The Cincinnati Reds have signed Chad Pinder according to Robert Murray of Fansided. Mark Sheldon of is reporting that it’s a minor league deal with a big league spring training invite.

Chad Pinder made his big league debut in 2016 with the Oakland Athletics and he’s spent parts of every season since with them. In 2022 he struggled at the plate, hitting .235/.263/.385 with 14 walks and 118 strikeouts in 379 plate appearances. Pinder had 18 doubles, 12 home runs, and 2 stolen bases in his 111 games. His 86 OPS+ was the worst of his career (excluding his 22-game season in 2016).

Back in the 2018 season he had his best year, hitting .258/.332/.436 – good for a 112 OPS+. But that also came in just 333 plate appearances. And for the most part that’s been the story for Pinder in his career – he’s not an every day guy. He’s never had a big league campaign where he picked up 400 plate appearances in a season.

While Pinder isn’t a guy who has been platooned throughout his career, he has big splits. Facing right-handed pitching he’s hit just .225/.272/.388 in his career. Against left-handed pitching he’s put up a .264/.322/.456 line with more walks and as many home runs despite 228 fewer plate appearances. His splits were big in 2022 as well, hitting .260/.280/.447 against lefties, while managing just a .218/.250/.341 line against righties. Even in a platoon situation, he’ll have to do better than a .280 on-base percentage if he’s going to provide any sort of offensive value moving forward.

Looking at his plate discipline numbers at Fangraphs we can see that in 2022 he chased out of the zone a lot and that even when he swung at pitches in the zone he had the lowest rate of contact on them in his career. Those two areas getting closer to his career norms may help his offense get back to where it’s been in the past.

What Chad Pinder has long been able to do is provide his manager a ton of flexibility on defense. While playing in the outfield has been his main calling card in his career, he’s also played second base, third base, first base, and some shortstop in his big league career. Heck, he’s even thrown an inning as a pitcher. In the last two seasons the only spots on the field he hasn’t been are catcher and center field.

You can see Chad Pinder’s career stats here.

36 Responses

  1. Bdh

    Not mad at this. I’d rather Pinder than Reynolds when injuries occur. Also could be competition with Solak for the other end of the Fraley platoon that can also play in the infield.

  2. Rednat

    SO This guy can play multiple positions. can hit in the low 200s and will run into a home run every once in a while?

    does he remind you of anyone else on the team?
    maybe Lopez, Siani , Steer, Barrero, Reynolds, Senzel, Fairchild, Friedl. Fraley. It’s like all these red’s players have the same tools, or lack there of. Just frustrating… I just follow the reds and don’t follow baseball very much anymore but I wonder if this is a league issue or just a reds issue? Just seems like we cannot find any really good hitters.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s a Reds issue more than it is for most teams. But when you don’t try to sign actual big leaguers and instead rely on signing 30-year-olds to minor league deals that’s exactly the kind of player you’re going to get.

      • Redsvol

        lets keep in mind that middling ops in 2022 is still better than our starting center fielders numbers were. In addition, he provides better platoon splits and more defensive flexibility. His availability to play every day is also a plus.
        Its looking more and more like its time to move on from Nick Senzel.

    • LDS

      Barrero and Steer still have upside. The rest? Yawn. When I see signings like this, it makes me wish that Krall had been telling the truth when he said the roster was set. My guess is Pinder is on the 26 by opening day and Bell plays him enough that he sets a new career high in PAs.

    • TheCoastMan

      Yep, he’ll fit right in on the Reds.

  3. Bdh

    AAA roster is filling up. How many position players can they have at once?

    Assuming Senzel and Solak beat out Fairchild and Pinder

    C – Romine / Robinson / Yang
    1B/DH – McGarry / Encarnacion-Strand
    2B – Lopez / Ivan Johnson
    SS – McLain / Martin / Hernandez
    3B – Pinder
    LF – Ramos / Cedrola?
    CF – Siani
    RF – Fairchild

      • Bdh

        Just realized I also forgot about Reynolds

    • Optimist

      Wherever Strand plays, he needs to play in the field 5 days a week. If that means AA, fine – he can move up when the decide whether McGarry will make it or not. They need possible regulars on the 2024 roster to get 450+ PAs and corresponding field experience. No minors platooning or DHing – and certainly no callup to MLB only to play 2-3 games a week.

      There should be 4 or 5 of those players at each level, and they finally have the MiLB talent to set that up. Let the others force their way into the conversation.

      • MBS

        I agree CES should be in the everyday lineup. I’d put him at 3B on the AAA roster, and McGarry on 1B. If Pinder makes the team I’d probably primarily play him in the OF.

