Thursday night was an incredible night if you follow along the Cincinnati Reds farm system. Some of the top prospects in the organization had big time performances, but none of them topped the three home runs in one game by Christian Encarnacion-Strand.

In the 1st inning Christian Encarnacion-Strand took an 82 MPH change up and pulled it down the left field line for a 423-foot home run. Two innings later it was the same pitch from Drew Parrish – a 79 MPH change up – and once again, Encarnacion-Strand clobbered it. His second home run of the day went 452 feet and clanked off of the bottom of the video board in left-center. In the final inning of the game there was a new pitcher on the mound for Omaha. Ryan Weiss must have known to not throw a change up, but the right-handed reliever probably shouldn’t have thrown a hanging 82 MPH curveball, either. Cincinnati’s 7th rated prospect unloaded on it for a 385-foot home run that came off of the bat at 107 MPH.

Three home runs on Thursday. Seven home runs for the season. It would be impressive enough if Christian Encarnacion-Strand had seven homers on the season and he played from the start of the season with Louisville and was approaching his 30th game played. But Encarnacion-Strand missed the first three plus weeks of the year and Thursday night was just his 10th game.

It’s tough to be put into words just how good the start of the season has been for the Reds corner infield prospect. In his 10 games he’s hitting .432/.468/.955 with two doubles, seven home runs, and 14 runs batted in. It’s like he’s playing a video game on easy.

Matt McLain hits for the cycle

It’s not often that a player hits for a cycle in a game and isn’t the lead story, but that’s exactly what happened to Matt McLain on Thursday in Omaha. He’s been one of the best hitters in the Reds farm system this season and last night was just more icing on the cake for the middle infielder.

In the 1st inning Matt McLain was able to get the tough one out of the way, hitting a triple off of the wall in center field. Two innings later he went back to center, this time picking up a double. In the 5th inning McLain would connect on a 409-foot home run. The next inning he came to the plate with the bases loaded and he lined a single into right field to complete the 8th cycle in Louisville’s franchise history.

Fun note about Matt McLain’s cycle: The triple had an exit velocity of 100.4 MPH. McLain’s single, double, and home run all came off of the bat at 104.9 MPH. The launch angles were different, which played a big role in how far they went, but that felt like a fun fact worth mentioning.

After the game was completed, McLain had gone 4-5. His cycle helped raise his line on the year to .324/.450/.638 with 25 runs scored, 28 runs batted in, 21 walks, 27 strikeouts, and 8 stolen bases in 29 games played.

TJ Hopkins is crushing it

While guys like Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand are grabbing headlines and attention, TJ Hopkins is hitting as well as just about anyone in minor league baseball right now. The outfielder also homered on Thursday night for Louisville. Hopkins walked twice, too. In the last 14 games he’s basically hitting like Barry Bonds in his prime, posting a .400/.542/.800 line with 13 walks and 14 strikeouts. That’s raised his line on the season with the Bats to .341/.442/.625.

81 Responses

  1. wkuchad

    I’m not overly familiar with Hopkins. Looking at his minor league stats, it seems he’s been consistent and good (though not great) the last few years.

    What’s been the difference maker for him this year?

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    What a great performance of McLain and CES! They aren´t knocking the door of the majors but they are really breaking the door down of the majors..
    Louisville has a record of 10-6 in last 16 games showing a strong offense supported in McLain, CES, Hopkins and recently the awaited wake up of EDLC… Could they reach .500 avg before McLain and CES being called up?

  3. Tim

    I don’t have the numbers but it seems to me that each of these guys plus a couple of pitchers are producing better tha India did. We brought him up and he was ROY

  4. docproc

    Sure wish we needed thumpers in the middle of our lineup. Sure wish we had openings at 1B and SS.

