A 13-hit attack led the Cincinnati Reds to their seventh straight victory, a 10-3 win over the Houston Astros before 40,136 at Minute Maid Park.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (36-35) 10 13 0
Houston Astros (39-32)
3 7 2
W: Greene (2-4) L: Bielak (3-4)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Will Benson led a relentless hitting attack, batting 3-for-3 with a triple, two walks and two runs batted in. On base three times apiece were Matt McLain, Spencer Steer and Tyler Stephenson (two hits and a walk for each), and T.J. Friedl (three walks). Elly De La Cruz broke a cold streak with two hits.

Seven straight wins match the Reds’ best streak since 2018. It’s also the first time Cincinnati has been above .500 this late in the year for what seems like a decade or more, but I’m sure someone here will correct me if I am wrong. 🙂

Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh for the second straight day to maintain their 1/2-game lead over Cincinnati in the National League Central division. The third-place Pirates have lost five straight and are now one game behind the Reds and 1 1/2 games back of the Brew Crew. And don’t look now, but the fourth-place Cubs have won five straight and are only 2 1/2 behind the Reds and three behind Milwaukee.

The Offense

Jonathan India got the Reds off to a quick start in the opening inning with a 403-foot rocket to left-center field off righty Brandon Bielak. McLain was on base thanks to a Jeremy Pena throwing error, giving the Reds an early 2-0 lead.

Benson led off the top of the third with a triple to left-center field, and Curt Casali brought him home with a safety squeeze bunt to increase the lead to 3-1.

Benson’s clutch two-out single with the bases loaded increased the lead to 5-1 after the top of the fifth.

De La Cruz led off the seventh inning with an opposite-field double, stole third, and scored on a single by Stephenson to boost the lead to 6-2.

The Reds put some insurance runs on the board in the ninth on a two-run pinch-hit single by Kevin Newman, his first pinch-hit of the season, to increase the lead to an 8-3 count.

The Pitching

Today was the fourth consecutive Hunter Greene start in which Casali started at catcher, and the combination has proven to be effective. In those starts, Greene’s totals are six earned runs allowed in 23 1/3 innings, a 2.31 ERA, and both of his wins.

In the third inning, Houston scored a run on a Kyle Tucker sacrifice fly, drawing within 2-1. But Greene avoided further damage in a 24-pitch inning in which he issued two walks and allowed a Jose Altuve double.

Two innings later, Greene kept the Astros off the board despite another Altuve double and two walks — thanks to Casali throwing out Grae Kessinger attempting to steal second.

Yainer Diaz hit a solo homer in the sixth, the first Greene has allowed in nearly a month, to make the score 5-2.

For the first time in his major league career, he did not strike out a batter in any of the first three innings and did not strike out at least six opposing hitters. While today’s runs-allowed-vs.-innings-pitched numbers were terrific today, allowing four walks in six innings was a bit disappointing.

I maintain that Greene learning to be able to get outs without giving full effort on every pitch to record strikeouts is perhaps the most important remaining step in his major league development. With the way pitchers are managed these days, with 90 to 100 pitches being the maximum allowed per game by managers, Greene’s current track is to become a career five- to six-inning pitcher with consistently high pitch counts. Early in today’s game, he had low pitch counts and (as mentioned above) fewer-than-usual strikeouts, but that early trend unraveled over innings four through six.

Altuve struck again in the seventh with a solo homer off Ian Gibaut, his fourth hit, bringing the home team within 6-3.

Buck Farmer pitched a scoreless eighth, and Fernando Cruz finished things up.

What’s News

Reds Twitter account posted this early this afternoon, without caption or comment:

It was a screenshot from a post on Joey Votto’s Instagram account which strongly hinted that Votto will be returning to the big-league team very soon. No official announcements yet.

If you didn’t see the Bally Sports telecast, this was a fun human-interest story they shared …

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at Houston Astros

Sunday, June 18, 2:10 p.m. ET

Luke Weaver (1-2, 6.23 ERA) vs. Ronel Blanco (1-0, 3.86 ERA)

152 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Benson definitely showing value. There is now room for Myers.

    • Mark Moore

      Yep. I really don’t see a spot for him. He’s 3rd on the depth chart at RF, 1B, and DH … or lower.

    • sam

      They HAVE to trade Myers. Dropping one of the kids for him would be IDIOTIC. Keep the vibe rolling.

  2. MCT

    I’m glad to see Benson is finally figuring things out.

  3. Melvin

    Votto in Bats lineup tonight so not driving the bus to Cincy yet. 🙂

    • jmb

      Did you mean “for” not “to” Cincy?

    • Magi210

      BTs win 12-1 Votto pulled in the 6th (I think)

  4. Mark Moore

    Benson belongs. Full stop.

    I’m also in the Steer fan club, so welcome aboard, Tom. He’s a ballplayer.

    I’m not done with Senzel yet. This was only his second game back and perhaps a little more time dialing in his stroke would have helped. We’ll see before long.

