As the day starts on June 20th the Cincinnati Reds find themselves by themselves, atop the National League’s Central Division. The team was picked to finish in last place by most and those who didn’t have them in last had them in next-to-last and just ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates. How did we get here?

The simple answer to that question is that to this point in the season the Cincinnati Reds have won more games than the other teams in the division. The longer answer is that the division as a whole isn’t that good, the roster the team has today looks vastly different than the one they had on opening day, and some big time performances from players that they weren’t expecting to get right away.

The roster today, particularly from an offensive standpoint looks so much better than it did when the season began. It began to change when Matt McLain showed up. After having a so-so season in 2021 in Double-A Chattanooga, McLain entered 2023 with some changes at the plate and just obliterated the baseball in Triple-A Louisville. His 1.188 OPS was the highest mark in all of the minors when he was called up to Cincinnati. While he hasn’t been THAT good in the big leagues, he’s been very good. In his first 32 games he’s hit .317/.371/.496, provided quality defense, and he’s been good on the bases.

After an absolutely brutal start to the season for Will Benson he was sent to the minor leagues. He started slow there, too, but he got things going in the right direction in May for Louisville and since being recalled on May 26th he’s added depth and quality plate appearances to the lineup. Benson has hit .367/.483/.531 with 11 walks and just seven strikeouts in 60 plate appearances spread out over 19 games.

The Elly De La Cruz era began with enormous fanfare. And for good reason – the guy can do things on a baseball field that just defy logic. He’s aggressive on the bases, but with extreme smarts and he’s faster than just about anyone in the game. He makes things happen. But he’s also a good defender at both shortstop and third base. There was a stretch of a few games there where he racked up a bunch of strikeouts, but by-and-large he’s been like many other hitters in this lineup – patient and battles guys to extend plate appearances. He’s hit .271/.352/.417 in his first two weeks in the big leagues and has been a sparkplug in the middle of the lineup.

Andrew Abbott recently joined the rotation after beginning the season in Double-A. His ascension was quick – he and Matt McLain are two of the fastest players from the 2021 draft to reach the big leagues. And since he joined the Reds he hasn’t allowed a run in his three starts, picking up wins in each of the games.

Then you’ve got some unlikely production from a guy like Ben Lively. He began the season in Triple-A and while he was solid there he seemed to be getting by on weak contact and throwing strikes. He’s come to Cincinnati, thrown way more strikes and struck out a ton more batters than he had while in the minors. For a rotation that’s basically been in shambles due to ineffectiveness by some and injuries to others, Lively’s stepped up in a big way for the club.

While there have been some unexpected guys step up, the club has also gotten good production from players that were expected to perform well. Spencer Steer struggled a bit in his debut last September, but he’s brushed that off and hit quite well – as he was expected to – this season. While playing first, third, and a little bit of the outfield of late, Steer’s hit .278/.362/.475 and like the hitters talked about above, he’s provided quality at-bats.

Jonathan India’s 2022 season was a bit of a down year compared to his rookie campaign, but he’s turned things around this year while being a little bit healthier. Batting in the top third of the order throughout the season he’s hit .271/.355/.439 with 10 homers (tied with Spencer Steer for the team lead).

TJ Friedl was the original Will Benson. Well, maybe not – but he went through something similar last year when he struggled a bit in the big leagues and was sent back to Triple-A and made some adjustments, then returned in August and he’s hit .288/.360/.493 in 352 plate appearances since then. His strong finish in 2022 has carried forward this season and he’s hit .308/.368/.465 in 50 games.

Hunter Greene has been good out of the rotation. Through 14 starts he’s got a 3.93 ERA (that’s a 121 ERA+), and while his won/loss record doesn’t reflect it, he’s been the best pitcher on the clubs. Unfortunately for the club, Greene just went on the injured list yesterday.

But perhaps the biggest surprise and a big factor for the team’s success has been the bullpen. Alexis Diaz has been one of the best relievers in baseball this year. He was also one of the best relievers in baseball last season as a rookie. He’s 19-for-19 in save chances this season and has been as dominant as any Reds reliever has been in decades.

