CINCINNATI -- Reds infielder Alex Blandino wore a brace over his right knee and walked in the clubhouse Saturday with the aid of crutches. Blandino was disappointed, having been given the news his 2018 season was prematurely over after being injured by a slide on Friday vs. the Pirates.The Reds
CINCINNATI -- Reds infielder Alex Blandino wore a brace over his right knee and walked in the clubhouse Saturday with the aid of crutches. Blandino was disappointed, having been given the news his 2018 season was prematurely over after being injured by a slide on Friday vs. the Pirates.
The Reds placed Blandino on the 10-day disabled list after he was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. He is scheduled to have season-ending surgery on Monday.
"Recovery is 5-6 months from there. I have a good support staff here to take care of me," Blandino said. "It's definitely unfortunate, and I'm pretty bummed out. It's something guys come back from, and they're fine. I'm looking forward to getting back out there as soon as possible."
Infielder/outfielder Brandon Dixon was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to replace Blandino on the 25-man roster.
Blandino, 25, pinch-hit in the eighth inning and was playing second base in the ninth inning of Friday's 12-1 loss to the Pirates when baserunner Max Moroff rolled into Blandino's knee while trying to break up a double play. Blandino had fielded a grounder from hitter Jordan Luplow and touched second base himself before successfully throwing to first base.
"It was kind of a routine double-play ball," Blandino said. "I was expecting him to be kind of closer to me when I threw the ball so if there was some contact, it would have been when I was in the air as opposed to after I planted. He got stuck and kind of rolled up on to it after I landed back on the ground. It was kind of a freak accident. It happens, but it's definitely unfortunate."
Steady rain throughout the game created muddy conditions on the infield dirt.
"When I slid, my cleat got caught and because of that I rolled to try to avoid him," Moroff said. "When he threw, he was right there when I rolled, and his knee looked like it hit my side.
"I had no intention of doing any harm to anyone."
Moroff immediately apologized on the field to Blandino and again after the game via text message.
"He kind of stuck on his slide, and it turned out to be a pretty not ideal way to slide. But I know it's not what he intended," Blandino said. "There's no hard feelings. It's just kind of a bummer. I know I feel bad about it, and he feels bad about it as well."
In 69 games during his rookie year, Blandino is batting .234 with one home run and eight RBIs. But he led the team with nine hits as a pinch-hitter this season.
Although Blandino opened the season at Louisville, he was promoted on April 9.
"He put himself in a position where he never thought he had to go back," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. "He got enough at-bats to stay relatively sharp. He did lead our club in pinch-hits and got some big ones for us. I think there's more in the future for him than coming off the bench to hit. That was his role on our club. He did a great job."
Dixon is batting .346 with six home runs in 49 games for Louisville this season, and he hit for the cycle on Wednesday. He batted .219 with one homer in 29 games, including three starts during his previous big league callup.
Blandino was the Reds' only bench player with experience at shortstop. Although Dixon plays three infield positions, shortstop is not one of them. If something were to happen to Jose Peraza, Riggleman would likely turn to third baseman Eugenio Suarez to move over. Suarez was previously a shortstop.
"I think Brandon could go over and do that. But Suarez would be the more natural shortstop if we needed to take Peraza out for few innings or a few days," Riggleman said.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.