After an exhausted Alexis Diaz left the mound on Tuesday night, it was apparent that the Reds bullpen needed reinforcements. The club recalled relief pitcher Alan Busenitz, selected the contract of fellow reliever Silvino Bracho, and placed Casey Legumina to the IL.
Fairchild had just begun to turn a corner for the Reds, slashing .273/351/.485 over the last 28 days. However, his move to Louisville will allow Fairchild to see continued playing time rather than being a spot starter.
Stuart Fairchild is latest victim of Reds roster crunch.
The decision to option Stuart Fairchild, who'd been on the Cincinnati Reds active roster since Opening Day, came down to a few different factors.
The Reds needed to add more depth in their bullpen, especially with the current state of their starting rotation. Until Hunter Greene, and eventually Nick Lodolo, make their way back to the rotation, Cincinnati will be leaning heavily on the bullpen over the next few weeks.
The Reds bullpen has already been taxed recently, with Alexis Diaz appearing in seven games during the team's most recent-game stretch. This level of usage isn't sustainable and optioning Fairchild allows the Reds to add an extra relief arm to take some of the load off the rest of the bullpen, at least until another starter is needed.
The Reds also have so much versatility up and down the lineup that Stuart Fairchild didn't have much of a role anymore. Fairchild was a solid defensive replacement with good speed and a good glove, but lacked a consistent enough bat to be little more than a bottom-of-the-order hitter against southpaws.
Against right-handed pitching, TJ Friedl, Jake Fraley, Will Benson, and Spencer Steer are all better options in the outfield. Against lefties, the Reds will likely go with Friedl, Steer, and Nick Senzel across the outfield.
Optioning Stuart Fairchild now gives him the opportunity to continue playing every day and refine himself as a hitter. Fairchild has a spot on the Cincinnati Reds roster in the future, and if needed, would likely be recalled before fellow outfielders T.J. Hopkins, Michael Siani, or Henry Ramos.