The Cincinnati Reds went into the offseason last year looking for a shortstop. It was one of their few stated goals for the winter and they came up as empty as possible. Their solutions wound up being guys that weren’t shortstops or haven’t been shortstops, or a guy who has never been a starting shortstop as a professional who was going to turn 31 this year. Fast forward four-and-a-half months of the season and now it seems the Reds have more shortstops than they know what to do with. Out of nowhere Kyle Farmer turned into Barry Bonds at the plate in July. And down in the minors Jose Barrero continues to just get better and better each passing month.

While Kyle Farmer has cooled down a bit in August – he’s hitting .255/.271/.404 through 11 games – Jose Barrero has not. He was likely one of the reasons that Cincinnati may have been a little bit gun shy at going all out for a shortstop this offseason. The team believed that he was the future at the position, but that he wasn’t quite ready to take over the job full time in 2021 but could be there soon.

It turns out they knew what they were talking about. Barrero, who spent a little over a month in the big leagues last year with the Reds (as Jose Garcia, but he changed his last name to honor his mother after she passed away this spring), began the year in Double-A Chattanooga. He hit .300/.367/.481 with the Lookouts in 40 games before he was promoted to Triple-A Louisville. Despite moving up he’s hit significantly better since joining the Bats and last night was the topper on the cake.

Last night saw Jose Barrero go 3-4 with a walk, a double, and two home runs. In his 37 games since joining the Bats in Louisville he’s hit .312/.398/.610. On the year he’s racked up 18 doubles, a triple, 17 home runs, and 15 steals in 77 games played. He’s also the best defensive shortstop in the organization.

Kyle Farmer had an incredible month of July. On the season he’s still been a well below-average hitter. He’s hitting .262/.322/.413. That does give him the best OPS+ of his career, 86, but it’s still significantly below-average. How much rope does one incredibly month give a guy who turns 31-years-old this week? How much does it give that guy when the player expected to be the future is in Triple-A obliterating the baseball?

The Reds are in second place in the division. They are also chasing down the wild card. With six weeks remaining in the season every little improvement that the team makes matters. Is now the time to take the gamble that Jose Barrero can come up and be an improvement over Kyle Farmer? If so, that not only makes the every day lineup better, but it also improves the bench as Farmer would then be moved to more of a sub/pinch-hitting role. It would be a gamble, but there’s not much left to prove in Triple-A for Barrero, and it feels a bit crazy to keep the future shortstop in the minors because a soon to be 31-year-old who has 744 career plate appearances in the big leagues had a hot month, doesn’t it?

123 Responses

  1. SoCalRedsFan

    I’ve been calling for Barrero for a month.

    • Mark Moore

      They’ve had trouble hearing you all the way from SoCal … 🙂

      • Alan Horn

        I think they are having trouble hearing in the same room.

  2. Mark Moore

    What a fantastic problem to have, especially when we are legitimately in a race for a post-season shot. It will force some challenging decisions, but this is more than just optics from what I see (pun intended).

    What are the rules about post-season eligibility and September roster size?

    • Jim Walker

      Have to be on the active roster or MLB IL at midnight Aug 31 into Sept 1 to be automatically playoff eligible. That’s the normal way for almost everyone.

      Alternately any eligible player under this condition who is on the IL at the end of the season whether on the IL prior to Sept 1 or subsequently put on the IL can be replaced by any player who was in the org by Sept 1.

  3. west larry

    Yes, bring Barrero up now! I doubt it would effect his super two status or whatever. We are in the playoff picture, we need him now, I would love to see Farmer move to third, but that ain’t happening with heavy salaried Moose and Suarez on the team. Also, how about bringing up one of our young studs as a relief picture? not Greene, as he has logged in enough innings this year.

  4. Jim Walker

    Just do it. Make it so. And any other catchphrases that fit the bill.

    • Jason R Franklin

      Cute Pomeranian, Mr. Walker.

  5. old-school

    Reds have a roster crunch.

    Who leaves when Senzel comes up?
    Who leaves when Barrero comes up?
    Who leaves when Antone comes up?

    September 1 provides relief but Akiyama and Suarez are blocking legitimate building blocks for the future who are either ready now or soon to be healthy within a few days.

