Matthew McAdow. Photo provided

By Matthew McAdow,

Herald Contributor

Let’s Forget the Weekend

This weekend was one to forget for Reds fans, as they lost 3 games to the Brewers and as I am typing this article, they will attempt to avoid the sweep on Monday.  The Reds could have ended the weekend in first place, but after being dominated by the Brewers, Cincinnati is now 6 games back from first place in the division.  While it was a weekend to forget, there were still some positive takeaways.  It is important to understand that the season is still young and there is still a lot of baseball yet to be played.  Looking forward, the Reds will take on the Dodgers at home before heading on a road trip to take on the Cardinals, Royals, and Astros. 

Continued Call-Ups

Cincinnati is continuing to move in the correct direction and all of Cincinnati should be more than excited with the recent call-ups of T.J. Hopkins and Andrew Abbott.  T.J. Hopkins adds some much needed depth in the outfield, as Cincinnati is in need with T.J. Friedl currently injured.  In Louisville before being called up, the 6 foot 1 inch star slashed a .341 average along with 7 homeruns.  While I am more than excited for Encarnacion-Strand and De La Cruz, let’s not look past the fact that Hopkins was arguably batting better than both of them in AAA in regards to batting average.  Andrew Abbott was recently called up and is quickly getting thrown into the rotation, as he will make a start against the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale.  Abbott is 24 years old and is left handed with 4 pitches that are deadly for the opposing batters.  He was mowing them down in AA, impressed in AAA, and is on the fast track to make an immediate impact in the Queen City.  With the recent call-ups of McLain, Hopkins, and Abbott, I believe we will soon be watching De La Cruz and Encarnacion-Strand in a Reds uniform as well. 

Steering in the Right Direction

I believe I have used this title before, but it was necessary again, as Spencer Steer was awarded the National League Rookie of the Month.  Every night before you go to bed, you should be thankful for Tyler Mahle, as somehow we were able to trade Mahle for Steer, Encarnacion-Strand, and Hajjar.  This trade will quite possibly haunt the Twins for years to come and it is a reminder of just how important the trade deadline is for teams looking to sell.  In the month of May, Steer held a .316 average, .372 OBP, had 6 homeruns, and 19 RBIs.  While his mustache has left, his abilities at the plate haven’t gone anywhere and he looks to have continued success in the month of June. 

The Return

We are nearing closer to the return of the one and only, Joseph Daniel Votto.  After recovering from left rotator cuff and left bicep surgery, Votto is currently rehabilitating in Louisville and hopes to make a quick return.  Number 19 is needed and the sooner the better for the veteran left hander and future Hall of Famer.  I have my fingers crossed that he feels well and healthy, as we all know what he is capable of if so.  While we may not have much time left with our life-long Red, we need to appreciate how much he is fighting to get back on the field, as he truly wants to be a part of one last possible attempt to make the playoffs.  Most players at his age would’ve “hung it up” after going through the surgery that he did, but that’s just it……..Joey isn’t “most players.” 

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