Matt McLain taking a selfie with two fans before going into the Duke Energy Center for Redsfest in December. (Loveland Magazine File Photo © 2024)

An Early Injury Is Another Reminder of Why The Reds’ Depth Is Critical

by Chris Ball,

On Tuesday we learned that their second baseman Matt McLain would miss 5-7 days with an oblique injury, the same ailment that saw him miss time last season. The good news is that McLain’s MRI did not show any significant damage and he isn’t expected to miss opening day.

Still, another preseason injury is a reminder that this Reds team has done plenty to address its depth moving forward. That includes in the infield where Jonathan India’s return means that if someone like McLain goes down, there will be a quality player ready to shift into that spot and ensure the team doesn’t miss a beat in the interim. 

There are legitimate questions in 2024 about which Reds players get the majority of the playing time and which ones are asked to accept a smaller or a platoon role, or even spend time back in the minor leagues, at least to start the season. Having so many talented guys is not a bad problem to have at the end of the day. However, that is for the most part best expressed if the team is fully healthy. 

If there are any number of injuries, whether serious or just of the nagging variety, that depth may end up saving the season. That is the ultimate luxury of having players who may be playing out of position at times, but who can slip back into their more comfortable roles, should injuries call for it. 

That sort of security should make Reds fans feel much better about the upcoming season, even when key guys like McLain get a little banged up.

Christopher Ball is a longtime Loveland resident and an attorney. He graduated from Loveland High School in 2003 and was a member of the football team before going on to become a coach’s assistant at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. He has been following and rooting for the Reds and Bengals since the early 1990s and has been through the many ups and downs that fandom has wrought over the years.

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