Tejay Antone had a dominant rookie season in 2020 and was following up on that in 2021 until he wound up missing the second half of the year and undergoing his second Tommy John surgery. Antone missed all of 2022 and now he’s going to miss at least part of 2023 after suffering a strained flexor. Antone announced on his instagram page that he had a PRP injection today to help speed things up.

Anotne closed out his video by saying I’ll be there for the playoff push in the second half. His optimism aside from a team standpoint, it’s unclear if he’s saying he won’t be ready until the second half of the 2023 season or if that was just him kind of noting that he isn’t going to be ready to begin the year.

When on the mound, Antone has been a difference maker for the Reds. In his 69.0 innings with Cincinnati in his two seasons he’s posted a 2.48 ERA and struck out 87 batters while allowing just 37 hits. The Reds are entering spring training with a lot of spots open in the bullpen, though they were likely hoping that the three players who were coming back from injury – Antone, Lucas Sims, and Tony Santillan – would be healthy and ready to go.

Both Lucas Sims and Tony Santillan are trying to return from back injuries in 2022. Sims, who broke out in 2020 when he posted a 2.45 ERA, barely pitched in 2022. In his 6.2 innings he walked more batters than he struck out and posted a 9.45 ERA. He went on the injured list in May with back spasms. In July he underwent surgery to fix a herniated disc and didn’t pitch again during the year. Santillan posted a 2.91 ERA as a rookie in 2021, but his season was over by mid-June in 2022 as he dealt with a back injury that limited him to just 19.2 innings pitched. There hasn’t been much of an update on either of these two players since last year. With spring training beginning next week we’ll likely know where they stand soon.

48 Responses

  1. Ryan

    Never been sold on Sims but I wish him good health

  2. old-school

    I was fortunate enough during the 2021 season with the 25% attendance and separated seats to randomly sit 2 rows ahead of Antone wife mom ,dad ,and a coach. Great people. Talked to them a bit. Feel bad for Antone. Hes a coach for amateur pitchers and does a lot to mentor young guys. Sad news for him. Class act.

    • Jim Walker


      What will be (or won’t); will be (or won’t).

      The numbers are gruesome for a full recovery from 2nd time TJ Surgery. To see a guy like the Reds own TJ having to confront them makes it even tougher as a follower of him and the team. We can only hope for the best.

  3. LDS

    Still a couple of FA pitchers available. The hints were there all along. So, now no TJ, probably no Votto, and possibly no Senzel. Not to mention inflated expectations of Sims and Santillan returning strong. And the starting rotation is anchored by three second year pitchers with a combined 350 IP. A lot has to real break in the Reds favor to avoid losing 100 games again this season.

    • Broseph

      I haven’t been following too closely, but why no potential Senzel? His toe surgery from mid-November?

      • LDS

        He was still on a scooter a few weeks ago. Maybe he’s up and conditioning, but I’ve not seen any reports to that effect. Of course, there’s always the hope that this is the year, but in reality, my expectations of Senzel are gone.

      • Doug Gray

        I don’t think your timeline is correct.

        FTR, he was out playing golf last week.

    • Old-school

      Hot off the mlb traderumors presses

      Mike Minor is feeling good and may throw for some teams soon

      Run it back in 2023!

    • JayTheRed

      Thank you for this realistic assessment of the players who were injured from last year.
      It drives me crazy reading comments about guys who are coming back from injuries are going to be the savors of the team.

    • jon

      OMG! No Senzel. What are we going to do?

  4. Votto4life

    I really feel bad for Tejay, but honestly I wasn’t expecting him back at all. I hope he can eventually make it back, but successfully overcoming two Tommy John surgeries is a difficult task.

    I don’t feel Lucas Sims is much better than the other relievers the Reds has been running out there the past 2 or 3 years. I do wish him the best with his health.

    As bad as the bullpen is, I am worried more about the starting rotation. Lord help us, if any of the big three go down for any significant time. Not signing or acquiring a solid fourth starter is baseball negligence. Luke Weaver not withstanding.

    As much as I like the Wil Meyers signing, that money should have been directed to the starting rotation.

    • Redsvol

      I was actually optimistic on Tejay helping us this year but not optimistic on Sims. Hopefully we will get something out of Sims this year. I fear Tejay may be done for the year. Flexor strains tend to linger for a pitcher – and probably more when returning from tommy john.

