The Cincinnati Reds have officially placed first baseman Joey Votto on the 10-day injured list with a fractured thumb that he suffered on Wednesday after he was hit by a pitch by Dallas Keuchel during the game. He’s expected to miss at least a few weeks. Taking his place on the 26-man roster is outfielder Shogo Akiyama.

After playing two games with the Triple-A Louisville Bats, and several games before that with the alternate site team (which was essentially the current version of the Louisville Bats, but before the minor league season technically began on May 4th), Shogo Akiyama is back with the Reds. The outfielder suffered a hamstring injury in spring training and missed the final two weeks of spring training and then the first five weeks of the regular season.

While we don’t have precise stats on Akiyama when he was playing games on the alternate site team he went 1-9 in the two official minor league rehab games that he played this week in Louisville. His hamstring looked fully healthy as he legged out an infield single for his hit, and ran just fine while playing center field for the Bats.

The Reds haven’t announced yet what their plan will be to replace Joey Votto at first base while he is on the injured list. Shogo Akiyama could play into that in an indirect way. There are some scenarios that would open up a little more playing time in the outfield by bringing Nick Senzel (to second or third base), Jesse Winker (to first), or Nick Castellanos (to first) and see Akiyama and Tyler Naquin benefit from more available playing time as a direct result of that. With the team in Cleveland this weekend and capable of utilizing the designated hitter there will be plenty of at-bats to go around over the next few days. After that things may tighten up a little bit without the DH to work with.


One minute after this was published the Reds came out with their starting lineup for the game tonight. There’s a whole lot of movement on day one without Joey Votto.

Nick Senzel is starting at second base. Eugenio Suárez has moved back to third base. Mike Moustakas is playing first. And Kyle Farmer is starting at shortstop. Jonathan India, at least for today, is out of the lineup.

It’s just one day, and the team is playing with a designated hitter and that does allow different things to happen, so we’ll have to kind of wait and see how things shake out over the next week, but there could be a lot of things happening here.

If this is a scenario that kind of gives the Cincinnati Reds an easy way out of the move of Eugenio Suárez to shortstop that has been tough to watch, then it’s going to mean that when Joey Votto returns that Jonathan India is going to be out of the starting lineup because if Suárez is at third, then Moustakas is going back to second when Votto returns to take over at first. Senzel, of course, would then go back to center.

With all of that said, today is day one. Things can change, and they probably will a little bit, too. Stay tuned.

54 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    We shall see when the line-up is revealed … I have my personal hunches, but that’s all they are. Just hope we field the best team we can and that cranky backs in the outfield are feeling better.

    • Nelson Coble

      Shogo needs ABs to get his timing. Reds continue to misuse him just like last year.

  2. Doc

    Of course, India could be given a shot at SS, depending upon what Farmer does offensively given that he hasn’t done much thus far. India could hardly be worse than is Suarez defensively.

    • Mark Moore

      Not sure what this is based on. To my knowledge, he’s never played an inning professionally at SS. Shuffling him around knowing Garcia is in the wings won’t help his confidence or better his 2B skill set.

      • Doc

        Its based on the same thing that most suggestions/comments on this site are based on: my opinion. If opinions are required to be supported with facts/data, there wouldn’t be much to read here! I had never performed or seen an emergency tracheostomy done, but when I had to do one, I did it successively. I certainly hope India is not done growing professionally.

  3. RojoBenjy

    “And Kyle Farmer is starting at shortstop. Jonathan India, at least for today, is out of the lineup.”

    Here’s where they lose my support. As Doc says above, India couldn’t do any worse at SS, and he and Farmer have equal bats at the moment, with India having upside. So why is Farmer playing over India? They both bat right so it isn’t matchups.

    If Suarez just “has to” stay in the lineup, then why not at SS so you can get India and Senzel together?

    The only positive is that Farmer is a defensive upgrade at SS.

