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.

31 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.

    • 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.

    • 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),

    • 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.

    • Oldtimer

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

  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. 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

    • Alex

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

  10. 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.

  11. John

    Doug,

    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