    MattyMc is a complete stud. Full stop.

    Newman did what we’ve come to expect. I think his value to the team is the kind of stuff we’re seeing, but I wouldn’t put him a 1B anymore.

    Winning is very much fun, especially in the house of the 2022 WS champs. Tomorrow will bring whatever tomorrow will bring. At this point, we let it right and fly home with our heads held high no matter what.

    Did I mention the burgers were great (again)? 😀

    • Dennis Westrick

      With you on NO Newman at 1st base! He looks like Roger Dorn (Major League) over there!

      Here’s hoping Votto returns soon!

    • TR

      Mclain plays a real smooth shortstop on a team loaded with shortstops. Plus, he has a rifle accurate arm. The Reds have the talent with not a bad problem at present to not know where to play them. And, like has happened in the past, the Reds and Pirates are coming into their own at about the same time.

    • bug

      I agree, Mark. Not so much with Senzel though. He should platoon with Fraily at best,….. and only if he continues to hit left handers. But he can’t hit right handed pitching,..can’t hit the breaking pitches and we don’t need that, We have too many good hitters for us to have holes in our line-up. We need to bring CES up ASAP, and platoon him in OF with Benson. Then Platoon Friedl & Hopkins in OF too. I’m not sure Myers fits in anywhere since he can’t hit,… and I could say the same for Votto depending if he’s not striking out too much. Votto could platoon at first with Steer I guess,..but he has to hit, because Steer hits right snd left handed pitching. Nice problem to have I guess. But I see no spot for Myers. He’s had plenty timew to right the ship, and he’s failed. We don’t need a whiffer and a rally killer. Go Reds!!!

      • sam

        Move Myers and Senzel. Let the kids play!

  5. Melvin

    CES just made a leaping catch at 3B then another good play to throw a runner out.

  6. Ted Alfred

    Senzel looks completely lost at the plate. Just saw the box score…3 k’s and left 11 on base…yikes. Benson has to be starting until he slumps. He has a really good eye at the plate and does not swing at bad balls. He’s had some really big walks over the last few games in addition to the hitting which speaks for itself

  7. RedlegScott

    Is anyone beginning to like this team yet? I don’t believe the Astros are too thrilled with them! lol In game #1, the Reds win a pitching duel, then they give the champs an offensive beat down, combined with a pitching shut down, in game #2. Let’s hope the Reds have something left in the tank for tomorrow. Today, Greene was awesome. The pen was great – one solo shot meant nothing. An offense gem if there ever was one.
    Benson certainly answered the question regarding him getting sent down to AAA. No conceivable way that’s happening. Who does that leave? Fairchild, who has been doing well, but is presently on the bench with an injury? Senzel, who doesn’t look ready since coming up? Newman, who got another clutch hit for two RBI as a pinch hitter? Or Hopkins? (Yep. He’s likely one of them.) Tough position to be in, but Fraley, Votto, and CES all need to come up.
    Great game, Reds!

    • Dennis Westrick

      Hopkins is the odd man out IMO!

      • RedlegScott

        I forgot about Myers. Where’s he going?

  8. Melvin

    Reynolds just hit another HR. Maybe he can be part of a trade package. (small part) 🙂

  9. Mark Moore

    Hunter wasn’t sharp, but we don’t want to lose sight of him giving us 6 innings of 2 run ball for a quality start and the win. Battling against a tough team like this may be the catalyst he needs.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Agreed! HG didn’t seem like his usual self with only 3 K’s and 4 walks! He gutted it out and gave his team the chance to win!

      Let’s get the brooms out tomorrow and send Dusty a box of toothpicks with a wishbone C on it!

      • Mark Moore

        I’d chip in for that project. Heck, if we win tomorrow I’d send him a case.

      • Tom Reeves

        The Astros hit the fastball well. So Greene adjusted. He wasn’t striking anyone out but who cares? He was getting outs with a great mix of pitches. He didn’t need to dominate to win – he needed to pitch to win and that’s what he did. To me, this was his best start of the season because he won with his brain and execution, not his cannon.

      • Kevin Patrick

        @Tom…I thought he looked pretty controlled too. It always helps to have a lead though.

  10. J

    I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but it seems to me that this has been a pretty good road trip.

      • David

        I calls them as I see them, and if I don’t see them, I make it up.

        Well, I heard an umpire say that once, maybe in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. I think you might be right. lol

  11. J

    Fun fact: Of the Bats’ starting 10 this evening, there’s only one guy who’s never played in a major league game.

      • David

        Clue: He’s the guy that really belongs up here now.

        (Jeopardy music waiting for the final answer)

      • Melvin

        Hmmm The guy who really belongs up here now. Hmmm That’s a tuffy. 🙂

    • RedlegScott

      Do you mean the final question, David? Who is Christian Encarnacion-Strand? I win.

  12. Indy Red Man

    Wow. Their starter was actually throwing the ball well and hitting all the corners, but they waited him out and busted out for a big win.

