The Cincinnati Reds have made more roster moves today. The team released reliever Daniel Norris. They also optioned outfielder Stuart Fairchild to Triple-A, while reassigning reliever Silvino Bracho and infielder Alejo Lopez to minor league camp.

Daniel Norris signed a minor league deal with the Reds this past offseason. He was coming off of a season where he posted a 5.22 ERA in 58.2 innings. But that wasn’t the whole story – in the second half after he was acquired by the Detroit Tigers, he posted a 3.45 ERA, stopped walking batters, and cut down on the number of home runs he was giving up in his time in the first half with the Chicago Cubs. Cincinnati was likely hoping they would see the second half version of Norris this spring. He didn’t give up any home runs in his seven games, but he walked seven batters and hit three others while striking out five in 6.2 innings. He also gave up 12 hits. Simply put – in his limited action, he couldn’t throw strikes at all and when he did, hitters took advantage of it.

Silvino Bracho has pitched in just three games with the Reds this spring and the last one came more than two weeks ago. He was pitching with Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic – he was on the mound when Trea Turner hit the go-ahead grand slam the other night for Team USA. In his three games with the Reds earlier in camp he allowed a run on two hits and three walks in 3.0 innings of work.

The hits weren’t coming for Alejo Lopez this spring. The infielder went 5-29 (.172) without an extra-base hit. He did walk five times and he had just four strikeouts in his 35 plate appearances, but he struggled to turn his contact into hits.

Stuart Fairchild being optioned to the minor leagues was the move that seemed to be a bit more surprising to others. His spring got out to a bit of a slow start. He went 0-7 to begin spring training, but since then he’s hit .333/.500/.571 with four walks and seven strikeouts. Even with the slow start his OPS on the spring is .845.

With these moves the Reds are down to 39 “active” players in camp. That number, though, includes Tejay Antone, Tony Santillan, Nick Senzel, and Matt Reynolds – all of whom are not expected to be ready when the season begins in 10 days.

82 Responses

  1. JB

    Reynolds made a nice play yesterday. Any reason why he wouldn’t be ready by opening day? I would rather keep him than Pinder. Actually I would rather keep Ramos over both. The guy seems to have more pop and would be a better DH than the other two.

    • old-school

      Ramos is a lefty and Reds have committed to Benson as lefty CF with Friedl and Fraley and Myers as the top 4 OF. They need a righty hitter and it seems Barrero will be the 5th OF and RLN favorite Pinder will be DH/1b/3b and LF as a righty hitter with good splits. Oh boy, somewhere Doug is laughing as his RLN audience has a meltdown.

      • old-school

        @ BK
        Thanks for the correction. But, Bell noting that Barrero will get some looks in CF and the demotion of Fairchild is a direct insight into how Bell and his coaches and game planners are viewing the lineup against lefty pitchers. Barrero in CF gives Newman starts at SS to stay fresh and get reps and Fraley’s splits give Pinder starts in LF as will get limited DH and 1b reps as well.

        Barrero and Pinder become the de Facto combined 5th OF instead of using Fairchild, a true OF.

        Perhaps this is all temporary gymnastics to create space for Senzel as the 26th man superutility guy in CF and 3b and 2b when he is back.

      • MK

        Thought his home run the other day was right-handed.

      • Chris Holbert

        Playing Barrero in CF and Newman at SS seems to diminish the defense at both positions

      • LDS

        Sorry guys, but nothing “super” about Senzel at his point.

      • MuddyCleats

        Pinder 3 for 35 and Malie is 5 for 29. Benson has 12 hits, 2nd behind CES, and Ramos is 9 for 18; why isn’t Ramos getting more ABs? Sorry, but I am going to keep beating the dead horse: scrap the 3 catcher idea and keep guys w/ upside like Benson and Ramos. No reason to keep Pinder; w/ Barrero and Newman available

      • Redsvol

        I’m not wild about the idea of 3 catchers on the active roster. But I have to give Krall credit for fixing the horrible catching depth mess we had last year. He basically said we are never having such horrible catching depth again.

