The Cincinnati Reds didn’t waste much time in promoting 1st round pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball draft Matt McLain. It took a bit of time before he got on the field after the draft – teams didn’t want to just thrust guys into games immediately after signing since most of them hadn’t played in 6-8 weeks since their seasons ended in college/high school.

But last week we saw Matt McLain get into two games out in Arizona with the Arizona Complex League Reds. He went 3-7 in those two games with two doubles and a triple. The shortstop hit .333/.434/.579 this past season at UCLA. His short warm-up in Arizona is now over and the Reds have promoted him to High-A Dayton. He’s in the starting lineup this afternoon for the Dragons in the #2 spot in the lineup and starting at shortstop.

Matt McLain isn’t the only draft pick to join the Dragons today. 9th round pick Jack Rogers was also promoted there today. Rogers, who was selected out of Sam Houston State this season where he hit .367/.474/.696 played in four games out in Arizona once he was activated. He went 4-11 (.364) with a walk, double, and three steals. Like McLain, he’s also in the starting lineup this afternoon for Dayton.

Francisco Urbaez is not in the Dayton lineup. One of the best hitters in the High-A Central is not eligible to play today, and it’s for good reason. He’s been promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. The 23-year-old second baseman was hitting .333/.423/.455 for Dayton with 16 doubles, a triple, 4 home runs, 32 walks, and just 44 strikeouts in 67 games played.

An undrafted free agent in 2020 (there were only five rounds in the 2020 draft), Urbaez didn’t play much in the first two weeks of the season. But since May 29th he’s played almost every day and has hit .350 in the 58 games since that point.

There are more roster moves coming, but with Dayton having an afternoon game their roster moves were made prior to the others throughout the organization because they needed to go through prior to the game starting.

21 Responses

  1. Alan Horn

    Surprised they skipped Daytona. Both are college players so they must have felt like they were ready. I wonder what they will do with Nelson, the catcher out of FSU and Abbott.

    • Doug Gray

      Daytona’s getting some guys today, too, from what I’m hearing.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        Ok, I got it. So Miguel Hernandez was moved up to Chattanooga for playing SS there and be kind of Alfredo Rodríguez is at AAA although i don’t know if Hernandez has good deffensive skills but he is a below-average hitter. Apparently the plan for SS in the organization could be Barrero playing major league, Rodríguez stays at AAA, Hernandez working on at AA and McLain for the being time at A+. De la Cruz is getting developed at A.

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    This McLain promotion is very interesting and even curious because Ivan Johnson (play SS) is a top prospect and he was promoted to Dayton as well. How would be the playing time for both of them ? Now Dayton has the two better low-level Reds SS prospects in McLain and Johnson, I think

    • Doug Gray

      Well on day one it’s McLain at short and Johnson at second. I would guess that’s what we see moving forward.

  3. LDS

    Good news, And more to come. If only the big club would join the party and promote some Louisville guys to the Reds. Barrero’s batting line at Louisville is looking pretty good after 162 PAs. Maybe he’s ready and Farmer looks like he needs a rest. Lodolo and Greene seem to be adjusting to AAA a bit more slowly.

    • Doug Gray

      Hunter Greene’s last month has included five starts, a 1.98 ERA, 7 walks, and 37 strikeouts in 27.1 innings. I’d say he’s adjusted just fine.

      • LDS

        Thanks, I was just looking at his AAA cumulative, not the recent trend.

      • Optimist

        IIRC the Sept. call ups are limited to 2. What are the chances Greene is not one of them? Seems he’s ready both to be useful and to get a month of experience to set up for next year.

      • Doug Gray

        Only two spots and more than a few guys worthy of the call up. It’s probably still too early to know, but let’s just assume that everyone is healthy. That means at least one of Lodolo/Greene/Barrero isn’t getting called up.

        Barrero would make sense to be called up because he’s already on the 40-man, so you don’t need to make a roster move. And he’s raking, and is also the best defensive shortstop you’ve got.

        On the flip side of that – teams are trying to keep arms healthy. The big league guys have been throwing a lot this year. Injuries keep happening (though they are happening to position guys, too). It could make sense to just bring up two pitchers to help lighten the load across the board. Lodolo could certainly become a lefty out of the bullpen in a match up situation – and he’d probably find success against righties, too. Greene could come out and work some relief and help cover some innings to not only lighten to load for everyone but probably be a good upgrade in the bullpen, too.

        It’s certainly a good problem to have that you may need to not call up one of your top three prospects because the other two make more sense even though they are all three performing as well as you could probably hope for while still being realistic with your expectations.

      • optimist

        Thanks Doug. I overlooked the 40-man roster consideration. But yes, when did they last have a problem this good?

      • MBS

        Brach, Doolittle, and even Hembree seem expendable members of the 40 man. If they are serious about winning I’d bring up Barrero, and Lodolo. I’d flip a coin on Greene vs Santillan. Greene has the upside, but Santillan has shown in limited action, that he can be effective out of the pen.

  4. SteveO

    Update-Dayton rain delay top 6, McLain 3-3, 2 run HR, Rogers 0-2. Dayton up 4-0

      • DaveCT

        And an especially great location to showcase our newest no 1.

        Though I’ve never been to Dayton, nearly all speak highly of both facility and environment.

        Being in Hi-A, and reaping the benefits of the better players being pushed up from Daytona as well as the complex teams, especially the college kids, just seems ideal.

  5. MK

    I think there is a good chance he will not be promoted in September. He is not on 40-man and someone would need to be released. He should be at about 115 innings+ by September and they won’t want him to do much more coming off the TJ. If they are still in the race he would be placed in high leverage full effort situations when there won’t be much patience for an adjustment time.So I think there is a good chance he doesn’t come up in September.

  6. MK

    Looks like Daniel Duarte on returning from Olympics and team Mexico has been promoted to Chattanooga. At least he is on their roster.

    • Doug Gray

      Yeah – that one happened a few days ago. Lots and lots of movement today. Kolozsvary is back with Chattanooga today, too.