The Cincinnati Reds made a set of three roster moves today prior to the start of their weekend series in St. Louis against the Cardinals. Outfielder Wil Myers is heading to Triple-A to begin a rehab assignment with the Louisville Bats, who are currently in Columbus. He’ll join Joey Votto, Henry Ramos, and Casey Legumina as rehabbers on the current Bats roster. Cincinnati also optioned right-handed reliever Eduardo Salazar to Triple-A and called up right-handed reliever Joel Kuhnel from Triple-A.

Wil Myers initially went on the injured list while dealing with kidney stones, but it was also later revealed that his shoulder had been bothering him a little bit as well. He had been struggling at the plate this season, hitting just .189/.257/.283 through his 37 games played this year. Last season he also got out to a slow start in San Diego before winding up on the injured list. Once he was healthy and returned he hit .285/.349/.482 for the Padres. Hopefully he can repeat that this season.

Eduardo Salazar may be the victim of simply having options available and not being available to pitch tonight. The right-handed reliever threw 2.0 shutout innings on Thursday against the Dodgers and with Graham Ashcraft having to exit the game early after being hit by a comebacker, the Reds bullpen needs guys who can pitch tonight and tomorrow. Salazar, thanks to his performance in the previous game, probably won’t be able to do that and now he gets to head to Triple-A because of it.

Taking his place on the roster is Joel Kuhnel. His first outing of 2023 came with the Cincinnati Reds and it didn’t go well as he allowed three runs on five hits and a walk in 2.0 innings. He was optioned to Triple-A after that and it’s where he’s been since. Things haven’t exactly gone well with Louisville as he’s posted a 7.13 ERA while allowing 31 hits in 24.0 innings, walked 11 batters, and struck out just 15. Over his last seven outings he’s posted an ERA of 4.50 with four walks and seven strikeouts.

33 Responses

  1. AMDG

    I’m liking this trend…

    Votto and Vosler in AAA. And now Myers.

    Meanwhile, McLain, Abbott, and De La Cruz are up in Cincy.

    Now, if they can just swap Casali down to L’ville and bring up CES…

    • AllTheHype

      Votto and Myers were not optioned, so they will be up in Cincy when their rehab days run out.

      • jmb

        When does it run out, do you know? 2 weeks? Or is it a certain number of games? Votto didn’t play yesterday. Votto and Myers up will mean Barrero and Fairchild or Benson down, and the third will go when Senzel returns. So then how do you get CES up to the bigs?

      • JayTheRed

        20 days from the start of their rehabs is the limit except for pitchers get more time.

    • SlippinJimmy

      So it sounds to me, like they’re basically just replacing the “Reds” with “Bats” and the “Bats” with “Reds.”

      Poor Bats…

  2. Kevin H

    Reds are gonna have some decisions to make soon. Ingards to the rehabbing players.

    Plus you have CES who is knocking on the door.

  3. J

    I wonder how many games the Reds have lost over the past few years because they were more concerned about having one additional bad reliever available than one additional hitter who might actually help them win a game.

    • old-school

      make it 2. Ricky Karcher on his way up, AShcraft to the IL.

      • CI3J

        So now 2 of the “Big 3” are out injured.

        Not ideal.

      • jmb

        Poor move, as far as I’m concerned. Karcher hasn’t pitched well at all. Though, it may be one of those, Let’s see how you do and if you don’t do you’ll be DFA’d deals, a call up as a preface to a pink slip.

      • old-school

        I think Legumina is close so it may be a matter of a few days for low leverage situations to eat innings – like when the Reds are up 10-2 tonight on the Dirty Birds and need someone to pitch the 8th and 9 innings.

      • jmb

        Kuhnel is up too. He, Karcher, and F. Cruz hold valuable spots on the 40-man. When Ashcroft finds his mojo and Lodolo returns, Weaver will need to be put in the pen. Maybe Williamson too. Stout too could be called up for the pen. Duarte and Busenitz are also doing well at AAA. I’m all for giving Brett Kennedy a shot at Weaver’s rotation spot. But Kuhnel, Karcher, and F. Cruz have got to be DFA’d. Most likely no one would claim them, anyway, and they’d be off the 40-man.

      • David

        Karcher and Kuhnel were likely recalled because they were on the 40 man.
        That’s the only reason.
        Maybe if they get bombed in the Majors, the Reds will let them go, DFA off the 40 man. Who would really want them?

        Salazar pitched ok for a rookie that was rushed up through AA then AAA. He had one really bad outing.

  4. GPod

    Can the Reds just trade or somehow rid themselves of Myers when his rehab is over

    • CI3J

      They could always release him, but I suspect they’re hoping he’ll turn it on and then can be traded at the deadline.

      Even if that’s the plan, they won’t get very much back for him. However, they will at least recoup some of his salary, which I’m guessing is the main motivating factor.

    • old-school

      He has no trade value and he has $7.5 million in exit fees. Reds arent doing either. Hes going to play RF every day and Krall hoping he hits a hot 6 weeks from june 20 or so to the trade deadline. I get people dont like that but that’s the reality of the situation. Same with CES at first base. Votto is coming back in a week or so and is going to play a lot of 1b and probably some days at DH. Reds arent bringing up CES to sit or play partially. With Stephenson as a DH 60% of the time, the other catchers take up a spot. Until the Myers/Votto/ 3 catcher situations play out, CES is blocked.

