Reds news: Tejay Antone’s injury cripples an already porous bullpen

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Tejay Antone #70 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches . (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Tejay Antone #70 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches . (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

Well, we were hopeful that David Bell would make the announcement that Tejay Antone would start on Sunday against the Colorado Rockies. instead, the worst-case scenario has occurred, and according to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic, the Cincinnati Reds will place Antone on the injured list.

This is a huge blow to an already decimated Reds bullpen. The lack of spending this offseason saw Archie Bradley and Raisel Iglesias leave the Queen City. Now, with Antone on the shelf, David Bell’s job got that much more difficult over the next two weeks.

Tejay Antone’s absence is major blow to the Reds bullpen.

Now who is David Bell going to turn to? Yesterday, Bell was hopeful that Lucas Sims could help the Reds maintain their slim lead over the Milwaukee Brewers, but the right-hander allowed a pair of hits, and Cincinnati was never able to recover.

After Sonny Gray left with groin tightness on Tuesday evening, left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle promptly surrendered a home run to Avisail Garcia. The Brewers’ right fielder tied the game with one swing of the bat, and the Reds fell in by a final score of 5-1.

Tejay Antone hadn’t thrown since Sunday in St. Louis, and it was assumed by many that it was due to the situation, not necessarily an injury. While Rosecrans doesn’t give information as to what the reported injury is, the hope is that Antone will just miss the 10-day minimum. If Antone’s designation is pushed back until this past Monday, he could return on Thursday versus the San Diego Padres.

Cincinnati will obviously have to make a corresponding move in order to help his bullpen. There are a few options at Triple-A Louisville, but unfortunately, they’re names you already know. I’d expect to hear that either Cionel Perez or Jose De Leon will temporarily take Antone’s spot in the bullpen.

On the plus side, we’re likely to see Tony Santillan make his MLB debut on Sunday. I’d find it very hard to believe that the hard-throwing right-hander will not snag a spot start in place of the injured Sonny Gray. Santillan, for now, is slated to pitch tonight for Triple-A Louisville. If he remains as the starter against the Toledo Mud Hens, your guess is as good as mine as to who Bell will turn to on Sunday.

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Here’s hoping that the Cincinnati Reds can weather the storm, and hopefully whatever is ailing Tejay Antone isn’t serious. The right-hander has been the lone bright spot in a beleaguered Reds bullpen this season, and Cincinnati will need him back ASAP.