It wasn’t easy. And it wasn’t pretty. But the Cincinnati Reds headed to Kansas City to begin this week and walked off of the field on Wednesday night with a 3-game sweep after committing four errors and needing two pitchers in the 9th inning to hold on for a 7-4 win. It was Cincinnati’s 5th victory in a row.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (34-35)
7 7 4
Kansas City Royals (18-50)
4 15 0
W: Lively (4-4) L: Lynch (0-3) SV: Diaz (17)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Ben Lively found himself in trouble in the bottom of the 1st inning when he gave up back-to-back 2-out singles to MJ Melendez and Bobby Witt Jr. that also included an error that put them at second and third base. He got out of the jam by striking out Michael Massey to end the inning. In the top of the 2nd inning Spencer Steer got the Reds rolling with a 414-foot solo home run.

Kansas City would get a little rally going in the bottom of the 3rd. Nick Pratto led off with a double and came around to score on a single by Bobby Witt Jr. that tied up the game. That single led to runners on second and third with one out, but Lively worked his way around both runners to escape with just one run allowed.

That turned out to be big because the Reds went to work in the top of the 4th after Matt McLain bunted for a single to lead off the inning. Three pitches later Jonathan India hit a bloop double into shallow left field that clanked off of the glove of a diving left fielder and allowed McLain to score on the play and give Cincinnati a 2-1 lead.

In the top of the 5th the Reds started playing home run derby. Stuart Fairchild hit a 1-out solo home run. Matt McLain came up with two men on and two outs and hit a 428-foot 3-run home run that made it 6-1. Jonathan India then followed with a solo homer of his own to extend the lead to 7-1.

Kansas City would get to Ben Lively in the bottom of the 6th. Edward Olivares led off with a single and would come around to score on a 2-out double from Dairon Blanco that cut the Reds lead to 7-2. Cincinnati went to the bullpen from there, bringing in Alex Young to face lefty Nick Pratto and the move paid off as he would ground out to end the inning.

Young returned to the mound to begin the bottom of the 7th and gave up a triple off of the wall in center to start the inning. A ground out followed to bring in the run and made it 7-3. Michael Massey walked to follow and Cincinnati then went to the bullpen and brought in Buck Farmer. He’d give up a single, but work around two men on by getting Nicky Lopez to ground out to end the inning with no further damage and hold onto a 4-run lead.

Fernando Cruz pitched a shutout bottom of the 8th inning for the Reds. Cincinnati went quietly in the top of the 9th, setting up Daniel Duarte for the opportunity to close out the series with three outs before giving up four runs. After getting a ground out to start the inning he gave up a single and a walk before getting a grounder to third that Kevin Newman threw over the head of Spencer Steer at first, bringing in a run and placing runners on second and third.

That was enough for David Bell who called on Alexis Diaz to try and lock things down. Instead he hit the first batter he saw to load the bases. Diaz did what he does, though. He locked in, struck out Freddy Fermin and then got a grounder to short to end the game and seal the Cincinnati Reds sweep.

Key Moment of the Game

Alexis Diaz coming in and closing out the game, stranding the bases loaded in the 9th.

Notes Worth Noting

Cincinnati is now 34-35 and just 1.5 games out of first place in the National League Central.

Matt McLain is now hitting .328/.379/.516 through his first 28 big league games.

Alexis Diaz picked up his 17th save in his 17th opportunity. He lowered his ERA to 1.61 on the year. Diaz now has 50 strikeouts in 28.0 innings in 2023.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Houston Astros

Thursday June 16th, 8:10pm ET

Andrew Abbott (2-0, 0.00 ERA) vs TBA

181 Responses

  1. VaRedsFan

    Everybody in the lineup is not going to play a perfect game every night.
    Enough guys performed well enough to pick those up that didn’t. The guys had each others backs tonight, and pulled out the win.

  2. LDS

    Despite several more years of control, the Reds need to lock up Diaz. If he keeps progressing, they won’t be able to hold on to him at free agency.

  3. Melvin

    Post game Reds, “America’s Team”. I love it. On flag day no less. Change the black trim to navy blue just in time for the 4th of July. 🙂 Go Red, White, and Blue. Go Reds! 🙂

    • CI3J

      Well, they DO play at “Great American Ballpark”…

  4. Tom Reeves

    The Reds are not hitting on all cylinders but still finding a way to win. Almost back to .500 and if Pirates lose again to the Cubbies tomorrow, the Reds could be within striking distance when they play on Friday.

    Glad Bell is allowing EDLC to struggle offensively. This reminds of Man of Steel when Superman had to adjust to the Kryptonian Ship’s atmosphere. It’s painful but temporary as he levels-up.

    EDLC is like if Votto, Hamilton, and Eric Davis had a love child.

    And McLain is a stud.

    • MFG

      EDLC is like if Votto, Hamilton, and Eric Davis had a love child- LOL!
      Good point and Mclain is a stud and he is a gamer!

    • Michael


      I am in awe of anyone who works Man Of Steel and this love child reference into the same post. Well done sir.

      # bringbackcavil

  5. LDS

    Despite several more years of control, the Reds need to lock up Diaz. If he keeps progressing, they won’t be able to hold on to him at free agency.

    • Melvin

      Can’t imagine a better reliever in baseball.

      • JayTheRed

        Now let Cincy add Chapman for the 8th and 9th when Diaz is tired or pitched too much.

      • Melvin

        Oooh. Don’t get me excited like that. He is within our grasp and in my opinion would make us favorites to win the division.

      • AMDG

        If the Reds gave away Chapman in his prime in exchange for 4 deadweight prospects, I would hope they can add him back to the roster many years later for perhaps only 2 bottom-50 prospects. 🙂

    • SultanofSwaff

      He’s as good as his brother, and he got $100 mil.

      Yes, like I said, the Reds need to start handing out extensions like Halloween candy….gonna save them money in the long run. Might be tough though as India, McLain, and EDLC are all repped by Boras.

