Brandon Williamson did his part, keeping the Padres in check for five innings. But San Diego took full advantage of the Cincinnati Reds bullpen on Saturday afternoon and crushed them as they blew out the home team 12-5 behind two home runs from Manny Machado.

Final R H E
San Diego Padres (38-45)
12 10 0
Cincinnati Reds (44-39)
5 8 2
W: Wacha (8-2) L: Williamson (1-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

After a 1-2-3 top of the 1st inning, Matt McLain picked up a 1-out double in the bottom half for Cincinnati, but the team couldn’t come through with a hit to bring him in. Brandon Williamson worked around a single in the 2nd inning. The offense got another double, this time to lead off the inning, but Jake Fraley was caught stealing third base to end the inning and once again the team failed to produce a run with a runner in scoring position.

The Padres took advantage of a leadoff walk in the top of the 3rd inning. Trent Grisham drew the walk, stole second base and then scored on a double by Fernando Tatis Jr. with two outs, giving San Diego a 1-0 lead. The bottom half of the inning played out nearly identical as Tyler Stephenson led off with a walk and then scored on a 2-out double by Matt McLain.

Brandon Williamson would toss a shutout 4th and 5th inning for the Reds, keeping the game tied up at 1-1. He took the mound for the top of the 6th, but game up a leadoff single to Austin Nola and that would be the end of his day as Buck Farmer entered the game to face the top of the Padres lineup. Ha-Seong Kim reached on an error when Elly De La Cruz had a chopper get him on the short hop, clanking off of his glove. Then Juan Soto and Manny Machado hit back-to-back home runs and it was 5-1 just like that.

Alec Mills took over in the 7th inning for Buck Farmer and it was not a good Reds debut for the veteran right-handed pitcher. He hit Jake Cronenworth to start the inning, then fired a wild pitch to move him up to second base. Trent Grisham followed with an RBI triple to make it 6-1, and then he scored on a ground out. An error by Spencer Steer allowed Ha-Seong Kim to reach for the second time in the game thanks to a defensive miscue. He would score on a single by Fernando Tatis Jr. to make it 8-1. Manny Machado capped off the inning with a 2-run homer that made it 10-1.

The Reds aren’t going to just roll over for anyone. In the bottom of the 7th inning Tyler Stephenson got the rally started with a walk. Will Benson followed up with a single. Later in the inning Matt McLain walked to load the bases with two outs. That brought Jonathan India to the plate and he took a 99 MPH fastball and sent it 430 feet to dead center off of the batters eye for a grand slam to make it 10-5.

Eduardo Salazar came out of the bullpen to begin the 8th inning and hit the first two batters he saw. Ha-Seong Kim then singled to load the bases. Fernando Tatis Jr. then hit a sacrifice fly to make it 11-5. Juan Soto followed with one of his own as San Diego padded their lead once again.

Brent Honeywell was tasked to keep the Reds from scoring a touchdown in the bottom of the 9th inning. Will Benson led off with a single, but a fly out and a ground ball double play quickly followed and the game was over. San Diego evened up the series, setting up the rubber match on Sunday afternoon.

Key Moment of the Game

Juan Soto and Manny Machado going back-to-back in the 6th inning to turn a tie game into a 4-run lead for the Padres.

Notes Worth Noting

All Matt McLain does is hit. With two more doubles on Saturday he’s now hitting .317/.372/.556 with 25 extra-base hits in 42 games since being called up.

Will Benson had three hits on the day. Since being called up from Triple-A on May 26th he’s hit .389/.488/.625 with 14 walks and 14 strikeouts to go along with six stolen bases.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

San Diego Padres vs Cincinnati Reds

Sunday July 2nd, 1:40pm ET

TBA vs Andrew Abbott (4-0, 1.21 ERA)

173 Responses

  1. nnati

    Now I’ve been reserved making a comment about Bell. However, the past two games has me questioning his way. He’s made good calls; he’s also made questionable calls these past two games.

    • nnati

      …and his decisions these past two games pissed me off.

  2. AMDG

    Meanwhile Votto is only batting 0.152, striking out 37% of the time, and is 1 for his last 20.

    At some point, we probably need to acknowledge this is who Votto is at age 39.5 and if the Reds are serious about winning, it’s likely time to not start him every single game.

    • Chris

      You may be right, but no one in their right mind comes to that conclusion with a guy who has meant so much for this organization after 2 weeks.

      • AMDG

        It’s after 2 weeks in 2023, plus a month in AAA in 2023, and all of 2022.

        That’s over 500 plate appearances, and more than a year worth of horribly diminished offensive production vs his prime.

      • Jon

        “ It’s after 2 weeks in 2023, plus a month in AAA in 2023, and all of 2022.”

        Votto was playing injured last year. And he has always been a slow starter to the season.

      • CI3J

        So the question is, how long do you give Votto before you make a decision on him?

      • GJF

        I am a big Joey fan, but his dive for the triple by Gresham was not a good look. As someone remarked recently Senzel looks lost in the field as well. No excuse not to bring up CES. It’s getting late.

      • Tom Diesman

        Votto’s very low .133 BABIP and team leading 50% Hard Hit rate say Hi! But keep focusing in on that BA and what he did swinging injured last season if it makes you happy.

      • CP

        “That’s over 500 plate appearances, and more than a year worth of horribly diminished offensive production vs his prime.”

        I’m no mathematician, but he had 376 PAs in 2022 and 40 PAs in 2023…

      • CP

        Eh, I eventually figured out you are also adding MiLB PAs. I don’t think anyone cares about an MLB hitter rehabbing in AAA’s, but I did want to acknowledge the misunderstanding.

    • bug

      I concur, AMDG. Votto’s an automatic out and a rally killer. It’s sad, but it’s true. How long does Bell let him hurt the team with his lack of hitting? I hope he doesn’t repeat what he did early on with Meyers,..who cost us game after game with his weakstick. Oh well.

      • JayTheRed

        David Bell will say he is using Votto so he can get him going again. We have seen this so many times.

    • Creigh Deeds

      I love votto. I also love everything about the Big Red Machine. I think the pitching from those years was always underrated. It’s time for Joey to sit.

    • west larry

      At least, play him against rihties only, and bat him 9th until he starts hitting again.

  3. Chris

    Doug mentioned key moment of the game as the back to back HR’s. I’d suggest the key moment of the game was pulling Williamson when he did. Soto was 3rd up, and he’s the guy you wanted Williamson to face again, as he is tough on left handed hitters, and had been on Soto thus far in the game. I’m just blown away by the idea that it’s time to pull a pitcher after 3 hits and one walk given up through 5 innings. I’ll never get used to that. I always believe that you just never know what the new pitcher you bring in has that day. We know now.

    • Indy Red Man

      You’ll have to hammer every manager then because the average start now is 88 pitches or something like that. I’m old school too and I get what you’re saying, but its the 3rd time thru the order blah blah blah and Farmer has been good this year. Its easy to 2nd guess when things go south

      • J

        Indy, you do realize a lot of us aren’t “second guessing” this decision just because it didn’t work out today, right? A lot of us have complained again and again and again that Bell is too quick to pull starters who seem to be doing fine and haven’t thrown very many pitches. We’ve complained that it overworks the bullpen (even when it works), doesn’t take full advantage of starters when they’re having good games, and often backfires as it did today. My position on this has been consistent and clear, and today I believe is a good example of Bell doing something that I (and a lot of us) would never do even if it’s currently a very trendy thing for managers to do.

      • Chris

        For starters, I’m not second guessing anyone. I feel this way about how managers like Bell manage their starters, and have said it plenty of times. On that same note, I’ve also acknowledged that it isn’t a Bell thing, but a modern day manager way of doing things. With that said, once again, when managers take out the hot hand they always risk the fact that the next pitcher might not be so hot on that given day. We saw that today. The current style of managing lost this game for the Reds today, plain and simple.

      • J

        One more point: if the average for starters is 88, that means a lot of them are pitching a lot more than 88. That 88 figure would include starters who get yanked in the 3rd inning because they’ve given up 7 runs, not to mention starters who are being babied because they’re coming back from an injury or haven’t had a proper spring training or are being converted from relievers to starters or whatever. The more relevant figure would be the average pitches thrown by a guy who’s only given up 1 run and has made it into the 6th inning. I bet that average is a lot higher than 88, because most managers will be reluctant to remove a guy who’s pitching that well and hasn’t even thrown 90 pitches.

