The position players who didn’t already arrive in Goodyear are scheduled to be in camp later today. Plenty of guys are already at the Cincinnati Reds complex – Jonathan India, Elly De La Cruz, Spencer Steer, Jeimer Candelario, TJ Friedl, Noelvi Marte, Matt McLain, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand have all been spotted this week. Tomorrow will be the team’s first full squad workout.

Noelvi Marte’s been in camp this week and he’s still recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered in the Dominican Winter League. He’s on the field and going through progressions, but he’s not quite 100% at this point as the team is slowly ramping things up. Jonathan India’s plantar fasciitis issues popped back up over the winter, limiting a little bit of what he was able to do during the offseason. Like Marte, he’s still ramping things back up as spring training gets rolling. Jake Fraley has a stress fracture in his toe last season. He would spend some time on the injured list due to the injury before returning and playing through it and then having surgery once the season ended. Fraley was expected to be fully healed up and ready to go for spring training.

Among the position players, those are the three guys who we know of that are dealing with something and or returning from an injury from last season. As things have gotten going for the pitchers, though, we’ve learned a few guys are a little behind.

Left-handed reliever Sam Moll had some shoulder soreness during the offseason according to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Gordon Wittenmyer and Charlie Goldsmith. That’s got him a bit behind, but the Reds say they expect him to be ready for the season. Another lefty reliever is also a little bit behind, as Alex Young had his back tighten up on him in a bullpen session earlier this week. David Bell noted that he expected Young to be out for a few days.

In one week games will begin as the Reds and Cleveland Guardians get together at their shared ballpark. It will be one of five games (at least as of now) that will be available to watch on television as it’s being carried by Bally Sports Ohio. You can see the full radio and television broadcast schedule here if you want to know where to follow along.

34 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    Moll’s shoulder is concerning. But with so many players working at such a high level there are bound to be a few working through injuries from minor to serious. No surprise there. You had me worried Doug with the Pitchers / setbacks headline though. Moll could be a big contributor and losing him for any length of time would be disappointing, but I was immediately worried about Lodolo, Ashcraft and Montas. So glad they were not on your list. But I am now wide awake on a Sunday morning! Thanks as always for all the updates. As you were.

    • Reaganspad

      That is where this depth is so important. Guys like India will not have to play through injury risking further injury because no one is there for the team.

      • Melvin

        “Jonathan India’s plantar fasciitis issues popped back up over the winter, limiting a little bit of what he was able to do during the offseason”

        Not a good sign. He most likely will be on the IL several times this year maybe even at the beginning. Something seems a little weird to me with the Reds and India. He’s supposed to learn new positions with this ongoing injury?

  2. Buffalo Red

    In all my years following the Reds–I started being a fan as a kid in the early 70s–I’ve never seen as many injuries as in the past 10 years or so. Does the Reds organization have any off- or preseason conditioning/strengthening/stretching regimin whatsoever? Pitchers used to throw 290 innings and then come back the next year and throw 290 more, and many of them had long careers. I’m not advocating a return to that kind of grueling schedule, but why in the world are pitchers today throwing 150 innings per season and never going past the 6th inning and yet sustaining injury after injury after injury? This is an honest question; I’m not trying to be an “Ah, for the old days,” fuddy duddy. I just don’t get it.

    • Joe Canada

      Pitchers also used to top out at 88. And a lot of those guys probably didn’t have year round baseball activities for a decade before they made it to the bigs.

      • JayTheRed

        In the 80’s and 90’s guys were throwing in the low 90’s sometimes mid 90’s Also they were not throwing 290 innings. maybe 190 innings was somewhat normal.

    • Rednat

      Excellent observation Buffalo Red.
      I have a theory.

      As a baseball fan I hate to admit this ,but I dont believe the toughest most rugged athletes are playing baseball anymore. There are guys that can throw 290 inningd or play 162 games but I got a feeling they are on the grid iron or soccer field. The best young athletes just are not being steered towards baseball anymore and it is taking a toll on tge league for sure

      1.

