The Cincinnati Reds are either pushing Andrew Abbott’s start back, or potentially skipping him in the rotation. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Cincinnati Enquirer relayed the news that Connor Phillips would be starting on Wednesday against Detroit. That would be jumping ahead of Abbott in the rotation. Wittenmyer also noted that at least for now the Reds have TBD listed as their starter for Thursday.

Abbott has been the Reds best starter this season. He leads the starters with a 3.64 ERA in his 18 starts. Only Graham Ashcraft has had a larger workload this season. And it’s perhaps that workload that is why Cincinnati is doing what they’re doing this week – whether it’s just pushing him back or it’s skipping him this time around entirely. In 2022 he threw 118.0 innings, and including his time at Virginia and then his time after the draft in 2021 he threw 119.2 innings. This season he’s thrown 153.0 innings. And there are still about three weeks left in the regular season, and the organization (and you, the reader) probably hope some postseason playing time, too.

Perhaps that extra time will allow him to get a little something extra down the stretch. The Reds and Abbott certainly have more information about how he’s feeling, recovering after each start now compared to earlier in the year, etc. With that said, given where the club is in the standings and how few games remain, one less start from the guy that’s been the team’s best pitcher could be quite important.

Jose Barrero to the Dominican Republic

No, the Reds didn’t trade Barrero to another country. But Barrero has signed with Estrellas in the Dominican Winter League where he is planning to play following the year. The league begins on October 19th, with the playoffs running until January. Most players do not play from the start to the finish. Early on there are usually more younger, unestablished players that are getting playing time. Then as the season goes along older players begin to trickle into the league and starting playing every day.

For the Cincinnati Reds and Jose Barrero what he can do this winter, prior to spring training, could be pivotal. After beginning the year in the big leagues, he struggled and was optioned back to Triple-A Louisville. That’s where he’s been for the last three months. The important thing to note here is that due to his being optioned he’s now out of options following this season.

It’s possible that doesn’t matter. The club could move him in the offseason. It’s possible that they don’t tender him a contract following this season. It’s possible that they could designate him for assignment. The latter two things feel very unlikely.

Barrero has hit better in Triple-A than he did in the big leagues. But he’s still not hitting as well as he hit in Triple-A prior to breaking his hamate bone. Back in 2021 he hit .306/.392/.594 in 200 plate appearances for Louisville with 20 walks and 44 strikeouts. This season he’s hitting .245/.318/.502 in 285 plate appearances for Louisville. He’s walked just 19 times and he’s struck out 94 times. Neither of those rates are good. He’s showing plenty of power, but the other aspects of his offensive output simply hasn’t been good. That could be one of the reasons that he hasn’t been called up as the club has cycled through many others in the last few months.

Spending time over the winter playing in the top winter league in the world, Barrero will see good pitching most nights – though it won’t often be big league pitching, though some big leaguers will be there. His defense has never been in question. He’s capable of playing a quality shortstop, second base, and center field. It’s what happens at the plate that’s been in question over the last two years. While the 2022 season can be given plenty of leeway because of the wrist injury, that shouldn’t still be an issue in 2023. He is hitting better, but it’s the pitch recognition and decision making on what to swing at that’s still an issue he has to overcome.

 

174 Responses

  1. Rednat

    I Feel like Barrero, Aquino, EDLC would be bigger impact players in a different era. like the 1970’s and 1980’s when it was easier to get a hit and get on base. Seems like the reds are forever in search for the “5 tool guy” but it never works out. maybe focusing more on getting players like Spencer Steer would work about better. Not the most athletic guy but he just seems to have a better understanding of the game and a plan when he comes to the plate.

    • greenmtred

      I’m not certain that they would have hit better 50 years ago, since well-located breaking stuff seems to be their common Achilles heal. I share LDS’ concern about EDLC but am probably less pessimistic about him.

    • TJ

      Rednat….was it easier to get a hit because most players aren’t swinging for the fences on every pitch like they do today? What happened to the .330 hitter? There seemingly used to be 10 in each league. Now there are 1 or 2 in each league. Easier, I don’t think so. Just a better approach.

      • Melvin

        Not swinging at every pitch as if trying to hit a five run homer would help batting averages go up indeed. Pitchers salivate over that as it’s much easier to get strikeouts which is another discussion.

      • doctorrockett

        TJ – what I wouldn’t give for a few .330 hitters on this team…

      • Doug Gray

        Ten guys hitting .330 in each league, huh?

        I went back to 1950, and I looked at MLB as a whole, not the NL/AL split. From 1950-1993 only once did the entire big leagues have 8 guys hit .330 in a season and qualify for the batting title – 1953.

        1994, 1996, and 2001 had 10 players do it. 1999 and 2007 had 11 players do it. And in 2000 there were 15 players who did it.

      • TJ

        Doug, I guess my super power is exaggeration. I did say “seemingly” there used to be 10 guys in each league hitting .330. I guess I’m biased. I’m a fan of the way the game was played in the 70s and 80s. I guess why this team has been so much fun to watch and so frustrating. This Reds team is on the cusp of being a great running team, not just stealing bases, but taking extra bases also. They just need to cut down on getting picked off and getting thrown out trying to take extra bases when it’s not advisable. I’m just thinking of all the high average players I remember: Rose, Yaz, Brett, Gwynn, Boggs, Hernandez, Grace…and so on. Hopefully this team will do what it takes to win in the future. Bunt someone over. Bunt for hits like Friedl. Hit a ball to the opposite side to move a runner over and possibly for a base hit because they shifted over. It’s a very young team and I’m excited for what the future holds

      • JayTheRed

        TJ you probably meant to say hitting .300 That just seems so rare in recent years.

    • Daniel Kals

      EDLC is able to use his long arms and big looping swing to reach breaking balls way out of the zone, sometimes with success – but not nearly often enough. He needs to recondition his brain to forget those fleeting successes and learn to lay off the breaking balls, or shorten his swing which seems highly unlikely. Until he does one of those things, pitchers will keep throwing them and he will keep heading down the Aristides Aquino path.

  2. LDS

    Barrero isn’t the only Red that could use some additional practice/training in winter ball. A non-tender or DFA would demonstrate a cluelessness on the FO’s part since he clearly has trade value. EDLC, in particular, and the rest of the rookies, excepting McLain and Steer, could use a serious course in pitch selection etc. As for EDLC, I was hoping for the new Eric Davis and instead it’s starting to look like the new Aquino. He’s hitting .165 in his last 100+ PAs and only .188 from the right side. That’s not everyday starter material unless one is Joey Votto (.189 against LH’er and .148 over the last month). EDLC isn’t going to get close to his ceiling with the current approach.

    • Kevin H

      Barrero for some reason struggles against major league pitching, however I do wonder if he played on a full time basis what would happen.

      As far as Elly De La Cruz, I am gonna wait till this time next year. I don’t think he is a 200 hitter.

