The Cincinnati Reds had a roster spot to fill for the final two weeks of the year after outfielder Nick Senzel broke a toe in last night’s game after colliding with the wall in center against the Boston Red Sox. Their 40-man roster only had three position players on it that weren’t already in the big leagues – two catchers, and outfielder Allan Cerda who struggled to hit all season long between High-A Dayton and Double-A Chattanooga. Cincinnati opted to add outfielder Michael Siani to the 40-man roster and call him up from Triple-A Louisville instead of one of the 40-man roster options. He was selected by the Reds in the 4th round of the 2018 draft out of William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia.

The Reds were going to need to add Siani to the 40-man roster this offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, so this just gives him a 2-week head start on his 40-man addition. But it also gets him a head start on his big league career.

Michael Siani began the year in Double-A Chattanooga and he spent most of his season with the Lookouts before a late season promotion to Triple-A Louisville where he’s played in eight games. It’s been a breakout season offensively for the 23-year-old. He entered the season with 14 career home runs in 264 minor league games. This season he’s matched that, hitting 12 with Chattanooga and adding 2 more with Louisville. He’s also set career bests with 19 doubles, 7 triples, 65 walks, and 52 stolen bases.

Between his two stops, Siani has hit .252/.345/.405. After a quality showing in the Arizona Fall League in 2021 where his plate discipline seemed to take a step forward, the outfielder carried that forward to the 2022 season where he’s walked 65 times with just 95 strikeouts in 569 plate appearances. You can see his career stats here.

Entering the year, Siani was known more for his defense than for his offense. A plus defender in center with an above-average to plus arm, he’s long stood out with his defensive abilities. This season he’s rounded out his game a little bit, showing a better understanding of the strikezone and more power – giving pitchers something to be a bit more careful with when he’s at the plate.

26 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    Seems he’s the logical choice at this point. Hopefully he gets in the line-up and we see him in action.

    • Optimist

      A surprisingly impressive move. Sure, no effect on this season, and as you note a 2 week advance on a decision already made, but still, what a good move. Now to see if he gets 25 or more PAs.

  2. LDS

    An interesting move. He may not hit much right out f the gate, but he’s strong on defense and knows how to run. And running is something the Reds badly need. And if he hits, that will take all the pressure off of Senzel’s future.

    • Doc

      I assume you are saying that it will take all the pressure off the Reds decision-making regarding Senzel’s future, ie, so long Nick.

      • LDS

        At least as the starting CF. Farmer may be gone, offering Senzel a shot at that role.

      • Indy Red Man

        Farmer is never gone. In fact they’re actively looking for more Farmers.

        Actually I like both Farmers, but Kyle Farmer batting 3rd makes me miss entire games just because

      • LDS

        Sadly @Indy, that’s the truth. It’s what Bell seems to like. Journeymen over 30, whether pitchers or hitters, seem to be what Bell is most comfortable playing.

      • 2020ball

        If thats the only type of player providing production, than fine by me if they play.

  3. Doc

    I like it also. I hope this is a move emanating from the new plan to have a sustainable competitive plan.

    I don’t like the waiver wire, castoff kind of signings. For every Drury there are dozens who aren’t. If they weren’t good enough for the dozen other teams with which they had a cup of coffee, they are not likely to help the Reds unless the goal is to stay near, but not at, the bottom.

    For the most part I don’t like free agent signings. I see them as guys who are more concerned with making far more than I could ever dream of, without having to continue to perform (Moose anyone?), than they are with loyalty to a new team.

    I like minor league baseball where the game is still played by young men trying to prove themselves, the major leagues just aren’t that big a thrill. I hope Siani gets playing time these last two weeks, he has earned it.

    • MBS

      I hope all moves going forward are part of the sustainable plan, and not just reactionary. I also prefer homegrown as the core of a team, but with FA’s filling the holes that didn’t fill themselves.

  4. Moon

    I have watched him a few times when Chattanooga played the Huntsville Trash Pandas down here. He is a good all around player. It will be fun to watch him play. It is a long way from AA ball where I watched him a few months ago to the Major Leagues. He may struggle with hitting right out of the gate. Elly De La Cruz was on the same Chattanooga roster and he looked a lot more ready for the Majors than Siani. Interesting Siani made to Cincy before Elly but guess circumstances will drive things at times more than talent.

  5. MBS

    I don’t remember see Siani’s name on any fall or winter league teams. If he’s getting a cup of coffee today, his odds of making the opening day roster must be good. I assumed he’d be a 23 midseason call up, and he very well could be, but who knows now.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    To me it’s a surprise. I thought Siani was projected slowly to the big league debut maybe to mid or end of 2023. It is hard to understand the style of the Reds Office sometimes very cautious but other times agressive…
    I was one of the Hopkins-Gilliam spectators expecting one of them to be called up….
    Could it be understood this move as a message to Alan Cerda? Could Cerda be outrighted after the season ends and be unprotected of rule 5? I think the numbers of Cerda on offense this year can make the Reds take the chances …

  7. Old-school

    Congrats to Siani. He gets a cup of coffee to finish a breakout year for him. C Trent wrote an article a bit ago after watching the Lookouts play a 5 game series and noted scouts he talked to felt Siani was the best defensive OF in the reds farm system. Reds need an elite defensive CF. They haven’t had one since Hamilton and it makes roster construction so much easier and lineups so much easier knowing you’ve got elite defense roaming in CF. I assume Siani starts in AAA next year as the lead off hitter, but it will be interesting to see where he is in Doug’s off-season prospect rankings. He’s had quite a year and if I remember correctly, I think the Reds paid an over slot signing bonus to ensure he signed as a 4th round pick maybe.

    • 2020ball

      Correct, it was a 2MM bonus, well over slot to sign him away from college.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. Recollection is they went over slot to keep him out of college.

  8. docproc

    I was in Goodyear for three weeks this spring but saw no MLB players or baseball–camp opened the day after I left (grrrrr). But I did get to see a minor-league scrimmage on the backfields. I drew conclusions about these four players:
    –McLain: Dude can hit (ripped an oppo double in the gap)
    –EDLC: Dude can fly (stole second, scored from second on a tag-up)
    –Ashcraft: Dude can pitch (struck out 4 or 5 hitters and was clearly throwing heat)
    –Siani: Dude can field (smooth as silk in CF and covered a lot of ground)

  9. Jim Walker

    I believed Siani was pushed up to AAA to help facilitate the decision whether to protect him from the Rule 5 draft by putting him on the 40 man winter roster. Looks like that decision has been made as there is no way (I think) they would risk exposing Siani to waivers to take him off the 40 man roster.

    • David

      My limited guessing is that he will get a few AB’s, maybe a day game after a night game (?) as I think Fairchild might get most of the remaining playing time in centerfield (unless he gets hurt, too). Siani is likely seen (at this moment in time) as insurance against another outfielder getting hurt.
      Friedl can play center, but doesn’t have a strong arm, and had a bad day in Chicago when the Sun was so bright it was blinding him.
      While Fraley can hit, he is a bit of stiff as an outfielder.
      Alejo Lopez could also probably play left field, if needed.
      Four games against the Brewers,
      three games in Pittsburgh
      three games in Chicago
      And then…three games at home against the Cubs…and the season is over.
      Summer time has come and gone, my oh my……

  10. eddiek957

    Hopefully Sinai will work out. I think Billy would have been more palatable if the Reds would have batted him ninth instead of lead off. Or used him as a pinch runner and defensive change

  11. MK

    If the team is in contention I think Hopkins or Piscotty would have gotten the call. With Friedl and Fraley they already have two players from the left side with similar skill sets.