The Cincinnati Reds made a series of moves yesterday, sending Wil Myers to the injured list, calling up Casey Legumina, and placing Graham Ashcraft on the bereavement list. That led to the active roster being at 25 players, meaning that one move was still coming. This afternoon we found out what it was. Cincinnati has called up Matt Reynolds from Triple-A Louisville and to create room for him on the 40-man roster they moved reliever Tony Santillan to the 60-day injured list.

There’s plenty to unravel here, but let’s start by looking at Matt Reynolds. The 32-year-old utility player has seen big league time in parts of five seasons dating back to 2016. Last year he played in 92 games with the Reds and hit .246/.320/.332 with 10 doubles, a triple, three home runs, five stolen bases, and he walked 26 times with 78 strikeouts in 272 plate appearances. He also played every position on the field with the exception of catcher. Most of his time came on the infield – seeing plenty of time at second and shortstop, but also getting over 60 innings at both first and third base.

This year Reynolds has been in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats. In his 16 games there he’s hit .263/.364/.544 with seven doubles, three home runs, nine walks, and 15 strikeouts in 66 plate appearances. Like his time in Cincinnati last season, his playing time has been on the infield. He’s started 10 games at second base, four at third base, and another two starts have come at shortstop.

Tony Santillan’s move to the 60-day injured list doesn’t change a whole lot. While on his last rehab assignment, Santillan experienced some knee discomfort and his assignment was recalled. He will not be eligible to return until May 29th. Given that he missed spring training and his rehab stint was cut short, he will likely need close to the full 30 days of rehab that pitchers are allowed to use.

The big question that’s probably running through the mind of many is why Matt Reynolds is being called up instead of Matt McLain or Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who are both crushing the ball in Triple-A right now. It’s probably a combination of things, but the biggest and most obvious answer is that this is a short term move for a player who isn’t going to play much. That’s a situation the team probably doesn’t want their prospects to be in.

Now, if you wanted to argue that they should call up one or both of those guys to play every day or close to it, have at it. But that’s not the role they are trying to fill currently. Toss in the fact that if and when they do send Matt Reynolds back to the minors or need a 40-man roster spot – it’s a lot easier to make that decision on 32-year-old Matt Reynolds.

51 Responses

  1. Steve

    So….we need more youth, someone to play first, and bring some pop to the lineup….hold it, I know, matt reynolds..

    • DaveCT

      Well, seems we already have a young guy playing at 1st, however, either Steer or Stephenson.

    • SteveAreno

      Youth alone is overrated. Let’s just use performance, abilities, and expertise as our primary factors.

  2. MLT

    It would be great if he is used as a bench player, but we all know Bell hasn’t had a veteran on the roster he wouldn’t play over a youngster. Hope it’s short term at best, as I’d rather see Matt Mc.

  3. Rednat

    i like ReYnolds. good utility man. plays solid defense. makes pretty solid contact but honestly i would rather see one of the youngers up here at this point. hopefully this will be one of the last time the reds have to make one of these moves. hopefully by June or so any call up will be a player with a long future with the reds and will be part of the next great reds team

  4. LDS

    If the Reds management was actually thinking as Doug described, I’d be less concerned. Let’s hope he’s right that Reynolds won’t play much and will be sent down when Myers is back. But, I’m not holding my breath.

    • DaveCT

      Plus, we have Steer sliding over to 1st these days, if not Stephenson, right?

      Also, getting Reynolds up is far better than Barrero in CF. No pretzel logic here, IMO.

  5. Melvin

    “Now, if you wanted to argue that they should call up one or both of those guys to play every day or close to it, have at it. But that’s not the role they are trying to fill currently. Toss in the fact that if and when they do send Matt Reynolds back to the minors or need a 40-man roster spot – it’s a lot easier to make that decision on 32-year-old Matt Reynolds.”

    Yep I’m arguing that. As I said in a previous post if McLain would come up hitting really well, playing every day as he should, it would be very difficult to justify sending him back down. The Newmans of the world would be in real danger of losing a spot. Winning, while developing, is not the priority. It’s not just McLain or CES. Hopkins has been doing really well too. smh

    • Melvin

      The notion that you can’t try to win while developing players is hogwash. It actually helps development. The Reds organization just does not know how to win consistently top to bottom.

      • Slicc50

        I’ll never understand hearing that from Reds fans. Especially just 25 games into the season! Anytime you step out on a baseball field, you should be trying to win. A team with the young talent the Reds have.., just never know what can happen!

    • David

      If McClain, Hopkins, CES or any one of the young prospects would come up, I would hope the plan would be for them to play everyday.
      Reynolds is a bench player, a sub, a ute guy.

      He can play around the infield, and probably play some Left field if need be.

      And yes, I hope he doesn’t play much.

      My guess, with Myers out, will be that Steer plays 1st, Senzel plays third, and there’s a merry-go – round at DH; Fraley, Stephenson (when not catching) and Steer (if Stephenson plays 1st base).
      If Fraley DH’s, then the outfield would be Friedl, Fairchild and Ramos.

