The Cincinnati Reds made a bunch of roster moves earlier on Monday afternoon, but they weren’t done yet. The club announced that Stuart Fairchild has been activated from the injured list and that they had designated outfielder Hunter Renfroe for assignment. With those two moves, it makes seven on the day for the team.

Stuart Fairchild had been on the Covid-19 injured list. Cincinnati sent him on a short rehab stint after missing a week. In his first two games with Louisville he went a combined 0-5 with a walk, run, and a strikeout. On Sunday he went 2-3 with a run, and he was hit by two pitches.

Prior to going to the injured list, Fairchild had been in a bit of a slump. From August 18th through September 8th – including his time in Triple-A – he had gone 1-16. During that stretch he had more walks (5) than strikeouts (4), but the hits simply didn’t show up.

Three weeks ago the Reds picked up Hunter Renfroe from the Los Angeles Angels on waivers. The outfielder was hitting .242/.304/.434 – showing good power, but not doing much hitting or getting on base. After joining Cincinnati he didn’t hit, get on base, or show any power. Over his 14 games he went 5-39 with one home run and he posted an OPS of .432. You could understand the move at the time, but it’s one of those things that just didn’t work out. That can happen a lot when you are dealing with small sample sizes. Guys slump for 2-3 weeks and maybe that’s what happened here.

With the Reds in a playoff hunt and fewer and fewer games remaining in the season they simply don’t have the time to let someone work their way out of a slump if there are other options available. For Cincinnati, that’s Stuart Fairchild. He can also play the outfield, and unlike Renfroe – he’s got speed and can be used off of the bench to provide value as a pinch runner if needed.

59 Responses

  1. LDS

    Good move. Should we infer that since Bader was IL’d instead of DFA’d that the Reds have some intention of retaining him? Or is it just another esoteric quirk of the rules?

    • ChrisInVenice

      No reason to DFA Bader if no need to

      • LDS

        No reason to keep a pending FA who isn’t producing, for the last couple of weeks

  2. Roger Garrett

    Now maybe we can move on from having to get players at bats and trying to get others going and play the players that are producing.Now with 14 pitchers and 14 position players lets try to win every game please.Thanks Krall for taking a chance on Renfroe and Bader and a bigger thanks for moving on from both of them.I like Krall and can’t wait to see what he can do next year with some money to spend.GO REDS

    • Chris

      100% agree. I didn’t have any issues with the two pick-ups, but at this time of year you can’t just keep playing guys that you thought might help when they aren’t.

  3. Chris

    As I stated yesterday, Krall is going to have to DFA Renfroe or Bell will keep playing him. It’s sad that the manager couldn’t seem to grasp that Renfroe was doing nothing for the team.

  4. Mark Moore

    Another HDTBell toy taken away … color me pleasantly surprised.

  5. Chris

    Now to proof the team so CES plays everyday. It’s just crazy. CES has been the best hitting prospect on the Reds outside of Elly since he arrived. All he does is absolutely mash. Nothing against Marte, but he will never hit as well as CES. CES flat out rakes.

  6. Ozzie

    On a previous thread someone suggested this was a moneyball move because Bell was giving Renfroe and Bader too much playing time. I would hate to think that’s the case, meaning division between the general and field managers, especially after the field manager was recently given a three year extension. Management division is not a recipe for long term success. But it sure seems, from the outside looking in, that Krall has stepped in multiple times throughout the year when Bell was playing an unproductive vet too often. Is it that Bell gives the vets extra rope to prove themselves, then says, “that’s enough. your’re done”, or is Krall stepping in and saying, “it’s time to move on. He’s not getting it done”? With the information we have, we can’t know.

    • Mark Moore

      Certainly possible. Hats off to Krall if that is the case. Perhaps he’s looking to take his talents to an organization with ownership that wants to win. Couldn’t blame him on most days.

      • Melvin

        Yeah. It could very well be he didn’t like the Bell extension. He just has to live with it and makes his job harder.

    • Chris

      In reality, I think your comment of Bell giving extra rope and then saying you’re done is probably the reality, but sometimes it does seem like Krall is just taking his toys away.

