3. Reds SS Jose Barrero needs to have a better month in May.
This may be a bit unfair, because Jose Barrero has been hitting the ball better of late. But with Matt McLain setting Triple-A on fire with his red-hot start, Barrero needs to impress early and often during the month of May.
It's unlikely that many Reds fans expected Barrero to perform even as well as he has to this point. Were it not for the high-level of baseball that McLain was playing right now, one could make the argument to be more patient with Barrero.
But the fact of the matter is that Cincinnati is going to have to find a way to get McLain up to the big leagues, perhaps as soon as this week. The former first-round pick has been receiving more reps at shortstop recently, and it feels like only a matter of time before McLain is called up.
The only person who can hope to slow that momentum down is Jose Barrero. And it's nothing that he'd be doing to McLain, but rather performing at an extremely high level. Laying off breaking balls and striking out less than 30-percent of the time aren't going to cut it.
The Cincinnati Reds will need to see the version of Barrero that he showed before his call-up in 2021. That year, Barrero slashed .303/.380/.539 in the minor leagues while racking up 19 home runs and a wRC+ of 147 in 85 games according to FanGraphs.