      • MBS

        Diaz’s brother was a FA. Our Diaz has 4.5 years left of team control, his contract would be substantially less,

  6. Indy Red Man

    It’s been fun! Now try to keep that momentum in Houston. Abbott, HG, and Weaver. Strange park dimensions wise, but they won the series in Fenway

      • Melvin

        Did you just think that up? Can I use it? 😉

      • Jim Walker

        Melvin, That is an old Al Davis (deceased NFL Raiders owner) slogan. Al started the Raiders in Oakland in the old AFL. He was the guy that took them to LA and then back to Oakland. He passed in 2011.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. I know I’ve heard it before. Just having a little fun. 🙂

      • Jim Walker

        Melvin>>> figured you probably knew but that there might be some “youngsters” around that didn’t 😉

        Davis had a reputation for being a bit of a penny pincher as an owner at least in the early AFL days of the Raiders; but, unlike some past and current Cincinnati sports owners, he never let that get in the way of trying to win.

        For example, to the best of my knowledge, the Raiders were the 1st major professional football operation to use netting behind the goalposts to keep the ball from going into the stands on the extra point and field goal attempts. In the circles I moved in those days we actually joked about this and called them the Oakland cheapie screens.

      • Melvin

        You mean I’m not a youngster? 🙂

  7. Bdh

    The reds had 34 wins going into the all star break last year

  8. Redsvol

    Good offensive night. A win is a win but sheesh – the last couple games won’t get it done against decent competition. 4 errors and the bullpen unable to keep a 6 run lead from having to go the closer. Diaz has 29 appearances already – hopefully we don’t get him injured.

    This team is much better when Friedl and Fraley are part of the starting lineup. Lively just seems to have a knack for scraping by. A big part of that is avoiding the walks. I’m pulling for the guy.

    • David

      Friedl has good splits with left handed pitching. He should be playing everyday, regardless of the handedness of the pitcher. But David Bell does like to play knifey-spoony.

      Fraley….not so much. Several people that have seen him play (and are on this here blog), and occasionally hit against left handers have indicated that yes, he struggles with a left-handed pitcher.

      I have noticed that so far, EDLC does not hit left handers very well, being a switch hitter. According to his stats, he is hitting just 0.083 in the Bigs against lefties, and 0.318 against righties.

      • greenmtred

        David: It might be lefty/righty matchups, but it may be a day of rest against a weak opponent. Remember that Friedl has recently dealt with hamstring and oblique injuries; both capable of lingering.

      • Chris

        Really, you are judging EDLC on his short term in the big league’s already. Maybe reference how he hits lefties in the minors. I believe his numbers are actually better against lefties than righties in AAA this season.

      • David

        It may very well be that most Left handed pitchers in AAA are really bad, and the left-handed pitching in the Majors is much better. The talent level of pitching in AAA level ball is all over the place. Young stars rising with great stuff (like Andrew Abbott), older pitchers hanging on as organizational depth and to fill out the pitching staff. Guys still struggling to get it all together, and are erratic.

        I am sure that EDLC will succeed against lefties in the Majors. It’s just that at this moment, he is hitting pretty poorly against them.

  9. Indy Red Man

    Can’t sweep in KC with Steer/Fraley playing LF/RF and Steer has to go somewhere with the Louisville boys on the way? They might be able to get away with it in our OF, but I don’t see where Myers fits in? If he’s not raking then he can’t outplay the guys in front of him in any other phase?

    • DHud

      I think steer in LF could be just fine

      Lord help us if we survived the years of Dunn and Kearns out there…

      • David

        Kearns was a good outfielder. Dunn was pretty terrible.

        Or turrible. 😉
        A guy born to be a DH.

        I remember the days when it was Dunn, Ryan Freel and Kearns. Watching little Ryan Freel (5’10”?) walking out of the dugout to the outfield alongside Dunn (6’6″) was pretty hilarious.

  10. RedlegScott

    Three dingers – that always helps. Fairchild making a case for himself once again. Barrero, not so much, but not playing regularly. Elly struggling, but yes, let him work through it. Hope he shows up in Houston. Lively – great job. And Diaz? No need to say a thing. Four errors? CES in Houston? Let’s hope so.

    • CFD3000

      I didn’t see the game, but the game log says Barrero had 3 hard hit balls with nothing to show for it, and the RLN comments suggest he was robbed at least twice. No way I’m giving up on him, but he needs at bats. If Bell won’t play him more than once a week and only then against a lefty he needs to be back in Louisville getting 25 at bats a week.

    • Luke J

      Guessing you didn’t watch the game, but looked at the box score. Barrero hit ropes all night, he was just unlucky they were right at people or the defense made spectacular plays. In the outfield, he misplayed a line drive that carried farther than it appeared, which while isn’t good, is also not all that uncommon. He did however make several nice plays in the outfield. I don’t fault him for missing a ball as he jumped toward the wall. Those plays are great when you make them, but you don’t expect them.

      • RedlegScott

        You’re right, I didn’t watch but checked the box. I later saw a replay of one of the robbings. What are we going to do with this overloaded roster? It’s like an ant farm! Lol

      • Chris

        Huh? He missed a ball at the wall that any plus CFer catches, that turned into a triple. He miss played the hard line drive that you mentioned, and he bobbled a hit that went for an error. He had his worst day in CF since he’s been playing there (3 clear cut miscues). As for his hitting, he got robbed maybe once, but balls were hit right at guys; one of them was a ball he hit hard to 3rd, but had he left the clear cut out of the strike zone pitch alone, he would have had ball 4 instead of a ground out to 3rd. Seems a lot of grace is given this kid. I like him a lot, and he seems like a wonderful young man, but he will not be a part of this team next year. He is destined for AAA and then a trade.

      • greenmtred

        That’s right, Chris, but very few hitters have specific control of where the ball goes after they hit it. Barrero hit them hard and that’s a good sign.

      • Melvin

        greenmtred – He could have easily been 3 – 3. Hit the ball well.

  11. RedlegScott

    Right, Redsvol. We’ll see how they do at Houston. Fortunately, we have Greene and Abbott starting.

  12. Optimist

    They’re beating bad teams. That’s goal number one for an improving team. Need to tighten things up a bit for Houston.

