Luke Weaver gave up four runs in the 1st inning in his 2023 season debut. That was all that the Pittsburgh Pirates would get, but it was all that they would need as they held off a late comeback attempt by the Cincinnati Reds in a 4-3 victory to open up the 4-game series.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (7-12) 3 8 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (13-7) 4 4 1
W: Contreras (2-1) L: Weaver (0-1) SV: Bednar (6)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Things didn’t exactly go well for Luke Weaver as he began his Cincinnati Reds career. He allowed a leadoff single and then followed up with a walk. Weaver would retire the next two batters, but then he gave up back-to-back home runs to Connor Joe and Jack Suwinski and the Pirates were up 4-0 in a hurry. A pop up ended the inning, but the start felt similar to the previous two games that saw the Reds get blown out 10-0 and 8-1.

After that rough start, though, Luke Weaver settled in very nicely. The Pirates wouldn’t score another run against him as he completed 6.0 innings and allowed just one hit and one walk beyond that 1st inning. He also struck out eight batters in the game. Unfortunately for Weaver and the Reds, the offense wasn’t getting much of anything done as they managed just three hits through those same six frames and didn’t score.

In the top of the 7th the Reds finally appeared to get a little something going as Jake Fraley singled to lead off the inning and Tyler Stephenson followed with a walk. Wil Myers hit a hard grounder towards left field, but Ke’Bryan Hayes made a great grab then started a double play from the seat of his pants. Jason Vosler got Cincinnati on the board with a blooper into center. It was the first run for the Reds in 24 innings.

Alex Young took over for Cincinnati on the mound in the bottom of the 7th inning, looking to keep the Reds deficit at three runs. He did his job and then the offense went back to work. Jose Barrero singled on a grounder to the pitcher, and he took second when the throw to first base got by. Barrero then moved up to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a Jonathan India single to make it a 4-2 ballgame. TJ Friedl then followed up with a single of his own, giving the Reds three straight hits to begin the 8th inning. They would then execute a double steal to put both runners in scoring position before Spencer Steer hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3, but that would be the end of the scoring for Cincinnati during the inning.

Buck Farmer took over in the bottom of the 8th and got the top of the Pirates lineup out in order – capped off by a nice play by Spencer Steer – to send the game to the 9th inning and give the Reds a chance, needing just one run to tie the game up. They couldn’t get it as they went 1-2-3 to drop the first game of the series.

Key Moment of the Game

Connor Joe’s 3-run home run in the 1st inning.

Notes Worth Noting

Jonathan India just keep on hitting. With three more hits on Thursday night he’s now hitting .318/.427/.470 on the season with as many walks as strikeouts.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Friday April 21st, 6:35pm ET

Graham Ashcraft (2-0, 1.42 ERA) vs Mitch Keller (1-0, 3.80 ERA)

97 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    I say Weaver should get another shot. Glad the bats woke up a bit, even if we couldn’t convert in the clutch to tie it.

    • Melvin

      Yeah. Weaver should definitely get another shot.

    • Luke J

      I’m not even sure that’s debatable. Settling in for 5 scoreless innings after a rough first inning shows he absolutely belongs. Judging a pitcher on two mistake pitches in their first inning back from injury is beyond poor. Especially when he shows over the course of the rest of a 6 inning outing that he can get hitters out. I get that it’s the Pirates and he may not be as effective in the future. But I can’t fathom a person arguing he shouldn’t get another shot.

      • Steve-O

        Pretty sure Weaver was getting another shot even if he gave up 10 runs.

        But yeah I was encouraged the way he looked the last 5 innings.

  2. Kevin H

    Great job by Weaver settling down and completing six innings. Bullpen did their job and Reds offense made it interesting. All positive signs

  3. Melvin

    India is going to make the All Star team if he keeps this up.

    • Tomn

      He’s having a great start to the year. Hope he can keep it up.

      Him, Steer and Friedl having very good starts as well. Now for the other 5 starters ….

  4. J

    Rather than having another offensive weapon available, the Reds once again had a backup-backup catcher whose main job is to make sure the backup catcher isn’t too fatigued when the Reds are making their playoff push in September. That’s called “thinking ahead.”