      Time will tell of course

      • LDS

        As with Stephenson, I don’t think the Reds or their fans are particularly patient with recovery from injury, excepting Votto of course, who is suddenly going to hit likes it’s 2017. I still remember Senzel venting his frustration back in 2019 (I think) with the Reds approach to hitting. It was Turner Ward at the time and I blamed him. But maybe it’s the team’s approach to hitting/development. Who knows. Really want to see EDLC become what his potential suggests – a perennial All-Star.

      • Chris

        He also struggles with AAA pitching. He’s playing full time down there, and he’s just not very good.

      • doctorrockett

        LDS – using your reference I looked into the 2019 senzel. The article I found mentioned, by the end of July (70 games into his rookie season) his 162 game projection: 42 doubles, 10 triples, 19 hrs, 21 sb. He was hitting 285/.346/.475. Interesting.

    • mac624

      EDLC currently sits at 336 ABs with a .235 average with 11 homers and 26 steals. Eric Davis in his first 296 ABs which covered 2 years, his stats were .235 average 18 homers and 26 steals. So pretty comparable stats between the two so far. Davis improved his numbers significantly in his 3rd season, so I think it’s pretty premature to say EDLC will end up like anybody (Davis or Aquino), in such a limited sample size, especially with his track record of making adjustments along the way.

      The rule of thumb is it takes 1000 at bats to truly know what you have, so EDLC is a 1/3 of the way there. Personally, I LOVE what he brings to the table and if he even improves his average a mere 25 points, to the .260 range, he’s an absolute All Star. His defense, speed, and power trump the necessity for a high batting average in my opinion.

      • LDS

        1000 ABs, eh? Reds have sure given up on a lot of players with far fewer and spread over multiple seasons.

      • JB

        LDS- Far fewer ? Who would that be? 1000 isn’t that much honestly. It use to be about 1500 but with promotions being so late anymore they’ve knocked it down. Elly is 21 and you are ready to give up or call him Aquino. Why don’t you just stick to bashing the Manager and Front Office ,Eeyore.

      • LDS

        The two are related. Bell is not the guy to shepherd the young guys to success

      • VaRedsFan

        Great post @Mac.
        People are so quick to pass judgement and look for instant gratification.
        The Eric Davis comparison was a great call.

      • AllTheHype

        EDLC was the top prospect in baseball. Making any sort of comparison to Aquino is just not relevant in any world.

      • JayTheRed

        I agree Elly is only what 21 years old. Geez people give the kid a chance to grow a little. The Reds have been extremely lucky on how well these young players have performed in their first cup of coffee in the Bigs.

  3. Tim

    Reds need to hire some decent pitchers to simply pitch BP and have all these guys working with a coach and live BP during the offseason. Pitch recognition as key

  4. wkuchad

    I’d keep Barrero next year. A bench player that can play solid defense at SS, 2B, and CF is a real asset. And we don’t have a lot of depth at CF (if Friedl gets hurt) coming into next year.

    • Kevin H

      Dunn could be the back up center fielder next season.

      • Untchbl

        If Dunn is a backup then we will have a
        pretty solid OF.

      • wkuchad

        Dunn is a top 25 prospect. I wouldn’t use him in a bench spot next year unless the Reds think that’s his ceiling. We have three solid options in the outfield next year, four if you count Steer. Keep Dunn in the minors until he’s ready or we have an injury, and put Barrero on the bench.

    • LDS

      If the Reds follow some of their darker patterns, Bader could be the backup/starting CF. Friedl has to prove this year isn’t a fluke. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Reds kept Renfroe, Bader, and Newman all three. They fit the Bell approach.

      • Kevin H

        I wouldn’t mind Renfro though. Seems like a 250 hitter. Don’t have stats in front of me.

        Passing time waiting for “old faithful ” to erupt here in yellow stone

      • Doc

        And Bader needs to prove this year was a fluke.

      • H.B.

        Bader and Renfro will both be gone. Bader hasn’t really shown much as a hitter in St. Louis or with Yanks. Not impressive with the Reds either. Renfro makes more that the Reds are willing to pay. They took a short -term flyer hoping to catch lightning in bottle. Neither will return.

    • AllTheHype

      If pitch recognition could be taught easily, many of us would have been major leaguers in our day. It is largely a talent, not something taught.

      • Doc

        I had no trouble recognizing pitches. When the guy standing on the rubber threw a ball my direction when I was in the box I recognized right away that it was a pitch.

      • Melvin

        Yeah Doc. What’s the big deal? Right? 😀

        Honestly I do think pitch recognition can be taught.

  5. SR

    I agree that strikeouts are a problem for EDLC but I see him bunting to get on base. I see him taking more pitches. I suspect that all players from all teams coming up from triple A where they can appeal strikes, have had to adjust to the horrible strike zones we see everyday. He, and Strand, and Marte and McLain are all learning on the job. Steer gets a lot of 2 strike hits. He seems to go to a different mindset with 2 strikes or RISP for that matter. Benson has the best eye on the team, but like Votto, he went through a period where he counted on the umpire to also have an idea of what was a strike and started taking too many marginal pitches. Of late, he is now swinging at them again with good results. I would be talking to Benson about pitch recognition and Steer about situational hitting awareness if I were a rookie.

  6. SultanofSwaff

    By my estimation the Red’s will have 2 options who could be everyday players next season at 2b (India/McClain or Steer), 3b (Marte/Steer or CES), and SS (EDLC/McClain) next season. Good problems to have. What a blessing that Steer is so versatile…..I’d like to see Marte and India get some corner OF reps and EDLC some CF reps to keep as many of these guys in the lineup as possible…..and in doing so might negate the need to overspend on an outfielder.

    While I still believe Barrero would be a valuable utility player, there might not be a fit in Cincinnati. If a rebuilding team offered up a controllable ML reliever or one in the high minors I’d strongly consider moving him, maybe sell high on a prospect (Hinds, Dunn?) to improve the return.

    • MBS

      It’s probably going to come down to what they plan on doing with India, then all of the other pieces should fall into place. I’m not a big fan of India at 2B in theory, but in reality it might be the best move for the Reds. I’m also not a fan of him leading off, but it might be the best move for the Reds.

      I am a huge fan of EDLC at 3B, he’s just so good over there, and that arm in deadly accurate. McLain is a much smoother SS than EDLC, so I’d like him to remain the SS in 24. Maybe in 2 season when Arroyo is ready, he’ll take over SS, McLain will slide over to 2B, and the Reds trade India to help keep the farm full of prospects.

      • TR

        I think, in the offseason, India will be traded for a solid starting pitcher, and Senzel and Barrero will be gone to strengthen the bullpen. The Reds need space for their young rookies. They should avoid what happened to Senzel when he came up and there was no infield playing space for him.

    • MK

      Sultan, you need to include first base into your discussion, That is probably CES’s spot.

  7. Roger Garrett

    EDLC puts people in the seats and is 4 years younger then Barrero and he isn’t going back to the minors even though his at bats remind us of Jose at times.Always thought when Jose came up back in 2021 and again at the start of 2023 he should have just been given the keys to the short stop position but first Farmer and then Newman got in the way and that is hard to even write down.However Mc Lain and then EDLC sealed the deal at short and left Barrero out in the cold.Reds could have sent him down to play exclusively in center but that never happened.Hope the Reds deal him and he gets a shot some where else.