    • Bdh

      10-15 against teams currently over .500
      4-7 against teams currently .500
      20-13 against teams currently below .500

      • Chris

        Those numbers are a little deceiving. They beat up on the Red Sox who had a winning record at the time, and they beat of on the Dodgers as well. This team appears to be a completely different team than prior to the Red Sox series. After the Yankees sweep, this team has lost just ONE series.

    • JB WV

      Sloppy play but unexpected power to finish the sweep. Maybe a little road fatigue. Well-timed day off. McClain is a strong little dude.

  13. David

    Joey Votto was 1 – 4 tonight at Louisville, with 2 K’s, and left 5 men on base, as the Riverbats got curb stomped by the St. Paul Saints, 11-3.

    Brian Kennedy, over aged phenom, got hit for 4 runs in 4 innings.
    Myers was 2 – 4
    Senzel was 0-4, with 2 k’s.
    Ramos was 1 – 5

    St. Paul seems to have the Bats’ number.

    • Grand Salami

      Those rehab assignments are producing a ton of confidence that those guys will be back and contributing. Especially Votto, he’s looked similar to before his hiatus. No major improvement in his bat speed.

      • Doug Gray

        Joey is striking out half as often as he was the first go-around on rehab. His swing looks nothing like it did the first go-around.

  14. Tim

    Let Barrerro get his ABs in Louisville and either let him work on another position there or play SS and build trade value. CES needs to be brought up and the primary DH with TySteve catching.

  15. redfanorbust

    I agree LDS. What that would cost the Reds? Maybe Diaz holds out so he can go pitch with his brother on a team with a uber rich owner? I wonder what the Mets would give up for him in a trade?

    • Redsvol

      If we’re out of it by August 1st we have to listen. Some playoff ready team is going to offer a lot for Diaz. I’m not saying trade him but it would be interesting to see what the offers are.

      At some point he is going to get expensive (2/3 years) or we are going to injure him thru overuse and then his value will plummet. Ah what am I saying, we need him this year – Maybe in the off season or at next years deadline.

      • wkuchad

        It would have to be a huge overpayment for me to even consider trading Diaz. I’m ready to go ALL in starting next year, and Diaz will be part of that.

        Our bullpen has been putrid the last several years. I don’t want to go back to that.

  16. CI3J

    The Astros are going to be without their best hitter, Yordan Alvarez, who just went on the DL today. He leads their team in HR (17), RBI (55) and OBP (.388).

    I guess if you have to play the Astros, this is a “strike while the iron’s hot” kind of situation. They’re still going to be a tough team to beat, but with Alvarez out, their offense is honestly not that much better than the Reds.

    • VaRedsFan

      Pena has also been on the shelf the last 3 days

    • The Duke

      Altuve has had nagging injuries all season

  17. Jim t

    Certainly wasn’t pretty but I’ll take a win. Would love to go into Houston and take 2 of 3.

    Love the way the this team steps up. Seems it’s someone different everyday.

  18. AMDG

    In his rookie season, thru his first 6 games Jonathan India had a 1.099 OPS

    But he struggled mightily after that, and after 20 more big league games, his OPS had fallen to 0.616

    But he was given the chance to work thru it, given every day at bats, and had a 0.872 OPS the rest of the way.

    Somewhat similarly, EDLC had a 1.118 OPS after his first 6 games, but that has steadily fallen ever since.

    But hopefully he will be given the chance to work thru it, as he certainly seems to have the ability, that if given the chance, can rebound in a big way.

    • Harry Stoner

      I don’t think anyone suggests EDLC should hit the pine, but a night off…Senzel to 3B…might not hurt.

      I do think they should move him out of #4…that was premature and likely adding undue pressure.

      Leadoff would have been a more fun risk to take…with McLain behind him.

      Maybe he’d see an occasional FB?


        I don’t believe where he bats in the lineup has anything to do with how he performs. He’s not flailing away at a ton of bad pitches trying to hit 5-run homers. Until he becomes a detriment to the team, keep him where he is.

        What would that sound like mentally anyway? “I’m batting 4th, so I have to try harder.” or “I’m batting 6th, it’s not as important, therefore it’s OK if i fail more.”

      • VaRedsFan

        I don’t believe where I guy hits in the order affects how he hits. He doesn’t appear to up there flailing at every pitch trying to hit a 5 run HR. Until it’s detrimental to the team, i think he’s fine where he is.

        How would that work mentally for a player anyway? “I’m hitting 4th, so I need to try to do more?” or I’m hitting 6th, so there’s no pressure to try as hard, and it’s OK if I fail more often.”

        I see it as a guy is up there trying his hardest, no matter where he is batting, and it never enters his mind during a plate appearance.

      • Harry Stoner

        I guess you didn’t read India’s comments when he was switched from batting leadoff to #3.

        No psychological pressure to batting cleanup in MLB?


      • Kevin H

        I like the idea of De La Cruz batting lead off. Could be fun to watch as you mentioned McLain batting 2nd and India 3rd. Hmmmm

    • VaRedsFan

      Nice post AMGD – He just needs to relax, and he’ll be OK. To me, it looks like he’s being less aggressive. Maybe trying to guess at how he’s going to be pitched to. He’s taken at least 3 fastballs down the middle for strike outs.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Like Sam mentioned on the post game (and we can see with our eyes), the league has figured out rather quickly you pitch EDLC down in the zone because he crushes anything up. Now we’ll see if he can adjust quickly.

      Similarly, the book on McLain seems to be fastballs at the letters and sliders away. He’s been scuffling a bit with his plate discipline in those zones but last night in particular he seems to have righted the ship.

      Let’s also remember Steer hit .211 last year. It takes time.

  19. Indy Red Man

    I don’t see how Fairchild & Benson make it with all these guys coming up? Not unless they continue to leave CES at AAA. I just hope they have a quick plug on Myers and Joey has the grace to step away if need be?
    Will they actually cut Casali and/or Newman? They’ve both been contributors in their own way and this organization has always valued “grit” and salary more then numbers anyway. Its going to be interesting and potentially frustrating. Last night showed that power matters and CES should’ve been up long ago

    • Jim Walker

      IRM>> As you suggested above, perhaps at GABP an outfield of Steer and Fraley on the corners (with Senzel presumably platooning with Fraley) might work at GABP but would leave them exposed in a lot of larger road venues.

