3 reasons why the Reds released Chad Pinder
By Drew Koch
In a surprising move, the Cincinnati Reds released Chad Pinder on Friday afternoon. After signing a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, it seemed like all but guaranteed that the Cincinnati faithful would see the former Oakland A's outfielder break camp with the Reds.
But alas, the Reds had other ideas in mind. There are a myriad of reasons that Cincinnati would have chosen to go this direction, not the least of which was Pinder's .321 OPS this spring.
But with the team carrying three catchers and the coaching staff touting Pinder's versatility throughout spring training, the 30-year-old felt like a shoo-in. What happened?
1. Former Reds OF Chad Pinder played poorly this spring.
Honestly, as surprising as this sounds, poor performance may be the biggest reason that the Cincinnati Reds cut ties with Chad Pinder. Normally, teams do not put a ton of stock into Cactus League of Grapefruit League performances, but when you're hitting just .103, it's going to carry some weight.
Sometimes, teams will give leniency to veteran players like Pinder, knowing that his strong clubhouse prensence and proven track record in the major leagues can be valuable. But with this young squad, it seems as though the Reds are prioritizing performance. That's something we haven't seen in the past.
It's not Pider is coming off an All-Star performance either. He played poorly last season for the Oakland A's, hitting just .235/.263/.385. And while Pinder smashed 12 homers in 111 games, he also struck out 118 times. Pinder had just four hits all spring and only two went for extra bases.
Chad Pinder was used all over the diamond, and the thinking was that his defensive versatility would be enough to secure him a spot on the Opening Day roster. Obviously, that was not the case, and the Cincinnati Reds spring roster is now sitting at just 36 players.