In addition to a 17-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, the Cincinnati Reds may have lost one of their two left-handed relievers.
Reiver Sanmartin exited in the middle of the fifth inning Sunday with left elbow soreness. He grimaced when he missed the strike zone with an 88-mph sinker, taking extra time to stare into the outfield. Manager David Bell and trainer Tomas Vera emerged from the dugout to check on him and it was a short conversation.
“It’s always concerning,” Bell said afterwards.
More: Here’s which Cincinnati Reds prospects are surging, slumping to begin minor league season
More: ‘This team just clicks’: TJ Friedl’s bounce back highlights Reds’ win over White Sox
More: After battling past injuries, Reds minor leaguer Blake Dunn commands attention
Sanmartin did not know the level of severity when he spoke after Sunday’s game – he’ll undergo medical exams Monday – but he expected to be placed on the 15-day injured list for the first time in his major league career.
“I’ve felt it for a couple of weeks now,” Sanmartin said through team interpreter Jorge Merlos. “I’ve tried to pitch through it. I just couldn’t push through it anymore.”
It’s been a tough second season for Sanmartin in the Reds’ bullpen. He owns a 7.07 ERA through 14 appearances with 13 strikeouts, 10 walks and 17 hits allowed. He dropped below Alex Young in the pecking order among the two lefty relievers and he hadn’t pitched when the team was leading or tied since April 4, his third outing of the season.
He started the 2022 season in the starting rotation with poor results, but he pitched much better as a reliever (2.96 ERA in 41 relief appearances last year).
“In all honesty, it feels like I’m just throwing it up there and hoping the batters will swing and miss there,” Sanmartin said. “I don’t feel like I have full control of where I want to put it in the zone. Hopefully when I do come back, I regain that control and I’m able to get guys out again.”
Sanmartin is known for his cheerful personality in the clubhouse, but it was clear he was concerned with the health of his elbow Sunday.
“It doesn’t feel great there,” he said. “It’s really the first time I’ve ever gone to the trainer’s room since I’ve ever played baseball. I’m sure they are going to put me on the injured list here soon.”
The Reds already have three relievers on the IL: Fernando Cruz, Tony Santillan and Tejay Antone. Santillan and Antone are on the 60-day IL.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Reiver Sanmartin: Cincinnati Reds reliever may head to injured list