    • Luke J

      Strange, I don’t recall the backup-backup catcher’s services being needed last night. They still had bats on the bench if they needed them. Although I’m of the mindset that late game subs is usually a bad idea anyway. Let your starters, who should be your best players play, and don’t focus so much on the individual matchups that could create a weakness down the road. Let your best hitters do their thing. Got a lefty on the mound late in the game and need a hit? Leave Friedl in, etc… Overmanaging is a scourge. But I digress.

  5. Old-school

    Weaver great press conference

    David Bell not so much. Were gonna get better … 7-12 and last place. Softball questions

    Reds at risk for going sideways and off the rails.Pirates probably much better. See what happens next 3 days

    India Freidl Steer Ashcraft Alex young A-
    Greene Lodolo diaz B+
    Stephenson Fraley B-
    Bullpen minus young diaz C-
    Sp 4/5 F
    Casali/ maile D

    Fairchild/ Senzel/ newman/ Vosler/ Barrero Myers C-

    Benson F

    • Redsvol

      i love the grades Old School – I would agree with all of them. And I would give Weaver a “C” for tonight and Senzel and “F” thus far.

    • JB

      Bullpen is at 3.93 ERA. 8th in the N.L. way better than C-.

      • Doc

        Notice he conveniently issued his BP grade “minus young Diaz”, but young Diaz is part of the BP. So with young Diaz, the BP is actually better still. It reminds me of Ancel Keys ballyhooed Seven Countries cholesterol study in which he actually studied 22 countries, and threw out the results of the 15 that did not agree with his pre-conceived conclusion. At least here it was mentioned that he was excluding the best pitcher, unlike Keys who did not mention throwing out 15 countries. Same here. Pre-conceived conclusion is that BP is bad, so throw out the possibly best pitcher in the BP to make the conclusion better fit the pre-conceived conclusion.

      • Old-school


        Diaz was a B+
        Young was an A-

        Take away those 2 and the bullpen is poor.

    • Optimist

      These grades sound about right, including the bullpen C-. It’s still too unsettled after Diaz and Young – but if they can go another month without any explosions they could get to C+/B-. Greene and Lodolo are more Bs at this point, but still looking good.

      If they can keep going sideways for 2 months, fine – that’s when the prospect promotions should begin. Still need power though the avg. and obp looking pretty good for the top 4 in the lineup.

  6. Melvin

    McLain playing 2B at AAA tonight with 2R, 2H, 2BB, 2RBI, and an HR. He now has a .276 BA and an OPS of 1.020. There has to be a place he can play regularly and help this team…..before the hole is so deep that it’s impossible to crawl out of and be respectable.

    • Kevin H

      Question were would you play McLain and Cruz? Who sits. Who goes?

      My thoughts are Maile goes and cut ties with Newman.

      Then who sits to allow them to play?

      • J

        This team isn’t cutting ties with a guy they just signed for over $2 million. And if they think it’s a good idea to have Maile today, they’ll think it tomorrow and the next day and the next. They’re getting exactly what they want from him, whatever that is.

      • Melvin

        Hard decisions have to be made but they DO have to be made soon. We are already in last place seven games back after only 19 games. The season is in real danger of going down the toilet real fast. Losing all the time without much chance to win is not good for young prospects. Shooting for at least respectability is a must….and yes that may very well mean a change in a manager too. After tonight we’re on pace for 59 wins and sliding down hill at a rapid pace.

      • Dennis Westrick

        Newman needs to go back to the Seinfeld show!

      • Melvin

        In my mind there are players that McLain would be a definite improvement over who play regularly. Those players are Senzel, Myers, Vosler, and Fraley.

      • Redsvol

        I don’t see them cutting Maile or Newman in April…….June or July yes.

        I think its going to work out that by the time EDLC, McClain and Votto are ready it will be June or July and then Vosler, Newman and Maile will be either traded, cut or demoted (I believe Vosler has an option) to make the room.

        I’m also not sure Senzel is with the club by July either if he doesn’t turn it on.

