The Cincinnati Reds continued to make a series of roster moves this morning. After last night’s report that reliever Dauri Moreta had been called up, the move was not announced until 20 minutes before expected first pitch of this afternoon’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It seemed we knew that part of the move was coming, but the move to make that happen is what we weren’t sure of and it turned out that wasn’t the only move coming. The Reds activated Tyler Stephenson, optioned Mark Kolozsvary to Triple-A, placed Mike Moustakas on the 10-day injured list, and designated R.J. Alaniz for assignment.

The big move that we had not covered is that of Mike Moustakas being placed back on the injured list. He’s headed there with Plantar Fasciitis on the same foot that kept him out for two months earlier this year. The first day active from that injured list, Moustakas went 3-4 with 3 doubles. Since then he’s gone 14-92 (.152) with a .465 OPS in 33 games. This move likely ends his season as the earliest he could be activated is the final game of the year.

Tyler Stephenson activated

Tyler Stephenson was activated from the injured list after spending just two days on the list. This would seem to indicate that he was in “close contact” protocols and that he was cleared to return to the field. Before the game was postponed this afternoon he was in the lineup as the starting catcher.

As a part of the chain reaction of moves that meant that catcher Mark Kolozsvary was optioned back to Triple-A Louisville where he had been prior to being called up on Monday.

TJ Antone moved to the 60-day IL

With all of these roster moves, the Reds needed to do a little more work to get the numbers right. That led to TJ Antone, who had Tommy John surgery last month, being moved to the 60-day injured list to open up a spot on the 40-man roster. For the Reds and Antone this changes nothing other than opening up a roster spot.

But Cincinnati needed two spots opened up on the 40-man with the call up of Moreta and that meant that reliever R.J. Alaniz was designated for assignment to clear the spot that was needed. Alaniz had thrown 2.2 innings with the big league club this year and allowed one run. Most of his season had been with Triple-A Louisville where he had a 3.46 ERA in 33 appearances this season.

49 Responses

  1. Gpod

    Good thing they kept Cabrera on the roster so Bell has him available to come up in a big spot to fail again…..bell lives in an alternate reality

  2. Jim Walker

    Moose could have and should have been sent back to the IL at any time in the last month. More than any other single thing, I think trying to force feed Moose into the lineup when it was apparent he wasn’t game ready seeded the Reds collapse.

    It wasn’t just that Moose couldn’t play acceptable offense or defense. It was the message of privilege sent to the players because they knew he wasn’t game ready and that the team spurned other viable options in the middle of a playoff race to try to let him play his way into game shape even as every game had increasing playoff implications.

    And Moose’s situation probably also played into the mess with Nick Senzel who was rehabbing alongside Moose at AAA and also surely realized Moose was not game ready. But MM says I’m good and is back up. Senzel does the same and is optioned. Privilege ruins.

    • Beaufort Red

      Absolutely. Is it on Bell or Krall?

      • Jim Walker

        My quick take is that I don’t know the level of collaboration or disagreement between Krall and Bell on roster moves.

        However, David Bell had the option of standing up for the rest of his team by not writing Moustakas’ name on the lineup card if he disagreed.

      • Bill J

        Jim he is not for the team he is for his job and with the Reds if you want your job you do what those the owner and FO says.

    • JB

      Let’s not forget Winker said he was good and they rushed him up and he hurt himself again. This organization and its medical team have always been a mess.

      • Jim Walker

        I’m not sure the medical team had any role. Sound like if a player has been cleared for rehab and subsequently announces himself ready, he is taken at his word.

        Moving forward I’d see there needs to be some sort of IL exit protocol put in place.

    • David

      So well said , man that is perfect
      the sad thing the Reds are now stuck with 16M (22) 18M (23) 4M buyout (24)
      good luck with that contract.

  3. Pablo

    Not only his foot issues but he really needs to drop some pounds and get in shape before next year. Looked like an aging softball player these last several weeks.

    • Jim Walker

      Do you think there might also be a connection?

      Over the weekend when the Dodgers were in town, I was trying to decide who was the most rotund, Albert Pujols at age (not quite) 43 who is playing out the string as a contributor on a potential world champion team, or Moustakas at 10 years younger with $38M minimum guaranteed salary (counting 2024 buyout) coming over the next 2 seasons. My conclusion was that AP probably would tip the scales a little higher but also was carrying the weight much better.

