The Cincinnati Reds do not play a game today. It’s their second off day this week – something that I’m sure many players on the club could use. But despite not playing the team optioned outfielder Blake Dunn back to Triple-A Louisville. What they didn’t do was announce a move on the other side, leaving their current roster at 25 players. They will be making a move before the game on Sunday in Milwaukee.

Cincinnati called Dunn up two weeks ago from Louisville. He played in seven games, but was used in a platoon and pinch-running role. He only had 10 at-bats in his seven games, going 1-10 with a walk, double, four runs scored, and he was hit in the head by a 101.4 MPH pitch in his final trip to the plate on Tuesday night against Cleveland.

With a 3-game series against the Brewers featuring three right-handed starting pitchers for Milwaukee, the Reds are likely going to bring up a left-handed bat. If you’re going to send Dunn down, that’s the move that makes the most sense.

If the Reds are going to stick with players on the 40-man roster, then that means one of Nick Martini, Conner Capel, or Livan Soto would be the guy getting the call. Both Martini and Capel are outfielders, but Soto is an infielder. Dunn is an outfielder, but even without adding someone else, the Reds have five guys on the roster already who can play in the outfield.

Nick Martini got out to a hot start in 2024. In his first three games he went 4-8 with two home runs, a double, a walk, and seven runs batter in. Then the calendar flipped to April and he hit .141/.158/.211 for the next five weeks and was sent to Triple-A. He hit well in the minor leagues, and even came back for a little over a week’s time in late may before heading back to re-join Louisville. With the Bats, in 15 games this season, he’s hit .340/.467/.681 with as many walks as strikeouts.

Conner Capel, like Martini, has seen time with the Reds this season. He played in five games in May with Cincinnati, but only had two hits in eight at-bats before he was sent back to Triple-A. He’s struggled since he got back to the minors, hitting just .192 in 15 games with two extra-base hits.

Livan Soto, who is 10 years younger than Martini, has limited big league experience – playing in 22 games between 2022 and 2023 with the Angels, has spent his entire season in Triple-A. But he’s done it for three organizations. He played in nine games to begin the year with Salt Lake while still with the Angels. He only played in one game with Norfolk in his brief stay with Baltimore. Since the Reds picked him up on waivers in April he’s played in 39 games with Louisville. While with the Bats he’s hit .308/.406/.392 with 22 walks and 29 strikeouts in 170 plate appearances. He’s spent most of his time at shortstop, but has played a handful of games at second base, too.

Of course, maybe the Reds have something else up their sleeve that isn’t as easy to see. We’ll all find out together tomorrow when the team announces the addition to the club in Milwaukee.

80 Responses

  1. Melvin

    “Of course, maybe the Reds have something else up their sleeve that isn’t as easy to see.”

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Krall did something that would actually help the team.

    • MK

      Brad Meador is the GM but I’m sure Krall still has input into some transactions.

      • Melvin

        Thanks for the reminder. We all know though that Krall calls the shots in that regard and it’s on his shoulders.

      • TR

        Big moves for the Reds are not going to be made by the Krall/Meador team without the approval of ownership, and that’s Castellini.

    • Jmb

      Soto deserves a chance at the ML level. EDLC needs a rest.

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    “They will be making a move before the game on Sunday in Milwaukee.” , I think should be before Friday, Shouldn’t be?
    Additionally, The Reds optioned Nick Martini on 06/04/2024 so he couldn’t be called up since he should stay 15 days at least in the minors being eligible by June 20th, Am I wrong? No Injury is related either in this case…

    • docproc

      Pretty sure it’s 10 days, not 15.

    • Mark Moore

      Position players – 10 days
      Pitchers – 15 days

      At least that’s how I understand it.

  3. Tom Diesman

    My first thought when I saw that Dunn was optioned was that maybe they are working on bringing in 29 year old RH hitting OF Harold Ramirez who is currently in DFA limbo. He can play the OF corners and a little 1B and has a career slash line of .287/.325/.408/.733 in 1856 PA and a lifetime .322/.357/.445/.802 line vs LH in 557 PA.

