The Cincinnati Reds made a set of roster moves on Tuesday afternoon prior to the second game of their 4-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Cincinnati activated outfielder TJ Friedl from the 10-day injured list. To make room on the roster for Friedl, the team optioned outfielder Will Benson back to Triple-A Louisville.

The stay on the injured list was not all that long for Friedl. He strained his oblique on May 11th against the New York Mets. The Reds didn’t make an immediate move to place him on the injured list, waiting to see how he would recover. On May 15th it became clear that it would make more sense to give him a week or so to rest and come back at 100% and the team placed him on the 10-day injured list retroactively to May 12th.

Getting Friedl back in the lineup should help. He’s been one of the best hitters on the team this season and is hitting .306/.351/.468on the year. Since the 5th game of the season his batting average has only dropped below .300 for three days, and it’s never been below .297 in that stretch. With that said, after walking seven times in the first 17 games, Friedl hasn’t drawn a walk in his last 20 games that cover 70 plate appearances. It would be nice to see the outfielder get back to adding a few walks in there.

As for Will Benson, his stay was a short one in Cincinnati. He was called up over the weekend and played in just two games, going 0-5 in the process. Benson will head back to Triple-A and join Louisville in Syracuse where they open up a 6-game series tonight. Perhaps he will be able to pick up where he left off with the Bats, where he was hitting .259/.468/.556 with 21 walks and 13 strikeouts during the month of May.

46 Responses

  1. LDS

    Still like to see him in Chattanooga for a while. There may be something there, but it seems a good distance down the road. I would think the 40 man slot could be better used.

    • Jim Walker

      I doubt Benson would clear waivers if they tried to outright him off the 40 man. In his last couple of weeks at AAA, he was starting to hit the ball well vs. having an OBP/OPS inflated by a BB rate (~25%) everyone knew was never going to come close to happening at MLB. At his age and prior draft status along with 2022 AAA stats, somebody would likely bite on the waiver wire.

      • LDS

        Probably. And the Reds need OF’ers. But, he really seems far from ready.

  2. LT

    Pleasant news! To slay red birds, we need more pops in the line up. Hope TJ can provide some of that.

  3. LDS

    I see he’s been moved to lead off with India in the #3 slot. And Bell’s love affair with Newman continues, starting at 2nd against a RH’er. There are no numbers that support that decision.

  4. old-school

    ….and just like that, India moves to the #3 hole.

    I like Friedl/McClain/India/Fraley/ /Stephenson/Steer/Senzel.

    Would look better with EDLC in the 4 hole and Fraley 5

    • Jim Walker

      I’d put Steer and maybe also Senzel ahead of Stephenson and insert Fairchild and Barrero at the 8 and 9 slots for Myers and Newman. Then just run with the lineup with rotation only as needed behind the plate and for platooning Fraley vs LH pitchers

      Sans the biggest June and July in a long time, the ship has sailed on getting out even on Myers’ contract why multiply the mistake by acting like they might?

      • Jim Walker

        Maybe EDLC and CES get the call when the Reds are sure the Super2 date has passed? That’s probably June 10 or a few days later to be absolutely certain.

      • LDS

        I agree with that. Declare Myers “injured” then send him on a rehab assignment. It won’t be the Reds 1st time to pull that con. I suspect it’s very common place around the league.

      • AllTheHype

        Agree, it’s past time to be able to recoup anything on Myers contract, so just let him play it out as 5th OF.

        Re: Super 2, was thinking same thing on EDLC because of how quickly his costs could escalate if he becomes a star. But Reds didn’t play service time games in regard to free agency for India, Greene, and Lodolo, so I am guessing not, However, money is a diff factor than FA eligibility so we’ll see.

        I hope they don’t play those games. I mean, add EDLC to that lineup like now and it starts becoming real and exciting. A little pitching luck in 2nd half with SPs and who knows.

      • old-school

        Royals DFA’d Hunter Dozier today with roughly $7 mil for this year and $10 mil in exit fees next year. I think Myers, Newman, and the 3 catcher situation continues until July.

