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.

Update: 7:30pm

Jesse Biddle has now been released.

32 Responses

  1. GreatRedLegsFan

    Looks like Gordon was a better bench option than Farmer, better OBP, much better running skills and capable to handle several positions.

    • Jason

      Capable of handling several positions? And Farmer is not?

    • vegastypo

      I’m not sure Strange-Gordon was very capable at any of the positions that were said to give him versatility. FWIW.

    • Doc

      Farmer can catch, D-G can’t. That’s a big flexibility and insurance issue.

      • MBS

        DG can play CF. I’d keep Farmer over D, but you can play the position game with DG as well.

      • 2020ball

        Honestly how often does that even come up in games anyway? DSG coming into CF would’ve happened often.

        My biggest dig against Farmer was always carrying him on the roster and not India, but the Reds have since pivoted to it looking likely India goes north. I think you could make an argument for Dee being the better option, but Farmer could still have some upside in him so I’m fine with keeping him.

  2. Optimist

    This seems like very good news. Dee has value, but not for the Reds – hope and expect he lands elsewhere, as a utility/PH/PR/late inning defensive guy.

    And, Finnegan to continue development in AAA may mean they keep Bedrosian rather than expose him. No doubt they’ll need 20 or so pitchers, so if this is the initial roster management good for them.

  3. Scott C

    I like the move of releasing Strange Gordon. Better options out there.

    • RojoBenjy

      The better move would have been to not bother with him to begin with.

      You guys know how pickups go around neighborhoods on trash night and pick through other folk’s castoffs?

      • 2020ball

        Good lord, why not? It didn’t hurt the team any to get a look at him. If India hadn’t emerged and/or Suarez clearly couldnt handle SS he probably becomes a decent option. Injuries, etc. could also occur.

  4. Justin

    I hope he latches in somewhere but I was hoping it wasn’t with the Reds. It’s a classic Reds move to keep a veteran and ignore a prospect who’s ready. I’m glad they’re moving on from that approach. I hope Blandino and Farmer get two of the bench spots.

  5. JB

    Holder should have been gone last week. So many better options ahead of him including Gordon. He is not better than Farmer, Blandino or Schrock. Send him on his way. Less than a week to go before the 1st game.

    • Tomn

      Yes. Farmer and Blandino have earned their opportunities. Agree about Schock too. Farmer just has not impressed.

  6. tomn

    Right! Tough to see players cut but I’d MUCH rather have Farmer. Much more power and younger. Plus he can catch giving the Reds much needed flexibility there.

  7. MK

    Do we know if Biddle or Gale have opt out clauses? I’d hate to lose Biddle.

    Who gets the money when Holder is returned, Phillies or Reds?

    If India and Bedrosian need 40-man spots who gets released? Holder would be one spot but who else?

  8. LDS

    Good moves. Hopefully, we’ll see more this weekend. I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more utility players dropped. I’m not the fan of ‘play all over the diamond’ types. I’d rather see very talented position players actually play their best positions. Championship teams are rarely built from a roster of Darrel Chaney’s or Kyle Farmer’s.

    • Doc

      I’m good with a couple of bench players who have flexibility, especially when one can catch in a pinch.

      Time for predictions of the 13-14 players still in camp who won’t be on the opening day roster. I’m sure one or two of the GM wannabees out there have it all figured out.

      • Doug Gray

        I figured it all out, but I’m not telling anyone!

  9. Roger Garrett

    I am shocked by the release of Strange.I thought for sure he had been promised a job from the get go but I was wrong.They were watching weren’t they as they moved him all over the diamond.Great move.

  10. Hotto4Votto

    Relieved by the release of Strange-Gordon. Thought the Reds may stick with him. I thought Biddle may have had an outside shot at making the roster, but I like Perez better as a 2nd lefty in the pen.
    Blandino has had a strong spring. I hope we see him some at 1B if Votto misses the beginning of the season.
    Nice to see a solid start by Miley. With Gray, Antone and Lorenzen hampered and a bit behind to start, we’re going to need some guys to step up in the rotation behind Castillo and Mahle.

  11. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I can’t help thinking I would never have released Biddle. Sorry, but left handed arms aren’t easy to come by. I would have kept him.

    • Doug Gray

      I’m just guessing here, but given his service time it makes sense: He had a clause that the team had to release him by the end of today if he wasn’t going to make the opening day roster. Same for Gordon (and a whole lot of other players around the league – yesterday and today saw a whole lot of ‘veteran’ releases of guys on minor league deals).

    • 2020ball

      I’m not sure we don’t just have better LH options still in camp, why not use that roster spot on one of them?

  12. Fanman

    Terrible move. Reds already are void of speed and defense on roster. Experienced and versatile. Strange-Gordon makes contact, uses his speed by hitting ball on the ground. Is this just another cost cutting move on an already bargain salary? Let’s bat Winker leadoff and clog the bases. Condolences to Bell family on Mike’s passing.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Strange-Gordon is really only good defensively at second base. He won’t get used there. So unless things go really wrong with injuries his defense isn’t useful if we’re trying to say it’s good. He is fast and that could be used as a pinch runner but that is probably the role that makes sense for him on the team and they seem to have decided that he isn’t worth carrying as someone who will really only be used as a pinch runner or a 3rd option at a few different positions. He’ll sign with another team before the season begins with a chance at a different role probably.

      • Fanman

        Former batting champion and stolen base leader. More than just a pinch runner. He could be a difference maker in a one run game. How many of those have we lost last couple of seasons. Natural lead off hitter if needed, in case, injuries occur. Akiyama, Senzel, Winker. And if India struggles at 2B. Very least a good mentor and spot start against tough RP.

      • Frankie Tomatoes

        Former batting champion who has a .293 on-base percentage over the last three seasons.

        He’s still fast. That’s where his sole value to the Reds would be at. He’s not the 2nd option to play second base, third base, shortstop, center field, or left field. He’s the 3rd or 4th option at all of those spots. So he was not likely to ever be used at them unless things went really bad injury wise for the team. He was going to be used as a pinch runner on this team. They decided that sole use was not worth a 40 man and 26 man spot.

  13. Fanman

    Always been enamored with Gordon. Still thinking it is mistake. Interested to see where he lands and what type of production he is still capable of. Impressed with Shrock and Blandino this spring. They have options and Reds shouldn’t have been so hasty to slam the door on SG. Time will tell.

  14. 2020ball

    if Blandino and shrock are showing more than DSG at this point, why not just give them that roster spot? we should option them to keep a worse player? i dont get the logic

  15. James

    Dee Godon was a all around infield player and had some seriously amazing stats earlier in his career. He could probably beat out Farmer and would do better than Suarez.

  16. James

    Dee Godon was a all around infield player and had some seriously amazing stats earlier in his career. He could probably beat out Farmer and would do better than Suarez. We need David Bell to do his job well.

  17. JayTheRed

    I know I’m a little late on this conversation but I am a little surprised they didn’t keep Gordan, He had some speed and decent defense and had good on base skills. Oh wait this is the Reds we are talking about we don’t believe in any of those things.
    I am ok with letting him go in the end though. Just a little surprised.

    The big thing I am sad about is Biddle. The guy was outstanding this spring and has shown some decent work out of the pen in the past year or two. Though this move seems familiar too they like giving up pitchers for nothing.