        Ideally, Maile would have been had on a minor league deal and stashed in AAA. However, the market for decent catching depth had other things in mind and Krall made a decision rather than being left at the alter. We’ll be glad to have him if Stephenson or Casali gets injured this year.

  2. Old-school

    RLN hall of famers Alejo Lopez and Stuart Fairchild have been optioned to AAA. Let the screaming at the clouds commence. Barrero is the Reds rare 5th outfielder(didnt see that coming). I dont like it but as OBE noted, fair enough. I will let things play out and keep an open mind as long as barrero is playing 5 days a week at SS. That give Newman 2 days and a back up role at 3b/2b as well.

    Lopez out
    Fairchild out
    Pinder still in and looking like the 26th man.

    • MBS

      When I was excited about Benson a few RLN commenters pressed on how we could have so many Lefties in the OF, my solution was Myers RF Barrero CF Pinder LF. Then some more level headed guys pointed out Friedl is a fair bat against lefties, and I put that notion aside, conceding that it was unnecessary to bring Barrero into CF.

      BTW Ramos is listed as a switch hitter, not a left handed bat.

    • LDS

      Fairchild’s careeer OPS+ is higher than Pinder, Newman, Senzel, Reynolds, Fraley, Ramos, and Friedl, all of whom are likely to make the opening day roster and all of whom are older. And none of them have Fairchild’s L/R splits which are pretty balanced. BTW, Lopez has a more balanced L/R split than these other guys as well. Both Lopez and Fairchild have had better springs than Pinder. So no honest person can justify these moves on a performance basis. The Reds are simply poorly managed. Period.

      • wkuchad

        Well, I try to be honest (most of the time). I definitely don’t want Pinder starting, but I’m good with him on the bench. I also don’t want Lopez starting. Our “starting” outfield is 4 deep right now (5 if you count Barrero, which I don’t – he’s my SS).

        So why do you want Fairchild on the team to sit on the bench every game. Let him start for Louisville, then we call him up if there’s an injury. Pinder is the perfect bench guy.

        And you also say not to go by Spring Training stats, unless you need to use Spring Training stats.

      • LDS

        I don’t believe I’ve said not to look at ST stats, though the sample is small. But, when combined with career and minor league stats, they give strong indications. Pinder hasn’t hit in years. Fraley can’t hit a LH’er to save his soul, etc. I could enumerate reasons to dump most of these guys if the Reds were serious about rebuilding. I don’t think they are. I think it’s about lining the pockets of Bob and company.

      • Michael

        LDS – Agreed. I am not thrilled about Fairchild’s demotion. Hope he gets another shot on this team. Comment for Muddy Cleats – I think Maile and Casali will prove to be a disappointment this season especially compared to what they missed out on the roster so the team could keep 3 catchers. I understand the need to have Tyler in the lineup almost every day. I am hoping Vellojin is ready for the big time next spring so the 3 headed catcher is a temporary thing.

      • greenmtred

        Haven’t you often said that stats, particularly metrics, aren’t predictive? I understand that consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, but…

    • MercerRed

      I agree with the release of both Lopez and Fairchild. Both seem to be really good guys and good teammates; but, that doesn’t put runs on the board.
      Both of these guys were released in the last 12 Mos. and no other club took a flyer on them. This shows how other teams view the potential upside to make an mlb roster.

      • Redsvol

        @Mercer – careful there. You’re using too much logic to be a poster on this Reds board. Better to stick with the results of 30 spring training plate appearances against pitchers who mostly won’t be pitching in the majors this year.

  3. Optimist

    Fairchild is an RLN favorite for many reasons. Clearly, he also has trade value, and for his sake I hope he’s traded – on a better team he would be a very useful 5th OFer. Unless he has a very bad start in AAA, he should be the first recall, and perhaps he still gets 200-250 PAs going up and down from Louisville, at least in the second half after the trade deadline transactions.

