The Cincinnati Reds have sent left handed pitcher Cody Reed back to Triple-A Louisville and recalled right handed reliever Austin Brice.

Cody Reed will join the Bats rotation according to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer. It’s been a rough go of things for the left hander out of the bullpen where he’s struggled mightily with his control. Last night he walked four more batters and now has as more walks as innings pitched, 15-to-14. Two of those walks are intentional.

Reed has not been able to find success in the Majors. After dominating in Double-A and pitching very well in Triple-A in 2016 he was called up to Cincinnati where he’s struggled ever since. In 61.2 innings he’s posted a 7.15 ERA with 75 hits allowed, 15 home runs, 34 walks and 58 strikeouts.

For Cody Reed, pitching every five days, on a regular schedule, could be something he needs to get back on track. He’s been a starting pitcher for the long majority of his minor league career and until this season has never really had these kinds of problems with control.

It sounds like this may also be an option for Robert Stephenson if he can’t turn things around, too.

“(Reed) can’t be here a whole year and average 10 innings a month. That wouldn’t be enough,” Price said. “The obvious move would be to keep them (Reed and Stephenson) working at times in Louisville unless they’re getting regular time, active time here, on our roster.”

Stephenson, like Reed, simply isn’t pitching enough, or particularly well. He’s got an ERA of 9.69 in 13.0 innings with 19 hits allowed, 12 walks and 19 strikeouts. He’s never pitched out of the bullpen in his life, and he’s gone long stretches already this season where he’s pitched once over 10+ day spans.

Austin Brice recalled

Austin Brice is joining the Reds after starting the year on the disabled list, then heading to the minor leagues after he was healthy. He’s only allowed runs in one of his nine minor league games this season. On April 21st he gave up four runs to Durham.

Overall, in 13.0 innings he’s posted a 2.77 ERA with five walks and nine strikeouts in the minors this season. That, however, does include rehab time in Double-A. His last outing for the Louisville Bats came on May 1st and he threw 3.1 shutout innings with three strikeouts and looked good while doing so. He’s just another arm in the ever moving line to join the Reds bullpen to help give them innings that the rotation is having problems filling out early this season.

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31 Responses

  1. The Duke

    Good, now recall Astin for Bob Steve as soon as the 10 days are up and put Stephenson back in the AAA rotation until he can spot his fastball or is out of options.

    • Greenfield Red

      I agree Duke. Now that both have spent a largely unsuccessful month in the majors, let’s hope the Reds leave them both in the AAA rotation for the rest of the year unless they completely break out before then (a la Schebler last year).

      The lack of regular work in April will be an effective innings limit for both this year.

  2. citizen54

    It was a bad idea to have Reed and Stephenson in the bullpen in the first place. At least this way they can work on some of their issues, mainly walks.

    • david mcpherson

      Its a smart move for Reed. They should permanently move Stephenson to the bullpen. His control has been around a 4.6 BB rate since 2014 with nominal variance for either level or season. At some point you have to recognize that his is what he is and that does not work as a starter. If they move Robert to AAA – I would keep him in the bullpen.

      • Doug Gray

        Is this like when Jake Arrieta had control problems?

      • citizen54

        Ya at some point you do but not at 24 years of age. The problem is we aren’t going to know if he can work out his control problems if he is only allowed to throw an inning here and an inning there. A lot of young guys with good stuff have problems with control early on in their careers. That’s why I as saying it was a bad idea for both him and Reed to be in the bullpen. If they weren’t going to be starting for the Reds then they should have started the year in Louisville.

      • davidmac84

        Jake’s MLB BB rates were 4/ 3.4 /4.2. troublesome but no where near the neighborhood of Stephenson. The most troublesome part of Roberts performance is there is almost no variance which indicates this is his true performance level.
        I’ve tried to find a comp for Robert with his now going on 4 years of plus 4.5 BB rate becoming a successful MLB starter and I have come up with a zero. You do find comps with players with this problem becoming a successful RP- the most extreme example is Andrew Miller whose control was significantly worse than Roberts. And only realized his potential when he made the permanent switch to the bullpen.

      • Hoosierbadger

        Smart move for both of these guys. They get a good taste of the big leagues and understand better now what they need to work on.

        They’re not the first to struggle initially in making the huge jump from AAA to MLB. We don’t know what the future holds for them. They’re young and have time still to put it together. Both are extremely talented; that hasn’t changed. The Reds can afford to be patient. The fans should be too, IMO, at least those of us with enough interest and enlightenment to read these pages.

  3. sultanofswaff

    I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of bouncing guys back and forth to the minors. Here’s what the stats tell us about the Reds:
    –they can hit, and hit for power.
    —they play good defense.
    —the bullpen is very good.
    —the bench can hold their own.

    That in and of itself is enough to hover around the .500 mark and puts us in the conversation for a wild card spot.

    This team has turned the corner from the dark days of the last couple seasons. There’s a narrative that you can’t compete and develop guys at the same time. I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive and don’t have a problem continuing this all hands on deck approach until our stable of pitchers on the DL come back.

      • Simon Cowell

        I have been thinking that as well. Maybe the Reds can convince him to sign a team friendly 3 year contract and a player/team option for a 4th. After that age we can then pawn him off on Atlanta or St. Louis

      • victor vollhardt

        Both posts of “sultanofswaff” are (in my opinion) right on! Cozart makes all the pitchers better with his defense. Along with his clubhouse presence makes him very valuable to the team going foreward.

      • HavaKlu

        That’s what I’ve been saying for the last year. Why can’t Cozart who won’t be 32 until August be part of the rebuilding process? Read the MLB
        Rumors recent piece on him.

