The Cincinnati Reds have recalled infielder/outfielder Josh VanMeter from Triple-A Louisville. At least for now, he’s taking the spot on the Reds roster of left-handed reliever Zach Duke who was added to the injured list with a calf strain.

For Josh VanMeter, he was optioned back to Triple-A over the weekend and didn’t play in a game with the Louisville Bats, who were in Buffalo. After destroying the International League to the tune of .336/.431/.736 with 13 home runs in 30 games for the Bats, the Reds called up VanMeter in the first week of May. He got into eight games with the Reds before being sent back down. He went 2-14 with a steal, RBI, and a walk.

For Zach Duke, May has gone better than April – at least on the surface. His ERA in March/April was 11.25 in 8.0 innings with 6 walks and 4 strikeouts. IN May his ERA is 1.17 in 7.2 innings. That’s vastly different. But he’s walked 5 batters with 5 strikeouts. The difference in runs matters, but he hasn’t really looked much different. He was likely just a tad unlucky in April, and he’s probably been very lucky in May thus far.

What’s interesting, is that at least at this point, is that the Reds will be going with a 7-man bullpen for now. This is the first time all year that they’ve done that. Several times they’ve gone with a 9-man bullpen, but for the most part it’s been an 8-man bullpen and a shorter 4-man bench.

41 Responses

  1. Bill

    I noticed Puig is not in the lineup tonight, so he must not be ready to start. Yesterday and Thursday are “off” days. Perhaps the Reds are comfortable with the 7 man bullpen for 2 days. I expect we’ll get another bullpen pitcher on Friday.

  2. RandyW

    Is the goal to cool off the hottest hitter in the organization in Van Meter by sitting him on the bench for a few weeks?

    • Seat101

      I believe the goal is to do what’s best for the major league team right now.

      I am now thinking your question was a joke, right?

      • Greenfield Red

        I sorta think RandyW is on to something. I try to maintain a positive attitude about the Reds despite the losing. However one thing that leaves me continually scratching my head is why they promote hot hitting players and then sit them on the bench. It happens continually.

      • Big Ed

        I here what Randy is saying. They brought up VanMeter, but didn’t really play him, and then sent him back to Louisville, where he hasn’t played in a game since being back at AAA.

        Look at Randy’s point as a cross between sarcasm and exasperation.

  3. John

    When will the Reds get rid of Votto? He is finished. I am tired of watching him.

    • Doug Gray

      This is a heck of a take, John. He’s arguably the best hitter the organization has ever had, and on May 21st of a season after he was an above-average hitter you want him gone? Man…. you got to take a deep breath on this one.

      • William Kubas

        Well said, Doug. Negative comments on the Canadian, Votto, show a lack of understanding of the Cincinnati Reds since 2010 (longer in Votto’s case).

        News about former Stanford Cardinal, Alex zblandino would be appreciated.

        GO CANADA GO

      • Oldtimer

        In my lifetime, Votto in Top 3 with Rose and F Robby. All-time, I’d go with Edd Roush as best Reds hitter.

      • MK

        I guess had , past tense of have, is the key word in your comment Doug.

    • kevinz

      I Kinda feel the same way John. I do appreciate what Votto has done though. I hope he turns it around. Reds are stuck with Votto through good or bad. The Contract says so. 5 more after this one . The best can hope for, is the Younger cheaper talent can Carry Votto these next few Years.

      • Jack Willoughby

        Tonight’s the night. Joey gets his first RBI of the season vs LHP, maybe by getting his first HR vs LHP. Don’t let +33% K rate fool you or Joey only having 4 walks vs LHP. Small sample size, Don’t mean nothin’. Joey’s fine.

  4. Doc

    If everyone else were hitting gangbusters and only Votto were poor, it might be easier for me to accept that it is Votto. But that is not the case. We either have an entire team of individuals who have all gone south at the same time, and stayed there, or something even weirder is going on. Maybe the curse of the Frank Robinson ghost for trading him!

    • James K

      Yes, that is the only reasonable explanation.

    • kevinz

      It could be the Platoon Ward effect. Look how Bellinger is doing without him. Now doing the same with Winker and Dietrich. The LAD hitters started slow last year. Then went crazy Later on. That the hope i have that June on, the Hitters will step it up.

      • victor vollhardt

        To krvinz–You put into words a thought that a lot of people have. Everyone is willing to say that new pitching coach Johnson (plus the added veteran pitchers) is the reason for the huge turn around in the Reds’ pitching. And I believe that is the case along with a different take on how the holdover pitchers are applying their own “best pitch” If you think that is why the pitching is better –then the new hitting coach’s ideas may be hurting the Reds’ hitters. There is certain a total different approach this year–a lot of first pitch swings–not many deep counts–just try to elevate the ball. The new manager is (in my opinion) part of the problem as well—no set line up-no hit and run-bunting at a minimum (especially against the shift)–the few fleet footed players that we have are either in the middle or tail end of lineups or on the bench. When Joe Morgan was in town –he said on the air Votto is a third place hitter and while Puig has for the most part played well—batting behind Votto has not helped plus Puig is undisciplined at the plate and pitchers know it. With his approach at the plate-he needs to be in a less critical place in the line up. I can’t believe the whole lineup just forgot how to hit all at once. Slumps are part of the game, but not everybody for such a prolonged period of time. The Reds need to look inward and maybe -just maybe they will see the answer (s),

      • kevinz

        I agree the Manager involved as well. No rhythm for the starters. Then once Dietrich was hott was used just as a PH. Got cold after that.
        I agree Votto needs to be in the 3 hole. Put the players in spots where had success. Peraza was best at leadoff plus the 2 hole. Suarez crushed it hitting after Votto or Scooter. Winker crushed it hitting after Suarez. Put Suarez in 4 spot, Winker in 5 spot. Senzel should bat 2nd or 6th spot.