    • MK

      Cedrola will probably be more likely be in left field for the Syracuse Mets as he signed a free agent contract with New York.

      • Bdh

        Whoops! Harder to keep up with all the minor leaguers who leave. I knew Dawson, Gilliam, and Santana were gone but didn’t know Cedrola left as well.

  4. CI3J

    Say hello to your starting shortstop for 2023!

    I’m sure David Bell is tickled pink that he has a new “vet” to play SS now that Farmer is gone.

    • TR

      An erudite comment which will probably come true after another Barrero experiment at shortstop is set aside again in the upcoming season.

  5. Melvin

    Krall is an excellent GM….if it were AAA instead of the majors. I know Big Bob & Son won’t let him spend more money. It must be a very difficult job without any money to spend and still “Bell proof” the roster.

  6. Bdh

    Lots of weird takes on here and Twitter about this minor league signing. Something the Reds have had a lot of success with in the recent past. Pinder and Young are 2 that I think will help the club this season.

    0 downside to this. If he makes the team great and if he doesn’t then what did it hurt? Signings like these just got the reds 1 1/2 years of Naquin + a 1/2 year of Drury. Both players did very well in reds uniforms and netted them 3 solid players in trades at the deadline (Rodriguez, Acuna, Acosta)

    • Earmbrister

      “Weird takes” is putting it diplomatically. They got someone who can play virtually anywhere, particularly corner OF, and who hits lefties well. Oakland fans at MLBTR spoke well of him. Will provide plenty of power, considering the change in home venue.

      • TR

        The Reds and A’s seem to have a lot in common these days.

  7. AMDG

    The Reds continue to corner the market on #9 hitters.

    It’s an interesting strategy to sign a bunch of ‘bottom of the lineup’ hitters. We’ll see if this sort of “outside the box” strategy pays off 🙂

    • David

      Bottom of the line-up players = bottom of the league in wins.

      Krall gives David Bell another excuse to play guys who have never been more than mediocre instead of playing the young guys.
      The Reds are treading water in the middle of the ocean. Is this a rebuild, or just putting old tires on a beat up car?
      Chad Pinder? Catch the fever…..zzzz……

      • Chris Holbert

        Pinder will probably bat third and play SS for 140 games, more than any playing time in his career. He is the new “Pin dog”

  8. Bill J

    Did anyone mention last year he struck out 31% of his AB. At least 31% of the time he can’t hit into a DP.

    • David

      Well, that’s just wishful thinking! 🙂

    • DataDumpster

      Not to mention his 3.7% bases-on-balls rate. If you haven’t gotten enough plate discipline by age 30 to still show numbers like these, that’s a disqualifier right there. I can only suppose Bell is thinking his newest hitting coach (age 31) can straightened him out. I really believe that Bell’s (B)buddy system is considered a successful approach by some in this organization even though developmental progress, fundamental play, plate discipline and a host of other failures strongly indicates otherwise. At least Krall seems to be on the right side of this argument (this being the failure case to make).

    • magi210

      The way this offense looks, I’m sure we’ll have a limited number of runners on base for that.

  9. old-school

    He’s another corner OF right side of the platoon for AAA. Injuries will happen so gotta have plan B and C. Im just glad Colin Moran , Papierski, Moose, Pham, Akiyama, Doolittle, Osich, Hembree, Scott Heineman, MAtt Davidson, Delino Deshields( both player and coach)and Asdrubal Cabrera are all ex-Reds.

    • JB

      Asdrubal Cabrera. Ugh did he ever get a hit for the Reds? He was another fat over weight player the Reds picked up.

      • old-school

        2-26 in 31 PA.


      • David

        At one time, Asdrubal WAS a pretty good ML ball player.

        Which really, you can’t say about Chad Pinder. I am sure he is probably a nice guy, but…..really?

        It is just a minor league contract, and maybe just a body to fill out the line up in those “B” games in Spring Training.

  10. GreatRedLegsFan

    The clockwork’s missing piece?

  11. doofus

    I cannot wait for the Chad Pinder bobblehead night.

  12. TheCoastMan

    Speaking of the Reds, the A’s and Pinder, I just scored a couple of tickets to the Reds-A’s match up here in Vegas for the March 5th game. I had to promise the wife 2 Dodger games this year to bribe her to actually go with me. That really is true…..

    How many people can actually say they get to watch the potential worse team from both leagues hook it up for a death match in futility.

    Oh, and I will be sure to wear my “Sell the Team, Bob” tee shirt. Maybe I’ll run into Big Bob again like I did last spring when I wore it to the Padres Reds game in AZ.