    • Ryan

      Idk about trade value but I really thought he’d make the team. His defense and being a righty really should’ve gotten him there.

    • wkuchad

      Fairchild has next to no trade value.

      But he does have value, and the Reds are void of ML-ready talent in the minors. Let Fairchild play in Louisville until he’s needed.

      • Optimist

        Didn’t say it was premium trade value, but he’s been traded or purchased 3 times, and only waived once. He could get something, a lottery pick or AAAA pitcher, but my point was that the right team might be a better career move for him – I still expect he’ll get time with the Reds this year, but he’s clearly ready for a full year as a 4th/5th MLB OFer. Should be the Reds, but alas . . .

      • Jim Walker

        And OPS at between .850-.900 at AAA while guys who couldn’t do that at AAA also won’t do as well at MLB as he would have done. 😉

        The whole situation speaks to the incoherency of how the Reds operate.

  4. LDS

    Pinder, Reynolds, and Newman – now that’s a core group to rebuild around. And let’s screw up the best defensive SS in the organization by moving him to the OF. Pinder is starting for the 4th straight game and has yet to get a hit. Bell loves mediocrity. And for those who say Krall sets the roster – you’re dreaming.

    • SultanofSwaff

      “And let’s screw up the best defensive SS in the organization by moving him to the OF”

      Amen, brother. The Fairchild move is equally perplexing.

      • Chris Holbert

        As I said on the other post. The Reds (Bell’s) MO is to take a top prospect and have him change positions once they reach the majors. How is that working out for Senzel, the very athletic number 2 pick in the draft?

    • wkuchad

      No, that’s a core group to sit on your bench, which is what those three will be doing.

      It’s good to see RLN back on the Barrero-band wagon. What ever the Reds do with Barrero, you’re against.

      We have some (supposedly) great SS prospects right behind him. I want him starting most games at SS this year, but I certainly don’t mind getting him the occasional CF start in case he’s needed there mid-season (such as due to a call up).

      • LDS

        I agree that Barrero should be starting at SS most of the time. And I’d like to believe that Newman, Pinder, and Reynolds spend most of their time on the bench. But that certainly hasn’t been Bell’s pattern up to now,

    • JayTheRed

      Answer – David Bell

      I just can’t listen to him do interviews. I honestly feel like he is almost worse than Krall is at actually saying something that has meaning.

      I am imaging the Reds totally flopping out of the gate again and the ownership will do nothing once again.

  5. GreatRedLegsFan

    I wonder who’ll be the 5th OF now, I hope Pinder won’t make the cut after his 3-35 ST showing. Senzel won’t be ready to break camp, I read about giving Barrero some CF reps but seems a long shot, maybe Ramos?

    • LDS

      Barrero is slated for some CF today and Pinder is starting for the 4th straight hitless day. That pretty much sums up what to expect. Newman’s got play.

  6. old-school

    Reds release Norris but he is on the travel roster and only 7 pitchers? Is this just professional courtesy giving Norris a showcase for other teams? What if Lodolo walks 3 and has a 40 pitch inning? Maybe Norris said he will pitch as long as needed and the Reds said sure- show your stuff to other teams.

  7. RedsGettingBetter

    Silvino Bracho has pitched solid in his short stint at ST and recently in WBC. He did just one very costly mistake giving up the Trea Turner’s grandslam to lose the game against the team USA (the 3 runners were inherited), even he retired Betts and stroke out Trout and Goldschmidt after that to finish the inning. I hope he is going to perform very good at AAA so could be considered after mid-season for joining the major team.
    Sending Fairchild to AAA could mean a big chance to Will Benson getting locked in at OF to the opening day…

    • Jim t

      Is my memory fading or has Jose Barrera played some CF for the reds previously?

      • Doug Gray

        He has. Back in 2021. He also played some center while in Cuba.

