Spring training took its toll on the Cincinnati Reds, and some key players who suffered injuries won’t be back in time for Thursday’s opener.
Outfielder Shogo Akiyama (hamstring), and pitchers Sonny Gray (back) and Michael Lorenzen (shoulder strain) will miss the opener but aren’t expected to be sidelined too long after that.
The good news is first baseman Joey Votto, who missed 13 days of spring training with COVID-19, has eased his way back, hit the ball well and looked solid in the field during the final spring training games. He appears to be in position to start on opening day for the 13th consecutive season, but that decision has yet to be made.
Outfielder Nick Senzel also is expected to be on manager David Bell’s lineup card Thursday after dealing with a groin strain this spring. Tejay Antone, who was a candidate for Cincinnati’s starting rotation, was hampered by minor groin and hip issues. He didn’t get enough innings to earn a starting role but is expected to be fine for bullpen work.
The Reds open the season Thursday afternoon, with right-hander Luis Castillo on the mound against St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty.
When Votto got healthy again and returned from isolation on March 20, he saw the Reds infield had gotten a shuffle. Slugging third baseman Eugenio Suarez was moved to shortstop in the middle of spring camp, a situation that will stick for now.
“It is looking like he’s going to end up being the everyday shortstop,” Reds general manager Nick Krall said.
Mike Moustakas then made the shift from second base to third base, where he has played for most of his 11-year major league career. Thanks to a productive spring, Jonathan India will be the likely starter at second base. If that happens, he’ll be the first Reds rookie to start at second since Pete Rose in 1963.
With Gray sidelined — and NL Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer gone via free agency — the rest of the Cincinnati starting rotation has to be ironed out but is likely to include Tyler Mahle, Wade Miley, Jeff Hoffman and José De León.
DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers reassigned infielder Renato Núñez to the team’s alternate training site and reassigned right-hander Wily Peralta to minor league camp.
The Tigers also announced Tuesday that they have reassigned left-hander Ian Krol, right-hander Erasmo Ramírez and catchers Dustin Garneau and Eric Haase to the alternate training site in Toledo, Ohio.