Today is the last day that a team can add a player to the roster in order to make them playoff eligible. If the season were to end today the Cincinnati Reds would be in the playoffs – barely. There are loopholes that can be exploited – if someone is injured then a player who was not on the roster as of August 31st can replace them on the playoff roster.

When looking at the Reds roster as it stands, there probably isn’t a ton of movement to be made. Much of the team is locked in and there aren’t many guys that even have options right now. That would mean the team would have to flat out designate a player for assignment in order to bring someone up in many cases.

There are, however, a few options that could be considered from Triple-A. Jose Barrero was just sent back to Triple-A over the weekend when the team picked up Asdrúbal Cabrera. He would provide a potentially dangerous right-handed bat. We saw in the last few days that the team was stuck pinch-hitting lefties against lefties because the bench was overwhelmingly left-handed.

The bullpen certainly has still had some struggles. We will continue to point to Triple-A reliever Dauri Moreta, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in nearly two months (July 4th), as a potential addition to both the 40-man and 26-man roster. Hunter Greene and his fastball/slider combination out of the bullpen down the stretch is certainly appealing on many levels. The same thing can be said of Graham Ashcraft.

Moreta, unlike the other two, is and always has been a reliever. He would be much better suited to step into a true relief role where pitching multiple times a week, being able to warm up quickly to enter a game, etc. would be normal for him. Greene and Ashcraft are not relievers and haven’t been as professionals. That routine would be completely new to them and they likely would not be able to step into a true relief role out of the gate and instead would need to kind of have their role planned out in advance for a bit to transition into that kind of role.

Those latter three – all pitchers – have never been in the big leagues. Jose Barrero’s big league time is rather limited, too. There’s something to be said about thrusting young, unproven guys into key roles in the big leagues right out of the gate. Perhaps you don’t have to put them into those roles, though. Experience certainly can help. But the flip side of that is that if the alternatives are guys who have experience, but are struggling and have been struggling for a long period of time, how much does it hurt to go in another direction when the end goal is to try and have the best team on the field and make the playoffs?

It feels like the Reds are going to dance with the one who brought them. But maybe they’ve got a trick up their sleeve and will surprise us today with a move that could put them in a different position looking towards the playoffs.

73 Responses

  1. AllTheHype

    Doubting any moves are made. The injury loophole gives them the flexibility they need, plus they potentially have Warren available as well if rehab goes well. I seriously doubt the Reds will give ML service time this year to Greene or Ashcraft with the looming bargaining talks ahead.

    • Alan Horn

      Maybe the Reds are smarter than we are giving them credit for. If there is a strike, they are in line to save a ton of money with all the bad contracts they have on the books. Those contracts are like a boat anchor around their necks going foward into next season putting them in a poor position to win. Really, they need to wash out the next 2 seasons of bad contracts, but one or most of it, would certainly help the books and overall situation.

      • AllTheHype

        With top prospects ready for ML, and top prospects promoted and doing well, the Reds are not positioned to wash out anything. They have to be in “go for it” mode.

        To rid themselves of at least one bad contract (Suarez or Moose), I could see the Reds making a trade like the Bailey trade, where a top prospect is attached to facilitate the trade. Senzel could be that guy, or Ashcraft, or someone else like that who has potential and value, but is not irreplaceable from the Reds standpoint.

      • Alan Horn

        I agree. Because of the money involved for both sides, a strike is not likely. It is going to hurt, but you are right. We are going to have to include some of our prospects as well as maybe some money(eat part of the contract). You can’t run a successful business if you keep making these kinds of high dollar mistakes(huge bad contracts).

      • Alan Horn

        As someone mentioned a few days ago. Maybe we could work out a deal with a Japanese club to take Akiyama’s contract. If so, that would leave Suarez and Moose’s contracts to deal with. Moose’s is by far the worst in my opinion because it is almost twice as much per year as Suarez. If he could recover enough to DH and hit decent, it might be our only recourse.

      • Votto4life

        It wouldn’t surprise me if Red’s front office plans to be passive the next two or three seasons until the bad contracts come off the books.

        It would give the young players a chance to establish themselves before the team makes any more long term commitments.

