3 Reds players who should not receive a September call-up

While September call-ups are just around the corner, the Reds need to be selective with this year's additions.

Cincinnati Reds shortstop Noelvi Marte at SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
Cincinnati Reds shortstop Noelvi Marte at SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages
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We've entered the dog days of summer and the Cincinnati Reds are trying to stay afloat in the hunt for one of those elusive playoff spots.

The Reds bullpen looks absolutely gassed, and several rookies look to have hit the wall. If Cincinnati hopes to make things interesting down the stretch, they're going to need reinforcements.

Thankfully, rosters expand next month, but those players selected to join this year's squad might look a little different than it has in year's past. Which three players should stay put in the minor leagues for the remainder of the 2023 season?

Reds outfielder Michael Siani should not receive September call-up.

Michael Siani made his major league debut last September, though he wasn't necessarily a "September call-up" in the truest sense. Typically, teams are looking for developmental talent who need to get their feet wet or an extra pitcher to help relieve a taxed bullpen. Siani was neither.

Siani was an emergency addition with a couple of weeks remaining in the 2022 season. Nick Senzel landed on the IL with a fractured toe, and since the Reds needed to add Siani to the 40-man roster over the offseason anyway, the team decided to give him a quick audition in the major leagues.

Siani continues to display good on-base skills with a 15.6-percent walk-rate and .353 on-base percentage while playing in nearly 100 games at Triple-A Louisville this season. But Siani's power numbers have dipped and his strikeouts are up.

But it just doesn't make any sense to add Michael Siani to the Cincinnati Reds lineup once rosters expand next month. Though Siani is currently part of the Reds 40-man roster, his status may well be up in the air once the quartet of pitchers return from the 60-day IL.

Siani has taken a step back this season. While his glove is major league-ready, the same cannot be said for his bat. The former fourth-round pick may be fortunate enough to remain on the 40-man roster until the end of the season, but it's doubtful he sees the major league field in September.

Reds infielder Noelvi Marte should not receive September call-up.

If the Cincinnati Reds were out of contention, I'd be all for this move. But the fact of the matters is that the Reds are in the playoff hunt. Rather than adding developing prospects who could use a taste of the major leagues, this team needs to add contributors to help put them over the top.

That's meant as no disrespect to Noelvi Marte. The former Seattle Mariners farmhand has shown why he was so coveted by the Cincinnati front office at last year's trade deadline. Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Andrew Moore, and Levi Stoudt were all part of the return that netted the M's Luis Castillo.

Marte saw plenty of time at Double-A Chattanooga this season and received a call-up to Triple-A earlier this summer. The 21-year-old has shown a very patient approach at the dish and his power numbers are beginning to trend in a very positive direction as well.

The Cincinnati Reds have brought along several infield prospects already this season. Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Spencer Steer, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand are already jockeying for playing time, plus the Reds still have Jonathan India, Nick Senzel, and Joey Votto on the active roster.

There's no need to overcrowd the roster with another young player who needs reps. Now that minor league season extends into September, Noelvi Marte will receive more playing time in Triple-A than he would in the majors this season. However, look for Marte to be on the Reds Opening Day roster in 2024.

Reds pitcher Connor Phillips should not receive September call-up.

This is sure to ruffle some feathers, but there's honestly no reason the Cincinnati Reds need to call up Connor Phillips for the stretch run. The only reason to do so would be if another starting pitcher has reached an innings limit or is placed on the injured list.

And this isn't an assault on Phillips' skillset. While he's had some issues with walks, this has more to do with the simple fact that the 40-man roster is overcrowded at the moment. It'll get even more so once players like Hunter Greene, Tejay Antone, and others begin to return from the 60-day IL.

The Reds will need to add Phillips to the 40-man roster this winter in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. But the organization should have a much better handle on who's staying and who's going by that point in the offseason.

Phillips is one of the top strike throwers in the minor leagues. Five times this season, the right-hander has hit double-digit strikeouts. But, in nine of his 22 starts between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville, Phillips has issued three or more walks.

Connor Phillips will be in the mix to be part of the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day roster in 2024, but for now, his place in the minor leagues. The 22-year-old should continue to pitch for manager Pat Kelly and the Louisville Bats over the final month of the season.

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