Reds news: Max Schrock’s injury puts roster spot in doubt

Cincinnati Reds second baseman Max Schrock (32) plays a ground ball.
Cincinnati Reds second baseman Max Schrock (32) plays a ground ball. /

This is the time of spring when injuries can quickly derail a player’s chances of making the 26-man roster. That may be the case for Cincinnati Reds infielder Max Schrock who was scratched from yesterday’s exhibition game versus the Chicago White Sox with a hamstring strain.

It was always looking like an uphill battle for the former Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals’ infielder to make the Opening Day roster out of spring training, but Schrock has been one of the more impressive Reds players during Cactus League play.

Max Schrock can still have an impact on the Reds season.

This is the second lower body injury Max Schrock has battled over the past two weeks. A calf strain suffered on March 10th kept the left-handed hitting infielder out of action for a few games. However, with minor-league options remaining, Schrock’s spot on the Opening Day roster was not assured anyway.

While Schrock has played well, the 26-year-old has two minor-league options remaining. This will enable the Cincinnati front office to option Schrock to Triple-A Louisville prior to the 2021 season and still preserve his spot on the 40-man roster.

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the Reds infield? Will Jonathan India begin the season in the big leagues? Does Eugenio Suarez have what it takes to play shortstop? Will Joey Votto begin the 2021 season on the injured list? All of these questions left the door open for Schrock to make the Opening Day roster, but the latest injury may have sealed his fate.

The Reds have other bench options aside from Max Schrock.

While Max Schrock has shown a solid skillset this spring, the Cincinnati Reds have plenty of other infielders who can step up to fill his shoes. After Suarez was moved to shortstop, Kyle Farmer’s place as the top utility infielder was cemented. Farmer can play all over the infield and behind the plate.

With Schrock on the mend, Alex Blandino’s chances of making the 26-man roster have greatly increased, though the former first-round pick also has a minor-league option remaining. There’s also Dee Strange-Gordon, who was signed to a minor-leagues deal this offseason and can play second base, shortstop, and center field.

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Schrock’s injury will hurt his chances of making the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster, but not his ability to make an impact on the 2021 season. We’ll likely see Schrock receive a call to the bigs sometime this season, but don’t look for him to break camp with the team.