It’s not just Diaz in the 9th inning, though. Buck Farmer has a 2.55 ERA, Lucas Sims has a 2.70 ERA, Alex Young has a 2.79 ERA, Ian Gibaut has a 3.41 ERA, and prior to landing on the injured list Derek Law had a 2.57 ERA. The bullpen certainly has had some guys in it this season who have gotten rocked, but there’s some depth of good relievers on the club and when David Bell has needed guys to step up that group has certainly been up to the task.

The lineup as currently constructed is deep. The catcher on the day may still be a bit of an easy out, but beyond that the lineup is full of guys who work the count, mostly have high contact rates, and while not a team that has a ton of home run pop in it, has a lot of extra-base power to it. And to top it off, the team has a bunch of speed on the bases. They make the pitchers work and work hard to get through the lineup. And they put pressure on the pitcher, catcher, and fielders with how they run the bases.

The pitching staff is in a tough spot right now. Three starters are on the injured list and two of the pitchers in the rotation have been inconsistent at best and not good if we’re being polite. Who fills in for Hunter Greene next week when the team needs a starter is anyone’s guess as the club has pushed it’s depth to the limits in the rotation. That issue hasn’t had an effect on the bullpen yet, but it certainly could down the line.

The Reds are not without issues. Nick Lodolo is out until at least August. Hunter Greene’s been dealing with a hip issue for what seems like a month now and is on the injured list. Graham Ashcraft started out hot but since May he’s struggled in a big way and is currently on the injured list. Luke Weaver has an ERA pushing six and a half. But as was stated in the early parts of this article – this division stinks. Every team in it has pretty big question marks somewhere on the club.

Can the Reds continue to outpace the division like they have for the last two months? They certainly can. The lineup is very deep and the bullpen is quite good. The rotation is being held together with dollar store tape and a glue stick from 1997, but there are opportunities for that to improve. Maybe it’s a call up of Connor Phillips in the second half (he’s on a roll and currently making a mockery of Double-A), perhaps Graham Ashcraft returns from the injured list and starts getting things going in the right direction again, Hunter Greene’s hip issues get figured out and he can remain on the mound, and maybe – just maybe – the team uses a summer trade to add a starting pitcher who can eat some innings and provide stabilization.

97 Responses

  1. Datdudejs

    I love this team. They are just deep, and seem to love playing together. They are so much fun to watch. Add some pitching depth and I think they are the favorite in the central

  2. Jim t

    Doug if the reds starting rotation can keep them in games they can certainly win enough games to qualify for the postseason. As you mentioned a lot of young talent on this team that should get better.

    I also wouldn’t be opposed to trading for a starting pitcher at the deadline.

    One last thing, David Bell and staff have done a great job of creating an identity for this team. One that battles every day right down to every inning and every at bat. While he gets very little credit for his effort Newman is a player that provides the example many of these youngsters are following at the plate.

    • SteveAReno

      Newman has been sharp. Hitting well and playing good defense.

  3. Pete

    Connor Phillips is a beast and potentially the best of a very good lot. I hope his next start is with AAA but preferably with the Reds against Atlanta!

    Great break down, Doug. The best news is this team is so young and the pipeline is so full of talent that this should be just beginning of a stretch of baseball that Cincinnati has not experience perhaps ever.

    • David

      I agree that Connor Phillips has got it going on now. I would like to see him get a couple of starts in AAA, but it is not unusual for a guy to jump from AA to the Majors.

      With Hunter on the DL for ~ 10-15 days, I hope that Graham Ashcraft is going to be ready to start this weekend.

    • Amarillo

      He shouldn’t jump from AA straight to the Majors. Double A is testing an easier to grip ball this year, which means it’s a completely different baseball than the one used in the Majors. He does need to be promoted, but should have a few starts with the normal ball first.

  4. kypodman

    3 things…..
    1. bring up CES from AAA
    2. trade for a dependable starting pitcher
    3. trade for Chapman for the bullpen
    any order of these is fine, but, GET ALL 3 DONE! (mic drop)

    • Jonathan

      i don’t want to give up prospect capital for a rental. keep the prospects. if the Reds did a reverse Tyler Mahle trade I would be annoyed.

    • AllTheHype

      You’d be losing a lot of assets, including probably CES, to accomplish the last two things you have listed.

