No, David Bell isn’t gone and he hasn’t been fired. But the Cincinnati Reds did announce that Bell had a “minor medical procedure” and that it will be bench coach Freddie Benavides taking over as manager for Friday afternoon’s game. Bell is expected to return to the team on Saturday.

Freddie Benavides has been with the Reds organization for more than two decades. He’s served in a variety of roles – working as a manager in the minor leagues, being a coordinator in the farm system, and for the last 10 years he’s been on the big league coaching staff. This is his 5th season as Cincinnati’s bench coach. Benavides is 5-3 as a Major League manager. All eight games have come with the Reds and have all come while filling in for a suspended David Bell.

No Bad Weather….

On Wednesday afternoon the Cincinnati Reds game was rained out in Cincinnati. It was pouring. There was lightning. The conditions simply weren’t great. But just a few hours later the Philadelphia Phillies announced that Thursday’s contest between themselves and the Cincinnati Reds game was going to be postponed. It was 21 hours before game time.

It was the home opener for Philadelphia, so one can understand having some caution and trying to make the call a bit earlier than you usually would. But 21 hours seemed extreme given that at the time there was no bad weather in Philadelphia that had left the field under water. Fast forward to Thursday and it was sunny and 81° at game time, no rain had shown up yet, and then it didn’t show up until just after 8:30pm – more than five-and-a-half hours after the game was supposed to begin.

Whoopsie daisy.

The minor leagues have begun

Last night saw two more of the Cincinnati Reds minor league teams get underway. The Triple-A Louisville Bats season began on April 1st (they were rained out on March 31st), but their season is longer than the other farm teams, so no one else was playing for nearly a week. The Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts and High-A Dayton Dragons took the field last night for the first time all year, and later this evening the Single-A Daytona Tortugas will get out there for their opener as well.

Left-handed pitcher Andrew Abbott had a stellar debut in 2023 for Chattanooga last night. He struck out the first nine batters he faced and threw 4.2 hitless innings with just one walk before reaching his pitch count (79 pitches). The Lookouts needed extra innings to pick up the win, but saw their pitching staff rack up 23 strikeouts in total with just two walks last night. If you’re interested in checking out more of what happened on the farm last night (or every night for that matter), we’ve got you covered at

26 Responses

  1. Rednat

    I WAS Actually hoping the rest of the year would be rained out. we would finish with a winning record of 3-2!

  2. RedsFanInFL

    I was very surprised they cancelled the game a day in advance. Lost the opportunity for beautiful home opener for the Phillies

    • MK

      Reds will never do it as the might miss out selling three beers an two bratwursts.

  3. old-school

    Ive not seen Abbott pitch, but those dominant numbers at AA seem a lot like reading about mahle and Castillo numbers when they were at AA. I think Mahle had a perfect game maybe. Mahle had the good fastball and location. Castillo had the gas and the change up.

    What is it about Abbott that allows him to K 11 and walk 1? Hes not blowing guys away with 99. Reds dont need to hit on every prospect but adding a strike throwing out getting lefty with command and location to the big3 sounds great.

  4. lost11found

    Phillies forgot that its always mostly cloudy and low 80’s in philadelphia.

    Actually feel for a bit for the player and fans today. Now they get two games in chilly mid-50’s cloudy, clammy day and evening to ‘enjoy’.

    Have actually enjoyed catch parts of some of the games on MLB app, am looking forward to streaming the audio today at work. Too early to get excited or nervous about one player or another, but they certainly seem to more competitive than not.

  5. wkuchad

    Loved the headline Doug. I can think of a few posters that clicked on the article with much excitement, only to be sorely disappointed. 🙂

      • LDS

        @Wkuchad & @greenmtred, trust me, I wasn’t taken in by the headline. You guys do know that they have effective treatments for Stockholm Syndrome these days.

      • Harry Stoner

        Just think, Green Mt., if Bell actually was a successful manager, you wouldn’t have to post so many of your snarky, poorly thought out arguments.

      • greenmtred

        Good information, LDS. I wonder if there’s a treatment for consistent misreading of comments posted on RLN?

      • greenmtred

        Goodness, Harry. I’ll take that as the highest form–one of the highest, anyway–of compliment: being called snarky by a master of snarkyness is a rare encomium. Bell’s success–or lack thereof–has nothing to do with my posts, which are often about the lack of critical information supporting some of the strident opinions about Bell’s ability. I don’t weigh in on that subject because, like you, I lack enough information to make an argument that could be taken seriously. That doesn’t stop you, though, does it?

    • Doug Gray

      I’ve got mouths to feed! (Mine and the dog – but also a bunch of family this weekend)

      Sometimes you need to keep the headline honest, but enticing to get hose clicks!

  6. David

    Here’s a little video blurb on Andrew Abbot.

    Seems to have a fastball with movement, a good curveball, and a good slider. The curveball and slider I think I saw could be the same pitch.
    You be the judge.

    • Doug Gray

      They are not the same pitch. Identical movement on the horizontal plane, but not so much on the vertical plane. There’s a small difference in the velocity between the two pitches as well.

  7. LDS

    While I’m sympathetic to anyone undergoing any medical procedure, minor or otherwise, and wish Bell well, I’ll be glad to have a game without him. Although, against the Phillies, I’m not sure it’ll matter. And if by chance the Reds do win today, let’s give Bell at least the weekend off to recover.

    • Jim Walker

      I recall that ~5 years ago, I went in for a “routine minor outpatient” procedure and ended up housebound for a month and a week. Probably not appropriate to say much more here but it wasn’t really painful after the first several days I just couldn’t be out and about. 😉

      • LDS

        Yep, when dealing with doctors, ignore the adjective and focus on the procedure. None are pleasant or as “simple and routine” as alleged.

  8. Doc

    As a retired physician, I’d suggest that any medical procedure is minor if it is done on you but major if it is done on me!!

    • Jim Walker

      As a patient who hopes to stay retired from them, I second that motion.

    • Roger Garrett

      +1000 and just like pain it never bothers me unless its mine.

  9. J

    I’m not hoping anything terrible happens to Bell, but I’m hoping his time away from the team causes him to realize he prefers not being a manager. It could be win-win.

    • Jim Walker

      Most of the times I’ve had one of these “minor procedures” and been officially docked for a day or two, it has come with a warning not to make any important decisions for at least 24 hours because I might not be of sound mind for that period while anesthesia is clearing from me. So, let’s hope DB isn’t keeping his cell close enough to call or text Benavides with instructions during the game. 😉

  10. Tim

    23 strikeouts in Chattanooga gives a whole new meaning to “Lookouts”. That’s awesome.

  11. David Osborne

    David Bell has an impossible task every year. He’s given an at best substandard team by an ownership group who are more interested in making money than fielding a competitive team. Then he’s expected to compete with it. It all comes down to money. Money spent and money paid to players. I remember when the Castellinis first bought the team. They said we were going to compete for championships every year. What a joke. Have we seriously contended even one year? If so I don’t remember it. If David Bell had an owner who would spend money and bring in good players he’d be a lot better manager. I’ve been a Reds fan all my life(1970) and I’ve never been less optimistic every spring than since this ownership group took over. It’s pathetic.