    • DaveCT

      Gotta watch the Seattle/ChiSox game tonight to see if Robert gets pulled. Though Seattle media is pushing hard for them to go after Robert themselves. Their reasoning? Imagine Luis Robert AND Julio in the same outfield. To which I reply, imagine seeing Luis Robert AND Elly in the same knew.

      • Melvin

        We can only hope. Robert Jr. Ks a lot too but at least he would end the platoon. He does a lot of things well.

      • Melvin

        He didn’t start last night but did hit a pinch hit HR to tie the game in the 9th. His BA is too low so far and his Ks are too high since coming back so he hasn’t got all of his timing/swing going yet. However in 56 AB he’s already got 6 HR and 9 RBI. Not too bad for a guy who’s kind of like going through spring training at the moment. Looks to be a very good outfielder from what little I’ve seen. Only 26 years old.

      • Melvin

        Robert with another HR tonight. Game in the 7th.

    • Melvin

      He’s only Kd 33 times in 164 ABs so that’s not terrible. He’s not exactly hitting great this year though .268/ .284/.305/.589. Maybe be a slight upgrade to what we have now in RF. I don’t know. Definitely not that answer most likely to our offensive woes though. So…….may be 🙂

  4. DaveCT

    Given the Montas and Martinez short outings and the stress on the bullpen, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a reliever brought up for the Milwaukie series.

    Legumina would be my candidate. In May, he was

    G 7 IP 11.0 H 6. BB 6 K 10 ERA 1.64. Avg. 171 WHIP 1.09

    In June, he’s been:

    G 5 IP 6.2 H 2 BB 0 K 3 ERA 0,00 Avg .095. WHIP 0.4

    He’s given up two HR’s, none since May 11th. He certainly could be getting ready to challenge for a role at GABP.

    • Jim Walker

      If they bring up a reliever they also have to send out a pitcher due to the 13 man limit on pitchers.

      • MK

        They can have as many pitchers as they want as long as they only have 25 active players. The 13 is the 26-man roster rule.

      • Mark Moore

        Yep. 26-man roster (not 25-man). Split evenly between pitchers and position. That came to be a couple years ago.

        Only exception is for the 2-way players that qualify (the Ohtani Rule).

  5. LDS

    Probably Martini again. Hope springs eternal with the Reds. Actually acquiring someone impactful is too much to expect

  6. Melvin

    MLB Trade Rumors today on Reds hitting:

    The Reds’ offense has underwhelmed as a whole this season — as have many lineups around the game — entering play Thursday with a tepid .226/.307/.372 batting line that clocks in 10% worse than league-average, per wRC+. Cincinnati ranks 13th in the majors in runs scored and 17th in home runs, but that’s largely been a function of situational hitting. Overall, Reds hitters rank 27th in batting average, 19th in on-base percentage and 21st in slugging percentage. They have baseball’s seventh-best walk rate, but also the game’s sixth-highest strikeout rate.

    We need help.

    • LDS

      Gobs of help. But I doubt it’s happening. Overall, the organization looks dysfunctional, top to bottom. Sell the team to committed owner and start over

      • Harry Stoner

        With Marte’s return imminent, I just can’t see Krall making a big impact move at this time.

        I don’t think it’s in his make-up.

        He may be following instructions from above or clinging to hope that things improve and his prospects produce.

        Or maybe his trading chips have lost considerable value?

        Phillips struggling, Arroyo out.

        Petty isn’t going to net a second Sonny Gray.

        Who are Fraley and Fairchild going to bring in?

        Okay, we’ll toss in Sims and Benson.

        I wouldn’t be counting on the cavalry any time soon.