      • Indy Red Man

        Ok J, I have some numbers for you:

        Kim .858 ops vs lefties .700 vs rhp
        Tatis 1.058 ops vs lhp, .785 vs rhp

        To be fair:

        Williamson is holding guys to .120 batting average 3rd time thru the lineup (3 for 25). That seems random though. 1st time .292 & 2nd time thru .290

        Overall though, he didn’t get the 9 hitter and now 2 tough righties are coming up. I don’t see where Bell did anything wrong in this instance. Tatis had already burned him

      • Indy Red Man

        I remember Dusty used to drive me nuts and let Harang bat and kill an inning at 90 pitches or something then he’d go out the next inning and pull him after 2 guys get on anyway? I like a quick hook personally unless the guy is a #1-#2 type

      • JayTheRed

        Farmer has been a not as consistent lately. I too hate that pitchers who are pitching well are getting pulled before they are even close to 100 pitches. If a guy is going well let him pitch.

        I better not hear Bell complain about the bullpen when their arms start falling off later this season. I will blame him for overuse. Just cause a lot of teams do something does not mean it is the right thing to do.

    • CI3J

      Yes, if Bell wants to take the next step as a manager, he needs to stop being so conservative and rigid in how he handles pitchers and instead try to manage them based on the game situation.

      I heard it mentioned that Bell had planned to pull Williamson before he went through the lineup a third time. But as you said, it probably would have been better to let Williamson face Soto one last time before taking him out, especially if you’re replacing him with a RHP. Bell should have stopped and assessed the situation before just rigidly following his plan.

      Bell has improved this year. He learned not to play Newman against RHP, and has learned to let Friedl hit against LHP. He’s also stopped tinkering with the lineup so much on a day by day basis. His next step, if he’s capable of taking it, is learning how to manage his pitchers better and manage based on the game in front of him, not a plan he wrote hours earlier.

      • Ted Alfred

        That’s even worse…so Bell planned to pull him before the game even started as soon as he got to the top of the order the 3rd time regardless of how the game was going?? Okay…great plan.

        He also only pitched 2+ innings in Baltimore due to the weather. He was pitching very well and looked great in the 5th inning today. They were not hitting the ball hard and he had pretty good control through the 1st 5 innings.

        I don’t care if the average MLB starter throws 88 pitches, mainly because that’s irrelevant to the game today…but also because those numbers factors in a ton of starts that are super short due to circumstances like bullpen games, openers, guys on pitch counts, just terrible starts of which there are multiple every day in MLB, leaving due to injury…whatever. I’m pretty sure the average # of pitches thrown by a starter who is healthy and pitching well without restrictions is quite a bit higher than 88.

        And Farmer has been pretty bad the last few weeks compared to the first 2 months of the year, so putting him into a tie game in the 6th with a guy on base and nobody out seems odd. He should be near the bottom of high leverage situations until he starts pitching the ball better again. The entire Bullpen basically should have been available today because they were off Thursday. Maybe not Sims since he pitched 2 innings yesterday.

      • Chris

        It also begs the question, why let him go back out for the 6th if you are going to pull him after one batter. Seems it would be better for your bullpen to start an inning on the mound instead of entering into the middle of an inning with trouble on the paths.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I said before the inning. . .I would send Williamson back out but on a short leash. Bell allowed him 1 hitter? I could very possibly see one more hitter.

  4. Mark Moore

    We know losses will happen. Doesn’t mean we have to “like them”. We also know this Padres team has been underperforming in the hitting department. If any team was “due” it was them.

    As one of the older songs from the performer next door to GABP would have said, “Shake It Off”.

    Back at it tomorrow. I should be able to watch the entire game. Didn’t see anything today as the MLB App wouldn’t play video (gave me the pseudo black-out message which I know wasn’t correct).

    • Red Lasso

      Very impressed with your bringing T. S. into the conversation.
      And I agree we all need to enjoy this team and remember……

      Players gonna play, play, play, play, play
      And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
      Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
      I shake it off, I shake it off

      So let’s get the W tomorrow and take yet another series!

  5. Kevin H

    I often get confused by the pulling a pitcher after 88 pitches. I suppose they could be out of gas, or as some have mentioned the 3rd time through the order.

    Seemed like Williamson was cruising by the comments and what I was following.

    Oh well, I suppose can’t win them all, and Abbott to the mound tomorrow!!

    Brantley Friday made a comment about not waking up the padre bats, well lets hope that didn’t happen. LOL

    • GJF

      Williamson’s first two pitches in the sixth were well out of the strike zone, and then he grooved a pitch “right down Broadway” for the hit. I don’t blame Bell right there.

      • Chris

        So the guy has been on fire the whole game throws two high pitches (he probably threw about 12 other pitches this game just like those, by the way), gives up a hit, and you don’t blame Bell for taking him out? Whatever.

      • Indy Red Man

        Ok. Its not like Kim and Tatis don’t hit much better vs lefties because they do. Farmer also had a 2.45 era in June going into that blown lead vs Baltimore. Now you can say he’s having a rough patch, but not before today. Not based off 1 game

        The 3rd time thru the order is also not some random stat. Its real and it makes perfect sense. The hitter gets used to a pitchers stuff and adjusts.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I said before the inning that I would send Williamson back out for the 6th but on a short leash. So, he let 1 on base. I could easily see Bell allowing Williamson face one more batter, and another and another, as long as they were outs. I mean, not even 90 pitches, Williamson definitely had more to give.

        Again, I could easily see Bell doing that. So, I could easily see what Bell did do, also.

  6. William

    Time and time again the owners fail the Reds fans. It is not that hard for the Reds to bring in some pitchers. Texas got Chapman when the Reds could have. Look at who Texas traded. The Reds could have worked something out. The Kansas City GM said the Rangers worked the hardest. There are plenty of pitchers available. The Reds play their hearts out. The fans pack out the stadium. The owners count their bank balance. What a bunch of misfits.

    • Chris

      Not sure this game had anything to do with ownership failure. We had a rookie throwing an amazing game, and a bullpen that was about 3rd best in the NL blew the game. Seems to me this was bad luck, or in my opinion some bad managing, but that’s beside the point. The team is in 1st place; not sure ownership can be blamed a whole lot right now.

    • Melvin

      “The Kansas City GM said the Rangers worked the hardest”

      Didn’t know that. Crazy we didn’t try harder considering what it took.

      • J

        That’s on me, I’m afraid. I’ll try to do better.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      It’s quite apparent the Royals wanted a lefty pitcher. Who would we give them? Williamson? Then we are down another starter. Young? Then we are down another reliever. Lodolo? The Royals probably would never make that trade.

  7. MBS

    Rare that I feel good after a game like that, but Williamson looked good. Benson is now at a .299 BA after that terrible start. McLain bringing the pain with 2 2B while playing 2B. India’s proved he still has a bat in his hands.

    “Shake it off” Reds, Abbott can get our next winning streak going tomorrow.

    • DaveCT

      Agreed. Williamson starting to gain in performance and likely confidence. Stranger things have happened in the game of baseball than finding a 4-5 starter right where we left him.

    • Ted Alfred

      I’m with you because I just chalk this one up to David Bell’s bad decisions, but the last two days starts by Williamson and Ashcraft have been really good and very promising going forward…both threw the ball well.

      Its time for some changes that should be pretty obvious. Bell needs to change the order, it’s overdue. India needs to go back to the top of the order and drop Friedl and McClain each down a spot to 2-3. Steer needs to move up from 7th to 5th and Votto needs to sit for a few games to take the pressure off of him…time to mentally reset. Benson needs to be starting full-time including against left handers until he proves otherwise. Since his 1 for 21 startvto thecseason his batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage are unbelievably good.

      • JayTheRed

        Thank you for saying all of this. I feel exactly the same way as what you posted about the lineup. Maybe have Votto move lower in the order like 8th or 9th. but I don’t think he needs to sit for days in a row. Well come to think of it I would rather have him on the bench but that will never happen. I really thought when he started his first few games doing well, he might be giving us a decent 2nd half of the season. But since then, he really has done very little to help the team. I really do hope he doesn’t hurt our chances in winning games.

