Cincinnati Reds release Paul Maholm, send five to minors Doug Gray March 30, 2015 21 Comments The Cincinnati Reds have released left handed reliever Paul Maholm. He had allowed three runs over 12.1 spring innings (2.19 ERA) with just two walks and he had five strikeouts. The team also sent five others to minor league camp. Right handed pitcher Pedro Villarreal was optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Right handed pitcher Nate Adcock, Ivan De Jesus, Irving Falu and Kyle Skipwroth were all re-assigned to minor league camp. Here are the numbers for each of the guys: Player IP ERA BB K Pedro Villarreal 8.0 12.38 4 4 Nate Adcock 8.0 5.63 1 4 Player AB AVG OBP SLG Ivan De Jesus 32 .406 .486 .625 Irving Falu 36 .306 .366 .333 Kyle Skipworth 22 .273 .360 .455 Despite my article that went live 30 minutes before the moves were announced, the biggest surprise was seeing Ivan De Jesus sent to minor league camp despite leading the team in OPS. It would seem that all but locks up the Cincinnati Reds bench as Brennan Boesch, Chris Dominguez, Kristopher Negron, Skip Schumaker and Brayan Pena unless the team picks up a player in a trade or that was shed by another team as spring training ends. Neither of the pitchers being sent down comes as a surprise. Both had some struggles and hadn’t been used too often. 21 Responses Alan Horn March 30, 2015 Maholm could have helped. On the other hand the Reds have a host of starting pitchers on the cusp of reaching the majors sometime during the season. I am talking Iglesias , Lorenzen, Stephenson, Moscot and some at the AA level as well. No need to be tied to a contract for Maholm. The Duke March 30, 2015 I’d assume Suarez starts at SS for the Bats, so does that put DeJesus at 2B or 3B? MK March 30, 2015 I thought the Dominguez choice was easy. To balance the bench there needed to be a right power threat. Dominguez is only one who was left who could provide that. Doug Gray March 30, 2015 If it were a home run contest, sure. But it’s not. Dominguez is the kind of hitter who gets eaten alive by big league pitching. Swings at everything but has poor contact skills. The odds of him providing any useful power are very slim. The odds of him providing anything beyond power are even more slim. MK March 30, 2015 As I saw ST roster I knew Shumaker and Pena were a lock due to past performances or contracts. It was Boesch’s job to lose for the 4/5 outfield spot. One spot was between Negron, DeJesus and Falu with Negron having pre-ST edge due to last year. The other between Dominguez, Satin and Soto. Do not believe DeJesus and Dominguez were ever competing against each other. Jon in Colorado March 30, 2015 I think they were comparing De Jesus and Dominguez based on the fact that they had De Jesus playing 1st base some toward the end of spring training. I agree with others that they chose the power bat over the better OBP guy. I also agree that they will regret it, and will be making changes within a couple of months. swayback8 March 30, 2015 I don’t disagree that, that is how the Reds brass saw it. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have changed their minds as ST went on. A power bat off the bench is only good if they are good at making contact. I’d rather have a guy more capable of hitting a double than a guy who hits 1 home run for every 7 times he stikes out. I feel like they made a poor choice and Dominguez will not spend half the year with the club, and further more they are going to waste a roster spot to test it out. Hope I’m wrong. MK March 30, 2015 Hamilton batting 7th today. Jon in Colorado March 30, 2015 I really hope Phillips doesn’t lead off during the season. Why would you have your lead off hitter be a guy with no speed and low OBP? sagevic March 31, 2015 Phillips can’t run anymore, but if you tell him the only thing he needs to do is get on base he can still do that. If you tell him to drive in runs he’ll do that to the detriment of everything else, even though he’s not a power hitter. Phillips isn’t a complete hitter, but he can still focus his game on one thing at a time. If he just focuses on getting on base he can. It would take all the power out of his game, but he could do it. That said, the Reds fell in love with Billy’s speed and ignored his issues with getting on base. In retrospect, it would probably have been better just letting him hit from the right side and forgone switch hitting. He doesn’t really need the extra step closer to first base as much as he needs to make good contact. Lead off is a position that the Reds have ignored so long (other than one season of Shin Soo Choo) it has to be more of a problem with organizational philosophy than bad luck at this point. By placing the emphasis on speedsters who can’t get on base over players who can get on base but cannot steal the void in the lead off spot grows and grows. Doug Gray March 31, 2015 I’m not sure that’s true. When Phillips is leading off an inning, he struggles to get on base. Over the last three years, with no one on base, his on-base percentage is way below .300. Cbus March 30, 2015 I actually prefer this lineup with BP leading off and Hamilton batting 7th. I think you’ll get better production out of both guys. I wonder if this is Price’s way of avoiding the “situation” that will be caused by batting Brandon 7th. Right or wrong I think Price knows he risks losing BP by asking him to bat 7th, so he can get better production out of him somewhere else in the lineup where he feels more involved in the offense. Donny March 30, 2015 There are a lot of things i prefer, but until a couple of contracts come of the team. I am not going to get it. So to make do with what we have. Those two guys and Hamilton would bat 6th,7th,and 8th respectfully. Doug Gray March 30, 2015 I agree that I’d rather have Phillips 1st and Hamilton 7th if those are the only two spots you are allowed to hit the two guys. Hamilton’s speed (and everyone else with elite speed) get more out of it by hitting lower in the lineup. Dale March 30, 2015 While,we are,all wishing Votto should be,leading off. The,only problem that presents is that whoever,bats,second is going to lead the,league in grounding into,double plays Doug Gray March 30, 2015 I don’t want Votto batting leadoff. Too much power for the spot, even if he is just a 35-20 guy now. The Reds don’t really have anyone that is an ideal leadoff hitter right now. I still hold out hope that Hamilton can get his on-base percentage up a little bit and fill the role well. sagevic April 2, 2015 I don’t want Votto leading off right now either. The best bat in Spring Training for lead off seems to be Negron. That’s a small sample size, but he seems to have the best approach. That said, the Reds have neglected this spot with the idea that Billy Hamilton’s speed made him a natural there, regardless of his ability to get on base. As for Phillips, Doug, I agree he hasn’t been a good on base guy for a long time, but I doubt he makes getting on base a priority even when he leads off an inning. It would have to be a mantra given to him at the expense of all else , like it was in 2011. That’s ancient history now, but his ability to slap singles the other way hasn’t diminsihed and if he stopped swinging for the fences I think he could OBP in the .340-350 range. I don’t think he wants to, and I don’t think he should be leading off. I just think he still has that skill set if he dedicated himself to it again. Dale March 30, 2015 This last grouping of moves is so e of the best decision makin g the Reds have made in quite a long time. TheRickDeLux March 30, 2015 If the Reds have to use DeJesus or Dominquez more than once a week, they are screwed anyway. Doug Gray March 31, 2015 As a starting player, you are probably right. But as a pinch hitter? Dale March 31, 2015 I wasnt even thinking so much on Dominguez because as,you say a pinch hitter is just that… Someone you can use in a pinch probably a better hitter than,Cozart,or,our pitchers. I was happy to hear about the pitching decisions,particularly, Maholm being released. Sounds like plenty of people out there are still scratching their heads over Marquis making our starting rotation. Glad to see we didnt bite on Maholm.