      • Melvin

        It wouldn’t bother me getting rid of Newman. McLain, for now, can take the place of Senzel in CF. Fraley can play RF with Myers at 1B. Vosler can be a LH bat off the bench. Senzel can be a BACKUP and not play very much. As far as I’m concerned Fraley and Myers days are numbered as soon as the young guys come up. I wish they could trade Myers right now. Votto will be back. Things have to be done. NOW. As far a pitching goes the first thing is getting Legumina and maybe Herget when feasible back up. Have to bite the bullet and start releasing some of those guys who are out of options.

      • Melvin

        If they wait until June or July before making any changes we will likely be so far down we won’t even be able to see the top. LOTS of things can be done without spending much money, if any, to try hard to keep that from happening. It’s much better, for everyone, to be competitive than giving up unnecessarily.

      • Greenfield Red

        Once again, it is not about 2023. It never has been. They are not trying to win in 2023.

        It’s about 2024 and beyond.

      • Melvin

        If they don’t at least TRY to win in 2023 then learning how to win in 2024 and beyond will be a lot harder.

      • Brad

        No need to rush them up this year. The team is clearly going to lose a lot of games no matter who plays at this point. Let the youngsters get more experience in AAA and have them ready for a trade deadline/September call up. If we are lucky, next year we will start will sign a few MLB players to go with the prospects and field a competitive team.

      • Tomn

        Cruz at SS. McLain in CF (or vice versa – either would be a huge improvement).

        Move Friedl to one corner and some combo of Fraley/Fairchild/Barrero in the other (choose Fraley and one of the others).

      • Jim Walker

        Keep in mind McLain played CF as a Freshman at UCLA (50 games per BBRef) because he was blocked at SS/2B.

      • DHud

        How is Fraley the one holding the short straw here? The same Fraley that had an OPS of 118 last year??

    • Kevin H

      You could be right McLain could be better than those you mentioned. He could also flop like a few players have.
      Fraley and Myer to me are going to fine.

      Volser maybe. I am losing faith in

      • Chris Holbert

        What happens,when EDLC and McClain come up and hit like the rest, because they play every third day? Krall needs to say, I am bringing these guys up, they are the future and the future is now.

      • Melvin

        Yes Chris. Can’t have Newmans and Voslers taking playing time away from them. Find a way for them to play virtually every day.

    • MBS

      Where do you puts McLain? I’m not ready to give up on Barrero as the SS, Steer is doing good at 3B, and India isn’t coming off 2B. Let McLain continue to play in AAA until he forces his way onto the roster.

      • Melvin

        I’m not ready to replace those guys either. Read my response above. He can still help this team now…and this team needs help now. 🙂 I would say he’s very close to forcing his way on the roster already to play somewhere.

      • MBS

        I can see McLain becoming an OF, but I wouldn’t move him to the OF until either Barrero secures SS, or EDLC claims SS. Barrero may never hit, and EDLC may show he’s out grown the position. It would be nice to still have McLain getting regular reps at SS just in case.

      • Melvin

        McLain played 2B tonight. I’m sure he’d rather play CF for a time with the big guys and help the Reds until the infield clog gets straightened out. It seems like he’s ready to help with his bat right now playing somewhere. The Reds need him. 🙂

      • VaRedsFan

        @MBS – Just because you move from a spot, doesn’t mean you can’t move back, if Barrero fails

      • Jim Walker

        @Melvin> I agree. If they think McLain’s bat is ready to be tested at MLB, he should be OK in LF or CF along with SS and 2B. RF might be asking a bit much without some work there in the minors first.

      • MBS

        @VA, I agree that players are not such fragile things. Not that most would remember my old posts, but I’ve advocated for both McLain and EDLC to split reps in SS and RF/CF. I just haven’t advocated for either to be taken off the dirt completely yet.

      • Lars Benders

        India is not a 2B-man. He ended up there a few years ago out of necessity. He should eventually be moved, either to 3B or the outfield. McLain then gets 2B.

    • Luke J

      McLain has yet to show he can sustain those types of numbers. I truly hope he is able to make the jump to be a productive major league hitter. But we need to pump the breaks a bit.

