Sometimes the ball just doesn't break your way. The Cincinnati Reds, consistently viewed as a frugal franchise, oftentimes will hang on to players well past when they should. But at some point, it's time to cut bait and move on.
The Reds have a handful of players on their current roster who need to be handed their walking papers. While the potential may be there, these players have yet to realize it and their struggles have led to constant frustration from the fanbase. Which three Reds players don't deserve another season in Cincinnati?
1. Aristides Aquino, Reds outfielder
Let's start with the most obvious candidate. Outfielder Aristides Aquino burst onto the scene in 2019, but has done little to nothing since. The Punisher made fans quickly forget about the Wild Horse, Yasiel Puig, once the mercurial outfielder was dealt to the Cleveland Indians at the trade deadline during the 2019 season.
Aquino took over in right field for the final two months of the 2019 season and gave the fans throughout Reds Country a show to remember. In August, Aquino walloped 14 round trippers, racked up 33 RBIs, and posted a wRC+ of 183. The rookie took home Player of the Month honors for August that season.
But then it all came tumbling down. Since the start of September 2019, Aquino has 370 plate appearances and 17 home runs while posting a wRC+ of just 71 and a strikeout-rate of 34.3%. What a fall from grace.
There have been some issues over which Aquino had no control. Cincinnati, somehow, was able to ink Nick Castellanos to a contract prior to the 2020 season which effectively turned Aquino into a bench bat. An injury to his hamate bone last season slowed any chance of Aquino gathering meaningful playing time during the 2021 season.
The Punisher's time in Cincinnati seems to have run its course. Aquino will be locked in a battle for playing time once again in 2022. Despite the likely departure of Castellanos, Jesse Winker, Tyler Naquin, and Nick Senzel will all be given the nod over Aquino. While the addition of the DH works in Aquino's favor, that spot is likely reserved for Mike Moustakas. It's time for the Reds and Aquino to part ways.