4 players Reds' fans are losing patience with

Which players need to be removed from the roster already?
Cincinnati Reds infielder Santiago Espinal
Cincinnati Reds infielder Santiago Espinal / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Reds' sluggish start to the season has fans questioning ownership, the front office, and coaching staff. But more times than not, the blame lies with the players on the field. This Reds team is no exception.

Of late, it's been the Reds' bats that have failed the team. Reds President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall had seen enough this past week and the team made several transactions with the idea of injecting some life into the sputtering offense.

But those changes haven't yielded many results yet. With the season threatening to spiral out of the control, there are some players on the 40-man roster who might need to be updating their résumé. Which four Reds players are testing fans' patience?

The Reds are probably rethinking the trade for Santiago Espinal

It's painfully obvious to almost every Reds fan that Santiago Espinal is not the answer. The Reds swung a preseason trade with the Toronto Blue Jays shortly after learning that Matt McLain would miss most of the 2024 season. But to date, Espinal has done little to nothing that requires him to remain on the active roster.

There is a lack of depth on the Reds' infield. But Noelvi Marte will be returning to the Reds' lineup sometime next month. In the meantime, it wouldn't be the worst idea to move Spencer Steer back to the infield when necessary. While he's spent most of the season in left field, Steer is well versed playing on the infield dirt.

With Mike Ford now on the team, the Reds have enough bats to cover almost every position across the infield. Jonathan India's defense at second base is questionable, but the former Rookie of the Year actually has better defensive numbers than Espinal this season.

If Cincinnati desires to keep Espinal in the organization, the 29-year-old does have minor-league options remaining and could be sent down to Triple-A Louisville. The Reds have Livan Soto on the 40-man roster and could choose to call up the former Baltimore Orioles infielder if Cincinnati sees the need for increased depth.

It's time for the Reds to DFA Stuart Fairchild

Stuart Fairchild's base running gaffe during Thursday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks should have been the last straw for the former second-round pick. When your offense is scuffling the way the Reds have been lately, you can't afford to make boneheaded moves like that.

Fairchild has always been a fringe player, and he's certainly had his moments during his Reds tenure. But with players like Blake Dunn, Peyton Burdick, and even Conner Capel on the 40-man roster, it's time to let someone else take up the mantle of being the Reds' fifth outfielder.

Fairchild is out of minor-league options, so in order to send him back to Triple-A, the Reds would have to expose him to outright waivers. If Fairchild goes unclaimed, the Wake Forest product could accept an assignment with the Louisville Bats in hopes of returning to big leagues later this season.

Reds OF Will Benson needs a tuneup down in the minor leagues

No, the Reds do not need to designate Will Benson for assignment. Let's get that out of the way from the jump. But, perhaps it's time for some tough love, and trip down to Triple-A Louisville couldn't hurt. Benson still has minor-league options remaining.

Benson came in to 2024 hoping to be an everyday player. Those hopes have gone out the window following his start to the season. Benson has a 41.4% strikeout rate. His start to this season is eerily similar to how the outfielder began 2023.

Benson has not proven to be able to hit left-handed pitching at this stage of his career. Until he does that, the former Cleveland Guardians farmhand will always be a platoon bat. With TJ Friedl back in the lineup, the Reds can afford to send Benson down to the minors for a couple weeks in order to get things right.

Justin Wilson is keeping Sam Moll off the Reds roster

Of the four players listed, Justin Wilson probably has the most secure roster spot. It's difficult to cut ties with a veteran, left-handed reliever. While Wilson's numbers haven't been awful, they're nothing to write home about either. He's also the biggest reason that Sam Moll is sitting down at Triple-A Louisville and not part of the big league roster.

There are currently two players in the Reds bullpen with minor-league options remaining — Alexis Diaz and Fernando Cruz. Neither of those players will be sent down to Louisville in order to recall Moll or select the contract of Tony Santillan. But if Wilson is DFA'd, it would open the door for Moll's return or Santillan's 2024 debut.

Wilson to start producing better results when he's on the mound. The chase rate and expected batting average are both great, but those numbers don't matter when you own an ERA above 8.00.

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