  5. CFD3000

    It is exciting when four prospects at AAA – CES, McLain, Hopkins and Chucky Robinson -are all making a lot of noise at the plate, with the Reds #1 prospect EDLC also showing flashes of wonder. They won’t all hit in the majors, but certainly CES, MM and EDLC look like the real deal. I’m still expecting Jose Barrero to mature into a very good shortstop, but you don’t have to squint hard to wonder if there’s room long term for some pretty good players – Steer, Barrero and maybe even India. But this is a nice problem to have.

    On the doom and gloom side, though, despite all that offense the Bats barely won, 12-10, and yesterday’s chosen new 5th starter Herget lasted a a whopping 2 outs. Here’s hoping Andrew Abbott and the current big 3 all stay healthy. Otherwise that run prevention side of the season could get pretty ugly.

  6. Klugo

    82,79,82? Who were they playing again?

  7. Chris

    CES, McClain, and Abbott are all 23 years old. How much AAA seasoning do they really need? I get it with De La Cruz, Marte, and some of the other younger guys, but if they’re excelling at that age, it’s time for them to join the Redlegs!
    That being said, I definitely have concerns that David Bell would continue to play guys like Newman and the backup catchers at the expense of the rookies. The lineup should be Stephenson (C), CES (1B/DH), India (2B), Senzel (3B), Barrero (CF/SS), Steer (1B/DH), McClain (CF/SS), Friedl (LF), Fraley (RF) almost every day (not in that order). Figure out where to play them. McClain has played plenty of outfield, so give him a few innings out there in AAA and then call him up. Maybe get Fairchild or Newman in against lefties, but they need to bat 9th.

    • Beaufort Red

      Still want that black hole at short.

      • Chris

        For now I’d leave Barrero there and actually play him every day. De La Cruz will be ready soon enough, so if Barrero isn’t playing well by then, he can be demoted to AAA or the bench. There’s no point having Barrero sit in favor of Newman so much. Plus I think he’s better than our 3rd best outfield (whoever that is) for now, so move him or McClain out there so they can get regular at bats.
        Newman has only had 4 less at bats than Barrero this year. He’s hit higher in the order than Barrero every time they’ve played together. He’s been given more favorable matchups (higher percentage against left handed pitchers). He’s pinch hit for guys and Barrero has been pulled in favor of pinch hitters. It’s obvious Bell thinks Newman is better, but the numbers don’t show that at all. And he’s not going to be on this team for long. Play Barrero. If he can’t get it together by the All-Star break, then move on to one of the young guys. Not Newman

      • LDS

        @Chris, I agree. But, Newman gets the start today against a RH’er.

  8. JB WV

    Funny how our former top prospects were pitchers and now it’s position players. Looks like Krall did his homework on those trades. Next month we have the 7th pick. I’m not too familiar with the top 10 guys, but who would you guys like to see drafted? Maybe a top college arm that can get to the bigs quickly?

    • Brian

      What people are saying on here about Bell is true. He seems to be a totally wrong guy for developing rookies coming in. It’s another obvious thing that the the fan base that follows closely can see but the Reds front office can’t see. It’s an obvious problem. They can’t be this dumb, it has to be the nepotism and just not caring enough to fix it… right? They have to see this about Bell… right?

      • Jonathan Linn

        Newman keeps playing too much. How do does the team know what they have in Barrero if they don’t play him…

      • greenmtred

        He’s played more games than Newman.

      • CFD3000

        Yes, Barrero has played more games than Newman. But many of those have been out of position (in CF), and even so it shouldn’t be close. Barrero should be starting (playing is slightly different) at least 3 or 4 times as often as Newman. Newman isn’t part of the future of the Reds, but Barrero might be. And Newman isn’t better than Barrero in any important way right now. Free Jose.

      • greenmtred

        Out of position? He’s played center field before in MLB and in Cuba. He’s fast, athletic and has a great arm. Sounds like a shortstop, yes, but also a centerfielder. The Reds have numerous promising shortstop prospects and few promising center fielders. There are certainly players who–usually due to speed (or lack thereof) or arm (or lack thereof) are not well-suited for different positions. Barrero is not one of them. Eric Davis started as a shortstop. So did Billy Hamilton. Lots of highly rated amateur players are shortstops and will play different positions if they make it to MLB. For that matter, plenty of MLB position players were, in high school or little league, pitchers because they were big and strong.

