The Cincinnati Reds are going to be without three of their Top 10 prospects when the 2023 minor league season begins. Earlier this week we learned that right-handed pitcher and Reds #9 prospect Chase Petty would miss time to begin the season. Today we learned, via Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer, that #1 prospect Elly De La Cruz and #7 prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand would also begin the season on the injured list.

It’s been a little more than a week since Elly De La Cruz was last in a spring training game. He’s been dealing with a hamstring injury and according to the report from Charlie Goldsmith, he hasn’t played since March 18th. With the Triple-A season beginning on March 31st for the Louisville Bats, and the Double-A season starting on April 6th for the Chattanooga Lookouts, De La Cruz is going to miss the start of the year no matter which level he’s set to begin the season at. He is expected to return in about two weeks or so as long as there are no set backs.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand is expected to miss a little more time than that, but not too much more. The infielder who hit .577 and slugged 1.192 this spring with the big league club in 12 games has been dealing with a herniated disc. It’s an injury that first popped up in early February, but he was able to get healthy and play during big league camp. Things have flared back up a little bit and he’ll get some time to rest. Assuming there are no setbacks or issues that pop up he could be back in late April. Like De La Cruz, Encarnacion-Strand spent most of the second half of the season in 2022 with Double-A Chattanooga. He could be assigned to either Double-A or Triple-A when he’s ready to get on the field.

5 Responses

  1. RedBB

    Well that might explain why CES was sent down so quickly despite his incredible spring. Get better young Lions

  2. MK

    Have to wonder if Encarnacion-Strand hurt himself over swinging trying to hard to impress?

  3. DHud

    I’m no doctor but herniated disc doesn’t sound like a quickly recoverable injury

    Also concerned looking at how much a bad hamstring hampered India last year. Surely doesn’t hamper long term outlook for EDLC, but frustrating nonetheless as this year should be a get feet wet kinda year for both these guys

    If/when they’re able to come back may play largely into when the Reds go full shift into compete mode

    • Tom

      CES is going to have to work hard on mitigating the effects of this. If it can subside, he can keep it healthy with good “spinal hygiene” as they call it. A good chiro may be able to save the day. It’s important to take it seriously, though. A little back ache can get a lot worse if it’s misunderstood or overlooked. I might have a little experience in this area, LOL.

      Same with EDLC, he will likely need to adopt a prep program to keep the Ferrari in great condition. He looks like he’s grown into his body even more this year. Not so skinny.

      Kind of fizzle’s the start of the season to have these two hurt.

      • DHud

        Indeed not what anyone wants

        Not concerned about “start” of season though, but if both don’t get 150 ABs in bigs this year it’ll be a disappointment