        I think we will be able to judge things better when we see what happens with NC. this winter. Although, to a degree, I think they telegraphed their intentions this past off season. The lack of signings then though, could have been COVID related.

        I guess there is always the chance (some would say likelihood) that there is no actual plan at all and Uncle Bob intends to continue his miserly ways as long as he owns the team. Who knows?

      • Alan Horn

        I have had the same thoughts. It is hard to compete with the yoke that is around the Red’s necks. They might think signing Castellanous is an expensive waste of money. He is definitely going to cost a good bit more. The good news for me is that we have a good rotation and they all will be back if we exercise Miley’s option which should be a no brainer at 10 million. If we can bring back Lorenzen, Givens and exercise Wilson’s option, The BP should be ok. We may need to bring in another lefty. Barreo, Lopez up. We would need to resign Farmer and Schrock and maybe add another bench player or two. Senzel is still around if he can stay healthy. I could see us being ok if we spend at least some more money. That is te her a big if. They went the other way this past off season.

      • Arthur

        If they were really that smart, they wouldn’t have signed those lousy contracts to begin with.

        In fairness, I don’t know anyone who thought the Suarez contract was bad when it was signed. It just went sour faster than a quart of milk.

    • Alan Horn

      True. The Suarez contract was considered a bargain by myself and most at the time. No one could foresee that his hitting skills would drop off a table like they have. The Moose contract was awful on the other hand and I thought so at the time. The Castellanous contract was good if the intent was only to sign him for a year or so. As soon as he did well, his contract would dictate him gone(at least from that contract). The Reds should have never given him or anyone else a one sided contract with an opt out. If he gave you your money’s worth, then he is gone. You keep him only if he under performs his contract.

  2. beelicker

    Any potential hidden upside to not strategically at least fully filling out the complete 4o man menu of possible playoffs selections today?

  3. Roger Garrett

    Don’t need to add anybody that is not going to play.I would like to see Barrero for sure at short the rest of the way and any right handed bat that can play third base as well.

    • beelicker

      The MLB .com 4o man roster I’m looking at already has Barrero on it with a minors designation, which I assumed with his current status he was already playoff eligible? It also has 41 players on it, including various injury designees … I wonder what I’m missing?

      • beelicker

        It also lists Warren and Bailey as II-6o and Senzel as minors so maybe my assumption they stay current is also not correct

      • Jim Walker

        Who is “automatically” eligible is a confusing question right now for me too. For years, guys had to be on the active roster or MLB level IL lists (10 or 60 day) as of Midnight August 31. Then several weeks ago someone posted the glossary entry which said anyone on the 40 man roster as of Midnight August 31 was eligible. Higher paygrades than you or I will eventually explain this I hope. 😉

        As for the updating of the roster pages on the official team site, I also have noticed that Senzel has never been updated on that page to reflect he was “unoptioned” and returned to the MLB level 60 day IL.

        Typically, they don’t run over a day or 2 behind on those updates, so this is another confusing situation. I ran the announced the + and – to the 40 man roster move by move starting with the removal of Mike Freeman to reinstate Senzel (prior to him being optioned) going forward; and, I keep coming up with 1 more open slot than media sources say there are.

        I wonder if despite what Nick Krall said publicly about Senzel’s option being cancelled and he being back on the 60 day IL list as if he had never been activated is technically correct or if perhaps there is an agreement this is his status which is yet to be blessed by MLB/ MLBPA

    • Alan Horn

      Barreo, Lopez and Moreta but someone mentioned if they were on the playoff roster or ML roster during September, it might have some negative effect for the team in reference to service time going forward. I am not into the rules so I don’t know. They have 2 more slots as of tomorrow and could IL someone for the other to get the 3 up.. The paperwork effects of that is unknown to me but the on the field benefits could be very beneficial to the Reds.

      • Jim Walker

        As Doug often points out, worrying about a pitcher and service time at the front end of his career is usually penny wise and pound foolish because so many of them flame out to injury or washout due to performance issues along the way. I suppose Hunter Greene or Graham Ashcrfaft might pass muster as exceptions here but not Moreta since he is a reliever.