  9. DW

    Besides the greatness of a three homer game and a cycle, there is something even more encouraging in each of these performances. First, CES isn’t just hitting fastballs. Each homer was on an off-speed pitch. Too often guys light up the minors by sitting on fastballs and then struggle when they get to the majors. Second, McLain is hitting everything up the middle and to the gaps. Too often young guys light up the minors being pull-happy, and then struggle at the major league level. Both these guys seem to be able to hit to all fields and hit off-speed pitches. To me, these are both very encouraging signs that these two are for real, and will succeed at the next level.

  10. Mark Moore

    Wow … just WOW! A night to remember for both Matt and Christian. I’d love to see them called up, but I also want to see some caution. That’s largely based on my opinion re: our current Field Manager and how he allots playing time and roster spots. I’ve said my piece on that multiple times on this forum.

    • Beaufort Red

      Bring them up. Maybe fresh, exciting faces will bring in a few more fans. We’re not to far from 500 with the lineup we have. Could you imagine the excitement if these young guys pump up the franchise. You can’t base their promotion on Bell, he might be here next year too.

      • Mark Moore

        Sad but true on DTBell. I think he’s a “fixture”. It would be more exciting to see them blossom (assuming that’s what they do). A lot of roster shuffling necessary to make that happen, though.

        Last thing I want to do is end up singing repeated choruses of “Tomorrow … tomorrow” for the next decade. 😀

  11. SlippinJimmy

    If CES hit 3 home runs in Reds game, David Bell would bench him the next game. Then the game after, bat him 7th. Game after that 3rd. Game after that 9th. It’s not enough to overcome major league baseball CES, you must overcome THE BELL!

    • Beaufort Red

      Ain’t happening. After a horrible season like last year, unfortunately some front offices, not all, would look at this years team as improvement. This after a franchise that has had little success historically. Too bad because I think we could have a bright future. Look at the Bengals of past versus the new Bengals.

  12. MBS

    It’s clearly time to bring up CES, McLain, and Hopkins.

    • Jim t

      I would still like to see a bit more AAA time before I bring them up. Sample size still a bit small. I love the start but would like to see it a bit longer. We gain very little by rushing them. We lose a year of service time.

      • docproc

        Service time deadline has already passed.
        EDLC and Abbott still have things to prove in AAA. CES and McLain do not.

      • MBS

        @Doc, I agree that Abbott has things to prove, but EDLC still has things to learn. If Abbott stays competitive over the next 3 + starts, I’m good, but EDLC might be more of a midseason call up. Either way we’ve got some bats, and an arm coming up soon!

        Poor Chuckie Robinson, batting over .400 for a month and he still can’t grab the headlines. Let’s hope he can push the issue with the FO sooner than later.

      • docproc

        MBS: Reread my comment. We’re in agreement that EDLC still has things to prove.
        CES and McClain do not.

      • MBS

        @Doc, I read that you, and I were in agreement. I was just further exploring the point. Something gets lost in writing, that would have been clear in speaking. We were, and are in agreement on these points.

  13. old-school

    Back to CES….He strikes me as the first legit franchise first baseman post Votto. Stephenson is yet to be determined but every franchise not named Philadephia needs 2 FT catchers. No one catches more than 110 games x Realmuto.

    When does Myers come back?
    What about Votto? its been 2 + weeks since he ended his AAA assignment.

    Myers/Votto/Stephenson all impact CES at 1b/DH. Reds need a clear strategy such that when CES is called up he’s playing first base 5 days a week and Dh-ing once a week.

    • Jim Walker

      Our comments crossed in posting. I’d just put CES at DH and work the situation back from there with Myers, Stephenson, and Votto if he ever gets back.

      Stephenson will be arbitration eligible for 2024. It is time for him to start swimming in the deep end of the pool. If he can’t catch 4-5 days a week and maintain his offense (such as it has been at a diminished level so far in 2023), put on the IL. Let him rest and “train” for a week or two then send him out to rehab.