    It’s been an amazing run! It feels like the time is now and alot of decisions need to be made. Interesting to say the least

  13. GreatRedLegsFan

    A tough test is coming against the Braves next weekend at home. Let’s see what they can do against the best team in NL.

  14. Dennis Westrick

    Before this 9 game road trip, I would have been happy if the Reds finished 5-4. Now, the worst they can do is 7-2! Simply amazing!

  15. Melvin

    Votto hard line drive out to the RF corner.

  16. Melvin

    Votto taken out in the fifth. Could mean nothing in a 9-1 game. Could be he’s coming.

  17. Indy Red Man

    If Barrero can rake at AAA for 3-4 weeks then he might be able to headline a trade for a lower rung starter or a top notch bullpen arm.

    Barrero, Fairchild, Robinson, and minor league arm for Josiah Gray and whatever

    • Oldtimer

      Not a chance. He may do well in AAA but a trade will not bring back an MLB starter pr topnotch bullpen arm.

    • jmb

      Gray is a good call! I was looking at the Nationals stats yesterday. But they’d demand quite a bit more than you’re offering.

  18. RedsGettingBetter

    Reds accomplished the mission of win the series, now have the chance to sweep but Weaver is the starter tomorrow, he is stuggling though hopefully can rebound.
    Votto is 0-3 with 2 Ks , Myers is 0-3 with 1 K tonight at Louisville. I wouldn’t like bring Votto and Myers to the big league team at this moment unless they will be on the bench just to pinch-hit or play defensive. I think they aren’t at te same level right now, even Myers could be DFA’d and we won’t notice it…
    BTW , Barrero homered in his 3rd AB…

    • Melvin

      In all fairness Votto has been hitting the ball hard and could have easily had a double tonight. Myers is still in the game. Votto isn’t if that means anything.

    • David

      Myers, as a free agent signing in 2022 for the 2023 season, can’t be moved until June 15th…..which was a couple of days ago. (I learned that from BK last week)

      So yeah, Myers could be moved at any time, now.
      And I think Matt Reynolds would like to get another chance to play in the Majors again, soon.

      Glad that young Jose Barrero is getting to play now at AAA. He was frozen out in Cincinnati.

      • AllTheHype

        Myers can’t be traded til 6/15 is the only restriction. He can DFA’d anytime though.

  19. RedlegScott

    What about Marte as trade bait? Where on earth would he play in this lineup?

    • Melvin

      Marte would take the platoon away from Fraley/Senzel eventually. Benson is playing well at the moment. From what I hear Marte is another McLain/CES/Steer. Too valuable to give up.

      • Harry Stoner

        Don’t even think of trading Marte yet.

        Remember we traded a top pitcher to get him.

        A lot of wood to clear out before worrying about where he’ll fit in.

      • RedlegScott

        Got it. Thanks Melvin and Harry. He’ll play OF.

    • RedsGettingBetter

      I think Blake Dunn is intriguing as trade piece to land a good starter, Marte shouldn’t be sacrificed he has a very high value right now…

    • jmb

      They expect Marte to play third, with EDLC at short, and McLain at second. Though, they’re trying CES in the outfield, so who knows. I wondered about them dangling him a week or so ago, but some say he may be the #1 overall prospect come the off-season. So they’d wait until that happens, I’d imagine, and see what teams offer at that time.

  20. Harry Stoner

    Day of reckoning coming.

    Casali is making a case for sticking around based on his work with Greene.

    Is that enough to hold on to 3 catchers for?

    Hopkins likely next, Fairchild to IL will buy some time.

    Would Reds go with one less pitcher to ease the logjam for awhile?

    3 LH in the OF mix along w Senzel won’t sit well with Bell.

    The next week of moves will be interesting.

    I hope the Ws keep coming through it all.

    • Melvin

      Casali stays if only to catch Hunter Greene. Stephenson catches the rest of the time. Maile traded. There is catching depth in AAA with both Robinson and Pereda.

      • Harry Stoner

        Maile has performed above expectations.

        Trading him is fine but it would need to help clear some 26 man roster space in the process.

      • jmb

        I like Maile, but you’ve got to move someone. Guardians DFA’d Zunino…to make room for Maile’s return?

    • greenmtred

      Casali has the lowest catcher ERA of the three of them. A factor, I would think, but maybe not enough of one.

    • MBS

      Hopkins optioned for Fraley
      Fairchild optioned for Myers (rather DFA Myers)
      Casali/Maile optioned for Votto

      @Harry “ 3 LH in the OF mix along w Senzel won’t sit well with Bell.” I’d expect that we’ll have 2 RHB’s in the OF, Senzel and Fairchild, then Senzel and Myers once Fairchild is also optioned. We have also seen Steer play OF so that could also be apart of Bell’s plan.

  21. redfanorbust

    Benson so much fun to watch play. Albeit a admitted small sample size with his current success, but imagine what a coup it would be to get a starting OF with speed and power from a seemingly smallish trade deal with the Guardians! Astros will be digging deep tomorrow to avoid an embarrassing sweep. Luke Weaver better bring his A++ game for sure.

