A year ago if someone had told you that TJ Friedl would be one of the best hitters in baseball from the start of August through today you might have looked at them like they had three heads with snakes for hair. But that’s exactly what’s happened (TJ Friedl being that good at the plate, not the three heads and snakes for hair).

Cincinnati sent Friedl back to Triple-A in mid June last season and he was hitting just .200/.250/.289 at the time. On his trip back to the International League, Friedl made some changes to his swing and he hit .315/.385/.504 in 40 games for the Bats. The Reds then recalled him in mid-August and he has never stopped hitting. In the 199 plate appearances since that call up, the outfielder has hit .275/.355/.544 with eight doubles, four triples, 10 home runs, 18 walks, and just 32 strikeouts.

Much of the time in the field this season for Friedl has come in center. He’s started just one game each in left field and right field. At this point, until he stops crushing the baseball, Friedl has to be in the lineup every day and twice if there’s a doubleheader. He’s been one of the best hitters in baseball since mid-August and the Reds need as much help as they can get.

The Rehabbing Reds

The Cincinnati Reds currently have five players with the Triple-A Louisville Bats on injury rehab assignments. Things are going better for some of the guys than others.

The Bats are currently in Toledo, Ohio taking on the Mud Hens. Last night was the first game of a 6-game series between them and Louisville. The Bats last the game, making it six losses in a row since reaching the .500 mark at 2-2.

Nick Senzel went 1-5 on the night, but his lone hit was a 404-foot solo home run. It was his first home run while on rehab assignment, but he’s also had two doubles to go along with four walks, a stolen base, and six strikeouts to go along with his .273/.407/.500 line in 27 plate appearances over six games played. Senzel is hitting the ball hard with Louisville. 11 of the 15 batted balls he’s had have been 90+ MPH off of the bat, including a 109 MPH single on April 8th. In his big league career he’s only topped that twice – once in 2021 and once in 2022.

That was the good. On the opposite side of that is that Joey Votto went 0-4 with a sacrifice fly and three strikeouts. Rehab has not gone well for Votto. He is 4-32 in eight games with a double, home run, three walks, and 20 strikeouts in 16 plate appearances. Votto is hitting just .125/.194/.250 and he’s struck out in 55.5% of his plate appearances. Position players can stay on rehab assignment for 20 days. Today will be the 12th day for Votto, meaning that he has just over a week to turn things around.

It also wasn’t a good night for reliever Tony Santillan. In his first two outings with Louisville, Santillan didn’t give up any runs in his 1-inning appearances. On Tuesday night he allowed three runs on two hits, a home run, and a walk while recording one strikeout and just two outs before he was replaced. The right-hander threw 22 pitches and had just 12 strikes in the game.

Lucas Sims is expected to pitch an inning tonight. It will be his second appearance. He threw a shutout inning with a strikeout the first time out. Luke Weaver is expected to make his second rehab start on Friday night and threw 5.0 innings. In his first outing he threw 4.0 hitless innings.

100 Responses

  1. AllTheHype

    Friedl is becoming what we all hoped Nick Senzel would be. If he keeps it up, it’s a huge win for the Reds org.

  2. MK

    What to do with Senzel? Might he be a platoon at first base or as a DH. As they try to handle Stephenson with kid gloves, it might be prudent to do the same thing with Nick, which they never have. When deemed healthy he is just thrown back into the same which caused the injury.

    • BK

      I would like to see Senzel get extended time at AAA to demonstrate better consistency hitting and get comfortable at several positions defensively. Provided he’s productive, the Reds will need a platoon partner for Fraley. Defensive versatility and the ability to hit LHP well could lead to a productive role.

      • DHud


        No no no no.

        Stop labeling the best hitter on the team a “platoon player” based on less than 150 ABs over 5 seasons and just let your best players play

      • Doug Gray

        DHud, it’s not 150 at-bats. Since being drafted Jake Fraley’s a .225/.312/.347 hitter against left-handed pitching. That’s going back to 2016 in the minor leagues. 229 games.