      The turnaround time for position guys on option is 10 days. The annual option allows for a guy to be called up/ sent down 5 times within the season. So theoretically, they could bounce Fairchild back and forth between MLB and AAA to have him up for the road trips into cities with larger outfields.

      Who knows, just as he has over the last week, Fairchild might even build and maintain a stronger offensive presence by playing every day while at AAA versus getting hit and miss PAs at MLB as part of a platoon. But the other side of that coin is that every time Fairchild was up, another position guy would have to be sent back to create a spot for him. And who is that, Fraley, Steer, Senzel? And how does that move ripple through the combined team effectiveness?

      At some point, I suspect the team’ number crunchers are going to tell the baseball people Fraley’s OPS versus RH pitching (.816 career; .781 in 2023) is not high enough to offset the issues his OPS vs LH pitching and defensive metrics shortcomings pose compared to other alternatives available to the team. Stay tuned.

      • SultanofSwaff

        You could apply the Fraley logic to Senzel too. I mean, I’d rather shed the guy who can’t hit RHP, which is 70% of all pitchers. Or…..are you better off keeping Benson over Fraley as he provides more all-around value? So many roster moves, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. What scares me the most, and it’s been the Reds achille’s heel forever, is the tendency to bow to veteran privilege, yet veterans didn’t get us here and won’t be the reason they are competitive moving forward.

      • old-school

        @ Jim

        Fraleys OPS in 2023 is .781 vs ALL_COMERS

        Against lefties he is 1-23 and batting .043 with an OPS of .235

        Against Righties, Fraley slash line is .295/.382/483/.866 with a wRC + of 129

        The reds arent using Fraley against lefties x a few times a week in low leverage situations when it makes no sense to pinch hit for him….winning 7-1 in the 8th inning, etc

        Fairchild has an OPS of .711 against RH pitching and wRC+ of 86

        Fraley is a Sliver slugger against RH pitching.
        Fairchild is below average against RH pitching.

        If you are comparing Fraley head to head with Fairchild against RH pitching, its a no-brainer. Comparing them against lefties isnt relevant because the Reds dont play Fraley against lefties.

      • Jim Walker

        OS>> I am looking at the team as a whole. At the start of the season, Fraley was clearly the best LH hitter available coming off a season (2022) where he had an OPS of .861 versus RH pitching and an overall OPS of .812. He was clearly worth accommodating by platooning.

        But what has transpired in the last 2.5 months? Friedl has grown and surpassed Fraley as the top LH batter versus RH pitching with the current 2023 OPS vs RH pitching of .871, even better than Fraley had in 2022. Additionally, Friedl does not require a platoon partner (.792 OPS vs LH pitching; overall OPS .861). At the same time, Fraley’s OPS vs RH pitching has dropped ~ .080 to .781 in 2023.

        Meanwhile. the arrival of EDLC will inevitably push Fraley back to the 3rd best LH hitter available and not require a platoon partner.

        Steer has emerged although batting from the right side with an OPS of .825 vs RH pitching and overall OPS of .831. McLain has an .832 OPS vs RH pitching. India has an .816 OPS vs RH pitching in 2023. CES (RH batter) has an OPS> 1.000 vs RH pitching at AAA. These all further depreciate Fraley’s value to the Reds.

        The Reds have reached a point where they no longer need to burn a roster spot on a guy who is essentially a 1-dimensional player versus pitchers from one side of the plate. They can afford an OF who is nominally a league average offensive player regardless of his name or which side of the plate he bats from. Put this OF on a corner or put this guy in CF and move Friedl to a corner to be done with platooning. Use Fraley as the lead player to nab a middle of the rotation starting pitcher.

      • Jim Walker

        @Sultan> I agree with you. As I detailed above to OS. The earth has really shifted in the last 2+ months. The Reds no longer need to burn 2 roster spots to support an OF platoon. And heavens yes, I also agree don’t go back to the guys who didn’t get them to almost .500 😉

      • old-school

        @ Jim
        Review your numbers. You are saying Fraley has a .781 OPS against RH pitching. That is factually incorrect. He has a .781 OPS for 2023 combined against righties and lefties. His 1-24 in 27 PA against lefties drags his overall OPS down to .781. Again, the Reds usage of him renders this irrelevant because he rarely plays against lefties- ~2 at bats per week in low leverage situations and less of late. Hes had 27 PA in 11 weeks hitting against lefties.

        His OPS against RH pitching is All star level and still outstanding. Nothing seismic has happened. He crushes RH pitching. His OPS against righties is .866. Both Fraley and Friedl against RH pitching are key cogs in the lineup against RH pitching and both are important in lineup construction against RH pitching.

      • Jim Walker

        OS> you are correct. Fraley’s OPS vs RH pitching in 2023 is at .866. But more than a third of the way through the season, if his overall OPS is .781, it doesn’t hold up that he does not take PAs against LH pitching. He does get caught facing LH pitching and is very poor versus them.

        I stand by what I said that Fraley is the guy to move for a starting pitcher. With the lineup I listed vs RH pitching (in no particular order) of Freidl, EDLC, Steer, McLain, India, and CES, the Reds don’t need a guy whose only strength is hitting RH pitching and certainly don’t need him as much as starting pitching help or at the cost of better OF defense if the additional OF is nominally league average at offense.

        Folks here used to lament the Reds needed to be like the Cards. Just as the Cards have dealt guys over the years like David Freese and Harrison Bader to make their whole team better, Fraley is a guy to move to get the most with the least impact on the Reds.

      • Redsvol

        @jim. You make a thoughtful argument. However, for all the shortcomings you listed for Fraley means that he isn’t landing us a middle of the rotation starter. He just hasn’t been doing it all that long and he has the shortcomings you mentioned.

        I mean daulton Varsho -a very competent fielder and hitter brought back a minor league catcher who had some experts worried about the hit tool.