      • Melvin

        One could argue it would be a good time to at least try. Keeping from getting buried in April should be a concern. It’s not going to help anyone to get beat constantly. Again, we are in last place seven games back…already. It’s time to start making some moves.

      • Doc

        Where was all the hype to bump McClain when he was hitting nothing just a week or two ago? We are still early enough in the season where a couple good games can inflate the average quickly and a couple bad games can tank it quickly.

      • Luke J

        Melvin, the Reds are 7 games back, but they have something like 6 or 7 one run losses and have played a brutal schedule so far. It’s too early to make drastic changes, especially in a year when they have no intention on competing. McLain will get his shot if he can prove he can sustain these numbers. But he hasn’t yet. In fact, he seems very feast or famine over his minor league career. At times looking unstoppable, and then going through long slumps of very little production. That isn’t someone who is ready to be thrown into the bigs to get his shot. Let him get ready. No need to rush him based on a good week in the minors.

      • Melvin

        Luke J – We could be 10+ games back in the blink of an eye the way we’re going. One run losses may mean we’re more competitive at times but they’re still losses. It’s time that Krall shows that losing 100 games is not acceptable. It’s time to show everyone including the players AND MANAGER it’s not acceptable. That’s what he said. Now work hard to prove it Mr. Krall. Show you want to win.

    • Dan

      Please get any Triple A hitters up and don’t wait to save a year as in the past. This team can do something with a few extra base hitters.

  7. J

    It’s fun to imagine Bell getting fired, just as it’s fun to imagine winning the lottery. But the odds either one happening aren’t good. When an organization keeps its manager after a 3-22 start and then brings him back after losing 100 games, that manager isn’t getting fired anytime soon.

    • TR

      The central question is: who is going to fire David Bell? You lose a hundred games for the second time in franchise history and the manager is brought back. My most passionate days as a Reds fan was the decade of the 50’s. During those ten years the Reds had seven managers. They didn’t win anything but they played exciting baseball with good attendance for the time. A pennant resulted in 1961. In my opinion a managerial change would invigorate the team and fanbase.

  8. Old-school

    McLain homered … his 5th.. and Opsing over 1.000.

    India and Steer playing well

    Id give it 2 more weeks and give Barrero every start at SS . Newman is a good bench player . If barrero doesnt get better and McLain is blowing up … its steer mCLain and Barrero at 3b ss 2b

    • Melvin

      Where does India go? Newman is a good BACKUP but there really is no such thing as a backup to David Bell for some positions at least. There are times when the regulars are more backups than the backups.

    • AMDG

      If Barrero doesn’t get better?

      It seems he is getting better. He is showing clear improvements at the plate vs previous years, and currently has a higher batting average than Fraley & Myers, who are Bell’s “heart of the lineup” guys.

      • old-school

        Yup- you are correct. A bit over-reactionary. More a reflection of the impending collapse of the season already and a suddenly anemic offense. Barrero needs 3 months every day at SS and McLain needs 3 months at AAA to rake.

    • Luke J

      Have you looked at Barrero’s numbers the last 2 weeks?

  9. Redsvol

    I love the small ball but we must be last in the league i home runs. Guys playing positions like left field, right field, first base and 3rd base are typically going to put up 20 or more home runs. I don’t think Fraley, Myers, Steer or Friedl are going to get anywhere near that number. Fairchild might if they give him 500 at bats but they won’t.

  10. Melvin

    By the way Robinson in AAA is hitting .432/.500/.676. If the Reds just have to have three catchers at least have one backup who can hit a little and be a little dangerous as a pinch hitter late in the game or whatever. Moves have to be made now or it very well could be too late very soon to keep it respectable.

    • Luke J

      Putting far too much stock in April at bats. Numbers can get REALLY skewed this early.

      • Melvin

        Wins and losses are facts buddy. There’s is no denying we’re in last place seven games back. Have to do/try something(s) to try and stop the bleeding before it’s too late already in April just to be respectable.

      • Doc

        Hey Melvin, McClain and Robinson are playing for the affiliate with the worst record, and they have already had a couple of proven major leaguers playing with them for a lot of those games. So just how are McClain and Robinson going to save the Reds?

