With the news that Joey Votto is going to miss several weeks at the very least as he recovers from a broken thumb, the potential return of Shogo Akiyama from the injured list could help the Reds make a few easier roster decisions.

Cincinnati hasn’t made a decision yet on how they will fill the first base position in Joey Votto’s absence, but with Thursday being an off day they don’t need to announce that move immediately. They can use the day to discuss all of their available options. A few of those options may involve outfielders moving to the infield, which of course would make bringing Shogo Akiyama back from his rehab assignment in Louisville fit in perfectly.

The minor league season just began on Tuesday, so in terms of stats we can look at, we’ve only got two rehab games for Shogo Akiyama. But he did play in a few exhibition games before the Triple-A season began when he was playing with Louisville when they were still the alternate site club. In the two games since the minor league season began he’s gone 1-9 and his one hit was an infield hit.

When it comes to the hamstring, Shogo Akiyama looks healthy. He’s had to sprint more than a few times on the base paths and he’s looked fast and like there was nothing at all holding him back. As a hitter, he’s struck out three times in his nine trips to the plate. The timing may not quite be there yet, or perhaps he just had one of those days – all three of his strikeouts did come last night.

Hunter Greene’s Double-A debut

Last night saw Hunter Greene, the Reds top prospect, make his Double-A debut for the Chattanooga Lookouts. Two hits in the first inning led to an earned run, but after that he settled in and allowed just one hit – a single into shallow center – the next four innings. Greene topped out at 102.6 MPH and struck out eight batters without a walk on 71 pitches in 5.0 innings. Over at RedsMinorLeagues.com we wrote about the start in more detail if you wanted a deeper dive.

Greene wasn’t the only Top 10 pitching prospect that got out to a strong start this season. In Triple-A Louisville Tony Santillan struck out seven batters without a walk and only an unearned run on his record in 4.0 innings.


Down in Florida the Daytona Tortugas have been playing in Palm Beach against the Cardinals affiliate. Centerfielder Allan Cerda is having himself a good time being back on the baseball field and he’s been taking it out on the Palm Beach pitchers. The 21-year-old is 4-8 with a double, triple, home run, and two walks through two games.

Taking a quick look at the Dayton Dragons – the new High-A affiliate this year – they are 2-0 on the season and have been fueled by dominant pitching. They’ve held the Great Lakes Loons to a .088 average through two games – that’s 5-57 for those keeping track at home. And they’ve complimented that pitching with a team line of .294/.422/.485 at the plate with 15 walks and 7 extra-base hits.

50 Responses

  1. Klugo

    I’m sure it’ll take Shogo a couple of frustrating weeks to get in a groove. Expected.

  2. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    I would bring Greene up to the big club after another three or four starts. This team is desperate for pitching, time to be bold. Mike Leake never threw one inning in the minors and he doesn’t have half the stuff Greene does. I know Leake pitched in college, who cares.

    • RojoBenjy

      Leake had the experience between the ears and knowing how to pitch not throw.

      Guys that come up and throw get shelled. Need to learn to pitch smart.

      Like Lee Mazzilli said, “you can time up a jet engine”

      That being said if they brought up Greene it would not suck

    • Doc

      Mike Leake had college pitching experience.

    • Redsfan4life

      If you think DeLeon got shelled Hunter Greene would be as bad if not worse if called up now. Worst thing ever for Greene would be to get called up now. Thank goodness 0% chance of the Reds doing this.

  3. Frankie Tomatoes

    I hope the Reds go slow with Hunter Greene. The talent is there but he’s thrown less than 100 innings since he graduated high school in 2017. There is no need to wait until 2024 but give him until midseason at least and let him see a bunch of teams twice and how he has to adjust to them after they adjust to him. See how things look when July begins and make some decisions then.

    • Sliotar

      Good call, Tomato.

      Assuming 2022 is going to a full-season for minor-league baseball.
      Ramp Greene (and Lodolo?) up there …

      2023 – Gray (club option picked up)
      Castillo (3rd year of Arb, hopefully extended by then)
      Mahle (3rd year of Arb, hopefully extended by then)
      Antone (1st year of Arb) (!!!!)

      plus … Greene or Lodolo or bring back Miley or maybe Lorenzen is still hanging around (UFA after this season).

      Lots of above-average options for a top SP rotation.

      • LDS

        My gut tells me to trade Lorenzen if they can or let him go FA at season end. I’m not sure he ever lives up to our expectations. He has had good years, 2016, 2018, 2019, and the other 3 not so good. He’s knocking on 30 years old. And how well does he do after the current injury. Suarez certainly hasn’t bounced back from his. So focus on youth and development. Don’t cling to veterans on a “what if” basis.

    • Mark Moore


      Rushing a young arm like that RARELY works. We’re talking unicorns here …

    • Jack

      I hope they let his performance make the decisions for them whether that means slow or fast. Is he throwing strikes with both his fastball and breaking pitches? The stuff is there and if he is locating it and they can’t hit it then no need to wait too long in my mind. Mid season maybe but with his innings limitation may have to finish the year in the bullpen if called up.

