The Cincinnati Reds made some moves this morning before their series opener later tonight against the Colorado Rockies. The team officially called up infielder Matt McLain, who will make his big league debut whenever he gets into a game. He’s taking the place on the roster of TJ Friedl, who was placed on the injured list retroactive to Friday with an oblique strain. To create room on the 40-man roster, Joey Votto was moved to the 60-day injured list. Left-handed pitcher Brandon Williamson was also added to the taxi squad.

We wrote a lot about Matt McLain last night here at Redleg Nation. I also wrote a little bit more about him over at this morning. If you don’t want to check out those links, we’ll make it short here. He’s been the best hitter in minor league baseball this season. McLain hit .348/.474/.710 with 12 doubles, a triple, and 12 home runs for Triple-A Louisville. His OPS of 1.184 is the best mark in all of minor league baseball, his 12 home runs and 40 RBI are both third best in minor league baseball. He’s walked nearly as many times as he’s struck out this season (28 walks, 34 strikeouts). McLain has excelled in nearly every aspect of the game this season.

That was the move we knew was coming. The one we didn’t know was the one that appears to be for Tuesday with Brandon Williamson being added to the taxi squad. The Reds have Tuesday’s starting pitcher listed as TBA. And with Nick Lodolo now on the injured list the team needs a starter to fill in for at least the next month, it appears that Williamson is going to be the guy who gets the first shot at that.

When acquired from Seattle, Brandon Williamson was a top 100 prospect in baseball and coming off of a season where he posted a 3.39 ERA with 33 walks and 153 strikeouts. But that 2021 season feels like it was decades ago. The now 25-year-old lefty has struggled since joining the Reds organization. Last season he had a solid ERA of 4.11 between Double-A and Triple-A, but his walk rate skyrocketed as he handed out 77 free passes in 122.2 innings. This season he’s continued to walk guys at a high rate – he’s walked 20 batters in 34.0 innings – but his strikeout rate is down and his home run rate has nearly tripled, too. His ERA with Louisville this season is 6.62 and his WHIP currently sits at 1.88.

The move isn’t official, so this is all just speculation, but it all adds up. Well, at least it adds up in the sense of what’s going to happen.

Where it doesn’t add up is why the Reds chose to call up Williamson instead of Andrew Abbott. After Saturday they didn’t really have a choice because Abbott pitched on Saturday for Louisville, making it impossible that he could pitch on Tuesday – at least as a starter – in Colorado.

But Cincinnati’s front office could have done several things to have Andrew Abbott in the rotation. The first would have been to just call up Abbott on Saturday and had him start in Miami. Instead they decided to scratch Levi Stoudt from his Friday night start in Louisville and have a bullpen day against the Marlins. They knew this was a possibility and adjusted while they waited to see what happened with Lodolo’s report from the doctors.

They could have delayed Abbott’s start in Triple-A a day or two to see those results and had him ready to pitch today or tomorrow on long rest in Colorado. But they didn’t do that. They decided that calling up the guy with an ERA of 6.62 was the better option for some reason.

That reason can probably be boiled down to the fact that Brandon Williamson is on the 40-man roster and Andrew Abbott isn’t. That shouldn’t be an acceptable excuse. They called up a pitcher who has not pitched well this season, and who has struggled to throw strikes for the last two seasons. There are players on the 40-man roster who could be designated for assignment to make room for Abbott if you wanted to bring him up. Ricky Karcher entered the year with a career walk rate of nearly 8 batters per 9 innings. This year he’s walked 27 batters in 13.1 innings for Louisville. His ERA is 12.83. No one is going to claim that guy if he’s on waivers, and if someone does, good for Karcher and best of luck.

This division is open for the taking. Actually go for it.

107 Responses

  1. Jim t

    Doug couldn’t agree more. The division is wide open.

    • Richard Holland

      As a new Reds fan, (I’ve not followed baseball for almost 15 years) I have an honest question. Why do Reds pitchers walk so many batters organization wide? The first thing I noticed about Cincy was the walks and deep pitch counts that leads to starters not going deep into games. Do the Reds need different pitching coaches across all levels?