      • Luke J

        You want facts? Robinson hit .136 with a .407 OPS in 25 games with the Reds last year. His hot start in the minors literally means nothing when it comes to him making a difference for the Reds in the major leagues right now.

      • Melvin

        Doc – I think you’re missing the point. Having them may or may not help. The fact is changes need to be made and things need to be shaken up to at least TRY to keep the season from going down the tank before May even gets here. When you’re seven games back after only 19 played, and when you consider the track record of the team out of the gate the past few seasons, status quo is not acceptable in my view. I know we’re not expected to win big this year but that doesn’t mean we have to lose big either. TRYING to at least avoid that should be a major goal.

  11. Nicole Cushing

    You only needed the first two words from the headline, Mr. Gray: “Reds Doomed.”

    I understand why people are calling for David Bell’s firing, but I don’t think that would help at all. The problem is that they haven’t spent any money to build around the young core of promising talent. A new manager won’t change that.

    Anyway, in two years they’ll be trading all that young talent to the Yankees or some other more competitive franchise. They’ll get a lot of prospects in those trades, and then the cycle will repeat.

    • Doug Gray

      I’ve gotta work the SEO a little better. We’re all doomed by the algorithm.

    • Greenfield Red

      disagree completely. They already signed Gree e to an extention. More to come.

  12. Reddawg2012

    A 7-12 pace over the course of 162 games is 60-162. That is not good enough. This is by no means a playoff roster but there is too much talent IMO for this team to be that bad. I really try not to blame the manager, and I have defended David Bell so many times. But how can it not be him, at least somewhat? The horrendous starts to most seasons. The total collapse down the stretch in what should have been a playoff season in 2021. The lifeless personality he seems to portray during interviews. I could go on. I don’t know, it just seems like it might be time for a change.

    • Kevin H

      Very valid points. I too would defend Bell at times etc.. the bad starts and yes the 2021 collapse. My final straw was when he pitch hit for Friedl and Fraley. Especially Newman for Fraley.

      Yes Fraley is now slumping and Newman is hitting left handed pitching at a 375 clip, however still that was the straw that broke the back for me. As at that time Fraley was on fire

    • Luke J

      Small sample size playing the Braves, Phillies x2, and Rays. This is not a great team, but it’s also not a 102 loss team.

    • Doc

      Interesting math. 60-162 works out to a 222 game season.

  13. GMan88

    7-12 for a .368 winning percentage in 2023. 62-100 in 2022 for a .382 winning percentage. The sample size is large enough to say that this is a bad team. Too many automatic outs in the lineup and not nearly enough pitching.

    • Luke J

      The sample size isn’t large enough to say anything. That team with the .382 winning percentage? Started 3-22. That’s a .120 winning percentage, even further into the year than this year’s team. Compare apples to apples my friend. If you want to look at this year’s team through 19 games, compare it to the first 19 of last year as well instead of a larger sample size where things evened out.

      • GMan88

        It is a bad team. 65-67 wins max is all I’m seeing here. That’s if the top of the order stays relatively healthy.

      • GMan88

        I remember thinking on Opening Day last year that they would do well to get out of April with 6 wins. At Atlanta, At Los Angeles, At San Diego, St. Louis, and then the Padres again. Terrible start, but not all that far below any realistic expectations. Apples to Apples.

      • Votto4life

        If you are looking at the past 19 games then yeah, it’s too early to call this a bad team. But you can’t look at this team as if last year didn’t happen.

        This team lost 100 games last season without making any significant additions. They also had Castillo, Mahle, Drury, etc for parts of last season. If anything, they have taken a step back.

        I think most people can easily make the call that this is a bad team.

      • greenmtred

        The team is bad in some areas, certainly: 4th and 5th starters and some of the bullpen. If those were addressed, it still wouldn’t be a good team, but it might be middling, with possible help on the horizon. As Luke correctly points out, it’s too early in the season to draw many conclusions. They’ve been over-matched in some games and good in others.