        He’s not good against lefties. He’s never been good against lefties.

      • DHud

        Jake Fraley also barely was a league average hitter before last season

        By conventional stats he had one and a half good minor league seasons and struggled to get anything going in 2 seasons at SEA. He is a much better hitter now than anything on the back of his card says

        Point being, Jake Fraley should get the AB last night hands down. Not Kevin Newman.

      • Old-school

        Players can make adjustments.
        TJ friedl is different now from a year ago. Fraley is too btw. Alexis Diaz blew up

        Senzel and Barrero made huge adjustments in their swing approach and mechanics. Scooter Gennett couldnt hit lefties for the brewers… he sure did for the Reds… suddenly

        Hunter greene cant go 7 innings or throw a change up…..YET

        Keep running him
        Out their every 5 th day . pros still develop and mature

        See what these core guys can do…. You might just see more than Friedl “breakthrough”

        senzel might , barrero might , Steer might, Fraley might against lefties , Fairchild might

        Thats what 2023 is about.
        Newman Vosler and the 2 catchers are bench players

        Will myers??? I got no idea.

      • VaRedsFan

        What is he vs. Lefties since returning from injury last year?

      • Old-school

        Newman is 4-24 (.167) with a walk this year. Not like Stephenson or Castellanos was pinch hitting.

    • Melvin

      I think the argument would be that Senzel is not playing a premium primary position (catcher) and not the best hitter on the team as in you can’t treat every player with “kid gloves”.

    • DaveCT

      I completely agree Senzel should begin getting time at 1B and going slowly with him.

      My take on Nick is he does best with less pressure than more.

  3. JayTheRed

    Wow Votto does not look good so far at all. Is he pressing? Has anyone seen his at bats? I know he typically is not a strong hitter early in the season lately, but 20 Strikeouts. Ouch!

    Frailey and Friedl both have been impressive this year and even at the 2nd half of last year both these players showed some consistency.

    • Jim Walker

      I have MiLB TV and have seen a number of Votto’s PAs, maybe around half, from the beginning of his rehab through last night (Tuesday 12 April). He just cannot effectively put his bat on the ball. I’m not a trained hitting coach or analyst, so I don’t know any other way to say it.

      Much of the time he looks like Joey Votto has always looked at the plate except his results are swings through fastballs and misses on breaking pitches in the past he would have laid off of or spoiled foul.

      He has played in 8 games. In each of the first 3, he had a hit, Since then, in 5 games he has had 1 hit in 19 ABs (22 PAs). He has struck out at least 2 times in every game and 3 times in 4 of the games.

      It is ugly and hard to watch.

      • Optimist

        I wonder if he’s headed to the 60-day list – if the recovery is slow due to the injury affecting timing and swing, that may take a while to recover.

        The other possibility is that this is akin to Ichiro’s first spring training story – if you’re unfamiliar with it then google it, it’s hilarious and features classic Lou Pinella.

      • Jim Walker

        Optimist>> If Votto doesn’t turn a positive corner in the next week, the 60 day IL list may offer a good way to kick the can down the road.

        It would allow the MLB squad to get on with life free of the uncertainty of what happens with who when Joey returns.

        Meanwhile, Votto could go to extended spring training and work on whatever he might think could get him back to MLB performance levels. It would also give him space to consider the parameters for when enough was enough in regard to the ultimate baseball decision facing him.

      • Optimist

        Jim I think that’s the answer – Joey may need 1/2 season to get ready for the final 1/2 season – if it really works, the 7m may be enough to keep him around if he wants. If not, farewell tour.

      • Jim Walker

        Optimist>> My pipe dream is that Votto would pull Jeter of sorts and put together a syndicate to buy the Reds with himself as the public frontman.

        It would be great to see Joey follow in the footsteps of fellow Canadian Mario Lemieux who was able to save his NHL team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, that fallen on hard times and restore them to glory,

  4. LDS

    It’s about time for the Reds to make a decision on Votto. It looks to those of us on the outside that he needs more IL time. What I had hoped would be like batting practice for him is still a struggle. As for Senzel, well, maybe. With Vosler, Benson, and even Myers underperforming, ssending Benson down for Senzel on a trial basis may make sense. As does knocking off the 3 catcher experiment.

