Every year sees spring training get going and then almost immediately the news starts up that such-and-such player has some sort of injury. That is exactly what’s happening in Goodyear, Arizona with the Cincinnati Reds. Blake Dunn is coming off of one of the more impressive minor league seasons in recent history on the Reds farm, hitting 23 home runs and stealing 54 bases while hitting .312/.425/.522 between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga last year.

Towards the end of the season he missed nearly a week before returning to the lineup for the playoffs. But after sitting out, he returned to the lineup as the designated hitter with Chattanooga after not having served in that role all year with the Lookouts. And he was wearing a compression sleeve over his elbow. News came out of Arizona today, via the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Charlie Goldsmith, that Dunn is dealing with elbow irritation.

It’s unclear if this is related to last season’s issue or not. But it’s not ideal either way. Dunn was probably on the outside looking in when it came to making the big league team out of spring training. He’s never played in Triple-A, and while it’s not unheard of for guys to jump over that level, the Reds outfield for now seems to be “set” as long as Jake Fraley, Will Benson, Spencer Steer, and TJ Friedl are healthy. Dunn isn’t likely a player the team would look to bring in to play in a platoon/bench role. He’s the kind of guy they will be looking at giving every day playing time to.

Still, after the season he just put up, even his not being on the 40-man roster currently, a strong spring and any reason a spot could potentially open up, and he could have a direct path to the big leagues. He’s a strong defender, has some pop, has some of the best speed in the organization and he knows how to use it, and has shown a good understanding of the strikezone. Over the next week or so we’ll get a better idea of just how much the elbow irritation is currently limiting him.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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7 Responses

  1. Doc

    So, we now have two infielders (McClain, Marte), two pitchers (Lodolo, Moll, maybe more) and one outfielder (Dunn) who are injured before the second week of camp starts. Already looking like a pretty good team shaping up on the injured list.

    Perhaps it would be a consideration to publish every few days a current injured list, the injury date, the injury type, the initial estimated return, and the current estimated return.

  2. MBS

    Well that’s not good. He does have an injury history, but I’m not sure if this is related to his previous issues outside of what Doug mentioned above. Could be a big year for Dunn, I hope he gets better quick.

    • DaveCT

      My concern with this is it’s re-emergence (if the same elbow) after a likely off season of rest and therapy. Hoping it is just irritation but who really knows until they come out and provide details. Reminds me of the type of downward trend you see in pitchers headed to TJ surgery. Sooner the better, I guess, if so.

  3. RedsGettingBetter

    Just after 1 day of workouts Dunn got his elbow irritated…. Wow…

  4. MK

    While coaching at HS level I noticed the guys who spent a lot of time in the weight room , especially the football players, had more elbow issues in the Spring. It took a few weeks and a lot of stretching to bring them around. These Reds weight program is certainly a lot more intense than the high school kids so that might be the issue.

  5. Melvin

    How are all these things happening at the very beginning of ST?

  6. George M

    I asked this question at Redleg nation also. Do the Reds have an analytics dept. to design and monitor workouts to reduce the risk of soft tissue injuries?