      • Grand Salami

        After their first games and seeing clips of both, Lodolo looks much more polished of the two.

        If he has two more starts like his last they need to bump him a level because he wasn’t challenged in that first outing at all.

  4. Bred

    FYI. Boddy is doing a Reddit chat today, from his Twitter account:
    Kyle Boddy
    I’ll be hosting a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on everything related to Minor League and Independent League Baseball over on /r/reds tomorrow!

    Thursday, May 6th – 10:30 AM PT. Will post a thread at ~10 AM PT to let questions filter in.

    See you there!


  5. Old-school

    I would let Lodolo and greene get a normal minors year and build innings mileage sp they are primed for 2022.

    Gutierrez and Santillan would seem like mid year call up candidates if healthy and dominating

  6. Old-school

    Good to see jose garcia hitting a home run. Get that young man 100 more games at AA/AAA and 400 at bats and stay healthy and the Reds have their first shortstop since Zack Cozart.

    Rocket city trash pandas?

    • greenmtred

      Do you mean home-grown shortstop? Because I thought Jose Iglesias was most definitely a shortstop.

      • Old-school

        Good point GMR- couldn’t agree more. Loved Iglesias. But yes- no long term internal succession plan from Cozart as part of rebuild. They put their eggs in the Jocketty Jose Peraza basket.

        They could have had Iglesias at 2 years and 6-7 million total for 2020/21 with a team option for ‘22

        Iglesias power and OPS not there but elite glove at SS who gives u a good at bat.

      • RojoBenjy

        So sad to think they went with Freddy Galvis who i only remember for one of the single worst at bats i ever watched in the 2020 Atlanta “playoff” game.

        On paper it was defensible, but the eye test sure made one want to stick with Joey Iggs. In hindsight it would have fixed 2021 shortstop disaster with stop gap to get you to Garcia.

      • TR

        Letting J. Iglesias go after the season he had with the Reds a couple years ago is a lingering mystery in my mind. I realize he was considered a fine shortstop but a light hitter, but he came through offensively in his year here. At the time, the word was that perhaps the Reds might have both Galvis and Iglesias for a couple years until one of the young guys was ready. That might have avoided the present confusion with Suarez moving to shortstop. But, speculating after the fact is always easy.

      • Rednat

        i love when people bring up Jose Iglesias because i will never understand the Reds reasoning for letting him go. Same goes for Yasiel Puig. the reds were actually pretty entertaining with those 2 in 2019 and attendance was rising. you had 2 gold glove caliber players with pretty good “old school” offensive stats. Puig was on track for a 30/30 year and Iglesias was putting offensive numbers comparable to Davey Concepcion during his prime. plus they were both fan favorites.

        it just proves to me that i have no conception of new age baseball and have no idea what ownership is thinking anymore.

    • Doug Gray

      Don’t tell any of the Reds affiliates I said this, but the Trash Pandas are both the best name and best logo in all of baseball.

      • RojoBenjy

        And Doug what’s the scoop on Alfredo Rodriguez?
        Glove only?
        A wash?

        Would he be called up when the Pirates do their annual hitting Suarez on the hand with a pitch?

      • Mark Moore


        Absolutely the best name in all of sports. Even beats the Banana Slugs.

  7. VaRedsFan

    Albert Pujols was released today. Our 1st base dilemma just got solved.

    No thanks….but doesn’t that sound like something the Reds would do?
    And he has ex-Cardinal pedigree!!!! Lock it in!!!

    • Doc

      Maybe he knows how to get Molina out, or get under his skin!

      Too bad about about being released but it is the ignominy of hanging around too long and not knowing when to step away, and the folly of signing plays to big deals way past their prime.

    • Old-school

      Id rather have Albert Pujols at 41 than kyle farmer turning 32 with no JV

      Reds need to release first base plans today. If its farmer and blandino, they have zero commitment to winning now or developing the future

      Is there a david bell pressor today?

      • Doug Gray

        Why do the Reds need to release their plans today? There is no game. And no, there’s no meeting with the media on off days.

      • LDS

        I think JV needs to be paying attention. Sometimes legends get released when they stay too long. Leave while you have your dignity. Muhammad Ali stayed too long and that’s, IMO, one of the great tragedies in sports.

      • Doug Gray

        When Votto has 4 months remaining on his contract he’ll probably then have to start thinking about what might happen.

      • Redsfan4life

        Puljos is probably closer to 51 than 41.

      • Old-school

        Because impatient passionate inquiring Reds fans want to know?

        Real issue Is Reds havent dealt with a hole at first base in 7 years since last votto significant issue

        Its a big hole to fill

        Do the reds go young future and creative or old utility bench

      • 2020ball

        lol why would Votto leave when hes still productive? Or do you actually think the Reds are better off with Farmer at 1st?

