The Cincinnati Reds have a well regarded farm system. And the position on the farm with the most depth is shortstop. Despite being drafted in 2021 in the 1st round, Matt McLain entered the 2023 season as seemingly an afterthought at the position in the minds of many fans. Between the breakout of Elly De La Cruz in 2021 and 2022, and the big trade acquisitions of Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo at the trade deadline of 2022, McLain seemed to be pushed back in the minds of many.

A part of that, though, wasn’t due to the other shortstop prospects in the farm system. While there were plenty of good things in the stat line for Matt McLain in 2022 at Double-A Chattanooga, he hit just .232. That’s not exactly an average to write home about for a minor leaguer. And it came along with a 28% strikeout rate.

On the other side of things, McLain had a .363 on-base percentage thanks to a 15% walk rate. He also slugged .453 with 17 home runs. And on the bases he went 27-for-30 in stolen base attempts. Defensively he played plenty of shortstop, but once Elly De La Cruz was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga, McLain began to split time between shortstop and second base.

This season the Reds 6th best prospect been one of the hottest hitters in the entire farm system. He started out hot, hitting .375 with four extra-base hits and four walks in the first five games of the year with Triple-A Louisville. McLain went into a slump over the next six days, going 0-18 with just two walks. In the two weeks since he’s been on fire. The 23-year-old infielder has played in 11 games and has gone 14-34 with more walks than strikeouts – posting a 1.281 OPS in the process. That’s boosted his season line to .284/.429/567. His walk rate remains at 15% this season, but his strikeout rate is down to 22.6% so far this year.

Defensively Matt McLain has only played shortstop and second base since being drafted. But he also has experience in the outfield and at third base from his time in college. As a freshman at UCLA he played 50 games in center and another 11 at third base. Following the spring schedule he headed to the Cape Cod League where he played in 18 games at third, eight more at shortstop, five at second, five in right, and one in left. As a sophomore and junior at UCLA he moved exclusively to shortstop.

There may or may not be an exact open spot for Matt McLain now, or perhaps even in the near future, but with his background it’s possible that he could still be called up and get regular playing time because of his ability to play all over the field.

Chuckie Robinson’s adjustments

Last season the Cincinnati Reds catching position outside of Tyler Stephenson was about as bad as it gets. The team used six catchers beyond Stephenson hit a combined .170/.210/.258 in 401 plate appearances. While that’s not quite as bad as what pitchers would hit a few years ago, it’s not that far off, either. Chuckie Robinson was among that group, hitting .136 without a walk and slugging .271. He struck out 17 times in 60 plate appearances.

Robinson was a free agent after last season, but he re-signed with Cincinnati on a minor league deal in December. When the season began the Reds sent him to Triple-A Louisville and he’s been hitting like a very different guy.

After not getting a hit in the first game of the season he ran off a hit streak of 11 games. That streak came to an end on Saturday when he went 0-2 in the first game of a doubleheader. On Sunday he went 4-4, raising his line with the Bats to .447/.500/.638. He’s been just crushing the ball. He’s got 21 hits in 14 games and he’s struck out just three times. Have to be impressed that on Sunday he had more hits in the game than he had strikeouts on the season. With a 5.8% strikeout rate he’s making contact at an absolutely elite rate this season.

Last year with the Cincinnati Reds, Robinson had an average exit velocity of 84.9 MPH and maxed out at 108.3. Of the 43 batted balls he had only eight of them were above 100.0 MPH. This season in Triple-A he has 42 batted balls and 11 of them have been above 100.0 MPH. And he’s maxed out at 109.9 MPH. 17 of his batted balls with Cincinnati were above 90.0 MPH, but 25 of his batted balls with Louisville this year have been above 90.0 MPH.

Robinson has lowered his hands just a little bit in his set up this season. We can’t say it’s the direct result that’s led to the changes in the numbers, but the numbers have definitely changed. More contact. Harder contact. More frequent hard contact. That’s a good recipe all around. And Robinson is also known as a good defender behind the plate, too.