      Myers? Put him back in the OF rotation and start looking for a place to flip him. If the Reds offer to retain a chunk of his remaining salary this early in the year, t might buy them a legitimate prospect which is more than his numbers are going to bring at the deadline.

      • old-school

        CES doesnt hit cheapies does he?

        He could hit a ton of home runs in GABP. Eager to see him hit with the warmer weather coming to GABP.

  14. Beaufort Red

    Short, 1B/DH and backup catcher need replacing now. Strange that M&M, CES and Robinson would be perfect call ups. So tired of they may need more seasoning. India didn’t.

  15. Jim Walker

    The Reds have an immediate need for the skills that CES brings; and, a couple of positions he can play, 1B/DH, are open. Get him up to the MLB team ASAP. If he stumbles, at least he will see what it is he needs to work on and can be sent back down to get the work done.

    On a team that is dying for power from the right side of the plate, how can they not CES up and write him in every day as DH even if he needs work on his defense at 1B? While he is playing DH, assign a coach to work with him on defense in the pregame time.

    What’s the likely holdup? Could it be the entire 3 catcher scheme? The 3rd catcher takes up the roster spot needed for CES; and, the supposed #1 catcher who is slugging at only .321 (that’s lower than his OBP and not a good sign) has been the DH in roughly 1/3 of the Reds games to date.

    • kypodman

      and Maile it starting to hit really well now

  16. Optimist

    McLain June 1st, CES and Chuckie July 1st, Abbott August 1st, EDLC August 15. Cessa to the pen now, Weaver and tryouts for #4/5 starters. Trade or DFA as needed.

    • Beaufort Red

      What’s your strategy in the time difference. Reasoning? So if they’re brought up at staggered times and tear the cover f the ball; then we’ll lament whatcould have been had they been brought up together.

      • Optimist

        Sample sizes – McLain ahead of the rest, and he finished last season focused on power so he’s now put it altogether. CES sooner if Myers/Joey do not return, otherwise another 100-150 ABs negates the small sample size/any remaining questions. Chuckie is simply a replacement for whichever 3rd catcher still flounders or his injured. Abbott/EDLC still have issues/experience to accumulate.

        Perhaps as important as that schedule is the step behind it – move Marte/Dunn/Collier/Stewart etc. if they perform above league norms.

        This remains the sorting year, not a contention season. The only negative is if the still feel Newman/Myers need appearances to enhance tradeability. Ignore that if the callups continue to shine as they arrive. Moving from Moose gives hope they will move from lesser obligations if needed.

  17. J

    Can’t wait for CES to join the Reds so he can play every other day and hit 8th in the lineup behind Newman and someone who’s 1 for his last 24, and Casali can protect him by hitting 9th. I recently learned on this site that it doesn’t really matter where or when anyone hits, so I’m sure his talents will be maximized by the manager.

    • SlippinJimmy

      Bell would play him right behind Bucky LaGrange.

  18. Harry Stoner

    Bell on CES: “Today’s still not the day.”

    • CI3J

      “He’s got to earn his playing time. Guys like Myers and Newman have been playing for years, so they earned the right to play.”

      • David

        ….And play badly, or below “replacement” level.

        The mediocrity will continue.
        Or, the Reds may surprise us.
        After a fantastic night for CES, of course we want him up here. Ditto McClain. Impatient, but I would actually wait a couple more weeks.

        Robinson would be my 1.5 catcher after Stephenson, and see if he hits up here, and is a good receiver. I would get rid of Newman, Reynolds, Casali (who is a good guy…really would like him to stay) and Maile.

        Myers has really not shown much; he is on thin ice (with me, the Ultimate Arbiter of all things for the Reds 😉 ). Hopkins could take an outfield spot, and McClain could play …Left Field?? Along with SS and 2nd Base.
        If Senzel had NOT started to hit (and see if he sustains), I would’ve asked India to move back to his natural position at 3rd base, and installed McClain at 2nd base.

