Aristides Aquino did his part, hitting two home runs on the night for the Cincinnati Reds, but it wasn’t enough as the Chicago Cubs and Ian Happ put up seven runs in a 7-4 win over their National League Central foes to take game one of the series.

Final R H E
Chicago Cubs (17-24) 7 8 1
Cincinnati Reds (12-29) 4 5 0
W: Smyly (2-5) L: Gutierrez (0-6) SV: Robertson (6)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati’s offense was stymied for the first five innings of the game, managing just two hits off of Drew Smyly. But in the 6th inning they finally broke through when Tommy Pham hit a 410-foot homer into the seats in left field to cut into the Cubs lead and make it 4-1. Joey Votto was hit by a pitch to follow. After Tyler Stephenson struck out, Aristides Aquino came to the plate. He battled Smyly, working a full count before the 6th pitch of the at-bat, a 78 MPH curveball caught too much of the plate and The Punisher hit it 429 feet and over the bullpen in center to bring the Reds within a run.

Two innings later the Reds were back down four runs once again, and it was Aristides Aquino again who helped get things going. Chris Martin tried to get a slider by him and he failed miserably as Aquino hit it 439 feet off of the ribbon board below the bleachers in left-center to cut into the Cubs lead, making it a 7-4 game. That was all that Cincinnati would get on the night as they fell to 12-29 on the year.

The Pitching

After cruising through the first three innings without allowing a hit, Vladimir Gutierrez ran into trouble when Seiya Suzuki and Ian Happ led off the 4th inning with back-to-back doubles as Chicago grabbed a 1-0 lead. After getting the next two batters out Alfonso Rivas had an infield single to put runners on the corners. After a mound visit from Derek Johnson the next pitch was a dead-red middle of the plate 92 MPH fastball that went 393 feet and landed in the stands to make it 4-0 Cubs.

Jeff Hoffman took over for Cincinnati in the 5th inning and he tossed two shutout frames as the Reds offense started to chip away at the Cubs lead. When Jared Solomon began the top of the 7th, Cincinnati had made it a 4-3 ballgame. He would give up a single to Christopher Morel and a 2-out walk to Seiya Suzuki, leading to a pitching change that brought Luis Cessa into the game. His first pitch to Ian Happ landed 13 rows up the moon deck and the three runs the offense had scored in the 6th were essentially erased as the Cubs got them back on the Happ homer.

Hunter Strickland and Joel Kuhnel covered the 8th and 9th innings with two strikeouts each as they held the Cubs scoreless, giving Cincinnati one final shot.

Key Moment of the Game

Ian Happ’s 3-run home run in the top of the 7th inning that turned a 1-run game into a 4-run game.

Notes Worth Noting

Jim Day noted during the Bally Sports Ohio broadcast that Jonathan India indicated he was hoping to begin a rehab assignment with the Triple-A Louisville Bats on Tuesday, but that nothing was official.

Aristides Aquino went 2-41 in April before he was designated for assignment. He’s had two hits in each of the last two games.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Chicago Cubs vs Cincinnati Reds

Tuesday May 24th, 6:40pm ET

Marcus Stroman (1-4, 4.88 ERA) vs Tyler Mahle (2-4, 5.23 ERA)

85 Responses

  1. Old-school

    Aquino MVP of the Reds loss to the awful Cubs nearing Memorial day

    2022 Reds season summary for sure


    This is now a solid 62-100 team

    • ryan

      Joey “I will quit when I can’t compete” has 20 million reasons not to next year. Granted he’s an all time Reds great , but the Reds are wasting money on him now

      • LDS

        He’s not coming around as expected, that’s for sure. And if he does bounce back some, he hasn’t hit LH’ers in several years. It’s sad but he just isn’t an everyday player anymore and it’s time to start organizing the team with that expectation. I would like to have seen him retire with his .300 average in tact but alas that ship has sailed. He’s succumbing to Father Time and changes to the game.

