While so many Reds fans were clamoring for the team to add another starting pitcher at last week's trade deadline, Jake Fraley's injury may necessitate the need for another position player to be added to the Cincinnati roster.
Fraley landed on the 10-day IL on Saturday after it was revealed that the Cincinnati Reds outfielder suffered a stress fracture in his toe. This is likely to sideline Fraley for a few weeks, perhaps even longer.
Outfield depth is something the Reds have struggled with this season, though both Will Benson and TJ Friedl have emerged as everyday players. But should Cincinnati roll with the duo of T.J. Hopkins and Stuart Fairchild until Fraley returns or set their sights on a veteran outfielder?
With Jake Fraley on the IL, the Reds could take a flier on outfielder Ramon Laureano.
Outfielder Ramon Laureano was designated for assignment by the Oakland A's last week. While his hitting has taken a nosedive in recent years, Laureano possesses an elite glove and has had success against left-handed pitching.
On the season, Laureano is hitting just .213/.281/.364 and has six home runs and 21 RBI. However, against southpaws, the 29-year-old is slashing .290/.329/.464. Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell has relied heavily upon the duo of Nick Senzel and Kevin Newman against lefties this season.
Newman's performance of late, however, has been dreadful. The former Pittsburgh Pirates infielder has an OPS of .870 against lefties this season, but since returning from the IL, Newman is just 3-for-14. Dating back to June 1st, Newman is hitting .231/.275/.385 with most of those opportunities coming against left-handed pitchers.
Ramon Laureano would certainly be a defensive upgrade in the Cincinnati Reds' outfield. According to Fielding Bible, Laureano has 9 defensive runs saved (DRS) while playing right field this season. That's three-times TJ Friedl's total of 3 DRS and ranks among the Top 6 outfielders in the major leagues.
Laureano is under team control through the 2025 season and has minor league options remaining. In the batters' box Laureano wouldn't offer much of an upgrade over what the Reds are running out a the moment. But his glove and success versus lefties make Laureano an intriguing pickup over the final couple months of the 2023 season.