Tejay Antone has arguably been the best pitcher in Cincinnati Reds spring training this year. On Sunday afternoon he got the start for the Reds against the San Diego Padres. Between the 3rd and 4th inning he took the mound for his warm up pitches and after a few of them he felt something in his hamstring, and after Mike Moustakas noticed it, too, Antone called out for the trainer.

“I’m good,” Antone said after the game. “I was just warming up for the 4th inning. Felt like a little tweak. I was going to stretch it and just kind of continue, and Moustakas saw me stretching it and kind of said something like ‘don’t push it’, and I was like ‘yeah, he’s probably right, shouldn’t push anything right now’ so I just called out the trainer. I think I’ll be fine. I told the trainer I think I’ll be able to make my next start – it’s just a small little tweak.”

That’s really good news on a day in which the team may have found out that Sonny Gray could miss the first week of the regular season after he takes a few extra days off to try and sort out some back spasm issues that have popped up. While Cincinnati has some starting pitching depth, you never want to have to use it and potentially losing two-fifths of your rotation in the middle of the spring isn’t ideal. With that said, Tejay Antone still isn’t sure whether he’s a starter or a reliever from the perspective of the team.

“They don’t tell me anything (laughs),” said Antone. “Right now it looks like I’m on the starters trail, keep building up innings. I did go out there for the 4th inning, so technically I got my 4th up and down. I only had about 10 more pitches to go to reach my limit. So if you count my 5 warm up pitches I feel like I’m right where I need to be. I didn’t get to finish the inning, but I feel like I’m right where I need to be. I feel great, my arm feels great, offspeed pitches feel great. Nurse my leg back to health and I’ll be good to go.”

Sunday saw Antone charged with three unearned runs to go along with one earned run – his first of the spring. He’s thrown 7.2 innings so far, allowed just six hits, walked three batters, and he’s picked up 13 strikeouts. While spring training stats don’t tell us much, the reports of his stuff back up those numbers quite well. He’s looked like he’s just carried forward what we all saw him do last year with the big league club as a rookie.

With a hamstring injury, even if it’s just a minor thing, we’ll probably get a better idea in a day or two where things stand. Antone feels confident that he’s going to be able to pitch when it’s his normal turn this upcoming week. Assuming he stays on a 5-day schedule, that’s Friday night at 10:05pm against the San Francisco Giants (if he pitches in an A-game instead of a B-game).

7 Responses

  1. 3rdbaseTom

    All these injuries of back issues, hamstrings etc. happening in warm Arizona, makes one concerned about when they come North into the cold, during the early start of the regular season.

    • Grand Salami

      Reds need him as the theme of pitching and low scoring games carries over from last season.

    • Doc

      “Warm Arizona”. Snow on the ground a couple of weeks ago. Snow in the mountains two days ago. Highs in the 70s one day and the 50s the next. Relative to Cincinnati it may be warm, but it has been quite inconsistent. The 20-30 degree swings in temperature may have something to do with the tweaks.

      Gray’s back spasms could be concerning. How low did it take the lefty the Reds got from the Dodgers to get over his back spasms?

      • RedsGettingBetter

        if i am not wrong, Alex Wood returned to play again in august , but he had few setbacks during his recovery from back spasms

  2. RojoBenjy

    Hamstrings are at risk if you’re on the Reds.

    Strange but likely a coincidence.

  3. Rut

    Good grief, its like a Cubs fan has voodoo dolls of our players and is picking them off, one by one….

    Almost need to put these guys into an actual bubble for protection. Not sure if the Bubble Boys of Summer is a catchy name, but starting to think we need drastic action to prevent a calamity.