    • Mario

      I am all for Benson for Senzel swap. Hope it is not Fairchild that is sent packing. We can all wish for the 3 catcher and David Bell experiments to be done with.

    • Jim Walker

      So, in 2023, Chuckie Robinson who saw time behind the plate with the Reds in 2022 looks like a different guy batting (at AAA) than in the past. His OBP/SLG/OPS line is .462/.435/.896. His batting average is .391which figures to drop down to earth.

      However, maybe he is solid enough to risk him being the org’s #3 behind the plate on ice at AAA if Casali or Maile were DFA and lost to waivers or refused outright assignment to the minors. The sunken cost on Casali for 2023 (counting the buyout of his option for 2024) is $3.2m. He isn’t going to trash that by refusing assignment but might get claimed on waivers. Maile’s sunken cost is $1.175m. I don’t see him walking away from that if assigned. However, his lower age, 32, along with his lower salary make him more likely to be claimed on waivers.

      • Old-school

        They did a radio segment with cowboy on the 3 catchers. He was skeptical and said if you are a backup catcher you need to bring something else. I guess cubs are doing same

        Brantley left it with I dont know if it can last all year

      • Melvin

        “Brantley left it with I dont know if it can last all year”

        Doesn’t seem to be doing much good right now. Case in point we had a poor hitting catcher last night who could have been pinch hit for with a third catcher on the bench for defense and didn’t use him. Bell is scared to death to use him even in a situation like that it seems.

  5. Mark A Verticchio

    No young player will ever develop like they should as long as Bell is the manager. Pinch hitting last night for Friedl and Fraley was beyond stupid.

    • Mario

      Mark, even I am now onboard with the fire David Bell train. I would like to know Fraley’s true thoughts on the matter. He is probably catching grief from his buddies after Newman being pinch hit for him.

      • redsfan10

        Thats a difficult situation but considering he has been on all 4 times he was up and had a cluth 3run double a few days ago against a lefty to win the game, it should have been a no brainer to have him hit.

        I think everyone is on that train, the team seems better and worse than I thought.

        We got a good team I mean I really wish CES was our firstbaseman but he is hurt, Vosler is cooled off, Myers can’t hit, and our Backup cather does the job.

        I mean really if we had 2 more decent bullpen options we be 6-4 or 7-3 right now.

        I thought our bullpen would be decent but injuries just kill us and bell does a terrible job managing.

        Also want to point out Overton and Cessa are done as starters for me.

        Bring Stoudi up, Leguima has pitched phenominal in triple A, (in a limited sample size better then law, hergert for sure). Weaver seems like a better option then overton and cessa and he should be up if all goes well friday.

      • Ryan

        Removing left handed hitters against a relief pitcher that eats them for breakfast is not a bad move.

      • Melvin

        I’m guessing that the showers of Friedl and Fraley after the game last night were pretty steamy…..and not from hot water either. lol I’m guessing they were pretty hot after being taken out.

    • MercerRed

      Couldn’t agree more!!! If I didn’t know Bell had previous big league, I would think he has never heard of baseball. As we know, many of his player switches are ludicrous. He gives no value to the “eye test” and must be constantly destroying the confidence of the players. The other coaches on the staff must all be “yes” men and agree with Bell. I can’t believe though that the have cornered the market on stupid coaches.
      This team doesn’t have any chance to succeed until the coaching staff is purged.

      • greenmtred

        How remarkable, then, that the Reds have managed to be competitive against better teams. As an aside, no matter who gets an at-bat–whether it’s the guy who has been on base several times in the game or a pinch-hitter–he’s more likely than not to fail. You could look it up.

