Matt McLain is heading to Triple-A for the first time since May when he was called up. The infielder will begin a rehab assignment with the Louisville Bats tonight and he’ll play again on Sunday if he doesn’t have any issues. The plan is then for him to return to the active Cincinnati Reds roster on Tuesday when the club starts a 2-game series in Cleveland against the Guardians.
McLain has been out for nearly a month with a right oblique strain. He went on the injured list on August 28th. There’s little time left in the regular season, and the Reds need to win every game that they can given that they enter the slate of games on Saturday 1.5 games back of the Chicago Cubs for the final spot in the wild card standings. Cincinnati’s offense has been sputtering quite often down the stretch. When he went on the injured list, McLain was hitting .290/.357/.507 and was arguably the best hitter on the team.
If the plan goes like the organization hopes, Matt McLain will return for the final five games of the season. After the team plays two games in Cleveland on Tuesday and Wednesday, they’ll have an off day on Thursday before beginning a 3-game series to end the season in St. Louis against the Cardinals.
A long shot for the playoffs
Last night’s loss to Pittsburgh was a big blow to the chances for the Reds playoff hopes. It dropped them to 79-76. They’re behind both the Cubs (80-74) and Marlins (79-75). Cincinnati does have the tie breaker over the Cubs, but they do not have it over the Marlins – so they will have to finish ahead of them in the standings in order to get in. Fangraphs updated playoff odds put the Cubs at 53.1%, the Marlins at 41.1%, and the Reds at 18.8%.