This past offseason the Reds decided that Tyler Stephenson should play less behind the plate. That led them to the decision to sign two backup catchers in Curt Casali and Luke Maile. Casali has held his own at the plate in the past at times, but he hasn’t really hit since leaving Cincinnati several years ago. Maile has never hit in the big leagues outside of a 15-game stretch with Milwaukee in 2021 when he had 30 at-bats. This season he’s 3-17 with nine strikeouts. Casali is not doing a whole lot better, going 5-22. Neither player has an extra-base hit.

It’s still early in the case for all three of them, but if the lack of production continues at the plate in the big leagues for the catchers and Robinson continues to make tons of contact, hit the ball hard, and the numbers remain high, there might be some discussion going on in the offices of Great American Ball Park about what to do.

79 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Bring up McLain and Robinson? Hmm I might have mentioned that possibility a time or two recently. haha No really. The Reds need help yesterday as in it couldn’t happen soon enough. It may or may not help but Krall has to try. We’re in bad shape. Who to replace includes possibly Vosler, Newman, Myers, Senzel, Maile etc. How they do it is up to them but it needs to be done NOW. McLain needs to play virtually EVERY DAY by the way. Hopefully Benevidas I mean Bell will realize that. 😉

    • Tomn

      Um, so did I say it recently. Both of them. I’m sure we aren’t the only two either. Optioning or releasing Maile/Casalli opens up two spots. Then, Newman, Vosler is two more. It’s tough to do that to guys but this is a business and the Reds need to make some changes just to become interesting to watch, not to mention maybe hitting better and winning a few games. Maybe Hopkins and EDLC when they are ready or CES even.

      • MK

        In addition to quality depth at shortstop they have done a pretty good job of quality depth at catcher.

  2. Melvin

    Just saw this on MLB trade rumors.

    “Reds Have “Preliminary” Extension Negotiations With Graham Ashcraft”

  3. old-school

    His ability to play SS makes him a legitimate piece to the MLB puzzle. He could play SS and 2b and 3b but it would require the Reds to move on from Senzel (not happening at $2 million+) or Newman( not happening at $2 mil +) this early in the season. Id like to see an infield of Steer/Barrero/India/ and McLain. Steer could flex to first base/DH twice a week. Barrero could flex to CF once a week and India could DH once a week. That would get McLain 4-5 days a week in the infield. I just dont see it happening before June. Injuries always happen though.

    • Melvin

      The infield is set for now with Barrero at SS in my view. He needs to play CF.

      • Tomn

        I agree, Barrero is making strides and actually starting to hit. He does deserve a chance. Worse case, put McLain in CF, see how it goes.

        On the other hand, I agree with Old School above. Would love to see the infield he describes.

        Really want to see Robinson get a chance. It’s time. June if not earlier.

      • old-school

        I had him 5-6 days a week at SS with McLain 1-2. I m not backing off Barrero at SS

      • Melvin

        Better him backing up Barrero than Newman right?

      • old-school

        If you can make that happen….great. i dont see Newman and his $2 million going anywhere prior to August.
        Jim Day was saying on the radio yesterday Reds development people feel strongly on McLain’s MLB infield and shortstop potential.

    • LarkinPhillips

      The main reason it won’t happen is that they are all right handed and that is unacceptable to David Bell’s strategy purely based off of which hand is dominate for players.

    • VaRedsFan

      @Old School – You need to stop acting like 2 million is a lot of money for a baseball player. It’s nothing. If they can eat Akiyama for 7 million before last season, and Moose 20 million before this season, then I’m sure you’d agree that dumping 2 million shouldn’t be a problem.

