Hunter Renfroe has, at times, been an excellent Major League Baseball player. He mashed over 30 homers in each of the 2019 and 2021 regular seasons, has 177 dingers to his name for his big league career, and has banked over $27 million for his efforts at the game’s highest level so far.
What he’s not been, though, is great lately. And lately, he’s been a member of a Cincinnati Reds club that is scratching and clawing to stay in the race for a National League Wild Card spot in the playoffs, needing contributions from each and every spot on their active roster as they battle injury and inexperience in the race.
Since being claimed by the Reds in mid-August from the Los Angeles Angels, Renfroe went just 5 for 39 with 12 strikeouts, often failing against a spate of left-handed starters that he, in theory, was in the lineup specifically to mash. I used the term ‘went’ here, and that’s past-tense, as the Reds designated the veteran for assignment on Monday afternoon while activating Stuart Fairchild from the IL.
In Fairchild, at least the Reds will add speed and defense, though it’ll be hard for him to hit any worse than Renfroe had over the last two weeks.
The news wraps an interesting day around the Reds, who are back in GABP today to open their final homestand of the 2023 regular season. Earlier on Monday they lost Harrison Bader - their other post-deadline waiver claim - to the 10-day IL with a groin strain, meaning both of their last ditch pickups for the playoff push have fallen off the active roster on the very same day.