      • LarkinPhillips

        Interesting question Richard. I have noticed this as well, but personally have chalked it up to the fact that most pitchers are more concerned with spin rate and movement nowadays rather than locating and executing quality pitches. (This is purely my opinion and absolutely not fact based.)

      • greenmtred

        I don’t know if walks are up across all of MLB, but I have read recently that starters league-wide average fewer than six innings per start and have done this for some years. For younger pitchers in particular pitch limits may have something to do with this, and the general recognition of third time through the batting order stats may have every starter on a short leash.

      • Randy in Chatt

        Welcome to the party. Glad you are one of us!

      • VegasRed

        Hi Richard! Welcome to reds nation! How long have you been a reds fan? And I’m genuinely curious what made you a fan of the reds, especially in light of their struggles to win games?

        At any rate, welcome to the red!

    • Ted Alfred

      Yep… and the Reds just keep doing Reds things. The way you laid it out it’s quite unbelievable that they actually decided to bring Williamson up instead of Abbott…like
      mind-bogglingly amazingly stupid…but very typical if this organization going back many years.

  2. JB

    Totally agree on Abbott and Karcher. Also would DFA Kuhnel. 28 and still waiting on the guy. I don’t see anybody picking him up as well. Reds need to stop sitting on these guys . I would also call this the end of the Joey Votto era in Cincinnati after this year. Reds aren’t paying him millions to come back .

    • MBS

      I think once EDLC, CES, and Abbott join McLain with their promotions we could very well be in the running in our weak division.

      It’s a huge long shot, but if all Votto needs is time to recover, and joins the team late in the year, he could be a huge asset. We desperately need another LHB with some pop. He may not return as an effective MLB’er, or at all, but returning as a force would be a cool way to end a career. Maybe even help us win the division.

      • JB

        I would be all for it but at this point in his career I think the end is here

      • TR

        League divisions do not stay weak or vice versa very long. They can change in a few years time especially now with the balanced schedule. So with young personnel coming now, Bell should go for winning and put substitution of personnel aside.

      • mac624

        Votto is going to give it one more shot, but this will be his last season regardless. We shall see if another month or so improves things, but if he fails again at the comeback, he will ride out the season on the DL. Personally, I hope he does make it back and can finish out his career playing and not on the DL, but it’s not looking very promising at this point.

  3. Optimist

    I’m kinda buying what they’re doing. The division is wide open and has been for a while so no change there. Yes, Abbott clearly a better choice but he’ll be here soon enough. If Williamson and Stoudt make it, good, they have plenty of openings for other pitchers as well. They also have plenty of 40 man roster flexibility.

    If Abbott, EDLC and CES have all debuted by mid – July the timing will be forgotten

    Still – every game counts.

    • Doug Gray

      If every game counts then you shouldn’t be buying what they’re doing, nor will Abbott and EDLC and CES waiting another 2 months to debut make the timing be forgotten.

      • Optimist

        Fair enough, but what I’m kinda buying is that management (not ownership) knows the order for promotions and that moving all of them right now may not be best. Could all of them be vast improvements immediately? Sure. Could some or all of them just be more Lopez, VanMeter, BobSteves, etc. – unlikely but certainly possible.

        Does Williamson have better stuff than Abbott, though with much worse command? Would that work better over 3-4 innings or is Abbott much likelier to make it thru 6? I dunno, but I don’t mind them tackling one issue at a time than complete revamp before June.

        Also don’t mind the goal of getting all the prospects substantial MLB exposure this season – at least 2 months of stats for each, and even calling up Marte with one of the September spots.

        Every game counts, and expect them all to succeed to some extent even with struggles, but so long as they all get here sooner rather than later, I doubt any one’s debut date will affect the extra game needed for the division or wild card spot. There are enough of them that it will wash out in the end.

      • Doug Gray

        No, Williamson doesn’t have better stuff than Abbott at this point in time.