      • LDS

        Sadly, @Harry, I think you’re right. Moving some of these folks last offseason would have made more sense

      • Jim Walker

        @LDS and Harry>>> Is Krall going to trade EDLC, Greene, or Lodolo? I don’t think so. CES or Marte would have been possibilities if they were producing like last year, but alas. That leaves Steer or maybe Friedl from the position side as headliners to be filled out by prospects in a deal for someone like Luis Robert Jr. So, I agree Krall isn’t likely to do much.

        I think a new owner would NOT have to do a lot more than uproot the organizational culture in a fell swoop as ironically there is a lot of talent with years of team control in hand. It just needs to be effectively organized and supplemented with several key yet supplemental acquisitions by trade or FA signings.

        This is the most frustrating part for me, so much potential, so little focused effort to exploit it. The clock is ticking away on the likes of EDLC, Greene, and Lodolo. If McLain, CES, and Marte can come off their setbacks from this year, they are ready. So close but so far.

      • LDS

        @Jim, as I said while EDLC was still in Louisville, don’t bring him and the other young guys up while Bell is calling the shots. Thus far nothing has changed my opinion. Solid fundamental baseball just isn’t a Bell/Reds priority. When fans show up like they did last year, and thus far this year, the organization gets what they want without putting anything back into the game. Again, if owning the Reds was costing Castellini money, he would have sold them ages ago.

      • Rob

        Dunn offers so many advantages over Hurtubise and Martini but is far from the answer. The seasonal stats are also kind of misleading because our platoon OFs. You don’t see Fraley and Benson in late innings if they are chased by a LH relief pitcher. Instead we end up with Dunn, Espinal, and Fairchild batting against both RH and LH relief pitchers. Really sad numbers here and this is the problem we need to address. I thought Dunn had some chance of being the answer but obviously there is no answer other than a trade for an everyday RH hitting OF and a good one. Yes, Robert would certainly qualify and even at 120 games a year. He is not Willie Mays but he is better than our best player and will put some excitement and thump into this offense. And is he is cheap at several years at $20m. He won’t be cheap to trade for though. You have to beat other offers! i said a couple weeks ago that I thought 2-3 of Arroyo, Williamson, Dunn, and Fraley would do the trick. Don’t worry about Arroyo injury as the Chisox are not looking for 2024 help. They want 2025 talent and we can provide that as well as anyone. And don’t worry about how good Williamson may become. That is unimportant. Important is whether Robert is as good as player as we need or should we aim higher? I think he is worth 2-3 prospects. He will be easily tradable in 2025-2026 with his cheap contract if we don’t like him.

      • earmbrister

        In reply to Melvin saying “we need help” you LDS say we need “gobs of help” and that the org looks dysfunctional, top to bottom.

        The Reds are 0.5 games out of a wild card berth in mid June and are 8-2 in their last 10 games. Yeah, let’s blow it up before they win some more.

        The team is very young and has been rocked with multiple injuries to key players but they are in the thick of contention. Don’t quit your day job (of yelling at the kids on your lawn). This team is nicely positioned to contend for YEARS to come.

      • LDS

        @earmbrister, just curious, how many years are you going to cling to that fantasy? Same excuses every year: it’s the roster, it’s the injuries, it’s the umpires, it’s the youth, etc etc. No it’s the organization from top to bottom. One need only look at the quality of play from teams like Cleveland and Milwaukee to note the differences with the Reds. You can’t fix a problem until you’re honest about the cause. It should be evident to all by now, but remarkably some here still believe Krall has a brilliant strategic plan and that Bell knows things the rest of us don’t. That’s somewhere between wishful and magical thinking.

      • west larry

        I actually agree with Earm. The starting pitching is better then in recent years, the offense is down, partially due to the key injuries in, mostly, the infield. I’m not going to go through them again, we all know who they are. This crippled team is in contention and should get a little better offensively with Marte returning. Go Reds!

      • Melvin

        @Jim Walker I would think/hope the cost for Robert Jr. may not be as high as some think with his injury history. Perhaps we can acquire him with several prospects along with throw ins like Benson and/or Fraley/India.