      • David

        Barrero is a good athlete, and could probably handle CF.
        Recall that Billy Hamilton and Eric Davis both came into the Reds’ organization as Shortstops.
        Again, I think the plan is to get Barrero enough AB’s to see what he really has. I think there is more confidence among the Reds’ “braintrust” that he will hit better this year.
        Ramos is interesting, as kind of a career minor leaguer. Maybe this is hit time… they say. Or maybe he fizzles bigly after getting 100 ML AB’s with the Reds. Another player that could be waived or DFA’s to create a spot on the 40 man/26 man roster when superstar Senzel is back and ready to play.

      • Jim t

        Thanks Doug. It’s not like we are throwing him out there with know experience.

  8. MK

    Keeping three catchers is killing what would be the bet roster. So, in a game DH Stephenson needs to catch just give up the DH. The relievers only pitch one inning anyway so just pinch hit in that spot.

    • David

      The three-headed catcher is to minimize the number of games that Tyler Stephenson actually catches. I guess “about” 1/3 of his appearances will be as a catcher, 1/3 will be as a DH and 1/3 will likely be at 1st base. Just spit-ballin’ here, I have no idea what David Bell is planning. But they would NOT carry three catchers (IMHO) if Stephenson was going to start 110-120 games at catch.
      I think they are trying to get Stephenson 500 AB’s this year to see what he has. They will either extend him or trade him for “more prospects”.
      So if Tyler Stephenson catches 55 games, that’s about 220 AB’s. I would guess that Tyler will play more 1st base early in the year, to fill in for Joey, until Joey is confident in his left shoulder to be out there every day. So Maile and Casali will play a lot of catcher in the first 2 months. Then we will see how this plan works out.
      Maile is another player that could be “jettisoned” (ie, waived) to make a roster spot on the 26 man at some later date.

      • JB

        I’ll be blown away if Stephenson plays 50 games at first. There is no way Votto will agree to that. Bell removed Castellanos for defense in his first game, I believe, and Castellanos had a talking to with Bell. Bell backed down and Castellanos got his way from there on out. Vets like Castellanos and Votto tell Bell what to do. Votto showed that last year. Hitting below 200 and he was still hitting 2nd and,3rd. With Stephenson and Myers playing first , Votto would get about 80 games in. No way he agrees to DH that many games.

      • wkuchad

        So much make-believe there. I was waiting for references to Santa or the Easter Bunny.

        You really think Votto has ever set his own batting order spot?

      • JB

        Guy hitting under 200 for 2/3 of the year never gets moved out of the 2nd or third spot? Yes I do. No manager would leave a guy there for that long.

      • MK

        What happened to the days when the Managers told the players when and where to play. I don’t think Votto makes out the line-up so he should play where he is told.

  9. Harry Stoner

    Pinder is one hit away from resurrection.

    Remember he ran fast after a fly ball, as well.

    Those who chaffed at the “fix is in” meme here, take note.

    Pinder, of course, is the symptom of the problem, not the cause of it.

    I’m sure he’s a fine fellow.

    For Bell of course, the results don’t matter, performance doesn’t matter…versatile mediocrity is its own reward.

    • Doug Gray

      David Bell doesn’t set the roster.

      • LDS

        On paper perhaps not. That he pulls the strings? I’d bet on it.

      • greenmtred

        Doug: These guys are angry enough as it is. Who knows how they might react to having their parade rained on?

    • Redsvol

      I have to admit, it is refreshing that most of the debate is about the 26th man on the roster this spring training instead of 2/3 of the team. Got to be some improvement in 2023 based on this.

  10. LarkinPhillips

    The moves of this organization prove they have little idea how to actually develop talent (and I am one of the few who don’t blame Senzel failing on the organization). Just because Barrero “can play CF” doesn’t mean you move him around and make him a 5th OF. It wasn’t that long ago he was nearly as highly touted as ELDC is now so making him an OF and counting on one of the other SS candidates to pan out is playing blind poker.

    • LDS

      I watched the video from ST of he & EDLC fielding at SS. Sure looks to me like Barrero is head & shoulders better with the glove than EDLC. With the bat? Not a chance. But, if Barrero hits decently this year, it’s the other guys who should be looking at new positions.

