The Cincinnati Reds reported Sunday night that Jay Bruce is going to require surgery for his knee and will miss 3-4 weeks. That stinks on its own, but the team is in about as poor of a situation as possible right now to fill the spot left on the 25-man roster. The Reds have four players on the 40-man roster that are outfielders who are also in the minor leagues.

Ryan LaMarre is in Triple-A and is currently on the disabled list with a knee injury. Yorman Rodriguez is in Double-A and on the disabled list with an oblique injury. Donald Lutz is in Double-A and has played one game, that he left early, in the last ten days as he has battled a hamstring injury. Juan Duran is in Double-A and healthy, but has three walks and 30 strikeouts to go along with a .213 average. So if the Reds are picking from players on the 40-man roster that are outfielders, the pickings are slim and may be down to just Juan Duran if Lutz isn’t healthy enough. If that is the case, I still can’t see them calling up Duran at this point. If Lutz is healthy, he would be the choice, but given that he has played part of one game in ten days, who knows exactly how healthy he is.

The Reds did just get Skip Schumaker back, so perhaps they will just use him and Heisey as the starter/4th outfielder depending on who is starting on a given day. That would probably mean the team would call up an extra infielder then. The issue there is that there is no infielder on the 40-man roster who isn’t already on the 25-man roster.

Basically, this all seems to rest on the hamstring of Donald Lutz. Otherwise, the Reds will have to add a player to the 40-man to call them up. Whether that is an outfielder or an infielder is still up in the air. In Louisville Ruben Gotay is off to a quick start offensively and as played second and third this season. Maybe Rey Navarro can fill in around the infield and come up from Double-A.  No matter the move, unless it is Lutz, it will be interesting to see how the Reds make it happen.

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29 Responses

    • Doug Gray

      I honestly don’t know. I have no clue if you can do that after you DFA a player.

      • Foxred

        I think every other team would have a crack at him first. Then he could be recalled prior to him refusing a minor league assignment.

      • Doug Gray

        That is my thinking as well, but I really don’t know if it is true.

  1. Foxred

    This wouldn’t be that big a deal if we knew Hamilton could play and hit. Still could be Lutz for a couple days if he is used just to DH while we play Boston. That would get us to Friday anyway.

  2. Norwood Nate

    Chris Nelson? If I recall, the Reds had him play a couple of innings in the OF this Spring. He probably should have made the club out of Spring in the infield. He can help around the INF. Allow Frazier to play some OF.

    • RedsFaninPitt

      I agree with moving Frazier to LF and giving Soto his opportunity at 3rd even if Lutz is healthy enough. Call up Nelson as a backup. Lutz needs to show he can hit AAA pitching before I call him up again (which Soto has already proven). Unless Price was concerned about saving him for extra innings, I was very disappointed that he didn’t bat Soto with 2 runners on during the 8th inning yesterday and instead batted Santiago. I also didn’t like batting Schumaker at the top of the batting order on his 1st game of the season after being on the DL. I would have put Heisey or Phillips there instead temporarily until he Schumaker gets his feet wet. Any idea when Bruce injured his knee? He has been awful at the plate for most of this past week.

      • MK

        Guess my first choice would be Ludwick-LF, Shumaker-CF, Heisey-RF. This would also answer whether Heisey can handle being a starter.

      • Doug Gray

        I hadn’t thought about that, but I like the idea there too, at least a time or two a week. I don’t think Ludwick should be benched, but he could use a rest every few days and sliding Frazier to left and Soto in at third works well for me.

  3. Anthony

    I’d have to say its Lutz. He was up last year and was ok. Certainly better than Bernadina. Lutz has also been performing well in the minors or so I’ve read. Haven’t looked at stats.

  4. MK

    According to Wikipedia the DFAed player can be returned to the 40-man within the 10 day designation period. So it will probably be Bernadina.

  5. Daryl

    I would really like to see Soto given so more playing time. Id like to see Frazier moved to the OF and have Soto man 3rd for a while and see how that goes. I still don’t think we know what we have in Soto.