      • Melvin

        @earmbrister – I would love to get a new owner and shake things up. That’s not what I’m talking about though. I’m talking about adding to the major league talent with mostly prospects and maybe some throw ins from the 26 man roster through trades. Having said that no one is untouchable if it would make the team better. Not even EDLC (hes’ about as close as it gets though). I’m talking about seriously winning NOW. LDS is correct. Excuses excuses year after year after year only winning ONE playoff series since 1990.

      • Still a red

        “Sell the team to a committed owner…” That’s not how the game is played and you know it.

      • earmbrister

        Melvin — You say that “LDS is correct. Excuses excuses year after year after year only winning ONE playoff series since 1990”.

        LDS is consistently wrong which is what you get when your only consistent principle is your negativity. You say that EDLC is pretty much untouchable, but LDS was saying that they should move on from him just a couple of weeks ago (when he was leading the Reds in many offensive categories).

        Krall was TWELVE YEARS OLD when the Reds won the WS in 1990. Yet some here view the front office as some monolith that is unchanged in the 34 years since.

        The rebuild that he oversaw just two short years ago has paid enormous dividends and we’ve gone from a 100 loss team to being in contention last year and this year. You don’t blow up the team because of a few injuries when it’s young and contending. And you certainly don’t blow up the team based on the last 34 years of team history.

        The starting pitching features 3 young studs who would be top half of the rotation pitchers on any quality MLB team. And three quality starters are what you need for a short playoff series.

        The infield is full of young talent and I can’t wait to see them with Marte, CES, and McLain back in the lineup. Would you trade McLain or CES because they’re injured this year? I wouldn’t.

        The outfield has some talent and with the #2 draft choice next month, the Reds should be adding Charlie Condon who could be the big bat they need in the OF.

        Numerous paid baseball analysts view the Reds roster as a quality roster that just needs a couple of additions, namely a big RH OF bat and a back of the bullpen reliever.

        As a glass half full guy, I see the Reds glass as three quarters full. We just need an addition or two.

      • AllTheHype

        @earmbrister, excellent post, voice of reason.

      • Melvin

        @earmbrister “Numerous paid baseball analysts view the Reds roster as a quality roster that just needs a couple of additions, namely a big RH OF bat and a back of the bullpen reliever.”

        I think that’s mostly what I’ve been asking for. 😉 To get that you have to take risks and trade away some assets.

  7. Melvin

    Levi Jordan is a possibility until a trade can be made or Marte comes back. Why not give him a shot. He’s been hitting well this year. Nothing says we have to have five outfielders especially when Steer is one of them and India is supposed to able to play there too.

    • Melvin

      He could take the 40 man spot of Burdick. Playing 3B he could move Candy to 1B and Steer back to LF.

      • Melvin

        Cool. The Bats website just says 3B. Actually looking more closely at his minor league stats he’s actually played everywhere except RF, Pitcher, & Catcher.

    • Rob

      I don’t think the India 3B/OF experiment went very well. I doubt we will see this in 2024 under normal circumstances. Another reason we need a RH outfield bat.

  8. Jason Franklin

    I would love to see Soto given a shot. He hits lefty, has good patience at the plate, plays a position (IF) that they need help with? He has some speed. May be a decent average (or more) hitter if given a shot. Martini is old news.

  9. JB

    Seems like it would be Soto who plays shortstop. Elly needs a few days off and Soto can give him that.

  10. Oldtimer

    I’m not a big believer in this stat but Reds are at 33-35 but “should be” 36-32.

    Pythagorean W-L: 36-32, 295 Runs, 280 Runs Allowed

  11. Melvin

    For those who want Crochet one ER tonight with 13 Ks and two hits after 7. Looking good.

    • Jmb

      Crochet and Robert for Montas and prospects!

      • Melvin

        It would take A LOT of prospects but it would be cool if it could be done. 🙂

  12. AMDG

    With the extended absences of CES, McLain, Frield, CES, and Marte

    the Reds have been forced to use a lot of position players this year who aren’t really good enough to stick in the major leagues.

