The Cincinnati Reds are calling up prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand. The infielder was a scratch from the Louisville Bats lineup in Triple-A on Sunday evening, just a matter of minutes before the game was set to begin. Speculation was all over the place, but a matter of minutes after the Bats won on a walk-off home run by TJ Hopkins in the bottom of the 10th inning, Robert Murray of Fansided reported that Encarnacion-Strand was being called up by Cincinnati.

Acquired from the Minnesota Twins at the trade deadline last summer along with Spencer Steer in exchange for Tyler Mahle, Encarnacion-Strand started turning heads in spring training with the big league club. Despite hitting .577 and slugging 1.192 and only having two strikeouts in 27 plate appearances, the Reds sent him back to minor league camp on March 14th. Shortly after that he was sidelined with a back injury and would miss the first three weeks of the regular season.

Once Christian Encarnacion-Strand was activated, he joined the Triple-A Louisville Bats and basically picked up where he had left off in spring training. In his first 28 games played he hit .347 and he slugged .694 with eight doubles, a triple, and 11 home runs. The lone “wart” on his resume is that during that stretch he had just three walks and struck out 36 times. It did not effect his output at all.

On May 26th he walked twice in a game. Starting that day he hit .318 and slugged .591, crushing 13 doubles, a triple, and nine home runs in 39 games. But he also walked 30 times and struck out just 33 times in 186 plate appearances. There was an enormous change in his walk rate and his strikeout rate. He continued to hit the cover off of the ball, but also started getting on base a lot more often. It was the best of both worlds.

In his 67 games in Triple-A, Christian Encarnacion-Strand hit .331/.405/.637 with 21 doubles, two triples, and 20 home runs. He was 5th in the league in home runs, 7th in batting average, 4th in slugging percentage, and 5th in OPS.

Where and how the Cincinnati Reds will play him will give manager David Bell and his coaching staff an interesting assignment. Encarnacion-Strand can play third base and first base, and there’s also the designated hitter spot. It’s likely that he will spend some time at all three spots and move around a little bit, along with some others in the lineup as the club plays the match ups a little bit to get everyone regular playing time.

209 Responses

  1. Jason Franklin

    Alright. Now just drop one of Casali or Maile. I was hoping the Reds would call up Robinson too and therefore, drop both of Casali and Maile. Oh, to dream.

    • Chris

      I would be shocked if it’s not Casali. He isn’t even used anymore.

    • MK

      If this is the case which it probably should be my vote is to keep Maile as he can be there in the future and due to his regressing bat Casali is past his prime.

    • Ted Alfred

      Maile is far better than Casali at this point.

    • Oldtimer

      Robinson can’t be called up unless he is on 40 man with options. He was on Reds team last year and hit poorly in MLB.

      • Jim Walker

        Robinson’s current OPS is .904 his BA is .332 and OBP is . 398. His number have been in these ranges from the get go in 2023. He is a different offensive plaer than in prior years.

      • Oldtimer

        He is the same player having a better year. Players his age don’t magically change into a different player.

      • MK

        They don’t turn into different players but at times something clicks especially for hitters. Looking at guys like JD Martinez and Justin Turner who made some changes later in their careers to become better hitters.

    • VaRedsFan

      You can remove Casali, but not Maile.
      If you remove both and bring up Chuckie, then you have just lost all catching depth.
      Catching injuries happen all the time. We don’t need a repeat of last year.

    • MFG

      Keep Maile, great arm and not a terrible bat. He is a good back up catcher.

    • jmb

      It will be Maile, who doesn’t have a hit this month and is a free agent come season’s end, whereas Casali’s contract is more complicated. And, it’s more likely some team would claim Maile and take on his cheaper contract.

  2. Melvin

    You were on top of that quickly Doug. From the way you write you sound like you’re in favor of bringing him up too. 🙂

  3. Chris

    Based on today’s lineup, who sits?

    • Melvin

      I think Friedl is the first one who sits a game from starting. Someone else tomorrow and rotate until CES gets his turn and then start over. Something like that. Makes our bench stronger too. if it were me tomorrow I’d do something like this.

      EDLC 3B
      McLain SS
      Steer LF
      CES 1B
      Votto DH
      Fraley RF
      Benson CF
      Stephenson C
      India 2B

      • AllTheHype

        Wish Bell would do something like that, at least until India makes more contact again, but he won’t.

      • MBS

        I’d love EDLC to be moved up to the leadoff, maybe Bell will join us in this line of thinking soon.

      • AllTheHype

        Against RHP
        McLain SS
        EDLC 3B
        Fraley RF
        Steer LF
        CES 1B
        Votto DH
        Benson CF
        Stephenson C
        India 2B

      • Bob

        EDLC would STEAL home runs if he was placed in CF. His jumping up, above the CF wall, and catching balls, 12 feet off the ground, would be common highlights.

      • Melvin

        ATH – All kinds of variations. No problem with that.

      • Friedl Green Tomatoes

        I’m glad to see the Elly-to-leadoff movement, which for weeks I’ve been calling for, is finally catching on. I’d swap Benson and Steer. Benson has been consistently excellent since being recalled and Steer is frigid right now. Also makes the lineup a bit more balanced. Might then swap Fraley and steer, for the same reason.

      • TR

        Since I became aware of the incredible talent of Elly De La Cruz, thanks to Doug and this great blog, I’ve felt centerfield will be the ultimate position for Elly. As a fan who saw Willy Mays play from the beginning of his Hall of Fame career in 1951on, I see an eventual comparison with Elly and Willy Mays. Leading off, as he matures, Elly De La Cruz will be dynamite. When I check the Brewers lineup with Yelich leading off, I see a big reason for their current success.

    • RedBB

      Agree with Friedl. Webb actually has reverse splits. Although throughout his career that is not the case. Plus Friedl needs day off bad. He has been in a major slump. Could be Steer too for the same reason.

  4. Jason Franklin

    I assume he will be the primary DH vs lefties, while Votto goes against righties. But he really doesn’t have a split issue, he hits good against either side. Do you limit him just to get at bats in for all the guys? Or are the Reds front office going to push Bell to start using less platoons? They probably want the kid to get as many AB’s as possible, right?

    • Redsvol

      Votto was the only player that made consistent contact against the brewers Saturday. And then he broke the scoreless streak with the rbi in the 2nd inning today. Votto isn’t to blame for the recent cold streak.

      • Ted Alfred

        I hope they move Votto to 3 and just find a place a liitle lower for CES to start…maybe #5. Not too much pressure but in a good RBI spot. India needs to drop to 8/9 or back to lead off, depending on how they want to structure the new batting order. I prefer he drop…but I could get on board with him hitting leadoff again.

        Votto at 3 feels right and he is consistently hitting the ball harder than anyone else on the team since his return, which is what you want from that spot in the order. I also think Joey’s Comfort level might really shoot higher if you put him back at 3 and he might just start to go off.

      • Melvin

        You may be right Ted. One good thing about having Votto hit behind CES is protection. Might be easier on him starting out. This lineup has “protection” all around though it once it gets going. Just needs a jump start right now.

      • Doc

        Moving Votto to #3 puts your hitter with the worst BA in the #3 spot.

    • -CP-

      A lot of guys don’t have big splits until they face MLB pitching.

  5. Redsvol

    I’m guessing Casali also. He’s been used less and less lately as a starter and he has practically no value as a pinch hitter.

    I believe they will have 7 days to trade him which takes them close to the trade deadline and every contender could use a quality backup.

    • Friedl Green Tomatoes

      You’re right, every team could use a good backup. Not sure how that’s relevant to the Casali conversation, though.

