In very limited action so far during the 2021 season, Aristides Aquino has looked a bit more like the guy who burst into the record books during August of 2019. Two dingers and a double in just thirteen PA, giving the Cincinnati Reds a much-needed power bat to turn to off the bench again.
Unfortunately, it appears that’ll be put on hold for a bit. On Friday, the Reds announced Aquino had been placed on the injured list with a fractured hamate bone in his left hand/wrist.
The #Reds today placed on the 10-day IL, retro to Wednesday, OF Aristides Aquino (left hamate fracture) and recalled from the alternate training site IF Max Schrock. Aquino this morning had surgery to remove the hook of the hamate bone in his left hand. pic.twitter.com/lG89XBcJvs— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 16, 2021
If all goes well, Aquino should be able to return to punishing in about two months, though hamate injuries have notoriously lingered via sapped power for periods beyond that.
While the injury is obviously unfortunate and takes a potent righty bat out of David Bell’s managerial equation, the Reds are at least blessed with some rock solid outfield depth for the time being. Nicks Castellanos and Senzel provide right-handed pop as is, while Jesse Winker and Tyler Naquin have been socking the hell out of balls from the left side so far this season. On top of that, Shogo Akiyama is slated to return in another two weeks, which should certainly help soften the blow of losing Aquino potentially into June.
In Max Schrock, the Reds will add a player who does have some very limited LF experience, but is mainly a utility infielder. After cracking the big leagues for the first time in 2020 with 17 PA for the St. Louis Cardinals, Schrock was claimed/waived by the Chicago Cubs before the Reds landed him on waivers. He’ll help mold a versatile mix off the bench with similarly versatile options like Kyle Farmer and Alex Blandino, a versatile group so versatile it’s forcing me to type the word ‘versatile’ more often than I’d ever imagined. He’ll also add another lefty bat to the bench, something that meshes well with usual right-handed options there in Farmer, Blandino, versatile, versatile, formerly Aquino, and Tyler Stephenson on most days.