    • Chris

      What more do you want the Reds to do with Barrero? He’s had constant AB’s in AAA this year and he’s subpar. The Reds organization does some odd things at times, but I just don’t agree in respect to Barrero. The kid is NOT an MLB player. Frankly, he’s not much of a AAA player either. Move him for whatever we can get for him.

      • Jim Walker

        A .820 OPS at AAA with a .500 slugging component is not insignificant. If Barrero’s K rate wasn’t through the roof but his AAA OPS line was the same as it is now, he wouldn’t be at AAA. Either someone would have given pitching for him at the deadline or he would be with the Reds as an OF/SS/2B/3B bench piece.

      • Roger Garrett

        I agree and lets move on from the kid Barrero.No need for him to be in the organization any more.Kid is 25 and has less then 500 at bats in the big leagues so just move on from him.Kid had his chance and blew it.

      • AllTheHype

        Agree Chris, Barrero was once a top prospect, but he has not taken necessary steps forward since 2021 and is now on the path to flaming out. He’s had plenty of chances. He was the starting ML ss to start the year despite not earning it and then fumbled it away. Now he’s out of options in 2024, and he just doesn’t have a lot of trade value at this point.

      • Chris

        @Jim Walker, I agree with you, but the K total at AAA makes all the other numbers irrelevant. Striking out at the rate he’s K-ing at AAA shows that he will never hit in the majors, which we have already seen. So yes, I stand by my initial statement; he’s NOT a MLB player and we should get whatever we can for him.

  8. Laredo Slider

    Barrero played in the DWL last year did he not?

    • RedsGettingBetter

      I think he played in Puerto Rican winter league last year eventheless he wasn’t good numbers there neither at the spring training

    • Doug Gray

      He played in two games in the DWL two years ago. Last year he played in 21 games in Puerto Rico to re-work his swing.

      • JayTheRed

        Apparently reworking his swing did not help much.

  9. SR

    Barrero is done as a red. Remember Marte is also a shortstop by trade. All three hit better than Barrero. His strikeout rate was worse than EDLC’s when he started out this year. He is hitting 245 in triple AAA against the same pitchers that McLain,EDLC, Strand and Marte were smoking for over .300 averages. If he’s going to play in the majors, it will be in another uniform.
    The Reds will deal from their strength this winter which means India, Marte, Strand or McLain or might be dealt in a package for a #2 or 3 starter who is under control for a couple years. I would push for India to go as he is closer to free agency ) he has Boras for an agent) and is a known quantity around the league. I hope we deal the right one. Nightmares of the Josh Hamilton trade still haunt me. I also see the reds dealing Freidl or Fraley in a package for a right handed outfielder,preferably a centerfielder, with pop in his and under control for a couple of years. (Not Renfroe, as I don’t see him as even average in the outfield and not Bader as I think he is in decline).Both friedl and Fraley are good fourth outfielders but have worn down throughout the course of the year with multiple IL trips. Add in Benson, another left handed corner outfielder and we seem to have redundancy. We need to get a better lineup against left handed pitchers.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Why don’t we just trade the whole starting lineup for some has been pitcher. Look at all the trades of “top quality” pitchers over the last few years. How many of them have worked out to the benefit of the tradee? Not many I’d say. Two come to mind. Snell and Cole, other than that who? Also, how much do you think the Reds are going to dole out for a pitcher? 20 30 mil? No way, and I don’t blame them. We have a nucleus of a very good team out there and need some pitching help This YEAR. We get a few guys healthy and we have a good starting 4, maybe 5.

      • JayTheRed

        I keep saying go get one just one quality starting pitcher who is a free agent who will probably cost around 12 to 15 million at most who has an ERA 4.00 or so who can pitch 180 to 200 innings next year. Get one more backend reliever, Cough Chapman. but here has to be other decent options who are free agents this winter for around 7 to 10 million and let the rest of this team work it’s magic. You don’t have to trade anyone. Put the team payroll around 90 to 100 million. We should be at least contenders from the start of the season then.

    • Tim

      How about just sell/trade an entire infiled of India, Barrero, Newman and Senzel? I’m just kidding of course but it’s a great position to have these guys who may be expendable with the like of EDLC, McLain, and Steer.

    • Jim Walker

      I agree that ultimately Friedl and Fraley are bridge players and not core pieces. Friedl is a fourth OF. Fraley is a specialty guy. Only hits (but well) RH pitching and also isn’t a strong enough defender for 4th OF. I’d get him a 1B glove and look at him as a DH/1B/ occasional corner OF.

      Just about every scouting projection I have read about Marte says he is going to grow into being too full bodied for an everyday SS at MLB. He looks like a 3B or corner OF guy.

      I also agree the Reds need a CF and preferably a RH bat. If India and/ or Fraley are dealt this is the piece they should be moved to return.

      However, what the Reds need to do more is hitch up their britches and figure out which of the plethora of excess infield prospects 2-3 years away from MLB they want to keep and which they will sell high on before they begin depreciating in value.

      As for Barrero, if he can cut back on his K’s, he could be a cheaper and better version of Senzel and Newman for Bell’s platoon system. Hopefully, in addition to working on his K’s over the winter, he will play a lot of OF and be capable of being an all around bench guy.

      • ksdavis

        JIm,

        My opinion for what it is worth is Hurtubise and Dunn should be very much in the mix for outfield sports next year. Hurtubise has played all three outfield positions, has speed, and doesn’t strike out a lot. The issue with Dunn is he has been hurt, and he does not have an extensive track record. But he also has speed and power – plays center. And I think that he is a good defender.

      • Luke J

        What’s all this talk about Friedl being a 4th outfielder? The kid just keeps getting overlooked for more flashy players. And he just keeps producing. He’s a gamer. And he has been the offensive leader of this team. He plays great CF defense, and is absolutely not a 4th outfielder. Additionally, he hits lefties better than righties. And even though Bell is too ignorant to notice, he should be in the lineup every single game, regardless of handedness of the pitcher.

      • SultanofSwaff

        Friedl is putting up a 3+ WAR season and hits both handed pitchers well. For me he does everything well and is a starter even on a playoff team. I’d go year to year with him and trade him only when the production doesn’t keep pace with the salary—that could be many years from now as he’s not eligible for arbitration until 2026. In essence, you’re getting his prime years for near league minimum. That makes him near untradeable in my eyes.

      • Chris

        This is just mind-boggling. How in the world do you call Friedl a 4th outfielder? He is a top defensive CFer and he hits lefties and righties equally. He has top speed, and is flat out a gamer. What in the world are you looking for? Behind Steer and McLain, he’s easily the MVP of this team. Yes his numbers have fallen a bit in the 2nd half, but so has all the younger players’ numbers. I’d mostly base that on these guys have not played this many games in a row and in a playoff hunt. I expect more from Friedl next year even. He may be an All Star next year.