      • Old-school

        Its observing the behavior of the Reds FO . This is a franchise that traded Fairchild I believe for Archie Bradley , used him like 4x then declined $6 million to retain

        Its a franchise that DFA ‘s guys ( or decline options or trades them) once they hit the $3.5 million arbitration threshold- Hamilton, Peraza, Farmer, Barnhart, Garrett, Miley

        DFAing Akiyama or Moose in the last year of a contract that was signed years ago and are dead money is entirely different than DFAing a guy 22 games into a season that you consciously chose to sign in the prior off-season.

        Apples and oranges

        My issue with Newman is playing time not roster spot. He’s a good bench utility player. Senzel- no idea why he cant play well but they arent flushing his contract down the toilet in late April.

        This is a franchise that exposed Wade Miley to waivers to avoid the $1 million or whatever it was cost to decline his option

  4. wutinthehail

    Was Robinson’s swing that compact last year?

    • Brian

      “The Reds 6th best prospect”? I would say that he’s regarded as their 6th best prospect. I doubt that he’s precisely the 6th best prospect in the organization. The one thing that tamps down my excitement is that the Pirates and Cards also currently have to ten rated farm systems. The Cubs and Brewers are in the top 15. It’s not like the Reds are miles and miles ahead of the other teams with no sure things at that level. They’re loaded with potential stud middle infielder. Some will play out of position if all move up. How does the Reds minor league pitching look? How about the outfield? There’s no sure thing with developing guys. There’s no guarantee that our guys will develop better than their guys. The people doing the development matter too. I’m somewhat optimistic but very cautiously. If the team becomes decent, the Reds have continually demonstrated that they won’t add obvious needs to get them over the hump. I’d definitely love to see very good results but I’m also very, very jaded and apathetic at this point.

  5. redsfan101

    In a perfect world our offense would come along, Newman, Senzel, Vosler gone….I am happy for Robinson hopefully he gets his shot soon, I don’t renember him being that slim either if thats just me or I didn’t watch much of him last year.

    McLain is ready, but seems Barrero is actually hitting and working good at-bats. IMO move India to 1B/DH/LF…He looks better defensively but he still is a liability more then a pro at 2B.

    Still need his bat in the lineup, but McLain has the better speed and Defense.

    2024 is the date folks

    I mean tons of guys who could make big differences at the MLB level.

    Spend money and extend guys, Sign a veteran OF, SP and 2 bullpen pieces and you win 90+ next season barring injuries.

  6. Rcsodak

    Front office: Robinson is hitting. Let’s trade him while he’s hot

  7. Beaufort Red

    Beeb beating McLain’s drum all year. Looked really complete in spring training. How about Steer at 1b , McLain at 2nd , Barrero at SS and India at 3b? Maybe strengthen up our defense.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Interesting comment from India about how ‘everyone was out for themselves’ describing last year’s team. Certainly paints Bell in a negative light in the sense that it suggests he’s too permissive and more importantly that not everyone is invested in the mission. It would take an infinite amount of cope for the front office to convince themselves he’s the guy to rally the troops and pull the team out of this year’s nosedive.

      • SultanofSwaff

        Sorry, that was supposed to be a separate comment. I like you infield idea.

  8. MBS

    You might want to add Hopkins to your list of young prospects in AAA that are begging to be called up. .317BA, .388OBP, .871OPS.

    This team is going to look so much different in a couple of months. CES’s 1st game was yesterday, and he picked up 2 hits. EDLC hasn’t really hit yet, but he was just early on a rocket shot to LF that ended up foul. I’m sure he’ll get his timing down soon. It’s going to be fun.

  9. MFG

    Elly is a big boy and maybe he should be our future CF? Mclain should be called up to see what he can do. Vosler needs to go ASAP. does Senzel still have options? If so, send him down to see if he can work things out. We are loaded with infielders in the minors so start bringing some of them up to see what we have.

    • VaRedsFan

      I was a big proponent of EDLC moving to CF. If I were him, that seems to be the quickest way to MLB. He apparently has said he doesn’t want to move….so the player’s feelings are in the way.
      If he was a magician with the glove, I’d be on board with his wishes. Unfortunately, he’s not.