      • ChrisInVenice

        Yeah, I think Bell & Krall are on the same page here & they wanted to give Renfroe opportunity to show if he could be a contributor while at same time letting Fairchild get back in playing shape. He is, Renfroe didn’t show and he’s gone.

  7. Ozzie

    Over the course of a season I get giving guys with a track record extra opportunities, but after 150 games a manager should know who truly gives him the best chance to win. Analytics win out over a long sample size and I get using them through the course of the year, but stars rise to the occasion in key moments. I’m a high school baseball coach and I know who I can count on and who I want in the game after 12-15 games. I give other guys playing time, but when we need to win to make it to the playoffs or are in a playoff game, there is no “getting guys in”. Play the best guys, period. Bell’s lineups suggest he still is not convinced who his best 8-10 guys are. How can that be after 150 games? Rosters are fluid with injuries and late additions (Bader and Renfroe), but you still have to know who your core is. You have to ride or die with who you believe are your best players. The rest can contribute by playing a role (def sub, runner, pinch hitter, etc.).

    • SR

      100% with playing your best players at crunch time. Along those same lines, you need to put these guys on the field in the same place too. With this teams pitching struggles, you can’t give away extra outs in the field. Guys get better by taking reps at positions. How do Marte, and Steer and Strand and Senzel do that when they are playing all over. Who does India practice double play pivots with from third and short? Our defense is sliding because we have good athletes that are often ask to play in positions where they are average at best, to feed Bells handedness obsessions

      • DataDumpster

        Yes, David Bell, when will the sorting be over? We have a good lineup of eight and a few good subs when injuries mount. Two got laid low today (deservedly) and there should be more to be had and no I don’t want to gamble on Joey running into one vis a vis CES. These games matter more than any in the last ten years. No time for Veteran’s Day on a daily basis.

    • Ozzie

      Having said all that I still give Bell the benefit of the doubt. The running joke here is that “Bell knows things”, but the reality is he does know more (or at least considers more) than any of us in terms of player fatigue, the mental toughness of individual players, unreported minor injuries, and analytics. It is a tough job to try to win over players so they buy into your system and play hard for you, and at the same time have to cut them loose when they don’t perform. Its a great job… and a crazy difficult job… and a thankless job. I just hope for the last two weeks Bell’s only concern is a W everyday. Personalities, hurt feelings, etc. do not matter. Play the best position players and every pitcher is on a short leash. Run through the finish. You are so close!

      • Mike Adams

        All you said is true but I have no sympathy for Bell.
        Great, crazy difficult, thankless job yes but it is a well paid job

      • greenmtred

        Considering the team’s record and the circumstances in which it has compiled that record, he doesn’t need our sympathy.

    • greenmtred

      Who the best players are will vary a bit depending upon who is pitching for the opponents and day-to-day physical status. The Reds are also pretty well balanced: there isn’t an enormous gap between most of the players

  8. old-school

    Super versatile Steer allows this move to happen. He can flex to LF and then Friedl can be primary CF with Benson and Fairchild platoon in RF and Fairchild back up CF. Against lefties, Senzel fits in somewhere being able to play 3b or OF. I think its just get your best 28 guys on the roster and it didnt work out for Renfro.

  9. TJ

    Maybe Krall and Bell sat down and discussed the Renfroe situation. They both liked him. They both decided to give him a time frame to be a useful part of the team. Maybe time and performance ran out on Renfroe. Looking at AAA and anyone looking to replace Renfroe or Bader. Today was the day. Hard to say. There’s so much going on behind the scenes that we don’t know

  10. Mark A Verticchio

    My question is very simple, How does Bell start a guy and bat him third on Sunday in a huge game that management cuts on Monday? It just all seems a little dysfunctional.

    • VaRedsFan

      Exact same thought, one post down. The answer you’re looking for is the guy that has done this numerous times before.