      I agree, our starting pitching depth (at least real major league experience) is really thin.

    • Jim Walker

      Contingencies like Antone and the other situations you pointed out are why they are engaging in all the dumpster diving. If you are like me though, that doesn’t give you any warm fuzzies. 😉

    • Michael

      Absolutely agree. Baseball negligence. I find it difficult to imagine that the big 3 will stay healthy the entire year, hopefully no major injuries. The owners aren’t saying but the downturn in payroll likely has something to do with Bally Sports rumored financial trouble.

  5. Brian

    Has anyone ever considered that that the 5-7 actual major league worthy major league players on the team are also open to injury? SMH. It’s f’n woeful that this is what the once mighty Cincinnati Reds have been reduced to. Economics? Sure but don’t f’n pretend that this couldn’t have been much more mismanaged or owned as it had been. Does anyone have the integrity and grit to call a spade a spade anymore? The diehard fans are on their last leg. Young people don’t follow baseball like we did, they need a strong reason. A poop team doesn’t cut it…

  6. VegasRed

    Bob could write a treatise on how to decimate a once proud franchise.

    • TR

      I remember years ago when my mother liked to go to what she called the Castellini mall near the Tri County mall. Whatever that means…

    • AC

      Carl Linder already wrote it. This kind of roster building has been going on in Reds land for quite a while. The messaging from the Castellini group has been abhorrent, but the economic system in MLB has been broken for a while, and no on seems really keen on fixing it.

  7. AMDG

    “I’ll be there for the PLAYOFF PUSH”

    Apparently Antone is the clown of the bullpen 🙂

    • TR

      Not really. Nothing wrong with a little optimism.

    • Doc

      Maybe he anticipates returning and being trade bait to a contender!

  8. Colorado Red

    And so it begins.
    Sad to hear, but it is the Reds way, it seems.

    • Doc

      Antone forearm issues were reported on MLBTR about 1/25/23, so this is no surprise. I mentioned it as a comment to one of the posts within a day of its appearance on MLBTR, but there were no additional comments posted. This is the first mention of it on a Reds-related site, at least that I have seen, but the news has been available for at least two weeks.

      • Jim Walker

        I saw the report of “forearm issues” and figured something like this was inevitable. I’d said here and elsewhere I would believe Antone or Sims being healthy contributors when it happened. Thus I wasn’t surprised.

        But it does seem like the organization might be trying to slow roll the story. To wit, TJ went on Instagram himself to announce the PRP injection and make it clear he was not going to be ready until some time into the season.

        For those who have not seen the Instagram video, TJ went out of his way to offer up his full support for the Reds staff involved with his situation. So if there is an issue, it would seem to be PR management on up the food chain,

      • MK

        I kind of wonder about the much ballyhooed Medical staff. This is not the first time the Reds have had a Tommy John recovering who have suffered a strained flexor in the forearm.

        I also remember Homer Bailey being treated for a flexor strain when in fact he needed Tommy John.

  9. Harry Stoner

    This non-surprise underscores the Reds’ / Krall’s shortsightedness in not making a significant move to strengthen the bullpen instead of crossing their fingers about Antone and Sims.

    I don’t know how a team can invest itself in the development of a young cadre of starting pitchers without also investing in a bullpen to help preserve their efforts, build their confidence and signify a commitment to their growth.

    Unless Krall gets serious and returns to the front office with a push for more available $$ to fill this bullpen hole we’re going to likely see another series of blown quality starts for Greene and Lodolo.

  10. Hotto4Votto

    Antone’s injured, the Reds have injuries before ST starts, water is wet.

  11. Old Big Ed

    I wasn’t counting on Antone, anyway. He has a total of 69 IP in the majors at age 29, and he has had two TJ surgeries. Good guy, but he has a history of pushing his arm beyond its limits.

    I hope he makes it back, but it was always a longshot.

    • Melvin

      Yeah. Sadly I’m starting to feel like he will always have some sort of arm problems considering the type of pitches he throws. His arm just can’t handle it.

  12. Michael B. Green

    Both Antone and Sims got hurt right around the same time the Spider Tac rule came out. Spincinnati kind of disappeared after that point too.

    I hope that Antone rebounds and I hope Sims stays healthy. Two key pieces for any success. Having said that, this is clearly a growth year.