    This issue with Barrero taking over at SS isnt as big of an issue as who leaves the 26 man roster if he is promoted.

    • Jim Walker

      +100 and the same with the pitching staff on the roster situation

      Easy to say DFA whoever among the pitchers but what if they do and that guy is claimed on waivers or rejects outright assignment to catch on with some other team then the Reds subsequently have one of the prior injured pitchers (or another pitcher) go down with an injury. Then the Reds might have to make a series of moves to get the likes of Brandon Finnegan or Nick Howard first onto the 40 man roster then onto the active roster. (Not that both haven’t shown signs as being as effective or more so than a number of guys who have pitched for the Reds this year).

    • Alan Horn

      There are several who deserve to leave the 26 man roster. The problem is the amount of money they are making. Otherwise, they are unproductive.

    • Rcsodak

      Not losing anything with akiyama, and put Suarez in dfa….somebody will put in a claim, then trade for a reliever. Not frickin rocket science.

  6. Chris

    I’m all for Barrero being called up, but I would NOT immediately have him take over the job at SS. Say what you want, but team cohesion is very important. That would be a slap in the face to Farmer, and a negative move in the clubhouse, as Farmer is among the most respected in the clubhouse. Have Barrero spell Farmer once or twice a week, and increase that playing time if and when Barrero starts out producing Farmer.

    • Jim Walker

      Barrero has to play from day 1 if he comes up. If he crashes it is an easy option to send him back. Meanwhile, Farmer becomes the extra RH bat they are missing off the bench and in platoon matchups. They can spot him into games at a leverage point then leave him in because he literally can play anywhere except CF and pitcher.

      • Alan Horn

        No way I put Farmer on the bench. Not with Suarez and Moose pretending to be hitters. If you bench Suarez the egg is not on management’s face for the contract, the egg is on Suarez’s face for signing the large contract and not producing. At this point I wonder if Suarez might have a physical problem or if father time has just caught up with him. Usually, when a past productive player’s production drops off the table for this long it is one of the two.

  7. scotly50

    Leave him in Triple A. There is no way the Reds are going to bench Suarez and Moose to let Barrero and Farmer play SS and 3B.

    In addition, Farmer is dealing against MLB pitching and Barrero is hitting AAA. Big Difference

    • Alan Horn

      I tend to agree. If he comes up now it will cost us a roster spot and there is no way they will bench Suarez to move Farmer to 3B. I doubt they will play Barreo much after the deadline unless we are out of the race. Instead, we have to tolerate Suarez being an automatic out over 80% of his ABs. Now if they will play him and move Farmer to 3B I say bring him up immediately.

    • Doc

      It seems that most everyone assumes that Barrero doesn’t miss a step in going from AAA to the majors. How often does that happen?

      Added considerations:

      1. Barrero did not shine offensively in his first exposure to mlb pitching.
      2. When Barrero moved to AAA, his first week or so was not good offensively. Since mlb pitching is a notch or three above AAA pitching, can the Reds afford even a one or two week offensive drop off from what Farmer is providing and still be able to recover? I think not, especially since Suarez continues to be an offensive anchor. What if Barrero comes up and has an early season India type slump until he figures it out. Playoff chances would be in the toilet with insufficient time to recover.
      3. If the Reds thought Barrero were ready now, why would Senzel be playing SS in rehab?

      The current Reds team is solid and playing well above the predictions on the majority of people who were predicting their season-long record. Barring injury, play the hand you’re holding and let Barrero come into spring training physically and mentally fresh, and without pennant race pressure. I suspect he will earn the job, and it gives the Reds an off season to readjust the roster to a better balanced one, position-wise.

      • TJ

        Everything I’ve heard through the years is that the biggest jump for players is from AA to AAA. The jump from AAA to the majors is not as extreme. Doug, you have talked to numerous people. What say you?

      • Rod Andrews

        Thank you. Barrero is performing well, but not against major league pitchers. People always looking for the next big thing to perform miracles. Farmer is doing fine.

    • jon vera

      all 3 are back next year.So Barrero doesn’t play next year?

  8. Indy Red Man

    Reds front office:

    Barrero doesn’t have grit! Mike Trout, Dwight Gooden, and Johnny Bench wouldn’t play until 24 under our current regime so Barrero won’t either. You can’t gain grit in the minors and evidently you can’t gain grit under the age of 25.