    • Melvin

      One positive thing is that we know Dusty likes his “Sunday lineups” too like David Bell. 🙂

  22. Redgoggles

    I’m guilty of “finding other things to do” over the past year, but this team has overcome my anger at ownership. Krall deserves much of the credit by embracing a full rebuild and restocking the farm system with higher end talent, but I’m wondering how much of the refreshing change in offensive approach is to the credit of the new hitting coach? Even Lousiville has 5 of the top 25 International League OPS. (CES, EDLC, Reynolds, Hopkins, Robinson.).

    McLain is still 19th in RBI, lol.

  23. LDS

    Good to see the Reds beat Houston. 7 in a row is nice but what happens when the rest of the veterans return? I was really hoping they wouldn’t, but they will. That means Myers and Votto displace a couple of young guys, probably Hopkins and Fairchild. Then Fraley bumps someone else and just like that the Reds revert to expectations. It’s not a coincidence that the Reds started winning once all the “veterans” hit the IL. As for Newman, he will continue to start regularly, even if it means guys like Steer sit. It’s what Bell does. As for Barrero? Once he starts hitting, trading him would be plain dumb. And CES? “At this point, there are still little things he knows he needs to work on,” – maybe next year.

      • LDS

        Just realistic. Someone has to balance the fans on here that suddenly think the Reds are playoff bound. Maybe they get there this year, but it seems unlikely

      • TR

        I just take it a game at a time. It’s great, as a Reds fan, to think your team has a chance for the playoffs. For me, it’s similar to my alma mater IU beating OSU in football. It very rarely happens, but hope springs eternal. It happens more often in basketball.

      • Beaufort Red

        +100000 Barrero’s best value is trade material. He has no place on this club. Too many studs chomping at the bit. You get your shot , if you don’t cut it , someone else waiting! (McCain)

    • wkuchad

      LDS, I notice you’ve posted substantially less while the Reds are winning. You certainly post plenty of criticism when we’re losing. It’s okay to enjoy the good times too.

      • LDS

        @wkuchad, other commitments over the last week. I like winning as much as the next fan. Do I think the current streak is real? Not really, but beating StL and the Dodgers is always fun. Do I think they’ll do as well once Votto, Myers, etc. return? Probably not. The roster crunch is coming and it’s not going to be fun. I suspect some players I’d rather see playing every day will lose out to the veterans. And I don’t believe Bell has it in him to manage veterans based on performance. Hope I’m wrong but nothing over the last five years convinces me that I am

    • Harry Stoner

      Nah… LDS you’re working too hard with this….your whipping boy Senzel went 0-5 today….Fraley can fill in for that.

      Can Bell-the-Shuffler work Votto into the Steer 1B / Stephenson DH mix?


      They try to squeeze Myers into that mix by optioning Benson? I’m with you.

      The bitter pill here at RLN is waving adios to Fairchild.

      Tough call with that, the kid has shown his skills so far and they’re there.

      He’ll make a great 4th OFer, who can be a surprising fill in.

      I hope Krall trades him wisely.

      If they punt on Myers, option him.

      • LDS

        @Harry, trade Senzel before he breaks something again. As I’ve said before, his career numbers in about twice the ABs aren’t as good as Aquino. But, he’s decent as a 3B utility guy. He can be a Newman for someone else. As several folks, myself included, said all last season, play the young guys. Out of necessity, they have been and they’ve been winning. I suspect that’s days away from ending.

      • RedlegScott

        Optioning Benson? Seriously? After today and his recent success? Hope not.

    • SteveAReno

      Of course, Newman will start regularly because he is performing so well.

  24. Melvin

    Barrero with a double to go with his three run homer. 🙂

  25. Melvin

    Mariot (whoever that is) for the Bats, has pitched eight innings of one run baseball so far tonight. 🙂

  26. Tom Mitsoff

    Important point to watch on Barrero, IMO: It’s my understanding he played today at Louisville at shortstop. I presumed he was going down to learn how to be a centerfielder. If he’s going to be playing SS, the only reasonable conclusion is that they want him to get going offensively and defensively as a possible trade candidate.

    • Melvin

      Yep. Makes sense. Although making sense could be dangerous at times. 🙂

    • Indy Red Man

      Definitely. Where would Barrero play for the Reds? Newman has been a good utility man and Senzel has his niche. If I was a GM with middle infield issues then I’d call Krall about Barrero. The kid deserves a chance to start. Newman is what he is, but who knows with Barrero? Maybe we can deal him and get a useful arm. I always remember when Cheeseburger Griffey had a belly like mine and had about .0002 % left in the tank but brought back Nick Massey. You never know

    • wkuchad

      I have zero desire to trade Barrero. I feel his worth as a potential utility CF/SS bench bat over the next several years far exceeds what little we can get in return for a trade.

