The Cincinnati Reds got some bad news on Monday with regards to outfielder Shogo Akiyama. Manager David Bell noted in his pre-game zoom meeting with the media today that Akiyama would miss at least a few weeks.

“He’s going to miss at least a few weeks, just what we thought – hamstring strain, whatever you want to call it – hamstring injury will keep him out at least a few weeks,” Bell said.

The organization may not be too surprised by that, though, and neither was Shogo Akiyama.

“I knew it was going to take time from the beginning, so I wasn’t really surprised,” Akiyama said on Monday. “But I am disappointed to say the least.”

For Cincinnati this likely clears up some early season decisions on how to work the lineup. If everyone is healthy then the Reds likely are trying to mix-and-match some group of three outfielders on a given day between Jesse Winker, Nick Senzel, Nick Castellanos, and Shogo Akiyama to give them the best opportunity. With Akiyama now likely to miss the start of the season, the decision to pencil in Winker in left, Senzel in center, and Castellanos in right. Until it’s time for Akiyama to return to the active roster, that’s likely what we’re going to see on a regular basis.

This may also open up a little bit of playing time for outfielder Aristides Aquino. Depending on how his option/not having an option situation plays out, he may have been in the minors to begin the year, or possibly relegated to being a frequently used pinch hitter in the big leagues. Now it’s possible that he could get more at-bats – perhaps starting against tough lefties for Jesse Winker in left field.

Wade Miley is a go for Tuesday

After leaving his last appearance with an injury, left-handed pitcher Wade Miley is back on schedule and is listed as the probable starter for the Cincinnati Reds game on Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.

16 Responses

  1. Klugo

    Put it in the “Excuses” file. Bell and Company will want to use that later.

  2. TR#1

    Starting to get worried this season is going to turn into a dumpster fire. A lot of injuries already, CoVid for Votto, and obviously no SS. I’m thinking over/under should be 72 wins and I would bet under. Hope I’m wrong.

    • Jimbo44CN

      I sure hope you are too, but I am holding my breath. With Sonny questionable, Starters are looking a bit thin. Hopefully Senzel doesn’t hurt himself in the next week or two. BTW, Doug, do you have any word on Votto and how he is doing?

  3. jim walker

    The Reds are not the young team many of us expected to see beginning this year and building over the next couple of seasons.

    Instead, the team pivoted after the 2018 season and began moving position prospects for pitching while filling in the position spots with older free agents such as Moustakis, Castellanos and Akiyama. Add in Votto and Barnhart (at least to start the season) and that’s an aging everyday team. A potential downside to this course is Injuries are generally more apt to happen to older guys.

    Also keep an eye on Senzel and Winker who despite being younger have to date compiled records that indicate they are subject to missing time on a regular basis.

    Just as we are seeing with the pitching, the Reds position depth will likely be well tested over the season.

    • Old Big Ed

      Check the roster, Jim. Castellanos and Barnhart both just turned 28. Senzel is 25 and Winker is 27. Suarez is 29, and India just turned 24. Moustakas is 32. Akiyama will be 33 in April, but he is a free agent after 2022. Joey Votto is old, but he is also Joey Votto.

      Other than Votto, age shouldn’t be much of an issue with this team. Moose’s age may become an issue in 2022 or 2023, but he has a nice short stroke that ought to age fairly well as a DH.

      The position prospects to acquire the pitching were Taylor Trammell (Bauer), Jeter Downs (Alex Wood and assorted Dodger detritus), and Shed Long (Sonny Gray). Long (now 25) has a bWAR of -0.1 in parts of two seasons with the Mariners. Jeter Downs is now with the Red Sox, who are said to be high on him, but has yet to play AAA ball. Trammell is having a nice spring with Mariners at age 23, but he also has not played AAA yet. (The worst of these trades was Josiah Gray.)

      So, it isn’t like they traded away any player who would be playing now, or who even figure to be playing soon. Downs to me is not better than Jose Garcia, who is only 3 months older. And the Reds will get the Dodgers’ first round pick (#30) for their signing Bauer. They have the 17th, 30th and 35th picks this draft.