    Now–what if Suarez now becomes so relaxed back at 3B that he starts an offensive tear? That would be sweet–and would it force Bell to try India at SS so Suarez can stay in his safe place? LOL

    • Doug Gray

      First off, of course he could do worse at shortstop. I don’t know why anyone is making such a declarative statement like that, but I’ve already seen in 10 times and I doubt any single person saying it has ever watched Jonathan India actually play shortstop. Yes, it’s certainly possible that India could get it done. But the sureness that is being spoken of that he couldn’t be worse is a bit much.

      Second – it’s one game. Let’s maybe take a deep breath and see how things play out. Let’s hear what the manager has to say about the decision. Let’s see how things look tomorrow. And Saturday. And next week.

      • RojoBenjy

        Fair enough.

        Doug are you Clete-ing out over the “India can play SS” comments?


      • Corey D

        Baseball should shorten the season so we can get upset at decisions made for each game.

      • Roger Garrett

        Have to laugh on this one.Most of us had and shared opinions on what they expected would happen and who may play first base.I don’t think anybody had this scenario.I really don’t care.I just care to see the young guys play and if this indeed is a sign that India will set more then he plays then well it is what it is.Doesn’t surprise me cause the Reds have jerked Senzel and Wink around so why not India.Senzel is been platooned again,asked to learn a new position or is second his old position,I am confused and hit lead off and sixth or lower.Wink has set against lefties moved from left to right and back again.The Reds even went out and signed two outfielders last year in Shogo and Big Nick just to continue the process.Personally I would hope they would just send India down and let him play.Lets see he’s 24 now so bring him back up when he is 27 or so and by that time this core group that is so protected with playing time will be gone.Again its one game so lets see what happens down the road.Now who is one first again tonight and who is on second and who is on third.

      • Melvin

        I guess it’s possible that India could be worse than Suarez @ SS. Anything is possible. 🙂

  4. TXRedLeg

    The Reds really have no one with MLB experience at 1B. Blandino, Moose, and Barnhardt have made appearances, but nothing to make me want to pencil them on a regular basis.
    I have visions of the throws from whatever player playing out of position at SS throwing erratically right by whatever player playing out of position at 1B.

    • RojoBenjy

      Well that happens with the starters too much already so we’re used to such visions

      • VaRedsFan

        +3… as in E3…or E-x because the 3 missed an easy scoop.

    • TXRedLeg

      Apologies – of course Farmer has appeared at 1B. What a relief.

      • Bob Purkey

        I believe that Castellanos has played some 1B.

  5. Bred

    I like Naquin in CF for his D. Interesting to see if the return to 3rd relaxes Geno, and his bat heats up. He has not been the same at the plate since his shoulder surgery. I’ve heard players take a long time to rebound or never do. India has cooled off since his start, but what was that but some ground balls that found a hole. He probably needs to go down to maximize playing time/development.

    • RojoBenjy

      Good point if India isn’t going to play a lot up in the bigs it’s probably better to play every day for AAA

    • VaRedsFan

      Geno’s bat was missing long before he moved to SS. Even when he hit 49 bombs. But at least back then we got the 49 bombs.

  6. MBS

    Farmer? Uff, not a big fan of that move. I like Shogo in the 9 hole, as a 2nd leadoff while he gets his feet wet. Not that these positions are set in stone, but I don’t it. I doubt Suarez will be moved back to SS when Votto is back, which means Moose will be back at 2B. If Senzel or India are behind in the pecking order or not in it at all at SS, then I don’t see how they play when JV returns. Sure Senzel will play CF but so will Naquin and Shogo. India back to AAA?

  7. Rednat

    i actually thought Suarez was improving at shortstop. i think India at 2nd and Senzel at cf is the best defensive option at this time. i like Shogo coming off the bench until he gets back into the swing of things.

  8. old-school

    This looks like a 1 month move at 3b/SS/ 1b.

    • VaRedsFan

      Mix in Blandino, and there you have it. Trying to fix the Hoover Dam leaks with band aids.