      • Jim Walker

        Also AP wasn’t trying to play 3B which was effectively a modified SS position in some of their shifts for Moose.

      • JB

        I think Pujols as crippled as he is , has more range than the 3 inches Moose has.

  4. Kevin H

    Why bring Moreta up now? Makes no sense. Then again the moves by this particular front office has left me confused.

  5. Jim t

    Reds extend David Bell 2 years. Also brings back his coaching staff.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I respectfully disagree. The fact that Bell’s and Derek Johnson’s contracts weren’t allowed to expire may indicate that a full dump of any personnel not already contracted for 2022 won’t happen. I am probably in the minority here, but I think Bell has done a very good job with what he’s been given to work with. This also puts to rest the speculation that Barry Larkin was about to step in as the manager and owner’s mouthpiece.

        This gives me some degree of hope that ownership will pick up Wade Miley’s option. I thought the departures of the pitching and hitting coordinators might be the beginning of a full housecleaning of anyone without a 2022 contract.

      • Jim Walker

        @Tom> Overall I would have given Bell a passing grade given the situations until the zoo with Moustakas over the last month. I feel he had to have damaged his standing with the young guys over that situation. Now that’s settled with the IL move of Moustakas; and, Bell has 10 games to reprove himself to them.

      • LDS

        His use of L/R as some kind of mystical knowledge guarantees poor development of the younger players. Generally, the platoon system doesn’t lead to championship teams. It was obvious way back in 2019 that Bell didn’t have what it took. He’s done nothing since to disabuse me of that thought. I don’t see why anyone, e.g., Castellanos, would stay with the Reds if they didn’t have to.

      • Chris Holbert

        The practice of picking up other castoffs, will become more of the norm as long as there can be veteran RH/LH matchups….#letthekidsplay

    • LDS

      We knew it was going to happen. He’s an insider. The Reds have absolutely no future with him calling the shots or while Castellini owns them. Just forget next year.

      • greenmtred

        Interesting thought, LDS. It seems to me–though I freely acknowledge that I don’t follow other teams much anymore–that a lot of teams platoon some positions. I’d also expect that it would be dictated by the personnel: left/right match ups do matter, contrary to some opinion, but more for some players than for others. So you’ve researched this question and determined that championships are won by teams with set lineups? If that is indeed the case, mightn’t it be because their players are generally better?

  6. CI3J

    I don’t even know what to think about this team any more. Losing Gillman and Boddy after all the progress that was made at the minor league level, and the very thinly veiled criticisms in their resignation letters, was extremely worrying. Now apparently they want to double down on David Bell’s desire to play washed-up veterans as opposed to young up-and-coming players for the next 2 seasons.

    I don’t know to what extent Bell is being told which players he has to play by Krall and/or Big Bob, but he apparently is A-OK with the mediocre product on the field. Now that Castellanos is moving on (and I don’t blame him one bit), I really wonder what the plan is for the offense next year.

    The feeling I’m getting is that the Reds finally spent a lot of money 2 seasons ago, and it didn’t pan out, so now they have regressed to “Well, we lose if we spend money, we lose if we don’t spend money, so why bother?”, which is of course the completely wrong lesson to take from what transpired.

    It’s truly amazing how an organization that was seen as on the upswing just a few years ago has suddenly regressed to the Stone Age. What exactly is the plan going forward? Just let all the players get old while playing out their contracts, wait for the money to come off the books, then try again in 2024 or so?

    I just don’t know what to think any more. It’s truly depressing seeing this happen to a team I have dedicated decades of my life to. The only semi-bright spots in the past 2 decades of being a Reds fan were the Jack McKeon and Dusty Baker teams. Everything else has just been a long string of front-office incompetence, and this season the incompetence reached Idiocracy levels (If you’ve seen the film, you know what I mean.)

    It’s dizzying how quickly it all fell apart. Is this really just because they got burned when they spent money in the wrong places? Or did something else happen behind the scenes?