      • citizen54

        @greemtred It’s completely nuts around here. If the batter fails, which they do about 66% of the time, it’s always Bell’s fault. If he succeeds, the batter gets all the credit. If a reliever gives up a run it’s Bell’s fault for not playing Mariano Rivera. Who cares about lefty/lefty matchups? Bell just doesn’t like Friedl and Fraley.

        Players can’t develop under Bell, except for Lodolo, Steer, India, Ashcraft, Freidl, Stephenson, Diaz and Castillo.

      • greenmtred

        Precisely, Citizen54. I’ve stumbled into the Hate David Bell Anti-Fan Club. The Reds are doing very much what most of us thought they would: playing like a rebuilding team with a dysfunctional bullpen. I don’t know whether his in-game decisions are bad or good–lucky or unlucky–but I do know that his options aren’t likely to be better. It’s about the players. It’s always about the players.

  6. AMDG

    If the idea is to reward performance, as in the better you play, the more you play, then perhaps…

    Friedl, Fraley & Fairchild become the regular starters in the OF until they play themselves out of those roles?

    Votto spends the rest of the year in AAA?

    Barrero stops losing AB’s to Newman?

    The Reds pick between Mahle/Casali, and send the other one down to L’ville?

    Senzel doesn’t get handed a full-time starting spot when he is called up, and he waits for a call-up until after Hopkins gets his?

    Overton finds himself swapping with Weaver or Stoudt very soon.

    • Kevin H

      Votto spends rest of season in AAA? After that comment you lost me.

      You don’t treat a hall of fame in that manner.

      • AMDG

        There are a lot of great players who reached a point where they couldn’t cut it at the major league level any longer.

        It doesn’t do anybody any good to stick them on a major league roster simply because at one time they used to be very good. Votto doesn’t need a participation trophy.

        Tim Lincecum was a two-time Cy Young winner, but spent his final season at AAA because he got to a point where he couldn’t produce. And, like Votto, even struggled in AAA.

      • Greenfield Red

        Do you know he’s a hall of famer? Seems boarder line at best to me. Still less than half as many hits as #14.

        Concepcion may be a good comparison in terms of value, but with a different skill set. He is not in.

      • Doug Gray

        Joey Votto currently has 65 WAR. The general line for a HOFer is around 55. It would be quite surprising if Votto missed out. Concepcion has 40 WAR. So Votto’s been 63% more valuable in his career – at least according to WAR. The two guys are not remotely comparable.

      • Melvin

        Hall Of Famer Tony Perez had a career WAR of 54. Of course Bench and Morgan were in another league with Bench having 75.1 and Morgan 100.5. lol Joey Votto is a Hall Of Famer to me.

      • Greenfield Red

        JV and DC with several comparable similarities. Length of career, all one team, small market disadvantage. Both were innovators. What DC lacks in WAR, is offset by gold gloves, durability, and championships.

        Who among us would be surprised by the fact that DC has 200+ more career hits than JV?

    • Mario

      Unless he retires, Votto is on the active roster when his rehab stint ends. This is how this works. Veterans such as Votto, Myers, & Newman cannot simply be sent to AAA. Don’t we wish it were that easy.

  7. Doc

    We also need for Greene to find a groove. He has not pitched like a staff ace thus far this year. Hope he finds that spark soon, the one that he found at the end of last year. Combined with what Lodolo and Ashcraft have done, that would be formidable.

    Despite that, the team is 4-6 and they have played a defending division champion nip and tuck in two games, and similarly last year’s NL champion competitively.

    • Michael E

      Watching Greene v Strider, Greene was much wilder, unable to locate his pitches. Strider was at times, but most of the time he’s close to the corners (on purpose). Greene’s corner pitches are a foot off the plate most of the time. He also misses where catcher places his mitt by a foot or more every 3 pitches.

      Either he needs to let up 1 or 2 mph on all his pitches or get back to the computers to see where his windup/delivery is not consistent. He’s still young-ish. Hope he gets a solid changeup or splitfinger/sinker, something to really keep hitters off balance and not sit on the fastball when they know he can’t throw the slider for strikes regularly.