  6. Hanawi

    Newman seems to be the obvious roster move to me. He has been playing almost exclusively 3B, 1B and DH, which is exactly where CES would slot into the lineup. They can deal with the 3rd catcher spot when they bring up Fairchild.

    • Chris

      I don’t think so. Not big on keeping Newman, but at the very least he can hit lefties and with moves late in a game, he can play somewhere. Casali is literally worthless now.

      • Hanawi

        Neither played against the Brewers so neither have much value. Newman would directly compete for at bats that either CES or Steer would be better taking.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. Newman is a good guy and has value on some teams I’m sure but he’s toast on this one now.

      • Earmbrister

        Newman is their only utility middle infielder. In addition, he can also play the infield corners. He stays.

    • Friedl Green Tomatoes

      Nah, if Newman can’t be traded he at least has some value because of his splits against lefties and his ability to play 2nd, 3rd and SS. Casali is useless at the dish and the 3rd catcher in this roster. Literally zero value to the team.

      • Old Big Ed

        They couldn’t get a pint of cole slaw for Newman.

    • Colorado Red

      I wonder if they have a trade for Newsom or Nick in works?
      That would take care of the 40 man question

      • Oldtimer

        No need to drop either of them. DFA one of the P in AAA who is on 40 man instead.

      • jmb

        Some say the Angels are interested in Newman.

    • MK

      I agree on Newman as he no longer has a role. With Elly he has lost his role of backup at third or short. With CES he has lost his role as rh DH or rh backup at first. He no longer has a role.

  7. MBS

    Great news for 2 reasons, we need his bat in the lineup, and I was getting a bit concerned that he was going to be traded. Give him India’s spot at #5 in the batting order please Mr Bell. We’ll have some thump in the middle of our order.

    3 Freidl 4 EDLC 5 CES 6 Votto 7 Steer

    That’s our 5 best power hitters lined up in the middle of our order. Bell will indeed have some choices as we now have 9 guys for 8 spots (excluding C, including DH) that could / should all be everyday players.

    • Chris Giffin

      Fraley isn’t one of our top 5 power hitters?

      • MBS

        That’s my bad Fraley is the 3 hole hitter, just typed Friedl by mistake. Friedl is clearly not a power bat.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Friedl is no power hitter. McLain and Fraley have higher SLG than Friedl does. Friedl is an “on base” guy. 1 or 2 in the lineup.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Oh, sorry, didn’t see the second post.

    • Soto

      I like it. I might put McClain in the 3-hole and bump the rest back one. Either way I’m just happy that called him up.

      • Oldtimer

        I think McLain would do better than McClain (since the Reds have no one by that name).

    • jmb

      The #3 hole is supposed to be your best hitter, not necessarily a power spot. McLain could be #3, esp. if India leads off and Freidl is #2.

  8. AllTheHype

    They’re not bringing CES up to limit him. He will play. Casali will be DFA and we’ll also probably see a little less of Stephenson. Maile, and Newman.

    • Chris

      You aren’t going to see less of Stephenson/Maile, since one of them will be catching each game.

      • AllTheHype

        Casali has started 4 games since mid June. Stephenson has been DH’ing way more than Casali has been catching, so Stephenson DH’s much less, catches maybe a little more but not enough to offset his DH, and Maile catches the same or less.

        All four of Casali, Stephenson, Maile, and Newman will see reduced PAs and yielding starts to CES.

      • Melvin

        If Casali is indeed the one what I think needs to happen, which has been pretty much what has been going on lately, is Stephenson either catches or sits. No more DH for him.

      • Friedl Green Tomatoes

        Agreed Melvin. Stephenson is a plus bat as a catcher, but solidly sub-par as a DH. Give those ABs to an impact bat.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Very possibly, the only reason why CES didn’t make the squad out of ST was because the FO wasn’t to get our best returning bat, Stephenson, into the lineup more than just at C. So, they were considering him as DH at 1st. That called for 3 C’s. That called for CES out.

        Well, since Stephenson hasn’t been playing first, what’s the need for 3 C’s? That would be the easiest way to get CES up here, DFA a C.

        Then, the question is, what to do with CES? How to play him? How to line him up, get him some regular playing time?

  9. MBS

    DH CES 7/9 Steer 2/9
    1B Votto 8/9 CES 1/9
    2B India 8/9 McLain 1/9
    3B EDLC 6/9 Steer 3/9
    SS McLain 7/9 EDLC 2/9
    RF Benson 8/9 Fraley 1/9
    CF Friedl 8/9 Fraley 1/9
    LF Fraley 6/9 Steer 3/9
    C Stephenson 6/9 Maile 3/9

    Steer seems to be destined to be the utility out of this group, but this setup gets all non catchers 8 starts out of every 9 games.

    • Hanawi

      Senzel would take some of those Fraley and Benson at bats in the OF against LHP.

      • MBS

        You’re probably right, but I hope Bell doesn’t turn Benson into a platoon, and for that matter I hope he also allows Fraley to play more against LHP.

        Anyways, this is just to show that our core players can play a lot if they want to.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Not saying yes or not. For, I like it. But, it ruins any sort of platoon that Bell might want.

      • VaRedsFan

        Fraley can’t hit lefties. Senzel kills them.
        It’s a must that these 2 are platooned

      • MBS

        Last year in Cleveland’s AAA Benson hit .250/.386/.375 vs LHP. Not incredible, but more than a solid OBP. He doesn’t have to become a platoon.

        Fraley is another story, but I’d still like him to get more opportunities against LHP.

    • Melvin

      Yeah. Nothing is etched in stone right? Everyone gets plenty of starts 8 out of 9 games in some sort of rotation. It’s not that hard and makes for a much better team.

      • MBS

        Nope, it’s just a way to visualize playing time opportunities for the core of the team. There are tons of other viable scenarios, and no rotation should be set in stone, just a guide that adjusts with hot/cold streaks, matchups, injuries, etc…

    • Soto

      Sounds pretty simple to me. Logical, especially the idea of mostly DH’ing CES. We need better production out of the DH. Statistically, the rotating DH just isn’t productive for the Reds.

  10. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Still want to see the corresponding move.

    • Melvin

      So do I. One thing is for sure. We have no control over it. It will be interesting.

    • Optimist

      I wonder if this move will be minor (someone going to the IL, or a reliever getting sent down for 10 days, or Casali DFA). I think the next move will be more permanent and major – namely a trade of one or more from the 26-man and a prospect. Doug pointed out the obvious 40-man move is Busenitz, but the 26-man is the attention grabber.

      The IL or DFA buys a few days to get closer to a deadline and a trade, which will set the roster set for the rest of the season.

      • Tom

        Yes, but if he’s productive while up, might be hard to send him right back. They’re making a statement by promoting him and not bringing Fairchild back first.

    • Friedl Green Tomatoes

      The corresponding move will be Casali, or possibly Newman. I’m more concerned about who’s going to get benched and which big leaguer is going to unfairly lose at-bats because of this move, aren’t you?

    • Rick

      Yeah, that will tell us a lot & clear things up.
      Jim Walker had a good point about placing a struggling(deep mired) position player on the IL to free up a 26 man roster spot for CES. That would open up PT Might buy time to trade one of 2 catchers.

      • Friedl Green Tomatoes

        An IL move isn’t a bad idea, but no one—and I mean no one—is gonna trade for Casali. Maybe one or two teams would be interested in maile. But maile is our backup.

      • Jim Walker

        The dual IL moves I suggested, for the 40 man slot (Greene) and 26 man slot (??? TBA) would kick the can down the road to allow them to keep working trade possibilities.

        Newman is not going to bring much but as a guy who can play a respectable SS, he can be valuable in the same way as a backup catcher to a team who is thin at SS. In addition, he does have a high .900s OPS vs LH pitching. On the Reds end, moving him would be about salary dumping, not who they would get in return.