    Brach = grit
    Hunter Greene = no grit

    Geno = grit
    Barrero = no grit

    • Daytonnati

      Nary a Skip Schumaker in the bunch! 🙂

    • RedAlert

      Absolute stupid philosophy too !!!And Reds front office has done this for years !!!

      Hold guys back time and time again !!!

  9. MBS

    Barrero is a no brainer. I enjoyed Farmers run, but he is what he is. Bring Barrero up, and DFA Hembree. That gets us back to a 13 / 13 split, and I’d prefer an extra bat, than an arm I’m not going to use unless it’s a blowout. When Senzel, and Antone are ready they can figure out the next steps.

    • Doug Gray

      Someone is being paid 6 or 7 figures to make that decision.

      • RedBB

        Who would you send down Doug? Gotta be either Akiyama or Naquin right? Both have options and Aquino does not. Unless you want to DFA a pitcher

      • Jim Walker

        +100 or as I learned working for the USAF for 15 years, you just say, That’s above my pay grade.

      • old-school

        Akiyama may not be sent down to the minors without his consent.

      • Doc

        Isn’t someone also being paid six or seven figures to make a decision on Barrero? Why can just anybody call for Barrero to come up, but then be excused from making the tough related decision because they are not being paid handsomely to make that decision?

      • Doug Gray

        Because one decision is very easy (calling up the stud prospect who is destroying Triple-A). The other one is less easy and several factors could be in play that someone not in the clubhouse or talking to those who are can’t make (the health of players, which of the final 3-4 players on the roster has a presence on the team or maybe the opposite of that, what the plan would be with those final 3-4 players for when Antone/Senzel return in a few days, etc).

  10. Arthur

    I think you leave Barrero in the minors if, and only if, you can fill in the blank in this sentence:

    Barrero needs to stay in Louisville and work on his _______.

    Hitting? No. Defense? No way. Base running? Don’t be silly.

    There is nothing you can put in the blank that makes any sense at all.

    Bring him up NOW. Play him every day for the next 3 weeks, and see what happens. I say move Farmer to 3B and tell Suarez he can have his job back when he figures out how to hit more than .170. Until then, sit down.

    • Doc4uk

      Agree! Suarez becomes a very expensive right hand pinch hitter and Moose a left handed bat off the bench.. Aquino provides occasional outfield help and a right handed bat off the bench as well. Unfortunately Shogo is optioned if he can be optioned so that he can play everyday and work on his batting. Naquin and Senzel platoon in CF.

      Hembree and Doolittle or Garrett are dropped and Antone and Lodolo added. Lodolo can pitch long relief for Mahle and Castillo and Gray (who never go further than six).

      And of course Barrero at SS and Farmer at 3B Strengthens the defense and helps with shift defense a lot!

      Then we overtake the Padres

      • Alan Horn

        Best plan I have seen. Mirrors mine exactly.

    • Alan Horn

      100% my my thoughts. It is time for management to make some tough choices. I think fans fault management not for having a high priced player on the bench but for having him on the field when he hasn’t produced all season. I think management is just trying to look like they have not been shafted financially with the deal(when they have).

    • RedAlert

      Bingo !!! Hit the nailn on the head Arthur !

  11. Arthur

    Curious – why Lodolo and not Greene?

    Don’t get me wrong – I think either would probably do well. But it seems to me like the guy throwing 104 might have more success.

    My only worry for Greene is that the bullpen philosophy seems to be “go in there and throw as hard as you can for one inning.” For a young man who can throw as hard as Hunter Greene, I could see that leading to an arm injury in short order. Lodolo may be less susceptible to that problem, because he doesn’t rely on pure power.

    • Alan Horn

      Innings for the season. Greene has almost reached his limit while Lodolo who missed a lot of time because of the blister problem has plenty of innings left before he reaches his max for the season.

      • old-school

        Ive not seen an innings limit for Greene. Has that been put out there?