      • Oldtimer

        Dietrich has OPS of 1.011 today. If that is cold, I don’t need a jacket.

      • kevinz

        OT he was 2 for 14 before this past game. That happened once became a PH again. Should had more than 14 AB in a 7 Game span.
        Few Starts for farmer and Peraza over him.

    • MK

      Yeah that trade really killed Frank. Just a Triple Crown ,MVP, a couple World Series and huge payday for the times. I am sure he wants to haunt them over that.

  5. Klugo

    Wonder of Roark’s opinion on quick hooks got the managerial brass thinking.

  6. Simon Cowell

    Peraza is 23 and most argue he is useless based on his current hitting struggles.
    Votto is 35 and most argue that he is the greatest EVER and that he will come around.
    Both are wrong attitudes. Votto probably has more in the tank and Peraza is having a true sophmore slump after having what 188 hits last year for 3rd in the league? And yet, we consider him useless because he is struggling.
    By definition of being able to hit a ball safely Peraza was a better hitter than Votto in 2018. Is he as good a batter? No, not even close.

  7. A

    It’s like the Reds are taking a drop and drive approach to hitting – the Dodgers did a similar approach last year. I think, wait, I know Turner is playing for the bomb.

    As for Votto, we saw it start last year. It’s a mix of horrible luck and loss of power

    This is all my opinion, please don’t roast me.

  8. MikeD

    I have a choice to watch the local or opposing feed and I am getting closer to watching the opposing. Thom is a know it all bag of hot air. I am pretty sure Chris Welch struggles to agree with his constant tangents.

  9. kevinz

    Nice W reds Even without Yelich. 7th shutout for the reds. 1st time happen at home VS brewers at miller Park since last May.
    I can def complain about the hitting.
    This team becoming a Pitching and Defense type of team.
    This the best Reds team since 2012.
    Pitching and Defense will keep them in most Games.
    If the Hitting catches up then the Reds will catch up in the standings.

  10. kevinz

    Once Senzel figures out them RHP. He could be in the 280’s before we know it.

  11. Alex

    Kevin if you took your lineup and subtract peraza from the leadoff spot! That’s the exact lineup that is being used alot of the time. Peraza batting last sounds right to me. He is the worst hitter on the team beside barnhardt. Giving the worst hitter on the team the most abats normally isn’t a good thing. I’m very happy with the top 3 in senzel lead off votto 2 and Suarez 3. Suarez is the best hitter on the team now. After that it’s hard to say. Senzel seems legit for lead off though, he has 5 SB so there is some speed there and he has a decent obp that I think will get higher has the year goes on

    • kevinz

      This team needs other ways to score other than the Long Ball. Like too have 3 out 4 lefties to knock the runs in later in Lineup.
      Face RHP much more.
      If Peraza fails to reach base, you still have Senzel with speed.
      Much rather have Suarez Winker Dietrich chance drive them in.
      Better than Puig Peraza etc. They Pitch around Winker to get to Puig and on down.
      Rather my best hitters have the most AB’s with RISP.
      Not my best Hitters just with the most total AB’s.
      LAD had Puig hit 7 or 8th last year mostly for a reason.
      LAD lineup so tough because a Lefty hitter comes up with RISP.

      Top 6


      • Alex

        Move peraza down to the bottom and I would be happy with that!

      • kevinz

        Peraza in the leadoff spot last year did good. He Walked 11 times, SO 19 times. Got on almost at a 34% clip.
        I figured he would leadoff this year and do even better,

  12. Mike in Ottawa

    My complaint with Votto is he seems lost at the plate. So many check swings like the pitcher threw him a pitch he has never seen. I’d think at this point I’d rather see him just take a healthy swing. Whether he hits it or not. But for him to look like he is getting fooled on his half swings….if this team is going to be all in, on the metrics wouldn’t they suggest moving Votto down in the lineup. I know you can only have so many 7 and 8 hitters that are hitting below .210.

    As for Peraza, I think he will come around. He was arguably our best hitter last year (not named Suarez). He has earned a little bit of a leash.

    • Bryant

      Something is definitely bothering Votto. He looks scared and possibly depressed. He’s a very interesting and complex guy. Aging or something else, I don’t know but I hope he’s talking to someone. He’s totally different right now. He’s been so wonderful to watch over the years. I just hate to see it.

      • kevinz

        Votto reminds me right now of how Dan Marino looked at the end.
        All Kinds of anger when things go wrong.
        I hate to see it. I always will remember The Good Votto.

  13. John


    I have been a lifelong Reds fan since I was 5 years old way back in 1972 and I live in NJ. I say this because all he seems to care about is his OPS and not Homers and RBI’s. Ever since he started to choke up during every pitch of every at bat, and not just when he has 2 strikes on him to put the ball in play, he has lost all of his power. Last year was a horrible year for him in the slugging % dept. and homers. I feel he is in his decline and it’s a steep one. He is 35 and not getting any better. His best years are behind him. He is striking out way more than he ever has and he is choked up on the bat. We need him to drive the ball for power. We are not going to win consistently with him hitting .208