It appeared to me, at least, that Harrison Bader winced a bit while making a catch at the wall in CF on Saturday night against the New York Mets. He was still in the starting lineup for the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, however, giving intial hope that what I thought I’d seen was merely an overreaction on my part.
Perhaps that under-overreaction was ill-conceived after all.
The Cincinnati Reds placed Bader on the injured list today with a strained groin as part of a series of roster moves, and with only 11 games remaining left on their regular season plate, there’s a chance we’ve seen the last of Bader in a Reds uniform for good. Connor Phillips was recalled and will start tonight for the Reds in their series opener against the Minnesota Twins, while Alex Young was activated for some bullpen help, too.
Carson Spiers was optioned back to AAA Louisville as part of the overall move, with Graham Ashcraft hitting the 60-day IL as his toe has ended his season prematurely.
While it’s a bummer to lose Bader’s speed, defense, and presumptive lefty-smashing prowess, it’s worth pointing out that the Reds are slated to face right-handed starters in each of their next four games, at least, so they should temporarily be well-equipped with their outfield platoon options without him. Stuart Fairchild, who brings much of the same skillset and platoon splits to the table as Bader at this point, is also a few days into his AAA rehab post-concussion, and theoretically will be available to be added back to the roster in the coming days to help backfill in Bader’s absence.
Bader has gone just 5 for 31 since being claimed by the Reds off waivers from the New York Yankees, and he’ll be a free agent at season’s end.