The Cincinnati Reds received good news Saturday afternoon. Rookie shortstop Matt McLain was sent to Triple-A Louisville to complete a quick two game rehab assignment with an eye toward returning to the Reds lineup for the final five games of the season.
McLain has been one of the Reds best hitters since making his debut back in May. The Reds have been without the star rookie since August 28th after he was placed on the injured list with an oblique strain.
Based on the timing of the injury, it was hard to imagine Matt McLain coming back this season. With the return of McLain, there has to be a corresponding move to go along with it. Which player on the current roster will likely see his major league service come to and end for now?
This Reds player's roster spot is in jeopardy with Matt McLain readying to return.
Nick Martini has had his special moments with the Cincinnati Reds this season. A two-home run game in Arizona against the Diamondbacks, and a game-tying pinch-hit three-run homer against the Seattle Mariners have been the highlights of his late-season accomplishments. Outside of that, Martini hasn't given the Reds much of anything.
In his 67 at-bats this season, Martini is slashing .220/.303/.475 per FanGraphs with a wRC+ of 99. Recently however, Martini has seen less production. His last 36 at-bats Martini has posted a .171/.256/.400 slash line.
On top of his less than stellar production of late, Martini has become little more than bench bat and hasn't been in David Bell's starting lineup since the September 16th. The left-handed hitting outfielder has been used in three games since then off the bench.
Nick Martini doesn't provide much off the bench, and he certainly isn't a staple piece in the Cincinnati Reds starting lineup. It's reasonable to think that Martini will be optioned once Matt McLain returns from the IL.