Reds inject life into lineup, demote frustrating hitter with flurry of roster moves

TJ's back!
Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl
Cincinnati Reds outfielder TJ Friedl / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

Finally! Reds fans can rejoice after the flurry of roster moves that president of baseball operations Nick Krall and the Cincinnati front office made on Tuesday. Following a pathetic showing over the weekend that resulted in only two runs scored and three straight losses to the Baltimore Orioles, the Cincinnati Reds are attempting to inject some life into the lineup.

As expected, centerfielder TJ Friedl was reinstated from the 10-day injured list. Friedl had been sidelined since spring training with a fractured wrist and had spent last week down at Triple-A Louisville on a rehab assignment.

But that's not all. The Reds also selected the contract of outfielder Conner Capel. A non-roster invitee to spring training, Capel had been hitting the cover off the ball though the first month of the season with the Louisville Bats.

Reds inject life into lineup, demote frustrating hitter with flurry of roster moves

In order to make these additions work, both Nick Martini and Bubba Thompson were optioned to the minor leagues. Capel needed a spot on the 40-man roster, so the Reds transferred Ian Gibaut from the 15-day to the 60-day IL.

This is exactly the type of move that contending teams are supposed to make when their bats are struggling as badly as Cincinnati had for the past couple of weeks. While Martini and Thompson are the fall guys, it's more than just those two players who've been scuffling of late.

Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Will Benson, Jeimer Candelario, and Santiago Espinal have all been subpar almost since the 2024 season began. With Friedl and Capel now on the roster, manager David Bell can better mix and match his lineup based on who the opposing team runs out onto the mound.

The Reds had a great deal of difficulty with left-handed pitching of late, so the addition of Friedl and Capel could help in that department. Martini's clubhouse presence may be missed, but he's hitting just .177 on the season and is 2-for-20 thorugh his last nine games. Thompson was sent all the way back to Double-A. The speedy outfielder brought an intriguing dynamic late in games, but his skillset wsa hardly necessary given the lack of hitting from the Reds of late.

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