        Barrero had 92 days of service time after last season. If Super2 still exists after the presumed carnage of the CBA renegotiation clears, he would be in a gray area for it under current rules with September plus the week to 10 days he was up previously this year.

      • Alan Horn

        Jim, so you would see no good paper wise reason for not activating/bringing up Barreo, Lopez and Moreta? Barreo might need some time to adjust. He took a while to take off at AAA. Lopez has hit the ground hitting at every level including his short stint in he majors. Moreta didn’t stumble at AAA either. That doesn’t guarantee any of them will be great at the major league level long term, but it is way past the time to find out.

      • Jim Walker

        Alan>> Barrero might or might not be a Super2 (presumably) after the 2023 season if he gets service time for September 2021 and spends all of 2022 and 2023 on the MLB active list or an MLB level injured list. How’s that for a confusing answer 😉

        If the rules stay what they are now he would look to be plus/minus 10 days depending on the cutoff for that year which is a moving target set by a formula applied at the end of each season. It determines the top 22% of guys between 2-3 years of service (with some caveats of course) about how many seasons it took them to accrue those days).

      • Alan Horn

        Do Lopez and Moreta have any similar issues if we bring them up?

      • Jim Walker

        Moreta as a reliever falls into the category you just don’t really worry about him being around long enough for service time to matter.

        Lopez, I suppose theoretically could have Super2 issues but he looks to me more like a career grinder who could be up and down numerous times as a super sub bench player so probably not.

  4. JB

    This team has a glaring weakness that has been exposed and will get tested until they prove they fixed it. If by luck they make the wild card game they will definitely face another lefty and they might not score again in the playoffs. This team is poorly put together and they are relying on one guy who hasnt hit in 2 years and another guy who hit alot of Homers 2 years ago in the month of August and nothing since. I’m not sure the answer is Barrero or Lopez but I do know they cant do any worse. One thing i do know is this team took off when India and Stephenson started playing and the Vets got energized by their youthful enthusiasm. Maybe it’s time to look at some more kids and see if they bring a spark that’s badly needed right now.

    • beelicker

      Reading scouting reports on Barrero I wouldn’t really expect him to hit much more than Farmer level anyway. It kills me how the popular perception is that Bell is somehow keeping some Kraken poised to raze Tokyo chained to the bench. The 3rd string QB effect I guess ?

      • Doug Gray

        What scouting reports are you reading because not a single scouting report from a reputable source says that Jose Barrero is a .650 OPS hitter.

      • Doug Gray

        A scouting report that says Jose Barrero is thin is not a scouting report worth talking about.

      • Old Big Ed

        Beelicker, man, Barrero has 17 homers in 80 minor league games this year, which would be 30+ for a full season. That ain’t “below average” power, as the eye test itself would attest.

      • beelicker

        He’s a shortstop. Dave Concepcion was a career .267 hitter .677 OPS

      • beelicker

        He is skinny lol at least he looked rail thin to me at the futures game. Albeit the freakish mutant wirey sinew kinda superstrong thin you see in world class elite athletes thin, but still …

      • Doug Gray

        Might be time to get some thicker glasses.

      • Roger Garrett

        Yeah I am with you.I think we should keep him at AAA until he is at least 25 or 26.No reason to being him up just because he is a real shortstop with speed and range and a cannon for an arm and has raked at AAA.R

      • beelicker

        Good Lord Roger, what makes you think I don’t want to see him in the MLB now? I write what I observe actually happening in reality and try to deduce is actually occurring with the decision makers who are calling the shots. Ascribing some kind of strawman position to me and getting bent over that strawman is just childish. Do you see anywhere I’ve ever said I think he should be kept at AAA? I’ve been lobbying for him to get a shot at the gaping crying black hole that exists for a RH OF that can go get a deep fly. He was a MLB SS with the glove when he was up before

      • Arthur

        Even if he hits the same, his glove makes him the obvious choice to play SS. If he hits less than Farmer, his glove makes him the obvious choice to play SS.