      • CP

        I can appreciate the idea of keeping Cozart, but realistically I don’t see him continuing to play at this level. When you consider his age, his skills will only diminish with time. Especially his defensive range, and most of his career defense is primarily where his value has come from.

        I think we should take this jump in production as a thank you gift from Cozart, and trade him at the peak of his value. Rebuilds mean having to make hard decisions, and this is just one more of them unfortunately.

        We will need the money that would be going to lock up an older Cozart while his skills diminish, to lock up younger players who are still improving (ie. Suarez).

    • terry m

      Not sure about bringing a guy up for one start. Did bringing up Romano for 1 start cause him to try and throw too hard ? It looked like that on TV. Did that cause or contribute to his injury ?? On TV it didn’t look like he couldn’t catch his breath. He seemed way too hyped up..

    • Cbus

      The starting rotation looked like the weak link at the start of the year and additional injuries to Desclafani and Finnegan have just made things much worse. When your best starters’ ERA is 4.5 it’s a minor miracle the Reds are near .500. Shows how good the offense has been so far. Duvall is proving last year wasn’t a fluke and Schebler is a nice surprise.

    • wes

      I am a big fan of bringing guys up and letting them get a taste of the show. I sure they all know its short lived the way the team is now. Even Reed and Stephenson.

      Cozart though, just think about it, if he had any trade value- he would have been traded this past off season. there was universal consent they would have traded him just to dump his salary. So how is he the answer long term at short stop? Why do we want a guy who no one else wants playing the most important defensive position on the field? Lets upgrade!

      • Reaganspad

        Because he is playing at an all star level, well above his market value

        I am all for upgrading the roster anytime you can, but extending Zach is upgrading the roster as you do not have him. Next year

  4. CP

    Was there ever any word on if Romano got hurt a while back or not?

  5. terry m

    BA has the top 200 draft prospects out..

  6. Arnold Ziffle

    Agree that this is the best move for Reed. He has to get back to a regular routine. So does Stephenson. Both need to work on location and that third pitch for an out pitch.
    Why is Blake Wood still on the roster? Having Ariel Hernandez back up would be preferable than watching Wood’s half-hearted efforts.
    I could understand bringing Astin back and shipping Stephenson down. But there’s also no reason not to bring up someone different to give a shot to like Mitchell, Rhout or Rainey.
    Time to get a good look at Brice. Bring back Hernandez for Stephenson and a new face for Wood. I’d like to see Mitchell first. That might stabilize the shuttling for awhile.

    • The Rage

      I would give Stephenson a 1-2 starts in the rotation before moving him back down. Reed got one, Robert deserves one as well. He showed me more changing speeds.

  7. Simon Cowell

    Seems like some of our pitchers need an additional month or two prior to spring training to just hang out in Arizona and focus on their control. I think there was a time when control had more value than velocity but in todays market the big deal is how hard they can throw. I think that with all the arm injuries, top prospects not making it in the big show, and the loss of financial investment is slowly turning this around.

    If I am the Reds I would be ever so hesitant to sign a pitchers in the draft. Chicago set the tone and now we all need to get in line and follow their drafting strategies. Of course doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing is always a sure fire way to make top profits or to go bust whenever investing… but hey go big or just go home.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s easy for a team like Chicago to decide they don’t need to draft pitchers. They’ve got the financial resources to bring in high level guys in free agency.

      • Simon Cowell

        Well that brings up the question then if Cincinnati cannot compete with franchises like Chicago then why are they allowed to hold a franchise? Can there ever be a true competitive balance if small markets cannot do the same thing as big markets?
        If Chicago or any other franchise can do things to give themselves a better team of players while others can’t then that is no longer a sport, it simply becomes WWF baseball edition.

      • Doug Gray

        Because there’s way too much money to start taking franchises away. And no, there’s never going to be true competitive balance until there’s true revenue sharing and a salary cap on everything the organizations do. It can’t just be on player payroll, but one all spending.

        Teams in big cities have always had advantages over teams that aren’t in baseball. This isn’t new. It’s more extreme now than it was 30 years ago, but look back in the 40’s and 50’s. The New York teams were dominating because they could sign anyone and everyone on the amateur circuits, and use the smaller market MLB teams as essentially farm teams and just buy players from them.

  8. Brad

    The first half of 2017 season is critical in finding out which players on current 40-man roster are major leaguers.

    My opinion:
    SP: Bailey, Disco, Garrett as locks. Reed, Romano, Finnegan, Adelman, Davis as probably. Bonilla, Stephenson jury is still out. Stephens, travieso, Castillo need opportunity. Not counting Arroyo and Feldman as Long term plan SP.

    RP: Iglesias, Lorenzon, Cingrani, Wood, Peralta locks. Astin, Hernandez, Brice probable. Mella, Ogando jury is still out. Not counting Storen in long term plans.

    With Bailey, Disco and Travieso, 3 40-man spots are needed. Mahle and possibly Jose Lopez need to be added in offseason plus Evan Mitchell as 2017 eligible and Jimmy Herget may force his way even though not required until 2019.

    I am all for shuttling relievers with fresh arms/innings between Cincy and either Louisville or Pensacola the rest of the season. Helps figure out who has major league staying power PLUS manages service time so that none of shuttled pitchers accumulate a full year of service.

    • The Rage

      From my sources, remove Disco. He is toast. I hope the best for Homer. He was sorta screwed up that he didn’t have that fairly modest procedure last December. We would know if he was back 100% by now.

      • Brad Konerman

        Man, that would be a really tough blow for Reds rebuild. Disco was proving to be another great trade pickup. Also, was covered by Rangers and others on trade market this off season.