        My point about every game mattering is this: You suggested another two months. That’s 50-something games. There are a lot of opportunities in there for the young guys to make a difference that Henry Ramos or whatever third catcher or Kevin Newman or Ben Lively simply isn’t going to be able to make.

      • Jim Walker

        And sometimes it takes struggle and even a return to MiLB for a guy to find himself at MLB. Look no further than Friedl and Fraley last season.

        Friedl figured out what he needed to work on when exposed to MLB pitching then went back to AAA and did the work which has paid off for him and the Reds. With Fraley, it was an injury that afforded him an extended break to figure out the adjustments.

        so get them up here and get them blooded as the old term used to be.

  4. LarkinPhillips

    Everyone is talking about EDLC, CES, Abbott, etc. But what does Chuckie Robinson have to do for a call up at this point? Or is it a matter of an injury at catcher being his only option? I would like to see new Chuckie off the bench late in a game long before Casali or Maile.

    • Rednat

      i agree. I liked him at the end of the year last year for the Reds. when he makes contact the ball seems to go a long way. Plus it seems like the other players rallied around him. I hope he gets a shot soon

    • Harold

      Casali and Maile add a lot more to the success of the pitching staff as they are really good at calling a game and handling the staff. I’m not sure we will be able to keep both when we make all the call-ups. Robinson does seem to be hitting at a high level but pitching and calling the game seems to be winning out with the current makeup of the staff.

      • Tar Heel Red

        +100%. Casali provides a veteran presence on this team, something they are sorely lacking. Maile is an excellent defensive catcher, especially at limiting the running game. And both call a very good game for the pitching staff. I just hope either/both would hit a little bit more than they are.

  5. MK

    Do they really want the top pitching prospect making his debut in Colorado Doug, for the same reason you wrote it is good for McLain to make his there?

    • Doug Gray

      If the other option is Brandon Williamson? Yeah, I do.

      • Gus

        As ridiculous as it sounds, are the Reds saving Abbott for a debut at GABP? Possibly in hopes of selling more tickets?

      • JayTheRed

        Who knows maybe Williamson will do well. Though I am nervous about him starting in Colorado.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Excellent point MK. To further that, Abbott is adjusting currently to a different ball in AAA from AA that breaks less due to the tackiness of the ball. I can’t imagine what he would feel like his ball was doing in Colorado where the ball breaks less than normal to start with.

      • Tar Heel Red

        I agree with MK and LarkinPhillips…why on earth would you bring up Williamson to make his debut in Coors Field of all places? All they are doing is setting him up to fail, just like Stoudt when he made his debut against the best team in baseball, the Rays.

    • doofus

      If a pitcher can make it in CO, he can make it anywhere…. start spreading the news….

  6. Jon

    Do you think the Reds are trying to space out the free agent years between Abbott and Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft by keeping him in the minors until September?

    • Doug Gray

      No. The Reds would have to keep Abbott in the minors until next April 15th or so to push back his free agency another year at this point.

      • Colorado Red

        A day, I would like to get rid of

  7. Tom Mitsoff

    I also believe that the Reds should “go for it” this year. Whether or not you believe they are is dependent on a number of factors, most of which are perceived very differently, depending on who you ask.

    If you ask me:

    1) It’s pretty clear how David Bell (and maybe Nick Krall) feels about Jose Barrero’s ability to help them win games. First Newman gets a large portion of the starts at short, then after he does his best impression of me playing shortstop, they bring up the star prospect who is reportedly better at second base than shortstop.
    2) Abbott is not dominating at Class AAA like he did at Class AA. When and if he returns to that level of dominance (or even close), then it’s time for him. That being said, Williamson certainly has not earned a promotion. He could get absolutely crushed at Coors Field, which would probably again set back any developmental timeline.
    3) It’s my belief that Bell is managing to win, rather than to get a look at certain players. Regarding Alexis Diaz’ gutty performance Saturday when he was on fumes only, it would have been very easy to take him out with the explanation that “we don’t want to risk getting him hurt.” But every player who takes the field takes the risk of getting hurt. I understand the thinking that Diaz is a key to the immediate future, but him doing what he did Saturday conveyed to the rest of the team, “Yes we can.” And there is great value in that, IMO.
    4) If you’re two games out of a playoff berth and not trying to win every game, you might as well shut the franchise down. I’ve been glued to games in the past few days like I haven’t been since 2021 because I love the excitement and drama of competition and trying to win. Imagine if somehow they are able to sweep Colorado (taking two of three would be great, by the way) and come home for the Yankees series on a hot streak. There’s no doubt you’ll see big crowds and the excitement will be high.