  8. Indy Red Man

    We really need to go atleast 3-2 before next weekend. 4-1 is a bonus! Our pitching lines up well for Milwaukee. Williamson pitched well against them before and they seem a little weaker vs lhp at first glance.

    Friday – Williamson on 5 days rest
    Saturday – Abbott on 5 days rest
    Sunday – Whoever, but Ashcraft on 3 days rest and all hands on deck

  9. LDS

    For the folks still clinging to Votto legend and it’s on the last 6 or so games, remember he couldn’t hit AAA pitching either. And he’s now batting worse than Fairchild, Barrero, and Myers with an SO rate on par with Myers and higher than the other two. All three of the other guys were players the RLN fans wanted free of. What Votto has meant to the franchise doesn’t entitle him to waste a lineup slot. Playing him everyday? That time appears to have come and gone.

    • Kevin H

      Is it fair to say though he has had 33 ab’s. Players do go into slumps as we all know, and I agree maybe not play him everyday. In my opinion he needs at least 100 ab’s to make any kind of judgment.

      Of course I was wrong about Myers, and perhaps Votto as well. I feel though he can produce for this team and can carry the team if need be. If he gets hot. Time will tell of course.

      Some has said he seems to be pressing abit as well.

      • AMDG

        Well, including AAA this year, and 2022, that’s over 500 plate appearances.

        And the numbers have been equally awful through all of those.

        If we are dismissing his inability to hit as a “slump”, 500 plate appearances is one heck of a slump…

      • Chris

        @AMDG, you are using a guy’s injury riddled season to judge him? Many people said the same nonsense in 2020 too, only to see Votto have one of his best season while healthy in 2021. I’m not sure I’d be playing him every day right now, but I sure wouldn’t make him a bench player at this point. All time greats don’t get crapped on by their organization, which is essentially what you are asking them to do.

      • Kevin H

        @ADMG, in fairness Votto was playing hurt last year and coming off major surgery. His first rehab he wasn’t sharp or hitting the ball. His second stint the reports were he was driving the ball, swinging and hitting the ball hard. All good signs. He has struggled yes, and his time could be up. In saying that I would hope he gets 100ab’s before conclusion are made.

      • Tom Diesman

        Also note that Votto has a very low .133 BABIP and team leading 50% Hard Hit rate which seems to imply he’s been very unfortunate thus far with the Reds this year.

    • LDS

      Yes, he doesn’t have many ABs thus far, but it is a continuation of his rehab assignment and much of last year. He’s nearly 40 and coming off of major surgery. Hopefully, he starts hitting. But, it’s time to start tempering expectations.

      • MBS

        I’m not expecting Votto to be an everyday guy. Soon enough they’ll bring up CES, and Votto will probably get 3 starts a week, if I were to guess.

      • Indy Red Man

        And Votto is not just blocking CES. I think they already sat Benson a few games so they could get Steer into the OF for Votto. Stephenson is starting to hit, but he can’t DH with Steer/Votto in the lineup. We’re in 1st place and they have alot of other options unlike past seasons.

      • Kevin H

        Well said and I agree. Like we have talked in the past about “how many abs” and 33 isn’t not many. Yes, I agree it maybe the end.

      • Doc

        I’d say that except for the second half of 2021, Votto’s performance is a continuation of the last 4-5 years.

        Regarding his AAA performance, everybody else seems to be bashing the ball in AAA.

    • Mario

      I don’t think anyone wants Votto to start everyday. Everyone slumps at some point, it’s a hard game. India’s slump is much worse, grand slam notwithstanding.

      • Mario

        Votto’s OPS is still higher than Stephenson, Senzel, and Newman’s.

      • JayTheRed

        India is not as good at the 3rd slot. His numbers hitting 3rd in the order are much lower. Move him back to leading off. He likes setting the table and hitting the occasional home run.

  10. Cincinnatus Rex

    I’m not much bothered by the loss — even great teams can get drubbed now and then. I think last night’s game (a close one) was a much better barometer for the Reds. Get two out of three tomorrow, and it can’t much be said that the hot steak is over. Let’s go Abbott!

  11. Harry Stoner

    I wasn’t bothered by Bell pulling Williamson,

    The young man is slowly, slowly putting things together.

    I understand not risking him melting down in the 6th.

    Sure, him facing Soto might have been worth it, Farmer couldn’t have groove that home run pitch better if he set it on a tee.

    Bringing in “The Towel” Mills was probably more questionable but the way Bell burns through relievers maybe that was the option.

    The India GS went to waste.

    Mills was shockingly inept for a professional pitcher in MLB.

    Was that on Krall for the dumpster dive, or Bell for handing him the gasoline to throw on the (dumpster) fire?

    At least Karcher was fun.

    Bullpen today brought back all those fun memories of meltdowns past.

    I understand the grousing about pulling Williamson.

    Even getting 6 innings out of SP will reduce the pressure on everyone.

    I’m ready to see the Reds win one going away.

  12. TR

    A nice 5 innings from Williamson, 1bb & 5so. I’ve liked him since he came up as an eventual 5th starter. The collapse of the overworked bullpen. The Reds count on Abbott for a series win tomorrow.

    • Chris

      “Overworked bullpen”…That’s the point. When we have a chance to maybe rest them a little, Bell goes back to the well and continues to burn them. I fear this bullpen management may come home to roost before long.

  13. Mark Moore

    Oh, and the brief time I was listening to the WLW feed included the top of the 6th. Cowboy speculated that it was planned all along to pull him before he faced that line-up the 3rd time (I’m assuming unless he was mowing them down 1-2-3 every inning, but maybe even then).

    From what I’m reading, it sounds like we saw a little progress today. That would be very welcome.

    Abbott tomorrow to wrap the series … unless we get rained out. Maybe then I’ll get to see Abbott on Monday night up in DC?

  14. Ron S

    I’m afraid Farmer is becoming Bell’s new Strickland.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Unfortunately, I believe you are correct!

  15. old-school

    Williamson looks to be improving and super + news for the 2nd half. Ashcraft was great and Abbott is well ….Abbott. Found a way to win 2/3 against a good Orioles club and need to find a way to beat a talented SD team with some thumpers in there. Today wasnt our day and the bullpen needs Law and Santillan yesterday and Lively will be ready for a start this week. Gotta play out these next 8 games before the AS break and finish this first half+ strong.

    On that note, Krall isnt making any big changes in the next week positionally. But, there are 2 weather systems potentially coalescing into a Nor’easter over the AS break.

    1.) Tyler Stephenson is healthy and starting to resemble his pre-broken finger, pre-concussion, pre-surgery broken clavicle long rehab catching self. Consider this.
    Last 7/15/30 game slash lines :


    2.) Joey Votto is struggling big time. 9 consecutive games with K’s and several with multiple. YEs, he hit a home run against a lefty named Austin gomber at GABP, a bad pitcher from the Rockies with an ERA of 7. Against righties, hes struggling big time.

    Id give Votto the next 8 games to see what he does but if Stephenson continues to show hes back and Votto continues to show he isnt, ITs a pennant race and there’s no margins for gaping holes in productivity with this July schedule. Votto needs to produce this week and against the Brewers next weekend which potentially is the biggest home series since…….I dont know. IF Votto has a strong upcoming week, wonderful. If not, its CES’ time to play first base and rotate the DH and Reds work something out with Casali and Votto becomes a part-time player with an infield of Steer/EDLC/Mclain/CES/India and 1 rotating at DH every 5 and Steer manning LF against lefties and Stephenson goes back to catching 7 days out of 10 and resting 3 while Maile mans the backup role.

    • old-school

      Brewers road series…..even bigger.

      • JayTheRed

        July the Reds play the Brewers 9 times. Yes 9.. It’s going to be extremely important that they win at least half of those games if they want to continue to contend.

    • bug

      I generally agree with what you say, old-school. But you are giving Votto more time than I would. Jmo. Every single game is important,..every win, every loss. At the end of the year we could easily miss the play-offs by one game. Then we might look back at all the chances we gave Myers & Votto,… and all those losses where they killed rally after rally. I’ve loved Joey. But his time has passed. The Reds need to win!!! That’s most important,..the priority. Not playing someone for what he’s done in the past. They need to bring CES up and relegate Votto to pinch hit roles, at best. It’s sad, but it’s true.