  8. Chris

    He absolutely should be a starting outfielder until/if he completely tanks on offense. His hustle and speed are by far the best the reds have seen since Ryan Freel. Speed and baserunning are undervalued in the league.

  9. wkuchad

    I’ll be on the lookout for Jim’s follow-up article, titled:

    “Cincinnati Reds outfielder Stuart Fairchild: A breakout star? (if he ever gets a start or two)”

    • Jim Walker

      I’ve already run Fairchild’s comparative stats from when he was recalled on August 23, 2022, through April 11, 2023. 🙂

      Keep in mind they are for only roughly half as many PAs as Friedl has gotten over the same period. (97 vs 199) which may impart more credibility to Friedl’s numbers.

      Fairchild’s BA/OBP/SLG/OPS line is .301/.402/.578/.980.
      He has 4 doubles; 2 Triples; 5HR; 24K; 9BB.

      Fairchild has a higher K rate than Friedl (25%/16%) but also has a .047 better OBP than Friedl. Beyond that it is remarkable how closely the ratio of extra base hits and BB virtually match the ratio of the plate appearances, i.e. Fairchild’s are ~half of Friedl’s in counting stats.

      So, yeah when does Fairchild get his shot?

      • wkuchad

        Hey, I’m ready to see the three Fs manning the outfield all at the same time.

        I believe we’re facing lefty starters 2 out of the next 3 days, so hopefully we’ll be seeing Fairchild starting some.

      • Jim Walker

        @Chad> What I really wonder is what if Fairchild had not been shuffled off to Arizona in that Archie Badley trade in 2020? Presumably, he and Friedl would have been playing side by side at AAA in the Reds organization. Fairchild clearly had the better AAA numbers (albeit with Arizona) in 2021.

        Would Fairchild have gotten the 1st call up over Friedl? Would Doug be writing about him? Would I be saying But what about Friedl?

        Life! Both of these guys have been on my radar. I hope they both prosper, hopefully with the Reds.

      • LDS

        When does Fairchild get his shot? Not today. In fact, it’s Myers/Vosler “protecting” Stephenson with Barerro moved up ahead of Maile and Benson. I’m guessing Fairchild never gets his shot in Cincinnati and is destined to be DFA’d or traded.

      • Jim Walker

        @LDS> Just like Jose Siri who was lost on waivers so they could keep some long since forgotten pitching prospect. Meanwhile, in his age 27 season (same as Fairchild and Friedl this year), Siri appears to be breaking out with Tampa Bay.

      • Melvin

        I’m all for Fairchild getting his shot and letting Myers play the bench role for awhile. I’m still waiting on my call from David Bell. Nothing so far. 🙂

  10. Frankie Tomatoes

    I like Friedl’s game. He can do a little bit of everything. Not sure his power will remain like it has been but he does not need to hit for that much power. As long as he can keep left handed pitchers honest he should be playing every day in center.

  11. Mark A Verticchio

    Why in the world is Steer not playing today? Bell and his scheduled days off, the man has no clue.

    • AMDG

      If memory serves well, Dusty Baker was pretty good at giving guys off days when they got too hot at the plate.

      Apparently Cincinnati has a thing for treating batters like car engines, and avoids letting them overheat?

      With Steer hitting 0.368 since his last off day, and 5 for his last eight, he clearly qualifies.

      • Harry Stoner

        It’s good timing, given that the Reds’ MLB frontpage has a top of the banner article on Steer.

    • Old-school

      Im ok with it… Steer has played a ton and probably needs a blow against a dominant righty who throws 102 mph

      Late night with flight and then
      4 games against phillies then the Rays

      As long as india Steer and Barrero are getting 85% of the reps- throw senzel or newman in once a week for all 3

      Vosler is just a unique fill in with 3 catchers and TS playing non -catcher more than catcher and Votto in no mans land.

      • Jim Walker

        Ramos is now playing at AAA. So far his rust is showing, but keep an eye out for him because are really sucking for LH hitters beyond Friedl and Fraley with Benson not doing anything and Vosler crashing.