    Martini, Espinal, Ford, Hurtubise, Thompson, and Dunn all come to mind.

    I can’t say it’s a surprise when any of them rightfully gets sent back down.

    • Oldtimer

      Espinal was All-Star in 2022. He’s not playing like one in 2024 but he’s an MLB caliber player.

      Marte will be back this month. McLain maybe later in 2024. CES looking doubtful.

      • AMDG

        Spinal only made that game as an injury replacement, and still had an OPS+ below 100 that season.

        Also, that the Blue Jays only got Chris McElvain for him, shows they nobody have much value on Espinal.

  13. Still a red

    If you want to trade now for a proven impact MLB talent, trade EDLC. Yes he’s exciting and possibly a future star but he’s never going to stay a Red. He’ll bring the best value. As good as he is he’s not really carrying the team. Will he be even higher value later…perhaps, maybe even probably, but if you want to go all in this year he’s your trade bait.

    • Old Big Ed

      No. The Reds have worked for 30 years to get a talent like Elly, and they aren’t going to trade him while he’s making MLB minimum. They just had a madhouse for his bobblehead; trading him now would be a New Coke / Bud Lite level marketing disaster. They may as well move the team to Mobile as do that.

      They have him for 5 more years, and you have zero idea whether they will be able to extend him.

      • MBS

        Yes, he puts butts in the seats. I’d sign him to an extension now.

      • Still a Red

        We have him for 4 more years after this one. And after next year he will be in arbitration. No way Boras will let him sign an extension for anything that the Reds could afford. I agree trading him for anything less than a Joe Morgan would be a marketing disaster.

  14. Old Big Ed

    I have little doubt that the Reds will make a serious play for Luis Robert. They have the farm system to pull it off, and they are probably one of the favorites to land him.

    The problem is that the White Sox are going to want to hear every team’s best offer, and that is going to take some time. I don’t see how he gets traded before the All Star game, and the Reds need him now.

    It will cost Lowder, Allen, Arroyo and more to get him. (Not sure if the 2023 signees are yet eligible to be traded.)

    • redfanorbust

      IMHO that trade scenario you put out while probably accurate would be a big fat no thanks from me. Robert is a above average talent but is one guy and often hurt. Mortgaging a big chunk of our future for one oft injured outfielder is not what I would do if I were the GM. Now if they throw in Crochet I might not hang up on the WS GM and have a listen.

    • AllTheHype

      Yeah it would definitely take something like you suggest to get him. Two tops 100s for sure, with one being top 40. Lowder + Arroyo + more would probably be the ask.

      However, Robert + Condon + Elly in the lineup in mid ’25 would be fun. And if Marte breaks out like I think he will, look out.

  15. Old Big Ed

    I predict that they bring up Livan Soto. They have enough outfielders, and Soto is on the 40-man roster. He puts the bat on the ball, draws a lot of walks, and plays solid defense, plus he will turn 24 next week and has some upside. Soto did not play last night in Louisville.

    I think that they aren’t really happy with India’s defense and running and that Soto will more or less play regularly as second base. India can slide into a DH role, with some occasional first base (where he looked pretty good), which ought to give his heel some relief. Espinal is a utility player, who showed the other night that he is overmatched by power pitchers. Espinal will be sent down when Marte is eligible.

    • Optimist

      Yes – India’s bat is useful, or better, but to stay in the lineup he is more valuable as a defensive filler/DH. Espinal has done what’s needed, but with Marte about to return, and any deadline/trade help, it’s time to give Soto a month to see if anything is there.

      As for Robert/Crochet/anybody in trade, they may make the rare move of taking on salary in place of losing one prospect, but, yes, it will still take several prospects to get anybody of that value.

