The Cincinnati Reds have officially placed right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray on the 10-day injured list with a right groin strain. This isn’t surprising given what we heard from Gray after the game last night.
Update (4:15pm ET): It would seem that the news was about as good as you could reasonably expect with regards to Sonny Gray’s injury.
“Not an exact timetable, but I think the best guess is missing two starts,” said Manager David Bell on Wednesday afternoon. “The severity obviously could be a lot worse. To me that was a best case scenario.”
It also appears that the team plans to have someone fill in for Grays’ regularly scheduled spot on Sunday. Who that is has yet to be determined.
Injuries have been up across Major League Baseball this year (and in the NBA, too, where soft-tissue injuries are becoming a problem that they are linking to a combination of fatigue and a lack of training opportunities due to how things were operating during shutdown and COVID protocols). Injuries are up nearly 30% to this point in the season compared to where they were at the same point in 2019. It feels like the Cincinnati Reds have been hit by injuries more than most other teams as they’ve lost key players in their every day lineup, as well as multiple members of their projected starting rotation from where things were when they entered spring training.
For the time being the Cincinnati bullpen will get some help as the Reds have called up reliever Art Warren to take Gray’s place on the 26-man roster. He’s pitched in two games for the Reds this year, throwing 2.0 hitless innings with two walks and two strikeouts. In Louisville it’s been an interesting situation as he’s thrown 10.1 innings, struck out 21 of the 48 batters he’s faced, but also posted a 5.23 ERA and allowed 11 hits to go with four walks (one was intentional). Most of his questionable stat line in Triple-A comes from one appearance. On May 19th against Memphis he allowed four hits and a walk in 1.2 innings that saw him allow four earned runs. Remove that game from the equation and Warren has 2.08 ERA with seven hits and three walks to go with 16 strikeouts for the Bats.
The Reds are going to need someone to step into the rotation for Sonny Gray. They won’t need to make that move immediately. But as we noted here at Redleg Nation last night, Tony Santillan seems to be the best option. The 24-year-old righty has been very good in Triple-A for Louisville, posting a 2.51 ERA in 32.1 innings with 12 walks and 45 strikeouts. He last pitched on Friday, and with how the minor league schedule works out this year, he is not scheduled to pitch again for the Bats until Friday. Cincinnati could put him into the rotation between now and then and push everyone else back a day if they wanted to do that. We’ll have to wait and see what decision they make, but Santillan has the numbers, he’s got the stuff, and he’s already on the 40-man roster so he wouldn’t require designating anyone for assignment to bring up, either. It just seems to be the easy, and correct answer.