        At this point in his career, Senzel is just another (somewhat expensive) bench piece. He does have the gaudy OPS vs LH pitching in 2023; but, his career stats do not support belief that can be counted on in the future. His OPS vs RH pitching comes up short. He is a passable corner OF and 3B who can presumably cover 2B. No doubt he could also add 1B to his repertoire with some work. It is doubtful there is much of a market for him.

  11. Jeff

    Somebody getting traded…/me wonders

    • Jason Franklin

      I don’t think bringing him up lowers his trade value if that’s the plan (which I doubt). Actually, if he comes up and rakes the ball, then his trade value improves. It’s a gamble if that’s their reasoning but I don’t think they would unless it means he’s the main part for a haul like JP Sears and a couple of their relievers or something.

  12. LDS

    If they called him up as part of a platoon situation, then there’s no hope for this organization. They need regular everyday players. And how’s he’s played is a decision that shouldn’t be left to Bell. I’ve not seen his fielding metrics but surely he’s better defensively than Votto.

    • Optimist

      Many have noted they don’t have a history of that, and recent history confirms it – EDLC, McLain, and Steer have been plugged in and played upon arrival. Expect the same for CES, though it will be with 10 guys rotating into 9 spots in the lineup, which won’t require a platoon.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I agree, LDS. If we are bringing up CES (of course we are), he should be playing regularly. If not, I wouldn’t bring him up. As a player, I wouldn’t want to be brought up. Professional ball players want to play. They don’t want to ride the pine.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Actually, going by the numbers, Votto has a higher fielding % and a bigger range factor than CES does.

      • LDS

        If so, that’s not a good place to be.

    • greenmtred

      Doug said the other day that he’s not better than Votto.

  13. MK

    I understood that one of the goals for the season was for Tyler Stephenson to catch approximately 100 games this season. He has approximately 60 now which means with 60+ games left he go 40. Really do not need 3 catchers if that is the case. Casali can make a nice trade chip for a contender needing a nice backup. Maile has definitely beat him out for number 2.

    • Votto4life

      A 34 year old catcher hitting .169 does not make a “nice trade chip”.

      • Friedl Green Tomatoes

        +1000 V4L. I love how we’ve all been talking about how Casali is washed and has zero value at the dish, but all the sudden he’s a “nice backup” and a “solid trade chip”. I’m all for the manifesting, but if Krall can get a sack of peanuts for Casali then he’s a magician.

      • Bill

        The famous “this guy sucks we should trade him” scenario. Same with Senzel and Newman. Trading any of them is only to open a roster spot, which is fine, but you aren’t getting more than PTBNL. The problem is finding a contender looking for a backup

      • jmb

        The White Sox might take on his contract if the Reds took Grandal’s.

      • jmb

        That’s the move! Trade Casali to the Sox ain a deal that bring’s Grandal and a starter and either trade or cut Maile. A felt-handed hitting catcher is EXACTLY what the Reds need.

      • jmb

        Cut Maile to give CES a spot. Then trade Casali, Senzel, Barrero, and Newman to White Sox for Grandal, Kopech, and Crochet. Senzel pairs perfectly with their left-handed hitting right-fielders. They’ll be trading Anderson, so they’ll need a guy for short. And second has been up in the air for them ever since they traded Madrgal in a push for the playoffs.

  14. Insider

    Casali is gone. Don’t lose sleep wondering. Bell buried him to force the hand. He’s wanted CES for a month.

  15. Rick

    He’s going to play. His call up is to inject more production into our offense and that will inturn relieve some pressure from the struggling young guy’s while they get some things figured out. McLain’s 3 hits today were a great sign for him. I hope Bell puts in the 5 hole, no lower than 6th.
    Steer has played alot, rest him Monday, India on Tuesday.
    I’d bat Elly leadoff. He should see more fb’s from there and relieve some weight from his shoulders batting cleanup & try to get him going. 2nd choice would be to put India back at leadoff where he performed better, if that fails then bat him 9th.
    Great problem to have.
    Logic would say to cut Casali loose, but sometimes logic goes out the window. Newman & Senzel have options if I’m not mistaken, & if DJ fights to keep Casali for side sessions & starters throw days he may try to keep him around for that & Hunter’s return. Pitching coaches have tunnel vision slanted of course towards his pitching staff. That would be asinine in my book.

    • Votto4life

      I wouldn’t mind seeing if Will Benson could handle the lead off spot. He takes a lot of pitches, draws walks and has great speed.

      • Rick

        I would be all for that. Another good reason for him to bat leadoff is that despite his stature he’s not hitting the ball out of the park, has a great eye, and is very disciplined, good speed and a base stealer. All prerequisites for a prototypical leadoff guy. And, let’s see him more against lefties. Lots of times we pull a guy like Will in the 7th inning for a rt. handed batter and then miss his bat in the 9th or 10th inning vs a right handed pitcher with more on the line at that stage.

  16. Jim Walker

    I agree CES is not being promoted to be the RH hitting side of a platoon. He has been right at or just below 1.000 OPS from both sides. Other people will sit to get him PAs. Bell will earn his salary figuring out how it all will work.

    As for the moves to get CES onto the active roster, I would not be surprised to see Greene moved to the 60 day IL to create a 40 man slot. That would make Greene eligible to return around 17 August. I also would not be surprised to see an IL move to get CES to the 26 man active roster. Just look around at guys in prolong downturns or slumps and figure there is a chance somebody among them has been trying to play through enough of a physical issue to merit going to the IL.

    • Ted Alfred

      What should happen is that India should see his playing time cut way back. He’s been mostly bad to terrible defensively and offensively for about 7 weeks

      • Chris

        There is a trade on the way. Senzel, Newman, Casali and possibly India may be shipped out. CES is here to play everyday.

    • Rick

      I agree, CES is going to play.
      All of your 2nd paragraph points are very logical.
      India would 1st come to mind on that prolonged slump as a IL candidate. He could use a mental break and hopefully get mentally recharged.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      That is a possibility, Jim. Moving Greene. Good idea.

  17. Indy Red Man

    It’s about time. He may help right the ship for a playoff run or at a minimum you’re sorting for next year. Beating up AAA accomplishes neither

  18. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I’m glad to see it. I just want to know where he’s going to play, how is Bell going to use him, etc.

    He plays 3rd worse than Encarnacion, and we got rid of him quickly. So, I don’t see CES getting much more than a spot start at 3rd a week.

    2 games in the OF during the minors? I don’t trust that. Not to leave out, look at our history of making OFers out of IFers:
    – It didn’t work for Alonso
    – Senzel did pretty good in CF, when he could stay healthy. But, he never learned/we never taught him how to play the walls. So, he kept getting injured running into them.
    – Similar with Hamilton

    With our track record of making OFers out of IFers, I don’t want to see him out there.

    Nope, the other way I see CES getting any meaningful playing time here is sharing 1st and DH with Votto. Beyond those two, that takes away all the other players playing time from DHing.

    But, if CES doesn’t play regularly up here, I think it’s the wrong move to bring him up myself. Why bring him up to ride the pine? Major leaguers want to play, not ride the pine.

    The corresponding moves may help answer this some.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Sorry, typo “The only way I see CES getting any meaningful playing time”

    • Friedl Green Tomatoes

      You’re glad to see it??? Holy whiplash.

      But you actually made a bit of sense here, other than parroting your outdated stat about CES being worse at 3rd than Encarnacion. I agree that trying to transition him to the outfield on the fly, while he’s also adjusting to big league pitching, would be a mistake. If that was still something being entertained, he should’ve been an everyday corner outfielder for Louisville.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I will explain it like this:

        1) Can we get CES up here? Obviously. I could easily see us DFA Casali for example. So, I have no problem with that.

