Mike Minor picked up his second win of the season as the Reds pulled away late from the Pirates. With the win Cincinnati took the series and ensured that they wouldn’t be in last place in the division, which is now where Pittsburgh resides all by themselves.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (48-71)
9 13 1
Pittsburgh Pirates (47-74)
5 10 1
W: Minor (2-10) L:  Thompson (3-10)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Jake Fraley wasted no time getting things started on Sunday, crushing a home run to leadoff the game. Two innings later he was getting things started again, this time with a walk to begin the 3rd. Two outs later he would score on a Mike Moustakas homer that gave Cincinnati a 3-2 lead.

The Reds bats went quiet for a few innings, but they came to life in the 6th. TJ Friedl and Aristides Aquino both walked and moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Papierski. Jake Fraley followed up with two more runs batted in on the day with a single that plated both runners and extended the lead to 5-2. Jonathan India followed up with a triple to make it 6-2, and then he would score the final run of the top of the 6th on a Donovan Solano single that made it a 7-2 ballgame.

Pittsburgh closed the gap to 7-5 in the bottom of the inning. Neither team scored in the 7th, but Cincinnati added to their lead in the 8th. Once again Jake Fraley ignited the rally. He walked with one out and moved to second when Jonathan India was hit by a pitch. Donovan Solano battled through a 6-pitch at-bat and came through with an RBI single to make it 8-5. Nick Senzel capped off the scoring with an RBI single of his own to give the Reds a 4-run lead.

The Pitching

After being given a 1-0 lead, Mike Minor gave it up with a quickness as he allowed four hits in the bottom of the 1st as the Pirates jumped ahead 2-1. Minor had to work around a few baserunners over the next few innings, but he began the 6th inning with a 7-2 lead. The lefty gave up two singles and then a 2-run double before he could get out of the inning. Ian Gibaut entered the game holding a 7-4 lead with a runner on second base and promptly gave up an RBI single that cut the lead to 7-5 and closed the book on Minor’s outing – leaving him with five earned runs in 5.2 innings pitched. Gibaut would strike out Kevin Newman to end the inning.

Buck Farmer took over for Cincinnati in the 7th inning and he tossed a perfect inning to hold the lead at 7-5. He returned for the 8th and recorded two outs before Reiver Sanmartin came on for the final out of the inning. Alexis Diaz then threw a perfect 9th inning to deal the game and give the Reds a series victory.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Philadelphia Phillies

Monday August 22nd, 7:05pm ET

Luis Cessa (3-1, 5.50 ERA) vs Noah Syndergaard (7-8, 3.95 ERA)

124 Responses

  1. Jeff Morris

    Great win for the Reds. Really love this Fraley guy. Would be something if he can continue to do this, even into next year. Farmer pitching well. Diaz, as usual gets the job done. Looks like Alexis will be like his brother Edwin, and be a great closer!

  2. Dennis Westrick

    So, if my math is correct, Minor’s two (2) wins equate to $5M per win! What a bargain! Knew those 2 engineering degrees would come in handy some day!

    • Melvin

      I’ll have to get my calculator out to confirm. 🙂

      • MK

        If he’s an engineer you will need a slide rule.

    • Brian

      Fantastic way to spin a fun win by the Reds into something negative! I love exclamation points!

    • Redgoggles

      Which works out to double the per/W value that Miley has provided…..

  3. Bill

    Right now you can pencil Fraley in a corner OF spot for 23, Votto at 1B/DH, Stephenson C. I assume the IF will be 3B Farmer, 2B India, Barrero at SS. India needs to bounce back to his rookie season performance, Barrero will get a chance to figure out MLB pitching, Farmer has been solid and will probably be a deadline trade unless Larkin gets Bob’s checkbook. The prospects should begin arriving late 23 and into 24

    Moose needs DFA’d, The OF is full of 4/5 guys. Senzel is coming to the stage were arbitration salary is going to soon exceed his production and make him a non tender candidate. Aquino just can’t figure it out, but he and Almora are both good defensively. I would guess there is only room for one defensive OF. I would really love to see the Reds do something no one expects and sign a guy like Benintendi to be around for the next window.

    Starting pitching looks good, but need some depth. Bullpen is a dumpster fire. Maybe find a few moderately priced arms and hope to strike gold. Relievers seem to be very unpredictable from year to year so maybe it sorts itself out

    • docproc

      Spencer Steer turns 25 in December and has nothing left to prove at AAA. If he’s not in the starting lineup coming out of camp next spring, the Reds are doing something wrong.

      • Bill

        I would give him the 1B job if he does well in Spring Training and let Votto DH, but I am not confident they will move Votto to DH. Especially if Moose is still around.

      • JDub

        Steer should take over at 2B with India moving back to his natural position at 3B.

      • Doc

        It’s always possible that Votto won’t be ready for full time play in the field by ST and might want a spell at DH, especially if he puts team first.

      • MK

        Really hate it when they let the players do what they want. I could care less whether Votto wants to DH. Put him there if it is best for the team.

  4. Steven Ross

    Alexis Diaz then threw a perfect 9th inning to deal the game and give the Reds a series victory. What a concept! Maybe Bell phoned Buck Showalter and asked him how he uses Edwin Diaz. Ummm…9 times out of 10, in the 9th.

    Props to “Rake” Fraley. Don’t see how he doesn’t figure into the starting lineup next season. Brantley didn’t pull any punches watching Aquino struggle with his ABs. Cowboy says what I’m thinking.

    • Kevin H

      I like Brantley, however he was a pitcher not a hitter. So maybe leave that to former major league hitters. Example, Eric Davis.

      • Bill

        Brantley has seen a few MLB hitters, so he is probably more than qualified to analyze one.