        Really, let’s get this rebuild on wheels!!

  19. Kevin H

    The time has come to bring up CES and McLain. These guys are showing they are ready.

    If this year is truly a rebuilding year then no reason for CES and McLain to stay in AAA.

    Hopkins and Robinson to follow soon as well as Cruz.

    Also Abbot. I mean let’s go.

    • Beaufort Red

      Got a Porsche in the garage why you still driving that Corolla? 🙂

    • Stoney

      Totally agree. What are we waiting for at this point?

  20. Mario

    For those doubters including Krall and Bell, do tell what these 2 need to do to show that they are ready? The team is proving its disfunction by not calling these guys up now. Steer and Barrero wouldn’t even dream of duplicating what CES/McClain have done this season. In fact, there is no one on the Reds active roster that could go down to AAA and hit 7 HR in a 10 game span. I know Joey did this in 2021.

    • Beaufort Red

      Exactly. As ludicrous as it sounds it’s almost as if some are afraid that bringing these guys up will displace some other favorites. As stated, these guys are 23 not 19 or 20. It’s been a long time since RLN has had this much excitement. Turn them loose and see what happens!

      • Wayne Nabors

        Thank you,been saying this for a while now,these guys are 23 and ces especially has proven he can hit anybody anywhere,they have not been rushed at all

    • greenmtred

      I don’t know, having never worked in MLB player development. It’s certainly possible that their MiLB manager and coaches feel that they aren’t ready.

  21. docproc

    Clearly CES and McLain aren’t coming up this weekend—but both the Reds and the Bats have an off day on Monday. Great time to bring them up for the series against the Mets at GABP.

  22. docproc

    I see that Newman is playing SS tonight and Barrero is riding the bench.
    If the Reds are losing hope in Barrero and are playing a veteran backup batting .219 with a .562 OPS in his place, why not bring up McLain?
    This is just foolish.

    • Jpser05

      I was really hoping that you were kidding about Newman starting…then I checked out the lineup. This is foolish.

  23. old-school

    Newman starting at SS and hitting in the 8 hole.
    I see better than I hear and what I see is a very clear Reds’ lack of commitment to Barrero as their everyday SS. Its not so much about Newman as it is about Barrero. The Reds have concluded Barrero is not the franchise future SS. Newman is the placeholder and I would expect McLain to be starting at SS within the next 1-2 weeks with Barrero going back to AAA. Newman will rotate around another few months until he is traded at the deadline.

    • Jim t

      @Old-school honestly I have seen enough of Barrera swinging at balls in the dirt a foot outside for strike 3.

  24. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I’ve said before and I will say again, prospects have 2 and only 2 reasons to be with an organization:

    1) to replace players on the big club, and. . .
    2) tradebait

    Especially Strand, but both Strand and McLain, I don’t know what else they can prove down there in the minors. If there aren’t plans “right now” to bring them up sooner than later, this front office simply doesn’t know what they are doing and will end up losing even more fans than they already have.

    The only question can be “how to open the 40 man roster up”. Well, when there are players on the 40 man roster who aren’t doing nearly as well as these minor league players are, I believe we have one answer right there. I mean, we just traded away Anderson for cash considerations. How about doing away with a couple others for the same?

    And, I specified “one answer”, because, for example, if the minor league player played second base, I don’t see this front office doing away with India anytime soon. But, then, again, you still have “one answer” right there. If you aren’t going to trade off India, and there was a 2nd baseman in the minors ready for the majors, then you have tradebait. Trade him off to get something back you do need.

    Frankly, I was never a fan of “keep the prospect in the minors just in case the player in the majors gets hurt”. Sorry, but not for me. Because then, if the major league player never gets hurt, we just wasted that minor league player’s prime years in the minors. We could have traded him off for another prospects we need need, even a major leaguer we did need, or two lower level prospects who are still a year or two away from the majors.