      • Chris

        He will never be part of this team. He’s just not very good. Hopefully we can get something for him, albeit probably not much.

      • LDS

        @wkuchad, I agree with you. He’s 25 and still has a decent ceiling. Between losing his mother in 2021, a significant event in anyone’s life and so big to him he adopted her name, and going under the knife a year ago, his career has gone sideways a bit. Since his return last August, he has not had consistent PAs to recover his stroke. Louisville may afford that. If it does, he’s better defensively than anyone on the Reds currently including EDLC. If he doesn’t get it back? Trade him, cut him, make him a career AAA player. Just don’t judge his future on 400 ABs spread over 4 years. It’s shortsighted.

  27. Melvin

    Bet no one can guess who has three hits….again…tonight. 🙂

    • RedlegScott

      Jeopardy again? Who is Christian Encarnacion-Strand?

    • J

      But he made an out, so he’s clearly not ready to deal with major league pitching.

      • Melvin

        We need PERFECTION! 😉 Seriously if we added CES and Votto to this lineup today it would be one that no pitcher would want to face.

      • Doc

        He had two hits in nine PA the two games I saw in Louisville this week.

    • Melvin

      Well he sure made a steal in getting CES and Steer. There’s no doubt about that.

      • David

        That’s true. Nick did make some really good trades last summer, when they emptied out the previous pitching staff.
        The Reds still have some “holes” in their starting pitching, but largely due to injuries to Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft.
        Get well soon, guys!!

      • JB

        Benson might be a steal as well but it’s early.

    • wkuchad

      I had little confidence in Krall early in his tenure, but the current team he assembled is impressive. Though the biggest failure of the offseason was not bringing in a viable veteran starting pitcher, but that blame is likely on ownership (budget) vs Krall.

      • JB

        Exactly. You can’t blame him for the owners microscopic budget. He tried to fill a ton of holes with the budget he was given.

      • Earmbrister

        Krall has done an exemplary job. This team is now setup for long term contention.

        I don’t have any problems with them not bringing in another starting pitcher in the off-season. This season was supposed to be about playing the youngsters. And they have effectively brought in a couple of starters in Abbott and Williamson. The “they should’ve brought in another starter” is a common refrain. Yet I can remember past years when they only had one effective starter in the entire rotation. One doesn’t need to squint very hard to see a very good rotation in the making. Play the kids

  28. Stock

    This offense is just so impressive. The 2010 Reds won the division and had 4 players with an OBP of at least .350: Votto, .424, Hernandez, .363, Rolen .358 and Bruce .353

    In 2012 the Reds won the division again and Votto, .474 and Hanigan .365 were the only Reds with an OBP of at least .350

    Limited AB for some of these players but a projected lineup once healthy:

    C: Stephenson .332
    1B: Steer .360
    2B: India .356
    3B: EDLC .356
    SS: McLain .380
    LF: Fraley .350
    CF: Friedl .366
    RF: Benson .354
    DH: Votto Career OBP of .412

    That is 7 of 8 or 8 of 9 (if you include Votto’s career total) Furthermore the way Stephenson has been playing he will soon make it 9 of 9.

    Pretty impressive young squad.

    • Doc

      You should use the same basis for all your data. Either career stats for everybody or current season stats for everybody. Cherry picking the good numbers from different data sets undermines your validity.

      • William

        Pitching wins championships. The Reds have to get much better with their overall pitching staff.

      • Stock

        The only one I used career OBP for is Votto and that is because he has zero AB this year.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I remember the Cards won their last WS, I believe, their starters didn’t have an OBP under 320.

      I just hope we can keep it up.

      I wonder what the similar stats are league-wide. I mean, are all individuals on all teams experiencing the same?

    • RedlegScott

      Indeed. So trade for a solid starter and a reliever like Chapman now and roll the dice for this year?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        With what? Youth? That’s what got us here? Newman? You really think the Royals are going to take Newman for Chapman or a solid starter?

        Easy from one side to say “trade”. A lot more difficult to get two sides to agree to a trade.

      • Rob

        The winning trader with the Royals or any other rebuilder will be the team that offers the best prospect. Why would the Royals want a 30 year old SS? We don’t need to trade our future but we do have young players and prospects that the Royals would highly value. Barerro, Fraley, Hopkins, and Benson might fit this description. We are in an excellent position to trade for a starting pitcher and refined pitcher. But we will have competition.

      • JB

        You would have to be nuts to trade Benson for a rental.

  29. Indy Red Man

    This kid for LSU is working on a shutout in the 8th. Just hit 100 mph with pitch #104.

    • SteveAReno

      The top speed is not so important, but location and movement are i.e. Abbott

  30. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I don’t know if anyone has specified it or not yet, but these 7 games have all been on the road! Now, I’ve heard a lot of winning streaks out there, no problem there. And, I may even hear of a 7 game “road winning streak”. But, a 7 game winning streak, all on the road?! You just don’t hear of that everyday.