      • VaRedsFan

        Eric Davis said the same thing, when he was in the booth the other night.
        “He’s standing too tall”
        “He’s failing to adjust to how he’s being pitched.”

      • MK

        Eri Davis as a player had tremendous natural ability and reflexes. If you remember his batting style he held his hands and bat down by his waste and wiggled the bat. I know no hitting instructor who would teach this set-up so I’m not sure what worked for Eric would work for anyone else. And, he stood straight up.

    • Indy Red Man

      Somehow I think the Mets have good set-up men unlike the Reds.
      Are you going to save Diaz for the 9th when the leads already blown? Farmers been good recently, but who else? Name the others that can protect a lead thru the meat of their order in the 6th or 7th?
      I hope this thing dies out.

      • Luke J

        Sanmartin has been lights out in the bullpen. Next question.

      • SteveAreno

        Second best for the season in relief is Ross Detwiler with a 3.38 ERA

      • Luke J

        Actually Steve, when you filter out Sanmartin’s numbers as a starter, he has been the 2nd best out of the bullpen. He was a terrible starter. But is a fantastic reliever.

    • Bill

      I was surprised it took this long for someone to bring up the Diaz argument. Today the Reds had the luxury of a large lead and didn’t need Diaz to hold a lead in the 7th

      • Luke J

        Hmm, they didn’t use Diaz in the 7th and won. Yet when they used him for 1 out in the 7th they lost. I think your logic in your example is a bit off. Clearly they didn’t need him in the 7th Friday. How’d that work out?

      • Bill

        Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

      • greenmtred

        Diaz didn’t get it done Friday. Different game if he had, possibly. And, of course, the Reds had a big lead today, so bullpen strategy is nearly immaterial.

    • greenmtred

      And the concept is? Saving your best bullpen guy so he can go into the 9th and protect a 4 run lead? In this game, it made no difference,and if the Pirates had posed a serious threat an inning or two before, Bell might have used him then, as he should have, but a team like the Reds with only one good bullpen guy could lose quite a few games by coughing up runs before the the 9th.

      • Luke J

        Would you prefer the lead be coughed up in the 7th or the 9th? Serious question. The fact is, Diaz can’t pitch them all. So odds are someone is giving up some runs. When would you prefer they be given up?

      • Bill

        You continue with these strawman arguments. When a run is given up is largely irrelevant. A run is worth the same regardless if it is in the 1st inning or the 9th. We all understand concept of a closer, which is utilized by many teams with competent bullpens. The counter argument that continues to confuse you is – in a club with limited resources (Reds) you match your best pitcher vs the best hitters with the best opportunity to score. For example if you have a one run lead, with a man on and the 3-4-5 hitters coming up the chances of giving up a run is far greater than the 9th with 6-7-8 batters. If you have the Nasty Boys it doesn’t matter who goes out Charleston, Myers, or Dibble, because chances are any of those three are going to get three outs. I feel significantly better with Warren and Strickland pitching to the bottom of the order with no one on than I do facing the middle of the lineup with inherited base runners

      • Luke J

        Bill, not only do you not understand what a strawman argument is, but you still fail to understand that not all runs are equal. When they are scored matters. If a team scores in the 7th, there is still an opportunity for the offense to make it up and come back to win. If they score in the bottom of the 9th, the game is quite literally over. Is this really that hard to understand?

      • Luke J

        Also, Bill, the matchup with the middle of the order is a red herring. It throws people like you off because it sounds good in theory. But when you get to the numbers, the reality is, a middle of the order batter might get a hit 30% of the time while a 7 or 8 hole hitter gets a hit 25% of the time. Then factoring in the difference between a top reliever and a mediocre reliever, opponent batting average for one might be .280 while another is .220. The difference just isn’t significant enough to blow your best reliever for one out in the 7th instead of giving him the whole 9th. The problem here isn’t that I don’t understand, it’s that you don’t.

      • greenmtred

        I understand the argument, Luke, and your point makes sense. It would be unassailable if the Reds had a pen stocked with good pitchers. Yes, Sanmartin has been good, but he can’t pitch every day. So, under the circumstances, I’d use the best pitcher to deal with a present threat rather than a theoretical one. Some games, like yesterday’s, the threat doesn’t develop, so use your best to nail down the ninth, which is what happened.

      • Bill

        All runs are equal, you have proven my point. Thanks for playing

      • old-school

        Its late august and the Reds arent in a pennant race.
        Diaz looks great and is a centerpiece for sure but I view things now as sorting through bullpen arms and who can claim a bullpen spot in 2023 by pitching well now. I don’t have a problem with Kuhnel pitching the 9th on friday because you have to find out if he can be a reliable high leverage arm for next season. It doesn’t look that way but you aren’t going to find out unless he pitches the 9th in a 1 run game.
        Id give Buck Farmer some high leverage looks going forward. Hes interesting in he’s got some pretty good background as a high end starter in the ACC, decent draft pick by the Tigers and was a starter for a long time. Id throw him out there every few days in some high leverage situations to see if he can thrive in that situation.

        Use the rest of this season to see if Buck Farmer or Kuhnel or San Martin or Warren or Gibault can be part of next years pen. Right now, I’m not sold on any of them but there’s one way to find out.

      • Chris

        Luke, you are just wrong on this. Meat of the order typically means the best hitters in the lineup. You act as though all players are virtually equal in a lineup; that’s just not true. If you don’t use your best reliever in the most crucial part of the game, he may never be needed by the 9th inning. Also, you fail to acknowledge that by holding off opponents runs in the 7th, the Reds offense may be able to score more runs, without pressing due to a newly present deficit. I remember Baker staying true to the closer situation in the post season, which ended up meaning, our best arm in Chapman wasn’t even used in the post season. Maybe you just aren’t big on doing laundry and don’t want to see the uniforms of your star relievers get dirty.