    • beelicker

      This weakness has been glaring for quite some time now … the same one that the LA Dodgers also demonstrate currently

      • Doc4uk

        We will need to drop Suarez and Aquino in the off season and replace them with RH contact hitters especially with the loss of Castellano

    • beelicker

      The upside for him/team/us woulda been that a) that he stays on the 26 through now due to geniune expanded contributing role and b) he gets even more ABs at the ML level than just backing up the infield. Never about some ‘switching’ him to a different position. That’s not what the coaches were trying to do either

  5. J

    “But maybe they’ve got a trick up their sleeve and will surprise us today with a move that could put them in a different position looking towards the playoffs.”

    Honestly, on the rare occasions when the Reds do anything that seems even a little bit surprising, it’s almost always a move that surprises us because it makes no sense. Would love to be pleasantly surprised for a change, but I assume they’ll either do nothing or do something that makes no sense.

  6. burtgummer01

    Reds get Delino Deshields jr sent to AAA
    Why bother

    • Doug Gray

      Because you still need to field a team in Triple-A, burt.

      • burtgummer01

        Yeah but Doug He’s better than Aquino.So Dfa him put in Deshields.If no one claims AA send him to AAA if someone does see ya

    • Jim Walker

      And if he plays his way into condition and looks good enough, he is in the organization by midnight August 31 which means they could use a guy on IL at the end of the regular season as a cutout to get him onto a playoff roster.

  7. DataDumpster

    We have to trust the Reds can do it and just see what is the result. If Warren, Senzel, Barrero, and Winker become able and playoff eligible I think that is the best that can be hoped for. The problem is the commitment to playing them along with Schrock and Stephenson while the deadwood sits.
    At what point does this handedness and analytics “strategy” get replaced by situational strategy, going with the hot hand, and ignoring parameters which mean little in the context of a very shortened number of games?

    • Alan Horn

      I have to think the idea of a LHer not being able to hit a LHer is a lot about not getting enough chances to do so. I know as a LH batter myself I didn’t hit lefties that well (not terrible, but not well) early in my career including college. I played until I was 35 in various men’s leagues and actually went 2-4 off Dennis Powell at age 34. I turned on the TV the next summer and he was pitching for the Dodgers. The older I got I preferred to hit lefties because I could follow or see the ball better on them. Experience and repetition sometimes conquers. At the professional level hitters aren’t allowed to gain that experience sometimes.

      • greenmtred

        Interesting thought. By the same token, maybe the preponderance of hard-throwers now makes lower velocity control pitchers more effective?

      • DataDumpster

        Good point, I have similar perspective as a “pretty good” lefty as well into my late teens. We have a unique way of throwing a curve and “writing upside down” as they said back in the 1970s. It caught me really off guard that the Reds were so deficient in hitting lefties, this is something that needs practice and its hard to believe that it has not apparently been so delivered.

      • Alan Horn

        True. It only takes one pitch to throw off the hitter’s timing and allow them to hit out and 3 at a minimum to strike them out. I agree if you mix the hard throwers with the junk pitchers, it make it harder on the hitters. That is why a knuckleball pitcher is effective as well as a good split finger one. They totally mess up the hitter’s timing before they see a flame thrower the next time out.

      • beelicker

        There are multiple reasons. Being able to see and track the ball and rotations across the body of the pitcher to the batter partly explains why for opposite hitter/batter success orientations. A LH batter sees the ball coming from the opposite RH pitcher’s hand (and vise versa lefty to right) across the thrower’s body split seconds longer and the viewing track is also longer by virtue of more distance. There’s a ‘flinch factor’ of a LH thrower’s hand lining up directly with a LH batter’s head in the box that’s not nearly as repeated and ‘comfortable’ as with on the R vs R side. About 7o%/3o% split in professional leagues

  8. beelicker

    @Ed I can see his statistics. All I am saying is that I wouldn’t be shocked if he got every at bat the rest of the year at SS for the Reds and hit .25o with 2-3 HRS… anything over that would be gravy … MLB breaking balls at this point in the season that are making Joey Votto look stupid will eat him alive right our of the box … and I’m impressed with Barrero’s patience, eye, etc in many at bats, truly …

    • beelicker

      This is Gutierrez. The Reds list him at 6’1″ 19o lbs … i’d describe him as slim, slight, slender, compact and not gangly. Athletically well put together, yes, but he looks like a teenager in the dugout or on the field next to the rest of the team on TV. Now these figures you can take with a grain of salt sometimes but the Reds list Barrero at 6’2″ 175

  9. DataDumpster

    Give it up, @Beelicker, and get a new moniker well. Your theories, abstracts, and questionable stats are creating a running drip of a stain on this blog. The owner and the rest of us don’t need or deserve this.

