The Cincinnati Reds have announced their two September call ups today as the Major League rosters can be expanded to 28 players. Utility player Alejo Lopez has been recalled from Triple-A Louisville and he will be joined by outfielder Delino DeShields who was acquired via trade yesterday from the Boston Red Sox. The team also added reliever R.J. Alaniz from Triple-A as their “29th player” for game two of Wednesday’s doubleheader.

Earlier this year when the Reds called up Alejo Lopez they didn’t give him much playing time. He went 6-19 in 11 games that saw him get two starts. Four of his six hits came in his start on July 1st. When he was called up in late June he was hitting .360/.437/.485 on the season with 24 walks and 18 strikeouts in 49 games. In the 26 games since he’s been back down he’s hit .290/.396/.419 with 17 walks and just 9 strikeouts. He has been hitting well of late – he played in 21 games in August and hit .301/.414/.425 during the month after a bit of a slump when he returned to the minors in late July. What Lopez can bring to the table is a lot of contact and an ability to play second base, third base, and left field if asked.

Delino DeShields has not played a game yet in the Reds organization. Just acquired yesterday, he was assigned to Triple-A but their game was postponed and it’s not clear that he was ever there – which would make sense if he and the club knew he was being called up.

In 84 games at the Triple-A level with two organizations this season he’s hit .252/.385/.366 with 21 steals. The right-handed hitter has plenty of speed and he can play center. He doesn’t hit for much average, and he doesn’t have any power. What he can do is get on base enough that he won’t hurt you from that perspective. Despite being a righty hitter, he’s struggled to hit left-handed pitching this season in Triple-A, posting a .206/.329/.338 line. He’s hit righties to the tune of .271/.399/.384 this season (also in Triple-A). DeShields seems to profile much like your typical 5th outfielder: Doesn’t do much with the bat, but can play center and can be a quality pinch runner.

37 Responses

  1. realist

    So now there is absolutely no legitimate reason to play Suarez who maybe the worst offensive player in MLB history, or Aquino who is nearly as terrible.

    • Doug Gray

      Neither of those guys are even the worst offensive player on THIS Reds team. That would be Shogo Akiyama and his 47 wRC+.

      373 players this season have had at least 150 plate appearances in the big leagues. Akiyama’s got the 9th worst wRC+ this year. Suarez is 33rd. Aquino is 79th.

      They’re all bad. But you are severely overestimating how bad.

      • old-school

        If you go buy Fangraphs and qualified hitters with at least 3.1 at bats per game played, Suarez’ 2021 season is the worst season by a qualified position player since Chris Davis’ Orioles season of 2017. Most players simply never qualify because their numbers are so poor the team stops playing them. The difference of course with Davis is the O’s were trying to lose and went 47-115 and got Adley Rutschman as a prize. Reds are trying to win… least I hope so.

        Not to pile on Suarez but he’s been historically bad.

      • Doug Gray

        Right. But the only reason Suarez is “historically bad” is because they keep playing him, not because he’s actually worse than a bunch of other guys. He’s nowhere near as bad as plenty of guys who get a solid amount of playing time as utility types.

      • realist

        Nope, actually you seem to severely underestimate how Bad Suarez is. He is ranked dead last in the MLB in average the next closest is .199 Ian Happ. When it comes to WAR Suarez ranks 1000 in MLB which suprisingly above Hunter Dozier.

      • Doug Gray

        Well if only average told us how good of a hitter was, then you would be right, but it doesn’t. I showed you the actual information that tells us how bad he hits – and it’s really bad. But it’s not the worst in baseball, not the worst on the team, and frankly, it’s not particularly close, either. This isn’t 1971 anymore. We know how to better measure hitting than batting average.

      • Jim Nightshade

        I think Shogo’s numbers would vastly improve if he was given more consistent at bats, while Geno will continue to go down. Aquino as well. Shogo can barely find a pinch hit these days, let alone start a game or two in a row. Aquino has done nothing to earn the starts he has been getting the last week or so. I remember Sadak saying that the coach’s had tried to adjust Shogo’s swing to stay in the box or something. Have they messed him up? Maybe he wasn’t going to hit the ball like he did in Japan, but something is up.

    • burtgummer01

      Going by your nic you should considers changing it

      • Doug Gray

        Let’s chill out with stuff like this. Bring something good to the table or just don’t post.

  2. Bred

    That is disappointing. No pitching help. No, I was not expecting Green, but an outfielder who doesn’t hit. Reds got enough of those. Is this the end of possible call ups?

    • Doug Gray

      No. They can still option guys back to Triple-A and call others up if they want to.

      • Joe P.

        Doug, which players still have options to be sent down without going through waivers? I can’t imagine there would be very many players.

  3. Luke J

    Just what the Reds need: a right handed hitter with no power that doesn’t hit for average who can’t hit left-handed pitching. Sounds about par for the course.

  4. RedsMonk65

    Not surprised, but somewhat disappointed.

    Was hoping Barrero would come back up and play this time — spelling Farmer at least occasionally at SS. But I don’t mind seeing some more of Lopez. He also hit well when he was up, though he (like Barrero) was used sparingly.

    Was also hoping for some bullpen help — someone like Dauri Moreta.

    DeShields doesn’t do a whole lot for me. As others have mentioned, he can field center and has some speed. But he cannot hit, and we have too many outfielders like that right now — Aquino, Shogo. We REALLY need Winker back, though it sounds like he could still be out much of September. Ironic that several months ago, OF was considered a team strength. It is when everyone is healthy/producing, which is not the case at the moment.

    Padres have caught up with us in the WC race. Cards and Phillies are right on our heels–quite literally. Need to start hitting, and winning some games again. Otherwise, we will continue to sink. Guys like Saurez/Moustakas, Farmer, Aquino, and Shogo need to start producing when given the chance. The time is now or never. Would also be nice to see Joey/Nick C./India get hot again.