        His surgery was early 2019. He threw in 2020 at the alternative site- who knows how many “innings” he threw but rest assured it was structured exactly the way the Reds wanted . His injury timing early spring 2019 very similar to TJ Antone 2017 early spring TJ. Antone threw 149 innings in 2019 2 seasons after his surgery.
        Steven Strasburg threw 159 innings in the season 2 years after his surgery.

        Greene is at 85. I would suspect the Reds want him at 120 or so. That would give him another 6 -7 starts.

      • Alan Horn

        They have a total innings limit as well as a pitch count(each game). The last thing they want to do is contribute to blowing out their best prospect due to overuse.

      • old-school

        What is Greene’s innings limit for 2021? Not debating he has one. Of course he does. Just asking what is it?

        Strasburg was 160 2 years after his Tommy John
        Antone was 150 2 years after his Tommy John

        Greene is sitting at 85 innings now.

      • Alan Horn

        I haven’t seen a pitch limit but I am pretty sure he would be on one.

    • Gary

      With both Greene and Lodolo, I don’t think the Reds can actually exercise too much caution. We saw what happened with another hard thrower fresh into the big leagues…….Ohtani from the Angels. He came up throwing heat and in no time at all……BOOM…………..Tommy John surgery. If either one of those two guys get hurt or go down like that there goes the window of opportunity to win in the next few years.

      • Rcsodak

        Greene hAs been there done that. TJ doesn’t normally happen 2x.

  12. Andy

    I’m fine with either direction here. Promoting new starting SS during playoff race is risky, considering Farmer is playing so well. His WRC for year is 96; true, higher than his career, but he also has twice as many at-bats as any prior year… he may be improving with more opportunity. On the other hand, Barrero clearly has higher ceiling. Do we want to hand him keys and risk a slump adjusting to MLB pitching, while every game is critical? Is Barrero likely to outplay the Suarez/Moustakas platoon (assuming Barrero plays SS and Farmer slides to 3B?) My answer is “maybe”. I don’t think Reds can give wrong answer here. Both directions are reasonable.

  13. Melvin

    It seems as if the FO just does not want to make tough decisions at all. In reality they are already making tough choices by doing nothing. If Barrero + Senzel + TJA come up I don’t see how they can get around not dropping one outfielder. As far as who plays I’m in the camp that says Barrero to SS and Farmer to 3B. We all know though that Big Bob is not going to allow them to have one of the most expensive benches in baseball = Moose, Suarez, and Akiyama (if Aki is still around).

  14. Jim Walker

    OK. just to stir the pot a little bit…. If the Reds’ upper echelon decides they have only one roster move they are willing to make to clear a spot ahead of Sept 1, who do they use it for? Senzel, Antone, or Barrero?

    • Jim Walker

      Keeping in mind Senzel is not on the 40 roster b/c he is on the 60 day IL and would require a double move to get him to the active roster.

    • wkuchad

      That’s really tough. I think I go with Barrero and drop Hembre or DooLittle. That would also get our bench back to five players, which we need.

    • Hotto4Votto

      If I can only make one, it’s Antone all day. The bullpen still needs the most help. He’s a big addition and the biggest difference maker.

  15. Redgoggles

    Does bringing him up before September 1 change his contract terms (cost Reds a whole year in arbitration or free agency)? That would be reason to wait a few more weeks?

    • Jim Walker

      Barrero already has 92 days of MLB service time from 2020. Unless they come up with some special rule or dispensation for 2020, he is going to be a Super2 (if that still exists after the CBA renegotiations) regardless of whether he is brought up now, in September, or next spring, as I count it.

      By the same reasoning, he is going to be under 1 year of service at the end of this year regardless and under 2 years at the end of 2022 regardless.

      Unless I’ve miscalculated or misunderstood something, they’ve already pulled the Kris Bryant rule bend/ abuse and would have him for 6 full seasons starting with 2022 if the same rules are still in place.

    • TJ

      I was thinking the same thing. Do the Reds want to start the clock on Barrero’s major league time again? If they don’t bring him up this year and wait until May or June of next year, do they keep an extra year of his arbitration?

  16. Doc4uk

    Didn’t the clock start ticking already for Barrero last year?

  17. Indy Red Man

    Well one theory is that you could put the team first and not get sidetracked with salary, grit, etc.