      • Votto4life

        Joey Votto has earned his salary over his career. I guess you forgot he hit 36 Hone Runs last season.

        The Reds ownership decided to waste Joey’s career by surrounding him with AAAA players. But yeah, blame the Reds mess on Joey Votto. probably the last hall of fame caliber player we will ever see again in a Red’s uniform.

        If Joey retired tomorrow, what gives you the idea that the Red’s owner would reinvest the savings into the team? So unless, your last name is Castellini, there is zero benefit to your or any of us if Joey retires.

        It’s been a pleasure watching Joey Votto for the past 15 years and I would pay to watch him for 15 more if I could.

      • LDS

        I didn’t forget that Votto hit 36 HRs last year. But he still didn’t hit much against LH’ers. It isn’t what he’s done in the past. It’s what he’s done in the present and what he can be expected to do in the future. Would Castellini reinvest the Votto bucks? Nope, I agree with you on that. I hate seeing great athletes hang around after they can’t perform as they once did and eroding their image for one more shot at the spotlight.

      • Melvin

        I wouldn’t give up on Votto just yet big guy. 🙂 What sets Votto away from most other aging veterans is his remarkable work ethic. He doesn’t just ride off into the sunset resting on his laurels. He keeps himself in tremendous shape…and he may very well be one of the smartest guys to ever play the game. I believe we’re in for a tremendous turnaround….again.

      • LDS

        Maybe Melvin and I’ll be wrong again this year or at least, half wrong – he no longer hits well against LH’ers. But just because he’s had a great career doesn’t mean he’s still helping the team. The team isn’t getting results and one of the things that drives me crazy about Bell is his unwillingness to make the hard decisions, e.g. benching Votto, moving him down in the lineup, etc. Same with Suarez last year. At some point, if the Reds are ever to be competitive again, someone is going to have to start demanding results and taking action to achieve them. If Votto turns it around and hits RH’ers again this year, great. Play him. Play Stephenson (or someone else) against LH’ers. Or as one of my old bosses used to say, “what have you done lately”.

      • Melvin

        As you said, except for Stephenson, who’s batting 5th, hahaha, there really isn’t anyone hitting. I get TS hitting behind Votto to “protect” him. That part is wise and I give David Bell credit for that one. For crying out loud move them both up in the order if that’s the reason. All it takes is a little shuffling with Pham moving down a little. Votto/TS @ 2/3 or 3/4 even. Rocket Science it’s not. Votto can still “bang” at the 2 whole. There has been discussion again recently about batting order and how much it matters. Something that hasn’t been pointed out yet is how it effects the teams moral. It has the effect of encouragement if everyone sees our best hitters at the top. It effects the flow of the game in a positive way. Intangibles do matter and always will.

      • LDS

        I agree. I’ve seen the nonsense from the analytics world about batting order not mattering. They have not come close to proving that. But at the end of the day, it’s on the manager to be mindful of intangibles and morale and on that Bell fails. For example, AA has had two productive games in a row. If Bell sits him tomorrow, what does that tell the team? Suarez last year had a massive LOB count to go with his strikeouts. What message did Bell send by always playing him? Doolittle? So Votto’s performance warrants a Bell response/action, besides his usual empty rhetoric.

      • greenmtred

        The “analytics world” has come closer to proving that than the “traditional world” has come to proving its contention. The logical basis for the importance of batting order hasn’t, to my knowledge, been tested at all. So it’s really just a cherished assumption that we old guys hang on to.

