Reds consider treatment options for McLain's shoulder with likelihood of another absence for opener

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds are bracing for the possibility of another key player being unavailable for the season opener after second baseman Matt McLain's recent injury to his non-throwing shoulder.

Reds manager David Bell told reporters Wednesday that all options, including surgery, were under consideration by the club for treatment. The 24-year-old McLain, who's coming off a promising rookie season, is at least likely to be placed on the injured list. He reported soreness in his left shoulder Monday after diving for a ball during a workout.

The Reds are also starting 2024 without third baseman Noelvi Marte, who will serve an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, and center fielder T.J. Friedl, who broke his right wrist four days ago.

Newcomer Jeimer Candelario and 2021 NL Rookie of the Year Jonathan India will likely have increased roles in the infield in the meantime. The Reds open the season at home on March 28 against Washington.

McLain was Cincinnati's first-round draft pick in 2021. He batted .290 with 16 home runs, 50 RBIs and 14 steals in 89 games last year in his major league debut, finishing fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting. He missed three weeks earlier in spring training with a sore right oblique muscle.