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.

It’s a tough blow for Friedl, who only returned from the IL last week. The 28-year-old missed the season’s first six weeks after breaking his wrist during Spring Training. He played six games and tallied 24 plate appearances before being hit by a Kyle Harrison pitch leading off yesterday’s game against the Giants. Friedl came out of the game, with Will Benson sliding from right to center field in his place. Jake Fraley came off the bench to man right field.

Friedl was one of the Reds best players in 2023. He frequently occupied one of the top two spots in the batting order and turned in a .279/.352/.467 line across 556 plate appearances. Friedl connected on 18 home runs and stole 27 bases while playing solid center field defense. It was borderline All-Star production overall, making him a key contributor to a Cincinnati team that came up just shy of the postseason.

They’ll now be without Friedl for another undetermined period of time. Benson and Stuart Fairchild took the majority of the center field reps early in the season. Neither player has provided much offensively. That has contributed to a lack of production throughout the lineup. Cincinnati ranks 28th in on-base percentage and 26th in slugging despite playing in one of the sport’s most hitter-friendly home parks.

Hurtubise, 26, joins the outfield mix for the first time. A West Point graduate, he signed with the Reds as an undrafted free agent in 2020. Despite lacking much prospect fanfare, he played his way onto the 40-man roster last winter thanks to huge on-base numbers in the minors. While Hurtubise has almost no power, he’s a .295 hitter with a .434 OBP in parts of four minor league seasons. He has stolen 102 bases and has nearly as many walks as strikeouts in his professional career.

The left-handed hitter adds a contact and speed element to David Bell’s bench. Hurtubise has experience at all three outfield positions, though Eric Longenhagen of FanGraphs wrote last month that he’s best served in left field.