      • LDS

        If you read a couple of the books that are out on some of the analytics (or talk to your college/grad school professors if they are still around), granted the most discussed metrics come from the sabermetrics camp, they state clearly that these are descriptive statistics. In other words, they describe what happens with large samples not individual performances. Most of the Statcast metrics are similar, e.g., EV and LA which tells where most homeruns are hit but it doesn’t mean that a ball hit with those characteristics will be a HR. Spin rates, etc. yield similar misconceptions and more injuries. Regarding batting order, looking at a large historical performance by batting slot has no way to filter out “confounding variables” like the strategy behind a particular set of historical line up choices. So again, the numbers describe what happened in the past but does not describe what will happen in the future. All the so-called analytics move has done is make the game boring, reduced the performance of players that shouldn’t be swinging for the fences, e.g., Votto, and widened the gap between the good and bad teams, i.e, if a team can afford more sluggers then “analytics” works. Hint, it would have worked regardless. Sooner or later, the analytics craze will hopefully burnout as it has in many of the country’s larger businesses.

      • greenmtred

        Of course they describe what happened in the past. What else would they describe? And of course they don’t produce iron-bound rules: Sometimes The eighth hitter goes 3 for 4 and wins the game while the guy batting 3rd goes 0 for 4. What they do is assemble tendencies based upon very large sample sizes. Probabilities. Probably best used as general guides, modified by particular circumstances. The conventional wisdom you and I grew up with has no data supporting its overall effectiveness, None that you’ve found, at any rate. The theory of a good hitter protecting the guy who bats ahead of him has a huge flaw: MLB pitchers have plans for each hitter; they don’t intentionally throw hittable pitches to a good hitter because a good hitter follows him in the batting order. When a team (the Reds) has only one formidable hitter, it doesn’t matter where he hits in the order very much at all.

      • Votto4life

        @LDS, I am sorry my response was to Ryan. I just don’t like when people suggest Votto should fall on the sword and retire.

        The final years of his contract is part of his total compensation package. If the Reds didn’t want to pay him in 2022 and 2023, they would have had pay him more upfront.

      • Votto4life

        @LDS I am sorry my response was to Ryan. I just don’t understand why people expect Joey Votto to retire with two years remaining on his contract.

        The remaining amount on his contract is part of his overall compensation package. If the Reds didn’t want to sign Joey for these final years of his contract, they would have had to pay him more upfront.

        Anyway, it wasn’t meant for you. I’m sorry

  2. Melvin

    I actually thought Aquino was dead with the Reds. Who would have thunk it? I once said not too long ago that if he survived everything he was going through with all the criticism attached to it he would be one tough dude. I guess he is.

  3. Hanawi

    So Aquino goes down and immediately finds his stroke again. How can they justify keeping Zinter in his job? He’s been a failure multiple times over as a hitting coach with the Padres and the Reds. Will there be no repercussions anywhere for the start that they’ve had to this season?

  4. Doc4uk

    Why was Senzel brought back so quickly when he failed to get a hit during his past week at AAA? He was not doing well before his time off and has not done anything since so why bring him back until he proves he can hit the ball consistently? I would rather see Almora and Aquino get the time in CF

  5. William

    Let Aquino play. I thought he was gone, too. He can either hit his way back into the majors or go back to the minors. He is hitting! Give the man a bat and glove. Good job! Good story!

    • TR

      Has Aquino become the new Dave Kingman?

      • Jim Walker

        @GreenMTRD +1000 on the fielding by Aquino vs Kingman. If AA could/ can be a consistent Kingman at the plate (115 career OPS+), add in baserunning and defensive skills; and, AA becomes a very valuable player for some team.

      • Votto4life

        Aquino is also a better human being.

    • Still a Red

      Since the Reds picked up his contract, If AA gets sent back down does he have to pass waivers again?

      • Jim Walker

        Yes. All of Aquino’s minor league options have been exhausted which is why he had to go through waivers to be sent down. He cannot ever be sent back to the minors unless he first clears waivers.

        Aquino was tendered a standard MLB contract during the off season. Once he was on the active roster for 1 game, that contract became guaranteed through the entire season. The Cot’s Contracts website puts the value of his contract at $720K, based on his service time ($700K is the minimum this season).

        However, since Aquino is pre-arbitration, his contract may be a split, or 2 way contract which would pay him a lesser amount in the minors. The absolute minimum in this situation would be $114K.

