The Cincinnati Reds announced on Wednesday morning that they had sent outfielders Aristides Aquino and Jake Fraley to join Triple-A Louisville on rehab assignments.

Aristides Aquino has been out with an injured calf for the last month. After a brutal start to the 2022 season where he hit .049/.093/.122 in 15 games in April the Reds designated him for assignment. The outfielder cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A. He went to Triple-A and started hitting. Injuries piled up in Cincinnati’s outfield and the Reds added him to the 40-man roster and called him up on May 22nd. He went 2-4 that day with a double. The next day he went 2-4 with two home runs. Aquino would hit .283 with four doubles and two homers in the three weeks he was back up, but he strained his calf on June 12th and he’s been on the injured list ever since.

The same day that Aristides Aquino was placed on the injured list, the Reds placed Jake Fraley on the 60-day injured list. He hadn’t played in the big leagues since April 30th and was dealing with knee inflammation. He began a rehab assignment on May 22nd, but he only played in four games before a toe injury popped up and he was returned from the assignment.

Fraley, like Aquino, struggled mightily in April with the Reds. He was hitting .130/.254/.278 with two doubles and two home runs in 19 games when he was originally placed on the injured list.

The Louisville Bats are currently on the road in the land of Dunder Mifflin as they are in the middle of a 6-game series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. That team features former Reds legends Derek Dietrich and Jake Bauers (spring training legend only – he never played with the big league club, but was actually with Louisville earlier this season).

50 Responses

  1. west larry

    Aquino and Farley should be mlb ready by the trade deadline. We could lose Pham or Naquin or both at the deadline.

    • JohnnyTV

      Fraley has hardly been ‘mlb ready’ for most of his lackluster career.

      Aquino has had a couple productive months.

      Why Fraley is deemed a viable candidate while Shrock and Fairchild toil away is beyond me.

      Though not really…Fraley was part of the big Suarez / Winker dump and will no doubt play and underperform to try and demonstrate some return on that ‘trade’.

      Reds lost 2/3 of their outfield and had to get an ‘mlb ready outfielder back, one who can play all three positions with equally tepid results.

      Precisely why I dread Bull Krall and Reds’ player evaluation abilities ahead of the long ballyhooed unloading of Castillo and Mahle.

      Another Fraley is precisely what the Reds don’t need.

      One is too many.

      • Optimist

        Fraley was the least important, if not irrelevant, part of the trade with the Ms. It is all about the MiLB pitchers, and Dunn will be the gravy if he has any kind of impact.

      • Tom Diesman

        Others who can see past small sample sizes and BA may be interested in seeing what an OF who played a half season last year and put up a better than league average performance (104 OPS+ and .210/.352/.369/.721 Slash Line) in his first extended exposure in the big leagues might do for the Reds the rest of the season once healthy. Fraley in minors posted a a career slash line of .287/.366/.484/.850 in 1114 PA which includes .313/.386/.539/.925 at AA in 259 PA and .282/.359/.555/.914 at AAA in 239 PA. In his half season at MLB in 2021 he put up a .352 OBP and was on pace for a full season of 18 HR, 20 SB, and 92 BB. So there is a long history of success for Fraley in both the minors and majors if you can see past his MLB lifetime .186 BA long enough to give him another extended look and see if he blossoms as his minor league numbers would indicate he should.

      • MBS

        We picked Fairchild fairly recently up off the minor league scrap heap, and Schrock had been hurt all year. Neither of these 2 have been sitting behind anyone.

        Having said that I agree that it’s time to move the old vets Pham, Naquin, Solano, Almora and Reynolds. I’d also move Drury if the Reds can’t extend him. If we got rid of all of those guys that would leave us with:

        Votto, Moustakas, India, Farmer, Stephenson, Senzel, Fairchild, Papierski,

        We’d need to promote 5 players from AAA. I’d move up Schrock, Santana, Lopez, plus 2 OF’s Fraley, and Dawson. I’d let Aquino find a new home, and keep Friedl in AAA playing OF along with Cedrola, and Gilliam.

        We’d have a very thin and much younger team, but it might be fun to see if a couple of these guys develop.

