After leaving Thursday's Field of Dreams game against the Chicago Cubs with a leg injury, Cincinnati Reds second baseman Jonathan India is set to make his way back to Cincy in an unconventional way.
According to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic, India was airlifted to an Iowa City hospital Thursday night due to swelling in his leg. Because doctors are concerned about him flying with that amount of swelling, India is driving back to Cincinnati with team trainers rather than flying with the rest of the team.
India left the 4-2 loss to Chicago in the fourth inning after getting hit in the leg by a pitch from Cubs starter Drew Smyly.
Per Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Reds manager David Bell called India "day-to-day" and noted that he didn't suffer a fracture.
The Reds and Cubs have an off day on Friday before resuming their series at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati on Saturday, and India is expected to be present for the game.
India, 25, was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft and was once considered one of the top prospects in baseball.
He is in the midst of his second major league season and is coming off a 2021 campaign that saw him slash .269/.376/.459 with 21 home runs, 69 RBI, 98 runs and 12 stolen bases en route to being named National League Rookie of the Year.
India's production has dipped this season to the tune of .243/.308/.385 with seven homers, 24 RBI, 27 runs and two steals, although he has been limited to just 59 games due to a hamstring injury that required two separate IL stints.
Matt Reynolds and Donovan Solano have seen significant playing time this season both when India has been healthy and out, and they figure to play regularly until India returns to the lineup.
Reynolds, who has played all over the field this season, is hitting .255 with three homers and 20 RBI in 73 games. Meanwhile, Solano is hitting .304 with three home runs and 16 RBI in 40 games.
The Reds dealt several key players ahead of the trade deadline earlier this month, including starting pitchers Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle, third baseman Brandon Drury and outfielders Tommy Pham and Tyler Naquin.
As a result, they are fairly short on depth, but the moves were needed to build up their farm system since they are one of the worst teams in MLB with a 44-67 record.
The Reds will be even more short-handed if India misses time, but the remainder of the 2022 season is more about seeing what they have for the future than winning games.