The Cincinnati Reds were hoping to get infielder Matt McLain back from injury rehab this afternoon. The club sent McLain to Triple-A Louisville for a 2-game stint over the weekend and if things went well the plan was to activate him today prior to the series in Cleveland against the Guardians. Things did not go well. Prior to today’s game it was announced that he would miss the year with a grade 2 strain of his oblique – confirmed by an MRI (first reported by Mark Sheldon of Reds.com).
Perhaps the first sign that things weren’t looking great was when McLain did not complete the game in Louisville on Sunday – though it simply could have been a situation where the team pulled him because they didn’t want to risk injury and felt he “got his at-bats”. The second sign that things weren’t looking great came earlier today when the lineup for Cincinnati was released and McLain wasn’t in it. While it’s possible he could simply have been ready to come off of the bench, he’s arguably been the best hitter on the team this year and that wouldn’t make a ton of sense.
“It was just kind of like ‘this really hurts’, then the next day it really hurt and I was pulled from the game,” McLain said about his Saturday and Sunday with Louisville prior to this evening’s game in Cleveland.
“It definitely sucks. I knew it would be tough to come back. And I knew it would be really quick to come back with the level it was in the first place, but I really wanted to for our team. It just didn’t happen, unfortunately.”
With the end of the rookie season for Matt McLain, you can chalk it up to a very successful one – even if it didn’t end how he would have liked it to. The infielder played in 89 games after his call up in mid-May and hit .290/.357/.507 with 23 doubles, 4 triples, 16 home runs, 14 stolen bases, 65 runs, and 50 RBI. For those are like this kind of stuff, he had 3.6 WAR (Baseball Reference) / 3.2 WAR (Fangraphs). You can see his stats here.