The Cincinnati Reds have activated outfielder Aristides Aquino from the 60-day injured list, optioned outfielder Mark Payton to Triple-A Louisville, and they placed outfielder Nick Senzel on the 60-day injured list.
Aristides Aquino has been out since mid-April when he suffered a broken hamate bone in his hand and had to have surgery to have it removed (this is the typical procedure with this injury). The Punisher was hitting .231/.286/.769 in 10 games and 14 plate appearances for the Reds at that point – getting nearly all of his playing time as a pinch hitter.
He joined the Triple-A Louisville Bats early this month and had played in six games for the Bats on a rehab assignment. The 27-year-old outfielder had 27 plate appearances, just one strikeout, he walked eight times, doubled twice, hit a homer run and posted a line of .263/.481/.526 in his time in the minors. The slugger will join a red-hot offense right now and provide some real thunder off of the bench and potentially get some starts in more of a platoon role in center.
Mark Payton played in a similar role to Aquino with the big league club. He played in 24 games and got just 22 plate appearances. The 29-year-old struggled as a pinch hitter, going just 4-22 (.182) with no extra-base hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts in his time with Cincinnati this season. He’ll head back and join the Bats and likely find himself getting far more consistent playing time.
As for Nick Senzel – this is mostly just a paper move. The Reds have been saying that he would likely return right after the All-Star break ever since he had his surgery on his knee after tearing his meniscus. Placing him on the 60-day injured list means that they don’t have to designate anyone for assignment from the 40-man roster in order to activate Aristides Aquino. Senzel will also be eligible to return to the team on July 17th – one day after the All-Star break is over.