        Established Middle of the rotation starters with any type of control are really valuable. Fraley might get us a single A pitcher with upside and a similar hitter. probably not in the top 10 of an organization. Fraley is more valuable to us than that. Mid-rotation with control starter will cost 3 very good prospects. Demand for them is gonna be thru the roof.

      • Jim Walker

        RedsVol>> What would be your role for Fraley and what of the 2nd roster spot burned if his role is other than off the bench late in games?

      • Tom Diesman

        Why does a roster spot have to be burned to carry a RH hitting 4th/5th OF who hit’s LHs well? They’re not hard to find and you’re going to have a 4th/5th OF anyway. There’s way too much being made of having a good hitting LH hitter who needs a platoon partner, it is not a bad thing. Fraley, (who can’t hit LHs don’t you know) being platooned is ~480 PA of a .800+ OPS. That’s a good thing.

      • old-school

        @ Jim.

        It does add up when you are 1-24 on the season hitting against lefties. That’s an .043 BA and Sub. 300 OPS and a huge drag despite the short sample size on total OPS. He’s had 27 plate appearances hitting left handed the entire season and 170 PA against righties so 86% of his at bats are against righties. The season is 11 weeks old so he gets about 2 at bats per week against a lefty pitcher and these are low leverage situations.

        Fraley is a great hitter against right handed pitching and seeing that 75% ish of pitchers are RH, he’s on the correct side of a platoon

        His wRC+ is 129 against Righties.
        Fairchild wRC+ is 86.

        Thats a big difference. Fraley brings tremendous value to a lineup with his strong lefty bat against righties.

      • Chris

        This whole topic is an example of ignoring traditional stats. The fact is, Fraley with all the platooning and all the missed games now, STILL leads the team in RBI. Spin that all day long, but the number doesn’t lie. Fraley is WAY more valuable than Benson, Fairchild, and Barrero.

      • Jim Walker

        OS>> So, far in 2023, Fraley has 0.6 bWAR on 197 PAs and Fairchild as 0.4 bWAR on 182 PAs. That’s basically tweedle dee dee and teedle dee dum in terms of net value to the team.

    • Redsvol

      @Jim – I don’t see it as burning a roster spot because he can’t hit lefties. That’s an invalid choice. In a non-salary cap world, we’re always going to have to play lefty-righty matchups. People get mad at Bell (me included) but matchups matter when you don’t have Juan Soto and Aaron Judge in your outfield. So, we’re likely always in a position where we need to find inexpensive left handed outfielders who can hit right handers at a high clip.

      If he was a right hander you would have a better case because most starting pitchers are not left handed. Regardless, I like the idea of finding the players that we can afford to trade players we don’t have in the system – as long as the rebuild isn’t sacrificed too much. I love the enthusiasm for the playoffs this year but we simply don’t have the pitching and every major contender is going to be after it.

      • Tampa Red

        Man, there is no universe that exists where Fairchild has more value to this Reds roster than Fraley. They don’t have nearly enough LH bats as it is, especially LH bats with power potential.

        It’s basically Friedl, Fraley, Benson and switch-hitting ELDC. Include Votto if you’d like, but that’s it at the big-league level, and near-term potential in the minors. I think they’re going to have to address that imbalance at some point soon.

  20. Still a Red

    Sure hope the power surge doesn’t go to the hitter’s heads. Keep the doubles and running game going!! Hope EDLC keeps making contact and not get frustrated trying too hard to make it happen and lose pitch selection patience. Some interesting comments from Krall re: bringing up CES on Sheldon’s blog. I think Krall has a good finger on the team’s pulse. I’m getting a sinking feeling that Votto may be done?? I’d hate to see him go out with a whimper. Would be nice if he finished with a half season of old-Joey.

  21. Doc4uk

    CES at 1B , India 2B, McClain at SS, EDLC at 3B, Stephenson at C, Steer in LF, Fraley platoons with Fairchild in RF, and Friedl platoons with Senzel in CF. Votto platoons with Myers at DH . Newman and Reynolds off the bench as versatile utility players. May need to pick one of Casali or Maille but I actually favor Maille and would convince Casali to join coaching staff and continue taking batting practice in the event of an injury. Hopkins, Benson, and Barrero need everyday bats at AAA and might serve as trade bait for a BP arm.

    Rotation includes Lively , Abbott, Greene, Williamson, and Weaver but I have little confidence in this rotation so hope Lodolo can make it back to replace Williamson.

    Bullpen needs another stud for the 7th and 8th innings and to spell Diaz at times. Chapman ?

    • VaRedsFan

      Friedl doesn’t need a platoon.

    • LDS

      Friedl doesn’t need a platoon. EDLC is better defensively at SS than McLain (and based on Doug’s posting a week or so ago, it’s not even close. Only Barrero is better defensively at SS than EDLC). McLain is better at 2nd than India. Move India back to 3rd or DH.

      • SultanofSwaff

        I think all 3 shortstops are good in their own ways and don’t see any single one being clearly superior….we should count ourselves lucky. EDLC easily has the best arm, but McLain is better on slow rollers and converting tricky hops. Barrero has all those qualities, just slightly less.

        Agree on India to 3B. Seems like an offseason type of move since it hasn’t happened yet.

    • BhamRedsFan

      We only get 11 pitchers with those 15 position players.

    • WCRon

      Friedl does not need to platoon.

      Senzel is always hurt and sadly needs to go. Nice player if he can stay healthy which he can’t.

  22. docproc

    FYI, Hopkins got 2 errors last night on strong throws to third base that hit the runners in both cases. Good catches and tags and both runners might have been out. If you weren’t watching the game, you might think he was a disaster in right field–but he wasn’t. Those were throws that Fraley and Friedl could never make.
    Sorry that he’ll likely be the first man sent down when the rehab callups begin.

    • VaRedsFan

      True, the throws were accurate, but shouldn’t have been made IMO. He gave up an extra base both times on very low percentage throws.

      • Jim Walker

        Agree, a big part of the problem was the throws were rainbow email jobs over the cutoff man which allowed the runner from 1st to take advantage of the situation.

