The Cincinnati Reds have designated outfielder Aristides Aquino for assignment. The team needed to create a spot on the 40-man roster for pitcher Connor Overton, who is making the start against the Colorado Rockies this evening.

Aristides Aquino earned the nickname The Punisher with his first month in the big leagues. In August of 2019 he played in 29 games and hit 14 home runs. During the month he hit .320/.391/.767 with 17 extra-base hits. Pitchers simply didn’t seem to have much of an answer for him as he set rookie records for the number of home runs in the first number of whatever games he was playing in.

But things changed quickly when the calendar flipped to September. Aquino went into a slump, playing in 27 games and hitting just .196/.236/.382. He hit five more home runs, giving him 19 on the year in just two months played, but his OPS was nearly cut in half.

From there we never saw the Aristides Aquino of August 2019 again. In the 414 plate appearances that Aquino had outside of August 2019 with Cincinnati he hit just .173/.261/.356 while striking out 151 times. He hit .170 in 2020, followed that up with a .190 average in 2021, and this month he was hitting .049 with just two walks and 23 strikeouts in 43 plate appearances.

The upside is certainly there for Aquino – we all saw it in 2019. But the downside is there, too, and we’ve seen it ever since. A good defender who can cover you in all three spots in the outfield if truly needed (he’s stretched in center, but if you need someone there he can fill in for a day) – there’s a chance someone takes a shot on him to see what happens. Perhaps reuniting with Donnie Ecker, who worked with Aquino in 2019 on his swing, who is now with the Texas Rangers, could be something that would be worth a look-see for the Rangers.

32 Responses

  1. ryan

    He seemed like a good guy, and here’s hoping he finds himself

  2. west larry

    i know that the reds released Aquino and claimed Conner Overton to start him tonight. What do we know about Overton? Can’t be much worse than what we have started lately,

    • west larry

      Good luck to you Mr. Aquino, You haven’t been able to duplicate that start you had a couple of years ago. Hope you find that groove again.

    • Doug Gray

      The Reds didn’t release Aquino, they DFA’d him. If no one claims him they can send him to Triple-A. They didn’t claim Overton – he was in Triple-A with Louisville. There’s some stuff in the game thread on him later. He’s had a good start to the year with the Bats – has pounded the strikezone (2 walks, 22 strikeouts in 19 innings).

  3. Mark Moore

    Frankly, I wasn’t sure this day would come. He’ll get picked up by someone.

    • LuciusRuber

      He does have a good arm and could provide solid defense for a team that needs it

  4. Daytonnati

    “Our long Redleg National nightmare is over.”

    • LuciusRuber

      I thought little Phil was the nightmare

    • Jimbo44CN

      Oh gimme a friggin break. He is not the reason this team is 3-18. I agree he should be DGFA’d but come on.

    • realist

      He was one of the boogeyman in the nightmare. But there are many more, the Castellini’s, Jocketty and Nick Krall. We Reds fans won’t be safe until they are gone.

  5. Hunt4RedsOct

    Shogo signed to minors deal with Padres

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    Really it was going to come soon or later… The Reds couldn’t continue affording his performance…
    Aquino could be a candidate to the Pirates too, so if they pick him up we will see him many times in the future and maybe he punishes the Reds…who knows..

  7. LDS

    I doubt AA clears waivers. As the Padres demonstrated, most if the Reds castoffs have value. SF won 100+ games last year with former Reds pitchers. The Reds organization is a joke.

  8. Challenger

    Would really like to see Reds bring up Albert Amara, Jr and see if he can help. It would make for a strong defensive OF group, and strong hitters as well.

    • Redsfan4life

      Almora screams AAAA player. But I agree he has at least earned a shot. If I remember right he never did do much in the majors before.
      I am sure at some point this year a OFer or two will get injured and he will get a chance. Provided he doesn’t have a opt out clause if he isn’t brought up by a certain date.

  9. Bill J

    Seen a couple of ex-Reds pitchers helped the Angels win last night.