      • jmb

        Yeah, Maile needs to go (and Cleveland would probably love to have him back, since they’ve gotten so little offense from their catchers). I like him, but they just don’t need 3 catchers, and they’ve even got two hot-hitting catchers at AAA. Casali could be released instead, of course, but it may be that he’s a good presence in the clubhouse. and he has no trade value and a tricky contract.

      • David

        Well, a little over a third of the season is over, so the Reds still owe Myers something like $5 Mil (estimated).
        He is not a good outfielder, and is not hitting. Out on the interstate.
        It will be interesting if he does not hit at all on his AAA rehab, and then they promote him to the Reds. Or maybe he will hit.
        He was supposed to be this year’s Brandon Drury, but no such thing has happened…yet.

        I give Joey the benefit of the doubt, as he had very serious surgery on his shoulder. He was playing hurt for years, literally.
        Joey has always been a grinder, and has likely been working very hard at rehabbing his shoulder. I hope he gets his stroke together at AAA, and can come back and contribute. That would be fun for him, the team, and the fans. A final hurrah for one of the best players every to play in Cincinnati.

    • LDS

      @Gpod, I agree. There’s got to be a sucker out there somewhere. Don’t like the thought of Votto, Vosler, Ramos, or Myers coming back to Cincinnati. Frankly, we all know if they are on the 26, they will start most games, Myers & Votto, every game. The young guns are starting to show some cohesion, don’t mess it up.

  5. Reaganspad

    I think some of the cost management ways of the Reds are starting to change. You have 2 of the 3 young guns on the IL. They were going bad before hitting the IL. If this really was Charley Finley’s Reds, they would have been optioned prior to hitting the IL to protect their service time.

    The Reds are too close to the playoffs to worry about Meyers. If he is hitting 180 when he comes off of his rehab, the will cut him. He doesn’t catch and at 180, his roster spot is worth more than that.

    We should all hope he gets well so that he does have a Joey Votto second half.

    Speaking of which, I am looking forward to a Joey Votto second half

  6. Chris

    Seems like an extremely SHORT sighted move to me. Salazar was very good, and now you have two terrible replacements, all because of the possibility that they are short on relief for tonight. I think it would make much more sense to risk not having pitching, even if you have to lose this game than to have these two horrible pitchers instead of Salazar for the next 10 days, or whatever the rule is on length of time before being able to be called up again.

    • David

      Maybe the theory is that if Karcher and Kuhnel both fail miserably in the Majors, the Reds will DFA them both off the 40 man. And would anybody really want them?

      I just hope having these two guys up here doesn’t cost us some games. The Reds are right on the verge of being competitive, and need help with their pitching, not two loadstones.

    • 2020ball

      Made sense to not have pitching? They should just lose a couple games instead?

      What in the world? Its the long man in the bullpen for crissakes. Step back from the ledge.

  7. JayTheRed

    Karcher and Kuhne are not going to help this team. Salazar has done a good job since his initial outing. Wishing these moves didn’t happen. Ashcraft, I feel like he is injured and was trying to stick with it and not say anything because he knows the team is strapped for good starting pitching. He tried pitching through whatever is wrong with him.

    • 2020ball

      I really dont think the drop off from Salazar is that great, he’ll be back on the team soon, this is just using option flexibility. I see absolutely nothing wrong with it. Salazar isn’t helping the team if he’s injured and neither is another player, so protect those arms for the long haul 1000%. Small fish as usual.

    • greenmtred

      Did Ashcraft go on the IL because of some longer-term injury? It was my impression that it was being hit by the batted ball yesterday that did it.

  8. Redgoggles

    I think it’s 40 man roster management. They will DFA them and “risk” exposing them to waivers in the hopes they can get them back to Louisville but off the 40 man as they are going to need their spots back soon for Votto/Myers/et al.

  9. Roger Garrett

    Old Big Ed commented a few weeks that outside of the 2 vet catchers and with Myers and Joey out the Reds position players are all under 30 years old.He went further and said with the exception of Senzel,now on the IL and Newman the rest have 3 years or less in the big leagues.Now we know that Myers and Joey will start and play a lot but until that happens we can just set back and watch a new era of Reds baseball taking place.Hats off to Krall for looking ahead so for now we just set back and enjoy watching these guys play.This is still a year of sorting and their is hope going forward because their is a new core developing and they are very talented and IF Bob can spend some money to fill in the holes next year well why not the Reds in 2024 and beyond.India EDLC Steer Ty Steve and Little Mac are above average players and even though it hasn’t happened so far Greene,Lodolo,Ashcraft and yes Abbott have the stuff to be really good at this level.Brighter days are ahead for Reds fans.I have always said just let the young guys play and either by design or luck or the stars lining up just right its happening and Krall deserves a ton of credit

  10. Laura

    If Myers doesn’t hit at AAA, he should be cut. Don’t compound the problem with him by continuing to waste a 40 man roster spot (if they bring him back up to Cin). If he can’t hit AAA pitchers, he will not hit MLB pitchers. FYI to the Reds FO – no one is going to want to trade for him – nobody wanted him last winter and nobody wants him now. Like the song says – Know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em.

    • PTBNL

      know when to walk away and know when to run. LOL.

      • Kevin H

        You got count your money while sittin at the table. Lol

    • Doug Gray

      The amount of guys who have gone to Triple-A on a rehab assignment and not hit, then returned to the big leagues and hit just fine (immediately) is a list that is very, very, very long.