Darnell McDonald tries hard. He doesn’t loaf on the basepaths, and he gives 100% effort in everything he tries to do for the Cincinnati Reds. He seems like a great guy.

Let’s not mince words, however. Darnell McDonald has no business being on a major league roster.

The Reds willingly played most of this weekend with a 22/23-man roster (with Votto and Phillips sick and Gonzalez unavailable because the Reds stupidly didn’t DL him). With McDonald on the roster, they were effectively playing with one fewer player.

McDonald’s stats are terrible, and when he was inserted into the game in a tense situation late Sunday, he looked like a high-schooler trying to hit a major league pitcher. He never came close to making contact.

I feel bad for the guy. Much like Corey Patterson last year, he’s trying hard but the Reds have put him in a no-win situation. He’s just not a major-league caliber talent. Everyone outside the Reds organization knew this on Opening Day. None of us thought he’d still be here in mid-May. It’s time for the Reds to open their eyes.

The Reds need to designate Darnell McDonald for assignment TODAY. Thank him for his effort, and send him on his way. It doesn’t matter who he is replaced with. We prefer Jonny Gomes (Nix/Gomes left field platoon, anyone?), but maybe the Reds would prefer Norris Hopper or Wes Bankston or even, heaven forbid, Wilkin Castillo.

Whomever it is, the move needs to be made immediately. McDonald has had a month and a half in the major leagues. It’s time to improve the roster, giving Dusty Baker more flexibility with his bench. If the Reds are going to willingly play with fewer available players than other teams, they need to make sure that the available players are actually major league talents.

Walt Jocketty, Redleg Nation urges you to do it now.