      • BK

        @Tom, I agree with you. Fraley’s cold start and his tie to an unpopular trade have created a lot of negative bias against him. He was never the headliner of the trade and there is room on the team for a league average hitter who can play all 3 outfield positions.

      • LDS

        Good history of success for Aquino, Friedl, et al in AAA also. But frankly, an OF’er (Fraley) that hit .210 and had a 104 OPS+ really doesn’t really impress me all that much. And that’s assuming that OPS+ is an accurate measure of average performance. What is the margin of error, i.e., 96-104 could be average, etc. Frankly, I’d just as soon see Aquino as Fraley.

      • BK

        Just a quick look at the AAA numbers:

        – Fraley, 231 PA, 282/359/585, .914 OPS; 53 K, 23 BB
        – Fairchild, 346 PA, 285/376/567, .943 OPS; 85K, 35 BB
        – Schrock, 951 PA, 266/326/372, .698 OPS; 118K, 70 BB

        Fairly close except that Fraley and Fairchild have a good bit more power.

      • BK

        Friedl’s AAA numbers, 600 PA, 261/358/429, .787 OPS, 97K, 65 BB

        Aquino’s AAA numbers far exceed the others, but he has the longest track record in the Majors, too.

      • Tom Diesman

        That .721 OPS of Fraley’s in CF or RF would look pretty good this year I’d say.

        AVG MLB LF 0.250 0.323 0.404 0.728
        MLB AVG Hitter 0.242 0.312 0.396 0.708
        AVG MLB RF 0.236 0.305 0.395 0.700
        AVG MLB CF 0.238 0.304 0.392 0.696

    • AMDG

      Calling Aquino and Fraley “MLB Ready” was the funniest thing i’ve read all day.

      Thanks for the laugh – much appreciated 🙂

  2. redsfan4040

    Since position players get 20 days of rehab time, and 20 days from now is August 2nd, it’s awfully convenient timing to send them on their rehab assignments. My guess is both get the full 20 days, then are activated after a Pham/Naquin move. And both will likely slide themselves right into the vacated starting spots. Even though I think Fairchild needs a chance to play everyday.

    • Eric

      Agreed that Fairchild needs some time on the field. We need to see what we have in him. We know what Aquino is.

  3. Tom Diesman

    If I recall correctly it was not Fraley’s knee that caused his first rehab assignment to be halted, but a bone bruise on his left great toe, which halted his rehab assignment at Triple-A Louisville on May 29.

    • Doug Gray

      You’re right, Tom. I’ll make a correction. Thanks.

  4. MK

    This is not a criticism because I’ve seen it a couple times lately but when did the Big Toe become the Great Toe. My second toe is a little offended because he thought he was pretty great too.

    • JB

      I thought the Big Toe was the one that went to market?

  5. MK

    With more outfielders I guess Isiah Gilliam moves a little further down the bench. I just don’t get his promotion if they were not going to use him regularly.

  6. Votto4life

    More likely Pham will be released than traded. I can’t imagine there are many teams anxious to take on a head case making $9 million dollars a year while batting .246.

    • redsfan4040

      Since starting 1-26, Pham has hit 266/349/437/786 in 70 games. By the deadline, there’ll only be about 60 or so games left, so the trading team would only owe about 2.5 of the 6 million of his contract plus the 1.5 MM buyout or the 6 MM mutual option. I think someone will trade for him.

      • Jim Walker

        Pham seems to me to be a sure bet to take the $1.5M buyout and head back to the open market unless he suffers a serious injury prior to the end of the season. However, in the latter case, the team would want to bail instead. Thus I suspect the Reds will have to kick in the 2023 buyout or a prospect of reasonable worth to get Pham’s last 2 months of salary ($2M) off the books.

      • Old-school

        There are lots of contending teams that dont care about adding on salary and also lots of teams with injuries and depth issues, especially in the OF. Reds will unload some players- they may not get much back but the roster will be much thinner on August 2, as it should. Everyone points to the Minor contract( and yes- it was incoherent after not taking back Miley, but Krall’s first job was cut payroll in October ..then add back in March after job #1 was complete). But the bigger point is future obligations in 2023 and 2024 and right now, Krall has done a great job of creating “Cap Space” for 2024 and more flexibility in 2023.