    But, you don’t keep prospects in the minors “just in case” the major league player gets injured. Either trade the major league player away for something you need, and move the minor league player up, or trade the minor league player away for something you need. Either trade could bring back a major leaguer you need, a minor leaguer equivalent prospect but just another position, or a couple of highly regarded prospects just lower levels, not quite ready for prime time yet.

  25. LDS

    Bell’s handling of Fairchild, Barrero, Friedl, and Steer on this year’s roster should be sufficient to convince everyone that the team is better off leaving CES, McLain, Abbott, and EDLC in Louisville until the manager changes. Besides it’s only been short time in Louisville so far. Expecting CES and McLain to come up and hit comparably is likely being optimistic. Let them play everyday in Louisville and look forward to next year. Calling them up now will only shunt them aside when Myers and Votto return. Veteran presence trumps production. It’s all about the Benjamins.

    • Beaufort Red

      LDS we’ all realize your dogged determination to keep giving Barrero chances. Listen, if not McClain, there are numerous high profile shortstops behind Barrero. He’d be better off in AAA learning a new position. And the idea of leaving McClain and CES in the minors until management change is asinine. What if Bell doesn’t get moved. Do we wait until they’re 30. Come on. Just acknowledge it’s time to give the other guys a chance.

      • CI3J

        The problem is, though, Bell will NOT give them a chance.

        I 100% guarantee you if McClain and CES are brought up, Newman will still get the majority of starts at SS, and Myers/Stephenson will still get the majority of starts at 1B.

        The way Bell has treated the other prospects should be all the evidence you need of this. When Barrero was first brough up, he was one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball at the time. Bell sat him and let Farmer keep playing at SS. Why do you think Bell would treat McClain or CES any differently?

      • Old Big Ed

        I know who McLain is, but who is McClain?

      • LDS

        @BeaufortRed, if you can judge a player’s trajectory on one month of play, you need to sign with some MLB team in their FO. After his first month Aquino would have been headed to the HoF, Senzel would have been gone years ago, etc. The guys in Louisville are tearing it up, no doubt, but it’s not even a month yet. As for Barrero/Newman. We know what Newman can do. The 1st place Pirates dumped him. We don’t know what Barrero can do. As for Bell not being fired? That’s what I expect. And if so, the prospects won’t matter.

  26. Beaufort Red

    Again, you gonna wait til Bell is fired. That’s insane! And how can you 100% guarantee anything? If you can, how about some Power Ball numbers

    • Jim t

      If they bring them up they will play. All this he mishandled the youngsters is laughable. Steer, Freidl, Barrera and have all got at bats. Fairchild has had playing time as well.

      Barrera issues have nothing to do with Bell. He doesn’t swing at strikes.

      Fairchild has been let go my 3 other teams.

      Steer and Freidl are playing. If they produce they will solidify their spot.

  27. Mario

    I’m an old timer, well it seems most of us on RLN are. The argument that CES/McCClain would be rushed if they were promoted is not an educated opinion. There are tons of examples of college players who spent very little time in the minors. From my youth, I remember Will Clark and Oddibe McDowell. I looked them up on baseball reference today and both spend very little time in the minors. Clark of course was a big star – he hit .287 as a rookie before having some great seasons with the Giants and then maybe some other hated team that also wears red.

    I believe from the Reds perspective, this is simply a numbers game. Both CES & McClain are not on the 40 man roster so someone must be removed to add them. The team is not moving Votto to the 60 day IL so that tells me he’s not as far away as some folks on the site believe. I think Siani might be a candidate to get outrighted off the 40 man roster but that’s a tough decision. It needs to be Myers and Newman gone but that won’t happen for at least another month or two. I sure hope that these two guys don’t have to wait that long for a promotion.

    • Jim Walker

      @Mario>> Believe you are correct about the 40 man situation because the 26 man roster has a number of candidates to be optioned that on the other hand, they don’t want to risk losing on waivers (just yet at least) if they would be DFA.

