The first wave of September call-ups will land at Wrigley Field today. The Reds called up catcher Ramon Cabrera and recalled pitcher Carlos Contreras.

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Cabrera can serve as an emergency catcher so the Reds can use Tucker Barnhart and Brayan Peña more freely as pinch hitters.

Contreras pitched in 12 games for the Reds earlier this season. When not with the big league club, he’s pitched out of the bullpen for Louisville AAA.

Feb 16, 2013; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Carlos Contreras (73) during photo day at the Reds Spring Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing much to see here. Bryan Price indicated the Reds will let starting pitchers (Robert Stephenson and Brandon Finnegan) finish the season with the Bats before calling them up to help out with the pitching load the final few weeks of the big league calendar. The Bats last game is Monday, Sept. 7.

Contreras was already on the 40-man roster, but Cabrera wasn’t. The Reds haven’t announced who will be removed to make room.

26 Responses

  1. CI3J

    It’s testament to how horribly this franchise has been run that there is virtually nothing offensively to look forward to in September callups.

    I am looking forward to see Stephenson in action, though.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Yes, Stephenson and Finnegan. Jesse Winker is the only hitting prospect I’d pay to see. Agree with you about the awful position player depth at AAA. Not a single infielder on the 40-man roster that isn’t now on the 25-man roster. I realize the Reds produced Votto, Cozart, Frazier, Bruce, Hamilton and Mesoraco. But Cozart is 30 and Votto is 31. Looks like there’s a decent chance Suarez will be a nice add.

      Meanwhile, the Cardinals manage to trade and chew gum at the same time. Adams, Grichek, Piscotti, Wong … endless supply of hitting prospects.

      • i71_Exile

        Yes, but the Cardinals are cheaters. We need to find another organization to emulate—one who does things the right way, not the Cardinal Way™.

      • CP

        Looking at that list, Adams was really the only one that sticks out as superior drafting. He was drafted in the 23rd round. When was the last time the Reds hit on a late round player?

        Piscotty was a supplemental pick the Cards got for letting Pujols walk. Grichek was received in the Freese deal. To me, it looks like the hitting prospects that the Reds could have had are currently playing 1B and 2B. The Cardinals just did a much better job mixing free agents and youth,

        Of course, that list also doesn’t include Oscar Taveras, who was a free agent, and who was the best prospect of the bunch. It also doesn’t include guys like Carlos Martinez (FA), or Trevor Rosenthal (21st round). While the Reds were shoveling money into their bullpen, the Cardinals were busy amassing young power pitchers. That money was then spent elsewhere.

    • Ron Fulton

      Absolutely, Stephenson, Waldrop and Winker shoulbe called up. Jist goes to show you how inept Jocketty is.

  2. WVRedlegs

    September 1st is here.
    The youngsters are coming, the youngsters are coming.
    Wait. What? Who?

  3. james garrett

    If you don’t have the big bucks to spend then developing your farm system is a must.Guess Walt thought our core group of position players would stay young forever.This points to terrible leadership in every aspect.

  4. Hotto4Votto

    A little off topic, but re:offensive prospects: Ervin, Blandino, and Wallach to the AFL as offensive players. It should be a nice test for all three, as the competition level should be the highest any of the three has faced. I know there’s no offensive prospects in AAA (other than Waldrop who just arrived last month), but there are a few that are climbing up the ranks. Both Ervin and Blandino have struggled to hit for average, but both have good-excellent on-base skills. Blandino with a .324 OBP and Ervin with a .429 OBP and .444 SLG%. Keep showing good discipline and the hits should come.

    • Nick Carrington

      Not that I believe much in batting average, but Blandino did hit .294 in 342 plate appearances in A+. Still adjusting to AA which is a big leap and might also be wearing down. Longest season of his life I’m guessing since it is his first full season in pro ball.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Yeah, I’m not concerned about batting average. I would guess (haven’t looked it up) that neither have high BABIP. That jump is said to be the toughest in baseball (A+ to AA) so an adjustment period is warranted. Coupled with the fact that both are winding down their season, as you pointed out, it makes sense that there’d be some struggles. I was mainly attempting to point out that there is something to point toward and be excited about in regard to offensive prospects.

  5. wizeman

    can only hang our hat on the pitching. most everything hinges on mesoraco without wholesale changes. will he be able to catch…. will he play left.

  6. ohiojimw

    Sounds like Cabrera may be auditioning to be the Peña replacement if Meso can’t catch.

    Fay said yesterday he had been told the first wave would be a “couple of position players already on the 40 man”. So what changed over night or is this just another case of the left hand and the right hand not knowing the same thing. Actually they probably do need the additional arm because of Lorensen going short. Guess they had to belay the second position player because the budget doesn’t allow for a 3rd call up till Tuesday.

    • wizeman

      pensacola fighting for a playoff spot. not going to gut their roster to fill louisville spots.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Eligible position players to come up that are healthy: Skipworth, Negron, Duran, and Waldrop. Skipworth and Duran are in a playoff hunt in Pensacola. Skipworth may be the one jettisoned for Cabrera to be added, in any case there is usually little need for 4 catchers. Negron hasn’t hit all year at AAA, but he’ll probably get the call once their season is over. Waldrop has played sporadically since being called up to AAA and could really use the last week or two to build up some confidence.

  7. sezwhom

    I would think Meso and Barnhart next year as our catchers. The latter has been coming on strong and surpassed Pena IMO. Pena with ZERO home-runs and only 16 RBI. Barnhart has 3 HR’s and 14 RBI in 116 less AB’s plus he has a cannon of an arm.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Key to Barnhart as the backup is using him smartly – which means only against RHP. (.767 vs .469 OPS) Next year’s manager has to abandon personal catchers to get that done.

      • lwblogger2

        Yes, Barnhart really shouldn’t be in there against LHP. I think that Price has been using catchers based on the comfort level of the pitcher with a particular catcher. That may work for this year but I really hope that isn’t the approach for next season. Ideally, you want all your catchers to work in with all your pitchers.

  8. wizeman

    agreed. just concerned about meso and his hip. have the opportunity to be around a number of good athletes… hips are really problematic especially for lunging and squatting.
    won’t be surprised at all if this turns out to be an issue.
    left field problem suddenly solved. problem behind the plate.

  9. james garrett

    I like Barnhart as well as a solid backup with some pop from the right side.He brings more offense and defense then Pena.

  10. james garrett

    OOPS I meant from the left side.

  11. Steve

    Went to the reds dodgers game last week.
    7th inning, 2 outs, guy on a 2nd,3rd, reds let the pitcher hit? 111 ave…needless to say the top of the 8th, does the pitcher pitch? Noooooo. What manager at any club gets away with that?

    • Playtowin

      Watching the pitch count. No need to risk arm injury in meaningless game.

  12. Shchi Cossack

    Per Mark Sheldon via twitter…

    Dylan Axelrod was designated for assignment by #reds to make room for Cabrera on 40-man roster

    • Shchi Cossack

      That would make Axelrod the 1st pitching casualty of the new pitching additions, but he certainly won’t be the last. I expect some serious changes in the 40-man roster with all the new additions. It’s time the Reds constructed a legitimate 40-man roster with players who are major league ready or near major league ready rather than just bagge on the 40-man roster. Of course that would probably mean WJ would no longer be involved in 40-man roster decision. Oh, if only…