I know, I miss seeing him in the lineup too. But the Cincinnati Reds are correct to be taking things very slowly with Jonathan India. The Reds second baseman hasn't seen the field since April 29th, and it sounds like late-June might be the earliest we'll see India back in the lineup.
Reds manager David Bell said yesterday that India is at least 10 days or more away from beginning a rehab assignment. If that timeline holds and India has no setbacks, we may be looking at Father's Day weekend before the reigning Rookie of the Year returns to the field.
India has been seen on the field, prior to games, working out with the team and going through individual drills. But according to Bell, via MLB.com, India's injured hamstring is not fully healed.
The Reds are taking a cautious approach with Jonathan India.
No one is irreplaceable. But Jonathan India comes pretty close. I'd argue that Tyler Stephenson is the most irreplaceable player in the Cincinnati Reds lineup, but India is close second. The Reds not only miss India's production on the field, but the quiet confidence that he brings as well.
When fans see India jumping up and down in the dugout, celebrating with his teammates, and taking batting, only to hear that the University of Florida alum is still weeks away from returning to action, it will undoubtedly raise their curiosity.
But we've already seen what happens when a player tries to return from this type of injury too quickly. In fact, we've already seen it with Jonathan India himself.
After coming up lame while running up the firs-base line on April 14th against the Los Angeles Dodgers, India was removed from the game and placed on the 10-day IL. The Reds infielder returned on April 26th, only to go back on the IL again with the same injury only four days later.
Jonathan India could be the cornerstone of the Cincinnati Reds for the next decade. There's no sense in risking long-term injury in what most fans have dubbed a "lost season". While it seems like this process is taking forever, the Reds have plenty of fill-ins (Brandon Drury, Matt Reynolds, and Alejo Lopez) who can keep India's spot warm until he's fully healthy.