The Cincinnati Reds have named six of the eight players that they will be sending to the Arizona Fall League. Here’s the list:

  • LHP Joel Bender
  • LHP Brennan Bernardino
  • RHP Jake Ehret
  • C Chad Tromp
  • 3B Taylor Sparks
  • SS Blake Trahan

The team still has one spot open for an infielder on the roster and one spot open for a pitcher on the roster. Both of those spots will be filled at a later time. The Arizona Fall League begins October 10th and will run through the Championship Game on November 18th.

Joel Bender | The left handed pitcher is returning from Tommy John surgery. He missed all of the 2016 season and has been back on the mound with Daytona since July 16th. The reliever from Cincinnati has posted a 2.40 ERA in 15.0 innings with five walks and 17 strikeouts.

Brennan Bernardino | Another lefty reliever, Bernardino has spent the entire season in Pensacola pitching out of the Blue Wahoos bullpen. In 38.1 innings he’s posted a 4.46 ERA. That’s also come along with 18 walks and 40 strikeouts.

Jake Ehret | It’s been an up-and-down season for Jake Ehret. He’s battled consistency between Daytona and Pensacola this year. Between his two stops he’s posted a 7.46 ERA in 41.0 innings with 28 walks and 31 strikeouts. The 24-year-old has been promoted and demoted between the two levels multiple times this year.

Chad Tromp | The 22-year-old catcher began the season with Daytona. While playing for the Tortugas he hit well in 33 games, posting a .311/.351/.412 line at the plate. Since being promoted to Pensacola, though, he’s struggled. In 32 games he’s hit .212/.305/.250, but has more walks than strikeouts (12 walks, 10 strikeouts).

Taylor Sparks | After being hit by a pitch early in the 2017 season with Pensacola, Sparks hit the disabled list for two months. After a rehab stint with the Arizona League Reds he’s returned to Dayton to finish out the season. The 22-year-old has only played in 51 games between the three stops. He’s struggled, hitting .188/.288/.355 with 20 walks and 64 strikeouts.

Blake Trahan | 23-year-old Trahan has spent his entire season in Double-A with Pensacola this year. In 130 games the shortstop has hit .221/.310/.274 with 11 stolen bases. That’s also come along with 50 walks and 79 strikeouts.

There’s not a Top 25 prospect among this group of players. There are different reasons that organizations use the Arizona Fall League for. Some players go there as a “finishing school”, so to speak, to prepare them for the Major Leagues the next season. Getting them those extra at-bats can be beneficial. Some teams use some of the roster spots to further evaluate players that will be eligible for the upcoming Rule 5 draft and whether or not they should be protected and added to the 40-man roster. Some spots are used to get injured players more playing time on the field to make up for that lost time. It would seem that the Reds are using their spots to make up for lost time due to injuries and getting another look at some guys that could be eligible for the Rule 5 draft.

Joel Bender and Taylor Sparks both missed big chunks of the year. They are both also Rule 5 eligible this December if left unprotected. Brennan Bernardino will be Rule 5 eligible this December, and while his ERA isn’t great – he’s a lefty reliever who misses bats and those guys are in demand at times. Chad Tromp has been relatively healthy all year, but he’s also split a lot of time with Chris Okey in Daytona and Joe Hudson in Pensacola. Getting him more playing time and at-bats could be very beneficial for the 22-year-old. Jake Ehret is a year removed from a strong 2016 season – perhaps getting him working with another pitching coach in a different environment will get him back on track (also Rule 5 eligible this year). For Blake Trahan it’s probably a way to get him some extra at-bats and prepare him for the move up to Triple-A next season.

Who the Reds choose to fill out the other two roster spots, we don’t know. I wouldn’t expect them to be big names or I’d venture to guess we would have seen them on the list today. I’d expect them to be guys that are in consideration for possible Rule 5 decisions.

4 Responses

  1. Chris r

    A lot of decisions need to be made.. Tromp and Trajan rule 5 next year so this group all seem to be figuring out who long term are keepers. but really how many 40 spots can be had?

  2. HavaKlu

    Sparks is 24, not 22, and will be 25 by the start of next season. This has to be the last chance to show something as so far all he’s done is K and make errors.

  3. RedsinWashSt

    I know this is a long shot because most of the players are AA or +A but in chance Greene can be added. It would be a way to get him more competitive innings. Probably won’t do it because they want to keep a close eye on him.