  13. Klugo

    Which flexor are we talking about here? Hip? Bicep?

    • Jim Walker

      Presumably forearm, part of the elbow structure.

  14. MBS

    Like everyone else said, it’s unfortunate, but not a surprise. 2 TJ’s are tough, I’d love to see him make it back on the mound eventually.

    Gee I wonder why I was so keen on signing a closer to the pen. Diaz is great, but he’s only one man, and he often needs to be utilized prior to a closing situation. Hopefully Sims and Santillian can make it back, that will at least give us some length.

    This does open the door for a guy like Young to make the team out of spring. I am interested in seeing him this spring.

    • David

      My expectation is the Diaz will be over used by Bell, and then he will likely be injured.

      And no real Bull-pen depth. This is one place where spending some money could have improved their wins versus losses. There’s a lot of “maybes” that Krall signed to minor league deals, etc.
      Maybe a couple of them will stick, but hope is not a plan.

      And to all the concern about the starting rotation; yes, it will be interesting to see how it “fills out”. Dunn is a another big question mark; will his shoulder still be sore…..all the time? He could be permanently injured and never recover.

      • greenmtred

        My recollection is that a lot of the criticism of Bell’s use of Diaz last year was that he didn’t use him enough. Also, of course, that he used him in critical late-game situations instead of saving for a clean ninth inning.

  15. JB

    Wasn’t really counting on him or Senzel in 2023. The IL is their second home.

  16. Fredrocker

    The Will Myers signing will be the surprise of the first half…. then he will be gone…

  17. SultanofSwaff

    The bullpen is the only area I’m not confident there is any appreciable depth to withstand injuries or non-performance. The repercussions are that Bell will be tempted to make up the difference by increasing the workload on our young starters. As we see year after year it can turn into a negative feedback loop quickly and losses snowball. I think it would be prudent to leverage some of the younger farm talent for a controllable bullpen piece.

    • Harry Stoner

      I agree with your concerns, but I don’t see Bell taking that kind of turn with the starters. He loves to show that he’s “managing” which means lots of changes, lots of switches, 1/3 inning of relief, etc.

      The loss of Antone more likely means the return of another “Strickland”.

      I remain dumbfounded that Krall and the organization haven’t made the bullpen much more of a priority.

      The quickest way to a more watchable team.

      “Historically bad bullpen.” is what the NYTimes referred to it as.

      Hard to argue.

      Oh, yeah. The Nasty Boys, thirty years ago.

      • SteveAreno

        “Lots of switches, one-third inning of relief”. Good to see someone else noticed the quick yanking. It bugged me last year he yanks our middle relievers after only one inning, when they are being dominant.

  18. redfanorbust

    Really bad news for Reds as if they needed anymore. I guess I will take the high road, making the glass half full, he will be back for the second half of the year and will be his old dominating self on the mound. Hopefully someone can step up until if/when he comes back.

    • David

      “Where else are you going to go…huh?” – the mind of Phil Castellini.

      This was not a terribly talented team to start with, and now….less talent than many counted on. And a mid-wit field manager to boot.

  19. Rednat

    i wish mlb would ban every pitch except fast ball, curve ball, change up. mlb needs to be more “hitter centric” than “Pitcher centric”. first it would cut down catastrophic injuries like this and second it would make the game fun again.

  20. JayTheRed

    Before I read any of the comments, I just want to say that I don’t know why everyone was so high or excited to Antone back. The guy has had two major surgeries and apparently the new injury is not related to the surgery directly.

    Fans need to wake up and realize that this will be the case with Votto and with Sims too. Having back issues, myself I know for a fact it takes a while to recover from lower back pain and it comes back super easy. If Sims is back to feeling more normal be aware that it will only take one wrong turn and he will be injured again.

    The bullpen will be lucky if it’s good. Someone is going to have to step up from either the minors or the several minor league deals the team signed this winter.

    Ok now onto the reading portion of this sad news.

  21. Larry Baker

    Wish the young man the best. No big rush, the Reds won’t be near the playoffs. Let the young man focus on his long-term career.

  22. CI3J

    For a hard-thrower like Antone, coming back from a second TJ is like playing on borrowed time. Even if he can do it, he’s not likely to last much longer in MLB.

    It’s sad, but we Reds fans certainly have seen our share of athletes with an immense amount of talent whose bodies just can’t handle it.