      • Justin T

        Pitchers get innings monitored now days before they even pitch in high school. I think that fact that hardly anyone pitches 200 innings anymore (and most get TJ surgery at some point) says the results speak for themselves. I also think its fair to question the Reds medical staff, again the results speak loudly. To see almost the entire roster battling something at the beginning of ST is troubling and may just be bad luck.

      • Doug Gray

        Baseball is a world wide game today. Population is a lot higher, everywhere, too, than say the 1960’s. It’s about what they are being asked to do, not about some guys playing football or soccer.

    • Stock

      Pitchers also used to max out at 90 MPH. Now pitchers need to live in the upper 90’s. Now pitchers have to focus on spin rate. The requirements in pitching have increased the chances of injury.

      Would Ferguson Jenkins be anything more than a #5 SP in today’s game? His career K% – BB% of 11.9% indicate adjustments would be necessary and because of these adjustments the chances of injury are greater. What about Tom Seaver. His career K% – BB% was 11.6%.

      Here is a look at how K% has progressed over the years:

      Percentage of Qualified pitchers with a 25% K%/Percentage of Qualified pitchers with a 20% K%
      1975: 1%/6%
      1985: 3%/8%
      1995: 3%/17%
      2005: 3%/18%
      2015: 19%/58%
      2023: 48%/82%

      Quite an increase over the last 18 years and especially the last 8 years.

      • Grand Salami

        Excellent data. Velocity is certainly going to cut the stamina, but does spin rate too?

        Batters have become three outcome hitters while pitchers are maximizing these tools to increase K rate. It’s quite a confluence.

        Side note: Pagan also delayed.

    • Doug Gray

      There’s a lot of reasons for it.

      You can no longer just throw slop up to half of a lineup because everyone in every lineup can hit the ball 400 feet. The days of having 3 guys who chop the ball into the ground and have a slugging percentage of .290 are long gone. Pitchers could essentially take a rest against a third of the lineup 30+ years ago.

      Survivor bias. Before Tommy John surgery was a highly successful thing that *most* guys recovered from (only about the last 20-25 years), guys who had arm injuries in high school, college, and the minors never saw the light of day. So what you would get in the big leagues were the guys who for one reason or another were the guys who had some combo of luck, genetics, mechanics, strength or whatever who were less likely to get hurt.

      Someone else mentioned it, but I think sport specialization has something to do with it, too. Now days, baseball is year round. It didn’t used to be that way. Guys would get to rest their arms after a baseball season. Now days that’s rarely the case.

      Everyone is throwing breaking balls far earlier than they used to. Have you watched the little league world series in the last 20 years? 11-year-olds out there throwing breaking balls every other pitch. It’s like that everywhere. Earlier stress on the arm for most guys.

      Velocity. Love the idea or hate the idea, the data is overwhelming: The harder you throw, the less guys hit you. Yeah, you’ve gotta throw enough strikes and all of that, but big leaguers do or they don’t stay big leaguers long enough to matter. That also puts more stress on your arm.

      Put it all together and guys today are being asked to do things that are far more stressful than the guys before them.

      But we also can’t forget that the people in the front offices have far more information at their fingertips. Be that scouting reports, stats that suggest facing a batter for the 3rd time is going to go quite poorly an overwhelming majority of the time, etc. Because of that kind of stuff, too, the pitchers aren’t being asked to throw 7-8 innings each time out. So in turn, they don’t have to “conserve” as much as they would in a scenario where they knew they had to throw 120 pitches every 5th day.

      • Optimist

        I’d add to your comment about “survivor bias”, how often do you hear the phrase “career ending injury” used in baseball? Almost everything is recoverable these days, or at least recoverable enough to try to return with the attendant publicity – I knew guys who had career ending injuries in HS – now, not so much.

