Cincinnati Reds shortstop Jose Barrero is expected to miss at least six weeks as he deals with a hamate injury in his left hand/wrist as first reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. Barrero, who was expected to compete for the shortstop position this spring with Kyle Farmer, now will be looking at options on how to move forward with the injury. The injury is generally taken care of by removing the hamate bone. It’s a common injury in baseball for some reason. He is set to get a second opinion on the injury on Monday.

This injury is yet another one that’s cropped up around Major League Baseball that had the owners not locked out the players on December 2nd that perhaps could have been taken care of during the offseason. But teams, and by extension team doctors were not allowed to be in contact with players during the lockout, injuries or anything close to it were not relayed to the team. Barrero originally felt something in his wrist during the offseason, but after some rest it seemed to have gotten better. Had this happened when he was able to talk to the team physicians perhaps he would have been checked out and the injury discovered and had it taken care of long before spring training began.

A similar thing happened with Fernando Tatis Jr., who was injured in a motorcycle accident during the offseason and then when the lockout was lifted and he arrived in camp it turned out that he needed surgery and he’s now going to miss several months for an injury that happened in December but wasn’t diagnosed or treated at the time.

While Kyle Farmer seemed to be the favorite at shortstop if you listened to the words of manager David Bell, this injury almost assuredly locks it down that he’s going to be the shortstop to begin the season. The question becomes who backs up Farmer at shortstop at this point. No one else on the 40-man roster is a shortstop. Among the non-roster invitees you’ve got 2021 1st round draft pick Matt McLain and then Miguel Hernandez. Both were extended invites to big league camp after it began. McLain has played 31 professional games and non above High-A. Hernandez, a 22-year-old, has only played in 25 games at the Double-A level and hit .255/.300/.319 in that span. Juniel Querecuto is also a shortstop that was in big league camp, but he’s injured and was also sent back to minor league camp on Sunday prior to the start of the game against San Francisco.

The Reds still have options, though, if they don’t want to rush either Miguel Hernandez or Matt McLain to the big leagues. Trades could be out there and the cost of acquisition for a defense-first backup shortstop shouldn’t be high. The waiver wire during the final few days of spring training is also likely to make available a possible backup shortstop if the team hasn’t yet figured out an exact plan. Newcomer Donovan Solano has limited time at shortstop, but he’s not exactly known for his defense at second or third base where he’s spent a lot more time. Another option could be to simply roll the dice with Alejo Lopez. Historically he’s been a second baseman, and he’s probably not a starting shortstop, but he did play 25 games there this past offseason while in winter ball down in Mexico.

62 Responses

  1. LDS

    It seems like the window is closing on Barrero’s opportunity. The Reds badly need a SS, otherwise we’re stuck with Farmer and I doubt he’ll perform as well as last year. So many roster holes, so little time.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      He’ll rehab at Louisville at some point, and they are going to need as many righthanded bats with pop as they can get, the way it looks now.

      • doofus

        The lefthanded bats with supposed pop that they have now are not dangerous: Votto, Moose, Naquin, Moran, Shogo, Friedl.

        I think that the righthanded bats are more potent than the lefties. Stephenson, India, Senzel, Farmer, Solano.

    • JB

      Window closing? He is only 23 and turns 24 in April. It’s not like he is out the whole season.

      • Votto4life

        I don’t get it either. There are a lot of folks on here though who just don’t like Jose Barrero. Despite the fact that Baseball America ranks him as our top prospect and the 33 top prospect in all of baseball. It’s very strange.

      • LDS

        I actually do like Barrero and thought he should have played more last season. I thought he should be the starting SS this year. Bell looked all in on Farmer, as I expected. Now Barrero is out until likely early May then some extended rehab in Louisville. With McClain and De La Cruz coming along quickly, Barrero, though only 23, has stiff competition on his heels. Downtime isn’t his friend and neither is Bell.

    • Droslovinia

      I can understand wanting to give a chance to a promising athlete who has yet to prove he can hit a pumpkin with a tennis racket in the majors, but why so much hate for someone who’s proved he can play the position? That seems so counter productive, even if it’s not ideal to some people.