        2) Can I see CES getting regular playing time? Sure.

        For instance, the easiest way I believe to play him would be for him and Votto to share 1st/DH duties. Most people stop their thinking here. They simply stop. I don’t. Beyond those 2, everyone else loses their DH playing time.

        That gets into #3) For example, if CES comes up here and just plays first, Votto would lose playing time at first. Why do that? What did Votto do to lose playing time at first? He only leads the team in OPS, that laste I looked. Votto has none nothing to lose playing time. Well, if that wouldn’t be right for Votto, why would it be right for all who have been DHing? What did they all do to lose their playing time at DH?

        But, if you are going to play CES up here, he needs to be playing regularly. For, if not, it’s pretty much of a waste to bring him up. Players want to play, not ride the bench.

        But, even though I don’t agree with it, I can roll with it. But, for people to think CES is going to cure all of our offensive ills, that’s simply ridiculous.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Or, maybe in short, I saw no role for CES up here. Oh, I could see a role for him, but it would be at the expense of players who haven’t done anything to lose playing time.

        Barrero wasn’t batting; he lost playing time. McLain was hitting. We had a need; we called up McLain. Barrero was sent down.

        The same with Reynolds and Elly.

        If CES is going to be up here, he needs to play regularly. Of the regulars, who has warranted to be replaced? Who hasn’t performed, like Barrero and Reynolds, and needs to be sent down, traded, DFA’ed, etc.? If anyone, that’s India. And, we can easily adjust the IF there: McLain at 2nd, Elly at SS, Steer at 3rd. That makes a space on the roster for CES, but no regular regular playing time. Steer got that.

      • Friedl Green Tomatoes

        Steve… You just defaulted to the same, tired argument you’ve been making all along. What did they do to deserve losing their DH at-bats to CES? Being a less effective DH, that’s what. These people are professionals, not little leaguers. Little Jonny shouldn’t be getting penciled into the lineup because you don’t want to hurt his feelings. They get paid to do what the team needs. If that means not being DH once or twice a week, they’ll live.

        Agreed that CES needs to be playing everyday, but you’re arguing against a strawman on that last bit. No one is saying that CES instantly transforms this team into the perfect offense. They’re saying he makes the lineup better, which he does, and that he should be DHing over the likes of Stephenson, Newman and India. You keep twisting things because you have some weird hangup about “fairness” and wanting to make sure no one gets their at-bats reduced; *that* is what’s ridiculous.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Fried, I never said CES wouldn’t make this lineup better. Trout would, also. Ohtani would, also. Arenado would, also. So, why don’t we just get them?

        If you don’t care about your players and how much playing time they are getting, there’s little reason for players to be coming to Cincy in the future. That has to be a component.

        By your own words, “Being a less effective DH, that’s what”, so CES will be the DH? Hey, I’ve said I want more consistent people in positions. I just question doing it at the expense of others who haven’t done anything to deserve it.

        So, CES is going to DH? You know that for sure? That’s it, just DH? Of course you don’t. So, quit making statements you have no clue about. You obviously don’t care about the players at all.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        So I care about the players, Fried. So, sue me.

      • Friedl Green Tomatoes

        Steve, if you don’t the difference between going out and getting Ohtani vs calling up CES, I’m not going to waste my time trying to explain it to you.

        Yes, DH will be his primary position, alternating with Votto at 1st. I’d like to believe you have the common sense to see that, but after that comment above, idk. Caring for the players is all well and good, but caring for them at the expense of winning, which is what you seem to do? No, I don’t believe anyone is entitled to a spot in the lineup and if reducing their playing time makes the team better, that’s what they get paid to do.

        Ya know, it’s interesting. You’re apparently this champion of the players, and yet I haven’t seen you decrying the fact that Casali hasn’t played in like 3 weeks. Doesn’t he deserve playing time too? He’s a big leaguer, after all. Won’t someone think of the children?

      • Friedl Green Tomatoes

        And by the way, Steve; you act as if shuffling the lineup around and depriving guys of some at-bats will deter players from signing with Cincinnati. Has that ever happened before, literally anywhere, in all of sports? When Tom Brady replaced Drew Bledsoe, and then Bledsoe didn’t get his job back after recovering from his injury, did the players boycott the Patriots? These aren’t the children you seem to think. It’s a job; a highly competitive one for which positions are limited. If the money is right, they’re gonna sign and ride the bench until they’re called upon, like a professional.

    • Rick

      Good points for sure.
      CES will play and get starter reps 1b/dh/ ocassional 3rd base.
      I think that Louisville shelved the OF experiment after I believe it to be only one game in RF & LF respectfully.
      I think that we will see actual rest days taken by a systematic approach for each player. Steer, McLain & EDLC, and to a lesser degree CES’S flexibility will cover most positions & the platooning will cover some rest days and thus removing them from the DH sharing. DH sharing will mostly get used by Joey & Strand until their rest day comes up.
      The biggest issue I see is that Steer gets penciled in most days as the LF’er. The quagmire will be TJ, Benson & Fraley, for 2 positions.
      If I’m India, I’m in the batting cage instead of sleeping. Lol

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Agreed. The corresponding moves could answer some of this.

      • Friedl Green Tomatoes

        Steer to 3rd, Elly to short, McClain to second eliminates the quagmire and puts out best lineup on the field. India is a solid player mired in a prodigious slump, but on this roster he’s the 10th man.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        10th man who only plays 2nd? That’s not good.

        India would have to go back to some of his roots, where he played some SS and 3rd, also. Actually, India has a better minor league fielding % than CES.

      • Friedl Green Tomatoes

        India should be able to play 3rd and perhaps even short. But it’s functionally irrelevant anyway, given the versatility of everyone else on the infield.

      • Jim Walker

        Three LH hitting OF for 2 spots???? Is it coming to light why I have been suggesting trading from strength (Fraley) to get a better pitching return while giving up less future capital?

        How CES performs at MLB out of the chute could go a ways toward answering this question.

      • LDS

        @JimWalker, I agree – trade Fraley. I used to say that but folks lost their mind and it wasn’t worth the time. I’d keep Friedl over Fraley – the splits are better. I’ll take a guy who can hit LH/RH both over a guy with more power that only hits RH’ers. One of the reasons I preferred Fairchild stay on the 26 and play more. Same problem with Benson. He can’t/isn’t hitting LH’ers. Fairchild and Friedl certainly aren’t the reincarnation of Jr, but they can play every day.

      • Chris

        @LDS, what in the world suggests to you that Fairchild can play every day? What is the love affair that you and @Jim Walker have for Fairchild? He is a 5th outfielder at best, and that’s on a team that isn’t loaded, which the Reds are. He has NO room on the Red’s roster. Same thing with Barrero. These are 26th man on a team players, and that’s on sub par teams.

      • LDS

        @Chris, you don’t pay much attention to numbers do you? Had Bell simply put them in and played them daily for a few weeks, I suspect both would have come around. But you are entitled to your opinion, no matter how misguided they may be.

  19. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I just thought of another possibility. Probably nothing, but I just remembered that Lively left the game early. He is coming off an injury. Hopefully he was just dehydrated. But, if he wasn’t, if Lively was injured again, that may press the FO to make a trade for a starting pitcher, and CES may be part of that trade.

    Anyone definitely heard anything more about Lively after the game?

    • Doug Gray

      He had cramps and he said he’ll be starting his next outing.

  20. AMDG

    The Reds 4 great young players (McLain, De La Cruz, Benson, Steer) are hitting for a combined 123 OPS+

    While the rest of the team is hitting an OPS+ around 87

    The youth movement seems to be working, and if his AAA performance is any indication, CES is yet one more rookie set to help carry this team.