    • IndyDoug

      He also missed a catchable foul ball late

      • Old Big Ed

        Eh, that would have been a very good catch in foul territory, considering how far he ran and how he had never played in KC before. I’m not faulting him for that. Not faulting Barrero for missing the fly at the wall in CF, either. That is a big outfield for a green CF. Barrero will be a very good defensive CF (or RF), but he likely needs to see about 50 games in AAA to get there.

  23. TR

    A sweep in KC. On to Houston. A question from some in media: What’s happened to the Reds?

  24. RedsGettingBetter

    The Reds accomplished the mission playing two of the worst team as Cards and Royals going 5-1 in the roadtrip so far. In fact, five wins at this moment secures a success in the 9-game tour. The series against Astros is tough so we would see if the team could play good baseball as they did vs LAD and takes a huge series win. Pirates will play a first-place series against Brewers so since one of two teams will win al least two, the only chance of the Reds could reach the first place this weekend is sweeping the Astros and wait the results of Pirates-Brewers series.

    • TR

      Pitt. at Cubs tonight. I’ll check it out on MLB & hope for a Cubs win.

  25. Ghostrunner_onthird

    Anyone check out MLB Central on MLB network this morning? Great breakdown piece on McLain.

  26. LT

    What do we do when the Reds have an off day?

    • J

      Life seems pointless on days such as this.

    • old-school

      Argue about lineups, roster construction, bullpen utilization, starting pitching, hypothetical trades, when to DFA overpaid underperforming old vets, which handedness combo is better or worse?

      • Roger Garrett

        Nope for me is lets discuss how the Reds top prospect in 2022 after only 400 + at bats in the big leagues strung out over 3 years with a major injury thrown is has been regulated to only playing against lefties which he doesn’t hit well against in a position he hasn’t played much who only turned 25 in April.That ought to get us through this evening and maybe some of tomorrow.

      • Greenfield Red

        I agree Roger. Jose Barrero is getting jobbed. Not only is it hurting him, but it’s hurting the Reds in the long run.

        After all that’s happened, I think the only way to save his career is a rest of the year trip to Louisville where he plays every day he can at SS… or I suppose a different position if they stick to it and not shuffle him all over the place.

      • Chris

        Or we could stop the weird obsession of Barrero and realize that after about 450 MLB plate appearances, he’s shown to be about the worst hitter in the game during that time. Remember Brandon Larson; he was supposed to be amazing too, how’d that work out? Barrero should be sent down immediately, and hopefully some GM will be like some of you and fooled into thinking Barrero is some sort of future great player, and deal for him.

    • PTBNL

      minor leagues baby:

  27. MBS

    As many mentioned above, figuring out this OF is a nightmare. The real problem is we don’t have 3 guys who you just plug in as everyday guys. Friedl is the only on of the group who could be an everyday player. Fraley and Benson have terrible splits vs LHP, Fairchild, Myers, and Hopkins are not hitting well enough to grab an everyday role. Senzel is good vs LHB, and Barrero shouldn’t play OF for the Reds until he learns how to play it in AAA.

    I’d role out the 3 LHB Friedl, Fraley, and Benson unless a LHP is starting, then I’d have Senzel, and Myers starting those games. Fairchild, Hopkins, and Barrero need to be optioned until another opportunity comes up.

    BTW I’d be super happy if we just DFA Myers, but I’m doubting they will.

    • RedlegScott

      Hopkins and Barrero, yes, but Fairchild is making a strong case for himself of late. So the question remains: Who goes down?

      • MBS

        I don’t see how they keep 6 outfielders up. Friedl, Fraley are no brainers, Senzel, and Myers are unlikely to get optioned / DFA’d. So it come down to Benson vs Fairchild.

        Benson since he’s been called up on 5/26 has a .341BA, and a .425OBP.
        Friedl since the same time 5/26 has a .236BA, and a .322OBP.

        I’d rather they DFA Myers and keep both Benson, and Fairchild.

      • MBS

        Not “Friedl”, but Fairchild. IDK where that came from, too many F’s in the OF i guess.

    • Chris

      I’ve posted it before, but here goes; outfield problem solved as well.
      Friedl – CF
      McLain – SS
      India – 2b
      EDLC – 3B
      CES – DH/1B
      Steer – LF
      Stephenson – C
      Votto 1B/DH
      Fraley/Senzel – RF

      Bench: Newman, Casali or Maile (I’d go with Maile), Fairchild or Myers.

  28. Mark Moore

    Nail-biter to say the least. But we sealed the deal and got out of Kauffman with the W. Young players who made their first trip there learned just how different that park plays. The “Bash Fest” was very fun to watch.

    I was tired … but it was a good kind of tired 😀

  29. Kevin H

    I am not one for discussing trades that may never happen.

    In saying that I recall most if not all of us talked about this year being a year to see who the Reds have and who is part of the future etc.. Most agreed starting pitching was gonna be a issue after the “big three” Well Ashcraft and Lodolo are hurt and 4th and 5th starter are no longer on the team. Abbott and Williamson join Weaver and Lively along with Greene.

    So Thoughts on trading for a team controlled pitcher who is solid and can be part of the future for the Reds without breaking the bank so to speak. Reds are 34-35 and what 2 games out of first place? Who saw that coming April 1st..

    I was one who disliked all the trades last year and have mentioned about they had a good rotation etc, however that mindset has changed as wow oh wow has Krall done wonders.

    I am sure two lower level prospects and a MLB ready player can bring a solid team controlled pitcher to the Reds. I hope this makes sense as I tend to ramble. hahahaha


    • Chris

      I would find a way to get Chapman. Much more beneficial than a starter who wouldn’t be a #1 or #2 anyway (Chapman could be used 4 times a week). We have two kids that will probably be as good as if not better than Abbott by the end of the year. My focus would be on the bullpen and securing deals with a few of these young stars of the future.

      • CI3J

        If you want Chapman, you can just sign him as a FA in the off-season. If the Reds want him, they’ll have the money to get him, and he himself said he’d like to finish his career in Cincinnati.

