Two weeks ago I noted that Cincinnati Reds prospect Ian Kahaloa was not in spring training with the organization. Shortly after that we saw some incriminating videos on the internet that showed what appeared to be the pitcher involved in some things that would get him suspended (you can read about it in the comments section of the linked article). That turned out to likely be the case.  Kahaloa was suspended by Minor League Baseball for a second positive test for a drug of abuse. That results in a 50-game suspension.

Last season the Reds right handed pitcher was dominant for the Billings Mustangs as he posted a 2.82 ERA in 44.2 innings pitched. He allowed just 13 walks and had 42 strikeouts as an 18-year-old in the Pioneer League. He was expected to be in the Dayton rotation before all of this came out. Hopefully he’s able to deal with the situation and get things turned around.

Still no Pensacola Blue Wahoos roster

The Louisville Bats, Daytona Tortugas and Dayton Dragons all released their rosters for opening day on Monday. As I type this at 1:30am, the Pensacola roster still has not been released. We generally know the players who will be there based on who is left.  Still, it’s certainly strange that it’s not out yet given that the players have been there for several days now and the team held a workout and media day on Tuesday for the local media members.

Cory Thompson has converted to pitching

Former shortstop and 2013 5th round pick Cory Thompson has been converted to a pitcher. In four seasons he hit .237/.298/.343 with the Reds various farm clubs, getting worst every year at the plate. When he was drafted there were teams that preferred him as a pitcher where he showed a fastball that reached 94 MPH in high school. He also threw a curveball and a change up at the time, but I’m not sure what he’s throwing these days. I’ll see what I can find out in the near term future.

18 Responses

  1. Simon Cowell

    Do you think we have seen the last of Ian in the Reds organization or do you think he will have a chance at redemption?

    I’m torn myself. I’d like to think we are all eligible for forgiveness but at the same time how much rope are you willing to give a young man that is showing he has no self control?

    • The Duke

      If he shows a commitment to getting clean and turning his life around, then I’d imagine the Reds will give him another shot.

      Kahaloa’s about out of chances though, so it’s time for him to determine what’s important to him in life.

    • Doug Gray

      I think that IF he can come back without any issues in the time that he’s missed, that yeah, he will get another chance.

    • donny

      i would flat out release him if i was owner. We don’t need a drug user in the minors influencing are young still growing and maturing players.

      If it was roids then yeah i would give him a second chance.

  2. Steve

    Not the first and definitely not the last. Others have been given a second chance and so should Ian. Professional teams should do their best as the employer to these players, to help them out as much as possible. I do believe in 3 strikes and you’re out. If the player cannot get things right by the 3rd time, then he should be released. This year Gonzalez and Kahaloa need the assistance by the Reds organization to get through this problem and hopefully they’ll be contributors in the second half of the season.

  3. Kap

    I will never understand why any professional athlete would do anything like this in general. They never realize how lucky they are to be there. There are millions of people out there who wish they had a chance at playing in the majors or to play professional. Such a shame

    • Colt Holt

      Ken Griffey Jr. attempted to commit suicide (OD on Aspirin) while in the minors after being the first overall draft pick. These guys are people. Every high school and college have guys with addictions. Baseball players are no different, no matter how great they are.

    • Nate Adams

      Professional athletes are normal people too. As such, we can use inferential stat theories to assume that professional athletes fall within +/- a few points around the US population mean due to the large enough population of professional athletes in this country. We can also assume, since we have the large enough population, that standard deviation of the occurrence of mental health/substance use (yes, they are mostly one in the same) follows US population norms. Given that the identified player is from a US based population, he fits under these assumptions. As a following comment eludes to, many stigmatized issues (drug use and suicidal ideation) follow fairly normal patterns across people in the same culture.

      Sports are a great place to show compassion, understanding, and acceptance of sociopolitical and diversity issues. therefore, IMO, we as fans can show Ian Kahaloa some understanding and compassion. I personally feel terrible for this young man and hope he can return to the mound.

  4. WVRon

    I really hope he can get himself together. And I think we should give him a break. I have no idea what I would have done if someone had handed me $300,000 when I was 18, but it probably wouldn’t have been pretty.

  5. Arnold Ziffle

    Is this not strike 3 for Kahaloa? He was involved in a big fight and brawl just before the draft. Now a 2nd positive drug test ” for a drug of abuse”. Not a performance enhancing drug. Seems to be around a criminal element much more than he should be when he is home in Hawaii.
    Strike 3 = cut bait. With all the pitching the Reds have, do they really need or want this head ache??

  6. CP

    Seems to be a real shame and waste of talent if he can’t get straightened out.

  7. MK

    Well he did not almost kill his girlfriend by hitting her in the head with a rock, so precedent says they will probably try to work with him.
    Not only did he have all the money but he had to live thousands of miles from home at 18, in basically a different culture, without a family support system at hand.
    Also have to wonder what kind of vetting goes on. It is not like football where they do all kinds of testing at the combine.

  8. Mustang John

    Hopefully he can get his life in order.Ians got a lot of talent.I wasnt a big fan of his last year in Billings as were alot of his teammates.Only time will tell with him.

  9. donny

    I don’t like this move and i find it disturbing. This guy has shown his problems all over social media. The serious mature issues he has.

    At this point its not about Ian Kahaloa its about protecting the other young kids in the organization.

  10. Case

    I was really looking forward to watching him in Dayton this year with Santillian. Everyone out there saying cut him and we don’t need that headache or distraction in my opinion are disconnected. He is 19 and at 17 years old was handed 300k signing bonus. I’m 27 now and I know for a fact I would have done stupid stuff with that money. I’d agree with the poster that says he is getting in trouble back home in Hawaii. The Reds organization needs to try to keep him state side until he matures more and understands his platform as a professional baseball player.