        But again, because he had no options at the start of the season and was outrighted off the 40 man roster when sent down, the Reds may be on the hook for the entire $720K regardless. Such wrinkles are hard to decipher and track in part because MLB does not have a salary cap to promote transparency.

  6. William

    As far as Votto, I need him out there on the field, or I might turn the channel. Reds fans should not treat aging superstars bad. Let him finish his career, and ride off into the sunset. He is the Reds right now. For better or worse… I still enjoy seeing him play, so for me, it is for the better.

    • Rednat

      i totally Agree William and I am not even a huge Votto fan. All I know is there are some very dark days ahead for our reds. Worse than even the early 80’s and mid 2010’s. And Votto at least brings some light. I love his passion for the game and love his sense of humor. i would also try to bring back some other fan favorites just to bring SOME enjoyment back to Gabp. Where is Puig and Billy Hamilton these days?

  7. Redsvol

    why in the world is Nick Senzel starting a major league game? That kid is totally overmatched right now. I’d rather see Almoro in center and either Lopez, Naquin (yes, even against a lefty) or (gulp) Colin Moran in left field. There has to be someone better on the waiver wire.

    • SteveO

      It’s because he said he was ready to be with the Reds. Obviously, his 0-rehab assignment didn’t matter to the decision makers. Predictably, he goes 0-5 with a hat trick. Let’s pray that India starts his rehab assignment tomorrow with the Bats and can quickly get back to the top of the lineup. Maybe in a couple of days, he too will say he’s ready and be back with the Reds. If it works for one player, it should work for all.

      • SteveO

        Then the Reds would’ve lost 6-4, maybe 5-4. A loss is a loss. 0-5 at the top of the order contributed more to losing the game.

      • greenmtred

        Absolutely, though if you change one thing, the things that follow may change, too. I was just pointing out that he saved runs. Had he driven in a run or more, he’d probably be getting some praise here, win or lose.

  8. Roger Garrett

    Happ kills the Reds and Wisdom has now homered in 4 straight games.Both went deep on the first pitch for 6 of their 7 runs.I know nothing but one would think the Reds would know about both hitters.They will be in the lineup tomorrow so maybe just maybe we can have a plan for them or maybe not.

    • Still a Red

      There are plans, and then there is execution.

  9. SteveO

    Knowing Bell, he will sit the Punisher the next 2 days against RH starters for the Cubs and put him in the lineup the following 3 days as the Reds will face 3 straight LH starters. The L-R matchups are so important to him rather than playing the hot bat.

    • Melvin

      I’m afraid you’re probably right. Miracles do happen some times though. 🙂

    • wkuchad

      Yes Bell should ignore all stats and previous performance and only play guys based on having a couple good games.

      • Melvin

        Keep on mind that a “hot bat” generally means that the player is seeing the ball well which is extremely important and probably more so than matchupps.

    • greenmtred

      Hot bats often have something to do with L-R matchups. There is tons of statistical evidence that those matchups are real. Think about Winker. Think about Votto the past few years.

      • SteveO

        Throw all the matchup stats away as fielder shifts have offset that kind of data.

      • greenmtred

        Good point, but do you have any analysis reflecting that? I’d think there might be something there, but it’s still probably true that bad matchups affect contact, not just outcome. Less contact, less chance for a good outcome.

    • Jim Walker

      Winner, winner chicken dinner. Aquino and Almora sit. Senzel plays batting 7th where it would make sense to have one of the AA twins batting. At least Moose is relegated to DH.

      Farmer still out (Reynolds at SS). For those who missed it, last night on the Ballt telecast it was reported that Farmer received a cortisone shot (back) and was most likely out through at least tonight.