    • Ozzie

      Exactly. This wouldn’t be a conversation if Renfro wasn’t playing so much and hitting 3rd the day before he was cut. If was only P-hitting and was cut, there would be few comments. Hitting him 3rd communicated Bell believed he was one of the three best hitters, if not the best in most lineup constructions, against a LH pitcher. Being cut the next day communicates he’s not one of the best 13 position players. It’s confusing.

      • greenmtred

        He got 39 at-bats. He has a track record as a decent power hitter. Had he succeeded he would have helped, and it’s reasonable to give him a shot. 39 at-bats isn’t much of a shot, but with time running out and the playoffs still–improbably–a possibility, it was as much time as the Reds could afford. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  11. VaRedsFan

    The sad thing is, this has happened throughout the years with Bell. Renfroe was brought in to be a spot starter or late game pinch hitter. But Bell turned him into a regular starter vs lefties, and some starts vs righties. Not only that, Bell batted him in the 3/4 hole.

    What does it say about the manager, when the GM has to step in and remove your the previous game’s 3 hitter from the roster?

  12. Roger Garrett

    Great question Mark and as much as I hope Krall and Bell are on the same page something doesn’t fit.I mean Bell works for Krall and just received a 3 year deal right.

    • Rick

      Bob wanted Bell back, hence with the extension.
      Krall trying to tweak the roster to offer up the best 28 for Bell to utilize for the final stretch.
      Bell will still use Fairchild like he did Renfroe but bat him 8th.

  13. Lid

    Let’s pick up Hatteberg (Chris Pratt). 🙂

  14. MuddyCleats

    Liked the Renfroe add; thought he might b a nice power source at DH. Not so excited by Bader, but both r proven pros fm winning organizations & good vs LHP which Reds continue to struggle with. For all the nah sayers, what about Votto; he’s been terrible & taking away ABs too. Really don’t expect Stuart Fairchild to help in any aspect. Bigger shock to me was not making a run at the pitchers: Giolito, Moore & Lopez. Reds SPs were hurt, and still are,
    & the BP was / is gassed!

    • VaRedsFan

      They tried to get all those pitchers.
      Cleveland had claiming priority and took them

    • Will the Red

      Waiver wire order meant Cleveland got the pitchers if they put a claim in. That’s why they got them instead of the Reds.

  15. Indy Red Man

    Well Fraley/Joey in and our best power bat CES is out. Never mind that’s he hot. Never mind that Ryan’s ops vs righties is .788 and he’s .645 vs lefties. Never mind Fraleys toe. If you cat push off with your foot then where are you getting the power? The OV hasn’t hit one since he returned to my knowledge? I hope they both go off, but it’s just plain stupid

    • LarkinPhillips

      But Bell is an analytics guy and knows things…. He is not an analytics guy. Pure handedness guy only with no feel for the actual game that plays out in front of him. Hopefully I eat crow tonight, but I have a terrible feeling about this twins series.

    • Jim Walker

      I was an LH batter when I played. For the last several days I have been periodically getting in the stance and simulating swings just to convince myself my memory was correct and those outside toes on my back (left) foot have to bear a lot of torque as body weight shifts forward in a swing. 😉

  16. Indy Red Man

    CES .960 ops in September
    Votto hitting .181 since August 3

    Moneyball. Smunnyball. Numbers don’t matter. Production doesn’t matter. It’s like buying 3 extra gallons of milk when your frig doesn’t work. I guess Bell likes it sour.

    • Indy Red Man

      Marte you’re next. McLain is coming back and India has more grit & more bobbleheads then you. I don’t care if you’re hitting .500 lately, grab some bench

      • greenmtred

        Larkin believes that EDLC will be displaced if McClain comes back.

  17. J

    Maybe tomorrow Krall will DFA everyone except CES and 8 other guys, and we’ll get to see if Bell plays CES or just leaves a blank spot in the lineup.

  18. Ozzie

    Would Votto rather start every game for the remainder of the season and continue to bat .200 and possibly not make the playoffs, or be a role player and make the playoffs again? I know he would say play every game AND make the playoffs, but it’s not like he and CES are comparable lately. CES is the hotter hitter.