        Check out some BRef pages from teams in the 60s and 70s and see how the pitchers careers went – lots of HOF level numbers that didn’t get to age 30.

    • greenmtred

      Some pitchers back then managed it, some did not –Gullett and Koufax spring to mind–and had careers shortened by injury. Pitching injuries are not unique to the Reds, either. Maybe more guys throwing at maximum velocity with maximum spin rate is the culprit?

    • VaRedsFan

      Despite all of these anecdotes about how the modern pitcher has to walk on eggshells, why is it still that the best pitchers since…say…1995 are guys that threw 7-8-9 innings the most…. some even into their late 30’s. Kershaw, Scherzer, Verlander, Cole, Mussina, Oswalt, King Felix, Sabathia, Sale, Grienke, Bumgarner, Santana, Johnson, Pedro, and Halladay.

      Sale is the only one that really broke down.

      Maybe none of those guys played Little League.

      So let’s not try to be like all of the great pitchers of the last few decades, let’s change change the formula so the best guys will be limited to how great they can be.

    • Melvin

      I’d say throwing harder and even more of a factor is the emphasis on spin rate not to mention kids playing travel ball and working out year round.

  3. Mike in Ottawa

    Grand Salami, I’d like to introduce you to Mr Nolan Ryan….

    • Beaufort Red

      +1000 or Jim Palmer , Bob Gibson, Jim Maloney, Tom Seaver etc.

      • greenmtred

        Bob Feller, Walter Johnson, Smokey Joe Wood, Randy Johnson….

  4. Mauired

    Lodolo pain free but not 100% seems contradictory. Guess his leg is still weak. Bell already hedging that Lodolo is only making the opening squad if everything goes “perfect”. Sounds like they take it easy with him and possibly delay his debut. Might make sense so they have him pitching later in the season since his innings will be limited anyway. Could be the same story with India with his nagging leg injuries.

    • MBS

      I think we’re good as long as we don’t have to dip down to Phillips as an opening day rotation member. We have HG, AA, FM, BW, GA, NL, NM, all before we get to any of the minor league backup types like Phillips, and Richardson. Even our bullpen has MLB level guys waiting in the wings with Antone, Cruz, and Young.

      There is no reason to rush a player along to be ready for opening day if they are not 100% ready to go.

      The position player side isn’t so deep. We have 18 roster spots available for guys since the arms take up 22 spots on the 40 man. Currently Hinds, and Hurtubise can’t be really thought of as ready, so effectively 16 spots, or 3 backup position players. Getting the best 13 ready for the start of the season is much more important with this group imo.

  5. Doc

    Lot’s of good comments.

    What, if any, limitations are placed by the MlB, MLBPA or both on off season contacts between staff and players? Seems to me that for a year round game multi billions dollar enterprise, and for several potentially key pieces coming in already hurting, there should be off season visits, mini camps, whatever for the fitness staff and medical staff to review what the guys are doing. Maybe camps even for the coaching staffs also to be looking at things and setting routines. Why, for example, is EDLC getting swing tips from Juan Soto? When did Soto get his hit coaching training? Is he better at coaching than the Reds hitting coaches?

    How does Jonathon India have a setback during the off season? Are these guys on their own? Don’t they spend a little of their largesse to hire top notch trainers, therapists, etc. are said trainers on the same page as Reds staff?

    I’m not trying to be critical. Rather, I’m asking questions to which I don’t know the answers but would find interesting to know.

    • Amarillo

      Charlie Goldsmith wrote a great article recently about how Elly trained in the offseason. The Reds sent coaches to the Dominican to work with him, but there is just something different about working with a peer that you can’t get from coaching. I highly recommend reading it.

    • VaRedsFan

      These are good questions.

      Arm or knee injuries are one thing, but the soft tissue injuries, such as hamstrings, groins, and obliques always bugged me, because a lot of times it’s just comes from maybe not taking pregame stretching an flexibility regimens as serious as they should. That falls on the training staff to be firm and to insure they take every step possible to make sure the players are following every step….not just going though the motions.