      • Jim Walker

        @OS>>> In a world with true cap space limitations (NHL) the Columbus Blue Jackets just landed the consensus #1 offensive free agent available in this season’s “class”. Imagine that!?!

        He could have gone to several of the major market teams (with the cap space) and actually took less AAV to come to Columbus than other offers on the table.

        What are all the folks who call the Cbus talk radio and sing their version of the small market team blues going to talk about now?

    • Votto4life

      Tommy Pham is not going to put any team “over the top”. IMO there is a greater risk he would disrupt the clubhouse.

      If Tommy Pham is the answer, you’re asking the wrong question. But yeah, if a team would be foolish enough to offer something of value (or nothing of value for that matter) for Tommy Pham the Reds should jump all over it.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Please check your facts before posting. Pham is a player who hustles on every play (something others on the team could learn from) and he is not making $9M. He is signed for $6M this season and $6M next with a $1.5M buyout

    • Dewey Roberts

      Well, the Reds took him on but I don’t know why. We jettisoned good players to slash payroll and then we gave all the savings away with the salaries of Pham and Minor. I am still scratching my head.

  7. RedsGettingBetter

    The Reds could trade some players at trade deadline but not the most. I don’t understand what players expecting good performances are gonna play in 2023 if they are traded all. For instance, if the Reds trade Pham, Naquin, Drury, Solano, Farmer in addition to Castillo and Mahle there will be many holes to fill for 2023 although I don´t see the replacements ready in the minors right now since Aquino and Fraley don’t seem like good options in the OF and the IF is not clear except the catcher and 2nd base , maybe it could be done with the return that the trades provide…would it be?

    • SteveO

      I’m for completing the fire sale. Try to get something back from players that will be FA at the end of the season. Management can try to resign anyone they think can help the club next year in the offseason. Castillo will of course bring back the biggest haul and we should be able to at least fill a spot or 2 with the players coming back in that trade. I would look to package Mahle and Drury to try and get a larger and better return of prospects. Together, they may bring back something better than in individual trades. You’re right in that it will leave many holes. JV and Moose are sure to return for their final year as no one will take on their contracts. Stephenson, India and Senzel won’t be traded, so that’s 5 of 13. Competition for all remaining position player roster spots. I think Farmer is 50/50. His trade value is never going to be higher than it is now, but he won’t reach FA until after ‘23 season. Greene, Ashcraft and Lodolo have spots in the rotation barring injury, so competition for 2 rotation spots. Diaz, Hoffman, Sanmartin, Antone, Santillan and Sims have spots imo. So, 2 bullpen spots. I’m sure we won’t be able to trade everyone that can be traded and they will remain on the roster till the end of the season. Hopefully, we can see some spots filled with players coming back in trades and good competition for PT for those who get promoted after the deadline. 2nd half of this season used as an evaluation period to answer questions heading into the offseason.

      • Votto4life

        I agree SteveO of those on the current Major League roster, I would keep Greene, Ashcraft, Lodolo, Diaz, Stephenson and India. As far as I am concerned, everyone else should be available at the deadline.

        I wouldn’t even be opposed to trading the others for the right deal(s). I would wait until I had a competent GM in place before doing something like that though.

    • BK

      I don’t think you will see everyone you mention go, but don’t be surprised if several do. Here’s how I handicap our players leaving:

      – Castillo and Mahle. If the Reds make them available, they’ll be traded. Castillo is the most valuable player on a noncontending team to a contender. Mahle is either #2 or #3. There just aren’t enough starting pitchers available and there are multiple team that would benefit and have the prospect capital to acquire one of them.

      – Drury. He crushing the ball, is defensively versatile, and on a major league minimum contract. He’s a free agent next year. He’ll bring back a decent prospect.

      – Pham and Naquin. Both are inexpensive enough and they can be a good contributor on a great team–they can fill a hole as a starter or in Naquin’s case pick up the bulk of playing time in a platoon. They won’t return a lot, but the Reds can benefit by saving their salaries (perhaps it allows them to take back a negative value contract and get a higher value prospect) and clearing playing time for players like Fraley, Fairchild, Friedl, Schrock, etc.–whoever the FO wants a longer look.