        And your dislike of Fraley is also odd. He mashes lefties as well as most anyone in the game; yet you continue to imply he’s rather pedestrian at best. It seems some people in here are never happy with the current players and keep looking forward to the next prospect. I don’t get it. Yet you always seem to tout Fairchild and Barrero. 🙂

      • Harry Stoner

        In order for Fairchild to be a #1 outfielder, somebody or two needs be considered a #4 or to be expendable.

        Fraley has been very productive…against RH, the majority of pitchers…but Friedl may turn out to be the better all around player of the two.

        But if it’s crucial that Fairchild be in your OF mix then their contributions will need to be devalued.

  10. Rick

    If, I were the Reds, I would hire the best Hispanic(for cumininication purposes) to be EDLC personal batting instructor to work exclusively with the 5 tool generational talent that Elly is. He has the tools and potential to be a mega superstar. Nurture him, help him get there. He put butts in the seats for a while & hopefully will again sooner rather than later.and help get us to the WS.
    Instead of the viking garb have the batting guru take his tablet after both good and bad ab’s, and give pointers and discuss pitch recognizition, release point, what did you see there etc. Do the heavy lifting on the field early pregame. Don’t overwhelm him, but he’s young, bring him along.

    • SR

      I agree about the communication issue. The language bridge should be baseball knowledgeable coach preferably so nothing is lost in translation. I watch interviews and I am not sure the questions he is getting from Jim Day, for example, are being relayed and responded to cleanly.

      • Doc

        There is so much non-verbal communication in language that it is very difficult. I used to volunteer in an indigent medical clinic where most patients spoke only Spanish. My daughter, who speaks book learned Spanish well, volunteered as a translator for my shifts. It was challenging. The words could be translated back and forth, but the non-verbal and innuendo presented huge hurdles.

      • Jim Walker

        @Doc> >> I agree. I did a year of college level Spanish in a 12 week summer 4 hour a day immersion program. Sadly I let much of my vocabulary slip away over the decades but some Spanish I hear on TV, I can follow the structural flow and understand to the limits of my vocab and some other speakers might as well be speaking Greek as they say.

      • Harry Stoner

        Agreed.

        For the dinero the Reds are investing in EDLC, Marte, Barerro, Arroyo and others, the $200K they’d spend on a shadow coach is cacahuates.

        I’m from a familia mezclada and grew up speaking Spanish, but not really learning to read and write very well until I was an adult.

        I have a feeling that EDLC likely speaks English fairly well but isn’t comfortable in interview situations without an interpretor. He and McLain and Benson are clearly serious buds, and likely talk a lot together.

        Would I be comfortable getting interviewed on Univision? Maybe. But my Spanish is Mexican, not from the Islands.

        Those dudes speak really fast and their slang is way different.

        I floated the idea out there that Bell needed to invest in some Spanglish at least and got shot down pretty fast from RLN.

        Maybe he already does.

        Kudos to Rick and SR for understanding the value.

        When I was a kid I did a lot of squirming and protesting when my mom insisted on speaking Spanish.

        One day, my English speaking dad said “Think of all the nice girls you’re going to meet….”

        I jumped right on it.

        Never regretted a moment.

    • David

      Barry Larkin speaks Spanish. Used to talk to Mariano Duncan in Spanish when they played together on the infield.

      And this is not a nomination. Just sayin’. I think Fred Benavides also is bi-linqual in English and Spanish.

      • Laredo Slider

        David, I think Larkin also speaks Portuguese.

      • Doc

        Maybe Votto can be the Spanish speaking hitting instructor.

      • Chris

        Anything to get Larkin out of the booth works for me. 🙂

    • MK

      I think you would be surprised how weel these guys communicate when not on camera. I’ve had breakfast with Barrero before. He told me he started studying English when he was in Cuba. I also had an enjoyable conversation, in English, with Johnny Cueto when he came back for a rehab assignment. We had 3 Venezuelan and one Dominican Dayton Dragon live with us one summer. They all understood what was being said and had English lessons a couple times a week when the team was at home. The Venezuelan guys especially, spoke better English than many USA high school kids. The key to interviews when they use an interpreter is they are afraid they are going to get confused or tricked by the interviewer, so they play the communication game.

  11. Michael B. Green

    I was hoping that Lark would take over the rebuilt team, but with the Bell extension I don’t know if that will ever become a reality. I think Lark enjoys working with players rather than managing personalities and lineups. Lark wins at just about everything he touches. Glad he is with Cinci in any capacity. It is one of the very reasons I follow the team.

    • Chris

      Hearing Larkin’s opinion of the players in the booth makes me realize I’d never want him near the dugout. He makes Bell seem like a HOF manager.

  12. Melvin

    Pushing Abbott back is not good news in a pennant race down to the wire. They must have a very good reason. Hope it’s not injury.

    • SR

      Players don’t get to the show saying they don’t want the ball, well, unless they are George Kirby. This is where management needs to step in and look out for Abbott’s future. He has to be gassed and is running on fumes, whether he admits it or not. I would rather give him 9 days to let his arm rest than have him throw 90 pitches and give up 6 runs in 3 innings in his next scheduled turn. It could be Covid since we are still getting people heading to IL.

    • wkuchad

      I doubt it’s injury. If we didn’t have a chance to make the playoffs, he’d likely be shutdown at this point. He’s a rookie that’s pitched a lot of innings this year. He’s been mostly ineffective the last month. Giving him a few extra days of rest makes sense.

    • old-school

      The innings question on Abbott was addressed by both Abbott and DJ about a month ago. Abbott said the Reds generally dont go above 30 innings or so in the minors from 1 year to the next, but he wants the ball every 5th day and feels fine. Johnson basically agreed with year to year build up on innings but also said its not set in stone and they would cross that bridge when the time comes. That time has come. Johnson did say a month or so ago that he believes there is more benefit in stretching out the time between starts than throwing fewer innings per start, so I suspect Abbott will be watched start to start and 6-7 days between.

      There is overwhelming data that pitching with a fatigued arm, whether that be a high stress 40 pitch inning with a tired arm or a fatigued arm pitching too many innings over a long year, contributes to injuries. There was a World Baseball Classic this year in early/mid march, so Gibault and Diaz might be suffering from that wall as well, as both were throwing high leverage innings in mid March with an early buildup in late February.

      • MK

        Abbott has looked a little physically fatigued his last four or five outings. He has not pitched into September in a high stress pennant race before, and it looks like the young man needs a little extra rest.

  13. AMDG

    Since the beginning of July, Barrero has an OPS around 0.900 in AAA.
    That’s just a touch below where he was in 2021 when he was healthy.

    He also showed improvement in the major leagues this year, with his best season at the plate. Granted, it still wasn’t great, but was better than Renfroe or Bader, for what it’s worth.

    IF Barrero can continue to make strides forward at the plate, he has value, especially as a plus defender at an important position.

    • AllTheHype

      Reds have some very tough decisions with the 40 man roster this offseason. A crunch is coming. And Barrero does not have any options remaining next year. So Reds would have to carry him on the 40 this winter, and roster him on the Reds all next year.

      Or trade him and free up the spot.

      It’s a tough decision for the org for sure. I think he’s gone, personally.

