Reds: Tejay Antone should replace Scott Heineman, not another pitcher

CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 21: Tejay Antone #70 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - APRIL 21: Tejay Antone #70 of the Cincinnati Reds pitches. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds currently have 13 pitchers on their 26-man roster, but one more won’t hurt. When Tejay Antone returns from the 10-day injured list this week, he should replace Scott Heineman, not another pitcher.

Antone was placed on the 10-day IL earlier this month, but all signs point to the Reds best relief pitcher returning to the team on Tuesday in Minnesota. While Cincinnati typically carries only 13 pitchers, with the DH present during the upcoming series, David Bell needs more pitchers, not hitters.

Reds pitcher Tejay Antone is slated to return from the IL on Tuesday.

I actually like Scott Heineman, and since the 28-year-old has minor league options remaining, sending the right-handed slugger back to Triple-A Louisville may not be goodbye, just see ya later. But it’s not as if Heineman has been raking since he got the call to the join the big league team.

The former Texas Rangers prospect is 2-for-23 (.083) this season, with both his hits being home runs. The power is there, as is the competitive nature, and defensive versatility. Heineman is a ball player, but the current roster construction just doesn’t offer up a position for the University of Oregon alum.

Heineman had played in 11 games for Triple-A Louisville before being called up to Cincinnati. In that short span, Heineman slashed .238/.333/.381. It’s a bit peculiar that Scott Heineman even drew the start tonight in center field for the Reds. Yes, there’s a left-hander on the mound for Minnesota, but Heineman’s career splits versus lefties aren’t outstanding.

The Reds have plenty of players who can take the place of Scott Heineman.

Currently, the Cincinnati Reds have six outfielders on the team. In addition to Scott Heineman, Jesse Winker, Nick Castellanos, Shogo Akiyama, Tyler Naquin, and Aristides Aquino all line up on the outfield grass.

If Heineman isn’t optioned to Triple-A Louisville when Tejay Antone returns from the IL, he’ll undoubtedly be sent down when Max Schrock returns from his calf injury. Alex Blandino will likely be able to return to the team right around the All-Star break.

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Here’s hoping that tonight’s start in center field allows Scott Heineman to go out with a bang. It’s obvious the former Oregon Duck needs some more time in the minor leagues before gaining regular reps in The Show.