    And, this might be why Diaz feels so overworked.

    We have 4 of the most worked 45 relievers in the NL, going by innings pitched. Diaz isn’t only our third most worked. Gibaut and Farmer have been more worked.

    • Optimist

      Yes – though he got rocked the other day, Salazar should still be important, as well as Stoudt, Duarte, and Law returning. Don’t know if they want to try the Karcher experiment again, or Herget, but they need more space between appearances for Sims/Diaz/Farmer/Gibaut. Maybe Richardson gets a week or two to go multi-innings, and then back to a rotation spot to finish the season in AA. Doubtful they could get any kind of starting help via trade, so either get a rental RP, or spread the load into the MiLB talent.

      Santillan and SanMartin could be back soon, but serious injury/rehab issues there.

  31. Tom Reeves

    How cool would it be for Stand if he gets ride with Joey on his trip to Cincy? (Don’t talk about logistics – let me dream!)

  32. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I will post this now. . .

    I can easily recall most everyone was talking about early in the season why didn’t the FO go get anyone, that the FO should just go ahead and sell the team, etc. But, now, everyone wants to be on the bandwagon since we are winning, with pretty much the same club.

    Now, I’ve said before that it seems like the FO is going after a Rays 2.0 type of organization. I have no problem with that, as long as we win. But, that is going to mean not going after any high brow talent if not having another firesale or two.

    So, will the FO “buy” anything? Don’t expect anything like Judge or Trout coming to Cincy. If anything (I don’t expect anything), expect at best a “plug-in” piece we need to shore up a position that we don’t have to worry about anymore, maybe a player who has some years left on contract. Someone “serviceable”, like a starter with a BA of 260, OBP of 320, or a starting pitcher who we can count on to get us to the 5th inning everytime, maybe a “mini-quality” start.

    • Rob

      We shouldn’t be targeting all star like players. But I would love for this team to pick up a #4 starter for the last 3-4 months. Guys like ex Reds Miley and Disco would fit this description. And preferably guys that have favorable injury history. I know this is somewhat a roll of the dice but somebody that could give us 8-10 starts of 6-7 innings would fit the bill imo. Take the load off the bullpen and give us a 7-6 record would be good enough for me.

      • JB

        Last time Disco was pitching for Cincinnati he got whiplash from all the homers he gave up. No thank you. Let him pitch in San Frans big park

    • Redsvol

      If we’re within 3 games of a wild card or the division on July 25th, I also want them to add. I can see them adding a couple bullpen pieces. And the Reds M.O. in past trade deadlines is to bring in guys they can control for another year – so no 3 month rentals. They’ve done it but they don’t often.

      The competition for starters will be fierce – meaning expensive – because every team needs one. I don’t see Krall trading 3 of our top 10 prospects for a starter unless it is an elite starter that we control for another year or two. And I’m not sure that pitcher will exist at this trade deadline.

    • Optimist

      I lean to the “stick-to-the-plan” side, which probably fits your description pretty well. They likely don’t need offensive help, and may well be trading position players (from both the 26-and40-man rosters, and MiLB). It will be very surprising if they get any kind of starting P, and if either Ashcraft or Lodolo return in August, they should have plenty of 6-9 level starters to back them up.

      Sooooo – they are in prime position to pick up a rental reliever (Hello Aroldis), and it should not cost much at all, even if they have to settle for mid-level arms.

      This season they still need to go with quantity over quality, and determine which of the rookies get which positions and PAs. The off season is when they spend big (in the context of whatever “big” means to them) or trade for premium talent.

  33. Jim t

    So happy to see the reds trending in this direction. 7 game win streak, contending for wild card and divisional crown and a farm system and major league roster that is loaded with talent. How many posting here predicted these results at the beginning of the year. I know I didn’t. Enjoy my fellow reds fans these times are rare in the day of big markets.

    Happy Father’s Day to all!!

  34. CI3J

    I’m really happy to see Benson silencing his doubters. I was rooting for him out of Spring Training and, while he got off to a horrible start, he really turned it around and is now hitting like the guy that deserved his high prospect rating.

    I’d like to see him add a little more power to his game, say, 10-15 HR a year, but I would be perfectly happy if he can just be the high-OBP guy he was in the minors.

  35. Old-school

    It appears Fraley will be active for today and Votto has a funny video up indicating hes coming back finally. Hes in Louisville today per C Trent but with Colorado coming in Monday, all signs point to him being activated. Any word on Fairchild neck stiffness? Hasn’t played since Wednesday and Hopkins was used to PR each of last 2 games and Rockies throw 2 lefties Monday and Tuesday so reds will need at 2 least RH hitting OF.

    • Jim Walker

      Votto is in the pre game starting lineup for Bats. Myers is not. FWIW (or not).

      • Melvin

        Yeah. I saw that. Hopefully a release? 🙂

      • Melvin

        Barrero playing SS and leading off again after his HR and double last night. Votto hitting 2nd playing 1B, CES at 3B hitting 3rd.