  10. Eddie

    I wouldn’t mind see tj frield back up he look decent last season this year only played a game if that. I am shocked this happened even DfA him didn’t seen it happen with bell in charge. I even shout yes in the store when it pop up. He not reason we suck but dude was flat after his big game when he came up

  11. MK

    With 14 pitchers (9 relievers) they needed another? They could not cobble together enough innings to get by? How about one reliever an inning? They could really use a right handed hitting outfielder more, like Almora.

  12. Melvin

    He had hit (or hadn’t hit) rock bottom lately. I personally attribute a lot of that to the same reason the team is playing so badly…..Big Bob & Son taking the competitive air out of the entire organization. At the very least he is valuable as a fifth outfielder for late inning defensive purposes and pinch running. We’ll see. As I’ve said several times before I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pirates pick him up and he beats the crap out of us 19 times this year and 12 in years to come. Bye bye AA. I wish you well and will be watching with great interest.

    • Harold

      We have already been punished. It’s the ball that’s safe. Probably a good person who can’t hit a baseball. I really don’t think he could hit it off a tee. Should have done this in Spring Training. My advice to all in the Reds front office is, start to get ready for the purge, it will come. Get off the sinking ship while you can, or all will drown. Walt Jockety can’t save this mess. Sell the team Bob!!! Stick to produce, something you know. Good luck our attendance looks to be just what they deserve.

      We could have made a playoff run last year with additions to our bullpen. Now we have the worst team in baseball and prove it every night. If I sound upset, it’s because I am. A loyal Reds fan for over 60 years and Season Ticket holder. Can’t stand what I’m seeing. I will never trust these people again, with my loyalty to this organization. We have fans all over the region and they all deserve a better team. This group will set a record for losses in season. Sorry for the rant, but very frustrated with this ownership group.

  13. Jim Walker

    Add Aquino to the list of players the Reds just couldn’t let be who they were. Maybe it would have made a difference with Aquino and maybe not; but somebody with the Reds was altering his stance and outlook even before his hot month of August 2019 was over. And he never recovered anything resembling that form.

    Currently, the Reds have Nick Senzel and Jose Barrero who have been jacked around and may or may not land on their feet. Go back another few years and Adam Duvall somewhat fits the same mold. Homer Bailey was another.

    And now we hear maybe what’s going on with Hunter Greene is he is being taught to throw a 2 seam grip fastball, under fire. in MLB, 2 starts after his debut at the age of 22. At the cost of 5 MPH of his 4 seam fastball?

    Good Luck to AA wherever he lands, even and maybe especially versus the Reds

    • TR

      Not many open stance hitters around. The best was Mel Ott of the NY Giants. Aquino should have been left an open stance hitter. The end result could not have been worse.

  14. JayTheRed

    I think this was a correct move on the Reds part the guy has really been disappointing for over a year now. Like many here I hope the best for him and that he can find that magic he had for one month when he first came up.

  15. Maloney63

    I’m predicting he won’t be claimed and will be back in Louisville shortly. At this time of year who has room on their roster for a pure strikeout machine? But he can throw the ball 100 mph. Maybe someone should turn him into a pitcher.

  16. Ken

    Aquino should be called “The Comet.” He lit up the night skies for a brief moment and fizzled into obscurity. His ABs were hard to watch.

  17. Pete Blowers

    Two words: Donnie Ecker. Ecker was credited with getting Aquino’s act together in 2019.

    SF hired Ecker as hitting instructor prior to the 2020 campaign. They went from 14th in the NL OPS to number 1 in 2021. Prior to this season he was hired by the Rangers to be as their bench coach/offensive coordinator. Texas was dead last in OPS (15) in 2021, they are currently number 9.

    I believe one of the many mistakes made by the Reds was hiring Alan Zinter for the 2020 season. In essence Zinter for Donnie Ecker…. Zinter was the Giants hitting instructor prior to the 2020 season….

    Maybe the Texas Rangers will have interest in AA’s services.

    • Melvin

      Interesting. I didn’t know all that.