    Shogo = Last week I saw a another spot highlighting him as the first Japanese with the Reds. That was great! I was hopeful!! I’m sincerely glad the Reds look globally and took a shot! The spot wished him a great September like last year. Only one small problem. 1 good month of 8 does not equate to helping the team. Completely replaceable with 100 guys

    AG = Can only throw fastballs for strikes and thats iffy too. 5.08 career era. Sal Romano II. Completely replaceable with 100 guys

    HH = Thank you for the “grit” when saving 8 of 9 when the Reds had nobody else. No we have a dozen guys in the organization that are better. You get to pitch in garbage time until Antone is ready and you get a share of the WS money after the Reds run the table))

    There you go….a little painful, but business is business! Barrero, Senzel, and Antone now have roster spots

    Greene (or Tony S) and Schrock on Sept 1

    You’re welcome))

    • Jim Walker

      Sounds reasonable to me. Naquin looks optionable, I might go with optioning him ahead of outrighting Akiyama, although I doubt he would refuse outright and thus dump his 2022 salary.

  18. shawn s sexton

    Barrero/Farmer/Moose/Senzel are better than Suarez/Naquin/Shogo so please just field the best team instead of worrying about options! If you cut a guy like Shogo and another team picks him up, then so be it. Field the best team. If you have to put a big contract on the bench, then so be it. Field the best team. Same with Antone/Lodolo versus Doolittle/Hendrix/Hembree. Why do we keep lesser layers for fear of losing them? Who cares? They are lesser players! Field the best team.

    • Arthur

      Shawn – I don’t think there is any place for simple common sense like that in this organization. I would take issue only with dumping Shogo – this team has no one who can pick it in CF. Shogo isn’t great in CF, but he is better than anyone else they have. That’s why they took a chance on Inciarte. I don’t think you want to head into a playoff run with no one who can actually play CF.

      Remember – this team just gave away Raisel Iglesias and Archie Bradley, and then tried to put together a bullpen with guys who had been cut by other teams. That worked out exactly as you might have expected.

      Why would they do the sensible thing now??

    • Doc

      Those “lesser players” propelled this team to the best July record in the NL, and to as high as 10 games over .500, while playing a tougher schedule than the Brewers. Much better than almost anybody on this site was predicting at the start of the season.

      • KDJ

        If only the games in July were all that mattered.

  19. Alex Reds

    I think Barrero will perform much better than Suarez, Moose, or Akiyama; but with the big contracts owed to these players I doubt the Reds will eat their salary and make the move to open up a roster spot. I think you have to wait until if someone gets injured at this point.

  20. Tim

    Can it not be as simple as “play your best players” if they are ready?

    • Alan Horn

      No. You would think it would, but no. Money like with everything else runs the show.

  21. Votto4life

    The Padres play the Dodgers and Giants 19 of the final 45 games. They also play the Astros and Braves.

    The Second WC spot is well within the Reds reach. Yes bring him up now!

  22. wkuchad

    I would bring up Barrero and Senzel, starting them at SS and CF. I would option Naquin (letting him know he’s back on 9/1) and DFA (or send to injured list) DooLittle or Hembree.

    That would give us a bench of the following (until 9/1):

    -Barnhart – backup catcher, lefty
    -Suarez – backup 3rd, power righty off the bench
    -Farmer – supersub backing up 1st, 2nd, and SS
    -Aquino – backup LF and RF, should always start against a lefty
    -Akiyama – backup CF

    • Indy Red Man

      Senzel has a career .704 ops. Naquin has a .741 ops this year and .759 for his career. I think Senzel is going to have to hit his way into full-time starting with platoon CF and utility.

      They have some decisions to make. Schrock can really hit and Inciarte was an excellent CF til his bat went to sleep. I’d love to have Greene’s 102 for some 2-3 inning relief stints in September plus Tony S. or Lodolo. Maybe they find an injury for Shogo and put him on the IL like they found one for Brach. Everybody gets paid so no open revolts.

      • wkuchad

        Don’t fully disagree, but Senzel is 4 years younger and I guess I still have hope he’s going to put it all together and have that breakout.

        Besides the first month of the season, Naquin seems like a solid 4th outfielder, not a starter.

        Agree with you about the IL – really hope the Reds go this route vs DFAing anyone on current roster.