    • Jim Walker

      Keep in mind Votto requires a double move. Same for CES.

  36. old-school

    The split stats for Nick Senzel impossibly continue to widen.
    His overall slash line for the year is remarkably close to what his career numbers look like, which arent good. .240’s/310’s/.360’s/.670’s

    After his 0-5:

    Against righties: .172/.255/.258/.513

    Against lefties: .455/.500/.659/1.159

    Senzel leads MLB in BA and OBP against lefties and is 5th in OPS.

    With the infield crunch and his terrible numbers against righties, one would think he is the perfect platoon partner with Fraley in LF for the short term. In the long term, he is not an everyday player and too expensive for the Reds as righty utility player. Id expect him to be non-tendered in December and traded by the Deadline if there is a market for a versatile player with a great slash line against lefties.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree, Senzel is in a bad spot for the right hand batting side of a platoon.

      My recollection is that in 2019 Phil Ervin was more than Jesse Winker’s equal from his (right) side of the plate vs LHP (1.038 OPS vs Winker .887 OPS vs RHP) and even had an almost middling OPS versus right handed pitching (.658) as opposed to Winker’s worse OPS versus LH pitching (.443). Ervin was also clearly the better all around athlete. Yet all that got him was the bums’ rush in 2020.

  37. Kevin H

    36-35 on June 18th. Who saw that coming? I am enjoying watching/following this team. Bell and company have really put together a solid baseball team. Johnson has really helped out with the bullpen, and starters well struggle, however finding a way to battle through.

    CES should be up soon, and I gotta believe Myers will be dfa, as he has no place on this roster.

    Playoffs or not this team is exciting to watch. Frustrating too lol

  38. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Alright, some have done this, I will take a shot.

    I’m doing it a bit differently because there can be so much variety in positions. I’m also referring to mlb.com’s Reds “active roster”.

    I see Votto, Fraley, and Myers coming back up soon. I will include CES on this, also.

    When Fraley comes back, I believe you have to send Hopkins back down. Easy one there. OF for an OF.

    With Myers, I still DFA him. If they don’t, you’re looking at sending someone like Benson (no way, not not) or Friedl (no, also) down, or a reliever, which means we go with 7 relievers for an already beat up bullpen. Or, DH. But, with how his bat has been going? Even in the minors, he’s not even hitting 200. Nope, DFA seems the answer there. I would say “trade”, but I don’t think anyone would trade for him right now. If we do get a “trade”, it’s not going to be for any more than the “player to be named later”.

    With Votto, out of respect and everything he’s meant to the Reds through the years, I believe you should play him. However, I would hope that Votto would understand that he just can’t come in and blow everything up, insist that he starts at first base and play every game there.

    Votto is limited in positions, pretty much only first base. So, he’s doing first base and DH. When he’s doing first base, Steer and the others are simply playing “musical chairs” with the positions, maybe even a little of that when he DH’s. I would probably start him no more than 6 out of 10 games, all depending upon how he bats. If he gets the MVP stroke going, you play him more. If he’s getting Mendoza line, you play him less. My main concern about Votto is he’s normally a very slow starter.

    But who to let go? This is one where we may have the “player to be named later” deal. But, I can’t help thinking it’s going to be Newman or Fairchild. Newman if we want to talk “bringing in an infielder, let go of an infielder”, or Fairchild and maybe put a strain on OF players (4 on active roster, Senzel being the 5th. Take Fairchild out, then we only have 4 including Senzel). Just because of that, I would say Newman, for “player to be named later” if no team is willing to give up anything just yet.

    Then, CES. How to play him? I believe he’s going to be another players in the “musical chairs”. But, who to let go? I would say one of the catchers (include the catcher in the above discussion). But, that doesn’t mean it’s still going to be easy to find him any playing time. Then, if you give him plenty of playing time, who do you sit?

    Maybe consider this way. With Votto and CES, and considering we can find a taker for Newman, and send Senzel to the OF, we would have 7 IF. I will include DH in for this part. So, we have to cover 5 positions.

    In 7 games, everyone would get 5 starts. I believe that can work, equivalent to starting 116 games over a full season. “Finesse” other particulars, like playing someone more or less, it will have to work.

    Definitely, over the off season, I believe this needs to be addressed. I mean, I can understand that everyone isn’t going to start every game, like what the Big Red Machine that many of us were brought up on had (Sparky rarely started the big 8). But, also, just like that team, when we needed a game to win, Sparky wasn’t going with subs to start. He knew who to play, who were the starters. Everyone knew. Who would we be going with here? Everyone would have different ideas. I don’t like that for any team.

    • Kevin H

      Great post Steve, ans I agree.my only thought would get rid of Maile and CES comes up. Even that is a touch and go. Great post

    • Optimist

      Even easier rule – if you’re past age 30 at the end of the season you get moved – only exceptions are the 2nd Catcher and relievers. If Joey hits .350+ from here out, make him an offer for next year – well below the option $.