        However, it makes no sense to give up assets just to get him a few months earlier. Chapman is not the difference between this team making the playoffs or not. He might be good for one or two extra wins. But with the starting pitching injuries/lack of depth, this team simply isn’t ready to compete just yet.

      • Old Big Ed

        I’m with CI3J. If acquired at the deadline, Chapman would pitch about 20 innings (not counting post-season). I don’t see giving up prospects for the difference over 20 innings between Chapman and Gibaut.

        I suppose that if KC wants a prospect that we don’t really like, it might work, but I don’t see that. There will be a bidding war at some level for Chapman; he isn’t going to finish the season in KC.

      • Melvin

        I agree Chris. The more I think about it the more I believe Chapman would make us the division favorites. Just don’t give up any TOP prospects.

    • MBS

      I threw out a pretty ambitious scenario the other day, that would have us trade away India, and Fraley, plus a few decent prospects. But it was to get MLBers back in return. Namely Bieber, Giolito, Chapman, and Barlow. Obviously I don’t think Krall is going to do exactly what I want, and the other teams may want different returns, but the whole point was to trade from surplus, and fill in the gaps that we have. Namely veteran bullpen, and rotation guys. Right now our surplus is middle infield, and a deep farm.

    • Harry Stoner

      Currently the Reds are getting by with 3 serviceable fill in SP: Williamson, Lively and Weaver.

      I’m just wondering what kind of mediocre ‘innings nibbler’ the Reds could trade for without overpaying assets that would likely be that much better.

      Folks here continue to state what a premium pitching currently is and the Reds reaped the benefit of that unloading their previous rotation.

      But Minor and Dunn trades yielded nothing, for example.

      If the Reds are going to trade for pitching and better than the ‘Liitle Three’ it will be expensive…or yield another 5.50 era nibbler who will just make it to the 5th inning.

      Another Minor or Dunn isn’t going to get them to the playoffs.

      No one is going to give up quality pitching for a Senzel, a Fraley, a Newman or a Fairchild. Or all of them together along with an A level Turk.

      If the Reds are going to spend big on pitching, I’d wait until the EDLC, Votto, Myers, CES mess gets clearer.

      The Reds are riding a fun winning streak against weak teams (and a surprised LA) but got schooled by the Brewers.

      This weekend against the weakened Asterisks should be revealing.

      • MBS

        @Harry “ If the Reds are going to spend big on pitching, I’d wait until the EDLC, Votto, Myers, CES mess gets clearer.” What does that have to do with the pitching?

        Counting on the little 3 is like counting on a ticking time bomb not to blow up. It’s going to happen.

        We also may need to stop referring the Big 3 as the Big 3. They all have the potential, but the injury history with all 3 is high, and the slumps stretches are frequent.

        It really comes down to to, are you in on 23, or not? Standing pat isn’t going to get the Reds in the playoffs, and some people are OK with it. I’m not but some are.

      • Harry Stoner

        The reason I’m in a waiting mode is to see whether the team is really there to make the push towards playoffs…They’ve been playing well recently against weak teams and some big personnel changes are ahead.

        EDLC hasn’t found his traction yet, Votto is in limbo, Myers is still a millstone. Will CES continue to twist in the wind?

        Why overpay and trade Marte and Petty when there’s still time to see how things will shape up?

        I’m fine with developing this season and don’t need a first round playoff loss to keep me enjoying the team’s progress.

        Of course we’re all speculating on what pitching will cost, but to me it makes little sense to trade assets for unknowns after trading good pitching for those assets.

      • Old Big Ed

        There aren’t many sellers this year. A lot of teams are still in it, and the ones that are not contending pretty much have little to offer. The Reds are likely going to hope for Ashcraft and Lodolo to ride to the rescue. The good news on both of them is that their injuries are not arm injuries.

        I could see somebody like Greinke being open to coming to Cincinnati. He fits as a innings-nibbler, plus he offers Veteran Presence to a young staff, which is the pitching equivalent of Grittiness.

      • MBS

        @OldBig, The Guardians are in need of a quality bat in their middle infield, and India could give them that bat. They have Bieber who has a year and a half control left. It’s the Guardians MO to move a pitcher like him, even when in contention. The also have a pitcher, Gavin Williams in AAA, who’s the 17 rated prospect in baseball. Their rotation is already stacked with no where to put Williams.

        It’s a rare win, win involving major leaguer for major leaguer.

      • Indy Red Man

        I almost always agree with you, but Weaver and Williamson aren’t serviceable. 4.80 is serviceable. They need to do something or setup a bullpen day for the 5th day. Williamson in particular? No velocity and his breaking stuff is flat too

    • Redsvol

      You’re not going to like it, but here goes;
      Toronto’s Chris Bassitt or Jose Berrios for Noelvi Marte, Chase Petty and Victor Acosta
      – Toronto has way overspent, is going nowhere and will be even more expensive next year to sign all their young hitters.
      Padres Joe Musgrove for same package. Padres have way overspent and get even more expensive in 2024 if they retain Juan Soto. Probably 1 year too soon for Padres though.
      Mariners Luis Castillo for same package. Mariners have overspent, are going nowhere this year and have the young pitching to overcome a loss of Castillo.

      Told you it would hurt.

      • Old Big Ed

        Oh God, no. These are Brock-for-Broglio scenarios.

    • MBS

      Most interesting is CES is in RF. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s a one off thing, or a possible plan.

      • Old Big Ed

        Wow. Wouldn’t be the first 3B to move to RF, with Nick Castellanos as a good example. Isn’t he a bit slow for RF, though?

      • Melvin

        VERY interesting but a good thing to try in my view. Glad to see it. I actually thing they should do the same thing with Marte.

      • TR

        We’re sure CES has the offense for rightfield. The key question is does he have the speed and strong, accurate arm for that key position.

    • Old-school

      Its been reported most of the week , barring setbacks, Senzel will be activated Friday and Fraley Sunday

      I would expect TJ Hopkins is back to AAA tomorrow and probably Benson Sunday as handedness always matters with this FO/manager. The real question become who goes when Votto is activated possibly for colorado monday? I suspect Barrero. Myers will be the final straw of the roster crunch next week.