  5. Indy Red Man

    Fraley has been huge too. He’s had atleast 4-5 game winning hits when they were treading water earlier. He’s faster then I thought too with a bunch of steals and the ball he beat out last night that seemed like a sure double play

  6. Melvin

    Young guys coming up and playing so well so quickly has pleasantly surprised everyone…except our opponents.

  7. Tom Mitsoff

    As long as they continue to play at the current pace (and no, I don’t mean win every game the rest of the year ;0 ), I believe they’ll go out and get at least one veteran starting pitcher.

  8. Steve Schoenbaechler

    This would be about as much of a roller coaster season, for individuals and the team as a whole, as I have ever seen. Benson is a great example.

    We all thought the starting pitching was going to be a strength of this team. But, now, all 5 starters we had at the beginning of the season, they are all on IL or gone. The starters we have, they have simply been getting the job done. No aces (well, Abbott maybe. If you thought he needed more seasoning, call it “seasoning under fire”) in the group, but they haven’t given up the 7, 8, 9 run innings either.

    The bats started light, I believe, but have gone up. We are one of the best hitting teams in the league. HR’s? Don’t need them. Oh, sure, nice to have them. Only on rare occasions. . .don’t need them.

    The pen started out as bad as ever. Now, they are one of the best in the league.

    Each night, it seems to be someone stepping up, if not several players, if not everyone.

    The thing for me now. . .I consider each season a series of goals, tests, etc. The Braves and Orioles will be good tests. If we can just get through them 500, I would be happy. Can we get to the AS break still in first? Just little by little.

    The biggest thing we need, I believe, is our regular starting pitching back and healthy.

  9. Cincy6464

    Nick Krall (& Dick Williams to a lesser extent) have done a fantastic job building the pipeline for position players.
    Pitching is so fickle. Arm issues, leg issues, hip issues… The Verlanders & Scherzers are rare & even they struggle with health at times.
    It will be a tough call to “sell off of the farm” for a rental pitcher… but you have to try & win when the opportunity is there?!

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Actually, this pipeline was short. Many of these players came in last year’s trades.

  10. Mark Moore

    +10,000 to all the comments above.

    It’s a bit of a dream sequence for me, especially given the multiple comeback wins. Couldn’t have scripted Joey’s return any better.

    Hoping we can pound the Rocks into Pebbles tonight and secure a series win. Plus, that would be ten in a row, so there’s that … 😀

  11. LDS

    Simple. Last year only 4 teams had an older average roster. This year, until the dinosaurs return, only 4 teams have a younger roster. Next year, the Reds will likely be even younger. With guys like Votto, Newman, and Myers replaced by CES, et al. The Reds will be younger and more aggressive. The pitching is still an issue but only Cleveland and Miami have a younger average age on pitching. Sometimes the old guys have to get out of the way of the young guys and let them take over. It happens to all of us eventually.

    • Kevin H

      Tell that to Aaron Judge and the Yankees. Paul goldsmith and the Cardinals. Players do produce past whatever it is some here consider old.

      Oh the Mets and their two top pitchers . The dodgers and Kershaw. Sorry I just don’t believe in the “old guy myth” some promote on here

      • LDS

        Outliers are just that – outliers. On average, the older players decline. The Reds were loaded with decliners last year.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        LDS “The Reds were loaded with decliners last year.”

        Hmmm, India was on that team. Steer was. Stephenson. Barrios (still with the organization). Senzel. Friedl, Fraley, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, and so many others.

        Where were the decliners? Or, could it be that all teams will also have decliners?

    • RedlegScott

      Was Votto an “outlier” last night or did he hit a homer and knock in the winning run? I don’t understand your position.

      • LDS

        One game – not statistically meaningful

      • Melvin

        Are you kidding? Have you seen his stats since he’s been up? 🙂

      • Melvin

        Actually, after watching him hit last night, I expect great things from him. Being around these young guys have made him several years younger. He’s fired up and happy. Not only that he has protection all around him.

      • Optimist

        Melvin’s “protection” comment is the key here – they finally have enough protection throughout the lineup, especially with the speed. They’re much more able to manufacture weak hits, force errors, avoid DPs and extend innings/pitch counts.

