The Cincinnati Reds have released utility player Dee Strange-Gordon. The 32-year-old had come into spring training as a non-roster invite trying to win the shortstop spot, but hang on as a guy who could play the middle infield and some outfield as a super-utility kind of player if shortstop wasn’t going to be his. Once the Reds decided to go with Eugenio Suárez at shortstop, it seemed the writing was on the wall as far as Strange-Gordon landing the starting job.
The former all-star was hitting .281 with four walks and five strikeouts in 36 plate appearances. He only had one extra-base hit, leading to a .313 slugging percentage. Power has never been a part of his game. Strange-Gordon has been about making contact, hitting for average, stealing bases, and playing defense. Cincinnati must have felt that they may have been better off going in another direction on their bench – perhaps for something as simple as Strange-Gordon would have required making a 40-man roster move, where other bench options wouldn’t and the potential tiny difference between the players didn’t warrant losing someone else.
Cincinnati also made three other roster moves prior to the game on Friday afternoon. Left-handed pitchers Jesse Biddle and Brandon Finnegan were reassigned to minor league camp. Catcher Rocky Gale was also reassigned to minor league camp.
Jesse Biddle was having a strong spring. The lefty had a 3.00 ERA in nine appearances. He had walked two batters and struck out 12 in his 9.0 innings of work. After beginning spring in minor league camp, Brandon Finnegan was officially invited to join big league camp in the middle of the month. He’s found some success, though battled some inconsistency, too. He’s allowed three earned runs in 6.1 innings with three walks and six strikeouts.
With Tyler Stephenson and Tucker Barnhart both healthy, and Kyle Farmer as a 3rd option if needed, there wasn’t going to be another catcher getting a real look this spring. Rocky Gale performed well at the plate when given playing time – he’s hit .308/.357/.462 in 14 plate appearances – but he simply wasn’t given much playing time.
With the moves made today, there are now 40 players remaining in big league camp – including Joey Votto who is still listed on the injured list, but is in the lineup this afternoon.
Jesse Biddle has now been released.