      • Jim Walker

        TS “playing non-catcher more than catcher” and Votto being “in no man’s land” may be interrelated with each other.

        Or TS’s own surgically repaired shoulder area may be barking more than we know when the strain of catching and hitting are combined.

      • SteveAreno

        Yes, once Henry Ramos shakes off that rust, watch out! Another strong competitor.

    • Melvin

      If he is not injured or ill I’d say it’s another case of David Bell pouring cold water on a hot hitter which he is notorious for. Steer had three hits last night for crying out loud. .314/.400/.600 Many times the Big Red Machine is referenced on this site. What do you think would have happened if Sparky tried to give one of the “Great Eight” a day off after collecting three hits the day before. I submit they might have thrown a bat at him and he would have had to run for his life. lol

      • wkuchad

        I’m a huge Steer fan, but he is NOT one of the Great Eight (yet…).

        He’s played a ton, and we’re getting ready to face a couple of lefty starters. This seems like a reasonable game off.

      • Melvin

        Not being one of the “Great Eight” is not my point. He’s hitting .314/.400/.600 after getting three hits last night. This is not directed at you personally but we are, hopefully, trying to do something called winning. I don’t think most anyone needs a day off after 10 games especially a young guy like Steer. EVERY GAME counts. Back to the Big Red Machine days even with all of the other great players on the team (which this current team definitely does not have) I don’t believe Sparky would have sat a hot hitter who just collected three hits the day before. It’s contradictory to WINNING which is what Sparky and the rest of the team most assuredly cared about most.

      • LDS

        Bell has done this repeatedly through the years. It is important to break their rhythm. He never rewards performance, one of my complaints about him the last couple of years.

  12. Roger Garrett

    We may never have a break out star cause that would mean he should play every day and we know as long as Bell is the manager that will never happen.

    • Doug Gray


      Jonathan India played in 150 games as a rookie.

      If you’re going to complain and whine about David Bell at least pick things that can’t be fact checked in four entire seconds. There’s plenty to complain about, pick actual reasons.

      • Roger Garrett

        Complainer,whiner and not so smart, guess I am guilty as charged but you appear to be taking my comment personal and so its your site and your rules then I will just stay off of it.

      • Doug Gray

        I never said you weren’t smart.

      • Old-school

        I disagree Doug. India played because of injuries and underperformance . The Reds didnt sign a SS and tried to play Suarez at SS who failed immediately. They moved moose back to 3b since Suarez was the Ss. Then moose did what moose does … got hurt which allowed suarez to save face and go back to 3b . Garcia/ Barrero was buried in AAA waiting for things to play out and Akiyama pulled a hamstring and was out so Senzel was outfield central . Farmer was handed the SS job and was hitting under .200 in june. India took advantage of dysfunction and no SS plan and injured FA signings. It wasnt Bell plan or Reds plan. It was india taking advantage of Reds failed plan and dysfunction

        Your opinion is valued

      • LarkinPhillips

        Absolutely true OS! India broke out and took advantage.

      • wkuchad

        Old-school, what are you disagreeing about? Nothing you said negated Doug’s comment about India.

        And I agree, Roger’s opinion is valued. But when said opinion is wrong, expect it to be challenged.

      • Old-school

        @ WKu

        Doug is laughing out loud as if Bell played India for 150 games because Bell did that. India played 150 games because he played well and circumstances randomly dictated that Moose couldn’t play 2b or 3b and Suarez couldn’t play SS and Senzel couldn’t play 2b as he was needed in the OF because was injured and awful and Farmer couldn’t play 2b because SS was a black hole. That was by accident and desperation….not the brilliance of David Bell planning it proactively

      • Doug Gray

        The current Cincinnati Reds have 1 veteran position player on the team. Wil Myers. That’s it. If you can’t take advantage of the opportunity like India did in 2021 then who is that on?