      • old-school

        Yeah. Im just saying what I think Krall and bell are going to do realistically. There’s 8 games in 8 days and then a huge break. The FO is in Full draft mode. There’s still injury updates and young players doing things young players arent supposed to do. I dont see any positional major changes until after the AS break and after Votto has 8 more games under his belt. I do think some major changes could happen starting at home against the Brewers after the break depending on what happens this week.

      • Ted Alfred

        The thing is, I really believe Joey will not want to keep playing everyday if he’s starting to feel like he’s dragging the team down. He made that really clear in everything he said the first week he was back playing with the Reds. I think if it becomes painfully obvious to him he can’t keep up and isn’t adding some positive value to the team on the field starting everyday he will probably step aside on his own and be okay with just being the occasional starter and pinch hitting veteran cheering his teammates on and contributing where he can.

        I don’t think his conscience will allow him to be the guy who’s dead weight and feeling as if he is holding this team back. He respects the Reds organization, fanbase and his teammates too much for that. He is a likely Hall of Fame player with nothing left to prove …but I do think he would like to be on a team that goes deep into October baseball…the only thing missing from his tremendous MLB career.

      • Mario

        Your opinion doesn’t make it true. Neither does mine! Time will tell. I hate that CES has been stuck in AAA this season, plenty of AB’s were available that went to Newman. I am not a Newman hater but I believe CES would have provided much more value this team.

  16. GreatRedLegsFan

    The thing is what to do with Votto, just carry the deadweight until the end of the season?

    • Rob

      Everyone knew the risks when we activated him. If he performed out of the gate, then things are in happy land. If he didn’t perform, then we knew things would get awkward and uncomfortable. If this is where we are truly at, then it is a game of chicken. Joey can make things smoother by retiring. Of course he has always had that option and hasn’t chosen to do so. I don’t think DFA is in the cards. IL seems like the more gentle and more likely option for now. I hate that we are at this place.

      • Melvin

        I don’t want to feel like I have to continually defend Votto. I agree he looks pretty bad at times lately and also looks to be pressing. He may need a day or two off to get his head straight. However the man DOES have 3 HR and 8 RBI in just 40 PA with 5 BB and 2 HBP. He’s also had several hard hit balls with nothing to show for it. Some of you guys act like he’s the worst hitter you’ve ever seen. As bad as he’s been if you project that out over 400 PA that’s 30 HR and 80 RBI. If I have to make a choice between Joey Votto and winning I take winning every time. I’m still not convinced though that we can’t have both. I perfectly understand how long we’ve been losing and how important it is to do whatever it takes to win. NO ONE has to convince me of that.

      • Bill

        Why would he retire when he can make millions? There isn’t a person on the planet who would retire and lose $20+ million in guaranteed money.

        He also needs to be injured to go on the IL, Votto isn’t faking an injury because he isn’t hitting well. If the Reds decide he can’t perform anymore they only real option is to use him as a pinch hitter. They aren’t going to DFA a life long Red and future Hall of Famer.

        I am in 100% agreement he will never be the MVP level Votto he used to be. He should probably be getting some days off and batting 9th. The Reds may even have to make the decision to make him a bench player. However he isn’t going anywhere until the season is over

  17. Roger Garrett

    No problem with Buck or Cruz in the 6th since both last pitched on Wednesday.Don’t know who else that pitched last night was available today but Mills down 5-1 signals defeat and even tied 1-1 its questionable.Bell let Fraley and Joey hit twice against a lefty which he never does if he has a righty on the bench which he did and that is also questionable.Bell IMO just had a bad day I guess cause it surely wasn’t one of those games where one could say he did all he could to win it.

  18. Kevin H

    A question or thoughts. What if CES comes up and doesn’t hit? Then what ride with him see what happens.

    Hypothetical of course but just thinking.

    • VaRedsFan

      You could say that about Mclain, Elly, or Benson. Bring them up, throw them in the fire, and see how they perform.

      If CES turns out to be TJ Hopkins, then you can just swap him back out.

      • JayTheRed

        The other thought here is not every good prospect will immediately perform really well once they hit the Big Leagues. That just might mean they need more time for their bodies to develop more or they just have to take some time to make the necessary adjustments to perform at the top level.

        I think we all sometimes just expect our top prospects to do really well especially if they were doing well in AAA. Give them time to get their feet wet. We have been really lucky how well McClain, Steer, and EDLC have performed.

  19. Dennis Westrick

    After examining today’s Box Score, I have one comment and one question. The comment is the Reds were 2 for 11 with RISP, an ongoing problem even when they win! Question is, why didn’t Bell leave Williamson in for, or at least start the 6th inning?
    Williamson was only at 86 pitches! We all know what happened when Farmer attempted to pitch the 6th inning with the game TIED at 1-1.

    • Dennis Westrick

      My bad! Upon further review, I see that Williamson did start the 6th inning and was promptly removed by Bell after giving up a leadoff single! Quick hook by Bell did’t work obviously!

      Need to win the final game in the series tomorrow and get some help from the Pirates against the Brewers!

    • Tom Diesman

      Reds are hitting .260/.346/.425/.771 with RISP MLB is hitting .255/.335/.413/.749 with RISP.

  20. GMan88

    I was there today. Mills was awful. He made everyone uncomfortable. He was like that right fielder in little league that has no business being on the mound. 40 pitch inning that just drained everyone. Williamson was great.

  21. Old-school

    Any word on Fairchild a late scratch and heading to Cincy?

    • Ghostrunner_onthird

      You beat me to the comment. If he comes up – who goes down? Senzel? Trade in the works?

      • J

        Well, we all know Mills is about to get DFA’d, and Salazar is probably heading to AAA. Maybe they bring up Law and Fairchild?

      • old-school

        Reds have 3 outfielders. Steer is part time 4th. Senzel is a part time 5th. TheyU need a legit OF. Unless someone is hurt, I think Senzel or Newman’s Reds career has come to an end.

        Senzel is a better 3b and can play OF and reds Value versatility. Newman is 4th string 3b and 3rd string SS and 3rd string. 2b and cant play 1b and isnt a DH.

        Unless injury, Im calling Newman. Reds need all the pitchers they can get.

      • Indy Red Man

        Newman ops last year vs lhp was over .900
        Senzel ops last year vs lhp was .592 or something
        I trust Newman’s bat better, but Senzel is one of the old crew. I can’t the Reds getting rid of either right now

        Stoudt was pulled in the 2nd inning after 29 pitches?
        Probably hurt again? I’ve seen house flies with more durability then this guy. He’s got a live arm for sure

      • Tom Diesman

        The play by play made it sound like he got hit by a batted ball

      • Indy Red Man

        Oh ok. He has a heckuva time picking up innings. Seemed like a weird time to pull him if the Reds were bringing him back. Thanks

    • Jim Walker

      OS and others>>> Votto back to IL would take Steer out of the OF mix. Just saying don;t look by that as a possibility

      • Old-school

        Lancer McCalister tweet pretty clear cut Fairchild is playing with the Reds tomorrow. I cant believe Votto would go to the IL again tomorrow in July. Reds have 3 outfielders on their 26 Man roster page and all lefties. They need a righty OF and newman has no role on this team anymore in the infield. He is at best 3rd string at every position. If Votto is hurt, then CES would come up.

      • old-school

        The tweet says hearing he’s headed to Cincy. That could be to play or get injury checked out if Tom is correct. He also says Law is replacing Mills.

        If injured, thats awful.

      • Jim Walker

        I’ve been off the grid all afternoon and just got back on and saw this looking through the wrap up thread. So you are saying they need 2 RH OF Sunday; so, Steer would not be available to play 1B. Because if they only need 1 RF outfielder. Moving Steer to 1B/DH to take Votto’s spot and bringing up Fairchild would do that.

      • old-school

        Read the cryptic Lance mcCalister tweet. Maybe Fairchild is injured and scratched and coming to cinci to be examined. i dont know why they cant just say Fairchild is coming to Cincinnati to play baseball or to be examined by Kremcheck due to an injury. We will find out when we find out.