      • greenmtred

        Votto’s return was magical, probably instantly added to the lore of the first professional baseball team. I can’t fault what LDS says here, though. It was one great game, and there have been a number of those lately. Will Joey go 2 for 3 with a homer every game? Will the Reds lose a few, even a few in a row? What they’re doing now isn’t entirely sustainable, but they clearly have more talent and enthusiasm than they have had in years. So I’m just enjoying the must-watch baseball, the shifting caste of heroes, the different ways they find to win. They’ll cool down–hopefully just a bit–but they will probably still be good, and this magical run will still be there to be savored.

      • Melvin

        Of course he won’t go 2-3 every game……I fully expect him to 3-3 every now and then. 😀

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I won’t ever say age can’t be good. Many times, age is needed to show these young pups how to win, how much work it means needs to be done to win, etc.

      After all, if age was a meaningless thing, then why even have any coaches over 40. Just get a bunch of grade schoolers. They are definitely younger than anyone else, so they would make great coaches, right?

  12. JA

    This team is having more options to win since the new players can play a more aggressive approach running the bases (even India looks slower vs the new players).

    Many infield hits, and many miscues by the rivals because of that approach (even more sac bunts). It doesn’t work always, but is increasing pressure to the fielders…….. just yesterday, Moose failed twice in crucial moments… (Sorry J. Gomber) .

    It would be interesting to know how many stolen bases this team have and compared with 2022, 2021 seasons at this point and also errors by the opponents..

  13. old-school

    Two intangibles that no one can quantitate are character and chemistry and that goes back to picking the right type of players with a blend of talent, work ethic and determination and being a good teammate. We all loved NIck Castellanos for his fiery intensity and win now attitude. Curt Casali made a comment before the season that there are no “jerks” in here.

    I dont know how many wins character and chemistry count for if any, but it sure is fun to root for guys you like who play the game hard and with energy and aggression.

  14. doofus

    Will Bob Castellini allow an increase in salary for much needed pitching?

    • AllTheHype

      He’s spent big time money every time the team has turned the corner in the past. No reason he won’t do it this time. It’s so easy for big contracts to de-rail a small market franchise though. I hope they do it very cautiously.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      The thing that gets to me about our owners is that, at least from the numbers I remember, the Yankees annual payroll is worth more than what Castellini is worth, period.

  15. Bdh

    I know even in the tougher times I keep a Nick Kirby level of optimism with the Reds but I never thought we’d see this group in first place towards the end of June.

    So happy all of the “ this team will lose more than last year” people are looking as foolish as I thought they always were.

  16. RedsGettingBetter

    Pretty good article Doug. Even Fraley deserves to be mentioned since he is the RBI leader and SB co-leader in the team and has responded in many clutch moments. Newman despite the many haters he has , to be honest, has also contributed in different ways…

  17. Zach

    Why on earth are people saying the Reds need to trade for a rental pitcher? They should work with what they have and continue the rebuild. I could see them signing a pitcher or two in the off-season when Votto and Moose contracts are completely off the books. However, selling any piece of the farm now would be downright criminal. They should be looking to ADD to the farm by trading Newman, Myers, Senzel, and Barrero.

    Yes, they have a chance to make a run this year. But the future is even brighter next season and beyond!

    Stick to the strategy, trade players that are soon due to become expensive and have high trade value —> restock the farm —> promote the next generation of rookies —> sign free agents to bolster the roster since rookie contracts are cheap.

    Wash rinse repeat. Don’t bail at the first hint of success.

    • Mike Adams

      Now Zach, that just makes too much sense.
      You need to be afraid that the success won’t last.
      You know, sell sell sell buy buy buy trade trade trade do something!

    • MBS

      @Zack ”Stick to the strategy” I’m going to go ahead and say that Krall is probably the one who’s more familiar with the strategy. I think what you said is only part of a strategy.

      “If we’ve got a chance to make the playoffs, we try to make the playoffs any way we can. It’s not about getting top farm systems. That’s great, but at the same time, you’re trying to make moves to sustain winning on your big league club and figure out what that is,” Krall said.”