      • Bill

        Chris, exactly my point. Throwing out generic stats it’s easy to say save your best for last. However if you are actually looking at the matchups no one can tell me that sending out your lesser reliever to face prime Joey Votto in his after the break tear (.500 OBP, .600 SLG) with a runner on second and a 1 run lead, just to save your closer to face Aquino and Barrero in the 9th with no one on is a good idea. Obviously if you are facing the current Reds lineup you could save your closer because the heart of the lineup is probably Moose, who can still beat you, but is not significantly more likely than the bottom of the order.

        His logic also assumes the Reds are only going to score runs if they are currently down. Not to mention that the idea the game is over in the 9th, only applies to the go ahead run in the bottom of the inning. At least half your games you get another chance, so whatever fairy dust you sprinkle on the bats when losing will still be available.

        It is all about picking the matchup that gives you the best chance to succeed. Obviously there are teams and situations where the best reliever is saved to close out games. If you didn’t need your best pitcher until the 9th, then bullpens wouldn’t be made up of failed starters. Your starters would instead be failed closers

  5. JB WV

    Like to see the Reds resign Solano. He can flat out hit. DH or an occasional start at 3rd or first.

    • SteveAreno

      Solano always needs to start every day. A very underrated and under appreciated hitter by Reds media.

  6. Old-school

    Senzel and Fraley are giving good at bats.
    Good day for the Reds.

  7. Mark B

    I’ll take Jake Fraley over Jesse Winker any day!!

    • TR

      Jesse Winker was just coming into his own as a good ML hitter and was an all-star last year. I was socked when he was traded, but change happens, so go with the flow. Fraley seems to be a good replacement but he should be in left not rightfield. Aquino, with his defensive skills should be the right fielder, for now.

  8. David

    Proposed roster for 2023 for the Reds?

    I can see Kyle Farmer, but would you like him or Donovan Solano, if you had to pick ONE?

    Fraley is proving himself. According to Dunn (who knew him since Minors) Fraley has ALWAYS hit. Guys hit a plateau somewhere, but he seems to be coming on. But afterall, the last three days were against the Pirates. Arrrrggh, me Buccoes!

    Senzel: I don’t know about him. He still has the end of the year to show a little more, but would you rather have him in centerfield, or a raw Elly De la Cruz?

    Steven Steer. I think he should be starting at 3rd base next Spring.

    Votto may not be ready. Votto may never play again. It may be next May or June until we know for sure.

    I would like to see the Reds DFA Moustakas, but in reality, that is NOT going to happen. He will likely start at 1st base if Votto is not ready.

    I would like to see Aquino prove himself, but…..he’s only got (in my opinion) until the end of the season. If he doesn’t make more effective contact, I think the Reds should cut him loose.

    Minor, Paperierski, Dugger, Strickland will be gone. I don’t know if the Reds keep Aramis Garcia or Austin Romine as the backup catcher, behind Stevenson

    • SteveAreno

      Austin Romine should be starting catcher now. Much better defense, experience, and batting.

    • JB

      Garcia is much better defensively than Romine and better arm.

  9. Klugo

    Fraley been doing well with his time.

  10. Kevin H

    Jesse Winker is a better hitter than Fraley. Amazing how a player gets hot or 1 hot month and people jump on his bandwagon Great example is Aquino. Fraley is hot no question, but let’s cool the Jets on him being better than Winker.

    Plus two months ago some of you were saying keep Fraley at triple A.

    • David

      That is, of course a very good point. Can Fraley sustain his present hitting?

      I would also point out that Fraley is probably a better outfielder than Jesse Winker. And a lot of the judgement about Winker was based on his best year, 2021.

      Fraley is also 3 years younger than Winker.

      • Old Big Ed

        Winker was born on August 17, 1993. 21 months and 8 days later, on May 25, 1995, Fraley was born. I know that this is 2022 and nothing means what it used to mean, but 1 3/4 years is not “3 years.”

        Fraley is playing better than Winker, and may in fact be better than Winker going forward, but he isn’t 3 years younger.

      • Jim Walker

        Agree with OBE.

        I would add to keep an eye on Fraley’s pitching handedness splits. Winker was weak against LH pitching when with the Reds even in 2021(.572 OPS; 58 OPS+) but made it up vs RH pitching (1.070/186).

        Last year Fraley basically mirrored Winker on these splits but was .260 in OPS lower versus RH pitching. However to date this year, Fraley is even worse vs LH pitching than Winker was last year, but his sample size is very small.

        Besides probably being a better defensive OF than Winker, he seems to be a much better base runner.

        Fraley appears to be unlikely to quite match Winker versus RH pitching but may emerge as the better player all around.

    • Luke J

      The same Winker with 0.1 WAR and a .701 OPS this year? He’s a platoon player. Can put up nice numbers against righties but not sure I’d put him on some pedestal and argue with someone liking a much younger hitter putting up great numbers more than him.

      • Kevin H

        It’s not a pedestal. Winker is close to a career 300 hitter who is having a off year. Fraley has had a good two week stint.

      • Luke J

        Dude is a career 5 WAR player in 5 years. He’s below average overall (although his batting is slightly above average and his defense is significantly below average). He’s simply not missed. So being excited about a young player who is showing he could be much better than that mediocrity is perfectly fine.

    • BK

      Fraley hit almost this well last year, too–his first opportunity with extended playing time. He has an OPS+ of 100+ for his last 380 PAs over 2 years.

