Matt McLain is heading to Triple-A for the first time since May when he was called up. The infielder will begin a rehab assignment with the Louisville Bats tonight and he’ll play again on Sunday if he doesn’t have any issues. The plan is then for him to return to the active Cincinnati Reds roster on Tuesday when the club starts a 2-game series in Cleveland against the Guardians.

McLain has been out for nearly a month with a right oblique strain. He went on the injured list on August 28th. There’s little time left in the regular season, and the Reds need to win every game that they can given that they enter the slate of games on Saturday 1.5 games back of the Chicago Cubs for the final spot in the wild card standings. Cincinnati’s offense has been sputtering quite often down the stretch. When he went on the injured list, McLain was hitting .290/.357/.507 and was arguably the best hitter on the team.

If the plan goes like the organization hopes, Matt McLain will return for the final five games of the season. After the team plays two games in Cleveland on Tuesday and Wednesday, they’ll have an off day on Thursday before beginning a 3-game series to end the season in St. Louis against the Cardinals.

A long shot for the playoffs

Last night’s loss to Pittsburgh was a big blow to the chances for the Reds playoff hopes. It dropped them to 79-76. They’re behind both the Cubs (80-74) and Marlins (79-75). Cincinnati does have the tie breaker over the Cubs, but they do not have it over the Marlins – so they will have to finish ahead of them in the standings in order to get in. Fangraphs updated playoff odds put the Cubs at 53.1%, the Marlins at 41.1%, and the Reds at 18.8%.

26 Responses

  1. JB

    They need McLain now. It might be over by Tuesday. He can’t do any worse here than Elly. He can’t do any worse than India’s defense.

    • Pete

      Hard to believe anyone can struggle as much as a EDLC and Jonathan India at the moment. McLean and Steer have been the steadiest players for the rest of the season. You would think they will roll with these two for every game until the end of the season. Add to it Joey Votto looks like he will be very little help on a day-to-day basis.

    • Melvin

      Yep. Absolutely. Why waste ABs for McLain in AAA? What’s the advantage of him playing in AAA over the majors. Find out the same results both ways. Are they afraid of giving up a roster spot unnecessarily? smh I’m actually starting to hate the way they’re treating Barrero now. Pride is more important than winning evidently. Make moves at a slooooooow pace could mean the season.

      • Jim Walker

        If they activated McLain and optioned someone, most probably Stu, and McLain couldn’t cut it, they could always return him to the IL and call up anyone they wanted, including the guy just optioned, because it would be an injury replacement.

        As agile as they were at manipulating the various lists with pitching a couple of weeks back, a person has to believe there is more than meets the outside eye involved in this situation/ decision.

      • Jim Walker

        And I suspect what the Reds want is for India or Fraley to go onto the IL; but, they want it to be the player’s decision, not the FO/ management’s decision.

      • Melvin

        You’re right Jim. Is there not a sense of urgency in this organization at all? It seems some times that they haven’t a clue as to how to REALLY win. They are just inept when is comes to being winners.

  2. Mark Moore

    I still think the title should be “Reds Inexplicably Send Matt Mclain on a Rehab Assignment”

    I get he needs to re-adjust, but I don’t see anything lost if he does that with Cincy. I see a lot of lost potential keeping him out of the line-up today and tomorrow.

    But where else are we gonna go, right?

    • Jon

      Same thought as to keeping Barrero in Louisville and leaving Fairchild on the roster. Makes no sense.

      • Mark Moore

        Barrero looks more an more like a “permanent dog house” assignment. I think he’s in a completely different organization by Spring Training time. Hope he does well there. But he certainly would be a viable option for some spot work right now.

      • Jim Walker

        At this point, I think something “personal” is going on with Barrero. Must be he is oil and water with somebody or vice versa; and, the decision makers think it best for all involved not to get him back into the mix.

        The way he has slugged for a period of several months at Louisville, if they could get whatever put behind them on all sides, he could be that RH OF power bat they need or the “super sub” who could cover all 3 OF spots and everywhere on the IF getting 4-5 starts a week.

      • Jim Walker

        A big question is does Stu get optioned for McLain or do they bite the bullet and IL Fraley or India; or, with the days off do they cut back to 13 pitchers again?

        And what of Antone? Does the fact he is not going to get a couple of rehab innings at AAA mean he is a lost cause for 2023?