      • wkuchad

        I hope you’re wrong about him being gone. We will get next to nothing for him right now. I believe he’s much more valuable on our bench next year than anything we’d get in return if he’s traded.

        If I’m wrong, we can dump him at any time next year.

      • AllTheHype

        I don’t think he has a lot of trade value, due to underperformance and no options. But not sure he has a lot of value to Reds either to carry on the 40 this winter and 26 next year.

      • Chris

        Again, where is the value in Barrero off the bench. A .220 hitter who K’s well over 30% of the time is NOT a valuable bench bat. I would take Lopez over him all day long. The kid can play multiple positions, and puts the bat on the ball.

  14. Indy Red Man

    Dbacks picked up Sewald and he just got his 12th save since the deadline. Krall did nothing so you get what we have

    • Greenfield Red

      Krall did not do nothing. That is not fsctual.

      … and you have no idea if he tried to get Sewald or not

      … and it’s easy to cherry pick a trade that worked out for a playoff bound team. What about all the trades that didn’t work out?

      • Harry Stoner

        True, Krall did pick up Moll, who has generally helped out in the BP.

        The Reds August swoon actually wasn’t the result of the SP collapsing…the patchwork rotation actually held together pretty well for a good stretch.

        The offense went into a deep funk which it still hasn’t completely emerged from.

        All the RLN advocacy for making a big trade for a starter might not have had the big effect as anticipated.

        Krall made a move off waivers for some hitting which has proved of marginal benefit. Injuries to India, Votto, McLain, Fraley all took their toll.

        The 7-1 win over the Cards was what I was expecting to see a lot of following July….a decent 6 innings of starting pitching, potent offense and solid BP.

        We haven’t seen that trifecta often.

        How much of the offensive doldrums are attributable to a supposed lack of commitment from the FO to upgrade the team at the deadline?

        I think that may be impossible to ascertain.

        The rash of injuries and opposition pitching capitalizing on a poor approach to hitting by some key players, poor situational hitting…I think these are more the culprits for the swoon than trades that weren’t made.

        Sure, it would be great for an imaginary trade to have been made that cost little and filled in all the pitching and hitting holes, but I didn’t get a sense that was out there.

        Maybe I’m wrong about that, but I think we’re seeing a self-inflicted wound.

        Whupping the last place Cards is always a good start. I hope the collective energy we saw on Sunday continues.

    • AllTheHype

      Krall added someone (Moll 1.07 ERA) who’s been much better than Seward (3.86 ERA). But nice rant though.

      • Indy Red Man

        Company men…what are you going to do? We needed high leverage help and we didn’t get it. I like Moll too, but a lefty in the 5th isn’t the same thing. Ashcraft alone had 2 games with late leads that we blew.

        I see the same comparisons between Krall and Chris Ballard. Everyone from Joe Rah-Rah to every NFL talking head said how great Ballard was and yet there the Colts are

      • AllTheHype

        Seward 10 BBs in 14 IP, 2 blown saves in 14 chances, 3.86 ERA. If Krall had pulled the trigger on that, guys like you would have been blasting him for getting the wrong guy. Pretty much all the impact pitchers traded have underperformed. Giolito, traded for top 70 prospect (CES?) plus organizational top 10 has been horrible. Lorenzen 5+ ERA. David Robertson 6.43 ERA with Fish.
        If Krall had done any of those trades, particularly trade CES for Giolito, he would have been lambasted.
        He can’t do anything right in the eyes of some…..

        But turns out, he got a guy who’s been very helpful yet he didn’t get one of those “leverage” guys that have been so bad since traded.

      • Chris

        Spot on. Krall can’t do anything right, nor can Bell. Moll has been outstanding. Almost every pitcher that we probably looked at has been a huge bust after the trade deadline. Our second half swoon, has mostly been due to horrible hitting and a massive amount of injuries, and downright just bad luck. If there was one guy that I thought Krall should have really went after, it was Chapman. That said, the Reds probably don’t want his baggage.

      • Greenfield Red

        I do see similarites in the Colts and the Reds before Nick Krall. In fact it’s rampant in pro sports. That is making huge headline decisions with no view of the long term implications.

        In my view, the Colts are where they are because they drafted a generational quarterback and then did next to nothing to protect him. Instead they continued use high draft picks on receivers and other areas with little effort or money put into the oline. He took the guaranteed money and then retired. I don’t blame him based upon what they did to him. There are many injuries in football. Few lacscerated kidneys as Andrew Luck suffered from contstant hits.

        Back to the Reds: IN my view there is a 20 year track recored of bad decisions. All the talent traded for Griffey combined with a contract that was such a burden to ownership they had to stretch the payments out 20 years is terrible.

        Some disagree with me, but the Votto contract is another. A 10 year contract to a 30 year old baseball player will almost never end well. That’s where the Reds are now. And before you say that contract paid for itself, the Reds have won nothing in his career. That is the bottom line. It was another short sighted mistake that sure felt good when it was announced.

        Then you get into the ill timed and poorly executed trades of 2015 not for high end returns, but for major league ready returns. Again short sighted and perhaps the biggest disaster of the last 20 years. They got nothing for Chapman, Cueto, Bruce, Frazier, and others.

        Then came the 2020 free agent class. At least there was some effort put in by Dick Williams. 3M and Shogo were huge reaches who completly failed. NC was a very good signing but not enough to make a differece.

        Along comes Nick Krall. He seems to have a plan. Do whatever he can to cut the dead wood. Trade what he can for high end prospects. Draft well. Prioritze international signings, and rebuild from the ground up. It would take time. At least until 24 when he will have money to spend to go along with all this upcoming talent. It seems he’s done such a great job, they could actually make the playoffs in 23. But with that, it’s most important to stick to the plan. Don’t get caught up in the excitement of 23. Be deadly in 24, 25, and beyond. Executive of the year in my mind.

  15. Mark A Verticchio

    Looks like a bad night, Cubs – Diamondbacks – Giants look like winners, only Marlins lose. Reds will need a long winning streak, maybe 13 of 17, not likely with this pitching staff.

  16. Kevin Patrick

    I don’t have a crystal ball. I assumed many questions on the future Reds roster would be answered by the end of the year. The Reds find themselves with difficult decisions….yet again. Nevertheless, any success the Reds had this year is largely attributable to their general overall depth…or lack of it. Whatever trades they make, I hope it is a continuation of a general philosophy to be well rounded. The age in which a player must have a decision made will typically be younger. We fans will see the Reds miss on some players, but having available choices gives a team that chooses not to spend more options. Whomever the Reds keep or rid themselves of, stay generally strong. When the Reds are strong enough, they’ll win more.

    • wkuchad

      “I assumed many questions on the future Reds roster would be answered by the end of the year. The Reds find themselves with difficult decisions….yet again.”

      You’re right, but it’s a byproduct of the success on the prospects. The questions/decisions we have to make now are so much more exciting than a year ago.

  17. Matt McWax

    EDLC needs the offseason, to heal and strengthen, to rest his baseball mind. I wouldn’t have him do baseball stuff until pitchers report.

