Last night Curtis Partch made his Major League debut. It is something that I am sure he has dreamed about since he was a kid and finally at age 26 he was able to fulfill that dream. Unfortunately his debut was something that Reds fans want to forget and that Curtis Partch will never be able to even if he would like to. The big right hander was brought in to face Matt Holiday with the bases loaded in extra inning. On the 6th pitch of the at bat Matt Holiday hit the baseball 455 feet into the upper deck for a grand slam to put the game away. It was not the way you expect things to go.

Partch had been solid in the minor leagues this season. Between Pensacola and Louisville he had posted a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings with 12 walks, 41 strikeouts and just one home run allowed. The walk rate was much higher in Louisville at 4.2 batters per 9 innings, but he was still missing a lot of bats with 11.2 strikeouts per 9 innings as well. He has lowered the walk rates over the previous two weeks, so he was trending in the right direction when he was called up.

Partch has always been a hard thrower, hitting 95 MPH as a starter from time to time but he really picked it up out of the bullpen when he wound up there last season. He has been sitting in the 93-97 MPH range out of the bullpen for the last year and even hit 99 earlier this year in Louisville. Last night, he filled up his scouting report perfectly as his low speed on his fastball was 93 and his top speed was 97. Last year in the 2013 Prospect Guide I wrote this about his slider:

He mixed in a slider in the 85-89 MPH range as well, though the pitch is inconsistent at times.

While Partch only threw two sliders last night, you could see that neither of them was where you want them located. The first one was up and out of the zone. The second one was dead middle of the strikezone and landed 455 feet later. Last night, the pitch wasn’t there for Partch and unfortunately the Cardinals aren’t the team that you can get away with mistakes against. He also threw one change up in the next at bat at 83 MPH. He throws a rising fastball and at least last night, his change up had plenty of rise on it too. Not as much as the fastball, but still more than you would like to see. With that said, he only threw one on the night so you can’t really put much into that.

What does it all mean? Well, no one really knows. But I do think that Curtis Partch can help this team out of the bullpen, though even before the game last night happened I would have told you that he probably fits a lot better at this time as the first guy out of the bullpen rather than toward the back end. His fastball will play in the Majors at 93-97 with a lot of rise to it. The offspeed stuff leaves a bit to be desired and his control isn’t the best, so picking and choosing his match ups will be needed, especially early on.

18 Responses

  1. chi redsfan

    just about worst possible situation to put a guy making debut..but I dont think anyone was hankering for Parra instead…

  2. Steve Mancuso

    I thought it was regrettable that Dusty Baker chose that moment for Partch’s first appearance ever. Baker couldn’t possibly have thought that was going to go well.

    • Ryan

      No but what other options did he have? Im sure Partch was happy to get into a game regardless. The game was lost and the results of that pitch really didnt alter the game.

  3. chi redsfan

    so Mr. Gray if u r the GM, what moves do u make with bullpen if any? any promotions/demotions in the minors?

    • Doug Gray

      My first thing would be trying to figure out what happened to Broxton. From the little research I have done, he seems to be throwing his cutter much more than he was last year. Obviously the walks are an issue, but they may be related to the over reliance on the cutter. I haven’t looked into it. But if you can fix Broxton, the bullpen fixes itself.

  4. The Duke

    That slider in the middle of the plate was the last pitch me and my buddy saw before we decided to leave the game. Bronson was grinding and only had 84 pitches when they pinch hit for him. Unless his shin was bothering him more than he showed after that liner, they should have left him in for the seventh.

    • Rick D in Chicago

      Bronson has a history of falling off the cliff quickly. Going to LeCure was the right move, wrong results. The guy has been rock solid until the last week or so. Hope nothing is wrong.

      Bullpen is complete crap with Marshall out. I honestly believe old Dusty had given up on the game when he threw Partch out there to face Holiday with the bases loaded.

      • The Duke

        I would have gone with Partch over Manny “8.44” Parra as well, especially against a right handed hitter.

    • Doug Gray

      It was. His leg got stiff and so he left the game.

  5. Foxred

    Bullpen needs help. You can’t be wishing your starter goes one more inning every night. They need to do something (in June).

  6. wanderinredsfan

    This past series just proved who has the better team (and organization), now and in the foreseeable future.
    Cardinals are stacked at nearly every position, their core players are cost-controlled, the farm system is stacked with studs on the cusp (Tavares, Martinez, Wong, etc.), their player development staff seems able to churn out all-stars from low-level draft picks (Carpenter, Freese, Craig, Rosenthal, etc.), and their attendance numbers reflect their excellence.
    Unfortunately, Reds fans, the Cardinals are the pinnacle.

  7. Ryan

    Reds will be fine. The bullpen is better than what they’ve shown lately. Still lots of baseball to be played.

  8. Josh

    Reds should demote Partch and HRod and call up Cingrani and Greg Reynolds, especially since he can opt out, the bullpen could use him, lets see what he can do. Former 1st rd pick deserves a shot. Either way Cingrani needs to be in the pen for the rest of the year when Cueto returns.

    • Doug Gray

      I would take my chances with Partch over Reynolds. Reynolds clearly has the better offspeed stuff, but his fastball is hittable and hittable isn’t what you want to hear about a guys fastball.

  9. Jim t

    Reds to need to figure out what to do if Marshall can’t be depended on. Bull pen is not the same without him.

  10. MK

    Ervin signs. I don’t remember the first pick being the first to sign. LaMarre at #2 signed that quick a couple of years ago but never a #1.

    For slot money too. Tells me the young man wants to play.

    • Doug Gray

      Ervin wasn’t the first pick to sign unless a newspaper lied about Cory Thompson signing. I am sure several others have also signed, but they just aren’t being reported yet.

  11. nycdave

    Was there ever an announcement about the Chad Rogers injury?