5 difficult roster decisions the Reds front office must make before the end of June

Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall
Cincinnati Reds General Manager Nick Krall / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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5. Reds select the contract of Christian Encarnacion-Strand and release or trade Luke Maile.

Oh boy! Here we go! Christian Encarnacion-Strand is hitting too well to remain at Triple-A Louisville for much longer. The Cincinnati Reds have already shown a commitment to get their young players up to the big leagues, and by the end of June, Encarnacion-Strand should be no exception.

Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz were mashing down in the Derby City earlier this season, and it's time for the trio to become one again. Encarnacion-Strand should get the call to make his major league debut by the end of the month.

Now, the tricky part isn't calling up Encarnacion-Strand, it's deciding how to reorganize the roster. One way to do that without having to release anyone would be to option Kevin Newman to Triple-A. The former Pittsburgh Pirates infielder still has a minor league option remaining.

The issue with is that it clogs the roster with too many redundant pieces due to the fact that the Reds are still carrying three catchers. Until Cincinnati is ready to part ways with one of their three backstops, Encarnacion-Strand should not make his major league debut.

The Reds signed Curt Casali to a one-year deal with a mutual option, while the Kentucky-born Luke Maile is inked just for the remainder of the 2023 season. One would think that the Reds could actually get something of value in a trade for one of the two catchers.

I'm going to go with Luke Maile here just because of the relationship that Curt Casali has with the pitching staff. No, Casali can't hit his weight this season, but Maile is hitting just .214 in his last 15 games.

Neither one of these catchers is known for their bat, but if the plan is to call up Christian Encarnacion-Strand, the 23-year-old slugger will more than make up for the lack of pop from the No. 9 hole in David Bell's lineup.

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