        The Reds have played 10 games this season. Tyler Stephenson, Jason Vosler, Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, TJ Friedl, and Wil Myers have all literally played in every single game. The original comment was “We may never have a break out star cause that would mean he should play every day and we know as long as Bell is the manager that will never happen.”

        Six dudes have literally played every day. It was a poor comment. I can not believe we’re even having this discussion over my reply here.

      • greenmtred

        India getting his chance when he did because of injury is not so unusual. You’ve heard of Lou Gehrig?

  13. VaRedsFan

    I started on the TJ bandwagon last year. He reminded me of Tommy Edman. My opinion of him has not changed. If he can keep it up, and continue to improve, he might even exceed what Edman’s been doing.

    Speaking of Cardinals , they started the year with 20 year old Jordan Walker on the roster. He didn’t sit, or platoon, or season in the minors, as we have become accustomed to in Cincy.
    He just tied a record for an 11 game hitting streak to start a career.

  14. Old-school

    Need lots and lots of talent and depth.

    4 of the Reds top 7 prospects are now not playing in games.

    EDLC CES Petty and now Arroyo

    • David

      EDLC and CES are working up to starting in AAA. It was reported that they had started “baseball activities”, which probably means running, fielding, BP, etc. Probably at the rookie ball facility at Goodyear.

      What about Senzel moving to third base, where he was an elite fielder, and Spencer Steer moving to 1st, for a majority of the time? It seems that Steer is not the most agile 3rd basemen out there.

      Stephenson catches, and DH’s, and maybe plays first once in a while (and maybe Steer plays 3rd base occasionally). Myers has to start to hit. Because he is a veteran, I give him until mid-May, but he does have to start producing in some respectable way.

      • wkuchad

        I believe Steer got some starts at 1B last year, which is good. If Votto doesn’t come back for a while (or at all), we need a primary 1B this year, and this gives us flexibility when EDLC or CES is called up.

        Until then, start the three Fs in the outfield and move Myers to 1B.

  15. RedsGettingBetter

    Would you think the same about Jake Fraley being a breakout star?

    • Doug Gray

      Until he starts playing against lefties, and doing something against them, it’s tough to answer this question with a “yes”.

      • LDS

        Do you see any reason that he’ll suddenly start hitting LH’ers? He’s a month or so away from being 28. As you said above, he’s never hit lefties. I think the Reds do need to platoon him but should stop thinking of Fairchild simply as that platoon player. More immediately though, Vosler has collapsed and Benson hasn’t shown up. When Senzel starts looking like a viable option, the Reds have issues.

  16. CI3J

    I had an inkling that Friedl had slowly become someone you could actually count on to have a good AB each time up, but this post really crystalized it. If Friedl can keep this up, he can become another dependable LH bat to go with Fraley.

    The Reds still need one more LH bat to really balance the lineup, especially if CES and his right-handed bat is going to man the traditionally left-handed position of 1B. Looking at the minors, there are no LH bats on the horizon, excepting the switch-hitting EDLC. Maybe Collier can move to RF and become another LH bat, but he’s still a ways away. Of course, the easy solution would be if Benson could remember how to hit, but he’s been very disappointing so far. At least he stopped striking out so much. Progress, I guess.

    The nice thing is, both Fraley and Friedl are 27 years old, meaning they are just about to enter their prime years for the next 5 seasons or so. Ty Steve and India are 26, so they are right on the cusp of their primes as well, while Barrero and Steer are not far behind at age 25. That’s a pretty solid core to build on, assuming everyone keeps on their recent trajectories.

  17. DataDumpster

    I like everything Friedl is doing. The disruptor! Filling in CF is a big deal. Everyday player indeed.
    On the not so positive side, today we have our ace (Greene) vs. the Brave’s Strider. Two guys in their second year with outstanding velocity and basically two pitch dependent (with slider) and <5% change up.
    The ESPN folks give the Reds only a 28% chance of victory. Head down or call in to the Machine room casino where you could nearly triple your bet (no, don't). However, if you watch the game closely and it turns out largely as expected you will quickly notice how one guy has got it (pitch location and nerve) while the other guy is still fighting for a stable plan (not that he won't find it of course).