    • Cincy6464

      @Z – I agree with much of what you prescribe. Your formula helps avoid the lows & helps maintain the competitive windows. Two questions;
      1. do you think the Reds have the pitching to win it all this year? If not, then we may have to dip into the farm to get a quality arm needed for a WS run. I personally believe the position player pieces are in place for a deep playoff run.
      2. you list 25 year old Barrero as “trade-able”. I’d say he’s a part of the farm. He has physical talent & he will figure it out at the plate (see Benson, Friedl, Steer & a host of other young players since baseball was invented – one of my faves being Zack Cozart).

      • Zach

        MBS- Krall knows more than me? Blasphemy! (I kid of course). The time could be now, but why force the issue? Even if the Reds trade prospects to grab a starter, they still will likely not have enough starters to get them across the finish line this season with a WS trophy.

        I don’t believe we have the seasoned talent to win the World Series THIS year. Although they could make a fun run into the playoffs. 1.) I doubt one additional starting pitcher will make too much of a difference to tilt favor for a WS title (although I would LOVE to be proven wrong). We’d need to get rid of multiple top prospects to obtain a starter worth value. Pitching is selling at a massive premium. Is it worth that chance on the first hint of success in a weak division? I’d rather see what the young guys can do this season and adjust accordingly next season.
        2.) Barrero is one ‘prospect’ I could be talked into trading away. He’s no longer an option at SS for the Reds with McLain and EDLC covering SS duties. His time at CF was also not impressive. As you say though- he’s still young and could turn it around. I don’t like selling low either.

      • Melvin

        Barrero has been playing SS again at AAA.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Hi, Zach,

      I can understand exactly where you are coming from. Yes, a rebuild isn’t anything done in just 1 season. I stated at the beginning of this season I could even see 1-2 more firesales.

      The thing is, if something can be done, I still think we should. But, you should always trade on a position of strength. For instance, that might be one thing that’s taking so long for CES to be called up here. . .he’s so blocked out on positions.

      But, let’s keep it simple. For example, say you have a young All-Star 2nd baseman, but you also have a young stud 2nd baseman essentially ready to come up (like our CES is). No interest in changing positions. Prospects have 2 functions, replace major leaguers and tradebait. Say we need a starting pitcher to “put us over the top”, who do we give up, the All-Star or the stud prospect? Either one? Do we not even think about it and require one of them to learn a new position? But, this opportunity, to win the division, may not come up for a while again.

      That’s where the front office has to determine. As for me, it’s quite understandable to trade either the All-Star or the young stud for the starting pitcher. I mean, there was a position block. We needed the talent elsewhere. Let’s go get it.

      As a matter of fact, that’s what I hope the Reds do during the off season. For example, back in the 75-76 seasons, I’ve always heard that Sparky rarely playing our top 8 together (maybe 100 times a season). And, I would have no problem with that. But, once we had a game to win, that we needed to win, Sparky knew who to go to.

      Who do we go to on this team? I mean, there are so many different combinations. And, some might think that’s great; it throws off the other team. But, also, it can easily throw off our defense. I mean, I just imagine myself, coming to the ballpark, “Am I going to be 2nd base today or left field?” It would make my game a lot easier if I had a better idea of what I was going to do each day I came to the ballpark. Then, also, I could actually put my practice time into making my weaknesses even stronger.

      I mean, with this team, if we had a game we had to win, who’s our SS? 3rd base? LF? RF? C? DH? Who are the corresponsing bench players? I would think the players would appreciate that as well.

  18. BobG

    Would you trade Marte and Senzel throw in Newman for a veteran middle of the rotation guy? Another decent starter and ride this fun vibe. You never know unless you try.

    • Melvin

      Don’t like the idea of trading Marte.

  19. Mike Adams

    Doug, your article is right on the money. The last paragraph sums things up nicely.

  20. Mike Adams

    May not get the game in tonight.
    I don’t like that big chunk of rain heading toward Cincinnati from the EAST.
    It looks ominous at 2:54 pm

  21. Soto

    Nice article Doug. I believe the biggest key to their success has been, good drafting, a couple of good trades that stocked the farm, and good player development in the minors. The young players are stepping up and it’s fun to watch. Now just add CES and Phillips and enjoy the ride. I would prioritize adding a pen arm this year, but I would not be willing to give up too many high quality prospects to get one. CES, Marte, and Phillips should be considered untouchables.

