The Cincinnati Reds made the right call a couple weeks back when Aristides Aquino was designated for assignment. The outfielder had fallen on hard times and was hitting just .049/.093/.122.
Aquino went unclaimed and was outrighted to Triple-A Louisville where The Punisher smacked a home run in his first game back with the Louisville Bats.
But the hits just keep on coming for Aquino. The 28-year-old may have to eat a piece of humble pie as he tries to regain his stroke, but the early results are quite promising. I'm not going to say The Punisher "is back", but he's certainly trending in the right direction.
Former Reds OF Aristides Aquino is heating up with the Louisville Bats.
According to FanGraphs, in seven games with the Louisville Bats, Aristides Aquino is hitting .292/.414/.750 and has three round trippers and seven runs batted in. Aquino has an OPS of 1.164 and wRC+ of 200. Where was that type of production last month when he was with the Cincinnati Reds?
Aquino is no stranger to hitting at Louisville Slugger Field. Before his promotion to the big leagues in 2019, Aquino was hitting .299/.356/.636 with 28 homers and a wRC+ of 144.
While many fans will disagree, I fully expect the Cincinnati Reds to give Aristides Aquino another shot later this season. With the Reds off to a horrendous start, the likelihood of the front office trading away the likes of outfielders Tyler Naquin and Tommy Pham is quite high.
This would open up several holes in the Cincinnati outfield. The Reds have TJ Friedl, Jake Fraley, and Nick Senzel on the 40-man roster, but will lack that power-hitting corner outfielder if both Naquin and Pham are dealt at the trade deadline.
Ronnie Dawson is another outfielder the Reds could call upon later this season, and I'd prefer to see the Ohio native get more reps than the Aristides Aquino. But if The Punisher keeps showcasing his God-given abilities, there's no way the Cincinnati Reds can leave him in the minors throughout the rest of the season.