  18. LDS

    The Reds are 1-5 since Pittsburgh, with Atl tonight, 4 with the Phillies, then 3 with Tampa Bay. Last week, the RLN thread discussed where the Reds landed over that span, with several of us thinking 4-9 seemed reasonable, the optimists at 5-8. Those aren’t looking like great predictions at the moment. Glad it was RLN bluster not actual bets. They won’t open 3-22 (and I haven’t seen Phil mutter anything ridiculous thus far) but they can lose 100 easily without a total collapse.

    • MBS

      1-1 vs Chi, 1-2 vs Phi, 0-2 vs Atl

      If we pull out a W tonight we’ll be 3 – 5 since Pit, which isn’t good, but considering 6 games have been on the road vs very good teams, I’ll take it.

      We need to pick up some home W’s against some very good teams when the Phillies come to town. 2 – 2 with Phi, and 2 – 1 with the Rays.

      • LDS

        @MBS, probably optimistic the way they’ve been playing though I’d argue, with better handling of the bullpen, they’d have a better record right now, e.g. Law opening in extra innings, Diaz in leverage instead of the close, etc. At least they aren’t being blown out, excepting that 12-5 Cubs loss

      • MBS

        I agree, we could have easily had a few more break our way with a better pen / usage of the pen. I have a hard time blaming the pen / Bell too much when starters can’t get 6 innings. Most pens get exposed with overuse.

        I think we’ve seen we can play with Phi, so going 2 – 2 at home isn’t a stretch, but 2 – 3 from the hot Rays is optimistic, hopefully not overly optimistic.

  19. Melvin

    “A year ago if someone had told you that TJ Friedl would be one of the best hitters in baseball from the start of August through today you might have looked at them like they had three heads with snakes for hair. But that’s exactly what’s happened (TJ Friedl being that good at the plate, not the three heads and snakes for hair).”

    Who was pinch hit for last night after already collecting a hit. hahaha – .306/.359/.583

  20. JB

    If the Reds lose and the Cardinals,Nats,Phillies all win today, our beloved Reds will be in last place in the National League. This is where Dennis Greens Quote comes in.

    • MBS

      If they win the aire 1 game under .500, it seems like a lot rides on the outcome of this 1 game.

  21. DaveCT

    I had hoped the Teds might be able to pilfer Jared Kelenic from the M’s during the Castillo trade talks, on a buy low.

    Kelenic is hitting really well this year, and the dude just hit one 482 feet way out to center at Wrigley.

    Go find the video!

    • DaveCT

      REDS … not Teds, let the jokes begin

  22. Roger Garrett

    @old school.Thanks for your kind words.All of us know how and why India played 150 games 2 years ago and you detailed it correctly.I wasn’t going to bring that up.My comments are just my opinion and yes anybody and everybody has a right to respond and should especially if they disagree.Called out as a complainer and a whiner on a comment that I was told took 4 seconds to fact check as if i didn’t have enough sense to do so is way out of line.I will not post on this site starting right now.

    • Old-school

      Just apologize doug

      Laughing out loud and 4 second fact check is derogatory and you need guys over 50

      Roger is a great commenter and we need alternative views. I used to yell at GMR but ive come around to hear his pov and listen. I mean he is still a contrarian but I read and listen and respect his perspective

      Hes still frustrating!!!’

      • Doug Gray

        There is no chance I’m apologizing. Roger is more than welcome to continue posting.

      • wkuchad

        That’s pretty ridiculous post old-school. No way Doug should apologize for that.

        Posters are going to have different opinions – when someone strongly disagrees, they’re going to be called out, especially if the post in question is that outlandish.

    • Pete

      Roger, if Myers goes 2 for 4 tonight I think it’s God’s way of telling you that you’re making a mistake.

      To the point, the team should keep running Wil out there until he starts hitting, or at minimum, moves closer to the plate. If this was Little League, I would believe that he has developed a fear of the ball.