      • DaveCT

        I think that take, of his feels being in the way, is just incorrect.

        It’s pretty simple. EDLC is our best prospect, and rated by some as the best prospect in all of baseball, playing in his time tested position. It makes zero sense to move this type of prospect off of his position to satisfy an arbitrary wish he go somewhere else in the field.

        If he plays his way off the position, sure, make a move. That’s, in part, the case with Noelvi Marte, moving to 3B. Edwin Arroyo may someday supplant at EDLC at short, bumping him to 3B or RF. But that’s years away. Given McClains place down the depth chart, it makes far more sense to move him, especially since he’splayed CF and we have India at 2B.

      • VaRedsFan

        Dave…I hope he kills it at SS. But the guys that play the best defense at the position should get the nod at that spot. Nothing should ever be handed to a player.
        Now if his bat is elite as we all hope, we could allow for some slippage in defense IF there are no better options? What if McClain/Barrero fields SS better and is a decent hitter? Isn’t it better for the team to have 2 good hitters playing the position that produces the fewest errors?
        Knowing that the Reds don’t have superstar outfielders is exactly why our top prospects should start learning how to play the outfield….so there is a smaller learning curve when a spot opens up.

  10. SultanofSwaff

    I just don’t see the fit for McClain right now because Barrero is my #1 SS and I don’t want him or McClain in CF. Now if you want to DFA Newman so McClain becomes the utility guy I’m all ears but we know the front office isn’t that nimble.

    The 3 players who are simply overmatched at the major league level are Senzel, Vosler, and Maile. Truly, none of them can hit a league average fastball. Maile could be swapped out for Robinson asap, but it might take another week or two to rid the roster of Vosler in favor of CES. Lastly, I’d like to see EDLC in CF and Senzel released.

    • DaveCT

      I’d pause a bit longer on Senzel, given reports he’s hitting the ball much harder. But the day could be approaching.

      The most confusing thing about Senzel last year was that’d he’d become a singles hitter, and not a successful one at that. While I never expected Kris Bryant, I had imagined Senzel to be hitting lots of doubles and slashing the ball all over. So if he’s hitter the ball harder again, I’d say go a half season to really see.

      Im not in favor of promoting McClain to sit a be a utility guy. That’s what Reynolds is for or, hopefully, Senzel.

    • Melvin

      ” Lastly, I’d like to see EDLC in CF and Senzel released.”

      That would be cool with me. At least Senzel to AAA. DLC needs to at least start getting some experience in CF in my view.

  11. GreatRedLegsFan

    There’s no rush to bring all those players up, this season was lost even before started, as painful as it sounds. Time should goes by to allow the exit of Bell, Votto, Vosler, Newman, Maile, Casali, Myers and Senzel. Plenty of options are coming up to replace those players, I wonder who will be Bell’s replacement.

    • SultanofSwaff

      I think you have to look outside the organization for the next manager. Much like Bell, Benavides is a company man who likely couldn’t qualify for his current job in any other organization, so the list of internal candidate is small. But there’s the rub—going outside would force ownership to tacitly admit their plans are flawed and I just don’t know they have it in them.

      • Jim Walker

        I agree with bringing in an outside person even as the interim guy (assuming Bell does get bounced eventually).

        The late Doc Rodgers always said every player who isn’t the next likely HoF player needs somebody in the org looking out for them because all the scouts and development and evaluation folks all have their own agendas with bias in favor of players they have rated highly.

        Bringing in an outsider is a chance to cross check and mitigate these biases.

      • TR

        Benavides is a company man? Being an employee of an organization, and being that with connections are two different things.

      • TR

        The manager of the Reds last championship, 33 years ago, was an outsider who Marge Schott let go too soon.

      • VaRedsFan

        I’d go a different route and say Mark Derosa, who coahed Team USA in the WBC. He is a communicator with a great personality. He was really impressive on MLB network when he broke down why batters succeeded or failed.