      And as I looked, TJ Hopkins, CES and Matt McClain are NOT on the 40 man roster at this time. EDLC is. If you add one of those guys, you have to take someone off the 40 man.

      • Melvin

        We moved Santillan off the 40 man to bring up Reynolds if I’m not mistaken. I’ve said many times that the young guys should play pretty much every day.

      • DHud

        Reynolds wasn’t on the 40 man either

        So what

      • David

        Matt Reynolds is expendable, so to speak. If they take him OFF the 40 man, claims would be minimal.
        If CES, McClain or Hopkins go on the 40 man, they’re there to stay. I think a plan would be….when one or more of these guys come up, they’re here to stay and play everyday. And some other roster move would be made that is permanent.
        Tony Santillan is on the 60 day DL now, but he can and will likely come back to pitch. That may be the maximum length of time that Matt Reynolds is up with the Reds. 30-60 days. Or until Myers is ok, or something like that.
        If you bring up one of the young guys TO STAY that likely means someone GOES…Permanently. Maile, Newman gets traded, someone on the 40 man to be off and gone.

      • Melvin

        Doesn’t bother me if someone goes permanently to get these guys up. lol As I’ve said we should be still trying to win too. That’s what it’s all about. If the young guys will help us do that (help them too by the way) then make it happen Mr. Krall.

      • DHud


        “ means someone GOES…Permanently. Maile, Newman gets traded, someone on the 40 man to be off and gone.L

        GOOD! They both needed to be gone yesterday anyways!

    • DaveCT

      I’d counter that Reynolds in the OF is gar better than Barrero in the OF and that developing Steer at 1B is far better than CES or McClain subbing in the infield.

      This move isn’t about development, and it shouldn’t be. It’s about literally cover the proverbial bases.

      Now, if Myers needs long(er) term replacement, or Senzel ‘s improvements evaporate, that’s a Louisville Bat of a different color. That’s a developmental opportunity.. And you can argue a developmental need, particularly for McClain.

      • Melvin

        I wouldn’t put Barrero in the outfield. I’d put McLain in the outfield and LEAVE Barrero at SS. He (Barrero) is supposed to be the best we got there. It may not and probably won’t be where he (McLain) ends up but that’s most likely going to happen a lot with these young guys playing the same positions a lot of the time. Not everyone is going to come up playing where they’re used to playing. Just getting them up to see how they’re going to hit up in the bigs is more important provided their hitting is ready.

      • Melvin

        The chances of Senzel staying at 3B for a long time are slim to none one way or another. I do believe he looks better there. However he’s only had two good games so far. If he does stay there playing well, without injuries, then he’s most likely trade bait as you just cannot count on him. Good guy that tries hard though evidently.

      • LDS

        I agree. Keep Barrero at SS. Let Newman DH against LH’er or play 2nd.

  6. Old-school

    Senzel Ramos and Fairchild are the benefactors here. Ramos lefty bat(SH) will be in lineup regularly and Fairchild climbs the OF depth chart and Senzel will get reps at 3b CF +

    Steer at first base tonight

    • David

      Who’s on first?

      Third base!!

      Senzel at 3rd and Steer at 1st actually makes a better infield defense. IMHO.

  7. CI3J

    but the biggest and most obvious answer is that this is a short term move for a player who isn’t going to play much.

    Not if David Bell has anything to say about it!

  8. Andy

    This is a fine move. I was impressed with Reynolds last year in the time he got on a terrible team. Makes contact draws walks fields well and runs bases well. Good solid bench player.

    • Rednat

      i agree . besides Farmer he was one of our more productive hitters last year. having said that I feel he is a remnant of the Votto era that, as a reds fan, I want to move on from.

    • SteveAreno

      Very good points and positive instead of the old whining.

  9. Mario

    Not sure why anyone would be terribly impressed with Reynolds. He is not a bad player but he’s not a difference maker in the lineup (.265 type hitter with minimal power). I think Bell will give him regular playing time at the expense of Barrero, Senzel, Steer, & Fairchild- 4 guys that we need to evaluate to see if they are going to be regulars on the team next year. Another bad move Reds.

    • Mario

      One of our most productive hitters last year? He hit 3 HR 23 RBI with a .246/.320/.332 slash line with a 78 OPS+ last season. Baseball reference doesn’t list him as being one of the team’s 10 best players. Why does RLN love these mediocre players? I may never know.

      • David

        We’re so abused as fans, we just don’t know up from down! 😉

        Reynold is or should be just a sub until more permanent moves are made. Just a note, that I think Reynolds was a 1st round draft choice by the Mets years ago.
        So it goes.

      • Melvin

        Sad thing is he probably was one of our most productive hitters last year. Was kind of hoping to avoid a repeat of that if possible with players like McLain. lol

  10. Mark Moore

    I don’t hate the move. Don’t love it. But it’s temporary and keeps the young studs at AAA playing daily.

  11. Old-school

    There’s no first baseman with Votto or Myers hurt( who woulda thunk it? Old guys in their 30’s making lots of money get hurt).