      • Jim Walker

        Stoudt is the guy who got hit by the batted ball. Fairchild was never in the game. The MiLB play by play clearly has Martini leading off and batting in the bottom of the 1st. No mention in the play by play of any injury on the field or substitution in the top of the 1st. In fact, the play by play says the 1st batter for Indianapolis in the top of the 1st singled to LF Nick Martini. It also documents Stoudt’s injury and replacement in the 2nd.

      • J

        Is there any reason to believe Mills and Salazar won’t both be gone tomorrow? What would be the reason for leaving Salazar on the active roster when he can’t possibly pitch tomorrow and isn’t a legitimate major league pitcher anyway? Admittedly, this team’s moves never make any sense to me, but it would seem logical to bring up Law and Fairchild in place of those two guys, and then you make another move when you’re ready to bring up another pitcher in a day or two.

  22. Tim

    I think you have to try to get Votto going because a mediocre Votto is still a pretty good asset to have in a second half and possible playoff run. Just move him down to the bottom of the lineup and sub for him in key situations until he gets in the groove. As far as Bell’s decision to pull the starter… he turned the game over to a pretty good bullpen that had a pretty bad day. No one could predict that. Not saying it was a good decision, but certainly most of the blame falls on the guys who were on the mound. Bring up CES. That would be even more fun to watch.

  23. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I don’t see how Mills was credited with 5 runs allowed when only 5 crossed the plate that inning total.

    It seemed obvious to me that Bell was giving our main BP guys rest yesterday. I don’t have that much of a problem with that. I was sorry to see Williamson get hit with a loss after a decent outing, though. I mean, Farmer was the only one of our main BP guys who didn’t pitch yesterday.

    Or, could it be that Bell is learning that there are other guys out there than the big 4?

    • J

      Mills pitched the entire inning when 5 runs crossed the plate. There’s nobody else to credit runs to.

      • Hal Ludwig

        Except that Williamson allowed the first base runner (who scored) to reach via single.

      • Hal Ludwig

        Got my innings crossed, my bad.

  24. Rick

    Our bullpen wasn’t constructed to accommodate a 85-90 win team. Our winning is ahead of schedule & Diaz, Sims, Gibaut, Farmer(he’s probably headed for a 10 day tired arm rest up stint)are now in demand on most nights. With the exception of Sims & his IL stints, he’s the only one that’s not looking tired.
    Diaz lower arm slot has me concerned with arm or shoulder fatigue, or worse, barking.
    Law & Santillan will help, but a long man and another good lefty are still needed to ease the burden.
    If we could squeeze an extra inning out of 25% of the starts over a full season would also take approximately 40 inning of wear and tear off the bullpen not to mention the getting loose factor.
    To accommodate a pennant run we need a 1a & 1b set of 3 each to rotate days, a long man/mop up pitcher, and a good 2nd lefty(8 total).

  25. Tyler Hawk

    My hypothetical solution to the current pitching situation would combine the modern day approach and analytics that focuses on keeping each pitcher with two times around a lineup ideally 3-5 innings (50-70 pitches) per outing that includes both starters and relievers. That way instead of having starters that go 5/6 innings now since 88 pitches is the league average and relievers that are overused and burnt out before august. Instead of having “starters” and “relievers” we’d just have “pitchers” who are expected to pitch to 18-20 batters every 3-4 days.

    • Ted Alfred

      So you think giving your best starters and relievers the same number of innings as your worst starters and relievers is a good idea…never mind the whole starters are already used to three to four innings plus, but relievers rarely pitch more than an inning. And therefore a completely different mindset and endurance factor for relievers vs starters in how they train mentally and physically for what each is expected to do? Not sure if this was a tic suggestion or if you were being serious?

      • Tyler Hawk

        It was mostly tongue in cheek and attempted to illustrate the style in which Bell utilizes pitchers isn’t that far off from that. You’re correct in that it would be a bigger adjustment for relievers but from a sustainability viewpoint unless the Reds kick the trend of having starters only go 5-6 innings per outing on average over a 162 game season plus playoff games potentially that is a lot of innings for a bullpen to cover day after day.

  26. SR

    Let’s review.
    TJ Friedl last year in early 2022 hit awful and many called for DFA or send him down. He goes to AAA, finds himself and or gets good counsel from coaching and comes up a new man.
    Benson hits .078 to start, many call for a DFA, too many strikeouts etc. he goes to triple AAA and once again we see a reinvention. He returns and is a big piece in the lineup.

    I can also remember in the recent past when left handed starters neutralized our offense. Senzel and Newman are difference makers today when we face a lefty. Dumping them hurts our flexibility and makes the team more vulnerable to lefties.
    We had 3 holes in our offensive lineup every night until McClain came up. Now we have one in Votto until he gets hot or gives up. For those with quick triggers and short memories, he always starts slow. He’s going to get playing time and a longer leash because this is how he has hit for the last 10 years. Our offense can survive being patient enough to see if Father Time has finally caught him or not. He may be only guy on team with playoff experience too.
    Most folks on this board probably played ball at some level, and some at more advanced levels. Imagine playing the game with only one good arm and honestly ask yourself how that might have impacted your performance. 2022 statistics from Votto mean nothing given the advanced deterioration of his shoulder and Bicep. They apparently didn’t even know the bicep was damaged until surgery, so unlikely he was getting any treatment for that injury.
    I am stunned at the current improvement in our team based on both drafted and acquired players in last18 months that make up this team and our minor league system. I’m going to give FO some slack on knee jerk roster moves and trades since we are less than 20 wins away from our total last year with half a season left. Overachieving is an understatement.

    • Indy Red Man

      “I’m going to give FO some slack on knee jerk roster moves”

      All depends on how you look at it I guess. Sometimes I defend and sometimes I criticize. I will say you didn’t have to be Branch Rickey to see that Elly and Abbott were better then some of the guys on the roster when they called up McLain….and that was how long after the Rule 5 thing? We’re an easy 3-4 games up if they called up all those guys when they were first eligible

  27. JB

    Could the Reds have 5 guys in the top 10 for rookie of the year? Has that even ever happened before? I mean there is a high percentage that this could happen. Did Benson throw his hat in the ring today for rookie of the year? McLain? EDLC? Steer? Abbott? I mean who knows maybe in two months Williamson is being talked about. Maybe he has figured it out. Pitched good today. That is not a weak lineup. What bright future for our Redlegs.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Two things about that:

      1) I would love to see that voting line
      2) I don’t like to think what’s going to happen about 6 years from now. I mean, FA, extension, etc. Who do we keep? Who do we let go? Who do we trade/for what?

      With the latter above, we need to get use to seeing fan favorites leave.

      • Optimist

        Not at all worried about #2 – 6 years is forever and will sort itself out. If all of them star, goodness what a run it will be and provide plenty of resources for extensions. Otherwise, we’ll all see who has long-term value.

      • JB

        Yeah Steve 6 years from now could be interesting. Reds locked up Hunter for a few years with an extension. I would hope the Front Office would be talking to at least a couple of them about an extension right now.

    • BK

      Benson exhausted his rookie eligibility last year by exceeding 45 days on the Guardian’s active roster. That said, yes, the future appears very bright!

  28. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I’m different on this than I am most.

    I have been as hard on Bell as most on here. Many here are talking about Bell pulling Williamson. Before that inning, I was thinking I would put Williamson back out there, but on a short leash. One hitter? I could easily see at least one more hitter. But, I really just don’t have that much of a problem with it.

    Or, letting Mills out there so long. I would be on Bell quicker than anyone.

    It seemed to me that Bell was simply using that game at that point to see what else he had in the bullpen, to get the others some time. Farmer was the only one of the big ones who didn’t pitch yesterday. And, he wanted to give the others some time, and did.

    I believe that if we even really had a change to win it in the 7th, 8th, and 9th, that Bell would still have pitched the same relievers. It didn’t work out that way.

    I know not many would like it, or maybe my terminology, but I can’t help thinking that Bell was planning on simply using this scrimmage/ST game for the other relievers. So, I was alright with whatever he did do, actually. And, if we ended up winning, all the better.

