Despite being drafted in the 2008 draft by the Phillies he never appeared in a minor league game before being released at the end of spring training in 2009. Ellis pitched independent league baseball for three seasons in several leagues. It didn’t seem he pitched in the 2012 season. The Reds signed him in January and assigned him to Pensacola to pitch for the Blue Wahoos in April.
April got off to a late and rough start for the right hander as he didn’t make his debut until the 17th against Jacksonville where he allowed 3 runs in an inning of work. Ellis would only make two more appearances in April with each being a perfect inning of work, leaving him with 3 earned runs in 3 innings of work.
May began with a shutout inning against Montgomery on the 2nd and faced them again on the 4th, allowing a run in 2 innings. He ran off two scoreless games before allowing an earned run on the 16th to Chattanooga. It was the last game he would allow an earned run on the month. On the 29th the right hander threw 4.1 shutout innings with a walk and 4 strikeouts in his first start of the season in the 2nd game of a double header against Jacksonville. For the month he posted a 2.84 ERA in 12.2 innings with 7 walks and 9 strikeouts. The walk rate was a little bit high, but the results were strong for the month.
June began with three shutout innings against Montgomery. The next time out was rough as he battled control problems and allowed 4 earned in 2.1 innings pitched. Ellis would rebound well over the next three games, allowing just 2 runs in 17.1 innings with 8 strikeouts and 2 walks. Against Mississippi on the 26th the right hander struggled with his control once again as he allowed 4 runs in 1.2 innings. He finished out the month with 2 perfect innings against Jacksonville to finish out the month with a 3.42 ERA in 26.1 innings and a 1.18 WHIP. He had 7 walks and 13 strikeouts on the month, improving upon his walk rate from May but his strikeout rate dropped.
Shaun Ellis began the month of July with his best game of the year as he fired 7 innings without an earned run while walking one and striking out five. His next two games went about as rough as they could though, allowing 7 earned over 6 innings with 6 walks and just 2 strikeouts. He rebounded well against Mobile, firing 4.1 shutout innings with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts to finish the month with a 3.63 ERA in 17.1 innings with 9 walks and 10 strikeouts. The walk rate jumped back up.
August began very poorly with 4 runs in just 0.2 innings pitched with a walk. Ellis followed that up with an inning of work in each of his next two games with one earned run combined before being sent to Bakersfield. On the 16th he threw 2 shutout innings and followed that up with 4 innings with no earned runs. On the 26th the right hander allowed 2 earned in 6.1 innings with 3 strikeouts. He finished the season out with 5 innings of 3 earned run baseball with 4 strikeouts. Ellis finished the month between the two stops with a 4.50 ERA in 20 innings with 6 walks and 12 strikeouts.
Shaun Ellis was solid throughout the 2013 season. Inconsistent at times, going back and forth between good and rough stretches though there were more good ones than bad. Professional coaching seemed to work well for Ellis, who posted better numbers in the Reds system than he posted while pitching in independent baseball. He pitched much better against right handed hitters than lefties, who had 16 walks against just 15 strikeouts while facing him. His role as a righty-on-righty reliever could be an asset to the system moving forward.
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