When the Cincinnati Reds parted ways with Kyle Farmer during the offseason, they replaced him with Kevin Newman. Farmer was due another increase in salary through arbitration, and the Reds wanted to give Jose Barrero one last shot at shortstop.
The club traded Farmer to the Minnesota Twins and Newman was to be an insurance plan in the event Barrero failed. It seemed like a sound idea. Newman has been a big leaguer for several seasons, and Barrero was supposed to get the majority of starts at shortstop.
In hindsight, the addition of Newman does not look very good. Matt McLain is now in a Reds uniform and Barrero has seen time in center field. So why is Newman still on the roster?
Why is Kevin Newman still on the Reds roster?
Kevin Newman is not a part of the Cincinnati Reds long-term future. Though under team control through next season, it would appear that Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, and Noelvi Marte are the core of players likely to occupy a spot in the middle of the Reds infield. Not Newman.
Newman is hitting just .237 and has an OPS+ of just 59. Newman's on-base percentage is sitting at less than .300 and the right-handed hitting shortstop has only four extra-base hits in over 30 games this season.
With the Reds still not out of contention, the focus needs to shift from struggling veterans and begin to make moves that can help them win today.
Elly De La Cruz is crushing baseball on a regular basis in Triple-A and could be called up to the major leagues any day now. When the Reds finally make this decision, it will cause a ripple effect felt throughout the entire Reds farm system.
Noelvi Marte must stay in Double-A until De La Cruz makes it to the big leagues in order to get regulat at-bats while still playing shortstop. Fellow shortstops Edwin Arroyo, Victor Acosta, and Leonardo Balcazar will all likely remain where they are in the minors until De La Cruz gets the call.
Releasing, or at the very least, optioning Kevin Newman to Triple-A would enable to Cincinnati Reds to recall Elly De La Cruz and keep bringing the team's young talent to the major leagues.