    • doofus

      Matt “Welcome to the Party Pal” McLain, Jose Torres, Ricardo Cabrera…I do not think it is time to hyperventilate, yet.

  2. Mark Moore

    On the bright-ish side, this at least sets a timeline. But your point about this being avoidable is well taken. And, as LDS noted, it feels like a window MAY be closing here. Farmer will be serviceable, but I don’t see him repeating 2021. Our dear Tinker Bell probably has another PoV though.

  3. AMDG

    It seems everybody in the baseball world thinks that Barrero should be the starting shortstop – except for Bell.

    Unfortunately this injury likely helps justify his obsession with playing the weak-hitting utility man.

    • Daytonnati

      I mentioned this last season, I think think Farmer reminds Bell of himself as a player. The Grit Factor.

      • doofus

        I like the insight. buy, yourself a beer on me!

    • burtgummer01

      .260 with 16 hrs is weak hitting ? If the Reds had more weak hitting like this the future wouldn’t be so bleak.I don ‘t know if Farmer stole your milk money or something but you’re trolling for whatever reason

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        Farmer posted an 86 OPS+ or a 91 wRC+ depending on which version of “hitting” you want to use. Both are below average compared to a league average hitter (which would be 100). There is more to value as a hitter than just average and home runs. Farmer doesn’t walk very much which holds down some of his offensive value because it means he doesn’t get on base much.

    • greenmtred

      You’ve discussed the issue with Bell? Not to mention “everybody else?” I bet Farmer doesn’t think that Barrero should be the starting shortstop. I also bet that a lot of people–like me–think that Barrero should be if he proves that he can hit well enough.

  4. DaveCT

    Without our two All-Star corner OF’s, and even Geno’s power, Farmer won’t have certain luxuries he had last year. It’ll get more and more difficult to hide him in the lineup.

    • Mark Moore

      Stephenson full-time in the line-up makes up for one of those hitters (OF’er doesn’t matter). But your points about a 2nd strong hitter and even Ay-You-Hey-Knee-O are valid. Moose is a roll of the dice, so nobody knows what that brings.

      Still plenty of holes and questions.

      • DaveCT

        Sure be nice if Menzel hits. Bell will move India down sooner than I’d like to see him move out of leadoff. Hope he’s ready.

      • DaveCT

        Menzel is Moose plus Senzel, apparently on my autocorrect!

  5. MK

    Confusing management again. They had to think this could be possible when they released Alf Rod last week. Maybe they should call him and say oops.

  6. Luke J

    Ugh, I was hoping now that baseball is back I wouldn’t have to read continual bashing of the owners. Guess I was wrong. Now we are blaming them for players not seeing doctors for injuries in the off season. Wow. Heaven forbid anyone have any personal responsibility anymore. Let’s just blame the owners. Time to move on, Doug. Your biases as a journalist are repeatedly showing, and it’s not a good look.

    • Alan Horn

      Good grief. Either you are right or everyone else is. You don’t have to read it.
      You do realize that. Doug does a great job and tells it like it is. That is the mark of a good journalist. Propaganda is most of the national news.

      • Luke J

        It has nothing to do with “being right.” It’s about spending half an article throwing blame at the owners for injuries the players received in the offseason. This isn’t “telling it like it is.” This is propaganda to support his personal position on the lockout. It has nothing to do with reporting the news of Barrero’s injury.

        I absolutely love Doug’s work on this site (and Sure, we have disagreed on the issues surrounding the recent collective bargaining, and I haven’t liked how biased his articles have been through that time. But otherwise this is a great site that I fully support. No big deal. But it boiled over when I have to continue to read his disdain for the owners when I click on an article about a player’s injury that has nothing to do with the owners (no matter how he tries to spin it).

    • MK

      Luke I think there are times Doug leans a little heavy toward players point of view but I sure didn’t get it in this article. The communication issues were just part of the negotiations. Anegative consequence to both sides.