        I think Stephenson gets in a groove with with warm weather and GABP and 150 at bats under his belt. Could be wishful thinking but I m going with it.

    • greenmtred

      On the broadcast last night, Larkin was musing about wanting to see India bat a little further down in the batting order so he’d have more at-bats with men on base. At least I thought at the time that it was musing. Coincidence? I think not. My only question is, given that India gets on base more than anybody, who is going to be on base when he’s at bat? Maybe they’ll figure out a way for him to be in two places at once?

  5. Kevin H

    I like the lineup for tonight’s game.

    • Mark Moore

      Agree I don’t hate it … probably would prefer to see Barrero over Newman at 2B, but Newman’s glove is likely a bit better there (I’m thinking Josey has very little experience on that side of the diamond).

      At least Newman and Myers are way down in the line-up.

      • Dennis Westrick

        Not far enough down! Should be batting 10th & 11th! In other words, on the Bench!

      • LDS

        Play McLain at 2nd and Barrero at SS and the defense is far better. And a RH’er is pitching and Barrero hits RH’ers better than Newman. But, Newman has the “qualities” that Bell likes. The Reds should trade Barrero to a team that knows how to develop talent. The Reds, at least under Bell, don’t. The Pirates dumped Newman despite the fact that Oneil Cruz only hit .233 last season. He had better power than Barrero or Newman either have shown. But, the Pirates committed. The Reds haven’t. And who is in first place? And who is in last?

      • Beaufort Red

        You’ll do anything to support Barrero even if it means undermining and trashing the Reds. I’m with you, trade Barrero, I think you’ll be disappointed with his return.

      • LDS

        @Beaufort, there you go again. Are you unable to recognize a dysfunctional organization? Barrero is just the symptom. It won’t matter who the prospect is, Bell will screw him up. As for Barrero, judging a player’s ability to succeed in MLB, based on 400 ABs spread over a number of years with an injury thrown in, is simply short sighted. And folks here are doing the same thing with Stephenson.

      • Chris Holbert

        +100 LDS. Barrero is getting better at the plate, the stats say so. despite that he gets pinch hit for by a .040 guy. Nice confidence boost. Young players are pigeon holed into something as soon as they get to the Reds and it seems no matter their performance they never overcome that, under this manager.

      • Earmbrister

        LDS, surely you’re not implying that the Reds would be in first place, if only they had committed to Barrero …

        Both Barrero and Newman are keeping a couple seats warm for another couple of months. McLain/Friedl and EDLC will soon have them packing their bags.

      • LDS

        No, obviously not, @Earmbrister. I’m pointing out the difference in development strategies and commitment. It was obvious when the Reds signed Newman, the Pirates cast off, that they weren’t committed to the younger guys.

      • Harry Stoner

        We can quibble with the sequencing but 1-7 looks like the Young Turks you want to see in there. Will be interested to see how productive Friedl -McLain-India-Fraley become.

        Swap out Fairchild for Myers and Barerro for Newman and that is a full YT lineup.

      • SteveAReno

        Newman better glove there and bat at this juncture.

      • earmbrister

        If not Newman, who LDS? The Reds needed a second SS, apparently not content with a 32 yr old Matt Reynolds, so they traded for a 29 yr old Newman. Matt McLain only batted .232 in his first AA action in ’22, so he hadn’t proven he could even hit AA pitching consistently at that point.

        As for the comparisons with Oneil Cruz, you cherry picked Cruz’s BA while ignoring Barrero’s. Both players 2022 MLB stats:

        Cruz: .233/.294/.450/.744
        Barrero: .152/.195/.206./401

        It’s not a matter of the Reds not committing to younger players, it’s clear to me that they weren’t committed to Jose Barrero. With those 2022 stats, can you blame them? In 2023, JB has had similar success compared to KH in comparable ABs, 118 PAs vs 112, respectively. At what point do you fault Barrero vs Bell?

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    I also would rather Steer and Senzel ahead of Stephenson. Luke Maile needs more playing time at least while his bat is hot. Interesting see the Cards lineup whether is left heavy because Ashcraft has good splits against the southpaws hitters… if last night game meant a need to win today’s game is not different…Go Reds! Win!