      – Solano. A team may like him as a bench piece. He’s affordable, but the return will be small.

      – Minor. I’m sure the Reds would trade him, but I’m not sure there will be demand. Not a lot of demand for a back of the rotation guy.

      – Farmer. He has another arbitration year remaining and he’s clearly valued in the clubhouse and on the field. I think the Reds will want a bigger return for him than another club will be willing to offer.

      – Moustakas. I don’t think the Reds need to move his contract financially and I don’t see him generating much demand.

      – Bullpen. I don’t see the Reds moving a bullpen pitcher. Strickland is likely available, but I’m not sure there will be demand.

    • Greenfield Red

      If trades are executed properly, the Reds will be worse next year than this year… and as Reds fans, we need to accept that. They should trade all of the guys you mentioned for all of the 17 to 21 year old high end prospects they can get. If you can combine another 12 to 15 really good young prospects with all of the really good young talent in the system, they have a chance to win the WS in 3 to 5 years.

      If they trade for major league ready talent, it will be another disaster like the last rebuild orchestrated by Walt Jocketty. The Reds got nothing for Cueto, Chapman, Bruce, Frazier, and others because he insisted on MLR returns. A thousand guys like what they got could be harvested from the waiver wire in March for nothing. In the end, none of them made any impact on the Reds, and none are still in the organization.

      If they keep them all, they will still be bad next year, and any still around will walk after that. So they get nothing again… and in 4 years when Greene, India, and Stephenson get traded off for major league ready returns, the cycle will continue. Maybe once every 3 to 4 years they’ll sneak in to the playoffs for the last wildcard. That will buy them a round trip ticket to the West Coast to be slaughtered by LA or SF. I want nothing to do with that.

      The answer is so easy… it is right in front of them. If the Yankees or Dodgers want Castillo, it should cost one of the two elite Catcher prospects (in each organization) plus 2 to 3 more high end pieces (top 30 and young). Mahle will command one top 100 and 1 to 2 top 30 YOUNG prospects. Same with Drury. 1 to 2 top 30 17 to 21 year olds for the rest. The Reds would end up with about 40 guys age 17 to 21 that could arrive within 1 to 2 years of each other. If only half pan out, they could be unstoppable in 2025 and beyond.

      Then they continue to invest in young players through the draft, international markets, and trading off good players like Castillo and Mahle as they near free agency for more high end young talent.

      Please do not bring in anyone age 24 or 25. It will only add to the also-ran state of the Reds.

      • Hanawi

        Absolutely. Reds have to trade and maximize the return even if they are 2-3 years away.

      • Greenfield Red

        Care to elaborate Kevin? What they’ve done for the last 30 years has not worked, and the last 7 years have been particularly aweful.

        They’re never going to spend big money. Trying to be .500 is never going to get to the Series.

        What’s your solution?

      • Mark A Verticchio

        I agree with you somewhat maybe some 22 – 23 year old who is a year or so away. They have a lot of pitching in that age group and a few other pieces. They can’t waste Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft and others waiting for 19 or 20 year old people to get ready unless it’s EDLC who hopefully will be here by 2024 if not 2023.

      • Bill

        More than looking for “major league ready” I think they were fixated on certain players. I think if they instead take the best package available regardless of if they are AAA or A level players, and stop looking for a specific position, they will be better off. If you end up with two All Stars playing the same position in two years it is a good problem to have

      • Old-school

        The Reds traded Johnny Cueto on July 26 2015- a few months before he hit FA. They traded Chapman for non baseball reasons urgently because of guns and domestic violence against women. They kept Todd Frazier because they wanted to promote him for the AS game, even if it meant keeping him past his trade value window. They had Brandon Nimmo for jay Bruce and somehow Uncle Walt decided at the last minute Dillon Herrera was a better option.

        None of these situations have anything to do with the return on Louis Castillo or Tyler Mahle (if hes 100% healthy) both of whom have 1 year and 2 months of control

        Apples and oranges.

        If the Red Sox said we want to give you major league ready AAA Triston Casas first base and power hitting lefty as a part of a huge package….or the Dodgers said pick 2 of 3 major league ready in Andy Pages, Michael Busch and Bobby Miller…would you say no, we prefer a 18 and 19 year old with upside and throw in your best 17 year old from the Dominican academy?