  8. David

    Abbott got hit harder last Saturday (I believe) his ERA went from 3.0 to 4.5 after this, his fourth start at AAA. And yeah, he relies a lot on his curve as his off-speed pitch, and no telling what it would look like at Coors Field.
    Williamson was pretty lousy in April, but I think has been pitching somewhat better in May.
    Will this start be a “one off”, or will he stay? Also, I do think he would progress better under Derrick Johnson than at AAA, but it might be painful to watch sometimes.

    • Mario

      Abbott gave up 2 runs thru 5 innings and they left him out there to begin the 6th inning to give up 3 more before recording an out. Sounds like manager malfunction especially considering Abbott rarely goes more than 5 innings. Always baffled to see organizations are loathe to ask starters to pitch more than 5 innings even when dominating.

    • Old Big Ed

      Abbott was fine Saturday, but blew up in the 6th inning. He’d given up 2 runs through 5 innings and 79 pitches, but went HBP, single, homer to start the 6th.

      Williamson has been a lot better the last two starts. Three starts back — the only one I saw him pitch online — he didn’t get out of the first inning, giving up 8 runs. I thought he looked mechanically off, because he seemed not to use his legs very much in his delivery, and just wasn’t finishing his pitches. Maybe it chastened him into listening to his pitching coaches, because he’s since gone 11.2 IP with 9 H, 4 R&ER, 4 BBs and 11Ks. He also had 10 and 12 swing-and-misses, his highest two totals of the year. So, it’s possible that he’s had his come-to-Jesus moment, but Coors Field is a tough test.

      If I had to guess, I’d say that the Reds like Abbott more in the long run, but want to keep him in AAA to work on a few things on his regular rest, as opposed to likely using him one time in Denver. Rookie starters tend to all get slapped around anyway; look at Perez for Miami the other day. He’s going to be very good, but it’s hard to win as a first-time starter.

      I wish the media covering the team would just ask that question. It might get a coach-speak answer, but I don’t understand why they don’t ask.

      • Jim Walker

        Agree on the media. Anymore, they only repeat and try to explain the coach/ manager speak without ever seriously questioning whether it was remotely an accurate statement of fact to begin with.

        Take the Friedl oblique injury situation for example. The Reds were concerned enough he was immediately sent for an MRI on a travel day. The next day the manager announced it was “not likely” Friedl would start any games in Miami but hopefully would be available later in the series. Did anyone question what “available” meant? Did anyone ask what it was Friedl could safely do off the bench that was too much of a risk for him to start?

        I was out of touch most of the day on Sunday but apparently, Bell told the media Freidl had done pregame running in the OF, had not felt “anything” (presumably no pain) and they would see how he was Monday. That’s tantamount to tipping Freidl was not available Sunday yet, nobody came out and asked for confirmation (that I saw or heard).

        Yet when I heard the news breaking (unofficially) that McLain was being called up, my first thought was that if McLain was the only position player coming up, that had to mean Friedl was going on the IL.

  9. LDS

    Williamson? Ranks right up there with Busenitz and Bracho (although Busenitz was left in too long). Yes, the division is weak and could be taken by a competitive team. The Reds aren’t. Stephenson hasn’t recovered from surgery. Guys like Newman, Ramos, Myers, 3 catchers, DJ, and Bell all argue against competing successfully. The ownership is cheap and won’t spring for some real pitchers. Barrero is still lagging behind expectations, though well ahead of Newman. Fraley can’t hit lefties. Too many holes. I’m not sure there’s that much luck in the world. And if Senzel plays too much OF, he’ll be on the IL in no time.