      • Melvin

        So much for playing a hot bat. AA pretty much carried the team the last two games in more ways than one. Not unexpected though. After all. We don’t really someone like that. We always score runs easily. 🙂

  10. Michael B. Green

    After Barrero gets 50 more PA’s at AAA, CIN needs to bring him up and play him virtually every day at SS for a solid two months and measure his performance. Nothing against Kyle Farmer, but CIN is not winning with him and he is simply not part of the next competitive CIN team at the SS position.

    I do think a team would trade for Farmer in a heart beat, especially if they have an injury. But honestly, trading Farmer will net nothing more than a low-A or high-A marginal prospect.

    Where Farmer could add value for CIN is at 3B.

    But the bottom line is Barrero needs to play and play a lot. He also should not need to change positions. Scouts rate him with a 55 Field and a 60 Arm. That screams SS.

    I would have him spend at least an hour a day on virtually reality simulation, picking up sliders down and away so that he learns to lay off them. All of his other skills play.

    • ci3j

      That will never happen. Farmer is Bell’s guy, and unless he gets injured, he is going to keep playing every day except for a spot start every now and then by Barrero. Then when Barrero can’t produce when being yanked around with that, everyone will call him a bust and then he’ll go to some other team and set the world on fire.

      A similar thing happened with Jerry Narron and Edwin Encarnacion, the difference being Narron at least played EE with some regularity.

    • Still a Red

      If Moose handles that ground ball in the 7th (yes it was smoked, but…), no HR, score remains 4-3. I do think we should probably just DH Moose, fwiw.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Exactly,and where was he on the double play ball hit to second, as soon as that slow grounder was hit he should have been going to second, he was nowhere near. Without the boot they called an infield hit and the no where near the bag double play ball, we win. He can still hit but thats all they should do, having him at 3rd or first is costing us.

    • Bill J

      Nothing against Kyle Farmer, but CIN is not winning with him. Can you say the same with Votto. What is the Reds winning percentage with and without Votto in the starting lineup?

  11. Kevin H

    All of sudden play Aquino. He isn’t good. Until he can do it for more than 1 month and 2 games. As for senzel, I rather have him out there than almora or AA. He is better all the way around..

    Votto is a hall of fame who has earned the right to play every day. Hopefully now Gutierrez will not be with the Reds and gets sent down. He isn’t a good pitcher.

    Also Votto is a career 300 hitter. You don’t sit a career 300 hitter.

    • TR

      I think Vladimir Gutierrez is better suited for the bullpen. A possible closer.

    • AMDG

      The Reds don’t have the Votto who was a 0.300 hitter. They haven’t had him in half a decade.

      Over the past 3 years Votto has hit 0.240

      And this year he is only hitting half of that.

      At one time, he was a great hitter. He produced a dozen great seasons. But his time has passed. And if the team wants to make a motion towards winning, they need to adjust accordingly.

      At one time the Kentucky long rifle was a great weapon. And in war it was a great one to use.

      But it’s time has passed.

      An army with Kentucky long rifles will be over matched and crushed when facing a force armed with M16’s, H&K G36’s, or Sig SG550’s.

      • greenmtred

        He’s a different hitter, certainly. Last year he hit 36 homers and had 99 rbi’s and played an important role in the team’s unexpectedly good performance. Terrible start this year, no doubt, but he’s looking a good deal better since he came back from the IL.

  12. RedsGettingBetter

    The Gutierrez’s outing was an emergency one but I think he is out of shots to start more games, at least , in near future. Maybe his roll is like Hoffman or Strickland.
    I wonder what DJ suggested him in the mound visit before Wisdom’s AB but it is obvious Vlad didn’t obey…

  13. Klugo

    Looked like at least one of Aquino’s HRs was on a breaking ball. That’s nice to see. Looks like he’s working at it. Maybe, just maybe, he’s turning a corner. That should be a confidence booster for him.

    • Jim Walker

      Per Doug’s commentary, both were breakers, one a slider, the other a curve.