    • TR

      Christian Encarnacion-Strand comes up with a lot of immediate pressure on him to help revive the Red’s young offense. A duplication of AAA performance is rarely seen when stepping up to the Majors. I hope for a gradual accommodation and some patience from all concerned.

  21. RedFuture

    Don’t be surprised if Casali switches dugouts to the Giants tonight, they loved him there too and I think they could use a defense first C backup. So happy that CES is finally up! I’ assuming CES speed is votto-esque, therefore I expect to see CES inserted into the 5th spot most games. I agree with an earlier post about the normal “vs RHP” lineup regulars playing 8 of 9 game schedule, which is only interrupted by Senzel/Newman subbing for Fraley/Benson vs LHP.

  22. Mark A Verticchio

    My question is what happened to America’s team? Seems to me this bunch may have started something and then were not able to back it up. Watching the game yesterday you just had the feeling they would find a way to lose. They looked miserable on the field, maybe it’s me but India seems to have lost his so called leadership skills. I think all the trade talk has really upset him and with Strand coming up it may get worse. The rest of July will make or break this season and I don’t like the odds unless they get back to having fun. I think Bell needs to get a hold of this young team and that may be the biggest problem. He. in my opinion, is not the type of manager for such a young team. Oh well I will keep watching and hoping that magic will return.

    • Old Big Ed

      Well, what happened this weekend was that every single position player, when the pressure was on, could not perform. Fraley and McLain did revive themselves on Sunday, and Benson can at least take a walk.

      Personally, while I hope I am wrong and I understand that it was just one series, I don’t see them recovering from this mentally. They were 1962 Mets bad offensively this weekend, and now every team knows how to pitch them.

      India is downright awful right now. His OPS in June was .660 and is .620 in July. He is Jose Barrero without the speed, arm or upside. He’s been overswinging for two months, and has lost his strike zone judgment. If he plays at all, he ought to hit 9th. Alejo Lopez and Mike Reynolds are better options right now than India.

      Maybe India can shorten his swing and straighten himself out, but I suspect that his OPS+ of 92 last year and 94 this year accurately reflect what India is.

      The one good thing is that the Reds have learned that they should not do multi-year contracts with Stephenson.

      • Jim Walker

        RE: “I suspect his OPS+ of 92 last year and 94 this year accurately reflect what India is.”

        This may very well be an accurate statement. And if so, it could be India is the player he is now instead of the player he was in 2021 because of the sustained effort to play through and around a leg injury in early to mid season 2022 even as the team was going nowhere with or without him.

        Damage can be done that will effectively age a player practically overnight. Organizations, players, and yes, we fans should take notice of such things.

      • BK

        Yep, I won’t be surprised to see India’s playing time curtailed nor would I be surprised to see him optioned.

      • Chris

        Optioned? LOL. Where does this stuff come from? You think India is going to be optioned? Wow! Yes he’s struggling, but the idea that he is going to get optioned is just embarrassingly funny.

      • BK

        @Chris, glad I could help you chuckle this morning! The bottom line is someone will lose playing time due to CES promotion. From a performance perspective, India is the obvious choice. So is it better to bench him or find a way to keep playing him to get him out of his slump?

        India is within the window where he can be optioned. If he’s optioned and recalled within 20 days, the option doesn’t count and doesn’t affect his service time. I didn’t say it was the most likely scenario, but optioning him makes sense if you want him to play every day without hurting the team’s chances in a pennant race.

  23. Mark Moore

    Fresh start tonight. I know we’ll all be tracking this closely during the day. I’m thinking it will be Casali.

  24. Indy Red Man

    I hope CES sparks something. If they don’t snap out of it they’ll be buried in a few weeks. Its hard to believe everyone went ice cold at the same time? I was at the sellout game when Burnes faced the Reds the first time. We scored 3 runs in 6 innings so he wasn’t Cy Young. I don’t get it?

    Really down on Freidl, even before that dumb throw. 9 for last 49 (.184) since his big series vs the O’s. He puts the ball in the air too much and makes too many quick outs for my taste, but of course he was having a big season (.885) until this slump. I just don’t see him as a leadoff type. I’ll chalk yesterday off and say he’s very good defensively. He tracks the ball very well, but he’d be hitting 9th on the Reds next playoff team if it was my call.

    • Indy Red Man

      Others have suggested Elly for leadoff. Why not? Atlanta does it with Acuna. Just trying to get on-base might help him lay off garbage instead of trying to drive the ball/rbis/etc

      • JB

        Can you imagine him taking the mandatory first pitch of the game fastball? I can’t. He will be the modern day Rickey Henderson and deposit that pitch in the 20th row.

    • Jim Walker

      IRM> Friedl can go get’em but he doesn’t really have a CF arm. He needs to learn that yesterday and quit rainbowing throws. Virtually nobody (maybe an Aquino class arm on a good day) gets that guy on the SAC fly run which tied the game. But even an average CF arm has a 50/50 chance on the lead run; and, Freidl didn’t even come close.

      I’d say that long term Friedl is a corner OF; but, I am not sure he has the slugging for that. He may be a classic 4th OF guy.

      Keep an eye on Barrero. He has pumped his AAA OPS up from south of south to .862 including a .340+ OBP over the last 3 weeks or so. He has played some CF but mostly at SS (showcasing I’d guess). If he isn’t traded, he could end up being the CF for the Reds in 2024 and beyond.

      • VaRedsFan

        TJ’s throw was a mental mistake, and he should be benched for it, because our outfielders keep making this mistake. If the coaches aren’t saying anything to these guys, then it’s on them and the manager.

        Not even Aquino could have thrown that guy out yesterday.

      • Jim Walker

        @VA>> I think I did not communicate clearly yesterday. The issue I saw with sending Friedl to the pine for a short stint was that the guy who would be the backup CF is in Louisville. They had clearly moved Fairchild ahead of Senzel for that spot when both were up and available and TJ went to the IL.

        Senzel and Benson both had adventures in LF yesterday, although ultimately only Senzel’s cost them an out and fortunately did not cost them a run.

        Who would you go with in CF if not Friedl even for a game or 2?

      • VaRedsFan

        Understood Jim, and I see your point….thanks for clarifying. As the roster stands now, it would have to be Senzel. I trust him more than Benson.

        If TJ were hurt, then I’d rather see Stuey as the everyday guy.

        Fraley is so strong vs RHP, and Senzel vs LHP that I think they have to stay with that platoon. I know that’s not you position, but that’s how I see it my friend.

      • TR

        Elly De La Cruz certainly has a CF arm and also speed. What an experience to see him playing in CF for at least 81 games in stadiums most of which have more outfield space than GABP.

      • Chris

        Please stop this nonsense. Fairchild isn’t any good, and should never start on a good baseball team. As for Friedl his clear back up is Benson. No Friedl doesn’t have a great arm, but that is rather common of a CFer. This Barrero and Fairchild stuff is ridiculous. You seriously, with a straight face, envision Barrero playing CF for the Reds in 2024 and beyond? Do you like the Reds being a BAD team?

  25. JB

    Like I suggested yesterday on the game link, Reds and Brewers need a cleanup hitter. Reds made their move. Your move Brewers.

  26. Protime

    About time! Hopefully, the Reds are not a day late and a dollar short….

  27. Jim Walker

    I watched many of the AAA games on MiLBTV when McLain, EDLC, and CES were batting back to back to back and ravaging opponents.

    Whether they bat 1/2/3, 2/3/4 or 4/5/6, I am excited to see if, how long, and to what degree it might take them to start doing the same at MLB.

