Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Suarez (hand contusion) day to day; MRI OK

Slugger receives well-wishes from Galarraga on joining 40-homer club
@alysonfooter
September 2, 2019

CINCINNATI -- The Reds received good news about All-Star third baseman Eugenio Suárez on Monday when an MRI on his left hand came back negative. The official diagnosis is that he has a contusion. How positive is this development? A day ago, manager David Bell feared the hand was broken.

CINCINNATI -- The Reds received good news about All-Star third baseman Eugenio Suárez on Monday when an MRI on his left hand came back negative. The official diagnosis is that he has a contusion.

How positive is this development? A day ago, manager David Bell feared the hand was broken. Less than 24 hours later, he was contemplating whether he would be able to insert Suarez back into the lineup on Tuesday.

“I don’t know about [Tuesday] yet, but it’s that good of news,” Bell said.

Indeed, this is the best-case scenario, considering how swollen Suarez's hand when he was hit during an at-bat against Cardinals pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader. The Reds opted to wait for the swelling to subside before doing an in-depth examination, which occurred around 12:30 p.m. ET on Monday. His hand was wrapped in a bandage when he reported to the clubhouse in the morning, and he told reporters that he was feeling better.

Suarez’s status is considered day to day. Kyle Farmer started at third base for the opener with the Phillies and went 0-for-3 with a walk in the 7-1 loss.

“I was out there seconds after it hit,” Bell said of the pitch that hit Suarez. “I looked at it and in my mind, it was broken. “[The MRI result] was very surprising and excellent news. I was even talking to him last night about what a great season he's had. He remained really positive, and I think it really paid off today. He got great news, and it'll be nice to have him the rest of the way.”

Don't delete this text message

In non-injury news, Suarez heard from many well-wishers after he launched his 40th homer of the season on Sunday in St. Louis, but one message in in particular stood out as a bit more thrilling than the rest.

Suarez received a video text from Andres Galarraga, who owns the all-time homer record among Venezuelan players with 47. Galarraga, one of Suarez's baseball heroes and his mother's favorite player during Galarraga's years as a star in the 1980s and '90s, offered his congratulations along with a challenge for the Reds' All-Star third baseman.

"He said, 'Hey Eugenio, I feel so happy for you -- welcome to the 40-homer club. I hope you break my record,'" Suarez recalled before Monday's game.

Suarez joined an elite group of Venezuelan Major Leaguers when he reached the 40-homer plateau, joining five others who have reached that single-season number at least once. Galarraga did it three times, while Miguel Cabrera has reached it twice. Richard Hidalgo, Tony Armas and Carlos González each hit 40 homers in a season once.

Suarez is honored to be in the same group as all of his countrymen, but Galarraga is special to him.

"I've never met him before, and now he sent me that video and said congratulations when I got to 40," Suarez said. "It made my day and my dreams come true. I grew up and watched him hit homers, and now I'm part of that club. To me, it's a big honor to be a part of that.

"Miggy, [Omar] Vizquel, Galarraga -- for us, we grew up watching these guys play baseball. To us, they're the heroes. We try to be like them, we try to be better than them. Now I'm in the big leagues, now I'm part of the 40-homer club and it made me feel so happy, so proud."

Travel weary

The Reds will have an evening off following their Labor Day afternoon tilt at Great American Ball Park Monday, but it's fair to assume that most of them will spend the night off doing very little, other than sleeping.

The Reds arrived to their home digs Monday with the most brutal part of their recent schedule -- two doubleheaders in two days in St. Louis -- behind them. Moving forward, things become a little more normal, at least in baseball terms: one game per day through Sunday, followed by a welcome off-day next Monday.

Bell commended his players for their mindset going into those two doubleheaders, and for the effort on the field, even if they only won one of the games.

"We knew it was a challenge," Bell said. "I was really not surprised, but really happy with the way our team approached that. There was no negativity towards it. They actually had fun with it and saw it as a challenge."

There never is an ideal time to play four games in a 48-hour period, but the Reds at least had the advantage of calling up some players when rosters expanded on Sept. 1, which helped. Four of the five callups were pitchers: Matt Bowman, Tyler Mahle (who will start Friday), Wandy Peralta and Sal Romano, with infielder Alex Blandino representing the lone position player promoted.

"That helped," Bell said. "If that wasn't the case, I can't imagine what that would be like. I'm sure we would have gotten through it, but that helped a lot. We used our bullpen like we would any other time, because we knew we had the other arms available."

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.