Outfielder Jake Fraley has been a core piece on this year's Cincinnati Reds team. A year after being traded from the Seattle Mariners, Fraley is having a breakout season and has become a threat in the Reds lineup.
According to FanGraphs, Fraley is hitting .257/.336/.435 while smashing 15 home runs and has recorded 63 runs batted in. Fraley’s terrific play has contributed to the Reds’ success this season in their hunt for a playoff spot.
Things came crashing down, howver, on August 5th when Fraley was placed on the injured list. According to ESPN, Fraley was diagnosed with a stress fracture in the fourth toe on his left foot. The injury seemed like it would keep him off the roster for a lengthy period of time.
Reds outfielder Jake Fraley planning to gut it out for "special" team.
On August 19th, Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Jake Fraley would eventually need surgery on his toe. The doctors told him he could try to play through it and get surgery later, and that’s what he’s going to do.
Fraley said he’s doing it because this Reds team is "special". The young outfielder sees that his presence in the lineup is missed, and does not want to forgo the opportunity to help this team to the postseason.
The Cincinnati Reds are currently in a tight race for that third and final Wild Card spot. The 2023 season has been a welcomed surprise for a Cincinnati team that won only 62 games a year ago. The team is made up of mostly rookies, and with Jonathan India out as well, Fraley knows the Reds need his veteran presence.
Of course, Jake Fraley’s decision to play does come with some risk. Although Fraley will not be 100-percent healthy, the Cincinnati Reds would still love to have his bat back in the lineup. Jake Fraley’s decision shows that he has a lot of heart and that he is exactly where he belongs on this “special” team.