  22. CI3J

    While all of this is fun, it’s just a preview of what’s to come for the next few seasons from our Cincinnati Reds.

    No one on the roster is going to hit age 30 for another 3 years. They are all in or approaching their prime years.

    The starting pitching looks like a mess now due to injuries, but if Phillips can be the next Abbott, then next year the rotation is:


    That said, I think they should absolutely sign/trade for another starter, with one of the 6 becoming a long man in the bullpen also capable of spot starts. Maybe Lively and Williamson would also look good in the bullpen.

    The bullpen really needs one more shutdown pitcher. Chapman said he’d like to end his career here, and even though he’s already 35, he still has something in the tank. I’d sign him for 3 years and let him be the setup man for Diaz.

    Diaz R
    Chapman L
    Young L
    Williamson L
    Sims R
    Farmer R
    Gibaut R
    Lively R

    Forget about Antone, he’s done. I also think the same of Santillan unless he can lose a ton of weight. Law was pitching well, but he was likely to regress sooner or later, and should not be on the team next year.

    SanMartin, Legumina, and Guiterrez can all stick around as backup options in AAA.

    Of course, if the Reds can add another even better arm to the bullpen, they should do it, but while the pitching situation seems bleak now, it’s not hard to see it drastically improving as time goes on.

  23. wkuchad

    Love the lineup for tonight! Replace Stephenson at catcher, and it’s perfect. But Stephenson needs days off, and I’m guessing his DHing will decrease going forward.

  24. David

    The key to winning is…..winning. Ok, that’s just a trite come-on.

    The Reds have more talent now, with the promotion of Andrew Abbott, Matt McLain and EDLC. Benson looks like he has kind of arrived.
    Friedl was good last year (second half), but he has taken a big step up this year.
    Jon India is healthy. I love this guy. He is the heart and soul of the team. When Joey came into the dugout to get the cape and horned helmet, India had a YUGE grin on his face, clapping Joey on the back.
    Stephenson is back. He will get stronger as the season goes on, barring injury.
    Fraley has been more consistent and better as a hitter.
    Spencer Steer is turning out to be the player that a lot of us thought he would be.
    We have missed Lodolo, and Ashcraft has been kinda lousy prior to going on the DL.

    The Bullpen has actually been pretty good this year. And this is where, I think, you have to give David Bell some credit. NOBODY expected them to be this good, but I did think they would be better than last year. And as much grief as Derrick Johnson gets, he and Bell kind of championed Alex Diaz early last season.
    Ian Gibaut is 7-1 in relief. Some guys are lucky, some guys are good. Ian has backed into some of those, but when was the last time the Reds had this good a bullpen? 2012?
    The winning streak will come to an end, but there is now a real fire in the belly of the players. They KNOW they can win. Not just think they can.
    This team really kind of reminds me of the 1969 Reds. A lot of stud hitters, and they scored a lot of runs, with an iffy starting rotation. Wayne Granger was in 90 games as a reliever. Imagine that.

    • Pete

      Ashcraft was pitching at an all star level before his grandmother died. I’m absolutely willing to give him a Mulligan and figuring he was having difficulty coping with her death.

      If the record rotation that you lay out, comes to pass before the season ends, and the Reds make the playoffs, they are gonna be one tough team to beat.

      • Laura

        I was thinking the same thing – he pitched a good game right after she died but has been bad since then. Grief is hard, I hope he finds some healing.

      • Jason Franklin

        It definitely can be hard to deal with. Everyone is different in how they respond to grief. He could have been very close with his grandmother. My mother died a year and a few days ago and I am still dealing with it everyday. I wish Ashcraft the best. He has so much talent and is a promising starter with that groundball rate and velocity. Just needs to get his third pitch nailed down again. Maybe a sweeper?

  25. Tim

    This is a vastly different team than we have had in recent years. The players are hard to get out. We are not relying on home runs. We steal bases and play better defense. After struggling through Moose and Suarez type approach, terrible bullpens and poor defense, this is fun and refreshing.

  26. Kevin H

    Myers DFA. According to Charlie Goldsmith on Twitter.

    @Harry you called it in April. He wasn’t going to be fine.

    • Pete

      Obviously, this is not your dad‘s Reds…. They mean business!