    If Bell doesn’t at least out start by batting them in tandem, Krall needs to call him in for CTJ meeting post haste.

  28. Roger Garrett

    CES and I say yes.Need a thumper right in the middle of the lineup every day.He can DH and spell Joey at first against lefties for the rest of the year and lets see what happens.Hopefully Krall told him exactly that .Who loses their roster spot?Newman for my money just lost his job as the DH against lefties or at first against lefties but I said back in the spring he was brought in to play and he has and he will.Poor man’s version of Kyle Farmer and we know how long it took to get past that.Both can play and will play in this league I hope for 15 years but just not with the Reds.GO REDS

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Well, is CES going to cover 1st against lefties or DH against lefties?

      Newman only DH’ed a total of 5 times all season. Not much of a reason to call up CES.

      I wouldn’t call someone up to just play “against lefties”. Prospects serve two purposes:
      1) Replace regulars on the main roster
      2) Tradebait

      If we are only going to play CES against lefties, keep him at AAA. We don’t see enough lefties to warrant calling up a prospect much less giving CES enough time to play.

      All kinds of scenarios I can see. They may even change. Me, I like to think of things as simple as possible. For example, CES and Votto will simply trade off DH/1st games. With those 2 as DH, all the others who have been getting playing time as rotating DH loses it.

      Or, DFA India, move McLain to 2nd, Elly to SS, Steer to 3rd, and CES DH’s fulltime.

  29. Soto

    I really hope the Reds apply some analytics on how they choose to use CES. Jim posted a good link the other day on DH stats. ESPN had a good article, something like “MLB has a problem with DH’s that can’t hit.” According to the fan graph link JIm put up, the Reds are third from last in DH hitting this year. Almost everyone that they have used at DH this year, are good hitters when they play in the field. So what’s the problem? DHing is different. If you strike out, you don’t get to “make up for it in the field”, you just sit and think about it or go to the cage and work on it,until you bat again. Most everyday position players struggle with the mental side of not playing in the field.
    We need to do what most AL teams have done since the 1970s. Take a power hitter that lacks speed or defensive agility and make him your main DH. CES fits this profile better than anyone in the entire organization except for maybe Votto. But Votto is a better defensive first baseman than CES. If the Reds can get anywhere near the production that CES has shown at every level, and they mostly use him as a DH, we gain a huge statistical advantage against the other Central Division teams that also rotate DH’s and have limited production out of the position. We will soon find out. I know Jim agrees with me. We need more consistency out of the DH.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      That same thing can hold for the other positions, also. Have regular players in positions, then they know they can come back the next day to make up for bad play.

      That’s why I would like to see what the Reds had back in the BRM days. Referring to, even though the Big 8 rarely played together, when Sparky had a game to win, everyone knew who was playing.

      I could even understand the platooning aspect. That’s just a playing strategy. I would prefer not to platoon. If one comes up, and I believe the players can handle it, I would consider it. But, I wouldn’t be primary aspect for me.

  30. LDS

    Reading C. Trent’s column this morning perfectly illustrates why Bell has to go. It’s obvious that Bell’s ideas are being reflected by the players – the quotes reflect virtually no concern with losing or falling out of first place. That doesn’t rellect a winning culture.

    • Soto

      I find that my mental health improves and I am much happier if I never listen to, or read anything that Bell says after a loss. It’s always just fluff. He is the ultimate players coach. He makes sure that he never ruffles any feathers and that he has his player’s back. He might be completely different behind the scenes, but in front of a camera, he says nothing of interest. It’s all positive spin. Just move on and find something else to do.

      • BK

        Praise in public, criticize in private has long been an axiom associated with good leadership. It doesn’t make for great press conferences, but it’s the right approach for post game interviews, especially over a 162-game schedule.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        First, I agree. Second, nothing I’ve seen from Bell shows me any degree of sensational baseball knowledge.

        People need to remember. . .before Bell, the Reds finished last in the division 4 straight years, preceded by a 3rd and 4th place finish. No competent manager would have been associated with the Reds at that time. The Reds were scraping the bottom of the barrel. They got Bell, a manager with no major league managerial experience, thus no pennant-winning experience.

        Not to leave out things like his bonehead moves with the bullpen, trying to make India into a 3 hole hitter, failing royally for 2 months (isn’t a big responsibility of a manager to put his players in positions to succeed?), etc.

        “He is the ultimate players coach”. At times, that isn’t what the club will need, though. For example, players need to be held accountable for poor performance. A players coach isn’t going to be good at following through with that.

      • LDS

        @BK, that’s not the same as spewing platitudes and expecting the players to do the same. You can be very sure that no one on the BRM would have said anything similar to what the Reds players were quoted as saying. Success comes from driving hard every day. If someone on the team doesn’t have that attitude, find someone that does. And if the manager doesn’t expect that, which clearly he doesn’t, fire him and get someone that does. I don’t care if we’re talking about sports or the real world, play to win. Participation trophies are for kids playing T-Ball.

      • BK

        @LDS, I think you know we disagree on this. It’s a long season. C. Trent cited only a couple of sentences in the article you’re referring to. You’re drawing a lot of conclusions (that happen to fit a narrative you have long espoused) on very few words and very few games. Also, much has changed since the BRM–your comparing too very different eras.

        I’m not advocating a T-Ball or Participation Trophy approach–that’s a strawman argument on your part. Of course, it’s all about winning at this level.

        It’s a long season–I avoid getting too high during the winning streaks and too low after the tough losses.

        Winning is what matters. The team is ahead of schedule, rightfully raising expectations. There is still a lot of ball to be played. Emotional or detailed debriefs by Bell after the games aren’t going to help the team.

      • LDS

        @BK, we do disagree. It’s one thing for Bell to be nonchalant about losing. I’m not suggesting he blast players in public. It’s another thing altogether to act like they were simply overmatched. Milwaukee’s pitching is good but hardly something they shouldn’t have been able to handle. But, the players reflecting that attitude is simply not acceptable. Yes, it’s a long season. Yes, it’s hard. As for a different era, it is. But, that’s no excuse. Being competitive and striving for excellence is a big deal whether in a 3 games series or over the whole season. Keep fighting and never give up is something this era doesn’t seem to understand.

      • BK

        @LDS, I see a team that does play hard and has not given up in any game. Lots of come-from-behind wins. Have a great day!

  31. BK

    Many are assuming Votto is a better 1B than CES. First, having watched CES play several times, he’s pretty athletic. His foot speeds is below average, but he’s agile and has a stellar arm. One of the reasons he’s spent more time at AAA is that he’s been learning 1B. While he’s not a finished product as a 1B, in time, I expect him to be very good.

    As for who’s roster spot will he take? I count 39 players on the 40-man roster. So, this may involve optioning a player and India, Senzel, and Newman all have options. Of course, dropping Casali would be the obvious choice.

    • Soto

      BK, I think CES has plenty of potential to be a good 1st baseman and I hope he becomes a great one. I just find it hard to imagine that a career 3rd baseman with only a couple of years of experience at 1st would be as good as a 19 year vet that has worked very hard to become a solid first baseman. Votto is definitely not agile but he has good glove work and is fundamentally sound. Either way, those two are the only ones that I would play at DH on most days. The DH is a position, and in my opinion, a very important position. To be honest, Steer is probably the best defensive 3rd baseman of the three.

      • VaRedsFan

        Votto has not been a good 1st baseman for years.
        Very good at picks and scoops of balls in the dirt.
        Very good at the feed to the pitcher covering 1st.
        Bad at holding runners…never applies a tag. Doesn’t come off the base very well.
        Bad fielding to his left and his right. Basically he falls down and plays most ground balls to the side.

      • Jim Walker

        VaRF>>> Agree on your assessment of Votto’s defense. An outstanding throw picker but deficient at almost everything else.

