studies show that SIERA is a better predictor of future pitching than xFIP, FIP and ERA”. Fields SIERA is moving drastically in the wrong direction. Now, my familiarity with these new metrics is casual at best, but this doesn’t seem like a compelling case for action by the Reds.

      • Warren Leeman

        Especially when you factor in the reliability or repeatability that Aaron Sauceda quoted in the comments.

      • earmbrister

        Warren — I found it cool that Aaron Sauceda weighed in on our RLN conversation, and provided further insight on our pitchers.

    • RedDawg

      Pick him up, making it all three Georgia Bulldogs from the Dodgers now on the Reds. So says the UGA alum, lifelong Reds fan in Braves’ country,

  6. RedFuture

    At least good to hear that some guys are progressing, specially Stephenson. If DK is half the pitching coach he is cracked up to be RS should be a perfect candidate for a leap forward. He is nearly 100% ticketed for rehab at Louisville to begin the year but it would be nice to get nearly 3 weeks of work in with DK before the open!