The Cincinnati Reds have been one of the most active teams in baseball this winter, with a whirlwind of transactions that should make any fan of an NL Central team blush.
But as it turns out, the hyperactivity may have been well-warranted, because one of their returning stars could be slow to start in 2020:
Eugenio Suárez today had surgery to remove loose cartilage in his right shoulder, an injury suffered recently in a swimming pool. His physical activity will be limited at beginning of spring training. We anticipate him to be ready to play near the beginning of the regular season.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) January 28, 2020
All-star third baseman Eugenio Suárez underwent shoulder surgery on Tuesday, the team announced via Tweet. It was a procedure done to remove loose cartilage in his right shoulder after suffering an injury in a swimming pool. Ouch.
Worse, the surgery will limit Suárez’s physical activity at the start of spring training and his status for opening day appears to be in doubt (to be sure, the statement offers a pretty vague timetable, but shoulder injuries (and their recovery periods) aren’t to be taken lightly). Ask Kris Bryant circa 2018.
Ultimately, Suárez’s injury could be a very big deal. His absence — even if it is for a short period at the start of the season — provided all the more reason for the Reds to have added Nicholas Castellanos to a lineup that is as deep as any in the division. It also could limit what the Reds do in the trade market, specifically with someone like Nick Senzel, an outfielder who was once a third baseman by trade. Depending on the recovery timetable, it could be tough to deal Senzel if he is viewed as a backup option for Suárez at this time.
Suárez was a thumper in the middle of the lineup (133 wRC+) and played a solid third base (4.5 total WAR). How the shoulder surgery impacts him this season could be one of those things that changes the course of the year. And when we’re talking about someone as important as Suárez is to this Reds team, it’s a pretty big news item for a January evening.
Michael: Suarez slashed .378/.435/.797 (204 wRC+) against the Cubs last season. That’s 104% better than the league average hitter over 85 plate appearances. Just to put his impact in perspective.