    Also, it gives our better relievers for our game tomorrow, with a better starter.

    If anything, I was just sorry to see it all hit on Williamson. He pitched a pretty good game and deserved better. But, we just can’t keep sending our big relievers out there.

    • Roger Garrett

      I agree Steve that Bell was going to follow Buck with Mills and Salazar and he also let every starter play every inning and did not match up with his righties off the bench against lefties Plain and simple to me he did not try to win the game and to me that is never acceptable.This offense is never out of a game and Bell has said that more then once but he didn’t do his part today at all and didn’t even try to hide it.This team plays to win and as fans we now for the first time in ages expect them to pull it out but if your manager says nope then that is just awful to me.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Oh, I definitely don’t like it. No major league manager should act like a game is just a “scrimmage game” or whatever. And, Bell did. For instance, he should have pulled Farmer and Mills earlier.

        He could have even let Williamson go longer. I mean, that right there doesn’t make sense. He pulls Williamson when he has only given up 1 run, pulls him after he has only given up 1 hit in the 6th, but then does that mess with his relievers? If this was a scrimmage game for him, he shouldn’t have worried so much about Williamson. I mean, he did let Cessa out there to give up 9 runs in 2 innings, 11 runs in 3 innings. Williamson had only given up 1 run. Why pull him? “To try to win.” If that’s the reason, when why allow Farmer to stay in to give up 4 runs, Mills to give up 5 runs?

        Again, people need to remember, the position the organization was in before we hired Bell, we were scraping the bottom of the barrel. So, Bell isn’t some sort of brainiac on baseball. If he were, he would have more managerial experience than this, more success than he has had, associated with more pennants, etc. But, he hasn’t.

        The only thing I will say about Bell is. . .the players seem to love to play for him (. . .though I wouldn’t know about Cessa right now, and maybe Mills), though that can say as much about the players as it does about the manager.

        I mean, this can even go back to all of the games we’ve played, where Bell hasn’t used much of his pen, where he should have. We have 4 of the top 25 relievers in the NL in reference to games played, Farmer, Ian, Diaz, and Young; 5 of the top 39 (Sims). You have to go to #80 before you find another reliever of ours (Cruz). For me, that’s just too much. I can understand having 1, maybe 2, in the top 25. But, 4? That’s just misuse of the bullpen.

        Bell found the good ones and is sticking with them, even if he has to burn them out, even if he has to do games like he did yesterday, like with Cessa, etc.

        I mean, with Diaz, is it always him we have to run out there initially to get the save? Wouldn’t it advantageous for us if we were to find another “closer” on our staff who could finish the job? The 1990 team had 3 who could do it fine. Just play him on a short leash. If he lets a hitter on, then you bring out Diaz. That would be an example of giving a youngster an opportunity, to try to help relieve the bullpen.

  29. Optimist

    Don’t mind this game much considering the underlying story – namely, don’t let bullpen problems the past two games overshadow the Ashcraft and Williamson efforts. Still strongly doubt they can get a starter at the deadline, but they could and should get relief help. If so, these starts may foreshadow an excellent trend, particularly as the others return.

    The 3 Brewers series this month will determine how they finish – a flop in those means a struggle to the end of the season; any kind of split and they’re in the division and wild card hunts; decisive wins and the moon is the limit; 3 good starters could go a long way.

  30. J

    Maybe Barrero needs to just take the rest of the year off, try to clear his head, and come back next season with a whole new outlook.

    • Beaufort Red

      I hope you’re being sarcastic. Last time I checked the was hitting .107. We have at least 2 shortstops that have more value. Where does he clear his head? He was supposed to have worked his on swing recognition during the off season and spring training. We saw how that worked out. I feel for the kid, but with all our minor league studs , his ship has sailed.

      • J

        I was being a bit facetious, but not at all sarcastic. My point is that he needs to do something wildly different than whatever he’s been doing, and perhaps taking some time away from baseball wouldn’t be a bad idea at this point.

  31. old-school

    Reds are in first place and fighting for a post=season berth. I hope Votto tears the cover off the ball in the next 8 games. But, Reds have a first baseman in AAA who has the best power stats in the minor leagues and is 100% being blocked by Votto. So, Votto needs to produce.,,now. There’s not time to give him 300 at bats and let him hit .150 and OPS .590 to figure out if its the shoulder or age or a slow start or all of the above, Reds play Brewers 9x in July and 6 straight around the AS break. Productive players play.

    • Beaufort Red

      If the Reds (Bell, Krall whoever) insist on blocking CES with loyalty to Votto that’s not gonna play well with the fans or the team. Some folks are saying “he’s a slow starter “or “we need to give him more at bats following his injury.” Guys we’re an incredibly exciting and young team but we’re nowhere close to being a juggernaut. If we want to stay in the divisional chase every single game counts.

    • J

      I don’t see it as Votto blocking CES. I think the Reds are just being stubborn. Votto is only starting against right handed pitchers, so he’s not blocking anyone against lefties. CES could start all those games. When a righty starts, they just need to pick 8 starters out these 9 guys: Votto, CES, Elly, McLain, Steer, Fraley, Benson, Friedl, India. CES could start every single one of those games and you’d just have to “suffer” by having one of those guys on the bench. The person who’s blocking CES right now is Casali, and I think the Reds are just being negligent for allowing it to happen.

      • Indy Red Man

        I agree, but I’m sure their rationale is they don’t want to call up a young guy to start 2 games a week or whatever. I’m sure he’d take it in a heartbeat!

      • Mario

        Nope it’s Newman blocking CES. Newman is not playing anymore at shortstop and he doesn’t need to play at second base, third base, first base, or DH either.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Some people need to remember other things. Like with trading, “Let’s trade him”, they never think about, talk about, consider that the other team has to want what we have, that the other team has to have what we want, etc. Making a trade is not that easy.

      “Call up CES”. Alright, and what other corresponding move? You have to have a corresponding move. Release a C? Alright. That means CES plays part-time with Votto, probably platooning, which means CES goes from playing regularly to playing part-time.

      Release Votto? I believe Votto deserves more from this club than that. I mean, the club has worked to get another championship team, to build around Votto. And, now that we have one, we are going to let him go?

      Hey, I’ve been just as critical of this team as anyone, even moreso. But, also, I always remember this. . .that this team was seen to be at the beginning of the season that they were going to struggle to stay out of the basement of the division. And, we are in first place in the division. Even if we “unintentionally” tank July, even if we tank it because our starting pitching has failed, which has finally caused our relievers to burn out, I would still consider this season as a success.

      Don’t get me wrong. I hope we do win, even win it all. But, not unless Votto states something about him or his play, I want to do this with Votto. He deserves that from us. Whether we win or lose, this season has definitely been a success for us. And, next off season, the question will be what does the FO do about our starters? If they do nothing, then they show us they are putting all of their money in Greene, Lodolo, and Ashcraft. The thing is, I would just like to have viable options after that, unlike we have right now.

      • J

        “Release a C? Alright. That means CES plays part-time with Votto, probably platooning, which means CES goes from playing regularly to playing part-time.”

        As I just said above, it absolutely doesn’t have to mean that. When the Reds are facing a right-handed starter, you’ve got 9 guys to fill 8 spots (and this assumes nobody is injured): CES, Votto, India, Steer, Elly, McClain, Benson, Fraley, Friedl. There’s absolutely no reason to think CES has to be the guy who sits every time. Steer can get a day off. India can get a day off. McClain can get a day off. And sometimes Votto could take a day off against a right handed starter — it wouldn’t kill him. CES can play 1st, 3rd, or DH depending on who’s getting the day off.

        I just don’t understand why people are accepting the idea that it’s got to be Votto *or* CES. They can coexist. They can play on the same day. I feel like the organization has somehow managed to brainwash people into thinking it’s impossible for those two guys to be on the active roster at the same time and for CES to play regularly.

      • Melvin

        “I just don’t understand why people are accepting the idea that it’s got to be Votto *or* CES. They can coexist. They can play on the same day. I feel like the organization has somehow managed to brainwash people into thinking it’s impossible for those two guys to be on the active roster at the same time and for CES to play regularly.”

        Yep. For sure.