    Go Reds!

    • Hotto4Votto

      I’m largely indifferent to DeShields but I think the Reds could have called up someone more useful. He’s a 5th OF type on a team that already has two 5th OF types in Aquino and Akiyama. He doesn’t hit lefties on a team that sorely needs someone to hit lefties consistently. I guess he brings a bit of speed and the ability to play CF and possibly get on base. At least it fits with the Reds M.O. of nepotism throughout their organization.
      I’m actually glad they didn’t recall Barrero. I have serious doubts they would play him everyday, and if they’re not, let him play and continue to develop in AAA. It’s a disservice to Barrero to call him up just to sit.

    • RedsMonk65

      I guess Barrero was not eligible to be called up yet, given he was just sent down a few days ago, and the 10-day rule has not been met. I do hope he gets another shot later, though. But yes, I agree that when he is up, he should play. Same with Lopez right now. Suarez/Moustakas/Cabrera don’t cut the mustard.

      As for DeShields, I have no further comment ….

      • Hotto4Votto

        Technically they could have gotten around that by placing Moose on the IL. But I guess if there’s ever a good time to carry a guy on your roster who can’t currently play, it’s in September?

    • Doc

      Lopez was 6-19, but 4-5 in one game, meaning he was 2-14 in the other 10 games. Not exactly inspiring offense. Reds are probably on life support without Winker and the hurricane is fast approaching.

      • RedsMonk65

        Suarez did indeed have a good day today. So, it is difficult right now to make this point — which is that Lopez only got 2-3 opportunities to start while up previously. The rest of his PAs were as a PH. Difficult to establish any kind of offensive rhythm that way.

        Today aside, Suarez and Moose have both been given plenty of opportunities at 3B, and it has remained an offensive black hole. Not saying Lopez is the Reds’ savior. No way. Just saying he’s done reasonably well with the chances he’s been given– which ain’t much thus far. Give him some more playing time, is all I’m saying (same goes for Barrero when the time comes).

        Now if Suarez after today finally gets it in gear, then wonderful. Problem solved. But this is September 1, 2021. He hasn’t produced on a consistent basis since 2019. How long do we wait?

        Not really all that focused on Lopez anyway. But when Barrero comes up, he should be starting at SS at least 50 percent of the time.

        I do agree about Winker. We need his bat. Today’s second game looked promising in terms of players coming alive at the plate finally. We’ll see how things play out in the days ahead…..

  5. SultanofSwaff

    Man, this organization has a huge blind spot when it comes to nepotism. I mean, of all the AAAA center fielders in baseball, DeShields was the best fit? It was considered a cheap shot when earlier this year I suggested Brantley Bell would get a September callup, but after this move I’m not sure we can rule anything out

    • Hotto4Votto

      Imagine what TJ Friedl must be thinking. They essentially have the same stats and can both play CF, with Friedl edging out DeShields by a small amount in OPS (DeShields better OBP, Friedl better SLG). Friedl has worked his way up through the Reds system only to be passed over for the 1B coach’s son.

      • JB

        Freidl is left handed. They dont need another lefty.

      • Hotto4Votto

        What’s the point in having a RH if he doesn’t hit lefties?

  6. Redsfan4life

    Doug, Won’t Barrero most likely be called up when first eligible and Lopez sent back down?

    • Doug Gray

      I’d be very surprised if Barrero isn’t back up when he’s eligible. Who goes down is another question.

  7. doofus

    No Senzel? Is he still hurting?

    I see the Reds have not won a game since last Friday when I flew to Yosemite. I have been out of touch (I know more than usual) since then.

    They MUST do something about 3B. Suarez has dropped off the planet. Moose is a bench player. Find a leadoff type second baseman and move India to 3B?

    • Doug Gray

      He’s out in Arizona continuing his rehab. He’s not going to be back anytime soon – if at all this season.

      • JayTheRed

        I’m with Doug on this Senzel is done for the season. I just know it. Not based on fact just based on what I know about players with injuries like he has.

  8. LDS

    DeShields? Gee, who didn’t see that coming. As for the worst hitter in the team, my guess is that if AA or Shogo had the plate appearances if Suárez , they’d both be hitting better than Geno

    • JayTheRed

      Wouldn’t it be something if Geno suddenly remembered how to hit, and had a great September. Here is rooting for that. I think he is batting .428 in September so here is hoping… 2 doubles and a home run.

  9. CFD3000

    I’d have brought up Barrero and Moreta, though I understand Barrero isn’t through his mandatory 10 day stay at AAA. But Deshields? No thanks. And Alaniz over Moreta? Disappointing. But the biggest disappointment is that the FO and David Bell seem to so strongly favor mediocre or just plain bad veterans (Suarez, Moustakas (to be fair, hurting), Cabrera and DeShields) over potential impact players like Lopez and Barrero. Keep Jose in Louisville and get him some reps if he’s not going to play in Cincinnati. Sheesh.

  10. Hanawi

    Why not Crook if they wanted another right handed bat? He’s been on fire at AAA. Deshields has zero power and the move reeks of nepotism.

  11. JoshG

    will they make a play for recently released Brad Hand?

  12. Stock

    Deshields should be no more than a defensive replacement and pinch runner.

    I hope Lopez plays left.

  13. Rob

    DeShields — More Reds nepotism. Hire the coach’s son.

    Now, instead of just one good-field, no-hit, some-speed center field late-inning defensive replacement (Akiyama), we’ve got a righty-lefty platoon of the same. Playoffs, here we come!!

    • JayTheRed

      Deshields had a nice day today honestly so lets give him a chance instead of just being a negative person shall we.