    • Beaufort Red

      Always love your optimism. Unless it pertains to Barrero of course.

      • LDS

        It called reality @BeaufortRed. Barrero has drawn the short straw with Bell. And without Krall putting his foot down, Barrero is done and we’re stuck with Newman, who everyone except Bell & the Reds recognizes as the worst SS in MLB, ranked #30 among starting SS.

    • Votto4life

      I don’t think the Reds have any chance of winning the NL Central this season regardless of how weak the division is right now. The Reds lost what little chance they had during the off-season, when ownership decided three starting pitchers were all they really needed this season.

      • Mario

        Votto – You said it but I agree 100%. More likely is Reds are 10 games under .500 a month from now.

  10. SultanofSwaff

    I’d like to see the Reds use Williamson exclusively out of the bullpen, hopefully that’s the plan. Pare down his repertoire and see if his stuff plays up. More than anything, take it slow with him—low leverage situations, avoid going more than a couple innings. You’ve got nothing to lose.

  11. Kevin H

    I really have a good feeling. This team is a few players away from being even better. For as much as I question and get a annoyed. Bell and DJ have done a solid job with the players they have. Time will tell of course, however it is fun

    • MK

      Unfortunately those few players are Ohtani, Betts and Trout. 🙂

  12. Tim

    EDLC, McClain and India would be a very nice infield. Lots of pop and solid defense. McClain at 2. India at 3. EDLC at ss. Senzel back to cf and backup 3.

  13. RedsMonk65

    Starting lineup posted for tonight:

    Jonathan India (R) 2B
    Matt McLain (R) SS
    Jake Fraley (L) LF
    Spencer Steer (R) 1B
    Tyler Stephenson (R) C
    Nick Senzel (R) 3B
    Henry Ramos (S) DH
    Wil Myers (R) RF
    Stuart Fairchild (R) CF

    • Daytonnati

      Henry Ramos is, apparently, the indispensable man.

      • Brian Rutherford

        If not Ramos, who else? I get it. He hasn’t been good but who else does Bell have to put in there?

  14. Bryant

    The way I am understanding what they are doing is there are two processes at play. The first is player development for the blue chip prospects. In that case, the player’s ideal development trumps whether the team right now is better or worse with them. The second is for the rest of the 40 man and minor league marginal prospects who are used primarily as the team needs them. It is always hard to tease out what causes what but the Senzel and Barrero experiences have been very, very disappointing. The psychological process of moving a 22 year old to the major leagues can be very, very difficult and in some cases, if done poorly, can do irreparable damage.

  15. LDS

    I see Ramos who makes Barrero look like Tony Gwynn is starting at DH. An adequate line up today but likely suboptimal.

    • Mario

      I’d rather see Barrero in there at DH but you’re right, Bell does not like him. I don’t want to see him traded but it’s the best thing for him.

      • J

        I think what Bell doesn’t like about him is that he isn’t a very good hitter and hasn’t been playing shortstop very well. I also suspect he likes having a guy on the bench who can play outfield or infield and/or be used as a pinch runner, which allows him to do some fancy substituting whenever the mood strikes. With Ramos on the bench, his strategic options are much more limited. I think this is a case of Bell actually trying to win the game rather than playing a guy he “likes” better than another guy.

      • Harold

        Not a huge fan of Bell as a manager, but I really don’t see much to get excited about in Barrero. He has been on the radar for a while now and his hitting and defense seem to both be suspect.

      • Mario

        Not a Barrero backer but just want the young players to get the majority of the playing time. Newman should not be on this team next year and I wouldn’t mind seeing him hit the road now or when EDLC is called up. Now Barrero and Newman are both on the bench but would still rather see Barrero than Ramos at DH. I haven’t seen one hard hit ball from Ramos in maybe 1-2 weeks.