      • Indy Red Man

        Well if you’re playing Votto with an OF of Benson, Freidl, and Fraley then where will CES play? They’re not sitting Steer. CES would basically only play vs lhp and to give a guy a breather once in a while

      • J

        Let’s try this again, Indy. Please explain to me which part of this you disagree with:

        CES could play against all left-handed starters.

        He could also be used as a pinch hitter and remain in the game whenever a lefty reliever is brought in to face a lefty.

        India, Steer, and McLain will all need days off. CES can play on those days. If each of them takes one day off every 10 games, that’s three starts out of 10 for CES in addition to all the games he’s starting against lefties. .

        When the Reds face three righties in a row, Votto could rest one of those days and CES takes his place. It wouldn’t kill Votto to sit against a righty once in a while. He’s elderly.

        When one of the lefties is slumping badly (Elly, Fraley, Benson, Elly, Friedl), or nursing an injury, CES can take their place.

        When you start adding all of this up, CES could be playing basically every day in some capacity, and could be starting most games in place of someone. It’s really not that hard.

        Why are we afraid of this? Why is it bad to get a little more rest for these guys without losing any offense, and to have a weapon like India, Steer, Votto, or McLain on the bench because CES is getting a start and they’re getting a day off?

      • Optimist

        As for the CES/Votto issue – the goal is always to win, including to win now. There really are no more reasons to not have CES in MLB. There are 2 positions, 1b and DH, for 3 players – Joey, CES and TySteve. There are platoon and Pinch Hitting considerations there, as well as slumps and injuries.

        There are several roster solutions – 2 catchers, or move an outfielder. CES replaces Casali or Senzel

        CES getting 15 PAs a week for the Reds is better than getting 30 a week for the Bats. These are tough choices, but obvious ones – CES needs to be up now, and two others with the Sept. callups – I still think Marte and Phillips, but it could be another pitcher. That would finish the sorting reviewing for next season, and conceivably get us to the playoffs.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        J is just being a fanatical CES fan. CES wouldn’t be a regular whatsoever.

        Outfield is pretty much set with Benson, Friedl, Fraley, and you can even include Senzel in there if you like. I could even give only 3 members of our infield to be set with India, McLain, and Elly. And, C, as well. But, the 4th IF, who? Votto? Steer? CES?

        Even playing DH, it’s quite obvious CES would only be getting to play part-time up here. Oh, we might be able to get him up here. Take a 3rd C out, put CES in. But, how much play he gets? Not nearly as much as he could get in AAA.

        CES should definitely be up here when rosters expand. CES should definitely be up here next season (we should buy Votto out and let him go), thus, making him the regular everyday first baseman. But, now? We could. He just isn’t going to get any playing time. And we have little to no need for him.

      • Indy Red Man

        I definitely think CES could help. I don’t really like our lineup vs lefties that much. They always seem to move Tyler to DH and play a backup catcher. Plus Newman and Senzel might hit for a decent average vs lefties, but Senzel and Newman suck at RF and 1B respectively.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler


        Then just say it. Call up CES and let Newman or Senzel go. DFA them. DFA a player with a proven track record in the majors against left handed pitchers for a minor leaguer. A minor leaguer who would only be playing part-time rather than playing full-time at the minor leagues.

        I mean, that’s all you stated, that CES would play against left handed pitchers. How many pitchers out there are left handed?

      • J

        J is not being a fanatical CES fan. J is pointing out the error in the argument that CES “couldn’t” get regular playing time as long as Votto is “blocking” him. If the Reds don’t *want* CES getting regular playing time with the major league team because they prefer giving all the ABs to other guys, that’s a different argument altogether.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        To J

        “the error in the argument that CES “couldn’t” get regular playing time as long as Votto is “blocking” him.

        But, you have yet to provide the error. You have simply said there is an error, that CES can play everyday. How? Point it out. Till then, you are just being fanatical.

        Please, point it out. CES comes up. Who leaves? Then, how does CES play everyday. What position does he take away from someone who has earned their position already?

      • J

        Um…. Steve… I’ve explained it at least twice already. Should I copy and paste what I’ve written above?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        For J –

        CES against all left handed starters? Alright. Then, who sits? What’s your lineup? Who plays where?

        Use him against left handed relievers? And, how many of those do we see?

        “India, Steer, and McLain will all need days off. CES can play on those days. ” So, hit CES on days of right handed starters, sitting these three, just so CES can play everyday? McLain, who’s challenging for ROY and you are going to sit him? Not to leave out, where are you going to play him? CES has only played 3rd and 1st. And, his fielding at 3rd is horrible, 0.895.

        Simply put, you are simply being a fanatical fan of CES and not putting any thought behind your statements.

      • J

        Um… Steve… what I suggested was perhaps allowing McClain, Steer, and India to take one game off every ten games or so. I also suggested Votto could take some days off even when a righty is pitching. Any of those guys could then be used as pinch hitters or replacements in those games as needed. I also suggested CES could start for guys who are injured or in slumps. That’s not the same as saying “sit McClain.” That’s saying “let McClain begin every 10th game on the bench.” This is something Bell likes to do anyway, in case you haven’t noticed.

        If you don’t understand where CES would play when one of the other guys is out, I can explain every possible scenario to you, or you can just do it yourself. I’ll get you started. Let’s take an example in which Fraley is nursing an injury and CES starts in his place. You have an outfield of Steer, Benson, Friedl, an infield of Elly, McLain, India, Votto, and CES is at DH. Now let’s take an example of India getting a day off because he needs a day off or because he’s in a slump. You have an outfield of Benson, Friedl, and Fraley, an infield of Steer, Elly, McClain, CES, and Votto is at DH. (Or he can play infield and CES is at DH.) Should I go on, or do you see how it’s possible to work CES into the starting lineup for literally anyone other than catcher?

  32. Rednat

    I was at the game. I thought the turning point in the game was when EDLC misplayed Kim’s Chopper. The reds likely wouldn’t have turned 2 but they should have at least got one. I felt that kind of took the air out of the crowd and the team.
    I went to a few Louisville games this spring. I felt CES was more “the finished product” than EDLC. I still think EDLC would make one heck of a right fielder but if he is going to be the everyday shortstop some improvements really need to be made with his defense.
    the Votto situation is difficult. It usually takes him about 2 months to get going so Ideally, I wish he could have stayed in AAA until end of august when he begins to heat up but I know logistically that can’t happen. I think having Fairchild and CES up here gives us a better chance of winning than Votto and Senzel but I also understand Senzel and Votto are the sentimental favorites of the reds so it is a tough decision to make.

    • VaRedsFan

      Why are people saying that Votto is a notoriously slow starter like it’s a good thing, like he should get a pass for it. His slow starts were a big contributor to the Reds floundering through the 1st two months for many seasons. He eventually would turn it around to end the year with Votto-like numbers, and the team would play better baseball as a result.

      Who can remember the phrase around here that “Joey has lost his wallet again”?
      Why should they be content on letting history repeat itself??

      I still don’t know the answer of what to do with him. Old School suggest giving him until the All Star Break to find it. That seems reasonable. But the Reds might be risking a few games along this 15 game path of his. And what if he’s still struggling for another week after the AS Game? All answers are going to be hard.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        No one says it’s not going to be hard. But, with what Votto has given to this organization throughout the years, he deserves to play, to go out on his terms during the season.

        Do you think he enjoys hitting 200?

    • Optimist

      Interesting about CES – is he more finished at 1b defense? Comments indicate the OF experiment was a dud, and he’s not really a 3b. But, is he completely ready for 1b defensively? He needs MLB time this season – 150-200 PAs – don’t want to have him start cold opening day.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Interesting you should ask. Votto’s fielding% is .994. CES is .984%

  33. South Texas Red

    South Texas Red
    I would give Votto till the All Star break to get out of his funk. Hopefully if he doesn’t get it right that he’ll do the right thing and eliminate himself and do what’s best for the team and retire.

  34. South Texas Red

    I would give Votto till the All Star break to get out of his funk. Hopefully if he doesn’t get it right that he’ll do the right thing and eliminate himself and do what’s best for the team and retire.

  35. Roger Garrett

    I agree and its not going to be easy unless Joey hits.Most really good ones and even the great ones just struggle with knowing when.Remember Mays at the end with the Mets I believe it was and it was sad.

