Two of the Cincinnati Reds top prospects are going to miss the start of the minor league season. Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Elly De La Cruz and Christian Encarnacion-Strand are both dealing with injuries and won’t begin the season when the 2023 minor league season gets underway next week. Along with starting pitcher Chase Petty, three of the Reds Top 10 prospects won’t be on the field when the minor league season begins.

Elly De La Cruz is dealing with a hamstring injury. The Reds top prospect isn’t expected to miss too much time, but likely won’t be ready to go for the first two weeks or so of the regular season. Triple-A Louisville’s season begins on March 31st (Double-A Chattanooga begins on April 6th in the scenario where he would begin his season back with the Lookouts). De La Cruz is coming off of a season in which he won the triple crown within the Reds farm system, hitting .304/.359/.586 with 31 doubles, 9 triples, 28 home runs, and 47 stolen bases between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga in 2022. He also played for Licey for a month in the Dominican Winter League, hitting .286/.396/.417 in 101 plate appearances.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand is expected to miss a little more time than De La Cruz. The corner infielder is dealing with some “slight disc herniation in his back. Encarnacion-Strand originally injured himself in early February, but was able to get on the field in time for spring training. The team’s 7th rated prospect hit the cover off of the ball this spring with the big league club, hitting .577 and slugging 1.192 with a team best four home runs despite playing in just 12 games before the team reassigned him to minor league camp. His back began to act up again and according to the report in the Enquirer, he’s potentially going to return around April 19th or April 24th depending on whether or not he’ll return as a part time player and designated hitter or if he’ll get an extra few days and come back ready to play every day and in the field.

12 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Here’s to wishing a very speedy recovery for those guys.

  2. VaRedsFan

    That’s not very good news. 🙁
    Soft tissue and back injuries can linger for long periods of time. Hopefully, they can make a full recovery.

  3. CFD3000

    Bad news for sure, but recovering from both of those injuries is mostly about time and rest. Here’s hoping EDLC and CES both wait until they’re truly fully recovered and aren’t rushed back only to risk reinjury. Heal up boys – the Reds are going to need you!

  4. Doc

    What! You mean the FO might have actually had information in making roster decisions that commenters on RLN, especially the ones critical of the FO moves, didn’t have. How can that have been possible?

    • Harry Stoner

      Not reading anything in the above report that suggests your hysteria has any merit.

      Feel free to conjecture away if that feeds your need to feel smugly smarter-than-thou.

      • Kevin H

        Actually it has alot of merit. Some fans on here really believe they know all and can’t possibly be wrong. Like they know better than the organization.

    • Michael reports that Elly’s injury occurred 4 days after being reassigned to minor league camp. It was previously reported that CES had a back injury prior to ST and was able to overcome it to play extremely well. Really hope both can come back 100% and contribute to the team at some point this year.

  5. Old-school

    Injuries happen folks and more are coming. We just dont know who or when or how bad. Doesnt sound serious if REds have return to play dates already. Sometimes these young players just go all in all the time and dont know how yet to balance rest and recovery( Chase Petty?). Senzel and Santillan and Sims should be ready soon.

    I’m more concerned about things going sideways with the lack of pitching depth. But, Barrero and McClain look ready to go as do Steer and Fraley and Friedl and Benson. Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft are full steam ahead. Let’s play ball!

  6. Optimist

    Very different injuries with very different prognoses. Hamstring may need a lot of rest. Back injuries could go many different directions all the way to surgery and extended rehab. No reason to hurry in either case.

  7. MuddyCleats

    So much for having tickets Friday night n Nashville?

    • JeffinTN

      Lol, That was my thought exactly. Louisville will not be back to Nashville the rest of the season. Ugh.