      • LDS

        There’s always that one guy that Bell doesn’t play. Just like there are those that shouldn’t play that play frequently, e.g., Doolittle. It’s a pattern. If they shouldn’t play, they shouldn’t be on the roster, e.g., Akiyama. But, he did the same thing with Hopkins, Barrero, and others if one looks back.

      • Jon

        I just have that feeling that as soon as he gets traded to another team, Barrero will be to us what Suarez was to the Tigers (or Benson and the Guardians). Yes, he’s had an opportunity. But sometimes it takes awhile. Senzel’s in his fifth season and still getting a shot. If there’s anyone that seemingly should be in Krall’s doghouse, it’s him for the act he pulled around the trade deadline regarding playing time and his future salary/arbitration.

    • LDS

      Sadly, I’m old enough to remember EE. Just another “Reds bum” that flourished when he left.

      • Jim Walker

        It was legitimately a long and winding road for EE though. Was with the Reds from 2006 when he broke it to MLB through the deadline in 2009 (part of the Rolen trade).

        He was just marginally above league average on offense with the Reds (103 OPS+) and viewed as a liability on defense at 3B. And of course, the NL did not have the DH. 2005 was Sean Casey’s Final season with the Reds. For 2006 they brought in Scott Hatteburg to play 1B and stuck with him rather than move EE to 1B as many suggested.

        A guy named Votto was a September call up in 2007 and the rest is history as far as the 1B as a possibility for EE with the Reds.

        EE started 139 games in 2009 and 141 games for the Reds at 3B in 2008. However, in 2009 he had started only 42 games when he was dealt at the deadline after having missed May and June with an injury.

      • Jim Walker

        The following sentence got butchered. Had to be the software and not the software, right???

        EE started 139 games in 2009 and 141 games for the Reds at 3B in 2008.

        And it should have been:

        EE started 139 games in 2007 and 141 games for the Reds at 3B in 2008.

  3. Michael Wilson

    Reds lose while Bell plays his match up BS. Need McLain right now. Maybe even Barrero and Hurtubise. Need a shot in the arm. They are fading. Fairchild, Senzel, and Votto are not the answer.

  4. VaRedsFan

    It seems that when guys get sent down they seemingly get fixed. (Jake and TJ last year) …perhaps Barrero now. Who is the batting instructor at AAA that has the magic potion that gets guys going down on the farm?

    I’m, of course, ignoring the fact that AAA isn’t as good as MLB…by a MILE.

    Lets face it though, no team is calling up a failed MLB player for the last 7 games of the year, and if they did, no way is Bell putting him in the lineup.

  5. Jim

    McLain was missed and would be nice to be back. Believe he will be in the lineup Tuesday. Really Bad Loss yesterday.
    Votto was up with one out and bases loaded and hit a infield grounder. The Last thing a good hitter would do. He has killed a lot of rallies the past two years!! If he would have retired two years ago he would have went out in glory, now being a liability the past two years I just don’t know. He is taking the place of a young player getting experience in the lineup. Although I think years ago he Was the best hitter the Reds ever had, hitting us all he has and is batting .199. So It is time for him to Step Aside, for the good of the team!
    With the money saved from Votto & Moose next year (40m) we should pick up a # 1 pitcher to lead our good young starting pitchers!! And maybe another good young outfield hitter.

  6. RedBB

    I think if he was truly ready right now he would be with the Reds. That being said ya we need him right now. Lineup just came out and Elly is at SS and batting RH vs the LHP Falter.

  7. Doc4uk

    EDLC should not be starting against a lefty! I agree with others that it is crazy to waste McClain bats at AAA with the season on the line

    • Rick

      Activation should’ve happened yesterday.
      Elly can’t hit a lick from the right side.

  8. Rick

    To Jim’s point, I’m guessing it’ll be India to the IL so Bell doesn’t have to fret over juggling whom to play for 3 infield spots. If India sticks add in MM, Elly, and Marte, someone sits. Plus, Votto, has CES’s only path to play is at DH, or at 1B with a lefty pitching thus creating the logjam I posted about last night. Fraley makes sense to go on the IL too since he’s playing in pain and MIA lately.

  9. Jon

    That Burger acquisition at the deadline by the Marlins is paying off for them. Not like the Reds had room for another infielder, but it would be great if he hadn’t ended up with the fish.