    I just don’t know any more.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Some of the money spent two years ago was bad (so far) in Moustakas and Akiyama. But the money spent on Miley and Castellanos has been gold. If the front office does in fact consider the spending of two years ago a bad ROI two years later, they’re in the wrong business. No team ever bats 1.000 on the results of player acquisitions.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I do understand your emotions about the team you’ve followed for decades. There have been times I’ve wondered whether the time spent following them religiously could be better spent. But many of us here are lifers, who go through disappointment at the end of seasons until the hot stove begins to percolate and reason to begin to hope resumes. Despite numerous injuries and a bullpen that at times couldn’t get ME out, the rookie performances of India, Stephenson, Gutierrez and Santillan give me hope of them being part of the new core moving ahead. Hopefully Barrero will emerge in 2022 with a season like those four had this year.

      • greenmtred

        Perhaps he’ll take advantage of the opportunities he does get and get more playing time as a result.

    • Jim Walker

      It is probably no surprise to anyone who reads my comments that I am closely watching the catching situation for 2022 as one of my canaries in the coal mine.

      Mark Kolozsvary is positioned almost exactly going into 2022 as Tucker Barnhart (at AAA) was going into 2015 with Mesoraco projected as the starting catcher and Brayan Peña as the MLB level backup.

      If the Reds spend $7.5M to retain Barnhart versus going out and paying the much lower market price for a backup catcher for Stephenson, I am going to think the worst is yet to come.

      • Chris Holbert

        The issue for me is not resigning him, for less. The issue will be, now that DB has been extended, Barnhart will be treated as the #1, and Stephenson will languish as the RH pinch hitter and C against LH pitchers…

      • Jim Walker

        Chris> This absolutely cannot be allowed to happen. And the money does make a difference too.

        Curt Casali is making $1.5M to backup Buster Posey for the Giants this year. That’s the scope of the Reds backup catcher spot next year. $2M to $2.5M is the tops they should pay.

        For that money, they should be able to get a competent defense first backup guy who can also mentor Stephenson along the way. If, forbid the thought, Stephenson goes down the backup and Kolozsvary would share the load like Peña and Barnhart did for Reds in 2015 when Meso went down.

        Meanwhile, the ~$5M saved at C buys a 4th OF or infielder or reliever.

      • Chris Holbert

        @Jim..that makes way too much sense. It will never happen. He is a good guy and has 2 GG.

      • Jim Walker

        @Chris. I think one of the Reds’ issues has been they’ve had too many guys too comfortable in a losing clubhouse for too long. Give me a room full of guys with the edge Castellanos flashed for much of the season with just a peacekeeper or two.

        Especially at catcher, I’d rather have a silver slugger guy than a gold glover because any guy back there enough to be a silver slugger candidate is going to be decent on defense too or he wouldn’t be back there that much.

  7. Bet on Red

    Pretty bold move by the Front office…. instead of allowing Bells future to be decided by the results (or lack there of) of his actions, the front office and owner hitch their wagons together. Obviously, he will not be fired now. Ironically, he has just enough time this season to provide a justification. If this backfires, and there is a strong indication it will (Reds not making the postseason in 21 or 22) this will take Krall along with him and renew pressure on Ownership to sell. I would not have done it, but I am not the majority owner of the team. Expect fans to vote with their pocketbooks

    • Bet on Red

      unless of course, they fire Krall at year’s end instead. I could live with that

  8. Chris Holbert

    The only think I can think about is. so much for the youth movement. He and Krall are probably already looking at expiring veteran contracts to see who they can get of the scrap heap…

    • LDS

      Hey, they’ll be plenty of 30 something waiver wire pickups to choose from. The Reds don’t need those young guys. Package them up and get some more cast offs that Bell can relate to.

  9. BZ

    Bell being extended is an absolute joke.

  10. RedsGettingBetter

    Since the players in IL-x0 don’t count to 40-man roster total, I don’t understand why are just 37 players included according to my revew of it… What is my mistake counting the spots?

    • Jim Walker

      The players on the regular 10 day IL count against the 40 man roster. The players on the COVID list and players on the 60 day IL do NOT count against the 40 man roster

  11. Bred

    If the Reds have an insurance policy on Moose’s contract, what would it take to declare him unable to play and file a claim. He has a chronic condition which will likely never heal. It seems like a reasonable move. IMO

    • Alan Horn

      I have wondered the same. We might survive Suarez’s contract but Moose’s is almost twice the amount. Unless Moose can rebound next season as a DH/spell Votto at 1B, it is a ton of sunken money for a small market team.. He can survive the heel spurs(I have had them in both feet since around 1982). I do a tremendous amount of walking. The key is to get them under control and do stretching exercises religiously. And above all, get rid of the excess weight. I am sure he is wearing custom orthodics(arch supports).