        To be clear, he tries but it just doesn’t come together. Maybe because he missed out on years of developing “instinct” or perhaps more accurately, second nature relating to baseball as a kid growing up in Canada.

      • Chris

        VA, spot on regarding Votto’s defense. I’ve always wondered how Votto could get away with playing 1st base the way he does on pick off throws. From day one he’s played too far towards the mound and away from the bag, to where he can’t even reach the runner to tag him on a pick off throw. Very puzzling. That said, he’s the best defensive 1st baseman that the Reds have right now, unless CES is better, and I just don’t know about that, having not seen him, nor know all the defensive metrics thus far, in relation to CES.

      • Tar Heel Red

        >Soto…don’t know who you have been watching all these years but Joey Votto is NOT a “solid 1B” as you put it…and to claim he is “fundamentally sound” is grossly inaccurate.

        I have coached baseball for decades and I tell my players “if you want to see a fundamentally sound defensive first baseman DO NOT watch Joey Votto. He does almost everything fundamentally wrong .” He does scoop bad throws pretty well, but that is, in my opinion, because he tries to backhand every throw. His footwork is terrible (watch where the heel of his cover foot is positioned on throws…on top of the bag. This is fundamentally wrong).

        If you want to see a sound defensive 1B watch either Freddie Freeman (RH) or Anthony Rizzo (LH).

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      It’s no assumption. The numbers show Votto is currently a better 1st baseman defensively than CES. Can CES become better? Sure. But, currently, he isn’t better.

      • BK

        @Steve, please share your data along with an explanation of how it is statistically significant given how few games either player has logged at 1B. I would sincerely appreciate seeing how you built your case.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Straight off Look it up.

      • BK

        @Steve, you must be referring to their fielding percentage. Votto has not made an error. He’s also played a third of the innings that CES has, so much less exposure, and as I mentioned earlier, this is a new position for CES.

        According to Baseball Reference, CES has a better range factor than Votto–that means he covers more ground exposing him to more potential errors. It also shows Votto as a negative defender at 1B this year, and for the previous several years, using more advanced defensive metrics, they do not track for MiLB players. Lastly, any comparisons this year are based on extremely small sample sizes. So, if you are stating that Votto is better at 1B, you are making an assumption–much like I am. Outside of fielding percentage, which tends to favor players with poor range, we don’t have much available to compare them. Thus, scouting reports and watching players while playing are the best way to evaluate MiLB players.

        I would prefer to see the Reds use CES, the more athletic player who should improve with reps over the known below-average defender at 1B.

      • Old Big Ed

        Votto is a lousy first baseman defensively, because he has the range of an alligator’s arm and his throwing is erratic. This has been true for several years. He is pretty good at digging balls in the dirt.

        I am with BK. CES should play 1B and Votto should be DH, and not vice versa.

        Playing politics with players because of their tenure with the team yields a less competitive team. They are already doing that with India, who is a lousy defensive second baseman, and is beyond slumping at the plate. Yet they continue to hit the modern equivalent of Dal Maxvill in the middle of the lineup.

  32. Mark Moore

    My one and only comment about HDTBell today (including during the game thread).

    I was hopeful when he went off on the HP Chumpire yesterday. I’ve noted before that we need some passion from him. Yet the milquetoast interview demeanor and borderline “we’ll just keep on keeping on” rec-league stuff still bugs me. I’ll be very interested to see how much time CES gets and where he plays. Reps are key for any player, which is another reason I think Casali is the odd man out. We’ve not seen hide nor hair of him in quite some time.

    I’m in a calmer mood today. We’ll see if that continues tonight when the Giants blow into town.

    • Harry Stoner

      I realize that Bell has to deliver 162+ of these PG interviews, likely to a crowd of mouth-breathers.

      But how hard is it to offer some substance?


      “Friedl’ s been playing a great CF for us. But I’m going to check in with all our OFers and double down on our execution of relay throws.”

      “I’m seeing how bunts have taken on new importance for us in manufacturing runs with our team speed. I’m going to make sure everyone on the team is working on improving this skill so we can use it anytime.”

      “Yeah, those down and away breaking pitches are killing us. We’re going to watch more video and work hard on this during BP and on off days.”

      “I know the BP is being used a lot and they’re doing great. But we’re giving too many walks to start off innings. DJ and I are working with our guys to reduce this.”

      “I know I used 7 pitchers in yesterday’s game. Here’s why…..”

      Bell might very well be doing all these things….or we should assume he is…except for the last two examples.

      But his MumbleCore interviews don’t suggest the lights are always on.

      Getting tossed for arguing balls and strikes isn’t much of a display of managerial ‘fire’.

      “Daxx! I wish Jon India and Elly would lay off those down and away sliders out of the zone? Would it hurt McLain to swing at one of those down the middle fastballs they’re always starting him off with?”

      A stack of pre-printed $1K fines kept in the dugout for every pitcher who walks the first batter in an inning, proceeds to Children’s Hospital.

      There’s some fire.

      • Jim Walker

        Make that for every pitcher who walks the 1st batter he faces unless the coaching staff specifically tells him to work around the guy.

        Otherwise I am with Mark +100K

      • VaRedsFan

        Nailed it Harry.

        I love Jim Day, but half of the problem is that he is just lobbing in softball questions that’s leading the manager to an easy answer without any substance.

        Day: Weaver obviously had a rough start today giving up 5 in the first, but how big was it that he could stick around and pitch 3 more innings?”

        He totally ignores that Weaver put the team in a 5 run hole, and Bell doesn’t even address that as an issue.

      • Harry Stoner

        If they started that program a few years ago, they’d be building a new wing on Children’s Hospital by now.

        Dennis could cut the ribbon at the opening.

    • Old Big Ed

      Bell rarely appears on the XM Sirius Radio baseball network, because he is an excruciatingly bad interview. He has the public persona of damp saltines, even if he likely is not at all that way in real life. The players see a different side of him, but he’s dull, dull, dull in media appearances.

  33. Votto4life

    I will guess someone is going on the IL.

  34. Mark A Verticchio

    I have always said that Bell’s two biggest weaknesses in few words were a lack of accountability and the lack of a sense of urgency. He refuses to admit that the Brewers series were huge. Look at the Brewers match ups this years, 2 and 8, that is 6 games in the standings and if you invert it to 8 and 2 that is 12 games, wow. If the Reds had gone 8 and 2 vs the Brewers they would be way ahead of them.
    As for accountability he just doesn’t have it. Look at India the last month and we will see if Freidl starts tonight, his poor bunt and horrible throw really hurt yesterday, Bell needs to show that type of play will not be tolerated. Plus the fact that he is not hitting squat.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      I wouldn’t bench a player just for a bad bunt. But, with India, I would bench him, even though I believe India’s lack of success is part to blame on Bell himself, also. India was the leadoff hitter on this team this year. When Elly and McLain came up, that caused Bell to change the batting order. But, India didn’t need to be changed. Not only did Bell change India, but he made him a 3 hole hitter, something India isn’t, something that India has said he doesn’t like to do. But, Bell kept putting him out there for 2 months.

      You bench players for them to simply get rest, or for a trend of bad plays, like bad hitting, slumping. The only ones in that case I still wouldn’t bench would be ones like Votto; batters like that have earned the right to “play through their slumps”. India hasn’t earned that right.

  35. Mark Moore

    Hourly forecast not looking stellar for the CES debut game. Hope that changes as the day progresses. The week-long drought followed by the brutal series against the Bernies leaves me more than a little hungry for baseball. I’d hate to take the night off.

    • Melvin

      Work on that forecast will you? 🙂

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Not sure why. There were only in Louisville.

