What’s Next For The Reds in The Wake Of Suarez’s Injury

Out of all the positivity and hope the Cincinnati Reds have generated this offseason, the team finally received some negative news.

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, the Cincinnati Reds Twitter account tweeted that star third baseman Eugenio Suarez had shoulder surgery, and that he will be limited at the start of Spring Training. Suarez suffered the injury while in a swimming pool and had surgery to remove loose cartilage in his right shoulder. 

Their star third baseman will not be 100% when it comes time to begin Spring Training. How significant is this to the Cincinnati Reds? 

After adding big bats such as second baseman Mike Moustakas and outfielder Nick Castellanos, the lineup was expected to have much more thump come Opening Day. 

With Suarez’s injury, the Reds now face several key decisions, with the Spring Training set to begin next week. Granted, the team still has nearly a month and a half left until Opening Day. Their team MVP, however, will not be as loose as he should be when it is time for the first pitch.

Luckily for the Reds, Moustakas and Castellanos have spent significant time at the hot corner. Out of 1,131 games, Moustakas has appeared at third base in 1,042 of them, including 105 last season with Milwaukee.

Castellanos spent time last season with the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago Cubs, but it is noteworthy that he did not play third base in any game last season. Nonetheless, out of 888 career games, Castellanos has appeared at third in 527 games.

This was not what Cincinnati envisioned when signing these two, but now someone will have to step up. It has, however, created an opportunity for several players on the bubble of making the Reds 26-man roster.

Perhaps this news is why Cincinnati has not yet pulled off a trade involving their abundance of outfielders. Nick Senzel is the player of note here, as he was drafted in 2016 as a third baseman and received trade interest. Could the Reds move Senzel from center field to third base while Suarez is out? It is worth a shot and could help prove Senzel’s versatility and improve player value.

The Reds also have two more players who could slot in at third base: Alex Blandino and Kyle Farmer. The former of those two players suffered a torn ligament in his right knee in July of 2018, but returned to the Major League diamond in September of last season and went 9-36 in his opportunities.

Kyle Farmer is the lone player remaining from the massive trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers in December 2018. Farmer impressed at times with his versatility, playing every position in the field, including 12 games at third base. He is a career .230 hitter with nine home runs but has excelled against left-handed pitching, which he is hitting .274 against.

The Reds’ tweet did mention that they anticipate Suarez to be ready to play near the beginning of the regular season. However, as noted, Suarez’s injury comes to his throwing shoulder, making it important that he comes back healthy to prevent further damage and miss extended time.

It all depends on how the third baseman’s rehab goes. Should the Reds take precaution and not rush the slugger back, they should have the utmost confidence that he can slot back into the lineup, and the Reds would no longer have to shuffle some players around. That, unfortunately, may mean that someone has to lose their spot in the lineup, and potentially the roster.

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