Bryan Price announced on Tuesday that right handed pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla was no longer in competition for a spot in the rotation according to Mark Sheldon of

I think Bonilla would be more in the competition for bullpen length right now,” Reds manager Bryan Price said on Tuesday. “It’s just been a matter of performance so far to this point. With Amir Garrett and [Rookie] Davis and Cody Reed and Sal Romano, and Luis Castillo I think has been pretty impressive as well. Robert Stephenson has been a little bit of a mixed bag but has been competitive. I think there’s a group of guys there that would be ahead of Bonilla at this point.

This isn’t much of a surprise if you’ve been following along. While the other guys that seemed to be in the mix have been seeing multiple inning outings of late, going deeper with each appearance, that hasn’t happened with Lisalverto Bonilla. The right hander threw one inning in each of his first three games before throwing two innings in his fourth appearance. The 26-year-old has had some struggles. He has allowed nine hits and three walks in 5.0 innings pitcher with four strikeouts. His ERA currently sits at 7.20 and his WHIP is 2.40. Small sample sizes, and spring training stats both need to be noted here, but his performance hasn’t been good.

Along with the six young guys that Price mentioned, you’ve also got Tim Adleman (pitching right now) and possibly Bronson Arroyo vying for a spot in the rotation. Mix eight other options for three spots, the innings that everyone needs and the struggles for Bonilla and it makes sense to see what he can do in the bullpen. Maybe he can be a long man in the bullpen, or maybe the stuff can play up in one inning stints.

20 Responses

  1. Gaffer

    Ridiculous to say Garrett first, he can’t be on the opening day roster. Of course this would be a service time issue, but the guy has a handful of AAA starts and a 160/180 innings limits.

    • Datdudejs

      Why can’t he? He’s 25. Saving an extra year really isn’t as important as it is with someone who is making his debut at like 22. Especially with a pitcher. If he is one of the best 5 he should have a spot.

      • Doug Gray

        He’s still 24, but will turn 25 in May. But, why wouldn’t you give him three AAA starts in April of 2017 so you can get 32 starts from a 32-year-old version of him later on?

    • BBFAN

      Why is it ridiculous? Garrett has pitch against top notch teams and players and has started every game. First it was Cleveland, then Chicago which like Cleveland had a lot of their MLB squad and the Angels squad was loaded. Not until yesterday with the A’s did he recieve a break, but that’s because it was Desclafani’s start. Garrett was due to pitch against the Dodgers today. He has answered the call. Give him a shot and yes you all know I am fan of his

  2. Jordan Barhorst

    Hoo boy. That Robert Stephenson comment has to get his heart fluttering a little bit. I’m sure he’ll get every opportunity in the rotation, but its seems like another prospect flies by him on up the list every few days. Hoping he can turn it around, but I’ve been saying that for a few years now.

    • The Duke

      I’ve been as big a Stephenson defender as anyone, but it’s put up or shut up time for Bob Steve and his control issues. You keep him starting until he is out of options because the upside is still there, but he is being surpassed by other arms now.

      • Simon Cowell

        yup you nailed it. This is Bob’s season to win or lose. I guess he can always be a closer though and they move Lorenzen to the rotation If they think he has developed.
        What would be interesting in all of this and maybe the Reds organization is showing some light to a new future. What is service time was directly linking to innings pitched instead of games? Seems like pitchers the experience factor is in innings thrown. Imagine if teams could start their young arms on slowly integrating into a starter? Their first 2 or 3 years they are used for relief and then they progress them into starters? Owners could use the excuse as a health necessity and use Lorenzen and Iglesias as case examples. Not saying it would work but curious if the notion has ever been brought up before. I think the concept is worth looking into further.

      • Doug Gray

        Relievers would never become free agents. Never going to fly.

  3. Norwood Nate

    Adelman may be playing himself out of a spot as well right now. I just checked the gameday box score and it seems as if he’s getting pounded. If the Reds were going strictly off the competition in ST, I think Romano (16K, 3BB, 1.03 WHIP), Davis (7K, 1BB, 1.00 WHIP), Reed (8K, 2BB, 1.09 WHIP), and Garrett (9K, 2BB, 1.06 WHIP) have been a step ahead of the others. Service time probably plays a factor for Romano and Garrett, but I’d doubt it would for Davis, and shouldn’t for Reed.

    Those 4 plus Arroyo would be the ones I’d watch out for. Stephenson hasn’t pitched as well, and honestly still needs to fix the BB issue (7K, 4BB, 1.67 WHIP).

    • Doug Gray

      Adleman was cruising through the first 3 innings. The 4th did him in. Gave up a 2-run HR, left with the bases loaded. Evan Mitchell came on and let all three runs score.

      With Stephenson, that first game is skewing the numbers a bit. He’s allowed 3 hits and 2 walks in 5.0 innings with one run in the last two. He’s struck out 7. That’s what Price was saying – he’s looked good at times. That first game was not one of them. The two since? Pretty good.

      • Steve

        Doug, I wouldn’t say that Mitchell let all 3 runs score because there was a throwing error by Votto that allowed a run to score and extended the inning.

      • Doug Gray

        That run was unearned against Mitchell. The other three runs were all earned – at least according to the current box score.

      • Steve

        The throwing error by Votto allowed a run to score and runners advanced to second and third. The next batter doubled and 2 runs scored. Should these 2 runs be earned? True, Mitchell gave up 3 runs in all, but it seems strange that 3 would be earned.

      • The Duke

        For through the lineup once makes for a solid long reliever.

      • Doug Gray

        That was true last season in the Majors as well. His splits 1st/2nd/3rd time through are good, bad, worse. They tend to get worse each time for all pitchers, but his are pretty drastic.

        1st time through: 4.3% walk rate, 24% K rate. 645 OPS against
        2nd time through: 11.3% walk rate, 11.3% K rate. 898 OPS against
        3rd time through: 3.6% walk rate, 10.9% K rate. 835 OPS against

  4. MK

    Have to hope he can respond like Alfredo Simon did when he first joined the team in the bullpen.

  5. Fish

    I never understood moving lorenzen to the bullpen precisely for situations like this. He would inevitably provide more value in the rotation and the reds need a starter.

    • The Duke

      Because they think his arm can’t take the stress from starting. I remember a quote from his first full year where he said his arm tingled the next day after a start.

    • Doug Gray

      We need to remember that Lorenzen has a torn UCL. We don’t know just how much it’s torn, but that, along with mono, is what forced him to miss time last year.