      • Luke J

        How did you not get that from this article. The entire first half of it was explaining why it was the owners’ fault that Barrero and Tatis’ injuries weren’t dealt with sooner. Not only is that disingenuous because the players can seek medical treatment on their own during the offseason, and definitely during a lockout, but it was completely unnecessary when reporting on Barrero’s injury. Saying he injured his wrist over the winter, let it rest and thought it was better before arriving at camp gives the reader all the necessary facts. Throwing blame at the owners for why he needs surgery now does not.

      • doofus

        Luke, it seems like you are advocating for the owners to cut costs and get rid of their medical staffs? Are you shilling for Bob Castellini? He would love to cut costs like that. If players can go to the doctor on their own when they are shut out by the owners, they can seek medical attention on their own during the season? Those owners are so enlightened!

      • doofus

        Luke, MLB medical staffs specialize in healing the type of injuries that baseball players encounter. It would seem to be VERY wise to have those medical personnel (doctors, trainers, physical therapists) treat players with injuries. This is not a question of bias against the owners, but another example of how the owners shot themselves in the foot with the lockout.

    • LDS

      I’m curious, given the lockout rules, and given that the owners initiated the lockout, how they don’t bear, at least, some responsibility for the players’ delayed treatment? As for Doug’s alleged bias, it was rather obvious throughout the lockout that the owners weren’t negotiating in good faith.

      • Doc

        If Tatis’ injury was not evaluated or properly treated at the time after sustaining a motorcycle injury, that is Tatis’ fault, not MLB owners. How much money does Tatis make? He couldn’t afford a doctor’s visit after a motorcycle injury? Give me a break! How is it MLB’s responsibility to take care of a player injured in a motorcycle accident in the off season. Is motorcycle riding a mandatory baseball activity now?

        Barrero might be a bit more understandable. If he did not have any significant signing bonus, then it is understandable that he might choose rest as a first step. In fact, when I practiced medicine, the guiding principle for treating aches and pains was RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation), so resting the injury was not an inappropriate step. If he had a 7 figure signing bonus, then he, too, should have been able to afford a doctor’s visit and an imaging study or two. These are 20-25 year old men. They should have sense enough to obtain medical care just like the rest of the real world occupants.

      • LDS

        Doc, what are the individual’s contract terms with the club. Is the specific player allowed to pursue medical treatment without the team’s okay? My guess is that in some cases yes and in others no. Regardless, the fact that the owners did not negotiate in good faith is unequivocal. Just as unequivocal as the obvious fact that the Reds are not a serious team and lacks the management and ownership to actually succeed in the future.

      • A

        Well stated LDS. Especially the last sentence about the Reds are not a serious team and lacks the ownership and management to be so. They cut loose a ton of talent and have not brought in even one decent replacement to help this season of next. The only contention they will be in is with the Pirates for the cellar.

  7. Michael

    Dear Luke,

    I would love to quote Phil Raisor but Doug says no cursing so “good day sir”

  8. MuddyCleats

    I read in a MLB article today Barrero has 120 ABs in the MLs over two seasons and 200 ABs in AAA. Much more than what I’ve quoted in the past, but still no where near enough ABs or success in AAA to assume he is ready for everyday ML role. Hate to see the injury, but I think it may work to his advantage ??

    • TheCoastMan

      Hey, he hit 13 tators and batted .306 with a .392 OBP in Louisville last year in those 200 ABs.

      On this team — he’s ready until he proves otherwise..

      • Droslovinia

        Hey, Brandon Larson. Midday’s got a very good point.

      • MuddyCleats

        Good Pt, yet Bell / Reds don’t have him listed as the starting SS ? Guy needs to play everyday against good comp which is what he’d be able to do in AAA. Too bad the injury will delay that

  9. Votto4life

    The Bengals need a couple offensive linemen, they sign three.

    The Reds need a right handed bat…can’t do it, let’s rebuild!

  10. CFD3000

    Frustrating news, and I agree that a three month lockout did none of the injured players any favors – Tatis Jr., Chris Sale, now Barrero and surely others. But priority one should be to get Barrero 100% healthy before he takes the field again. The biggest fail in all this would be if it becomes a long term, lingering problem. Disappointing that he’ll be out into May. But I’ll take 4 good months from a healthy Barrero over 4 1/2 of him less than full strength 99 times out of 99.