      • Melvin

        TR – I’d take Benavides as interim manager right now for sure. Have to remember taking a manager’s place who’s just been fired means they are not happy with that guy so if you want to have a possibility of keeping your job as manager you will need to do things differently. It won’t hurt to give him a shot the rest of the year. I’d rather have an outside guy right away but having Benavides wouldn’t be the worst thing I don’t think.

  12. LDS

    I’d prefer they stay in Louisville until Bell is gone. How many more notches (wasted prospects) on his belt are the Reds going to allow? How many utility players does one team need? Dump Newman and Vosler, call up Ramos and Reynolds. Save the prospects for a good manager.

      • Mark A Verticchio

        I agree but the question is how long are they going to give Bell. As for EDLC how long do you wait, I look at the Cardinals who brought Walker up to start the year and he is actually younger and the Cardinals want to win now. I am still of the opinion to get rid of Bell, Vosler, Maile, Senzel and maybe Newman asap and bring up EdLC, CES, Mclain and Robinson as soon as they are healthy enough to go. What is there to lose? Most importantly those moves would at least give the fans hope which right now there really isn’t much.

      • greenmtred

        Why yes, of course. Because, after all, one need look no farther than India, Friedl, Stephenson, Steer, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft and Diaz.

      • TR

        David Bell came from the S.F. front office. His talent is not in field management, certainly not for a team trying to accommodate young players to the majors. Come on Big Bob/Krall, make the needed change. Give the fans a break.

      • LDS

        You’re getting ahead of yourself @GreenMTred. None of the players you cited has managed to sustain much more than a single season. Though I’ll grant that India is looking good so far this year. None of the pitchers have more than a season. Stephenson is struggling whether due to his shoulder or position hopping or just plain slumping. Friedl and Steer, yes, they look promising but we’re less than a month into the season. But go ahead and defend Bell. The number of folks who still will is shrinking and we need someone to support the mediocrity that the Reds so clearly manifest.

      • greenmtred

        One way to tell that a player is young is to check how many seasons he’s played, LDS. I actually suspect that the development of young players is largely accomplished in the minors and by the coaching staff with the MLB manager having a tangential roll at best. I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek–forgive me–in my reaction because the Reds do, in fact, currently have young players who are playing well despite your stated certainty that they couldn’t thrive with Bell as manager. Similarly, I doubt that Bell was responsible for Nick Castellanos having a career year in 2021, but it seems unlikely that he was an impediment. How did Sparky Anderson manage to have seven losing seasons?

      • Melvin

        Mark A Verticchio – ” What is there to lose?”

        We could fall out of last place. 🙂

    • Mark Moore

      That’s a good move from what I’m reading.

      • Jim Walker

        Looks like Brandon Williamson may have soiled his mess kit with his performance yesterday as the starter in Louisville.

    • old-school

      And Lyon Richardson promoted to AA. Questions about whether the Reds would keep him on the 40 man this past year and they did. I never saw him until this spring, but that guy looks like a SP with his big powerful frame.

    • Melvin

      That’s cool if it’s true. If he continues in AAA like he’s been going he will be up in no time. Williamson blew it yesterday. It will take him more consistent quality starts now.

  13. Mark Moore

    DFA DTBell and call up McClain … I could support that move. 😀

  14. Mark A Verticchio

    I agree but the question is how long are they going to give Bell. As for EDLC how long do you wait, I look at the Cardinals who brought Walker up to start the year and he is actually younger and the Cardinals want to win now. I am still of the opinion to get rid of Bell, Vosler, Maile, Senzel and maybe Newman asap and bring up EdLC, CES, Mclain and Robinson as soon as they are healthy enough to go. What is there to lose? Most importantly those moves would at least give the fans hope which right now there really isn’t much.

    • VaRedsFan

      Perfect example of there’s a Cardinal Way, and a Reds Way.