      • MK

        I think Bell has been pretty patient with Barrero.

  16. west larry

    I like tonight’s line up, particularly Mcclain batting second.

    • Old Big Ed


      There are several spellings of that name, but I remember it as the same as Denny McLain, of Tiger and prison fame. One has to be a bit of an old-timer, though, to remember how Denny McLain spelled his name.

      • Jim Walker

        FWIW I think a lot of folks are getting done wrong by their auto spellers on McLain vs McClain. 😉

      • TR

        Denny McClain, the last ML 30 game winner in 1968.

  17. old-school

    Amazing how much better the lineup looks with Stephenson as C and McLain in the 2 hole at SS and Senzel at 3b. Can we stick with this a bit? Then put Friedl in CF in a week and looking good.

    • LDS

      Ramos is 4-38. He has 13 hits total, 9 of which came in his first 6 games and nothing since. As unfathomable as it is, Newman, Maile, and Barrero are all hitting far better than he. Only Casali is hitting worse. So, the lineup is not the best the Reds could field. And since Ramos is DH, it’s not like his defense, such as it is, is a factor in the decision.

      • old-school

        I was factoring Friedl in for Ramos. then Slide Fraley to DH and Fairchild to LF and light years better than Sundays lineup.

      • Old Big Ed

        I think that they will ultimately move Barrero to the outfield — maybe after a stint in Louisville to let him play some OF and get his stroke back. I think he would make an excellent defensive right fielder, because he has good speed and a booming arm. Gotta hit.

        I would have used him in RF tonight, and used Myers to make sure nobody stole the sunflower seeds. Coors is probably a fairly easy place to play the outfield, because it is so vast and has no tricky corners.

      • old-school

        @OBE. Right wrong or indifferent, reds are moving on from barrero as a SS. His physical tools are still impressive and certainly lower risk decision to move him to AAA and get him every day at bats and see if you can re-purpose him as a RF

      • J

        Barrero is hitting .262/.319 vs. righties and struck out 28% of his plate appearances. With Ramos, it’s .231/.348 and 20%. For the season, Ramos has been more likely to put the ball in play and reach base against a righty. If you want to look at recent hitting, Ramos is 3 for his last 11 (.272), with a double, RBI, HBP, and stolen base. He went through a terrible slump, but seems to be out of it. If there’s a guy on third and one out, I’d rather have Ramos up there.

        Neither of these guys is a good hitter. There’s an argument to be made that Barrero deserves to be DH’ing over Ramos, but it’s not obvious to me.

      • MBS

        @LDS none of the guys you named are playing much better or worse than the others. That’s the problem, not which one Bell chooses to play from night to night.

        CES, EDLC, Hopkins, and Robinson might end up healing that problem soon.

  18. Mario

    Afraid Williamson is going to get lit up. Weak fastball (reports say down to about 90 MPH in some starts) and trouble locating his off speed stuff = not a good combination.

  19. DaveCT

    Oh well, here it goes … time to get a beating.

    Competing it good but this is not a playoff team, let alone a team that’ll get out of the wild card. Are they feisty? Sure are. Are they fun? Yes, as well. Do they have the serious big hitters 1-5 or 1-7 that the competitive teams have? Not even close.

    Not being a team designed to get past the first round of the playoffs means the goal and strategy is development, not ‘winning.’
    Part of development is establishing a winning culture, however, so you can see the strange logic in Bell doing his thing trying to win games. But ultimately, 2023 is setting up things for 2025 (even though 2024 could be fun).

    As for Williamson V. Abbott, the reason guys in the minors are on the 40-man who may/may not be part of the future is exactly what is happening now. Williamson up for a spot start, Abbott not, someone like Karcher and that 97 MPH arm not exposed to waivers. To borrow a phrase, it’s all about the Benjamin’s, baby.