      While at the game, you can see guys doing pregame workouts/stretching. Some are “working” harder at it than others.

    • Jay

      I think your looking too much into the ” Elly getting TIPS from Soto ” thing !! It has no barring on how good or bad his current Reds hitting coach might be.. If a guy is one of the best hitters in the game the young guys wanting tips from that guy or getting a few is not really a surprise!! If Ted Williams is your hitting coach does that mean you wouldn’t take a tip from Babe Ruth ??

      • VaRedsFan

        Exactly…no different than Joey Votto offering advice to a teammate.

    • oklared

      People have injuries even with good trainers is the nature of our bodies.

  6. Old-school

    Hunter greene is working on a curve and a splitter per Derek
    Johnson to slow down hitters. Greene has also bulked up over the off-season to build endurance

    Lots of Frankie Montas chatter as well as he is throwing well and he could be OD starter

    Proven guy who dominated in Oakland then got hurt and struggled in the microscope of NYY

    Sounds kinda like Sonny Gray experience. Montas says hes not the same and has grown and matured and healthy and 100% ready. Hopefully the Sonny gray oakland yankees Reds Revival materializes for him but a return to his 2019-21 form would be huge.

    Montas and Castillo were the top 2 deadline pitchers on the market 2 years ago

  7. Mike W

    It’s a new age…..again. Back in the day, there were 4 man rotations resulting in 40 starts — not 32 like the multi millionaires with the personal trainers and dieticians pitch these days — many pitched 240+ innings every year. Times are different now as far more guys throw 98 mph. But I can attribute today’s players’ being stronger/faster to more knowedgeable nutritional and strength experts involved from club level on up — like everything else, ALL athletes, not just those that play baseball, are getting stronger and faster

  8. Lars

    Perhaps the frequency of injuries has not increased over the years, but what we consider an “injury” has changed. Players now tend to sit out over injuries that 40 years ago would have been considered minor. Does anyone remember an MLB player 40 years ago sitting extensively because of an “oblique” injury?

  9. Mike

    Good point Lars!
    Heck, does anyone remember Cal Ripken sitting out a game over a 16 year period? No.
    Lou Gehrig 14 years.
    Steve Garvey 8 years igual Tejada 7 years.
    Billy Williams 7 years.
    Let’s talk Reds: From 1963-1983 Pete Rose averaged over 700 Plate Appearances a season! Pete Rose “averaged” playing in 150 games a year over 24 years! From 1971 – 1982 he AVERAGED playing in 160 games a year. Perez and Concepcion averaged 155 games a year over a 7 year period. Mays over a 10 year stretch.
    Stars and HOF’ers play though any aches they can. They face lefties AND righties. They play every day, every inning they can. They aren’t pulled out for someone who has a better BA against a certain pitcher. They’re aren’t pulled out for a better defensive player. Same with starts in basketball and footballs. That’s how they get better. They tough it out, they play. We don’t “owe” any bench player any time. Sitting out for a week and earning half a million dollars. Cry me a river!

    • Buffalo Red

      …and Bench played with a messed up shoulder for half of his career. Had he not endured so many health issues he would’ve hit 500+ home runs. I still don’t know how he managed to accomplish what he did. Watching Bench hit a home run even as early in his career as 1976 is an odd sight; he seems to be yanking everything over the fence with his left arm only, not really turning hard on the ball–a swing you’d expect to see result in a blooper to left, not a home run.

      • greenmtred

        But that cuts both ways: Bench was tough, no doubt, and a great player. But perhaps he would have hit more homers if he’d been able to take care of the shoulder. Some of the disparity between then and now may be a matter of the considerable advances in medical science. There are effective treatments for injuries now that didn’t exist decades ago. Before Tommy John surgery, that injury was the end of a pitcher’s career.