      Nobody is going to consistently barrel top grade breaking balls that are well located. The difference last night was that Aquino did NOT miss what appeared to be a mistake pitch (a hung slider over the outer half of the plate) on the first HR then came back to jump a curve which seemed a bit lazy getting into its break on the inner part of the plate for the second one.

      This was typical of what I saw watching him on TV during his ~2 weeks at AAA. He could still be rung up by a good slider down and away (and again who isn’t); but he wasn’t missing mistakes as he had with the Reds earlier in the year.

      Time will tell us.

  14. old-school

    A lot of these players are 1 or 2 tool guys who dont have the other 2-3 tools and hence are marginal MLB players. Aquino is flawed but he does have power bat ,arm, and decent speed/defense. If you gave him 500 at bats, I’m sure he would hit 30+ home runs.

    Is .198/.286/.428/.714 line with 31 home runs and 171k’s ok?

    That was Eugenio Suarez line last year. Aquino can duplicate that and give you far better defense and baserunning at an MLB minimum salary.

    I personally dont like watching strikeouts and noncompetitive at bats in exchange for 1 home run a week from an offensive stand point.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Interesting point. Factoring in AA’s defense, you wonder what the break even point is offensively that he becomes a 1-2 WAR guy. You’re probably on the mark.

    • Jim Walker

      I’m thinking .300 is a double magic number for AA. He needs to get his OBP in the .300 range and also have his K rate in the same zip code. If he can do this, the power side will take care of itself.

      Over 400 PAs at AAA his OBP is in the vicinity of .350 (OPS > 1.00) and K rate is right at .250. He’s got room to make the double .300 given a typical AAA>MLB drop off.

      • JohnnyTV

        There was a brief shining moment when I thought Aquino was going to turn out to be the Reds’ version of Yordan Alvarez, out of the blue.
        That feeling quickly faded.
        But given the misery of the current outfield, I’m pulling for the young man once again.

  15. Jim t

    Even with a right handed throwing for the Cubs tonight I believe you’ll still see AA in the line up. Almora will sit tonight.

  16. SultanofSwaff

    Man, I really thought last year when Vlad added the changeup that he turned a corner and was a lock to be a 4th starter type for a long time. The tools are still there, but he needs to go down to Louisville and straighten out his mechanics. I don’t think the bullpen plays to his strengths.

  17. JB

    This team is a mess and is terrible. We get a little something from AA after 2 years of nothing and he is now the savior. That’s how bad this team is offensively. They are terrible. Moustakas shouldn’t even be playing the field….ever. Moran is terrible in the field and I would play him before Moose. Stephenson and a bunch of bench players right now. I watch because I love the Reds but man there are 7 guys in the field that are not everyday players.

  18. Roger Garrett

    Aquino is just another one that needs 450 or 500 at bats to see what he can do and lets not forget just like Senzel,Barrero,India,Drury,Naquin and TySteve he is not just a 1 dimensional player.I don’t know much if anything about the minor league guys but maybe there are more who aren’t 1 dimensional.Add them in the mix later this year or next.I am always about play the young guys.I have been saying it for years but so far 65 wins mean more then 70 and so on.Truth is as long as we have veteran players then they will play.Production from vets means little which is why we are where we are at IMO which is a direct reflection of ownership.By the way Aquino has just turned 28 and has under 500 at bats in the big leagues yet he is anointed and threw under the bus almost daily.I mean the Reds are just so good as a team that we can’t possibly give him 500 more at bats.He could cost this team to lose 105 rather then 100 and we wouldn’t want that.What does he make league minimum?Just let the young guys play this year and next.After they get 850 to 1000 at bats which some, including me,would argue isn’t enough lets see where they are at.

  19. Indy Red Man

    Most of us are back on the AA train..lolllll! With the Reds outfield it doesn’t take much to move to the front of the line. Run’em out there…what difference does it make? I’ve down on Senzel, but run him out there too while you can.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. This could be as big of a season in shaping Senzel’s future as it is for Aquino.

