The Reds have placed third baseman Eugenio Suarez on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured right thumb, per a club announcement Monday. While the team hasn’t released a timetable for his return, the same injury has caused other players in recent years to miss 6-8 weeks.
The loss of Suarez, who signed a seven-year, $66 million extension with the Reds last month, will be a significant one for Cincinnati. The 26-year-old third baseman slashed .260/.367/.461 with 26 homers in 632 plate appearances last season while posting five defensive runs saved at third.
The Reds have one of the game’s top third-base prospects in Nick Senzel (though Senzel has played exclusively at second base this season for Triple-A Louisville), and it’d be logical to assume that he’d be recalled to take Suarez’s place. However, the 22-year-old Senzel will remain in the minors for now, as the Reds will be able to gain an extra year of control over him if his major-league debut is delayed until at least April 15, as The Athletic’s C. Trent Rosecrans wrote Sunday. For what it’s worth, Senzel is not a member of Cincinnati’s 40-man roster, though that’d seem to be be fairly insignificant considering that the Reds have finished in last place for four straight years and Senzel is the most highly-regarded position-player prospect they’ve had since Jay Bruce arrived in the majors back in 2008.
Instead, Suarez will be replaced on the roster by 25-year-old Alex Blandino, who hit .265/.382/.453 with 12 homers in 473 plate appearances split between Double-A and Triple-A last season. Blandino, who is ranked as the Reds’ No. 25 prospect by MLB Pipeline, was 0 for 8 with a walk at Louisville this season. Pennington and fellow veteran utility infielder Phil Gosselin are expected to see increased action at third with Suarez out, though Blandino obviously has a chance to factor into the mix there as well.