The Cincinnati Reds can not seem to catch a break this spring. A week ago today, Edwin Arroyo was removed from the game as a precaution after feeling something in his shoulder after diving back to the bag and being picked off. The next day manager David Bell said “he felt a little tweak. I think he’s fine.”

It turns out that he wasn’t fine. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reported this evening that Arroyo, the teams #3 ranked prospect, underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder and that he would miss all of the 2024 season. This news came just a few hours after it was reported that Matt McLain would miss the start of the season and may need shoulder surgery, but was seeking a second opinion. That news leaves the Reds in a spot where they don’t have anyone to backup Elly De La Cruz at shortstop on the 40-man roster, and with Arroyo now out for the year, there’s not exactly a prospect that could be knocking on the door anytime soon for the job, either.

Expected to begin the year in Double-A Chattanooga, Edwin Arroyo had a solid showing in spring training with the big league club. He had gone 6-17 with two doubles, three walks, a steal, and just two strikeouts. That added up to a .353/.450/.471 line in his 11 games played before the injury.

In the 2023 regular season he hit .252/.324/.433 as a 19-yearold, playing 119 games with High-A Dayton and four games with Chattanooga in the final week of the season. But Arroyo got out to a slow start in 2023 and it hides how good he was for much of the season. In the first 36 games he hit .182/.234/.311 with nine walks and 38 strikeouts. In the remaining 89 games he hit .281/.360/.480 with 41 walks and 83 strikeouts. And all of that came while he was one of the youngest players in the leagues in which he was playing. It also came along with him stealing 29 bases on the year and being a strong defensive shortstop.

Reds trade Chris McElvain to Toronto

Cincinnati, in desperate need of an infielder for the big league roster who could play shortstop if asked to, made a trade just after 7pm ET to acquire Santiago Espinal from the Toronto Blue Jays. The Reds sent right-handed pitcher Chris McElvain to Toronto to complete the deal.

McElvain was Cincinnati’s 8th round draft pick in 2022 out of Vanderbilt. Last season he split the year between Single-A Daytona with the Tortugas and High-A Dayton with the Dragons. In 12 games with Daytona he posted a 3.04 ERA in 50.1 innings while walking 19 and striking out 53. After his promotion to Dayton he took a bit of a step backwards as he posted a 4.53 ERA in 45.2 innings while walking 22 and striking out just 34.

9 Responses

  1. DaveCT

    Silver lining is that it’s the left, non throwing shoulder.

    Kid has to be completely bummed. I am.

  2. Frankie Tomatoes

    What a terrible day for the Reds with this and the Mclain news

  3. Tom

    Since everything is rosy around Redsland, I thought I’d share some hindsight on Marte.

    I just listened to the BA top 10 Reds podcast from late December yesterday. They spent a good amount of time on him as the top prospect, as they do.

    Marte has defied a few of the prognostications about him. One interesting knock was that for years he would go through spurts of what scouts would call “low effort”, and then surge, lock in, focus. They compared this dynamic to Kyle Tucker who corrected it at the MLB level, and Verdugo who did not and was recently traded.

    They also remarked that Marte was a player whose body developed but, unlike most, did not lose any speed or agility. Kudos!

    Anyway, for those looking to feel worse, maybe Marte has been dependent on these enhancing drugs for a while now. Until he proves otherwise, we may be looking at a .700 OPS kind of role player.

    • Optimist

      I’ve been following Marte a bit since he was in the M’s farm system. The word then was while he was a top prospect, if not the top prospect (he was tracking with Julio in A/A+) he was also playing ahead of his age – namely, that he would fade as he advanced into MLB. That, and he would have to move off of SS on defense.

      We’ve seen him move off SS, and his bat may fade, but if he hasn’t been using banned stuff all along, he may get right back on track.

      Anyone can falter, and it’s a very fine line on future development, so let’s hope this is a lesson learned and put behind him.

  4. MK

    Boy the plethora of young middle infielder has sure taken a hit this spring. Barrero-traded, Marte-suspended, McLain – shoulder, Arroyo – shoulder.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s Arizona, man. Pitching is almost always awful. Breaking balls don’t break out there.