  11. LDS

    Farmer over Solano on age difference alone. But neither should be starters in 2023. Fraley and Winker, neither hit LH’ers. As bad as the Reds have been this, it’s easy to get enthusiastic about anyone performing decently. But, if the Reds roster/lineup in 2023 consists of platoon players and utility players, in their 30s, it’s going to be another long, miserable year.

    • LT

      It will be a long year either way, line up with some ok aging players or line up of full of minor league hitters. What would you rather see.

      • LDS

        The young guys. At least, there’s some hope a future. Farmer, Solano, Moose, Moran, even Votto are part of a not particularly good past. Same is true of Detwiller, Strickland, Minor, and company – time to punt. Steer, Williamson, EDLC, and others need to advance. Team may not win much but losing with 20-24 year olds is much less frustrating and they’ll get better.

      • MBS

        Farmer and Solano are not the same as Moran and Moustakas. I’d be happy if both were on the roster in 23, not as happy if they were on the roster in 24. We’ll need the depth, and there isn’t enough prospects to step in yet.

        Votto 1B, Steer 2B, India 3B, Barrero SS, Stephenson C, Solano DH, Farmer Utility, and the OF is going to be a mess. Hopefully McGarry and or CES will take over 1B at some point in 23, and EDLC takes over CF at some point in 23 as well.

      • LDS

        MBS, the OF is a mess in 2023? What else is new? I think Reds fans are being overly optimistic about Votto’s return. Tough surgery for an old guy. But there’s a lot of guys on the IL that I think most of us are too optimistic about, like Antone, Sims, etc.

      • MBS

        I’m expecting Votto’s role to be diminished next year, and as far as Antone and Sims, I’m just crossing my fingers. Regardless of their status, they need to spend on a closer, and left handed set up man.

    • JB

      Wait so Fraley has had about 400 at bats in the Majors and you say he can’t hit lefties? So the Reds saying Paul Oneill couldn’t hit lefties was OK? Let’s leave him in every day to see how he adjusts to lefties like O’Neill got the chance before we say he can’t hit lefties. Right now he can hit lefties better than Aquino.

  12. LT

    Unless Barrero is sick, he needs to start every game. Some one said need 800 at bats to really know a hitter, Bell is wasting time here.

      • LT

        A 32 years old pregnant nurse worked 21 days straight during Covid. Barrero is what , 21, and had a day off last Friday. And he “plays” baseball, not work. Geesh 🙂

      • JB

        Like Cowboy said, “Anybody under 25 doesn’t need a day off.”

      • burtgummer01

        Some people whine just for fun.
        Giving a kid who can’t hit major league pitching a day off and whining about it is nuts

  13. TR

    Whether Fraley can keep up his consistent hitting, time will tell. But he has certainly lessened my angst over the first Seattle trade.

  14. Mark Moore

    Fun win. Now to see if we can make Thor cry tomorrow night 😀

    • TR

      It will be difficult after flight from Pitt to Philly and game at Citizens Bank facing Thor.

  15. IrishMike

    Honestly – I like Papierski. That was a terrific bunt he laid down and he appears to be pretty solid defensively. Of the back-ups we’ve seen, I’m curious as to the thoughts of others. There is obviously no replacement for Stevenson – or even close. But I would be all for moving Stevenson to first base…think Sean Casey kinda hitter with a better average. I don’t buy the argument that the loss of power at the first base position does not warrant his switch. Hell – we’ve gotten NOTHING – nada- from that (or either of those) position this year. This is not going to be a power team next year…so we better have guys with the highest possible on base percentages. I liked the sacrifice. I like Fraley leading off. Can steal and the occasional lead-off HR is a real spoiler for the other team.

    • Tim

      I understand protecting Stephenson at first but here’s my argument. If you have a player that is better than most other players at his position and you put him in a new position where he is at or below the average player at that position, you’ve just eliminated your advantage. Keep him behind the plate where he will be an elite catcher and win that position 9 times out of 10

      • Chris

        Thank you Tim. I’m so tired of this nonsense about moving Stepenson to 1st base. Glad this stupidity wasn’t being thought of for Bench back in the day.

      • Bill

        I am firmly in the leave Stephenson at C camp. If he accumulates some more concussions, then for his safety move him to 1B/DH, until then you have All Star level production at an typically weak hitting position.

      • greenmtred

        It might have given Bench a few more productive years if it had. Perez might have been a disincentive . Stevenson may well be the Reds’ most promising hitter, and he’s already had several concussions and other injuries playing the most punishing position. It certainly is not idiocy to consider protecting him.

    • SteveAreno

      NIce sac bunt by Papierski but he is way less talented than Austin Romines. Papierski has too many stolen bases against him. He has never batted .281 with the Yankees like Romines has.

  16. Kevin H

    @LT, baseball is work and if you don’t think so. Go do it for days in a row and see how u feel etc etc

    Comparing nurses working during covid to baseball is obviously not comparable

    • JB

      Would love to share this comment with the world. Nurses are on their feet and run the hospitals. 21 days straight working through a pandemic running from patient to patient as more patients come flying through a door not knowing whether you are going to die any moment is comparable to a guy playing baseball? Nice. Let me guess white collar worker?

      • greenmtred

        Kevin H said precisely that: They’re not comparable. Playing baseball isn’t heroic, for one thing. But baseball isn’t life and death, and a day off can provide a chance to consider and adjust–something a player in Barrero’s position may well need. How likely is it that Brantley never had days off? And why is this such a big deal? You’d almost think that baseball IS life and death.

      • JB

        Baseball isn’t life or death. Nurses deal with it every second every day , especially during the pandemic. The way Kevin worded it was baseball was just as hard as a nurse. Give me a break. Barrero had a day off on Thursday. He can’t play 3 days in a row?

