Notes: DeShields reunited with dad; callups

September 1st, 2021

CINCINNATI -- One day after the Reds acquired him in a Minor League trade with the Red Sox for cash, outfielder was among those called up to the big leagues on Wednesday as rosters expanded.

For the first time in the Major Leagues, the younger DeShields gets to be in the same dugout, clubhouse and field as his father, first-base coach Delino DeShields. Besides that, it’s an opportunity to get back to the big leagues and a pennant race.

“I think the timing of it just worked out perfectly, especially with September callups happening,” the younger DeShields said. “I think the stars kind of aligned perfectly. There were some opportunities for me to go other places earlier in the season and those didn’t end up working out. It kind of seems like everything just happened for a reason. I get to be here with my pops and get to help a team hopefully get into the postseason again. Everything happens for a reason. It’s definitely a special time.”

This is the 29-year-old DeShields’ first time back in the big leagues in 2021. From 2015-20 with the Rangers and Cleveland, he’s a lifetime .246/.326/.340 hitter with 18 home runs and 109 steals in 576 games.

DeShields will be a right-handed bat off the bench who can play center field. He immediately becomes one of the club’s best base-stealing threats. The team leader this season is Jonathan India with nine.

Father and son appeared together Wednesday morning in a pregame media session on Zoom. The younger DeShields has been on opposing clubs against his father and Cincinnati -- with Texas in 2019 and Cleveland in ’20.

“It’s good to see him, honestly," the elder DeShields said. "I’ve missed him. At the end of the day, it’s still my son. But we don’t want this to be a distraction either. He’s here to do a job. Obviously, we’re in a pennant race right now and we’re trying to get something done. That’s where we are.”

Over 84 games this season at the Triple-A level for the Rangers and Red Sox affiliates, DeShields batted .252 with six home runs and 21 RBIs.

“It’s a dream come true for me, and for the both of us and our family,” the younger DeShields said. “This is something that we’ve talked about for a long time. He’s coached me when I was younger. He’s coached against me. Now he gets to coach me in the big leagues. This is going to be a really cool experience. But I think it’s something we’ll look back during the offseason and kind of reflect on. Right now, I want to do my job and help produce, help this team win games and get into the playoffs.”

Lopez, Alaniz also join the club

Besides DeShields, the Reds also recalled infielder from Triple-A Louisville. New rules this season trimmed the number of permitted September call-ups. Instead of expanding rosters to up to 40 players, the new number is 28.

“It’s a little bit different this time of year than typically in the past where you can only go to 28, so the good thing is we have the ability, we’re not locked into those guys, but as of today, we really believe both of those guys are going to get playing time to have both of them,” Reds manager David Bell said.

For Game 2 of Wednesday’s doubleheader, reliever will be the 29th man.

Playing pepper

Ahead of Monday’s game, Bell and third baseman Eugenio Suárez went out to right field and did something not often seen at ballparks anymore. The two men played a few rounds of pepper. Suárez has been struggling all season at the plate and the exercise can help hitters, but that’s not what the game was all about.

“The only reason for it was just to have fun playing pepper,” Bell said. “It's a simple game. It's actually a lot of fun. It's an easy way to work when you only have two people and play the game, so that was all yesterday was about for Geno and I. We played for a while and it was a good workout, and I do think you can get a lot out of pepper. From a skill standpoint, there was a reason why teams used to play a lot of pepper. It just kind of simplifies the game -- seeing the ball, hitting the ball, catching the ball, throwing it. It's as simple as you can possibly make baseball.”

Childhood cancer awareness

On Wednesday, all MLB on-field personnel wore gold ribbon decals and wristbands during games. It was for Childhood Cancer Awareness Day, held in collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C).

Nonprofit partners for clubs include local hospital partners or organizations focused on childhood cancer, such as American Cancer Society, SU2C and the Starlight Children’s Foundation.