    • MK

      I would also like to see Soto get some at bats but why weaken two or three positions to satisfy this. Frazier is obviously the better third baseman, and Frazier can not play defense with Shumaker or Heisey and it is questionable if Soto can outhit either. Not sure I would move Ludwick to right to put Frazier in left.

      • terry m

        I’m with the Soto at third and Frazier to left camp…

  6. MK

    It might be important to remember that Brayan Pena left the game early with a hamstring injury as well. There are no more back up catchers on the 40 man.

  7. Shchi

    With the injuries pervading the entire organization, the point is mute right now, but there is not a single OF on the Bats roster with an OPS>.700. Three of the Bats’ OF are playing their age 29 season or older with Wilson, age 31 season, putting up a putrid .565 OPS as a corner OF. The AAA roster should be the final development stop for prospects and the holding ground for major-league injury replacements, yet not a single OF on the AAA roster is a high level prospect or capable of filling a major league injury replacement role. When ALL of the OF prospects and ALL of the major-league OF injury replacements are playing below the AAA level while the AAA OF are ALL playing below AAA replacement level, something is absurdly wrong with the structuring of the minor league rosters.

    The Reds are very fortunate that Schumaker was available for activation before Bruce went on the DL, but I seriously wonder if the Reds weren’t just holding Bruce back from the DL (total lack of recent power production) until they could rush Schumaker’s activation from the DL, in order to avoid an even bigger roster problem.

  8. Daryl

    I wonder if now may be a time to find out if Felix Perez is ever a major leaguer?

  9. Shchi

    Per ctrent via twitter…
    Donald Lutz’s hamstring had been an issue, but now that’s OK — and he has the flu.

    If this is true (and no reason to believe otherwise), the Reds just got in a lot better shape for roster moves.

  10. Alan Horn

    The Reds are in need of an offensive boost. I don’t think any of the ones mentioned are capable of producing that. The ones already on the Reds are going to have to step up and produce to their potential and allow us to ugly through all the injuries. The good piece of news is the starting pitching is producing through all these injuries and lack of hitting. It is a chance for Hesiey to show one way or another what his bat really is. Lately, Cozart’s bat has started to show some life. Let’s hope that continues.

    • Bill

      I really like Heisey, and I believe he’s the one that should/will get the bulk of the playing time while Bruce is out, but he’s had several opportunities over several years now to prove if he can start and he’s never come through. In fact he’s said himself that he’s more comfortable in the part-time role.

  11. Jim Delaney

    I know this won’t happen, but I would call up the hottest hitter the REDS have in there farm system, an OF who can play RF and that is Kyle Waldrop. I know it’s bumping him from High A to Majors but his bat is smoking hot and he can play RF.

    • Doug Gray

      Rather go with Lutz. Apparently his hamstring is feeling fine. Already on the 40-man, more advanced and also absolutely raking.

      • Shchi

        Also. Lutz would replace Bruce as a LH slugger in the lineup, possibly platooning with Heisey, leaving Shumaker to fill in for Ludwick and Hamilton since his LH bat would augment either of those positions.

      • Shchi

        Also, Lutz would replace Bruce as a LH slugger in the lineup, possibly platooning with Heisey against a LHP, leaving Shumaker to fill in for Ludwick and Hamilton since his LH bat would augment either of those positions.

  12. Josh

    Well if the Reds would have sent down Soto instead of Bernadina when Shumaker came off the DL, then we’d have Heisey, Hamilton, Ludwick, Schumaker and Bernadina to get thru the Bruce injury.

    • MK

      Of course with Heisey in the line-up Santiago would have been the only right handed pinch hitter since there wouldn’t have been another catcher alternative to back up Pena and Barnhart making them unavailable for pinch hitting.

      • Alan Horn

        John Fay mentioned the Reds might look into a trade, but the timing isn’t right for that. No one is going to throw in the towel and make a trade this early in the season.

  13. Shchi

    Per C. Trent, Beradina will be recalled from AAA and added back on the 25-man roster once Bruce is placed on the DL.