The Punisher's march back to the big leagues started with a bang in his first game with the Louisville Bats

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino.
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino. / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Aristides Aquino was designated for assignment, but after passing through waivers, the right fielder was outrighted to Triple-A Louisville. Will Aquino's trip to the minors help The Punisher refine his approach?

If one game is indicative of what we can expect from Aquino, the answer is going to be yes. Aquino was 1-for-3 in yesterday's game with a home run and an RBI. That home run was monster shot over the left field wall in the fourth inning.

Aquino needed to be sent to the minors for the past two seasons, but since he was out of minor league options, the Cincinnati Reds feared losing the power-hitting outfield through waivers. With Aquino's horrendous start to the 2022 season, no one wanted to take a flier on The Punisher.

The Reds outrighted Aristides Aquino to Triple-A Louisville.

Seeing Aristides Aquino back in the Cincinnati Reds organization was both troubling and a relief. Troubling that 29 other organizations passed on the idea of bringing Aquino into the clubhouse, and a relief that should The Punisher regain his stroke, he's still part of the Reds.

Critics will point to Aquino's inability to hit a breaking ball and his ridiculously high strikeout-rate. And they're right to do so. But let's not forget that Aquino is barely 28 years old and didn't even make it to the big leagues until 2019.

After a successful two months in 2019, Aquino was replaced by Nick Castellanos in right field. The coronavirus pandemic cut the 2020 season short and after posting an OPS of .891 in August and September of 2019, Aquino could only muster a .623 OPS in 56 plate appearances as a part-time player in an abbreviated season.

Last season was more of the same for Aquino. Even though he appeared in 84 games, Aquino only made 40 starts. He struggled once again to a batting average of just .190, bu still managed to post an OPS of .707.

Aristides Aquino was given an opportunity, mostly due to injuries suffered by regulars in the Cincinnati Reds lineup, to be an everyday outfielder this season. The Punisher failed miserably and slashed just .049/.093/.122.

Aquino, if he fixes what's plagued him for the past two seasons, will undoubtedly receive another chance with the Cincinnati Reds later this season. Aquino has to prove that he's back to being The Punisher, and that won't come easy. Time will tell if Aristides Aquino will get another shot at the big leagues. Yesterday's home run was a nice s

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