      • greenmtred

        I know, JB: My sister was a nurse and so was a long-term girl friend. Nursing is very hard work, but–excepting a pandemic–nurses also get well-deserved days off. I don’t know–nor do any of us–why Barrero got the day off. It may well be that he could have played, but it was deemed wise to give him a break. But because baseball isn’t life or death, I don’t know why it’s a big deal.

    • Luke J

      I played baseball in college, so up until I was 22. Sure it is work. I worked hard every day, far more than just the time on the field during the game or practice. But I can assure you, barring injury, I never once needed a day off when the team was playing.

  17. RedsGettingBetter

    Resign, please, Donovan Solano and Buck Farmer to 2023. Release Zeuch or keep him at AAA ever… What should they do about Moose popstakas?

  18. Old-school

    Joey votto sighting with Stephenson

  19. Bdh

    2023 opening day prediction

    C – Stephenson
    1B – Votto
    2B – India
    3B – Farmer
    SS – Barrero
    LF – Sign Benintendi (need an everydaycorner OF, GABP would be a good place to get some of his power back, he’s from Cincinnati and grew up a reds fan, helps open the window to contending again sooner, and there’s available payroll even by reds standards that would be perfect for a contract that won’t prevent extensions. He just makes too much sense)
    CF – Senzel
    RF – Fraley
    DH – Steer

    B – backup catcher
    B – Moustakas
    B – Friedl
    B – Lopez (get him some time in the OF during spring training so he can play everywhere like Reynolds and platoon with Fraley. If not then 1 of Almora/Aquino)


    FA Signing



    • west larry

      Lorenzen is a free agent again. Should the reds try to resign him?

      • west larry

        will be a free agent after the world series…

      • Jim Walker

        To pitch or play OF? 😉 😉

        Guessing if ML was told he was going to be an OF in 2023, he would spend the winter working on hitting and be no worse and probably better all around than anyone currently on the Reds 40 man roster.

        This is meant as a commentary on the Reds OF situation, not a serious suggestion at this juncture. Sadly that ship has sailed.

      • Jim Walker

        Oops, given Fraley’s recent surge I should have added a qualifier to my Lorenzen comment,

        “…no worse and probably better all around than any RH hitting OF currently on the Reds 40 man roster”.

  20. Hotto4Votto

    At one point, I had thought that there wasn’t much more upside to Fraley than what he’d shown (this was when he was on minor league rehab). I believe I was wrong about that. What he’s done since coming back has been eye opening.

  21. Doc4uk

    I was just curious enough to quickly study how the players the Reds traded away during the off season and during the season. Castellanos has a pedestrian 11 HR’s and a .265 BA with a negative WAR. Miley has been injured since June 11 and is still on the DL.

    Winker and Suarez are both hitting below .230 and the two of them are among the top 3 in strikeouts. Suarez has hit 22 dingers however. Castillo has continued to do what he typically does.

    Gray is the one who got away . He is arguably the Twins second best starter and has a 3.11 ERA. Mahle has had a sore arm so who knows how this will end. But too early to tell.

    Barnhart is hitting around .200 . Naquin around .230 and Drury around .211 .

    The back of baseball cards tends to catch up with players eventually. Really only Sonny Gray looks like the Reds may not have received equal value or more .

    Obviously only time will tell how the various prospects end up but so far all have seemed to be productive for their age and experience and Steer looks like he might be able to jump into the line up at 3B and perhaps Encarnacion – Strand at !B if Votto is slow to return to form.

    Williamson will also be part of the 2023 rotation and Dunn and Fraley are coming along and will likely be with the club when they break camp in 2023.

    Of course the young SS in A and A+ will be players to keep an eye on – Marte and Arroyo and Acosta and Sal Stewart (Compensatory Pick for Castellanos FA signing)

    And we have not even mentioned the pitchers Phillips and Petty and Hajjar and Stoudt. All are likely 2-3 years away and not all will make it as starting pitchers but all are showing great promise and a couple may be prime for the BP.

    And yes all of the players mentioned above were the return we received. At least on paper it looks pretty good for Krall and the future is looking brighter for the Reds especially with EDLC and Collier in the pipeline as well.

    • Jim Walker

      The problem for me is that mañana (tomorrow/ the future) never arrives. This is especially true with the current Reds ownership.

      The Reds were positioned to make a run at the playoffs in 2022 and chose to run, not walk, in the opposite direction. They painted themselves (intentionally I suspect) into a convenient corner where moving Castillo and Mahle at the deadline seemed prudent to holding on to them into the off season or the deadline in 2023.

      Now we get to see over the next several years if the organization that deconstructed a .500+ team can build another one any quicker than they did following the 2014 meltdown.

      Also Winker’s current OPS+ is 109; his OBP is .344. and Suarez OPS+ is at 123 (slightly better than Drury if anyone is wondering); Suarez OBP is .331 despite the Ks.

      • Luke J

        Jim, the Reds were in a position to mortgage their future for a shot at a wild card with no chance at a world series in 2022. They were absolutely correct to run, not walk, from that situation. They should NOT be building for sustained mediocrity. They need to build toward a window where they are legitimate contenders, not for a wild card, but for a title. The moves they made are toward that end. I don’t miss the 2022 shot at mediocrity at all.

      • Jim Walker

        @Luke, We will have to agree to disagree in on this. Except for a very few megamarket deep pocket teams, teams do not get to choose when they contend for playoffs. Teams have to stay positioned and grab an opportunity when it knocks. Look no further than the Braves last season.

        The postseason is just like the Lottery. If you don’t play in it, you can’t win it.

        With Castillo and Mahle leading the rotation and even a league average bullpen, the Reds would have been a tough out in the playoffs where first to 2, 3, or 4 wins is all that matters depending on the round.