  14. SlippinJimmy

    Not sure why Senzel was brought up, he is not hitting well enough to warrant a spot in the lineup. Fairchild at least has shown potential–and hasn’t had any extended playing time to actually have a chance to steadily improve. Would like to see him start more.

    I know it’s early, but Stephenson is the team’s worst defensive catcher, its worst fielding 1st baseman, and lately he’s even surpassed Barrero as possibly its worst at-bat. He loves to take first pitch fastballs right down the middle and then swing at terrible pitches for strike three. And yet, before last night, Bell’s Dartboard Lineup Selector™ still has him fixed at the cleanup spot with 0 homeruns. Maybe trade him for another pitcher or a homerun type hitter?

    • Thomas Noonan

      Sad to say, but he has looked bad, especially at the plate. He’s been good for a single through the hole into RF, but the Reds need him for more than that. I think he needs to be put behind the plate and kept there. This triad of catchers isn’t working. Get rid of Casali and keep Maile or get rid of both of them and bring up Robinson(?) from the Bats.

    • Ted Alfred

      I’m with you on stevenson. Yes he’s got a good average for a hitter but the power numbers aren’t there in defensively as a catcher he is not good. Also, it’s past time to move on from senzel. Lastly David Bell will never be the manager to get this team over the hump, but I’m sure they’re not going to cut him mid-season because they’re too cheap.

      • Melvin

        Dumping David Bell wouldn’t cost more money this year as far as I know. They would just promote someone else who is already getting paid.

      • Votto4life

        @Tes Alfred

        Good post. I agree on all points with a small exception, I think David Bell will be let go before his contract expires.

    • redsfan10

      You have to consider he is coming back from a major injury, but I agree he is worrries me, he was supposed to be hitting like his oldself and be clutch, the pirates game that final at-bat was an automatic out, Fraley may be slumping but he fought a tough at bat and had a hard lineout to Hayes.

      People who want to extend stephonson right now are crazy, he has so much to prove,
      India is do or die, he has scott boras as his agent so chances are low without overpaying, but at the same time if the reds want to legit build a dynasty, then is clear…

      Trade India get a good OF and SP prospect, the only complaint I get is he is a leader, everyone loves him, but I find it kind of out of the plans of the deck.

      I mean McClain is a better defender, better speed, even higher on base percentage, if you don’t trade india you have him hit free agency in 3 years and you ride it which is fine, but you aren’t getting an extention with Boras.

      In that case you have to move India to LF logically. I mean McClain would be the second best defensive INF at the moment behind Barrero at the ML level.

      All things to think about, but overall we our slumping we will rebound, just gotta get bet SP games.

      I am impressed with weaver I was worried we signed him, but I think he will be a fine 4 option, rough first the rest was a good rebound. Really saved our bullpen.

      • Tomn

        Barrero misplayed 2 backhands that weren’t that deep at SS the other night, as I recall. He’s got a tremendous arm but I’m losing any confidence that he can handle any ground ball except the kind that average MLB SS’s should handle. I think his hitting is coming around though. I’d want the Reds to keep him to play OF, at least against lefties.

        I think McLain would outplay him both in the field and at bat.

      • redsfan10

        I have just heard a lot about his defense skills, Barrero has the arm as you stated, but I guess at this point you can see the defense hole in him, misplaying balls, his bat is showing promise so I want him in the lineup.

        McClain has shown he will be a quality MLB at bat, good speed, good defense.

        Whats holding him back?
        Service time, Barrero/Newman are trying to hold it down?
        I mean I guess its so he gets quality at bats in the minors for now, good to see EDLC back, hopefully CES comes back. Second half Reds baseball could be even more fun.

  15. Thomas Noonan

    I missed seeing the first inning but Weaver looked really good to me in the later innings from what I saw. I was impressed. I think he’ll do well as a #4 starter. Now where to find a #5? Oh, I know… Abbott! Abbott, NOW!

  16. Ken Harris

    Should be sometime in May Greene, Ashcraft, Lodolo, Weaver, Anderson until one of the younger guys shows some progress. Hopefully Votto comes back full strength. McCain comes up to play shortstop, Cruz DH or the other way. Barrero, Maile, Vosler, see ya

  17. Ron S

    Think Barrero has Saurezitis can’t make the routine plays but can make some spectacular plays occasionally.

