Reds must learn from their mistake and not rush Elly De La Cruz back from injury

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Elly De La Cruz, the Cincinnati Reds top prospect, will not make it to the Queen City for Opening Day. The team already decided a few weeks back that De La Cruz needed some more seasoning in the minor leagues.

However, De La Cruz will not be making the Louisville Bats Opening Day roster either. The shortstop suffered a hamstring injury recently and his availability has been pushed back until at least mid-April.

The Reds need to be careful and learn from the mistake they made last season. After suffering a hamstring injury of his own at the outset of the 2022 season, Jonathan India re-injured himself just days later and spent almost half the season on the Injured List.

The Reds must learn from their mistake.

Jonathan India was set to show the world that his Rookie of the Year season in 2021 was no fluke. The Cincinnati Reds second baseman entered his sophomore season with huge expectations.

But in a visit to Dodger Stadium on April 14, India came up lame while running down the first base line in just the team's seventh game of the season. After dragging their feet and hoping for good news, the Reds placed India (whose pain-tolerance seems to be on another level) on the 10-day IL retroactive to April 16th.

India returned to the Cincinnati lineup just 10 days later on April 26th, but reaggrivated the injury and was placed on the IL once more on May 1st. After a brief rehab assignment with the Louisville Bats, India returned to the Reds lineup on June 13th.

But the lingering effects of the hamstring injury were apparent. India didn't seem to have the same quickness we saw from the infielder during his rookie season, and his bat suffered as well. India hit just .249/.332/387 after the injury.

Elly De La Cruz is, by all accounts, the next big thing in Cincinnati. The 21-year-old has five-tool potential. The Reds had zero reason prior to this injury to rush De La Cruz to the bigs, and this should only temper their expectations even more.

The Cincinnati Reds have Kevin Newman and Jose Barrero at the major league level, and if the situation gets dire, Matt McLain is ready to make his debut in The Show as well.

Let's hope the Reds learned from their mistake and don't rush De La Cruz back from injury. It's not as if his presnece in the lineup is going to put the Reds into the postseason this year. Sure, it couldn't hurt, but Cincinnati needs to focus on De La Cruz's development and his health.

Next. Predicting Reds 40-man roster moves before Opening Day. dark