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Reds OF Hits IL With Thumb Fracture

Photo by AP Photo/Julio Cortez

PHOENIX, AZ: Reds center fielder TJ Friedl sustained a broken left thumb and has been placed on the 10-day injured list. Cincinnati recalled outfielder Jacob Hurtubise from Triple-A Louisville to take the open roster spot.

Friedl, who only returned from the IL last week, is suffering a serious setback. The 28-year-old broke his wrist during Spring Training, which caused him to miss the first six weeks of the season. Before being hit by a pitch from Kyle Harrison to start yesterday's game against the Giants, he appeared in six games and 24 plate appearances. Will Benson replaced Friedl, who left the game, by sliding from right to center field. Coming off the bench, Jake Fraley manned right field.

In 2023, Friedl was among the Reds' best players. In 556 plate appearances, he had a .279/.352/.467 line and was usually among the top two hitters in the lineup. In addition to hitting 18 home runs and stealing 27 bases, Friedl provided strong center field defense. Overall, his performance was almost All-Star caliber, and he was a vital member of a Cincinnati squad that missed the postseason.

Friedl will now be absent from them for an undisclosed amount of time. Early in the season, most of the center field reps were split between Benson and Stuart Fairchild. Both players haven't contributed very much on offense. That has added to the lineup's overall lack of production. Cincinnati plays in one of the most hitter-friendly home stadiums in the league, yet they rank 26th in slugging and 28th in on-base percentage.

Hurtubise, 26, makes his debut in the outfield. After graduating from West Point, he became an undrafted free agent in 2020 and signed with the Reds. Though he didn't receive much attention as a prospect, his impressive on-base performance in the minors helped him earn a spot on the 40-man roster last winter. Hurtubise has nearly little power, but over the course of four minor league seasons, he has hit.295 with an OBP of.434. Throughout his professional career, he has nearly as many walks as strikeouts and has stolen 102 bases.

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