  9. SultanofSwaff

    My hot take is that Farmer is getting a second long look this season to prove he belongs in the bigs. If he doesn’t hit this time I’m not sure how he stays on the team, especially if AlfRod continues to tear it up in Louisville.

    • RojoBenjy

      Has Bell ever given any player a real chance to establish himself with a “long look.”

      It’s what we crave but he has seldom done it. Have any Reds teams since Dusty left really given long looks to anyone? Having a hard time remembering.

      • Old-school

        Long looks go to guys who have earned it or have elite success at every level and are franchise talents. David Bell hares that idea.

        Scott Schebler won the International league player of the month in May of the One of the lost years(2016)?! Of Reds 90 loss years. He got called up and Bryan Price said hes going to play RF every day and not have to worry if he goes 0-4 if hes there the next day. Schebler hit 30 home runs before he got hurt

        Id love for Bell to say Senzel is my every day guy or India is going to get 60 games and 200 at bats but he wont

        David Bell was a 7 th round pick and role player for the majority of his career. He doesnt like the jon indias and nick senzels and jesse winkers of the world. Those guys got fast forwarded past him.

        They were the guys that got jobs over him so he’s giving the cast offs from other teams on their last opportunity- Kyle Farmers and Jose Peraza’s and Matt Davidsons and Brian Goodwin’s and Christian Colon’s and tyler Naquins equal opportunity.

        David Bell was traded a lot and played for a ton of teams .

      • 2020ball

        This is crazy. Bell is not playing guys because theyre similar players to him. Indias gotten plenty of ABs and hasnt estsblished himself with the opportunities. Youve gotta earn your PT, same with Senzel. Youre seeing senzel more because hes looked better lately.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Nope, how long did they give Aquino, one month, and then last year up down, sideways et al. Leave India out there, he will struggle but is a nice upgrade over Moose defensively. But, and this is a big but, if Bell is not going to play him regularly, I changed my mind about sending him down. Rather see him play every day down there than sit around in Bells penalty box.

      • Old-school


        So marcel ozuna and francisco lindor should be benched? Both are horrific after a sample size of April

        Jon India was leading the world in RBI 3 weeks ago and david bell and the Reds FO were talking about his maturity and why hes ready

        What changed in 12 games for a player the Reds invested a top 5 pick in who was the hitter in college and has hit better than any other AAAA player on the Reds and is sn elite elite defender

      • 2020ball

        hes technically earned a demotion with his offense and he had plenty of length on his look to start the year. i dont know what you guys are expecting, im not in favor of just playing young guys and watching them struggle while you have other options that would help the team. that doesnt sound like good managing.

      • 2020ball

        what changed is he started hitting like a AAAA player. hes looked amazing defensively and think he still gets starts occaisionally as he should. If not then id send him to AAA, but hes still a useful piece to this team.

  10. Jim Walker

    Agree it is one day; but, I do not think Farmer is a realistic long term fill in at SS. As Bob Howsam liked to say back in the 1970’s, “sometimes you need to take and make a trade.” And that could take several days to pull togetether.

    Also. I agree if India is not an everyday player at MLB, he should be at AAA learning hoe to adjust to pitching and hopefully then going onto a hot streak so he can be brought back to MLB.

    Worth noting here 3B was seen as India’s “natural” position; and as poor as Suárez has been on defense, the team is just -1 game to .500 and -1 game in the loss column to the division leader with that hardly being the fault of the SS defense. If maybe at some point the option becomes Suárez back at SS with India at 3B.

    • Old-school

      The Votto injury gives cover to move Suarez back to 3b and use Farmer at SS for the near term since the Reds, yet again, have no plan A at SS.

      Long term SS plan A is Jose Garcia who has 2 home runs in 3 days in AA ball.

      Perhaps the Reds feel Garcia might be ready after 60 games at AA/AAA and 200 at bats .

      If thats the case, a failed try at SS with Suarez for a month and 2 months of Farmer is the Reds bridge to Garcia after a failed off-season.