      • earmbrister

        Smart move: admit your mistake and cut bait. This FO is making solid move after solid move.

    • Optimist

      Good, hard-headed baseball business decision. Same Q from earlier discussions – is he an immediate FA, or is there negotiating period during which they can solicit trades – for whatever/lottery pick A/ASL/DSL level?

      I believe with his service time, he becomes a FA immediately, which, if true, is interesting confirmation that no other team was interested.

      • Optimist

        Trade Rumors answers the Q – Reds have a week to seek a trade – have to believe they can get at least a lottery pick teenager.

    • LDS

      I saw that. Krall gets two thumbs up from me. Let’s hope that opens the door for CES. Now if he would move Senzel and/or Newman for pitching it would be a great day in Reds land.

    • Tampa Red

      “They took Bell’s veteran toys away” or something….

      Seriously, this is the correct move. They are definitely going for it THIS year, as they should.

      You can’t schedule your year to be competitive. Who knows what tomorrow brings. When you have the opportunity to win something meaningful, you do it. That’s what winners do. Love the mentality!

      • Kevin H

        So dfa a catcher and call up CES?

        I am truly impressed with upper management etc

  27. AllTheHype

    Perhaps now is a good time to revisit the trades the Reds made (which most here opposed).

    Traded are those who would have been pending free agents:
    Winker $8.25M with sub .200 BA
    Mahle $7.5M, IL out til mid season ‘24
    Castillo $11.4M with 2.73 ERA
    Suarez $22M thru ’24 with .215 BA, OPS+ 85
    Total $49.15M

    Received & controlled for 6+ years (with much less $$) once they reach MLB:
    Steer, 121 OPS+ in MLB
    Fraley, 110 OPS+ in MLB
    CES, 1.108 OPS in AAA
    Marte, .850 OPS in AA
    Phillips 3.43 ERA in AA, 109 k in 64 IP

    Castillo would have been very useful to keep but there’s no guarantee he would have signed the same contract with the Reds that he did with the Mariners. Even if he would have, I would not blame the Reds for refusing to double down on another Homer Bailey contract.

    • LDS

      In all honesty, Castillo was the only one I thought they should have held onto. Winker is another Fraley with less speed. Kills RH’ers, can’t hit a lefty.

      • Pete

        Afterwatch young Edwin Arroyo play in his recent development. He may end up being worth Castillo straight up let alone with Marte as an add in. That kid is scary good.

        In my estimation, he is the future shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds.

    • Optimist

      And that’s just the larger $ list – look at the others – Drury, Pham, Naquin, Farmer, Moreta – at this point only the Moreta and Farmer deals are arguably level – the Drury, and especially Naquin, deals could turn into gold mines.

    • Cincy6464

      @ATH – I certainly lamented some of those trades “privately”! Castillo the most. Frankly, the failed Moose/Shogo experiments, the prospect of a string of 100-loss seasons (similar to the 2016-2019 rebuild) & Phil’s comments left me down-hearted. Even the Reds’ affiliates in 2022 were well below .500 (with the exception of 67-61 Dayton). I was about ready to switch over to the Tribe.
      How could anyone see the next competitive window coming this quickly? It’s a testament to Nick Krall’s vision & some ballplayers/coaches that love playing the game. Glad I stuck it out for sure – it’s fun to be a Reds fanatic again!

      • Mike Adams

        “How could anyone see the next competitive window coming this quickly?”
        I certainly can’t say I did but the key to it is the talent in these young guys.

    • Optimist

      Doug must be making pizzas – needs to wash his hands and get to the keyboard!

  28. RedlegScott

    With this offense, does anyone really believe this team incapable of a deep playoff run? They need only a quality starter and a Chapman to get them there. The time is now. Go for it, Reds!

  29. Mark Moore

    I’m beginning to think (like some of y’all) that there is a trade brewing. Quite possibly involving Maile (frankly, he deserves a shot at more playing time) and maybe one of Newman/Senzel. That would seem to clear some space for a pitcher and … just maybe … the promotion of one CES.