      AA is a month past his 28th birthday. Senzel is 60 days out from his 27th. Neither are spring chickens. Neither, despite the varying reasons, has established himself as any more than a fringe MLB player. Senzel carries the additional burden of a $1+m salary and 3 more years of arbitration eligibility.

      And here is a final kicker. Amidst all the talk of service time manipulation, Aquino’s well earned 2 weeks in Louisville may have quietly cost him arbitration eligibility for next season as BBRef shows him at 2 years; 5 days to start the season. This makes it a photo finish for the required 3 years even if he completes the rest of the season at MLB. If AA is still a fringe player at season’s end, not making arbitration probably is meaningless. If he puts together a solid season from here on out, it could cost him $1M on next season’s salary.

  20. Jim Walker

    Does anyone else have Stephenson on their watch list for a possible physical issue? All players are dinged to a degree once the season starts grinding; but, in the last week or so TS just doesn’t quite look right to me.

    Following the concussion, he took a foul shot to the mask and left a game but passed the concussion protocols to come back the next day. However, he hasn’t been the same player as before.

    From the Cleveland series forward (6 games) his OPS is only .490 (wRC+ 36; MLB average =100), He has 11K’s, a K rate of 44%, and just 1BB. By way of comparison, prior to the most recent 6 games, Stephenson’s K rate for the season was 26% and his OPS was .963 (wRC+ was 165).

    Hopefully, just a bad week that can be forgotten about; but worth watching until he turns back around.

    • Bill J

      Sometimes doctors don’t get it right. Had a friend who took his father to the hospital for a physical, doctors said everything was good, as they were leaving the hospital his father collapsed and died.

    • SOQ

      My impression is that he’s pressing too much. Common among players who feel that they are being counted on to carry a team. Just my opinion tho. Hopefully no injury involved.

    • VaRedsFan

      He is taking a lot of called 3rd strikes

  21. old-school

    This is a lost season.
    Also recognize that Votto is going play every day at 1b and Pham play every day and Moose play every day and still a lot at third base. Fully recognize Moose is a bad 3b but those 3 vets are going to play every day and it doesnt do any good to scream at the clouds to not play Moose.

    That said and with a decimated roster, Senzel needs to play every day in Cf and get 500 at bats. This is a do or die year for him so give him 4 months to declare either. Id get Aquino some regular at bats in a 4 man OF and utilize the DH. Almora can always be a day game after night game player or late inning guy. I’d put Naquin in LF today, Pham as a DH and AA in RF with AA as a DH tomorrow. Give him some playing time with this decimated roster.

    I’d put Moose at 3b only to free up the DH for the 4 man OF rotation- all of whom need to play and hit. No disrespect – but I dont need to see players who arent part of the next winning team getting playing time ahead of those players who need to be sorted. Moran, Lopez, Reynolds, and Almora will never be every day players. They might be a 26th man or a 5th OF or a day game after night game starter, but keep them in that role.

  22. DataDumpster

    Nice return for Aquino but can they keep him in the organization any longer? I don’t see any value in keeping Fraley around but since he was received in a trade I wouldn’t count him out. Isn’t he on a short leash from rehab? Seems like they still haven’t lost hope with Friedl either (how many options left)? So that leaves 7 guys competing for basically 4 spots in the OF and Bell is only carrying 12 pitchers now. I’m not sure if any outfield piece is locked up (even for just this year); but with injured players returning, trade scenarios needing to emerge, and Aquino down to his last “collar button”, the determination of the outfield core will need to proceed one way or another.

    • Jim Walker

      Fraley can be optioned but yeah, it would be pulling the trigger on a supposedly major piece of a “blockbuster” trade.

  23. AMDG

    At this point Almora should be starting in CF over Senzel.

    They are essentially the same age (Senzel is 27 and Almora is 28), so it’s not like it’s some washed up veteran vs a much younger player with tons of upside (that the Farmer v Barrero debate).