  18. Rob

    I am beginning to worry that the rebuilds of the both the Pirates and Cubs are ahead of ours. And the Cubs started in a deep, deep hole. Hopefully it is just a 19 game fluke but both teams also seem to be playing with a lot more vigor and excitement than the Reds. That is not a Castelleni thing. There ought to be some performance goals and standards for Bell and Krall here. Like no worse than 4th place and >25 wins out of the first 55. To me there just seems to be much of of an acceptance that this year can be the same as last year. I thought Krall said no way would he allow to happen on his watch. Well ….what are you going to about it?

  19. greenmtred

    The team is bad in some areas, certainly: 4th and 5th starters and some of the bullpen. If those were addressed, it still wouldn’t be a good team, but it might be middling, with possible help on the horizon. As Luke correctly points out, it’s too early in the season to draw many conclusions. They’ve been over-matched in some games and good in others.

    • Kevin H

      So now Stephenson isn’t hitting homeruns so “trade him for a power hitter or a pitcher? Trade India? We don’t even know if McLain will be any good in the majors. See Barrero or Senzel. It’s not as simple as “just call him up”

      Sure I would seeing McLain, Cruz, Hopkins come up and see what they can do. However this Reds team is fine right now. Offense is in a slump and starting pitching as well. Bullpen has seemed to settle in somewhat.

      We knew this year was gonna be a struggle so why the panic?

      Wow people we are not even a full month into the season.

      • Votto4life

        Sorry Kevin, the Reds are playing .370 ball they are not OK. You may argue it’s not unexpected and you would be correct. But they are not OK.

  20. Jimbo44CN

    Stephonson may not be the next Johnny Bench but he is a good hitter. He hits; the ball hard most times at bat. Yes, he strikes out occasionally but so does everyone else. If you watched any games the last couple of years, (and yes, I have watched ALL of them) Barrero is much improved at the plate. His defense will keep improving. Friedel is good and solid. Fraley I am not sold on as well as Senzel. Starting to like Fairchild out there a little better. Myers is the biggest problem on this team at the plate right now. How many times has he been up with a chance to do something and it’s one, two, three take a seat. I know they paid for him but he needs to sit. Vosler down, bring up one of the kids. Can’t hurt.

    • Votto4life

      The problem with “bring up the kids” is once you do that, and the kids fail, what do you do?

      The Reds are selling the future. They can’t ruin it by brining up players before they are ready.

  21. Jim Walker

    Here are some Statcast cast comps of Stephenson 2022 vs 2023

    Average Exit Velo 87.1/90.3= he is actually hitting the ball faster on average in 2023,

    However his barrel% (barrels are balls with an EV of at least 98 at a launch angle of 26-30 degrees) is down considerably, 4.4/ 2.6= he isn’t hitting as many with a power profile.

    His sweet spot% (sweet spot are all balls hit with an LV of 8-32 degrees) is off by 5+% (46.3/40.9) which indicates he is either not elevating as much and/ or is over elevating (popping up) more balls.

    To me, these numbers validate the eye test that he isn’t driving the ball as much. Is his swing different? If so, is that related to his shoulder injury? Does he lack as much force and power in his swing? If so, hard not to think it could be related to the shoulder.

    • Melvin

      I think any time a player comes back form at least a semi serious injury it takes time to get all of his skills back. Considering all he’s been through he’s not doing too bad at this point in my view.

      • Jim Walker

        I agree. With Votto seemingly no where near ready and Vosler crashing, just put Stephenson at 1b and be done with it because that is a lot less wear on him as he strives to recover full strength. Or alternately, just use him as DH.

        The purpose of the 3 catcher plan was not to have both the other guys sitting at the same time most days. It was to use them to allow TS less time behind the plate by playing one of the others behind the plate. But apparently someone thinks Vosler playing most days is preferable to Casali or Maile playing.

  22. nnati

    I’m a long follower of this and appreciate the followers
    I’m going to give my input as time goes
    thanks to Doug