    • RojoBenjy

      Can he pitch out of the bullpen?

  8. Roger Garrett

    It will be a platoon of some sort at first while Joey is out and that is the plan.All of us have expressed thoughts on who we want to see and we will probably get to see every one of them regardless how any of them perform.Its pretty much how teams do when they have regular every day players go down.

    • Jim Walker

      Often teams have a solid 4A player or prospect on the verge of breaking through playing every day in the minors to use in limited term injury situations who is a better choice than turning their entire team inside out to get a bench player into the everyday lineup. That the Reds don’t is my gripe given JoeyV is 37 and Mike Moustakis is 32 and manning the Reds IF corner spots.

      • Roger Garrett

        I guess I should have added when you don’t have anybody to take over to my last sentence.You are indeed correct about other teams but we are the Reds and well you know.

      • Grand Salami

        Before the Goldschmidt it seemed like the Cards always had one such guy who was the NL version of a DH that that could get productivity out of at 1st. It’s not that hard to find a good fastball hitter with power who can’t play much defense in AAA

      • Jim Walker

        And however things shake out for the Reds starting lineups in Cleveland, I will feel like screaming if we see Blandino or Farmer as the DH. With the DH taking the double switch/ PH for the pitcher out of the game, just plug in whichever catcher isn’t behind the plate at DH knowing Farmer is your emergency catcher.

  9. Matt WI

    So… we find out Pujols really is 65 when he files for Social Security next week?

  10. Kevin Patrick

    Nobody is going to care about my opinion…but I think Castellanos at first might work. I know he has experience at third. I would rather have Payton getting regular at bats if it came down to that than either Blandino or Farmer. If Akiyama comes back, I’d rather have Naquin getting the at bats than Blandino and Farmer too. If Akiyama knows how to play first then do that…as he’s a lefty.

    • Grand Salami

      Yes. The sting of losing Votto is mitigated by Shogo’s return only if they find a way to keep Senzel in the lineup.

      Losing Votto and Senzel and gaining Shogo is a huge downgrade to an offense that
      Just scored one run in about 20 innings.

      • TR

        Shogo has not so far fulfilled the promise many of us had for him when acquired. Moose will cover 1st. base until Votto returns, then the Reds offense needs Senzel, India and Moose in the lineup. It looks to me like Shogo and Naquin will be the 4th. & 5th. outfielders.

      • MBS

        Shogo was nearly a GG, with a .357 OBP. His OBP in the 2nd half of the season was .456 with a .317 BA. I’m not sure what else you can ask of the guy.

  11. Matt WI

    Are the Reds going to be paying for these off days later? Sure seems the schedule has been relatively kind to them in that regard.

    • Jim Walker

      Starting now (Friday) they play 17 straight to kick off 30 in 31 days if I counted correctly. Perfect time to have Votto out and engage in kicking the can down the road with a patch work fill in plan because somewhere in this run they are likely to be patching more at least on a day to day basis.

  12. Grand Salami

    Checking the interwebs this morning a lot. Very curious to see the change the Reds run with tonight.

    If it’s moving Senzel even before Shogo is back then it will probably be indicative of the most common substitution they utilize for the three weeks.

    If it’s just starting Moose there and popping Blandino/Farmer in the hot corner then I hope Shogo’s return changes that approach. Otherwise the lineup looks a lot softer these next three weeks.

    It would reflect poorly on Bell and the Reds to have an OF problem forcing a platoon of Senzel with Shogo while suffering from a dearth of everyday IF options.

    • RojoBenjy

      “It would reflect poorly on Bell and the Reds to have an OF problem forcing a platoon of Senzel with Shogo while suffering from a dearth of everyday IF options.”

      But you and I and probably many others would unfortunately not be surprised if that very thing occurs.

    • MBS

      I wouldn’t be shocked if you see a couple of transactions today. Shogo has played in a couple of AAA games, plus what ever the Alternate site games were. I also think Heineman or Delmonico will get a call up to serve as backup for 1B.

  13. Jim Walker

    Reds line up as posted at about 1:30.
    1. Nick Senzel (2B)
    2. Jesse Winker (DH)
    3. Nick Castellanos (RF)
    4. Mike Moustakas (1B)
    5. Eugenio Suarez (3B)
    6. Tyler Naquin (CF)
    7. Tucker Barnhart (C)
    8. Kyle Farmer (SS)
    9. Shogo Akiyama (LF)

    I don’t like Farmer over India. Guess Bell thinks the supposedly better defense at SS makes it workable. If India is not an everyday player, he need to be at AAA where he can learn the art of adjustment at the plate, get on a roll and be called back up.

    I’d also rather have Stephenson as DH and Akiyama on the bench. They could always roll Farmer in from SS if there was a catching emergency. But I guess Bell is playing his defense rules today hunch all in.