    • AllTheHype

      Re: Rest his mind, exactly right. He’s adjusted at every level in MiLs, but MLB is very fast. Things happen quick, and adjustments are required on the fly. He will adjust, and part of that is just level-setting in the offseason.

  18. wkuchad

    So many options for next year. This will be a very interesting offseason, no matter how this year finishes.

    Starting position players (assuming no trades):

    C Stephenson
    1B Encarnaciaon-Strand
    1B Votto (but I doubt he’s on the team next year)
    2B India
    2B/SS McLain
    SS/3B De La Cruz
    3B Marte
    Everywhere Steer
    OF Fraley
    OF Friedl
    OF Benson

    Not counting Votto and not counting any prospects that may be ready next year, that’s 10 starters for 9 positions. With injuries and resting players, I see no need to trade anyone away. Depth is a good thing. As I noted above, I really hope Barrero isn’t given away this offseason. I want him as a bench option – good defense at both CF and SS in one player is valuable. And offensively, I haven’t given up on him.

    Starting rotation:

    Greene
    Lodolo
    Ashcraft
    Abbott
    Williamson

    Lots of potential with that starting rotation, but they’re young and we badly need depth. Just look at this year. Starters (multiple starters) will get hurt. Some guys we’re counting on may be ineffective. Our #1 need this offseason is an above average proven starting pitcher, either via trade or free agency. We can easily afford it, even if we don’t increase payroll (which I think the Reds will). Assuming everyone’s healthy, one of the five guys above not named Greene starts the year in Louisville and ready to come up as soon as there’s an injury.

    • AllTheHype

      Need SP depth, as you say. 7-8 quality starters. Petty may be ready to provide some depth next year. To me, Phillips looks like a bullpen piece and Richardson needs more work in MiLs. He may be a SP depth piece next year.

      Reds have positional depth to trade from. Getting a good controllable young SP to add to the mix would be ideal.

    • MBS

      I agree we do need to sign a front line starter. I don’t think counting on Lodolo is safe at this point, that’s why I would transition him to the pen. That would still leave Richardson, Phillips, Stoudt, Gutierrez, and Dunn in AAA to start the year. It’s very possible that 1 of Lowder, Petty, or Aguiar will be in AAA by midseason to further back up the rotation.

      I don’t think depth will be a problem for much longer, if at all over the next several seasons. The key is to have a few guys at the front that can go toe to toe with anyone. FA, Abbott, and Greene could be that trio if we sign the right guy, and the 2 youngsters continue to develop.

      • BK

        Stoudt is working out of the bullpen now. Based on his ineffectiveness as a starter over the last two years, this looks like a permanent move.

        It’s also likely that the Reds will drop Dunn and Gutierrez from their 40-man roster during the offseason. Even if that doesn’t happen, the Reds shouldn’t count on either player as a depth piece for 2024. On the other hand, Lively has pitched well for the Reds this year and may provide as good of a depth starting pitcher as the ones available on the free agent market.

        All considered, I’m hoping the Reds bring in one starter that they expect to make the rotation for next year. With Lowder, Petty, and a couple of others who could be ready by midseason next year, the question will be how long the Reds are willing to commit to a free agent starter.

      • David

        Yeah, Stoudt’s numbers in AAA are pretty bad, and not good at the ML level. He may have maxed out at AA. I would not count on Levi Stoudt too much.
        Lyon Richardson is STILL regaining arm strength after surgery, and he has show some flashes of good stuff. Maybe a bullpen guy for 2024.

        There is still the guy that was the #1 draft choice in 2023, Rhett Lowder, who is supposed to be “close” to pitching in the ML. We’ll see where he starts in the Minors in 2024.

      • MBS

        I’ve noticed Stoudt’s last few outings have been out of the pen. I’m not sure if it’s a “get to the end of the year move” or it’s his new role. I was ready to give up on Williamson earlier this year, but I’m glad they didn’t. I’d probably give Stoudt a bit more rope. Next year when the AA guys start coming up, that would be decision time on Stoudt imo.

        Lively is a perfect candidate for long man in the pen, and he could double as an emergency starter on the 26 man.

        I don’t see a reason to drop Gutierrez, but with Dunn’s injury history, and Arb status he could be dropped. If we assume that Stoudt is pen, and Dunn is dropped that still gives us 8 SP on the 40 man, plus Lively as an emergency starter on the 26 man.

      • AllTheHype

        @BK, IF the Reds were to commit to a FA starter (capital IF), I would hope they take a look at Sonny Gray again. I did some anaylsis over at Fangraphs……all of his pitches are quality pitches, he hasn’t yet lost ticks on his FB, and he’s started to throw a cutter more frequently, a very good one I might add, to compete with LHBs. He’s got good movement on his FB and CB, and even if he lost a tick or two on his FB with age, he’s still crafty and good enough to get outs. I think he will age well, despite being undersized.

        And it’s his age that will keep his $$$ commitment within reason. He can probably be had with a 3-4 commitment. Guessing at his age he might require $16M per for 3-4 years. Just a guess though.

      • wkuchad

        I would do that deal for Gray right now, especially if we can get it for only three years.

    • MK

      I could see up to 4 former first round picks packaged and traded this off season to upgrade the starting pitching and bullpen. Senzel, India, Stephenson (least likely) and Hendrick. They could be comfortable heading into season with Maile and Robinson at catcher as there is also depth to replace India and Senzel, and though he has been a major disappointment Hendrick might have a potential upside attractive to another organization.

      • wkuchad

        Stephenson is a no trade for me (based on current personnel). We just don’t have major league catching depth at the moment.

        I’m only trading India if it makes the 2024 team better. I don’t want to trade him for prospects.

  19. Jim Walker

    Mixed bag for the Reds last night. The Fish lost but the Snakes and Giants won.

    Snakes and Reds have both played 145 and the Reds are a straight -2 games. The best news here is that the Reds have the tiebreaker if they can get even with the Snakes in a 2 way tie.

    Reds have the same number of wins as both the Marlins and Giants but have lost 1 more than both. Both have the tiebreaker on the Reds, so the Reds are effectively -2 against these teams also unless the remaining game in hand held by both teams breaks in the Reds favor.

    The Giants and Snakes have 2 head to head games left (in Arizona). Unless somebody tanks or takes off on a Cardinals 2021 type run (17 straight wins starting Sept 11), those two games could decide it for all 4 teams.

    • David

      I think I would “guess” that based on everything that has happened, the Reds will finish the last 17 games at 10 – 7 or 9-8. I don’t think this gets them into a Wild Card. I think they will still be hustling. Just too late.

      Too bad. I think the “hot stretch” of mid – May to the All star break got us too excited and began unrealistic expectations of this better, but still not good enough , team.
      Still a lot of holes (due to injuries) in the rotation. The bullpen got worn down due to a lot of innings pitched to cover up for this. I mean, we had Luke Weaver out there starting.
      Pitching wins games. The Reds gave away a lot of games because of pitching melt-downs.

      At times, the hitting inexperience of the younger guys showed against more experienced pitchers who do not “give in” with a meat fastball when they have to make a decision pitch.