  7. Rednat

    JUST seeing Newman and Meyers in the lineup means the “tearing down” process is not quite done yet. but otherwise I like the lineup. hopefully by this summer it will be all young and hungry reds form 1-9.

    • David

      Hungry Reds?

      Get those guys a cheeseburger! Stat! 😉

      I actually expect CES (needs a space on the 40 man) and EDLC up near the end of June, too. And likely Abbott, if they can find a way to get him on the 40 man.

      Because I don’t expect Lodolo back until August.

      I hope that Graham Ashcraft can shake this thing about falling apart in the 4th or 5th inning.

      Outrighting Benson to AA? No, that isn’t going to happen; he is still a pretty talented commodity, and may find himself in AAA. George Foster got sent back to AAA in 1973 (after riding the pines for most of 1972), and really struggled for a while, then turned it on and got called up in Sept 73 and never looked back. More likely that Ramos is waived after he returns from the DL if they want to bring up CES and open a spot on the 40 man.
      Many of us had high hopes for Henry, but he has just not hit very well at the ML level, and you can’t blame it on youth and inexperience.

      • SteveAReno

        Henry Ramos has barely had a chance with 18 games and 62 AB. You draw a conclusion way too soon.

    • jmb

      Signing Myers was the ’23 version of signing Pham in ’22 or signing Naquin in ’21. It worked the first two times. We’ll see if Myers can turn things around. Obviously, ownership or management hopes he can and is willing to give up outs to let him try.

  8. MK

    India and Friedl at the top of the lineup remind me of the combination of Sandberg and Dernier when they led off for a successful Cubs team in the 80’s. Harry Carry used to call the the Daily Double.

  9. west larry

    msn had the 30 mlb managers ranked. David Bell was comment.

      • David

        Seems high? Well, that would be Harry Stoner, if you get my drift.

        Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more…

      • Harry Stoner

        Not really such a ‘good one’.

        Or clever, even.

        Now it’s clear you have never heard of the great series of hard-boiled detective novels set in Cincinnati, written by Jonathan Valin: The Harry Stoner Mysteries.

        But if you want to make other Beavis and Butthead quality assumptions, go right ahead.

  10. MBS

    I like the idea of India moving into a RBI spot in the lineup. He maybe our current Barry Larking, where he’s our best leadoff hitter, cleanup hitter, and the rest to. I think once McLain acclimates to the MLB, he’ll be the leadoff hitter. He had what a 12 or 13 pitch AB the other day.

    • MBS

      If I can’t have a time machine, can I please get an edit button. Larkin

    • jmb

      Friedl is your lead-off hitter. India also works. McLain has too much power to be wasted at the #1 slot.

  11. Old-school

    EDLC is not playing in Syracuse tonight after yesterdays off day . Alejo Lopez at SS.

    • magi210

      Baseballs everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.

    • Melvin

      That is interesting. Yes Lopez can play SS as a BACKUP which is what David Bell would have used him as which is why we should have kept Moreta. Lopez could have done just as much for us as Newman while being a switch hitter. Oh well. 🙂

      • earmbrister

        Lopez is NOT a SS. In 8 minor league seasons he has 2330 innings at 2B, 1208 innings at 3B, and 107 innings at SS. And in MLB he has zero innings at SS. None of his various managers view him as anything but a stopgap at SS.

      • jmb

        Newman was acquired because Barerro was an unknown quantity. Now that Barerro is doing okay (just okay), and Lopez and Reynolds are tearing up AAA (but neither of whom looked good in the spring), it’s easy to go back and question giving up Moreta (esp. since he’s doing well). But, yes, I was very surprised at the trade. Just one of those things. Newman now is completely unneeded. Some contender may be interested in him in July (Boston? Angels? Yanks? LA?). But what will he bring back? It would have to be a prospect as good as Moreta, or Krall won’t be able to save face.

      • Melvin

        Lopez is probably NOT a regular every day SS but he could fill a BACKUP role which is only what the Reds needed. He also can hit as good or better than Newman as I said switch hitting.