    • greenmtred

      Greene, Lodolo, Diaz, Ashcraft, India, Stephenson…a number of teams could be envious of that developing talent. As Doug and others have pointed out, Barrero has played center before. Lots of MLB players played shortstop at some point–high school, college, sandlot–because they were the best athletes around. And being good athletes, most of them probably don’t find learning a new position as mind-bending as many of us think it might be. Positional flexibility gives a team more options for dealing with inevitable injuries.

      • LarkinPhillips

        I played college SS for 3 years and moved to CF my senior year. I understand the transition and it is quite an easy one. The point is, Barrero struggled the last time they moved him to CF and tried to learn that while he was learning to hit Major League pitching. Learning to hit Major league pitching is the hard part. Asking him to learn more on top of that for “position flexibility” is dumb. Ask Newman to learn CF since “all shortstops can play OF.”

      • greenmtred

        He was, as I recall, struggling to hit while playing shortstop, too, before they gave him a few games in center.

  11. Melvin

    Why can’t Stephenson get all the ABs he needs with only two catchers catching only 65 games as David Bell said? Why can’t Casali catch the rest?

    • Doug Gray

      Teams do not want to be left without a backup catcher. That’s why. Love it, hate it, scream into the ether about it – that’s why.

      • Melvin

        I understand about the backup catcher part but wouldn’t Stephenson be the backup in emergencies?

      • Doug Gray

        I’m not saying that I agree with the logic, but if he’s in the lineup as a non-catcher, and then gets hurt in that game, you are left without a backup catcher if the guy catching that day does get hurt. A lot of teams freak out about that idea to the point of paralysis. And they have for decades.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. I guess that is kind of freaking out isn’t it? What if the backup catcher falls down the steps to the clubhouse? Better carry another one just in case. Lol I understand what you’re saying. Just don’t agree with the logic.

      • Jim Walker

        @Melvin, if Stephenson is DHing, they lose the DH if they move him into the field. That’s a big reason why 3 catchers and at least one OF (Myer) they can bring to 1B. The bench composition is essentially being driven by the plan to DH Stephenson so much.

      • Melvin

        @ Jim – “if Stephenson is DHing, they lose the DH if they move him into the field.”

        Yeah I know. To me it’s not nearly a big enough deal to carry three catchers just for the rare occasions that might happen. So Bell will have to use a pinch hitter in that situation. No big deal.

      • John

        That’s why emergency catcher, glue guy, my “used to be” favorite Red, Kyle Farmer had such value. The “can play anywhere and catch value”, makes sense. But this organization makes no sense. Say what you want and call me names. But I miss Marge’s winning mentality.

    • David

      Casali is 34 years old. Would he really stand up to playing 70-80 games at Catcher?
      He’s a good guy, but I think that is asking for the impossible. He would break down.

      Everything is a guess. What if the Reds are actually contending (Stay with me here…I am not sniffing glue today), and Stephenson is BY FAR the best offensive player at Catcher?
      Would Bell play Stephenson MORE if they were actually in the race?

      • Melvin

        Probably not. He’s already got the schedule for Stephenson planned out. lol

      • TR

        I’m glad Casali is with the Reds whether he plays or not. I think he’s a future manager of the team.

  12. LarkinPhillips

    I am a fan of Lopez. He should be sent back to minors and only recalled if multiple injuries happen. He is average to below average defensively, hits for no power, and is at best an average runner.

    I am not a fan of Fairchild. Him being sent down after the game he had his last start is basically punishing a guy for having success. If the decision was made to send him down, at least do it any other time than after having a big day the day before.

    Keeping Pinder is a joke. We have Reynolds who can fill that same role and has proven to be a decent player. Newman realistically is the same role if Barrero actually started at SS.

    Finally, what will it take to get Bell fired this year? Another 3-22 start? Another 100-loss season? He needs to go, and the Reds need to turn the corner quickly to developing the young talent that they have actually acquired, or we will look up and it will be time to pay, I mean trade, all these guys like it will be this year or next for Inda and TySteve.