        Imagine Drury as the supersub in a lineup that included Winker, Naquin and Suarez.

        Fixing the pen and signing Dury was doable after the Gray, Miley and Barnhart offloads.

        There is a line to balance between living in the present and hoping for the future. In 2022, the Reds were in position to live in the present without materially damaging or delaying their future prospects.

      • BK

        Just a quick reminder … the 2021 team missed the playoffs–they weren’t good enough. Close doesn’t cut it. The 2022 team was only an older version of the 2021 team at best. As we’ve seen, the player’s let go/traded have maintained or declined w/Suarez the possible exception (he’s improved his 3B play this year and made a positive contribution defensively). Delaying the rebuild in 2014 sabotaged the rebuild. Pushing in our chips for a mediocre 2022 team would have had a similar and predictable outcome.

        On the other hand, I wonder too if the ownership will stick with the plan of building the core of our team around young, relatively inexpensive players or if they’ll start selling prospects for expensive veterans in order to chase a wild card birth. The goal should be to produce a team competing for the division title each year. This will rebuild trust with the fans and increase attendance will lead to more resources available to sustain success. The plan is solid … they need to show us it will produce.

      • Jim Walker

        @BK, Castillo, Mahle, Gray and Winker are/ were all under team control through the 2023 season. Saurez is/ was under team control through 2025. It would not have really delayed the rebuild process to keep them into the off season since none of the Reds return on them augmented the MB team in a direct replacement sense except Fraley for Winker. Also, sometimes better deals are available in the offseason when more teams are involved.

        It was clear at the end of 2021 that what the Reds lacked was a bullpen and a RH bat to replace Castellanos. Those pieces along with Stephenson playing every day could have been added in the offseason to make this 2022 team a competitive team for the playoffs.

      • BK

        @Jim, I respectfully disagree (I have always enjoyed your posts!) The Reds were cash-strapped coming out of COVID. Making significant additions wasn’t in the cards for them. Moreover, we know a player’s trade value diminishes with time and increased cost. Not really valid to argue the Reds would have received comparable return later. I also don’t think there’s evidence that trade returns improve in the offseason. Particularly with Castillo–the Reds timed the market well. Most agree the last rebuild was delayed by Ownership due to hosting the ASG. The trades of vets yielded no lasting results (Duvall was the best).

    • SultanofSwaff

      Gray only has 89IP. He’s good for what little he gives you.

      Good update though. It’s been years now since the Reds have had a player leave and then have big time success elsewhere.

  22. Hotto4Votto

    As the season begins to wind down, with the only real question for me is if the Reds will avoid losing 100 games. Can the Reds win 15 games before losing 29?

    Looking towards next season, here are 5 questions I am pondering regarding the roster next season:

    1. What to do with Almora and Aquino? Currently Almora is producing a 71 wRC+ which is below his career 80 wRC+ over 1600 PA. He’s walking at a solid clip and strikes out less than 20% of the time He’s providing 0.4 fWAR this season due to his defense. Aquino is struggling big time to a 32 wRC+ this season where he’s not really getting on base and is striking out over 42% of the time. He’s provided 0.1 fWAR due to his defense.
    Both are out of options. Both are controlled by the Reds next season.
    I’d like to see Fraley, Senzel, and Friedl all receive consistent playing time next season. There isn’t an OF prospect kicking down the down the door at AAA, but Fairchild has put up a 122 wRC+ at AAA Louisville this season and has only received 45 total PA at the ML level. I’d probably like to see him get a chance, but it’s unlikely if both Almora and Aquino are around. There’s also the possibility of someone forcing their way onto the roster and the need to move someone else to the OF mix (since the INF is full).
    Personally, I probably keep Almora and wish the Punisher well. Let Almora, Senzel, Fraley, Friedl, and Fairchild man the OF.

    2. Where to play Steer? As he’s currently playing well at AAA he should be up next season. Barrero should continue to be given the opportunity to play SS and develop the bat. India probably sticks at 2B for the moment until he may be moved off by one of the middle INF in the pipeline (EDLC, McLain, Marte, etc). Which means 3B is the most likely place. The Reds currently have fan favorite Kyle Farmer there, but he’s aging and likely won’t be part of the Reds future.
    Personally, I think it’s time Farmer moves back into the utility role. Starting against LHP, and providing an off day for all the INF positions and an occasional DH. He still plays regularly, but ’23 is about the future.

    3. The backend of the rotation: Who fills in the rotation after Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcroft? Do the Reds sign an innings eater? Will they pick from Dunn, Overton, Gutierrez, Williamson, Stoudt, Phillips or Abbott in an open ST competition?
    If healthy, it’s probably a good idea to keep giving those first three opportunities while we’re still sorting. It may also make sense to sign a veteran innings eater. While I have not enjoyed the Mike Minor era, there is something valuable about taking the ball every 5th day and completing 5 innings or more. Whether that value is the $10m they’re paying Minor is debatable.

    4. Elly De La Cruz: When does he force his way onto the roster? Does he get AAA time this season? Does he make the squad out of ST if he mashes there? Where does he play? The INF is crowded, the OF could have openings, does he DH and rotate around the INF? Will the Reds play service time games?
    Personally, it’ll be must watch TV when he debuts. I’m hoping he’s up by early May (similar to Bruce).

    5. What to do with Moose? He really doesn’t fit next season. He’s not producing, he’s not part of the future, he crowds an already crowded INF roster. Will they eat the money? Will they swap a bad contract for another (maybe an innings eater?). The Reds have to find a solution before next season, can’t waste valuable development time.

    Thoughts? Other questions?

    • wkuchad

      1) No to Aquino and keep Almora as a 4th outfielder.