    Im a big fan of Steer at 3b but I also think this a a time to pivot a bit and give him some reps at 1b With Marte and McLain in the pipeline and so it’s not a big stretch for Steer to play 3-4 days at 3b and 2-3 at 1b. Give Senzel some reps at 3b and OF and see what he has in 2023. If he’s good…. awesome. Maybe he has some value at the deadline as a depth piece for a AA pitcher or you keep him if he makes a breakthrough. If hes bad and cant hit….there’s some young guns in AAA ready to take his spot and you move on after a couple months of regular reps.

    With Votto and Myers out…Steer and Senzel and Barrero and Fairchild and Ramos can get regular reps and see what happens.

    Give CES, EDLC, and McLain the month of May in AAA and if they continue to blow up…thats a good problem. You really need Memorial Day to tell what is significant versus a sample size. Just look at Vosler’s first 20 at bats.

    What cant happen is Reynolds and Newman play regularly. They are bench vets who play twice a week against lefties.

    • David

      CES had a big day yesterday. And I think he will be a very good if not great player in the Majors. But indeed, let’s give him a month to show that he’s consistent (I think he will be). When he comes up and he should, he should play EVERYDAY, which means a permanent adjustment to the 40 man. Somebody will GO.
      Buh bye.

      Ditto Matt McClain, TJ Hopkins. EDLC, by the way, is already on the 40 man roster.

      And the situation of Joey Votto is still in limbo. Will Joey return to claim the 1st base position soon, or …never… this season?

      If it were MY team, I would be planning to call up McClain and CES, for certain.
      Newman and Maile would go bye-bye.
      McClain would play 2nd, and I would ask Jon India to move back to 3rd, his natural position. Steer and CES would alternate at DH and 1st base. Maybe Fraley (if he starts hitting again) would DH some days.
      Stephenson would catch, except for days off, and maybe DH-ing some days.

      Let’s get this re-build on wheels!

      • Old-school

        Right on cue. McLain starting at SS in AAA and EDLC at 3b. Steer needs to be that corner IF guy capable of playing both 3b/1b.

      • Melvin

        Serious question for anyone. If a player is hitting really well at AAA how many ABs do you think he needs before he’s ready to be called up? For example:

        CES has about 20

        DLC has about 30

        McLain has about 100

        Robinson about 60

        Hopkins about 81

        For comparison Reynolds had about 66 before being called back up. He was released earlier this year if I’m not mistaken.

      • Melvin

        If EDLC is hesitant to move to CF it would seem to be that 3B he would be even more. Who knows? I still think he would love CF eventually. I personally haven’t seen him play SS all that much but the little I have he seems to me maybe a little awkward because of his size maybe. Planning on watching the Bats tonight if possible. 🙂

      • Mario

        Melvin, in response to your question about how many AB’s does someone need at AAA before being called up, it’s undetermined for all players. I think it’s more of an eye test. Some guys are forever AAA players. Some exceptional players skip AAA after putting up great numbers at AA. Knowing that CES and McClain are former college guys at big time universities – with their exceptional play, I believe they are ready now and they can both help this team now. EDLC is so young, I think last year was his first full season of pro ball. I think he needs more seasoning – learning how to be more selective at the plate/defense. If he is having a great 1st half, bring him up in July. Pitchers are different, Abbott doesn’t need AAA to show he can pitch. A handful of starts at AAA won’t hurt him. He is not going to come up and dominate MLB hitters but he would be a better option than Weaver & Overton.

        All of these guys will slump at some point because that’s what baseball players do. It’s a tough game. I don’t understand some folks on RLN who don’t want to see any of the youngsters in Cincy until late summer.

      • Melvin

        Mario – I think there’s a lot of wisdom in your post.

  12. SteveAreno

    I saw Wil Myers listed with COVID so he should be absent for five days.

  13. Eddiek957

    I’m ok with Reynolds he’s a spare part. Kind of remember being impressed with his play in right field I’m hoping the kids in Louisville force their way into impact players. So cool having a lineup not full of spare parts in Louisville

    • Mario

      Instead the spare parts are in Cincinnati. I believe Reynolds is here to stay and Fairchild will go back to Louisville when Myers returns.

  14. Willaim

    I wish the Reds would bring McClain up and play him regularly. I will not argue it. It is what it is. ELDC is the best Reds prospect that I have seen in years. Future superstar. He will be up later this year. I am still waiting to see what the Reds have in Barrera. I still have ELDC as my preferred shortstop. I like someone at shortstop who can not only field, but hit well, too. Maybe that is eventually Barrera, but he has not convinced me, yet. CES is another future starter. This team is going to change. Atleast three future starters are at AAA.

  15. Melvin

    CES another HR in first AB tonight. 🙂

    • Melvin

      Right center field again. The man has POWER.

  16. Kevin H

    30 isn’t old in baseball. Maybe 35, however 30 isn’t old.. Just my three cents

    • VaRedsFan

      Agree….most contending teams have several productive guys in the 30-34 range.

  17. JayTheRed

    Just going to say it… Not surprised one bit about this move. Bell has to be elated at this moment.