    • Indy Red Man

      Common sense would say you’re right. We can’t play everyone and they’re good enough to start or atleast contribute elsewhere

    • Indy Red Man

      The Angels get mentioned a lot. Just lost the 3B from the Nats (name escapes me).
      SS hurt too I think or 2B. They’re currently the AL #5 seed

  30. Indy Red Man

    I don’t think Wil Myers is done, but just no place to play here. Smart move

    • Mark Moore

      He’s just got one of the world’s bigger and longer paid All Star breaks. Somebody will want him once all the “paperwork” gets done.

  31. Thomas Atwood

    Hello everyone! New here.

    As tough as “the sell-off” was to watch, we knew this was the goal. But to see it come around this quickly a credit to these young players, the culture they have built (which includes David Bell), the coaches that have helped them develop, and to Nick Krall for identifying and getting them.

    Even though this team is still a work in progress — they would be in 4th place in 4 divisions right now — they are a ton of fun and improving by the week. I’d wager that 20+ teams look at the Reds roster with some level of jealousy.

  32. Kevin Patrick

    Of course my suggestion will never happen because I don’t think they even exist anymore…the Reds need a knuckleballer with a rubber arm. Somebody that can throw 3 innings of something so distracting it throws off the batters for half a week. If you can get 5 innings great. If he pitches for 9, that’s fine too if he preserves the pen. I don’t know about making deals with the Royals for Chapman et al, but another dominant reliever would help also. I don’t think the Reds need to wait on T.J. Antone for that. Some of these injured relievers should be considered gravy and not necessarily the potatoes. I have mixed feelings about designating Myers. For one, I know he’s better than what he has shown. Secondly, as much as anyone else I’m on the magic bandwagon of outfield performers the Reds currently have, but I have a hard time completely believing that these performances will endure. I actually wonder whether pitchers are having a harder time because they are facing a more varied set of batters with the diverse schedule. I do not ultimately blame the Reds for a decision like this for Myers because they have to have the roster flexibility.

    • Randy in Chatt

      I like the idea of a knuckle-baller. Thought of that a few times. He could go multiple days and multiple innings and we’d never worry about arm troubles. MLB hitters would not know what to do with a knuckler. They are so geared for 95+ they’d look silly hitting one.

  33. Steve Schoenbaechler

    When was the last time the Reds were this many games over 500?

    When was the last time the Reds were in first place? Let’s put a condition on that. . .after 20 games. No, “They were in first place last year, after they won the first game.”

    • Doug Gray

      The Reds were 12 games over .500 late in August of 2021.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Thank you.

        And, entirely unscientific survey tells me that the last time the Reds were in first place this last in the season was 2012. They took first place in the division on May 24 and kept a pretty good hold on it the rest of the season. That was the year of the “loss” to the Giants in the division series. Enough said.

  34. Tim

    CES is coming soon and will play outfield primarily

  35. Roger Garrett

    Myers will play for somebody this year and maybe beyond and I wish him luck.Reds will go with Joey a couple of vet catchers and the kids and anything can happen going forward.GO REDS

  36. Laura

    I just continue to appreciate India – he plays hard, no matter how banged up he is. After Sunday’s game I was expecting the Reds to put him on the DL after that hit he took at 2nd base then getting hit in the leg by the Astros pitcher. But he just played on. He’s helped change the culture of this team – I think Bell should name him Team
    Have we had a Team Captain since Larkin?

  37. CFD3000

    On the down side: Votto may or may not hit well, Abbott is due for a regression, the bullpen will almost certainly wear down, all three of the “big three” starting pitchers are on the IL, and the offensive side of the roster still has some questionable slots – Newman, Senzel and whoever you want to call the 3rd catcher.

    On the plus side: Speed and aggressiveness on the base paths don’t slump, if Votto is truly healthy and stays that way, he could contribute a LOT, Ashcraft, Greene and then Lodolo will all be back, with Phillips climbing fast (four reasons NOT to pay much for a rental starter), and Newman, Senzel and Maile / Casali could bring back some bullpen help. And perhaps the biggest pluses: EDLC has been good, but nowhere near his potential. He’s contributing mostly with his speed right now (more base hits on what would normally be easy outs than I’ve ever seen), but will likely adapt and hit with more power too. And CES could be a difference maker if / when Newman or Senzel move on to make room. And finally, the NL Central is a weak division. I like the Reds chances right now. Can’t wait to see how it plays out.