      2) Agree, Farmer moves to super utility role. Steer and India to start and 2B and 3B (whichever the Reds feel is best).

      3) I would like the Reds to sign one veteran starting pitcher to ‘eat innings’ and mentor the young guys. You’d need the right veteran to fill this role. We need to fill enough innings that we’re not forced to bring up guys before they’re ready. The other four starting spots goes to the young guys.

      4) Starts at AAA next year and does not come up until he’s ready (or someone goes on the injured list).

      5) DFA him during spring training (similar to Shogo), unless there’s substantial difference in his health (what kind of shape he’s in) and spring training performance. Basically, DFA him or make him strictly a bench bat.

      • Jim Walker

        1) get somebody else so they are not counting on anything from Senzel Aquino or Almora next year. All 3 are slightly different variations of the same underlying player.

      • wkuchad

        I don’t disagree Jim, especially for 2024. I’m fine with Senzel starting in CF next year though, with Almora as a backup. Senzel isn’t blocking anyone ready to come up. If we was, that would be a different story.

      • Jim Walker

        For 2023, if forced into the position, I would probably flip a coin between Aquino and Almora because I think they are both better defensive OFs than Senzel; and, Senzel doesn’t bring enough (more) offense to offset that given the position is CF.

        Also, Senzel is going to be more expensive than either of the other two. He is already at $1.25m and that isn’t going down unless he signs a multiyear deal with a bigger back end which I don’t see the Reds offering. On the other hand, I’d guess either of the AAs would sign for a million or thereabouts. maybe slightly less.

    • old-school

      Almora is a good back up CF and 5th outfielder on this 2022 team . He’s not an every day guy but like shortstops you have to have a back up SS/CF on the roster who can play those difficult positions and Almora plays a GG caliber CF. Almora is out till September and we will have to see what the Reds do in 2023. Senzel CF1 and Friedl CF2 could man CF in 2023.

      Fraley now has a .348 OBP in over 100 at bats in 2022. Corner OF everyday and lefty bat. I like him better in LF

      Senzel hit a line drive single 99.9 mph yesterday and another line drive single 103.3 mph and drew a walk. He looks to be coming around a bit. Keep him in CF every day and see what things look like in October. Hes healthy and and now has 330+ PA’s.

      Aquino went 0-4 with 3 k’s and a walk, albeit a hard hit grounder for an error. He’s 9-51(.176) with 21 k’s in his last 15 games so its not improving. He has a 43% K rate and OPS .504 and 4 Home runs all year.

      With Almora hurt and Friedl getting the playing time against righties, the only player Aquino is blocking is Fairchild. So bringing up Fairchild would mean DFA’ing Aquino and moving on. They may well do that in the off-season but I dont see anything forcing their hand on August 22, unless they want to give Fairchild some RF reps.

      • Jim Walker

        Looks possible they have a roster spot opening with the Reynolds injury. Fairchild is still on the 40 man optioned out; so, he could be brought up with no DFA required. Also they’ve already sent Zeuch back on option; he would seem to be a DFA candidate.

        In my mind bringing Fairchild up now would be a typically ill timed Reds move. He was cooking and ready when he was brought up then sat until his timing was out of synch. In the 2 or 3 weeks he has been back down, he has not been the same player he was before. So, on a mini scale, Barrero 2021/2022 all over again if they bring Fairchild back now.

        With the development and growth of young guys the Reds appear to have on tap, if Bell is to remain manager, Krall needs to sit him down for a serious meeting and make it clear, if he brings someone up to your roster, Bell needs to play them to show him the reason why ahead of time,

    • BK

      1. Almora is fungible, Aquino can’t hit. If they remain with the Reds it should be on minor league deals.

      2. Steer, he should play 2B or 3B next year with India manning the other spot. Whichever combo leads to the best defensive alignment. Farmer can then be traded (if the return is good enough) or assume a high use utility role playing 4-5 times each week. I’ll add another wrinkle … could Farmer start in RF? I think he’s athletic enough. We may need him at 1B early next season, too.

      3. Rotation. Need to plan for about 8 starters, so I think the Reds should look for a quality vet to pitch in the rotation. Greene, Aschraft, Lodolo, Dunn, and Overton give us 5. Williamson is close. Others in the minors won’t be ready at the start of the season. Sign a free agent who can be flipped at the deadline if things work out.

      4. ELDC. When? When he improves his plate discipline. K rate and BB rates must improve. I don’t see him ready by opening day. Phenom athlete, but I think he’ll need time at AAA. Made need to change positions, too.

      5. Moose. I’d carry him into ST and then decide. If there’s no improvement, then cut him during ST. As painful as it is, the Reds need to check out their significant investment next spring.

    • Optimist

      Aside from management and ownership, these Qs seem to cover everything else, namely the player personnel issues.

      1 – Only Fraley and Senzel are set for the MLB roster, and both are settling into 4th-5th man roles. All the others would be nice but not necessary on the 40-man. Try to trade, and if not, DFA and perhaps resign as AAAA players.

      2 – Steer is called up, but faces the ongoing issue of will he get to play more than twice a week? Unless he forces the issue, which he may, it could be a repeat of what we’ve seen and complained about before. The keep Farmer, but used as you note.

      3 – They’ll sign another innings eater (though Cueto may be getting too pricey) and hope they get luckier than with Minor. For the first time in years they have plenty of depth, but of unknown quality. Still, next year they get to mix in as many as possibly to see who fits.

      4 – Getting harder to keep EDLC in MiLB – but I expect they’ll try. A true rebuild would have him starting opening day, and to AAA by June if he falters. Others have noted he’s not polished, but the talent is undeniable. Just don’t want to blow the potential if he needs to tighten the zone and refine his defense a bit longer in MiLB.