    • Indy Red Man

      And Fraleys probably 80% at best. He can’t run. I’m also not even anti-Votto. He can still do damage or draw a walk, but he needs to be spotted against specific pitchers like yesterday (13 for 24 off Quintana).
      You fit pieces in around your producers like Marte & CES. Common sense?

      • Jim Walker

        Until the guys you thought would be your producers are not really your producers compared to the guys who really are your producers.

  19. Klugo

    Renfroe (and Bader) were worth a try. I’m not a huge fan of Fairchilds, but off the bench, I can see some value.

    • David

      Fairchild is a good outfielder, but below average hitter. He can play all 3 outfield positions, and so can run in a “double switch” if necessary…..even at this late date.
      If he weren’t here, Bell would play Renfro as a right handed bat.
      He mis-played EDLC all over the lineup, and now he’s at the bottom of the lineup.
      And CES is pretty hot right now, and sitting on the bench tonight.

      Fraley, who isn’t hitting worth crap is playing at DH. We all have seen this over and over again this season, yet it’s like we’re all surprised when it happens again.

      India and Friedl should bat 1-2 the rest of the season, regardless of the pitcher, unless they get hurt.
      Don’t know where McLain is going to be in a few days, but he could be hitting third.
      Steer is in the line-up, every day, regardless. Left field, 1st base, DH.
      If it were my team, CES would be in the lineup, everyday, either at 1st base or DH.
      Marte and EDLC, at third or short, either one. If McLain comes back healthy, maybe he is the everyday SS.

      Benson and Fairchild in right, versus righty or lefty pitching, respectively.
      If Maile is hurt, Stephenson catches every day for the rest of the season.

      It’s almost over. As someone else said, they should be sprinting to the finish.

      But we will see Senzel, and Votto starting, and who knows who else. Will they activate Kevin Newman?? There’s still time!!!

      • Jim Walker

        “…It’s almost over. As someone else said, they should be sprinting to the finish”.

        It is hard to sprint when you are continually slowing down to pass the baton to someone else and aren’t sure which lane you’ll be running in the next time the baton is going to be passed to you.

  20. Mark A Verticchio

    I am so upset about CES sitting tonight I could scream. He could have sat Votto or Fraley, who is hurt, and I would have been fine. This is the problem with the extension, whether you like him, or not, Bell has no clue how to coach a young talented team, he will always go with aging veterans. Who knows maybe Votto will get a shot of youth tonight and go off or Fraley will feel good and have a great night. Regardless of what happens not starting CES is a bad move and sends the wrong message to players about the way this team will be managed in the next few years.

  21. Mike Adams

    All you guys who can’t figure out Bell may be struggling in a losing battle.
    In jest many say “Bell knows things”.
    I think that is true but not in the way most think.
    I think Bell factors in the unwritten rules about “managing”, “respecting” and paying tribute to veteran players like JV.
    Playing the best, winning at all costs, being oh so close to the playoffs all take a backseat to these unwritten rules.
    Although sometimes it seems like these rules are only in his head and no one else’s.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      I agree 100% but it doesn’t make it right. As a matter of fact it makes the whole organization look foolish by not putting winning first. This is not a team looking for a feel good story they are fighting for a playoff spot.

      • Mike Adams

        Agree. Professional sports are about winning.
        Apparently those calling the shots with the Reds organization are okay with the way Bell does things.
        We fans can stop watching, listening and attending games, or put up with it.
        Rooted for the Reds for 53 years so I guess I will put up with it.

    • greenmtred

      It’s unfortunate that Bell’s shortcomings have led to the current ten game losing streak which has removed the Reds from contention. Inexcusable–criminal–with a team of seasoned, accomplished veterans and a powerful starting rotation. No wonder Krall didn’t want him extended. No wonder the players hate playing for him and are so bummed out that they just go through the motions.

  22. Roger Garrett

    Votto is off limits as far as playing time cause he is going to play and it looks like at the expense of CES although he could DH but then Fraley sets.Lets remember CES was late to the party and really he ain’t got a permanent job until Joey doesn’t have a job and that may not even occur next year.Unless Joey sets himself he ain’t setting.