  15. Optimist

    Perhaps either or both will be called up if a space opens up. The LA teams need a catcher and SS rental, respectively, for this season. Wonder what kind of prospects Newman and Maile/Casali would get? McLain will be up sooner or later in any case, and CR may have improved enough to be a 3rd Catcher.

  16. DW

    I would like to see McLain called up to be the everyday 2b. Slide India back over to his natural position at 3B. Barrero stays at SS. And Steer becomes the utility man, playing everyday, getting most of his starts at 1B, and filling in at 2B, 3B, and DH. McLain takes the roster spot of Vosler.

    I think India will do much better at 3b and McLain should be an upgrade defensively at 2B.

    McLain is kind of a sparkplug type player. He seems to bring a lot of hustle with a combination of good tools.

    • David

      Yes, you are not the only one putting Jonathon India back at third, and putting McClain at 2nd. See “Beaufort Red” up above.

      And yes, putting Steer at 1st base, McClain at 2nd, Barrero at short, and India at third would make this a better defensive infield. Steer, Stephenson and Myers can play at DH on a rotating basis.
      I would keep Casali, but let Maile go. Bring up Robinson and see what happens. He is smoking right now.

      EDLC wants to play SS at the ML level, and he is the Reds TOP PROSPECT. But he has time. He is only 21 now. He can get a couple hundred AB’s in Louisville and see where he is on July 1st. Ditto CES. He is older, but let him get some more AB’s in AAA and ….see what happens. Make sure his back is ok and doesn’t get hurt again.
      McClain would take Vosler’s place on the 26 man roster. Newman will “hang around” until somebody is willing to take his salary off the Reds’ payroll.
      Vosler has ended up being who people in the Majors always thought he would be, regardless of how he hit in the first week of the season. And I think he still has an option.

  17. J

    People need to get over the idea that the Reds would even consider “dumping” a guy they’ve just agreed to pay over $2.5 million because they’re desperately trying to find a space for a kid who’s never played in the majors. The only way Newman gets “dumped” would be if a team like the Dodgers were willing to trade “cash considerations” and a bad minor leaguer. The Reds were probably assuming Barrero would struggle and Newman would be a decent placeholder until one of the younger guys is ready. With Barrero hitting pretty well and McLlain looking like he might be ready, I imagine they’d be willing to let someone else pay Newman’s salary, but I can’t imagine a scenario where they’d be willing to pay his salary after just recently trading for him, and in return get absolutely nothing. This organization doesn’t behave like that, ever.

    • Optimist

      Newman won’t get “dumped”, but the Dodgers will certainly give “cash considerations”. The issue then is the MiLB talent they’d part with. Essentially, it turns the transaction into a Moreta for prospect(s) deal, which may be worthwhile if they get more than one flyer at the Rk/A level.

      • J

        Based on my understanding of this organization’s psychology, I assume they’re now wishing they could dump Newman because he makes $2.6 million and they have no obvious need for him, but they can’t just give him away for cash, because then they’d have to admit they made a mistake trading for him. However, they will accept ANY minor leaguer along with cash, because the acquisition of ANY minor leaguer can allow them to save face. I believe all it would take to get a deal done would be the Dodgers agreeing to pay the rest of the contract and perhaps their #198th best prospect who we’ll quickly forget even exists.

      • VaRedsFan

        People need to stop acting like 2 million is a lot of money for a baseball player. It’s nothing. If they can eat Akiyama for 7 million before last season, and Moose 20 million before this season, then I’m sure you’d agree that dumping 2 million shouldn’t be a problem.

  18. docproc

    Folks, Barrero has a .668 OPS, twice as many Ks as walks, and is fielding horribly at SS (and worse in CF). In my mind, he has this last week of April to right the ship or give way to McLain.

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      He is hitting .282/.383/.410 with 7 walks and 12 strikeouts over the last two weeks. It feels like you are letting his past struggles, which were big time struggles, dictate the decision instead of how he is performing right now. If he were 35 instead of 25 that would make more sense.