      • Chris Holbert

        I think it is pretty much a guarantee, Senzel will hit higher than .175, maybe not with the same power but not with the same K’s or non timely hitting either. I am not sure logic and common sense always plays into the management’s thinking

    • Jim Walker

      By my count somebody has to be DFA to open a 40 man roster spot for Senzel. Doesn’t have to be off the active roster, just someone on the 40 man roster now (and I do not know the latest rules about DFA a guy on IL).

  23. Klugo

    And we need a back-up SS. That’s something we currently don’t have. Get Barrero up here ASAP. Farmer is ailing. So, slide him into a backup role for a bit.
    And for the record, I think Naquin should be the position player that should be sent down if/when need be. I think Akiyama is grossly underrated. He doesn’t hit for power, but he can hit for average if given some sort of routine PT. I can see him coming around and it befuddles me that he doesn’t get more opportunities, especially in crunch time.

  24. Bet on Red

    I would say leave him down.

    Farmer is playing his best baseball ever. 3b is not an option and benching him would be counterproductive to all the work he is putting in right now.
    In the offseason, we can prospect pay a team to get either mooses or Suarez’s contract off our books and then bring him up to start the 2022 season. There are a few contracts coming off the books this offseason and he already has a 40 man spot. Farmer can UT again, with more playing time.
    Neither Hunter or Lodolo should pitch from the bullpen unless the ORG completely gives upon them as starters. Greene is near pitch limits anyway but lodolo still needs to build up stamina as he has not gone 5 innings since getting to AAA. still need development but we should see them in 22

    • Indy Red Man

      “Neither Hunter or Lodolo should pitch from the bullpen unless the ORG completely gives upon them as starters’

      No! Adam Wainwright rookie WS closer….long term starter. It could really help if they had Greene/Santillan/Lodolo for long relief in September. 2-3 innings and then we’ve got the right people in place to secure the win instead of what we’ve got now which is mindblowing losses once a week.

    • wkuchad

      For one, Moose is your starting 3B, and has a higher OPS (both career and in 2021) than Farmer. Farmer is much more valuable as a supersub.

    • Bet on Red

      moose and suarez are not both sitting at third base. one or the other maybe but not both. Clear one of their contracts then it becomes doable.

    • MBS

      Suarez may have lowered his value at 3B, but there is no way Farmer starts over Moustakes also. Let Farmer be what he’s good at, let him be the multi tool off the bench. He’s banged up anyway, so let Farmer get healed up and let Moustakes get his swings.

      • Alan Horn

        Personally, for $18,000,000 a year, I have seen enough of Moose’s swings.

      • Indy Red Man

        Atleast Moose understands the concept of situational hitting unlike Geno. How many times have we had bases loaded & nobody out or 1 out and Geno Ks or pops up because he’s swinging for the upper deck.

        Bases loaded/nobody out and even a Moose 4-6-3 scores a run.

        I would never play Geno vs righties unless Moose is dinged up. Actually even then I’d call up Barrero and play Farmer or Senzel at 3B

  25. wizeman

    Bring Berrero up now. Should have been here weeks ago. Slide Farmer to third to platoon with Moose. Bring up Senzel and Santillian. dfa- Shogo. Sorry. Can’t hit a lick. Hembree and AG. Love the talk about how good we are playing.
    14-12 since the All Star Break. 10-12 against teams not from Pittsburgh.
    Have dropped four games in Division race. Going wrong way

  26. Frankie Tomatoes

    Not sure what else he has to show in the minors so bring him up. Farmer did great in July but the future is now. Need every upgrade we can get. Others are coming back soon as well. Time to really make a run to end the season!

    • Indy Red Man

      Geno? He hasn’t been above .180 since April 18th!! C’mon already? I like the guy and he’ll make a great defensive play once in a while, but then he cut in front of Farmer on a chopper in Mahle’s last start and somehow let the guy score from 2nd when the ball
      kicked off his glove and went into LF. Make up an injury and IL him and see how Barrero looks. Moose/Farmer/Senzel can handle 3B just fine

  27. Chris Holbert

    The decisions are too tough for the FO to make for Antone, and Senzel, Let alone make a, supposedly, even tougher decision with Barrero. That is why Senzel is still at Louisville. A bullpen underachieving good guy, or a $$ contract would have to go.