      • Jim Walker

        I don’t have access to my notes at this moment; but, I believe that at least 4 of the losses in the 3-14 run to start August involved losing the lead in the 7th inning or later on a multi run HR. Just 2 of them the other way would have the Reds in control of their wild card status now.

      • redfanorbust

        Agreed David with your post. Most Reds fans did not expect a contending team this year. When we play well and are in contention we get drunk with excitement and expectation and rightfully so, with what we have had to put up with over the last 3 decades. Youthful players just starting their learning curve and an insane amount of injuries have made many of us teste. I still consider us in a rebuild year and anything good above that is just gravy. Next year is key. Healthy players with a year of experience under their belts and ownership with some REAL money to spend should see us to the playoffs if not winning the division and beyond.

  20. wkuchad

    Williamson returning to start tonight for the Reds.

  21. Ksdavis

    Lively should be retained as a long bullpen guy or starter. If injuries he can start. Don’t count on Petty as a starter in the bigs next year. He has been limited to 4 innings per start this year and depending on if he pitches in the playoffs he will max out around 80 innings next year. I would imagine the Reds will limit him to no more than 120 innings next year. He is still only 20 and the Reds won’t want to rush him. Powder pitched just over 130 innings this year in college and more likely to be in the bigs next year.

    • Mark Moore

      Assuming we change plans and carry a “long reliever” and get him adequate regular work to keep him stretched out.

  22. LarkinPhillips

    I hope India goes on an absolute tear the next couple of weeks and leads us to the post season. I think he will be traded this off season either way, so hopefully a playoff push will improve his value and the Reds return.

  23. Jim t

    Let’s sweep Tigers. We are a better road team. It starts tonight.

    • Jim Walker

      Yep, this should be the plan from here on but taking them 1 at a time. Sweep every day 🙂

  24. Laredo Slider

    Re pitching staff, you’re forgetting Ty Floyd…he’s top notch and will be a break through threat in ’24.

    • wkuchad

      Maybe, but the MLB prospect list projected 2026.

  25. Dennis Westrick

    What’s the status of Ashcraft? I did not see him listed as a SP for any of the games at Detroit.

    • Doug Gray

      He’s been on the injured list for 10 days now with a stress reaction in one of his toes.

  26. old-school

    Rotation with injuries has been a mess all year. I think you need 6-7 quality SP entering a season and Reds are going to have plenty of young pitching in 2024 in Greene, Abbott, Lodolo, Williamson, Ashcraft, and Phillips. Petty is a 2025 candidate imo with no experience pitching deep into games or throwing many innings. . I d like to see Richardson in a long man role to build his innings up as well with his injury history, but at the major league level.

    The question becomes do the Reds pursue a veteran FA starting pitcher in the off-season. My preference would be Blake Snell but his 5/100 mil+ contract at age 31 I dont see the Reds paying for.. An interesting name would be old friend Sonny Gray. He turns 34 in November. He leads MLB in least HR/9 innings for qualified SP and is 4th in MLB in fWAR @4.9. Hes had a dominant season. Chris Bassitt was a similar comp in FA last year with age and strong performance in early 30’s. He basically got 3/$60 mil from the Blue Jays. Would the Reds pay that for Sonny? Interesting article from a few months ago that might suggest Sonny wants out of Minnesota and go with a coaching staff who lets him work his way through runners on base and get later in game. DJ and Sonny were very close. Sonny is a gamer, a competitor, and gives you leadership by example. He also can still pitch at an elite level and Cincinnati is close to his native TN.

    https://www.mlb.com/news/sonny-gray-frustrated-after-early-exit-against-tigers

    • Redgoggles

      Working against the Reds (in my imagination) would be they traded him away once already. I would imagine he would want a no-trade clause this time around.

      • Jim Walker

        I think any pitcher who has seen the Reds offense when it was rolling would like pitching behind it

      • redfanorbust

        Hey Redgoggles. I personally hope Reds give NO ONE a no trade clause EVER unless we get an owner with a bank account like Steve Cohen’s.

    • Redgoggles

      Yeah, I’m not a fan of the no trade clause option either. And, I’m a fan of bringing back Sonny Gray. I just would think he may not be as willing since the Reds traded him away once before.

      • AllTheHype

        I think Sonny realized the situation the Reds were in. They traded all their valuable expiring assets, not just him. He knows it’s a business.

    • David

      I think Sonny IS a gamer and a great guy. And I think he appreciated his time in Cincy, as it sort of revived his career after a bad turn with the Yankees. But he is also 34 years old.

      He just had a very good year, and the Reds would have to probably pay a premium to sign him. He might have a lousy year next year…..and that’s possible at his age. It would be great to get him, but I think the price would be too high.

    • AllTheHype

      I posted something to BK up above on Sonny before I read this. We are on the same page with that. Good thoughts overall, as usual.

    • MBS

      Snell is probably the best / safest choice for a top of the rotation starter. He’s really my number 2 choice, as I’d like the Reds to go further out of their comfort zone, and sign the 25 year old Yamamoto out of Japan. This kids going to be a stud, and the rumors have him at $200M over 10Y’s.

      Sonny would also be a fine choice, but I wouldn’t sign him to anything longer than 2 seasons, with maybe an option year.

      • AllTheHype

        Maybe the best, and definitely not the safest @ 200M. Starting pitcher contracts in the hundreds of millions are the riskiest thing in MLB. See Homer Bailey, Strasburg and countless others.

        NO WAY the Reds should be going there for ANY starting pitcher.

      • Doc

        Solid no on any pitcher contract of 9 figures and double digit years.

      • MBS

        So it’s out of the Reds comfort zone, and @AllTheyHype’s comfort zone to. You got to bet big to win big.

        For me a team shouldn’t spend more than 15% of their available payroll on any 1 player. I think the Reds are capable of $150M payroll. If that is true then that puts 15% at $22.5M. The only thing that would scare me is the time commitment, which is why I said Snell is the safe choice.

        Now able to spend, and willing to spend are 2 different things, so if they are only willing to spend $100M, look for another Minor, or equivalent pitcher. fun, yea

      • AllTheHype

        @MBS, able to spend, and willing to spend, are irrelevant to why I said no. It’s not a spending issue. It’s a commitment issue. If you commit hundreds of millions of $$, you are also committing several years of playing time. You don’t cut ties on a contract like that when things go bad, at least not til the majority of the way through the contract. You try, over and over, year after year, to get value back from it.

        Reds and Homer Bailey….they tried for 4 years to salvage/recoup value from that failed contract, guaranteeing starts and playing time year after year. They got nothing but horrific starts. Same with Moustakas til they cut him this year. On smaller scale, same with Akiyama. Same with Orioles and Chris Davis. I could come up with 100 examples of big contracts guaranteeing (dreadful) playing time.

        Patrick Corbin, Stephen Strasburg, Javier Baez, Giancarlo Stanton, Anothony Rendon, on an on. None of these players would be playing for their respective teams if not for their contract, which guarantees them to perpetually get starts, all the while dragging their teams thru the mud and to the bottom of the standings.

        I do not want the Reds locked into a bad contract that guarantees playing time. And I’m certain the Reds don’t either.