    • Jim Walker

      “…I think that they aren’t really happy with India’s defense”

      To my eye, they are losing some potential GIDPs by half a step when India is the middleman. He seems a tad slow on the pivot/release and doesn’t get a lot of velocity on his throws.

      • Melvin

        It doesn’t seem we’ve been doing that great in turning a DP. Maybe I’m wrong. Haven’t looked it up.

    • AllTheHype

      OBE, you might be right about Soto.

  16. Ron

    If the Mets would eat some of his contract, Starling Marte would be a good pickup. He’s hitting .400 over his last 7 games. He’s not a big power guy but he is pretty consistent at the plate and can steal some bases (11 so far). The downside is his age (35) and contract (19.5 m per) through next year.

    Would love to have Robert Jr also but I think the asking price will be enormous.

  17. Roger Garrett

    Krall has said he would pretty much not trade prospects so the next best thing is to see what we have in the minors right.Wrong wrong and wrong again.Oh the thought is a good one and it help us as fans think well at least he is trying.Wrong wrong and wrong again because they play very little and then are gone.Ford,Martini multiple times,Thompson,Capel and now Dunn and I probably missed one or two.Reds have no clue.They throw guys away in a heart beat pretending they are giving these guys a shot and at the same time have 2 guys fighting for the strikeout lead and guys that don’t hit righties and guys that don’t hit lefties all up and down the lineup.My point is Krall has to go out and get a good righty hitting outfielder or stick with what I described.Soto if its him may be the answer but does anybody think he will be given a shot.He could walk on water his first game and go for coffee and doughnuts the next day.

  18. DataDumpster

    I am startled by all the speculation going on about this curious move. Of course, everyone is seeing the need for a trade sooner rather than later. I wonder though why would a player be released before a corresponding move is announced to take his place?
    I suppose they save paying one or two guys for a day or two but that can’t be the reason (right, even by this organization)?? My hunch is that there is no reason other than to get fan input (like here) and to raise the possibility that Bell knows things and is waiting for the “right time” to make his move. Look for a call up of one of the fill ins previously mentioned from the Bats and that’s it.

    • Jim Walker

      They probably wanted whoever was being brought up to travel with the team to Milwaukee.

      Per the CBA, Dunn has 72 hours to report to AAA. I do not know if he receives MLB or MiLB pay during that time prior to reporting back. As a 40 man roster guy on option his pay is still an annual rate of ~$120K, so it is not nearly as significant of step down it used to be unless the guy had been counting on getting the full MLB level of ~$720K a year.

  19. Votto4life

    The next time Nick Krall makes a major addition in mid-season will be the first time. I can think of only a couple of times it has been done in the last 50 years by the Reds organization. Tom Seaver comes to mind.

    It’s just not how the Reds operate. Nick Martini it is.

  20. Votto4life

    The next time Nick Krall makes a major addition in mid-season will be the first time. I can think of only a couple of times it has been done in the last 50 years by the Reds organization. Tom Seaver comes to mind.

    It’s just not how the Reds operate. Nick Martini it is.

    • Indy Red Man

      They picked up Scott Rolen at the deadline 2009, but it’s definitely rare

    • Redgoggles

      Sam Moll last year, but arguably not a major addition.

      I’d like to see him take on large contracts for players who help this year and next, to cheapen the prospect load required. I like the strategy of building a sustainable winning organization from the farm up, and that means not jettisoning prospects every July. He’s stayed the course, adding depth via FA signings over the past off-season which has steadied the ship so far this year and has allowed the youth continued development.

  21. Rednat

    AS a fan the offensive struggles of this team have been frustrating indeed. for me it seems like the offense has struggled most years at gabp.

    it would be interesting to compare our offensive stats at gabp and riverfront.
    i know it is a different era and the pitching is dominant now but i contend that riverfront was more of a “hitters park” than gabp.

    it seems like at gabp the wind is always blowing in from the river. there are no gaps to speak of in the outfield. the outfield grass slows the ball down so it is really hard to get an extra base hit compared to the astro turf at riverfront.