  36. Beaufort Red

    Steve I’m being hard but in a results driven profession you don’t owe anybody anything. All these guys have either played with CES or seen him in spring training. So how do you think they feel when they see Votto flailing . Granted CES may not be the answer but you have to try. When your company is humming with new talent you move the guy with 30 years who is not producing to another position, you don’t get rid of him. And J we already have someone slumping. It’s Votto. Love the guy for all his contributions. But I like winning better

  37. William

    The Reds need additional pitching. The Texas Rangers pick up Chapman who has struck out 43% of the batters that he has faced this year and has a low ERA. The Rangers trade two players who were not even top 30 prospects. Where are the Reds owners when the Reds need help. Oh, they are in the backroom, counting their money and reading a book on how to lose. They will not come out and talk because they know no one likes them.

    • Rob

      I said a week ago that pitchers were to be had for a fair offering. Got a lot of guff about teams awaiting until the deadline for better offers. And Chapman and his $2.5M salary goes for a A guy and a 6.00 ERA guy. That may be 2 future mediocre major leaguers but no way are 2 guys like that integral to our future. Many fans act like future success is guaranteed if we do nothing and hold pat. No,it doesn’t work that way. You strike when the iron is hot. No you don’t mortgage your future but 2 non top 30 prospects is not a mortgage. Heck, I would have given 3 non top 30 prospects for an upper end$2.5 M guy.

      • Harry Stoner

        What I remain continually irritated by is that the local press isn’t regularly pressing Bull on these questions.

        Both Bull and Bell are practiced at spin and being vague (eg Bell’s bizarre spin on Mills and Salazar’s performance yesterday as being ‘helpful’).

        What about asking direct questions?

        “Did you look into trading for Chapman? Texas got him for very little. Isn’t he the type of pitcher to help the Reds? If you don’t think so, please tell us why.”

        How hard would that be to do?

        The Cincinnati press asks as soft questions as Farmer’s tater to Soto yesterday.

      • Optimist

        The Chapman follow up question is “so what if the concern is team chemistry – he’s a rental, and if any little thing goes awry, just release him, no?”.

  38. Soto

    Anyone that thinks CES’s bat shouldn’t be in the Reds lineup everyday probably hasn’t watched him much. I only saw him in spring training and AAA highlights, but I think he is going to be a hitting superstar. He hit 550 playing almost every day in ST. He is mashing in AAA. He reminds me of a young Albert Pujols. The obvious solution is to make him the DH 75% of the time and start him at first against lefties. I think Votto will be fine, but I would probably only play him against right handers until he gets going. Casali needs to be a bullpen catcher or bench coach. This team needs to gear up to take control of the central and prepare for the playoffs.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      “Anyone that thinks CES’s bat shouldn’t be in the Reds lineup everyday”

      So, then, who sits everyday? We are only playing with 4 OFs as it is, if you were to include Senzel out there.

      Are you going to sit India for a minor leaguer? McLain after what he’s done? Elly? CES has never played C. Platoon with Votto? Then, he only hits against left handed pitching.

      You people say bring CES, but you all never say who goes off the roster, and how you would “play him everyday”, just play him.

      Fact is, nothing would make sense to play him everyday. Bottom line, he’s either part-timer here, if not makes others part-timers, or he plays regular in Louisville.

      He will be up here when the rosters expand. He will be up here next year.

      Fact is, CES is the farthest from our problems. Pitching is our problem.

      • J

        Steve, you seem to have this idea in your head that for CES to play against right-handed starters, the Reds will need to pick out someone who always sits against right-handed starters. They don’t. Guys get hurt, guys need rest, guys go into slumps, etc. Bell doesn’t need to single out one player for CES to replace in the lineup for the rest of the season. He can simply be part of a 10 man rotation to fill 9 starting spots against righties. (Really part of an 8 man rotation to fill 9 non-catcher spots.)

      • Soto

        I put CES at DH
        Stats show across baseball that using the DH to rotate guys is not very productive. We could have a huge advantage over other teams with a consistent, nearly every day DH just like all the American League teams did back in the day. CES = our version of Edgar Martinez.

        Friedl CF
        EDLC 3rd
        McClain SS
        CES DH
        Frayley/Steer lf platoon (Have steer in lineup most days rotating in at 3rd and 1st, but only start Frayley versus right handers
        India 2nd
        Votto 1st (against right handers only until he gets hot)
        Stevenson C
        Benson Rf

        That leaves Senzel as the perfect late innings pinch hitter vs lefties. I would bring back Fairchild as 4th outfielder, late innings pinch hitter and runner.
        Casali= bench coach
        Newman= trade bait or valuable bench guy
        There you go. Let’s roll right on into the playoffs with this lineup.

        There you go! lets

  39. Beaufort Red

    I don’t care how we play musical chairs. I don’t care about hurting people’s egos. We’re in a position we only dreamed could happen. I want to win without sacrificing our future. It can be done.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      We have plenty of numbers ready to trade without “sacrificing our future”.

  40. Rick

    If Votto doesn’t show an uptick over the next few games then I would bat him 8th. Not 9th because the speed guys would be blocked from stealing bases should he get on.
    Votto use to get pitched around & walked alot, but now they are coming right at him.
    I’d say that Joey has a deadline set for himself, maybe what Old-School has suggested, the All Star game from the teams perspective, Joey may give himself until this month’s end.
    Being on top allows delaying any action along with a deep lineup but we can’t play 2 catcher’s & a struggling Votto together.
    I’m guessing that Maile catches Abbott today.

    Didn’t Joey say that he’d step away if he wasn’t contributing? <Paraphrasing
    We are in a playoff race after all.

  41. Kevin H

    Alot of interesting comments and scenarios. I am interested to see why Fairchild is on his way back to cincy.

    I didn’t like the fact that Williamson was pulled yesterday after 86 pitches. Farmer seems to be in a slump as last two games haven’t been his best. As far as Mills and Salazar, in my opinion those two guys were going to finish game no matter what as again the bullpen is tired or over worked. The 11 inning game didn’t help the bullpen on Friday so that is what we were left with Saturday.

    I have no problem with Bell not pitch hitting in those situation’s as I would assume he was waiting till 8th or 9th and unfortunately the game got out of hand when Mills pitched.

    Reds are in the playoff chase no doubt, and again with a rotation that is struggling, however last two starts have been promising from Ashcraft and Williamson. Lets hope they have turned a corner. The bullpen can’t keep doing what they been doing, or they will be out of gas come August. So time will tell, however this has turned into a surprise fun summer.

    Kudo’s to Bell and his coaching staff for having this team compete and not giving up.

    • Beaufort Red

      Encouraged by Ashcraft and Williamson. These 2 and Abbot are three fifths of our rotation. If we can hang on til August we might have a starting rotation.

  42. Soto

    Bell has done an admirable job this year… but, I refuse to listen to his interviews after a loss. Don’t waste your time. If the Reds lose, move on. Mow the grass, fire up the grill, go to the dentist… Do anything but listen to him spin losses.

  43. Indy Red Man

    Wacha threw 87 pitches yesterday. In fact he’s averaged 91 per game over his last 7 starts with 6 of those starts at 94 pitches or less.
    Plus he was rolling in those starts with only 2 of those resulting in 2 er and the other 5 were even better.

    Now I’m really going to get outrageous and say Bob Melvin knows more baseball then you and I. Like it or not, thats the game today

  44. Steve Schoenbaechler

    One thing with CES may be his defense. First, besides the single games in LF and RF, he’s only played 1st and 3rd. He’s logged many more games at 3rd, but has only fielded at a clip of 0.895. He’s played about 2/3 of the games at 1st but has fielded at a clip of 0.984.

  45. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Still no Padre lineup nor starting pitcher posted. Hmmm. . .

  46. JA

    I think the Padres have a very good team. Despite their numbers. Defensively they played very well on Friday, specially Tatis. I think they have everything to bounceback in the season. In other words, Reds lost to a very talented team. I expect a very tight game this Sunday.

    Whatever happens today, the Reds competed vs very good teams, in the last series… a tough calendar (except the Royals).
    The key for Reds is to beat Brewers in July. The brewers has an impressive record against NL central teams, the best record by a mile