      • MBS

        Benson since he’s been called up on 5/26 has a .341BA, and a .425OBP. Fairchild since the same time 5/26 has a .236BA, and a .322OBP. It would be insanity to send Benson down, and keep Fairchild up.

        Handedness is another reason to keep Benson. Friedl, Fraley, and Benson would be the only 3 LHB’s on the roster. EDLC is a switch, so that helps, and if Votto get promoted then we’d actually have a fair complement of LHB’s.

      • BK

        I could see the Reds keep Fairchild over Benson due to options. Benson’s first option has already been burned for 2023. Fairchild just has one remaining. If the Reds want both players available for 2024, then they should protect Fairchild’s option.

    • Randy in Chatt

      with CES in right field….interesting.

  30. Indy Red Man

    Brent Suter. He’s versatile and he could help out.

    • Old Big Ed

      The Dodgers DFA’d Adam Kolarek (LHP) last night, and he might could fit as an additional lefty.

      Suter is having a pretty good season and would cost a prospect; he would almost certainly want to be here.

  31. Melvin

    CES just made his first catch. 🙂

  32. Melvin

    Myers leading off in LF (0-1). Interesting things going on.

    • Jim Walker

      so does CES look like he knows what he is doing in RF or is he stumbling around like we have seen Hopkins and Benson do a lot this last week with the Reds?

      • Melvin

        I could actually stand some “stumbling around” from CES until he learns the position just to get him up and his bat in the Reds lineup.

  33. Melvin

    Lopez just through out someone from deep in the hole at SS. He’s been playing a lot there lately. That’s interesting too.

    • Melvin

      Vosler just hit his second HR of the game. Maybe we can use him in part of a package deal in a trade? 🙂 Nice thought anyway.

    • Melvin

      CES knocks him in. Good combo? 🙂

  34. old-school

    Senzel gets activated tomorrow.
    Fraley gets activated Sunday
    Votto gets activated Monday.

    Write it down.

    • Melvin

      Okay. I’m writing it down…mentally. 🙂

    • Melvin

      When does your crystal ball say CES will be activated?

      • Old-school

        Im taking that back. Rockies have 2 lefties slated to start series Monday and tuesday in Gomber and Freeland. Votto comes to Cincinnati Monday but gets activated Wednesday against the righty.

        Wednesday line up.

        Fraley CF
        McLain SS
        EDLC 3b
        India 2b
        Votto 1b
        Fraley RF
        Steer DH
        Stephenson C
        Fairchild LF

        Senzel will play M/T against lefties.

      • Old-school

        Not going there with Will Myers and Joey Votto owed 38 million
        No idea.
        Joey will be on the roster from next week till the end of the year. Myers will be on the roster by next weekend.

  35. Indy Red Man

    Cubs surge ahead 5-2 and could put us within 1 game. I don’t see Pittsburgh hanging around. The Cubs crowd is really loud and that’s a nice advantage. I wonder if the Reds can start to fill up GABP with Elly and all the young talent? I think I might fear the Cubs more then anyone because they’ll add payroll if they’re hanging around and I like their lineup

    • rednat

      i totally agree. I would like to see the cubs and cardinals buried making this a 3 team race down the stretch. I also hate to say this but you can never trust the cardinals. They can easily go on a big winning streak and get back into the race.

  36. Will the Red

    Can someone explain to me why they didn’t try, EDLC in center field while in AAA? With his speed and cannon, he’s Eric Davis for the next 15 years.

    • Doug Gray

      Because he’s the best shortstop in the organization. You waste his incredible arm by moving him to the outfield, unless it’s right field, in which case you are wasting his athleticism and speed.

      • CI3J

        Doug, I thought Barrero and Arroyo were considered better fielding SS than EDLC? Is that not correct?

      • Melvin

        I guess I’m one of those crazy persons that believe De La Cruz can use his rocket arm just as much in CF. Like I’ve said in my view that’s where we can get the most out of all his abilities. Having said that I’ll be happy wherever he plays.

  37. Beaufort Red

    They didn’t waste Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Dave Parker, Dave Winfield, Frank Robinson, Tony Gwynn, Vlad Guerrero, and the list goes on and on. Great hitters , great fielders, unbelievable arms! If EDLC evolved into any of these guys I think we’d be more than happy.

    • Chris

      So you mentioned a bunch of outstanding MLB Right Fielders, who NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND ever considered as Shortstops. In fact, many of those listed were initially Centerfielders but couldn’t stick in CF due to their lack of athletic ability/range.

  38. Jim t

    With CES getting some time in Rightfield I would expect him to stay in AAA for awhile longer.

    I do like the idea of him manning one of the corner outfield spots going forward. Hope he can make the transition.

  39. Jim t

    Freidl. CF
    McClain. SS
    India. 2B
    EDLC. 3B
    CES. RF
    Stephenson. C
    Steer. 1B
    Fraley/Senzel/ Fairchild. LF/DH

    Both catchers

  40. Beaufort Red

    In the future
    Friedl CF
    McClain SS
    India 2B
    Steer 3B
    CES /Votto 1B
    CES/Votto DH
    Stephenson C
    Fraley/ Senzel RF


    Assuming Votto is capable of playing

    • Jim t

      Really don’t like moving EDLC to a corner outfield spot. Think he is much better utilized as an infielder.

  41. Indy Red Man

    I wonder what Abbott’s innings limit is? If he can’t make nearly all of his 18 starts then this year is not going to happen for them

  42. Beaufort Red

    Jim t, I gave you examples of past greats, how about Ronald Acuna and Mookie Betts. As I said the right fielder may be the most athletic guy on the field. And we already have a shortstop and several third basemen. Just saying

    • Jim t

      @BeaufortRed, I liked your reply and gave it some thought but still like EDLC playing infield. Especially in a park as small as GABP. I think if the idea is to move an infielder to the outfield it should be McClain who has experience there. Also like your examples. I have seen everyone you mentioned play in person.

  43. Beaufort Red

    Jim t, sport civility at its finest. Go Reds