        Reds get 6 picks in the MLB draft in the top 123in 2 weeks, they can draft all the teenage upside they want.

      • Greenfield Red

        Bill, I think you miss an important point: By the time guys get to AA or AAA, the teams who own them almost always know if they will make it or not. The rest of baseball only sees stats and a couple of weeks of what the owning team wants you to see. They know much more about work habits, diet, preparation, any number of things. If a team has a future superstar in AA or AAA, they will not trade him for anybody. If he’s just going to be ok or has a career thretaening injury (see Dilson Herrera), it is masked best it can be, but he is made available for trade.

        I read an article the other day where Cashman was talking up Volpe a lot. Makes me think Peraza is their guy, and he is maximizing his return for Volpe.

      • BK

        The bottom-line is you want the best talent in return. While some of the circumstances around the 2015-16 trades were different, Walt Jockety publicly stated they were targeting Major League ready talent. Contending teams will be leveraging their own farm system as well as trades to make their playoff pushes. As such, they’ll put some of their best players off limits. The expected production of a top 10-20 prospect is much higher than say a top 75-100 prospect. If you are going to give up a season and a half of an elite starter like Castillo and/or a front-end starter like Mahle, you must get elite prospects in return. So, while I wouldn’t rule out a ML-ready prospect, particularly if he’s blocked, I wouldn’t hesitate to focus on younger prospects either as Greenfield suggests.

      • BK

        I wouldn’t worry at all about a GM talking up his prospect. The Reds aren’t consulting ESPN, The Athletic or Baseball America. They are scouting these players and have access to enormous amounts of data from the technology systems such as Trackman and Hawkeye that are available at almost every MiLB location. If they miss on a prospect and it’s not due to injury, blame the Scouting Department.

      • Votto4life

        Greenfield Red I agree. There is a difference between

        A. “major league ready”,
        B. “Legitimate prospects” and
        C. “lottery tickets”.

        The Reds seem to always want to focus on A and C. Have no patience for B.

      • MK

        The return on Cueto wasn’t bad at all. Finnegan was a young major league ready pitcher. Reed a top prospect and Lamb a middle of the road prospect. Can’t factor in the injuries but at the time an excellent trade. And Cueto was a short term rental for KC.

      • Votto4life

        I think they are three type of prospects

        1. Near major league Ready – (largely based on age and social promotion). More role players, bench players. Not bad players necessarily, but not stars either. Less impactful. Every teams needs them, but whole team can’t be made up of them.
        2. Legitimate Prospects – promotion based mostly on talent. Stars or near star status. Most likely to have impactful major league careers.

        3. Lottery Picks – sometimes pay off, but mostly they don’t. If you are lucky they to develop into #1 or #3s.

        The Reds seem to chase groups #1 and #3.

        The Reds don’t seem to have a lot of patience for group #2. Also, perhaps they don’t have a system in place to develop players in group #2

        The Reds often confuse group #2 with group #1 and #3

        Sometimes they get lucky (e.g. Luis Castillo) while chasing a #3 land a #2. They never land a #2 while chasing #1.

      • Bill

        Greenfield, I didn’t miss any point. I think you missed my point. They should take the best package available regardless of age or position. If the best package available is three 19/20 year old prospects take that, but if someone offers up a can’t miss prospect in AAA you take that even if you already have someone at that position

    • Jimbo44CN

      Aquino much better than Fraley defensively. Was really coming around before he got hurt. Fraley, not so much.

      • MK

        Don’t disagree but not sure we know that yet.

  8. Hunt4RedsOct

    Amir Garrett tossed from Royals game today for barking at Baez again. I miss the fire but not the ridiculousness.

    • Bill

      Trading Garret away was a huge positive, but why they took Minor is puzzling. He could have been DFA’d and picked up some other “veteran” starter to eat innings for much less.

      At one time I loved Garrett, especially when he took on the entire Pirates team, but somewhere along the line he became obsessed with on field drama and his Twitter feed, and starting fights became his best quality. Maybe he can start a fantasy football league with Pham