  4. BZ

    While there seems to be a lot of injuries lately, so far none are detrimental to the long term success of the Reds. SG obviously hurts but he shouldn’t be out too long. This will give Winker, Senzel, and Castallanos a really good chance to get settled in over the first couple of weeks.

  5. LDS

    It’s going to be a long year. My guess is Senzel hits the DL before May 1st. Hope I’m wrong but the guy seems brittle. Move Moustakas to first, put India at 2nd, flip a coin on SS, I doubt any of them will hit .250. Lose 90+ games and then maybe we can replace Bell.

    • DaveCT

      I have little confidence in Dee Strange-Gorden, defensively or offensively. One miscue today from the 2nd base side, on a shift from SS, with a weak throw on top of it. I thought he missed covering 2nd on a double by Iglesias and then again on a pick-off. Bat looks week. I’d rather a no-bat guy like Holder who can play defense.

  6. DataDumpster

    On a previous post, I noted that the Reds are holding down 2nd place for most current injured players (when their opponent San Diego was first). Can anyone tell me how people get injured with so little activity and why a sore back, hamstring, forearm, etc. require a 2 week or more recuperation? This situation could easily get out of control when the workload increases greatly with the regular season.

    • Matt WI

      Well, I think you are underestimating the amount of work that is done by these guys off the field. They aren’t just playing cards and video games in the clubhouse like it’s a rain delay in between the spring training games. Also, if they are revving up their physical activity from less, anyone is more prone toward injury.

      I would say lucky for you if you’ve never experienced a significant enough malady to know that it can take time to fully heal. If they “push through” they very much risk altering their mechanics (especially pitchers) that can lead to more serious injuries or new injuries for overcompensating muscles. A hitter with a sore leg might be able to go half speed forward, but really struggle laterally, or not be able to push off a leg while hitting. So maybe sometimes they “could” play but especially right now it is not something that they “should” do.

      It takes incredible skill and muscle/body coordination to play the game at this high of a level. When a player is hiding an injury, the proof is usually in the level of play that fans then complain about and want the guy benched for. I vote we trust the players and trainers to have a pretty good sense of what they need. Not that the Reds medical staff has been flawless, but some of this stuff is pretty simple, unavoidable tweaks.

      • DataDumpster

        I largely agree with the points you are making but it still sounds like this is all just “bad luck” (like BABIP last year.) I am saying that the manager is either not moving these guys along fast enough or they are not in good enough condition to progress because of their own malaise or realization that it doesn’t matter much anyway on this team. I put no blame on the training staff.
        How it is explained that our “core” pitching staff (Garrett, Sims, Gray, Miley, Mahle and Castillo) have combined for a total of 4 appearances, 5.1 innings pitched, and 4 injuries over the first half of SP? Who’s in the bullpen now with Garrett and Sims out and Doolittle struggling? Did you notice who David Bell pitched in relief today? Take them apples, the poor defense, and the veterans still in their slumber and you got a lot of potential going to waste (again). No, the players that matter need more work, not less and some discipline and tough love instead of happy talk from David Bell.

    • Old Big Ed

      Akiyama is the only position player with an injury that I know of. He is probably as physically fit as anybody in baseball.

      Gray’s back injury is mildly concerning. The others are not, and are of the type that one would expect in spring training. Remember, this is Arizona, and it has been very windy this spring. Just a little dehydration makes a person more susceptible to muscle pulls and strains. If you haven’t been out there, you would be flabbergasted how much water/electrolytes that you need, even at this time of year. The pitchers have some minor muscle issues, mostly in the legs, and it is likely from dehydration.

  7. Kevin Patrick

    Ok… with all these injuries the roster predictions will at least be more interesting. No Sonny, Akiyama, and a questionable Votto…down for the near future. I notice that Blandino played first today…

    • DataDumpster

      Indeed. It’s much more interesting than expected but not looking to the upside. However, adversity motivates the good ones, a test is coming for sure for several players and David Bell. Clarity at last!