    • DaveCT

      I’d love to have Jose back. Dude can’t be worse than today’s group.

  11. Jon

    Off topic a bit here, but looking back at the events of the past week, what was the point of trading Suarez (and by extension, Winker)? It appeared to be about slashing payroll, but then the Reds went and added Minor, a pitcher making $10 million dollars.

    • TheCoastMan

      Cleveland wanted Winker pretty bad and probably was offering some nice prospects, but Cincinnati wasn’t interested because Cleveland wouldn’t take Suarez. So, yea, it was all about the salary dump.

      Minor remains the enigma.

    • Chris

      I can answer that question for you. This organization has NO plans beyond ONE DAY AT A TIME.

      • Alan Horn

        They are pitiful for sure. I will keep up with them but only by box score unless I am totally surprised. I just don’t see it happening with this cast of characters. Thinking you have a chance to win is the first step to winning. That includes getting yourself in position to win by management with trades, development, FA signings etc.. Not throwing up a white flag and still declaring you are winning the battle.

  12. JoshG

    I think you’ll see Donovan Solano as the primary back up at SS

    • Redsvol

      I do too. It’s an options thing unless from here until opening day. Due to shortened spring training they don’t have time/innings to get a look at guys in positions they haven’t played at for the organization. I think Lopez could play short in a pinch but Solano has played short and I’m sure India could in an emergency.

    • doofus

      Solano is a spot player at SS, not even a backup, according to his career stats.

  13. Old-school

    In the big picture, this isnt a big deal. Barrero can heal his wrist , go to AAA and take his time rehabbing. No urgency or rush. Get 20 or 30 or 50 games with 100 or 200 more AAA at bats under his belt till he is healthy and 100% and in a rhythm.IF that’s June 1 or July 1 so be it.

    On the converse, Kyle Farmer plays the first 50 games and 200 at bats at SS every day and gets 2 more months to write his story. He had a great July and a good September in 2021. The other months were poor. September is an asterisk with the AAAA pitching of the pirates/marlins/Cubs/Tigers. He also struggled against RH pitching last year- mostly in the power department, OPS .715 and wRC + 87. Very solid against LH pitching -.789 OPS with ISO.221 and wRC+ 105.

    See how things look early June after Farmer has 200 at bats. He gets thrown to the MLB gauntlet of RH pitching early. Ian Anderson and Charlie Morton greet him @ATL, then Shane Bieber says hello, then its off to @ LAD with Walker Buehler and tough lefties Julio Urias and Kershaw followed by @San Diego with Yu Darvish and Mike Clevinger.

    IF Farmer is hitting .203 with a WRC+ of 74 in early June, then its Barrero whenever Barrero is ready. If Farmer is hitting with an OPS of .750 and wRC+ of 100 and playing his usual defense, then Barrero waits to earn his opportunity. If Farmer is crushing it in July and the Reds are 20 back, then he is a trade-able asset and brings back a young quality relief arm.

    Injuries and production and age tend to ultimately sort things out over time.

  14. Jeffery

    I do not think roster is that bad if we keep the pitching we have now. Could be a surprise especially with everyone thinking the are going to suck.

  15. Frankie Tomatoes

    Well that stinks! I didn’t expect Barrero to get the job out of spring training based on what David Bell was saying but was hoping to see Barrero quickly take over the job. Now all of that is going to be pushed down the line with the injury.

  16. Old-school

    For those with Athletic subscription, Zach buchanan has great article up on Elly De La Cruz

    Hes worked with a trainer on strength is 6’5 and switch hits and 5 tool prospect and plays shortstop

    Pendery gives him a 70 now on speed and arm “when he needs it”
    And his power is a 70 as well.

    If he cuts down his K rate and develops some plate discipline- Reds could have a huge developing story as the minor league season proceeds.

    @ Doug- Is K % his big issue?

    • AC

      Not Doug, but the K% combined with his walk % is, uh, less than ideal. If he figures it out though…….