Donovan Solano exited Tuesday's Cactus League game versus the Texas Rangers while rounding second base on a single to center field off the bat of Tyler Stephenson. Solano was filling in for Kyle Farmer and was thought to be the Cincinnati Reds backup shortstop heading into the 2022.
No word yet as to the severity of Solano's injury, but if the former San Francisco Giants infielder is to open the 2022 season on the IL, that poses a pretty big problem for the Reds. Jose Barrero, who was supposed to be in a position battle with Farmer this spring, suffered an injury of his own and will miss the first month-plus of the season.
This puts the Reds in a bit of a pickle. Without another true shortstop on the 40-man roster, where does Cincinnati turn? Even though he's been shifted to minor league spring training, Alejo Lopez is a candidate to take Solano's spot. But don't forget about Brandon Drury, the former New York Mets utility player who was recently signed to a minor league contract.
Brandon Drury is the only Reds player with MLB experience at SS.
The Cincinnati Reds do not have many options remaining. Players like Matt McLain, Jose Torres, and Miguel Hernandez were all non-roster invites to spring training. With none of the three having seen time at Triple-A, it's unlikely any of that group will be selected to be Kyle Farmer's backup.
Brandon Drury has major league experience, albeit very little, playing shortstop. Drury last fielded the position in 2020 with the Toronto Blue Jays, seeing just nine innings at shortstop. Drury started three games at shortstop for the Jays in 2019.
Drury is 3-for-7 in Cactus League player with two RBIs and a 1.214 OPS. The recently signed J.T. Riddle is another option, but the University of Kentucky alum has appeared in just two games this spring and has yet to record a hit.
The question is, who might the Cincinnati Reds remove from the team's 40-man roster in order to add Drury? If the Reds decide to go with Alejo Lopez, the 25-year-old is already part of the 40-man roster. However, players like Aristides Aquino, Shogo Akiyama, Zack Godley, and Riley O'Brien seem to be in a precarious spot.
Whatever choice the Reds make, it's only temporary. Barrero is expected to miss six weeks post-surgery, so the Cincinnati fanbase can expect the team's shortstop of the future to return to the lineup sometime in May.