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Reds star rookie Matt McLain lands on injured list with oblique strain

The world is pain, and everything hurts.

Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks
Was it from doing this?
Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

You’ve read the title to this post if you’ve made it this far, and if you’ve made it this far, just know that I’m punching air right now.

After losing the likes of Jake Fraley, Jonathan India, and Joey Votto within the last month, the Cincinnati Reds now find themselves devoid of their most valuable player this season in Matt McLain. He landed on the injured list this afternoon with an oblique strain, the kind of injury that could - in theory - keep him on the shelf long enough to miss the remainder of the season.

McLain’s 3.3 fWAR and 3.6 bWAR both rank as the most among any of the 2023 Cincinnati Reds, and for good reason. His glovework at key infield positions has been mostly pristine, and his bat has been the best on the club all year. His 128 wRC+ ranks as the 20th best among the 144 Major League hitters who have logged at least 400 PA so far this year, and that’s just not the kind of thing you can replace from within even if the rest of the club is as healthy as can be.

As it stands now, the Reds are down three of their one-time regular infielders, and there’s still no concrete timetable for when any will return. The Reds have just 30 games left in this once promising season, and injuries (along with the inaction of the front office) are threatening to derail it altogether.

The Reds open a crucial 3-game series against the San Francisco Giants tonight, a club they’re in a virtual tie with at 1.5 games out of the final NL Wild Card spot.