    I am very excited for the start of another Reds season and heading to opening Day for the first time, but I am so dang frustrated as a Reds fan with the decision making/direction of the franchise the past few years.

    • Michael

      I saw a link from Twitter to an article written by Hal McCoy. He says a friend of a friend of a friend says India can’t wait to test free agency. If this is true, there will be no contact extension and India may be trade bait 2-3 years before he is FA eligible.

      • LarkinPhillips

        He absolutely will be. Probably should be if McClain and EDLC pan out.

      • Redsvol

        India will have some significant competition for his job in 4-6 months. Especially if his defense doesn’t improve from last year. He will either become a cornerstone for the team over next 4 years or a nice trade chip.

  13. Jim Walker

    Here is a chilling thought for everyone. If Pinder makes the team and Senzel gets his act and health together, Benson or Friedl will be the bubble man.

    It would also mean the Reds were operating with 2 true OF (Fraley and the keeper between Friedl and Benson) and a whole bunch of swing guys. Barrero/ Pinder/ Senzel/ Myer.

    • David

      Jim Walker, you’re a mean one! 🙂

      Some where within the labyrinthine mind of David Bell, he is already considering that.

      I think Benson still has options. And make no mistake, with Senzel getting $2 Mil, HE WILL PLAY! That would be coming straight down from Castellini.
      Thus it is written, thus it shall be.

  14. Greenfield Red

    Obviously Spring Training results do matter. The Reds are strictly looking for guys who fail in ST.

    Get hits and score runs and you get sent out. Strike out and hIt soft ground balls you make the team as long as you agree to play a position other than the one you’ve played your whole life.

    Next Spring I will be 58 years old, but I think I might be able to fail enough to make the opening day starting lineup.

    • Jim Walker

      And to think you are usually one of my canaries in the coal mine whose responses I check to assure I am still on a reasonably straight keel 😉

      I guess things have really gotten goofy!

      • Greenfield Red

        I believe in the rebuild. I previously thought David Bell wouldn’t do much damage managing a 100 loss team. I don’t believe that any longer. If Jose Barerro is the best defensive SS in the system, then leave him there. If he hits enough to play, then play him. If he hits a lot, he will be an all star at SS. That’s huge.

        I can’t wait for ELDC to make the show provided he cuts down his strike outs. If he can’t he will be eaten alive by ML pitching no matter how great his other tools are. He is probably better Suite to CF than JB anyway

    • greenmtred

      I doubt it, Greenfield. I think that the Reds’ management–David Bell (the Evil One) in particular, are much too busy stealing widows’ pensions and spreading bird flu to raise the price of eggs to conspire in the way you suggest.

  15. Fredrocker

    I hope I am wrong but I dont see India bettering a .240/.300/.380 line with maybe 15 homers and a liability at 2nd base

  16. Michael

    I hope at some point before the end of this month, Doug will put out a challenge for all RLN to make their season batting and pitching line predictions. I think India is good for .278 19 68 normal stat line and .750 OPS. I wouldn’t put an .800 OPS past him.

  17. bryant

    Jerking Barrero now, just as he’s starting to hit is criminal. Adjusting to the big leagues is hard for a young kid.

  18. Eddiek957

    Don’t like barrero in CF thought Fairchild got hosed. Not digging Pinder

  19. MK

    In 1971, after a pennant winning season, the Reds were looking for a replacement for injured Bobby Tolan (torn Achilles from a team sponsored promotional basketball game) in centerfield. Sparky looked at his roster and determined that Dave Concepcion might be his best candidate. For a few weeks Davey spent time in center as well as some time at short. Davey was like Barrero as he hadn’t really proved himself yet, hitting .205 in ’71 and .209 in ’72. Don’t think that ruined his career and can’t think Barrero will be scared either.

    • Jim Walker

      Per BBRef, Davey made a total of 8 OF appearances in his long and storied career, all in CF. Five of his OF appearances were in 1971. I must have blinked and missed them 😉