LOS ANGELES – Jonathan India is known for his ability to play through injuries, so it’s not a good sign when he exits in the middle of a game.
India left in the top of the fifth inning Thursday against the Dodgers with a right hamstring injury after beating out an infield single to third base. He knelt down after crossing the first-base bag, then tried to stretch his right leg as Reds first-base coach Delino DeShields signaled for a trainer to check on him.
After India took a few steps along the first-base line with trainer Tomas Vera at his side, he returned to the dugout. India hit his helmet on the dugout railing as he descended the stairs, then paced inside the dugout a couple of times before retreating to the clubhouse.
The Reds added infielder Alejo Lopez to their taxi squad from Triple-A. Initial tests, however, showed optimism India may not be out of the lineup for more than a couple of days.
“So far, we think it’s not bad,” Reds Manager David Bell said. “Even to the point of coming in and getting treatment (Friday). It might be just a day. That was really great news because you just never know. The fact there is even discussion of him playing in the next couple of days is all I needed to hear.”
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Brandon Drury replaced India as a pinch-runner and hit a game-tying, solo homer in the seventh inning before the Reds lost, 9-3.
The Reds are already light on depth for their bench. Tommy Pham has been out of the lineup for the last two games with a left hand injury following a collision in the outfield. Nick Senzel hasn’t played in the last two games. Infielders Donovan Solano (left hamstring strain), Jose Barrero (hamate surgery) and Max Schrock (left calf strain) are all on the 10-day Injured List.
As jarring as it was to see India leave Thursday’s game, the Reds are hopeful that it was precautionary.
“When it’s a hamstring, I don’t care how tough you are,” Bell said. “It’s not one of those things you can play through. We’re hoping it’s like a cramp situation or a really mild strain or something. He did the right thing by coming out of the game, there’s not any question about that.”
India’s teammates were unsure about the severity of his injury, and he’ll be re-examined Friday, but they were encouraged by the way he was talking about his hamstring afterward.
“With the stuff nagging last year, I know he doesn’t want to come out of a game, that’s a fact,” Tyler Stephenson said. “He was upset about that. Obviously, I’m hoping it’s nothing serious. Just from talking to him, he seemed optimistic and positive. That’s a good thing.”
MIKE MINOR SETBACK: The Reds hoped to have left-handed starter Mike Minor enter their rotation in the next two weeks, but that timeline may be delayed.
Minor was roughed up in his first rehab outing at Double-A Chattanooga and he reported shoulder soreness afterward.
“He’s going to be looked at,” Bell said. “I don’t know for sure if it’ll set him back, but it might change the course of the treatment that they’re giving him.”
Minor allowed six runs on five hits and one walk in 45 pitches on Wednesday, lasting 1 2/3 innings. He made it to his expected pitch count – he didn’t pitch in any spring training games – but he was delayed in camp because of shoulder soreness.
The Reds acquired Minor from the Kansas City Royals in a trade for lefty reliever Amir Garrett.
POSITIVE STEPS: Pham went through a full workout prior to Thursday’s game. He took fly balls in left field and participated in batting practice.
Bell was encouraged by Pham’s progress after speaking with him and hoped he would be back in the lineup by Saturday.
Solano, recovering from his hamstring injury, did some running in the outfield before Thursday’s game, which is the biggest hurdle he needs to clear before he’s ready for rehab games.