      The Reds don’t need to make an announcement till game time, I believe.

      So, not unless it requires a trade, which could take some time, CES should be in the lineup. It would only require doing something like DFA someone. I believe someone on here even thought of putting Greene on the 60 day IL, which would open that spot up, also, I believe.

    • Chris

      That’s because Williamson is pitching. Poor guy gets drilled with rain no matter what.

  36. Will the Red

    Glad to see the call up. Ultimately, this team needs a shake-up in the batting order and will need more pitching to be a real contender. Unfortunately, the team went into a collective slump against the Brewers. Hoping we can solve the Giants, and CES is part of the solution. Also, @Bob, I’ve been asking about switching Elly to CF since before he came up, and I still think this is the best move long term, unless a LOT of prospects ate traded over the next season-or-2. GO REDS!

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      With our record in making OFer’s out of IFer’s, making Elly an OFer is the last thing I would do.

      It didn’t work for Alonso.
      It got Hamilton terribly injured.
      It got Senzel terribly injured.

      I have no problem with Elly learning an OF position, taking some balls out there during practice, etc. But, as far as playing OF, that should be a long term plan, if any plan at all.

      • Mark Moore

        The OF switch only works if the destination is CF. We have LF covered in multiple ways (Steer playing there is growing on me). If Benson continues to perform, he has RF. And switching to CF on-the-fly is a dicey proposition as you noted.

      • Harry Stoner

        CFer EDLC crashing into walls, diving after uncatchable balls, dodging wild Fraleys?
        Shoulder or knee injury a ticking time bomb.
        No thanks.
        Agree it’s a long-range plan, like after he’s a FA and playing in Florida.

      • Beaufort Red

        As I’ve said, I’d rather see him in right with that arm. Kinda like Clemente, Betts , Winfield, Guerrero, Parker and the list goes on. If he lived up to any of those guys I’d be more than happy.

  37. Kevin Patrick

    You people! Sheesh…its obvious that Encarnacion-Strand will catch and they will trade Stephenson to the White Sox for pitching. C’mon get with the program folks!

  38. Matt WI

    India hittng #3 reminded me a lot of Brandon Phillips hitting #4… just b/c you can, doesn’t mean he should. Let him work on just being a hitter. India himself blamed some of his past struggles with thinking he “was going to be a power hitter” after his success as a rookie. Hopefully things will start to smooth out. Meanwhile, welcome CES!

    • Hanawi

      Yeah, it’s pretty obvious when you look at his numbers how his approach changed from being leadoff to 3rd. They should move him down to 7th or 8th and take some pressure off of him for a couple of weeks to see if he can right himself. It may be that he is an average to slightly below average hitter, though. I think they have to trade him in the offseason.

    • Old Big Ed

      India has 15 doubles and 3 HRs in the 1-hole, and 2 doubles and 10 HR hitting in the 3-hole. His BB rate is about half of what it is in the 1-hole, and his GIDP rate is 3 times as high (A 1-hole hitter will obviously have fewer GIDP situations, though.) His BABIP is .336 in the 1-hole and .205 in the 3-hole.

      India may be a bit unlucky in the 3-hole, but the stats show that he is overswinging in the 3-hole, which is also visually clear.

      The solution is not to move India back to the 1-hole, but instead for India to quit overswinging, regardless of where he hits. India was on a pace to have 45 doubles, which would be a great result from a 3-hole hitter with the speed he has in front of him. But India swung himself out of that pace and now can’t hit at all.

      Bell doesn’t swing the bat. India does, and India needs to correct it.

      • Melvin

        Yes. It seems that moving India from leadoff has messed with his head and thereby messed with his swing. Of course he should just swing correctly no matter where he hits in the lineup. I agree.

  39. LarkinPhillips

    @ Steve S. and BK: For fun,

    Per baseball reference there is not a direct comparison of Votto to CES as a whole. However, for fun, lets compare similar sample sizes. Votto at 1b in 2022 (650 innings) and CES entire minor league career at 1b (599 innings).

    Votto (20220 at 1b): 492 Put outs .998 fielding % Range factor per 9 innings: 7.47.
    CES (Career at 1b): 532 put outs .986 fielding % 8.47 range factor per 9.

    Votto Career (167,584 innings) .994 fielding % 8.75 range factor per 9 innings.

    Do with the stat what you want, just thought that was relevant from the above discussion between you two.

    • BK

      Thanks, wish I had seen this earlier. This is my point … not a lot of advanced defensive metrics available to compare an MLB player with an MiLB player. Fielding percentage is a really poor comparative statistic as it rewards poor range. Most importantly, one would expect a player to make more errors while learning a new position when compared to someone with over 10 years of MLB experience at 1B. Thus, we’re all left with opinions, not facts.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        So, we are going to take a player learning their defense while making errors? That’s what we tried with Edwin Encarnacion. We got rid of him in a hurry because he never learned his position.

        Did Senzel ever learn the OF? Kept running into walls getting injured. Missed a flyball the other day badly. He hasn’t learned that position very well.

        The majors is no land to be “learning your position”. Either you know it or you don’t.

        Now, I never said CES can’t field at all. He can field 1st, probably will be fine at 1st. I have no problem with CES playing 1st. All I said was Votto is just as good, maybe slightly better, fielder. That’s all the numbers say.

      • BK

        No Steve, that’s not what the numbers say. That is what one metric says and there are several reasons to not place a lot of weight on Fielding Percentage. Lots of Red Herrings thrown in there … have a nice day! Go Reds.

  40. west larry

    Did anyone mention that Newman was laced on I R to make room for ces?

  41. Earmbrister

    Newman to the IL with gastritis, lol.

    A bad burrito perhaps?

  42. Friedl Green Tomatoes

    Annoying that they aren’t yet willing to admit that the 3 catcher experiment is asinine. We’re playing a man down for no reason. If nothing else, dfa casali and give his roster spot to a reliever. Claim Genesis Cabrera and let him give us a hard throwing lefty arm. Maybe he finds form, and if he doesn’t, move him to the minors.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Well, back then, the FO wanted to get our best returning bat, Tyler, into the lineup more. So, they saw him playing more 1st and DH as well as C. So, they felt that called for 3 C’s. So, I could definitely understand the plan. Even though I was seeing CES was going to be left out, then, because of that plan. But, even though CES had the best ST offense, that was ST, against easy pitching, and CES had no experience past AA. So, the FO went with the 3 C’s.

      Bell played along with it for about a month, then abandoned the plan for whatever reason. Something there with the communication between Bell and the FO. If Bell abandoned it, he should have told the FO. The FO should have inquired to Bell, “What’s up?” So, who’s responsible there? Bell? The FO? Both? Though I would think “both” is the answer, I would put more blame on Bell. He’s the one directly hands on. He’s the one who decides who plays when and where. When he decided to abandon the plan, he should have informed the FO of his plans.

  43. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Hmmm, 10 days because of Newman. Well, that buys 10 days. But, if it’s only 10 days, I expect more to come. For, again, I would think it’s wrong to simply bring CES up just for 10 days.

  44. Mark A Verticchio

    Line up out India continues to bat 5th, Strand 7th and Benson 9th. When is Bell going to have any accountability? Even when they were playing well I didn’t think Bell had that much to do with it. Another point Mclain is not a 3rd place hitter, however I like EDLC 1st after that in my opinion Mcalin 2nd, Votto 3rd. Strand 4th, Fraley 5th, Benson 6th, Stephenson 7th, India 8th and Freidl 9th. Oh well I hope the line up doesn’t matter and they all start to hit again. Sorry as much as I try to like David Bell as the manager of this team I just don’t think is the right person for this team. I don’t mind giving Steer the night off but let it be one day.