    But they are both guys in their upper 20’s who have over 675 plate appearances at the major league level.

    And over that span, they have identical OBP and SLG, but Almora gets more hits, strikes out less, and plays better defense. That seems to point to Almora as the better option?

    For that matter, Aquino is only a year older than Senzel, and with his 540 plate appearances has a nearly identical career OPB and a much better career OPS than Senzel.

    I get the desire to play Senzel, as he was a #2 overall pick. But the 2016 draft had a lot of misses early on. Moniak, Senzel, Pint, and Ray were all top-5 picks who have failed to show anything at the major league level.

    • Jim Walker

      Almora was a #6 pick overall (2012) in his own right. It was a decade ago because he was selected and signed out of high school versus college. There’s only a 2 week difference in age between Almora and Aquino, the Reds current AA twins (Almora the older).

  24. Votto4life

    Nick Senzel reminds me a lot of Austin Kearns. To me, neither really seems to enjoy the game of baseball.

    • Indy Red Man

      Idk? He must love the game since he’s came back from the IL 15 times. He hasn’t had any success in several years so I’m sure it’s impossible to enjoy the game when you’re failing. MLB is hard.
      That being said OS is right. Let him play everyday and see if he can save his career.
      Same thing with AA. They atleast have bigger ceilings then a guy like Almora. That’s what the Reds are relegated to….flyers and prayers. Thats what happens when you run a franchise poorly

      • JohnnyTV

        It may be a moot point to make, but I would posit that moving Senzel to CF was a move certain to complicate his development and increase his time on the DL. He is one fella who shouldn’t be diving for balls or crashing into outfield walls.
        I understand his “athleticism” and competitive nature, and the timeliness of it with the Suarez / Young India clog at 3b.
        Still, IIRC there was a brief period where Senzel was back in the infield for a short stretch. He seemed to hit well and appeared comfortable on D.
        Senzel at 3b and Almora in CF.
        Of course, that will never happen with this manager.

      • Votto4life

        Guys play for a lot of difference reasons. The money is pretty good.

  25. old-school

    Jon India is still 10-14 days away from a rehab assignment per C Trent/DB

  26. Roger Garrett

    Right on Indy.Its time to at least do something right for a change.As Old school said its a lost season and we know Pham,Moose and Joey are going to play but with 6 other spots including the DH it ain’t just about everybody.Its about young players with multiple skill sets.No reason we don’t see a bunch of young guys this year and next.I have said this before either play these young guys or release them.Reds don’t want to do either and add to the roster by visiting the waiver wire and the slow pitch soft ball league which keeps us right on the same path we have been for years.You can lose with young guys just as easily.Step this nonsense and play the young guys and lest move on.

  27. Kevin H

    After reading the comments. I agree with letting senzel and AA play everyday and see what they can do. This season is lost. See what they can do. I am a senzel fan, and not a Aquino fan. That said as long as healthy let them play and see what happens. Pham and Fraley r expendable in my book. Keep Naquin and Almora. I also believe moving senzel back to 3rd would benefit him.

    • David

      Right now, that makes some sense. However, maybe the Reds’ best slugger is Drury, and his position is really 3rd base. He is a little out of position at 2nd.
      I would move Senzel back into the infield (2nd base?), as India is still likely weeks away. Senzel was being groomed for 2nd base when the Reds still had Eugenio Suarez at 3rd. And Senzel was supposed to be a really good third baseman.

      Senzel is really a great athlete with a lot of hustle. He worked hard to become a good centerfielder. He has just been injury prone. It’s been a real tough road to hoe for the guy.
      Moustakas should really just be a DH at this point. He is “less than a replacement player” at third base, defensively. Maybe 1st base, and he could alternate with Votto at DH.
      The Reds really have four or five guys that would be a better third basemen than Moustaka. Drury, Senzel, India, Alejo Lopez and Max Schrock. And Max Schrock will be back…..someday. Another hard luck and talented young player.