    • Mario

      Lots of folks want to cherry pick stats for him. Barrero’s offensive play has been better but still in the unacceptable range –
      chasing pitches, little situational awareness, etc. Maybe he continues to get better, I am still of the belief he should get 80% of the starts at SS to make that determination. McClain should be called up and moved around to get him in the lineup as much as possible.

  19. Votto4life

    If McClain gets called up and goes 4 for 20 most here will be calling for him to be DFA.

    • Chris Holbert

      What if CES, EDLC and McClain are brought up and struggle or sit the bench (highly likely), we have seen this many times with AAA players promoted?

      • Melvin

        Struggling or not they shouldn’t sit the bench. At least we know eventually they will most likely get better and be part of the future unlike the current situation with several players. The sooner they get experience the sooner they become those “good players”.

  20. Frankie Tomatoes

    I have watched some of the Louisville games on the app and McLain looks good. He also looks very small when he stands next to Elly De La Cruz. Not sure where he will play in the big leagues. Reports since the draft have always said he probably isn’t a good big league shortstop and is better at second or center. The Reds haven’t played him in center though so maybe they aren’t thinking about that as an option.

  21. Kevin H

    I am over the let’s move a player to center field. Why not develop outfielders who already play out field. At least make the switch when they hit rookie ball. Example Reece Hinds. You got Siani, Hopkins triple A. You got Hinds at Double A. And High A You have Hendricks and Thompson.

    Least we forget 2020 was lost year development wise for some of these players as minor league season didn’t happen. I would think a couple of those minor league infielders will be traded. I do agree though the McLain Elly DE Cruz situation is interesting one. As both should be up to majors soon along with CES

    • Mario

      Lots of folks change positions and it doesn’t reflect their hitting (unlike Senzel). Now the Reds should have told all of these guys in ST to get some OF reps and prepare to play there twice a week. Seems like gross mismanagement.

    • MBS

      @Kevin, I’m mostly with you on this. The problem is the 4 of the Reds top 5 prospects are SS’s. I would prefer outfielders to fill our outfield, and infielders to fill our infield. Marte, and Elly seem to have outgrown SS, and McLain has prior CF experience. I could see these guys landing at spots other than SS. Arroyo might displace Barrero in a couple of years, or become good trade bait.

    • VaRedsFan

      If a guy can play baseball, he can play most anywhere. Mookie Betts…gold glove outfielder…MVP…came in to play 2B….now, for the 1st time in his career has moved to SS, the hardest position to player, other than catcher.

      RLN loves to say that guys can’t play anywhere but their natural position.
      Maybe true for some…but not true for good players

  22. Jim Walker

    Chuckie Robinson coming up to the Reds nabs my interest; but, the process of making it happen seems complicated unless the Reds stick to the 3 catcher plan. Why? They need to have a competent #3 in the organization at all times to avoid a situation like what happened in 2022.

    However, getting Maile or Casali to the minors under Reds control isn’t a sure thing. Either could be claimed on waivers. Both meet the requirements to decline assignment to the minors and opt for immediate free agency instead.

    Casali’s deal with the Reds is worth $3.25m counting the option buyout against 2024. It seems unlikely he would walk away from that much money; but, would someone claim him on waivers at that cost?

    Maile’s contract calls for $1.175m. Given he has made “only” around $4m at MLB, he also would seem uninclined to walk away from it. However, at age 32 (2 years younger than Casali), Mailie’s salary probably would be very tempting on the waiver wire to any team looking to bolster its catching depth.

    Seeing how the Reds play out this situation should be very interesting,

  23. RedsGettingBetter

    I think the things continue as they are going right now, McLain and Robinson should be called up about mid-May. DFA’d Maile and Newman.

    • Melvin

      By mid-May we could be 15 games back or worse. That matters mentally to everyone. Hope they’re up much sooner.