      5 – DFA everyone else – no need to swap bad contracts or cut corners on renewals. They’ve actually done well picking up late spring waiver claims/FAs on the offensive side. Less so on the rotation, and of course the “how-not-to-do-it” in the bullpen.

      • BK

        I’m not sure Fraley is settling into a 4th/5th outfielder role. His OPS+ is 127, today … over 100 last year, too. Even if he needs a platoon partner, as a LH hitter, he should take ~80 percent of the PAs. There’s tremendous value in that, even if it isn’t the profile of a perennial all-star. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain his well above average OPS+ for the next 6 weeks.

      • Optimist

        Fraley is good, and he and Dunn are the overlooked parts of the Castillo deal, but both could outperform expectations. That said, Fraley is doubtful as a star – very good, yes; excellent in some roles, yes; but not likely an all-star, which is what Winker was at least once.

        He’ll be much more dependable than anyone else currently in the OF, but that’s because they have so many openings there. It’s also his age 27 year so he’s likely peaking this year and next.

        Still, a very useful 4th/5th outfielder.

    • MBS

      1) Fraley is the only one who has promise, so I’d say sign a FA or 2, if not keep the depth you have.

      2) I don’t know if Steer would be an upgrade defensively at 2B, but it would be hard for him not to be. Steer 2B, and let India be what he is, a 3B.

      3) Yes get an innings eater veteran, let Dunn, Overton, Williamson, and Stoudt compete for the last spot, with the other 3 waiting in AAA for the next opportunity. We’ll need as much depth as we can get in the rotation.

      4) EDLC should start in AAA, at CF, and based off of our projected OF, he’ll probably be up in 1 month, maybe 2.

      5) DFA Moose, If Bob can’t bear it, DH MM in a platoon with Farmer or Solano (hope we resign him)

      6 ) The 1st dollar spent on a FA should be a Closer, the 2nd a setup, the 3rd an OF, 4th a Solano, 5th a quality C to back up Stephenson

      • wkuchad

        The Reds don’t need to spend/waste money on a Closer next year. They need several quality bullpen arms, then figure out the best role for each.

      • MBS

        We could get a good closer for 15M and a good setup for 10M.


        We could get 5, 5M arms for the same money.

        For me I’d rather have 2 leaders at the back of my pen, and add my young guys into the mix like Diaz, Santillan, and SanMartin.

        If we went with 5 Michael Givens types, we will probably only have 2 or 3 actually work out.

        I like quality over quantity. In a good pen it’s hard to use more than 5 guys consistently, in a bad pen you need as many arms as you can get.

      • Jim Walker

        I think India ends up at LF. Question is when and how it happens.

      • MBS

        @Jim, India to LF isn’t something I’ve thought about, but maybe it could work. He just isn’t a middle infielder. The team would benefit if we stopped acting like he is.

      • Daytonnati

        I think C. Trent had India in LF as his prediction for the 2025 Opening Day lineup. Matt McClain at 2nd if memory serves …

      • Jim Walker

        Correct on C.Trent. I have seen/ heard/ read a number of media types offer the opinion India will end as a corner OF and did not see it as something that needed specific acknowledgment 😉

      • Hotto4Votto

        Jim –
        I too think India eventually ends up in LF. That’s part of the reason I probably would be inclined to leave him at 2B for ’23. I also don’t see Steer ending up at 2B with ELDC, McLain, and Marte just behind in the pipeline. Don’t see much of a reason to move both/either he and India for a year just to move them again. India’s fielding leaves a lot to be desired, but I think he’s got enough wheels and athleticism to play OF.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Thanks everyone for the responses. It was fun to read everyone’s thoughts and insights.

  23. Kevin H

    @Jim, why would India end up in the outfield? Am I missing something? Has he regressed as a 2nd basemen?

    Man I need to watch the reds next season. LOL I feel lost at times. I follow on game day and look at box scores etc etc

    • Jim Walker

      As I understand the situation, India is not considered a “natural” 2B. He played 3B in college and in the minors after being drafted by the Reds. Then in the spring of 2021, the Reds needed a 2B; and, India made the switch to there. Despite his success at 2B, there was remained an undercurrent of talk that someday he would move back to 3B

      Then 2022 happened in the Reds organization. Now the Reds have an army of top end prospects currently playing SS in the mid to high minors. They also have an apparent glut of 1B/3B guys. So, what’s a team to do? Moving some bodies to the OF seems to be the best answer.

      All of which brings us back to India. The feeling is he’s filling out into the body of a power hitter and already has that type of swing. So, off to left field he will go to make way for somebody else at 2B. As mentioned above 2, of the top candidates to replace India at 2B are probably Matt McLain (Reds #1 draft choice in 2021), currently at AA, or Spencer Steer (Mahle trade return), now at AAA.

      • Kevin H

        Makes sense to me lol… thank you for taking time to explain. Reds do have alot of infielders right now (prospects).

        I do wonder if they are going to more speed and contact hitters. I still wish they would move fences back some. The stadium hardly sells out

  24. William

    Steer is a good ball player. He needs to either play 1B, 2B, or 3B next year. India was great at 3B in college. He might even end up in LF eventually. Next year, he will probably play 2B, maybe 3B. Farmer will need to go back to a super utility role. I like Farmer, but doubt that he is part of the future team. The Reds have a potential superstar in De La Cruz. I am very impressed with him. Marte will find a place in the starting lineup in 2024. Hope they extend Stephenson and India. The young starters give me much hope. The bullpen is a work in progress. It will look very different in 2025. Diaz is the only bullpen arm that impresses me, not considering anyone on the disabled list right now.