  12. BUCK

    The Reds, blunder Bell and mediocrity: they all go hand in hand with THIS ownership! Fifty years a fan and the glory days were with Sparky at the helm and Marge as the owner…GO REDS!!

  13. CFD3000

    The Bell extension doesn’t bode well – he has shown too much preference for ineffective veterans over unproven young players with higher upside. But that’s not all on Bell – he doesn’t set the roster. There is a huge opportunity here to field a strong, younger team in 2022. Votto will (and should) stay, and Suarez will (but probably shouldn’t) stay. Castellanos will leave, and Moustakas and Barnhart should be traded (though Moose will not return anything). That leaves this lineup:

    C Stephenson
    1B Votto
    2B India
    3B Suarez / Farmer
    SS Barrero
    LF Winker
    CF Senzel
    RF Naquin
    Bench Akiyama (bummer), Farmer, Schrock, Lopez and a new backup catcher
    SP Castillo, Gray, Miley, Santillan, Mahle, Greene, Lodolo
    two of those will be in AAA or the bullpen at any given time
    RP Cessa, Wilson, Sims, Hoffman, Gutierrez, Lorenzen and/or Givens and/or Garrett plus one or two from the SP list

    That’s actually a solid roster IMO. The Reds need a backup catcher, a fourth strong outfielder, and they need to sign Lorenzen, Givens, or another strong RP or two. I also wish they’d sign either a good CF (and move Senzel to the infield) or 3B, and trade Suarez but I’ve already proposed the unlikely to unload Moustakas. There are some free agents that I wish they could pursue but we all also know that’s not happening. The biggest loss there is Castellanos, but playing Barrero every day and getting a healthy Senzel back will help fill that gap. The rotation and bullpen should be stronger year long than 2021, and the offense will likely drop off a little but not a ton. Do I trust Krall and Bell to make those changes? I do not. But none of that seems ridiculous to hope for. Now about that Moustakas for Treatment Turner trade… Go Reds!

    • CFD3000

      I meant TREA Turner of course. Freakin’ spell check!

    • Jon

      The 2021 offense wasn’t good enough to win the division. How will the above lineup be any better when you’re basically substituting an often-injured Senzel for a proven All-Star in the outfield and playing Stephenson and Barrero (still unproven) everyday. Plus, there will likely be a DH next year, so that’s another opening for a bat. The Reds absolutely must make some serious upgrades to their lineup this winter if they want to contend next year.

      • CFD3000

        I disagree Jon. First, the 2021 offense was good enough to win the division. The Reds couldn’t keep up with the Brewers because: health – Votto, Castellanos, Winker and Senzel, and to a lesser extent Naquin all missed many weeks. Starting pitching: Castillo was just plain bad for a good while, Gray was hurt and also ineffective at times, and Gutierrez and Miley both faded in September. The rotation for 2022 should be better. Relief pitching: need I elaborate? The bullpen was just plain bad until the trade deadline and gave away quite a few games in the first half, some from big leads.

        I’m not saying that offense is better than 2021, in fact I admitted the opposite. But if it’s nearly as good – which I think it well could be – and the Reds are a bit luckier with health – it could be good enough in combination with better pitching. Would I love to see the Reds replace Castellanos (and Suarez) with an impact bat to upgrade that lineup? Absolutely. But the Reds scored more runs and had a higher team OBP, Slugging (and OPS) than the Brewers despite those injuries. I do believe the offense I listed, given good health, will be good enough to win the division in 2021 IF the pitching can do its part.

  14. Brad

    I really feel for Moose. I have had Plantar Fasciitis. It take 15 minutes just to take your first step in the morning. It is literally like walking on nails that have been dipped in acid. I can’t imagine the pain of trying to play baseball with it. It just takes a lot of time to heal properly. usually about 6 months total. He should be ready to go next year. hopefully……