      • MBS

        “The only thing that would scare me is the time commitment, which is why I said Snell is the safe choice.“

        I don’t disagree with you that it’s a risk, but there is a glass half full way to look at it as well.

        In 5 years this kid will be 30, and in 5 years, a 5 year $100M will be a steal for a very good pitcher. That’s what Snell is likely to get, and that’s what Castillo just got. You would be betting on Yamamoto, but I think it’s a good bet.

    • Chris

      I understand the need for 6 or 7 starting pitchers, but I’m not sure how realistic that is. If you take our top 5 right now (assuming all were healthy to start the season next year), who of them is going to be in the bullpen? 6 or 7 implies that maybe two of them aren’t starting next season. If healthy, I want all 5 of them starting, because they are all very good. Personally, I expect a couple more prospects to be ready next season, so I think we are fine with starters. If we need one at the trade deadline then great; we get one. Personally, I think you strengthen the bench on this team, and the bullpen a bit, and this team is solid for next year.

  27. Mark Moore

    Some real head scratchers in the line-up construction tonight. I’m guessing Marte is still day-to-day (probably has some vision impact). EDLC dropped way down in the line-up tonight (maybe not a bad thing). Biggest spot I’d question is Steer in RF. I have to look up the shape of the Tiger’s park, but that is very often the most difficult OF position to play.

    We’ll know what we know in about 8 hours 😀

    • Rick

      I hated being switched from LF to RF. Especially off the bat of righthand hitters. High fly balls are a non issue. Slicing was tough. And I agree about the wall.
      I hope that doesn’t take away from his hitting learning yet another new position.

      • Mark Moore

        I’m looking at some sketches. Nothing terribly weird, though the wall kicks out to a much deeper CF in RCF at 365′ deep. Not a lot of room in foul territory on either side.

    • Chris Holbert

      Is CES hurt? Votto against a lefty

      • Mark Moore

        HDTBell is the most likely answer.

      • wkuchad

        Votto has hit lefties much better than CES this year.

        That being said, I’m indifferent with Votto vs CES tonight.

        I believe we’re facing three lefties in a row, unfortunately.

      • Melvin

        What exactly has Bader done to earn playing time over CES and Benson?

    • wkuchad

      The only one of those that’s a head scratcher to me is why Steer in RF. Seems like all (maybe most) of his OF experience was all in LF.

      • Rick

        Only reason I can come up with is prepping for 2024.
        Need to concentrate on winning, can experiment if/when we are eliminated.

      • Chris Holbert

        Well, Votto against a lefty should not be prepping for 2024.

      • Rick

        To Chris Holbert:
        Steer isn’t Votto, that wasn’t the conversation. Steer has a strong infield arm and likely is getting a look out there. Also, super utility role.
        I too disagree with Votto vs a lefty. Play CES unless he’s hurt or sick.

    • Rick

      That alley alley & short foul territory will be a challenge for sure.
      Rather have Benson starting there, TJ to center, Steer in left. Save Bader for late PR or defensive replacement. Handedness continues.

      • wkuchad

        Benson has been the worst hitter on the team vs lefties this year – dead last. Use him as a bullet off the bench as soon as a righty comes in from the bullpen.

  28. Rick

    Has anyone read anything on McLain? Likely done for the year, but that’s an assumption.

    • Mark Moore

      Crickets. All we really know from history is that oblique injuries are tricky, especially this late in the season.

      • Rick

        Yes they are. Would be nice for Jim Day to dig a little bit even if they fail to divulge nothing.

    • Old-school

      I think it was C trent who said out for a few weeks and the goal was play final week of season

  29. Rick

    I’m glad that Elly got dropped down. At his strike out rate that’s a better spot for him. That might get his attention to work on his flaws unless it’s a one time thing.

  30. Laredo Slider

    Bizarre lineup for a team in a pennant race.

    • Jim Walker

      A cynic might say the team is mathematically very much in the WC race but the people responsible for fielding the team and making out the lineup are not that interested in competing for the spot.

      • Roger Garrett

        Jim,I agree and it comes up time after time and has ever since Bell took over.He has all the info and I have none so I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt but honestly its just who he is and what he does.He has shown he will use his entire roster and his handedness is there for all to see as is his scripted days off in advance and his scripted pen usage.Maybe thats what he liked as a player and maybe his players like that but WOW sometimes his lineups looks like there is no thought given as to putting the best players on the field in their best defensive spots.Now today is no time to see if Steer can play right field IMO.

      • Rick

        Agree. Pitiful for our players, our fan base. Especially us old farts.

  31. Rick

    I hope that Williamson brings his A game outing this time out. He hasn’t shown a fatigue issue so far and that works in our favor.

  32. Optimist

    Sure they’ve got injuries, and yes there are matchups to consider, and OK drop Elly down a bit, but that is an ugly looking lineup – more in tune with the past few years late September efforts. Bader and Renfroe? At least they have Nick at 3b, but Steer in RF?

    The questions never end.

    • Rick

      I really do not get surprised anymore.
      Weird lineups shows a common Bell trait, 0 urgency.

    • Jim Walker

      See my comment to Laredo a couple spots on up 😉

      • Rick

        Yes, I caught that Jim! Right you are, and about JV last Thursday:)

  33. LDS

    CES is right handed and hitting .227 against LH’ers. Votto is left handed and hitting .189 against LH’ers. But Joey is ancient and has veteran’s privilege, at least in Bell’s mind. It’s not about winning with Bell. It never has been. It’s about being liked.

    • wkuchad

      You know better than to only compare batting average.

      • wkuchad

        Against lefties, CES has seven more at-bats vs lefties than Joey. Joey has 4 more HR, 5 more RBIs, and 5 more walks than CES versus lefties. OPS is .889 vs .550

      • LDS

        As I’ve said before, you place too much emphasis on OPS. Not to mention CES has a future and Joey is done

  34. Mark A Verticchio

    This is the problem with Bell and veterans, there is no way Strand should not be in the line up tonight. Maybe no Bader, put Renfroe in right, Steer in left and Freidl in center. DH Votto with Strand at first.

    • Jim Walker

      Renfroe is a cut out for Fraley who can’t play in the field because of his toe issue. Who knows why Senzel is not in the OF with Steer at 3B or one of the CF guys isn’t in RF with Steer in LF? Maybe it has to do with where Bell thinks the lineup will be when a RH pitcher comes in and he can turn loose Benson and Martini.

      • Roger Garrett

        May have lots of fun on grounders and fly balls to the right side of the diamond.I know Steer has an played left but has he played right?May not be the best time to find out.

  35. Roger Garrett

    Bell manages until he doesn’t want to manage and Joey plays until he doesn’t want to play.Those are 2 things you can count on now and in the future.IMO CES should play every day but he has no chance and I mean no chance playing ahead of Votto and the arrival of Renfroe means he doesn’t DH much either.Enjoy the game.

  36. Roger Garrett

    Bell has forgot about defense on the right side of the diamond IMO.India and Joey are not the best of fielders and Steer in right although he is a gamer is very risky.