      • Kevin H

        I mean plenty of players past 30 are still good baseball players. This in my opinion is a belief of some on rln.

      • Optimist

        Oh sure, but none of them are on the Red’s current roster.

  39. Rick

    I believe the best way forward for the reds would be to make a deal with the royals I’ve read where they would like to package Chapman and Barlow together, Barlow I believe is signed through next year, we could offer some of our younger prospects maybe Hecter Rodriguez or Carlos Jorge or Juan Aguiar,believe me I hate to part with any of these guys but that’s what it would take to get those two pitchers, I just don’t think the reds will or should give up there top prospects for a top starting pitcher this year. We could go with what we have with our starting pitching that can go 4 or5 innings giving up 3 to 5 runs a game than turning it over to our bullpen with these 2 additions and it’s lights out, plus you can have Chapman as a closer when Diaz needs a rest, I just don’t think it will cost as much prospects going this route.

  40. CFD3000

    Well this is fun.
    Roster crunch coming, but I’ll comment on that later. How about a sweep of Houston and a chance to vault into first place? Go Reds!

  41. MBS

    Benson is not the 1 for 25 batter we saw when he first came up. He is currently 18 for 47 with 9 BB since his last call up, good for a .382 BA and a .482 OBP. I’m sure this run isn’t him either, but I’m excited to see how he finishes the year. I could definitely see him as a .290 BA and .390 OBP guy. He’s also got a little pop, so hopefully we see that develop on the MLB level too.

    • Optimist

      Without checking a rough guess is that 250/325 is about league average. He’s always had a good OBP, so if can get to 250/350+, with his speed and defense, he’s notably above average.

      A team full of those with one each of an AS pitcher and hitter is always a contender.

      They’re getting close.

    • Indy Red Man

      Very impressed with Benson right now. Great eye at the plate and not getting himself out by rolling over etc like Elly has done lately. The Reds are very close to giving the pitcher no breaks with this lineup. We’ll know when Stephenson is 7th or 8th

      • Jim Walker

        Agree but the Reds have a good dilemma if Benson, like Fraley, also turns out to be a platoon guy because they now have a number of RH hitters who are posting overall .800+ OPS as both way players.

        And down at AAA CES has taken starts in both LF and RF this week. His handedness splits this year at AAA are >1.000 from BOTH sides of the plate. Unless something goes seriously south, he is not going to be a platoon guy,

  42. Jim Walker

    Amid all the talk about Votto’s big week at rehab, we should not overlook that CES had a week that stands right there with Votto’s week.

    Votto’s OPS/ wRC+ was 1.100/ 175; Strand’s was 1.113/ 174.

    Yeah, CES had a slighter higher OPS but slightly lower wRC+. That’s possible because wRC+ while essentially interchangeable with OPS+ uses a weighted formula while OPS+ is a simple percentile ranking of OPS. I used wRC+ here because it was the available stat for a 7 day split at the MiLB level.

    • Jim Walker

      See the move for Fraley was Hopkins back to AAA. I thought maybe they would jump on the chance to put Fairchild on the IL. 10 days and then a 20 day rehab for him would get them past the All Star break and to the start of the trade deadline season silly season without burning his option.

      • Melvin

        There is no prediction as to what they will do. As much as Newman as helped this year, CES should have been up long ago. Imagine if you take today’s lineup and move Steer to 3B and CES to 1B. Awesome.

      • Jim Walker

        Excuse me, I forgot maybe they already did burn the option. Fairchild was optioned on March 20 but recalled on March 30. That is a gray area situation because if a player is not down for 10 days, it doesn’t count; and I am not sure how the days work in the preseason. Also players were moved to the IL on 3/30 which further complicates whether Fairchild was recalled “early” as an injury replacement or had his 10 days in.

  43. CI3J

    Do we actually know that Will Benson can’t hit LH pitching? From checking his splits in both the majors and minors, he’s had very, very few AB against LH pitching. I’d be willing to let him try it some more and see if he can be another Friedl. I think Benson. deserves at least 50 PA against LH pitchers before we completely dismiss his ability to hit them.

    That said, I doubt Bell will ever give Benson the chance.

    • Jim Walker

      Benson had a .761 OPS (~90 PAs) vs LH pitching last year at AAA (Cleveland org).

      But IMO, the Reds find themselves not in a position right now to just give guys extended exploratory looks at MLB.

      • CI3J

        I don’t see why not? The worse case scenario is Benson hits something like .150 against LH pitchers while still providing stellar defense. The best case scenario is Benson proves he can hit LH pitching just as well as RH pitching, thus eliminating another potential platoon situation.

        I see a lot of upside and little downside of giving him a chance.

  44. Kevin H

    The good news through all of this. The reds have depth at Lousville. Hopkins, Barrero are sent down and who ever else will be good pieces to have when injuries happens as we know they will.

    Repeating self, however Myers should be dfa, he isn’t in louisvillebats lineup today. Doesn’t mean anything I know.