  28. LDS

    I like the various opinions but if history is any indication, Bell won’t start Barrero, joining Moustakas on the bench. We’ll still primarily go with Suarez and Farmer. The Reds management simply displays no interest in addressing the tough questions. So unless something changes soon, I’m not expecting a post season appearance. I’ll take Senzel over Naquin whom I think has Dietrich’d out. So it goes, there’s always next year.

  29. JA

    Farmer has earned the SS position in this team. His avg is .262

    India has earned as well the 2B position as well. Avg .282

    Stephenson is earning the Catcher position little by little.

    The only week spot I see in the roster today is Geno. It sounds weird to make changes in LU, if DB does not start here.

    Weeks ago, after the SD games, Vlad had to be sent to AA, according some people here. He has earned a spot in the SP rotation.

    Hoffman is the 6th SP. in case of injury or something in one of the SP, he is the option to get in the rotation.

    Reds will go as further as their SPs can go. They have been reliable lasting for more than 5 innings for a while and keeping the Reds in a fight position. We saw a small fall in them this week and got 3 straight loses (two of them tight) to fall from 5 to 8 behind on NLC.

    In summary, if it’s working, don’t touch it. If it’s not working, do something

    • wkuchad

      “Hoffman is the 6th SP. in case of injury or something in one of the SP, he is the option to get in the rotation.”

      I really hope this is not the case. I prefer to never see Hoffman start another game, unless it’s for another team. But I like his role/performance in the bullpen so far.

  30. SOQ

    Farmer has only slowed a bit in the last 7 games. In those 7 games, he has gotten a hit in 6 of them. AND made those hits count by batting in 7 Runs. He’s earned his place in the lineup and STILL earning it.

  31. SoCalRedsFan

    Suarez starting at SS tonight against Philly.

    • Arthur

      This is nothing less than baseball malpractice. It is obscene to play a .170 hitting defensive butcher at SS while Barrero continues to tear up AAA ball.

      What management just did, in an important series, should tell every one of their fans – “We aren’t Serious about winning. Keep sending us your money, by all means, but we have no interest in fielding a team that can win a pennant”

    • wkuchad

      I’m 100% good with Farmer getting a much needed rest. Though I would prefer Barrero getting the start, especially after reading Doug’s article above lol.

  32. Rednat

    i guess the Suarez at ss experiment is not over after all. good grief.

    • Arthur

      I wouldn’t call it an “experiment” so much as a “forfeit.”

  33. Mark A Verticchio

    We must all accept the fact that Bell is always going to find a way to play Suarez, even at the detriment of the team. I just hope he plays well at short stop tonight, this team can’t afford to give away any game.

    • Jim Walker

      What choice did Bell have if Farmer is unable to go or just plain needs a day of rest? Presumably, a pay grade above him makes the roster decisions.

    • oklared

      Sure put Moustakis at short, he has no other option as roster is. Agreed.

  34. Mark A Verticchio

    It is his job as field manager to convince the Front Office that they need another qualified short stop on the roster in order to compete.

    • Jim Walker

      And in a passive-aggressive way, maybe putting Suárez there is exactly that (because other methods haven’t worked),

  35. CFD3000

    Sunk cost fallacy. It costs exactly the same to sit Suarez (and Moustakas) as to have them in the lineup. Exactly the same salary on exactly the same terms. Play your best lineup, with occasional days off, innings limit, etc. as needed to ensure continued good health. This isn’t that complicated a question. I’ve only recently joined the “Barrero Now” forces, but as has been described in many ways above, he has nothing left to prove at AAA, and he’s almost certainly an upgrade (and maybe a big one) at SS and in the lineup relative to Farmer, Suarez, or Moustakas. Call him up, pencil him in the starting lineup. It costs exactly the same.

    • Jim Walker

      Costs the same in $$$ but not in front office egos and reputations 😉

      • Arthur

        I suspect you put your finger on the real problem right there, Jim.

  36. Mark A Verticchio

    It is a little to late to be worried about front office egos and reputations, it is their job to put the best players on the field to represent the city of Cincinnati and their fans. This team if handled right had a legit chance this year, the question is it to late, most likely for the division.