    • beelicker

      From the site mission statement:

      “Be interesting. Repetition is not interesting. Neither is blind optimism or bleak pessimism. However, insightful and novel is interesting. Bringing in new and relevant perspectives and facts to support your claims is interesting.”

    • beelicker

      And oh no, i am slain, not my moniker! I’ve been a beelicker ever since we could roll out the back door in the morning, and back on over the hill down to the Bee Lick creek both ways up and down from the headwaters at Bee Lick rd all the way down to the Mouth of Bee Lick on Johnson Creek (and beyond to where the mouth o’ Johnson meets the Licking River) … our house was the first little grey speck on the right on the white part of Bee Lick lane from the main road hywy 616 if you zoom in on this map:

  10. RedsGettingBetter

    I wonder who has been the best hitter against lefties in AAA and guess is Barrero because there is nobody else in that team could be considered. If we look for into the Lookouts maybe there would be some guys hitting LHP well, but calling up a AA player to MLB just in the playoff race sounds like something desperated… Maybe it is better to make the players work on the details affecting their performances, though they actually are MLB level professionals so are capable to make the right adjustments and fixes in order to come back to a winning streak… In the pitching side, I really would like Moreta being called up…

    • beelicker

      Careful or you’ll get lambasted mercilessly by the SOS Bell is a moron rererererepeaters, on account of that’s what Bell is saying, that they’ll get better by working on and by doing it the rest of the way out

      • RedsGettingBetter

        No way, it is just my humble opinion… LoL … The other solid hitter against LHP at AAA (that i omitted ) is Alejo Lopez but he plays 2B or 3B too so there is no place for him.

  11. Old-school

    Hunter Greene has to be added to the 40 man this winter anyway.
    He has had a strong season and checked all the developmental milestones. In what scenario does Jeff Hoffman meaningfully pitch the rest of this year? You could DFA him, and give Greene a spot start or 2 to sell tickets. What more does Greene need to do in AAA? With 4 weeks left?

    Activate green to the 40 and 28 man rosters and give him a start or 2 at GABP. Ill buy tickets. Jeff Hoffman isnt coming in to pitch against the Dodgers in a wild card game in a 1-1 game in the 10th.

    DFA Hoffman
    Activate Green.

  12. Old-school

    C Trent has video of Stephenson taking fly balls in LF.

  13. Old-School

    Jose Barrero needs another 100 at bats and to play SS every day. I’d prefer that be at GABP. We all love toughness and performance against lefty pitchers and Mississippi Waffle House grits( Indy) of Kyle Farmer.

    But, he’s 31 and a career role player and still is per Fangraphs.

    2021 monthly wRC+ and OPS:

    Mar/Apr: 59 .566
    May: 68 .630
    Jun: 55 .567
    Jul: 201 1.147
    Aug: 64. .630

    Farmer is a great super sub and hit lefties well.
    Bring up Barrero bat him 8th and play everyday SS.

  14. Eddie

    I love the pick up of deshields who is son of first baseman coach. He bring speed and good bat even defense. This good sign reds trying to correct the sail of the direction of this team back on track of being fighting contender

  15. Jonathan Linn

    Brand Hand anyone?? He got DFA’d today by the Blue Jays

  16. Jim Walker

    Getting down to it at least here on Eastern time; and nothing but crickets from the Reds. Maybe they are just going to wait until Wednesday’s pregame and announce their expansion callups and any other moves made ahead of them?

    • old-school

      Delino Deshields and Alejo Lopez and RJ Alaniz as 29th player

      Some earth-shattering additions.

  17. BUCK

    no righty on the bench to face a lefty is pitiful, to say the least!
    GO REDS!!