The Cincinnati Reds are in it to win it. At least that's the way manager David Bell views it. When asked about the team's direction during the Reds last homestand, Bell felt as though the front office had made enough moves to signify that his ball club was looking to contend this season.
That has to be welcome news for Reds fans who've seen nine different players make their major league debuts in 2023, including top prospect Elly De La Cruz, as well as pitchers Andrew Abbott and Brandon Williamson.
But, we're barely a week into the month of June, and despite a bunch of roster shakeups already, Reds GM Nick Krall still has a few more moves to make before the end of the month, What are five difficult decisions the Reds front office will make before the month is up?
1. Reds activate TJ Friedl from the IL and option Jose Barrero to Triple-A.
This will be the first domino to fall, and it could happen as early as today. TJ Friedl has suffered through two minor injuries this season, but both have required that the 27-year-old endure a trip to the IL.
Friedl is able to come off the injured list as soon as this afternoon before the Reds play Game 2 of a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Friedl is exactly the type of player that manager David Bell wants hitting atop his lineup against right-handed pitchers.
Poor Jose Barrero. Ever since his base-clearing grand slam over the Green Monster against the Boston Red Sox a week ago, it's been like pulling hens teeth in order to see Barrero's name on the lineup card.
If that's not sign, I don't know what is. Barrero's time at shortstop is all but over after the Cincinnati Reds have now added both Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz to the active roster. Barrero's future with the club, if he has one, will be in the outfield.
Jose Barrero has become little more than a bench bat at this point in time, and that's doing nothing for his development. Barrero still has a minor league option remaining and is just 24 years old. The Reds should option Barrero to Triple-A and play him exclusively in center field to get him regular ABs and consistent reps at his new position.