    So, yeah, I am arguing to stick with the program (player development), trust the process, and not to make decisions based on a ideal that is not realistic. The team is developing right before our eyes. It’s only May and there’s a ton-o-baseball left to get guys up and getting experienced. And the minor leaguers are doing their best to get here as soon as they can — some being ahead of schedule, some on schedule, some behind. The same as every year. Trust the process.

    As for Williamson, he looked the part his last time out. It was the first time I’ve seen him where I thought he was advancing his craft and could see him getting ML hitters out. To be fair, because of his association with Lodolo, many may have thought he’s Lodolo, 2.0. He’s not. Very different, outside of height.

    As for Abbott, his pitches aren’t as sharp as in AA, when they were borderline filthy.that said, Abbott, himself is every bit as sharp as AA. This guy’s baseball IG is very high, IMO. Big time aptitude. He isn’t far away, either.

    • BK

      Well said … no one thought this team would be competitive. Stick with the developmental plan which appears to be ahead of schedule. The Reds have struggled to stick with a strategy for more than a decade.

    • Kevin H

      Trust the process. Hey it worked for the Bengals.

      Great post

    • AllTheHype

      Abbott still needs to prove he can miss bats in AAA without the sticky ball enhancing his movement.

      • Doug Gray

        He’s got 29 strikeouts in 20 innings at Triple-A.

        Brandon Williamson has 27 strikeouts in 34 innings at Triple-A.

      • AllTheHype

        No doubt it would be better for Reds to have had Abbott start in Coors over Williamson. But what is best for Reds may not be best for him. He is not really ready yet nor is Coors the best place for any top SP prospect to debut.

  20. Mike in Ottawa

    Abbott has done very little at AAA to show he is ready. Stout has pitched decent aside from 1 inning in his first outing in his brief stints. Williamson (I get it) has not earned anything.

  21. Harry Stoner

    “Bell doesn’t like Barerro.”

    I’ve seen this come up a few times recently.

    Doesn’t like him as a player?

    Doesn’t like him as an individual?

    He can’t communicate with him directly?

    (I was surprised that someone had to translate for Bell when he was talking to Diaz in the 9th the other day.)

    Or is this a projection due to Bell obviously liking Newman?

    • David

      Newman is the Skip Schumacher of 2023 “Scrappy” Veteran Presence Fame.

      “He just knows how to win”, famous manager cliche when describing the extra-sub guy that has to play when your star goes down.

      I do remember Jimmy Stewart (not the actor) who was the Reds’ “super sub” back in the early 70’s. He could play all over, even catch if needed. Remember Ty Cline, and….Angel Bravo? Woody Woodward?

      The great Ute players of the past. They should have a Utility Guys Hall of Fame somewhere.

      • Oldtimer

        Stewart has called the Super Sub but his offensive numbers were pretty weak. Woodward started more than he came off the bench. He split SS with Concepcion in early 1970s. Cline was good at the end of 1970 but not so much otherwise.

        Doug Flynn maybe a better example on 1975 and 1976 Reds.

      • David

        “Bluegrass” Doug Flynn was pretty good in 1976, subbing a lot for Joe Morgan, mainly hitting off of left-handers. He got traded in the off-season and got a chance to play everyday for somebody (Montreal Expos?), and pretty much flopped.
        I saw Ty Cline lay down a perfect bunt for a hit, when we was just trying to make a sacrifice. Helped win a game against the Giants in 1971. The Bad Year.
        Baseball is really a hard game to play at the Professional level. These guys, even the crummy subs, have some amazing abilities.

        Actually, this was all just sort of kidding around. Generally, Sub- ute guys don’t win pennants for teams.

      • Dewey Roberts

        Doug Flynn was traded in the Reds package to get Tom Seaver. He played for the Mets, Expos, and Rangers. I would never say that he flopped. He was a great fielder but not a strong batter. He is a personal friend of mine from childhood and a really great guy.