      I don’t usually like to name names but in this case, Reynolds is an obvious outright candidate. That would be 1 spot very easily since I doubt anyone would be optioned ahead of him being DFA to make room for Myers on the 26 man.

      So much keeps coming back to the catching situation and the fact they don’t want to risk TS catching 4-5 days a week.

  28. Old-school

    Reds sticking with 4 man with off say again monday

    That could bode well for Abbott

    • Optimist

      This would be very interesting. Two big ifs involved. 1 – if Cessa and Young can provide multi-innings, even just 3 ip, that takes up a lot of space and allows for 5ip starters. 2 – if Sims and Diaz stay healthy there are the 8th and 9th innings.

      Again – two big ifs, but the young 3 have shown they can get thru 5 innings pretty well, but not efficiently. If Abbott can do the same, that takes a lot of pressure, and need, off the back of the bullpen.

      Throw in spot-5th starters to get to the break, and it’s a useful exercise to determine the results – the sort of experiment this team should make.

    • Jim Walker

      As I said yesterday, this is playing with fire by costing the top 3 those extra day(s) off.

      • Jim Walker

        No issue with Cessa out of the rotation but get a better solution than skipping built in longer rests for the guys that count long term. They are going to run out of inning earlier even if they are lucky enough to avoid fatigue issues/ lost starts before then.

      • Optimist

        Jim – it’s the pitch count they must be looking at, not precisely ip. If they can keep pitch count to 80, then a 4 day rest might work. Better that than trying to get into the 7th inning with 100-110 pitches. Putting Cessa in the pen allows this, so long as you have a 5th starter available every other turn thru the rotation – but they’ve shown they won’t spend for that. Must have good multi-inning relievers for this to work and Cessa has shown that capability, and Young has done so briefly this season.

        It’s roughly 20% into the season, and the young 3 have 28/20/36 ip so far. They can scale that to under 150 ip on the season with shorter starts. Better to do that and burn the pen this season if it improves next season’s staff.

      • Optimist

        Typo – 28/30/36 ip this season ytd.

  29. docproc

    “No room on the 40-man roster” is a silly reason not to bring up CES and McLain.
    Here are two position players you can take off the 40-man right now: Siani and Reynolds.
    Here are two pitchers you can take off the 40-man right now: Kuhnel and Karcher.
    And it’s not like we’re going to lose any of those guys if we drop them. Nobody’s going to pick them up because nobody wants them.

    • Old Big Ed

      Why cut Karcher? He’s a stealthy asset. OK, so he gives up 3 BB/IP, but he’s had some bad luck — 5 of his 24 runs in 7.1 IP have been unearned, so clearly nobody can catch the ball behind him. True, he yields a 1.408 OPS, but that is skewed by a .458 BABIP, so it might only be about 1.050, without the bad luck.

      Karcher is superb for development, too. He craftily and consistently lets the opponent back in the game, which is in turn allows our top prospects get ABs late in games against pitchers who are not mere mop-up guys.

      And if they DFA’d Karcher, the Cardinals might pick him up.

    • Tar Heel Red

      I agree with you docproc. Once the team decides they can wait no longer, Siani and Reynolds are prime candidates…as are Kuhnel and Karcher. The only one of the four I could see possibly getting claimed by another team is Karcher, but his control problems could limit the number of teams interested (remember, they would have to risk losing someone on their 40-man too).

      I will also make one more suggestion of someone who could be a roster casualty…Joey Votto. I think it is time to eat the remainder of this year’s contract and release him. This move would allow Stephenson to play 1B and have CES at DH

      • Doug Gray

        There is no way someone is claiming Karcher right now.

  30. Beaufort Red

    docproc your absolutely right. These excuses drive me crazy. The water in Key West is gorgeous. Not gonna affect my day. Go Reds

  31. Melvin

    I’m not sure which is harder, hitting for the cycle (because of the triple) or hitting three home runs. Either one is pretty amazing. I say bring up the guys from AAA when they’re ready. Most likely McLain is first. Let David Bell double down and keep doing what he’s doing. Let it play out and see how that kind of managing works.