The Cincinnati Reds have placed right-handed reliever Tejay Antone on the 10-day injured list with a right forearm strain. Taking his place on the roster, at least for now, is utility man Max Schrock who is coming up from Triple-A. The team also announced that Michael Feliz has been released.
If you are going to look for any sign of good news with Tejay Antone it’s that the team used the word strain. The words strain and sprain are often, mistakenly, assumed to be the same. There are a few differences between the two, but to boil it down rather easily: A sprain is a tear of a ligament. A strain can be a tear of a muscle or tendon, but can also be just an overstretching of a muscle or tendon. Antone has already had Tommy John surgery. So having a sprain, which would be a tear of a ligament in his pitching arm, would likely require Tommy John surgery again, and the recovery rate from a second one of those is not exactly great.
All of that isn’t to say that this couldn’t still be something serious for Tejay Antone. But that we’re talking more about a muscle or tendon instead of his UCL in his already surgically repair elbow is at least a glimmer of hope down the road. We’ll likely know more about this over the next few days.
As for the replacement coming in being a position player….. it’s both surprising an unsurprising. The team had an off day on Monday, meaning that the bullpen was generally fully rested entering the week. It had nine men in it at the time, and most times you can get by with an 8-man bullpen. You can really give it a go if you can add two more players in a week when rosters expand. Or, if you need to make a move before then due to usage circumstances, it’s a move you make when needed.
For now the team is adding to their bench. Max Schrock is back. He’s had success with Cincinnati this season in limited action. In 22 games he’s hit .311/.367/.578 in 49 plate appearances. In 38 games with Triple-A Louisville this year the lefty has hit .289/.333/.461. He was optioned back to Triple-A earlier this month. In the two weeks since then he’s hit .289/.347/.533. Schrock has crushed right-handed pitchers this year to the tune of a .924 OPS between the two levels. But against lefties he’s only posted a .551 OPS. Defensively he can cover you just about anywhere except short, center, or catcher. He’s even pitched a few times in his career.