      Best case scenario would be Suarez takes off at 3b and gets back to 2019 player

      • RojoBenjy

        AlfRod has had a hot start for Louisville also

    • greenmtred

      You could look at that another way, Jim: the Reds are one of the top hitting teams in all of baseball and are still a game under .500.

      • 2020ball

        dont see your point here, you can do this for any team just highlight their strength and ignore their weaknesses. The Reds are an unbalaned team and theyre right there in the hunt for the division, which is good. Not sure what youre expecting.

      • greenmtred

        You identified part of my point: the Reds are an unbalanced team. The rest of my point is that, while Suarez’s poor defense may not have hurt them much yet, the team’s generally uninspiring defense and, of course, relief pitching have the power to negate a lot of that good offense. They are in the hunt in the Central, but the Central is weak, and a .500 team is unlikely to go far in the [postseason.

  11. kyblu50

    Pick Up Albert Just Let Go By Angels For a 4 Week Stay. He’s Ready To Prove His Worth At First ans We Have Short Fields.

    • Matt WI

      Hard pass. That’s replacing one old man that a lot of people resent and think is done with an even older man who cannot get it done. A random HR or two will not fix this problem for the Reds. Pujols is a first ballot HOF player in anyone’s book, but this team doesn’t need nostalgia, they need wins.

    • TR

      Sign Albert to a reasonable two year contract as the Red’s DH starting next year and take advantage of GABP’s right field porch.

  12. LDS

    When Bleacher Report posted their minor league rankings this week, the Reds had 5 Tier 1 guys. One of those guys was India, at 24 years old. The rest were younger. The problem is that the Reds tend to bring up their players later than other teams, it seems. Guys like Tatum, Robert, Patino, et. al. are all much younger. So the Reds for whatever reason don’t seem to develop their players or they aren’t really Tier 1. If we’re going to be stuck with Farmer at SS, then send India back down so he can play everyday. Personally, I’d trade Suarez to the Rockies for Story and sign Story to a decent 2-3 year deal, call it Garcia insurance. But for god sakes, not Farmer & Blandino at SS.

    • Doug Gray

      The Reds aren’t purposefully bringing guys up that are “older”. They just haven’t had guys that were super studs in a very long time (particularly out of high school or the international side of things where they are signed as teenagers and not 21-22 year olds out of college).

      • Doug Gray

        Well, college guys are going to be older just by the nature. Not counting last years draft, the last time the Reds used their 1st pick on a non catcher, non pitcher out of high school was 2005 with Jay Bruce, who rocketed through the system. Catchers and pitchers are just going to move slower in almost every case for different reasons (so much to learn for catchers – pitchers have to build up the innings).

        Internationally it’s flat out a lack of spending money. The rules lately may eventually change that, and the Reds have spent some money in the last two years on teenagers on the international market, but even so, I’m pretty sure that the Reds since the start of 2000 have fewer 7-figure teenager signings of international players than the New York Yankees had in the 2012 international signing period.

      • LDS

        Better than what they have currently and Story is gone after this year. Suarez is affordable and well suited to their park.

      • rex

        until he ends his quest of leading the world in K’s no one will give much for him

      • Old-school

        Great question.
        How do you get Suarez trade value back? Move him to 3b and play him every day in the summer heat of GABP and hope he gets comfortable

  13. Shaggy

    My non professional opinion would be to send India down to Louisville to play short everyday and see if he can handle it and bring Rodriguez up.

  14. Tim

    This is why Farmer has a job in the MLB. He is a very good utility man. What he isn’t is a one month first baseman who can give you the offense that you require from your 1b. Hope to see a longer term plan cause I doubt Joey will be able to contribute for a while. Thumb breaks take time.

  15. J

    Speculating about future lineups seems somewhat pointless given the fact that we can be virtually certain Senzel and/or Winker and/or Castellanos and/or Moustakas and/or Akiyama and/or Suarez will be injured and/or suspended fairly soon.

    Side note: I wonder if any Reds lineup has ever been more difficult to spell than today’s. Other than Farmer and Winker, there aren’t any gimmes.