Antone (elbow) has setback, will miss first half of season
CINCINNATI -- The Reds were expecting their bullpen to be a stronger group in 2023 with Tejay Antone being back after he missed all of last season rehabilitating from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.
That is now on hold after Antone revealed Tuesday night that he has suffered a setback. He likely won't be ready for the first half of this season because of a flexor strain in his right forearm.
Antone underwent his second Tommy John procedure on the elbow in August 2021, and he spent the bulk of '22 rehabbing at the team's complex in Goodyear, Ariz. He had his first surgery in '17 while in the Minor Leagues.
"Everything last year went super smooth. I was feeling great -- 93-95 [mph] in bullpens," Antone explained while speaking on an Instagram story. "This offseason, I did have a little hiccup in the rehab process. My flexor kind of gave out on me. Just a small little strain, nothing crazy or anything, but obviously I wasn't prepared for the buildup coming back to Spring Training."
Antone noted that he received a stem-cell platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection on Tuesday.
"I really hope this injection just kick-starts the healing process, and I have full trust in the Reds' PT staff and the decisions that they make getting me ready to get back on the field," Antone said, while noting he was targeting to be back for the second half.
Antone, 29, was one of Cincinnati's strongest and most versatile relievers during 2021 as he posted a 2.14 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 23 appearances. Over 33 2/3 innings, he walked 13 and struck out 42 and routinely reached the high 90s and touched 100 mph with his sinker.
But on Aug. 24, 2021, at Milwaukee, Antone walked off the mound after throwing only five pitches in his first game back from the injured list.
The Reds were optimistic this offseason that Antone, Lucas Sims and Tony Santillan could all return to their roles in the later innings this season.
Sims was limited to six games in 2022 over April and May after being sidelined by a back injury that required surgery in July. Santillan missed the final 99 games of the season with a lower back injury.
Closer Alexis Díaz, Buck Farmer, Ian Gibaut, Reiver Sanmartin and Fernando Cruz are among returning relievers the Reds hope to have ready for 2023.