  37. MCT

    Release or send down Hembree or Doolittle and bring the kid UP!!! I would love to see Barrero on the 26-man before the year is out.

  38. Redgoggles

    I came here intentionally after seeing the lineup posted with Suarez at SS. Please don’t let me down. The usage of TinkerBell and other creative phrases get extra credit. Sir Strandalot is legit, however.

    Side note is that I’m personally glad to see Suarez giving Farmer a breather instead of Freeman. #smallsteps

    • Doug Gray

      I actually deduct point for the use of “Tinkerbell”.

  39. MCT

    According to gameday on, Suarez is in the lineup at SS. Surely this is subject to change and it will?

    • Jim Walker

      Senzel is starting at SS>>>>>>> for the Bats in Louisville.

      Barrero at 3B for those into trying to read tea leaves.

      • Doug Gray

        The tea leaves I’m reading are simply that Senzel as a big league rehabber gets priority in where he’s at on the field right this second.

        There is zero chance that if the Reds were going to play both Barrero and Senzel on the infield at the same time that it would be Senzel at shortstop and Barrero at third base. This is simply about seeing what Senzel can do at shortstop in games that don’t matter and getting him reps there.

      • Jim Walker

        The tea leaves I was thinking of were that they want to get Barrero at least some looks from 3B. Not that they would ever line them up this way side by side in any circumstance other than the rehab situation.

  40. SOQ

    This is a “scheduled” day off for Farmer and will be back in the lineup tomorrow according to Paul Casella @

  41. Hotto4Votto

    Good stuff in the article. Good questions to ponder.
    If it were up to me he’d be up in Sept/late August in order to be an options for the playoff roster. (Although, with the good info Jim provided above, it seems to be fairly easy enough to get anyone from the organization onto the playoff roster with the IL replacement option.)
    I think you need to take the opportunity to see what he can bring, and do that largely in September when the roster decisions have a bit more flexibility.

  42. amdg

    Suarez can’t get on base, and Farmer had a fluke month, but has a career slash line comparable to Pokey Reese, just without the gold gloves.

    If these players are actually preventing Barrero from playing regularly at the major league level, then the Reds need to look in the mirror and admit they aren’t really serious about winning.

    Playing sub-par veterans is fine if that’s all you have. But if you have better options, but obstinately refuse to use them, that sends a clear message to fans that winning is not the top priority for the organization.

  43. WillDCat

    The pitching at AAA, at this point in the season, does not make for an apples to apples comparison to mlb. Barrero is tearing up pitchers right now, but there is no way the guys he faces now are all mlb ready. When rosters expand, give 1 spot to a reliever, and Barrero. Play at SS, and offensive production from that spot are not the cause of the Reds losses – pitchers who can’t throw strikes while missing bats is. Reds pitchers’ lead mlb in BB – a team with playoff aspirations can’t do that. The number of times a reliever comes in from the Reds bullpen and walks the leadoff guy – absolutely baffles me.

  44. Michael Spriggs

    FO egos? Krall is from Pennsylvania so everyone knows he is deliberately sabotaging the Reds. Wasn’t he promoted just after the Carson Palmer playoff Kimo- assassination? Onto the crazy stuff : Wainwright is a good example of a team using what they have and didn’t the Rays use David Price the same way and it didn’t wreck him. I really believe they’re headed to the playoffs and then who knows because 2012 still hurts. I hate the 1-and-done but one game and then the Giants deserve payback. Next year could hurt because it seems like there’s a glut at SP, a bunch of young hitters needing some ML abs and several overpaid vets needing to go but who probably won’t. Since the Reds are now known for great pitching instruction I’d love to see them lead a march to improve BA. Somewhere in the article there’s a mention that Kyle is a below average hitter but I believe the ML avg. is like .235/.240 and if he’s hitting .260 that’s actually higher if my Univ. of Toledo math is correct. I’d love for the Reds to make all the roster moves everyone’s suggesting but I just don’t see them pulling the trigger. Try to win now please.

    • Doug Gray

      Hitter does not mean “batting average”. His OPS+ is 86. League average is 100. He’s significantly below-average.

  45. Chris

    Farmer is a true ball player. That dude can play every position and play very well. Teach your kids to play like farm.