  22. Beaufort Red

    This whiny crap of who Bell likes and doesn’t like is ridiculous. Granted his in game decisions are questionable, but to think he doesn’t play somebody because he doesn’t like them is stupid. This isn’t Little League. As for Barrero this whining about him not getting a fair shake is just as dumb. Maybe the guy just can’t hit. And if you think he’ll play short ahead of McClain, EDLC, Marte or Arroyo you’re delusional. He better learn how to lay of the breaking ball and then maybe learn how to play the outfield.

    • David

      Whiny crap about Bell? Well, that’s just the Mean Girls Club! 😉

      I dunno. Most of the Reds’ managers of the last 20 years have at times, really ticked me off.

      The last one I liked was Jack McKeon. Before that, Lou Pinella, and before that John McNamara.
      When I was a teen-ager. we used to make fun of Sparky and some of his antics.
      Baseball is supposed to be fun. We all would like a shot at being a field manager or the GM.

  23. Oldtimer

    NL East was wide open in 1973. Only one team above .500 (Mets at 82-79) so they took it. They beat 99-73 Reds in NL playoffs and nearly beat Oakland As (lost 4 games to 3) in WS.

    Easier path then.

  24. J

    It’s funny that I’ve found myself defending some of Bell’s decisions lately — especially with regard to his use of Barrero (or lack thereof), Newman, and Ramos. But I feel it’s important to acknowledge that not everything he does is completely irrational or based on some weird emotional response he supposedly has with certain players. I don’t want to be labeled someone who “criticizes everything Bell does.” This label undermines all the legitimate criticisms. I want to be labeled someone who criticizes MOST of the things Bell does.

    • LarkinPhillips

      I am right there with you J.

  25. Old-school

    Charlie goldsmith tweeted that Senzel McLain India Steer Stephenson Fraley and Myers will play every day.

    The other 5 mix and match and I assume Fraley not against lefties.

    With Friedl back soon… reds could have a mostly every day 7/8

    • AllTheHype

      I’ll believe that when Bell writes 3 straight lineup cards without “Hello, Newman”

      • Old-school

        Newman had a devastating game Sunday. Yes he might play once a week at 3b and twice at SS when McLain has a day off and India has a day off or DH with McLain shuffled to 2b . Thats ok . McLain needs reps at 2b too

      • AllTheHype

        @old That would make sense, but something tells me Newman will play more than 3x a week.

  26. LarkinPhillips

    A lot is being mentioned in the catchers “calling of the game”. With the new pitchcom systems, what prevents a pitching coach from call the game the game from the bench and calling the pitch for pitcher and catcher?

    • Crestwood Craig

      Thanks, I have the same question.

  27. RedsGettingBetter

    The division is open but the FO’s mind isn’t, at least apparently. They seem are made up to just trying some players calling them up and after option them again throughout the season aside to give time to play to the older players. I wonder if the Reds (i refer the players on the field) even reach a play off berth in any moment on the season the FO will change its mind and finally go for it …

  28. William

    I have not been impressed with Brandon Williamson. Makes no sense to me that they call him up over Abbott. However, I am looking forward to watching McClain play tonight. The Reds are going to get better, and within two years will be the best team in this division.

    • AllTheHype

      Makes perfect sense. Abbott is a top prospect and is neither ready nor should he debut at Coors. Williamson is not a top prospect. Gotta consider what’s best for Abbott here. It’s just one game.

      • DaveCT

        40-man roster is all that needs to be said. No sense risking the loss of an arm and then trying to find something in the Indy Leagues as a AAA replacement to for one game,

    • DaveCT

      His last outing, Williamson looked good. Not great but good. One other thing is, Williamson is associated with Lodolo, because of TCU together and both being tall LH’s. But he’s very different from Lodolo. He’s a #4-5 guy currently. Lodolo has a much higher upside.

      • Doug Gray

        Williamson is a #4/5 guy in a AA rotation, currently, based on his ERA pushing 7 in AAA.

      • DaveCT

        Last two games, though, Doug, he’s been much better. You can’t give up on him after a half dozen AAA starts. Besides, it’s all 40-man stuff. Abbott’s not far.