Jhon De Jesus shines on Monday night for Billings Doug Gray September 5, 2017 21 Comments The Billings Mustangs entered the final week of the season on the road against Great Falls. It is just a two game series, but it’s a very important one. The Mustangs entered Monday night in 3rd place, trailing both Great Falls and Missoula by 2.0 games. Missoula won the first half, so in reality the Mustangs are in need of catching up with the Voyagers. In a situation where the two teams tie, but finish behind Missoula, their head-to-head record on the season comes into play. Great Falls led the season series 7-6 before the series began. Jhon De Jesus took the mound for Billings and he stepped up in a big way. The 20-year-old right hander put together the best start of his 2017 season. He would throw 6.0 shutout innings against Great Falls, allowing just four hits and a walk during the game. He also had eight strikeouts, needing just 79 pitches to get through his outing. Jhon De Jesus had seven ground outs with just two fly outs in the game. He entered the night with a ground ball rate of 50% on the season and improved that on the night. It was a nice rebound for the righty, who had allowed five earned runs in four of his last five starts after a nice start to his season. He now has 58 strikeouts and 30 walks in 60.2 innings for the Mustangs in 2017. Michael Beltre destroys Lansing pitching With Dayton heading to the playoffs, which start on Wednesday, Michael Beltre may have picked the perfect time to go on the best run of his life at the plate. Over the final three games of the season in Lansing, Beltre went 9-for-11 and he walked three times. 14 trips to the plate and 12 times on base. Just how good of a stretch was that? Well, usually late in the season it’s tough to make a real dent on your overall slash line because you are dealing with such a large sample size that three games won’t do much. Entering September, Beltre had an OPS of just .614. In those three games he raised his season OPS to .647. 21 Responses Greenfield Red September 5, 2017 I can see DeJesus pitching in Dayton next year. With about 10 guys fighting for 5 starting pitching slots in Cincinnati, as many as 4 or 5 starters ready to come North from the DSL, and with about 5 more rehabbing after missing 2017, the Reds have a ton of starting pitching in the stateside system. I think there are more than 50 guys competing for spots in 7 levels. Not only is there a ton of quantity, I think the quality is pretty good too. The Duke September 5, 2017 If they are healthy, which is a possibility, Homer and Disco are locks for the rotation. Finnegan is probably a near lock too, but if he will be healthy is more of a question mark. One more setback and he probably gets the Iglesias move to the pen. Castillo and his 3.32 ERA is by far the high water mark of the rotation this year, so he’s virtually a lock for a rotation spot as well. That leaves Stephenson, Romano, Mahle, Garrett, Reed, Davis, Stephens, Wojciechowski, and Adleman fighting for 1 or 2 spots if the Reds don’t get decimated by injuries yet again. My prediction for the opening day rotation 2018 is: Homer Disco Castillo Stephenson Romano Finnegan I think either gets moved to the bullpen over the offseason or he isn’t ready for spring training, or has another set back. Just not a lot of confidence he is going to hold up as a starter. Mahle I think is in AAA long enough to get another year in the service time game, and is up by June for either an injury or replacing poor performance from some one. Garrett needs to get right over the offseason and regain that velo that disappeared this year. He’s always been 91-93 who would ramp it up to 95-96 occasionally, but he was almost all low 90’s this year. He’s got one more year to make it as a starter until he becomes a bullpen lefty if he runs out of options before figuring it out. Reed will be in AAA since he was very inconsistent this year and other options are starting to get healthy. His slider hasn’t been the same with the new mechanics that hide the ball better, and he needs to get that back as a plus pitch along with better fastball command. Davis I could see being moved to the bullpen. I could see him doing well as either a long reliever or a power one inning reliever. He can dial it up to 96-97 if used in one inning bursts, and maybe even a little higher. I just don’t see his secondary stuff as strong enough to fool MLB hitters multiple times an outing. Stephens, Wojo, and Adleman are possible non-tender candidates, albeit I doubt all 3 are taken off the 40 man roster. I’d say Wojo is in the biggest danger and Adleman probably the safest to return. I could see Adleman as the long man out of the pen to open 2018. The last wildcard is if we bring in a vet again like Feldman (or possibly resign Feldman on 1 year deal). Given the depth of pitching we need to sort through, I kind of doubt this unless we get to February and have a lot of guys still on the shelf rehabbing. Some say we need to make a trade for a mid rotation to frontline starter, but I just don’t see that actually happening. Greenfield Red September 5, 2017 I agree with what you say Duke. Your assessment fills the Cincinnati staff and that of Louisville pretty much too. But, as far as Louisville is concerned, you’ve got Farrell, Mella, Stephens, Moscot (rehab may keep in AZL most of the year), Bautista, and maybe McGuire and Ross vying for spots. I know injuries can upset the whole thing, but that’s 17 guys, many of them of pretty good quality, for 10 spots. I see Gutierrez, Lopez, Reyes, Boyles, and Strahan in AA. RedsKoolAidDrinker September 5, 2017 No way do I see them non-tendering Stephens as young as he is and as successful as he was in that debut. Cguy September 5, 2017 Great comment. I’d like to see the Reds make a deal for Travis Wood. Veteran lefty could help the Reds next year. He had a bad 1st half in KC, but doing better in San Diego. He’s owed $ 6.5M for 2018 plus $8M for 2019 (with a $1.5 M buyout.) Padres probably want out from under the deal & may not want much in return. I doubt Feldman will be ready by next April, so i don’t see him in the Reds future plans. The Duke September 5, 2017 As for the Dayton staff next year, I think it April it will be: Matt Blandino Tyler Mondile Jhon De Jesus Mac Sceroler Luis Alecis Then around late May/Early June Hunter Greene is brought up so he can pitch on a regular schedule for the remainder of the season once the weather has warmed up some. While I’m at it, i’ll guess this for Daytona: Tony Santillan Scott Moss Andrew Jordan Ty Boyles Wennington Romero Largely moving the Dayton rotation up a level, then this for Pensacola: Vlad Gutierrez Nick Travieso (One last shot as a starter) Jose Lopez Jesus Reyes Seth Varner (possibly bring Deck McGuire back) Then at Louisville it’ll be: Tyler Mahle (until late May/early June, at which point I could see one of Lopez or Reyes moving up) Amir Garrett Cody Reed Rookie Davis Jackson Stephens Greenfield Red September 5, 2017 Mine’s not too much different than yours. How about Hunter Greene at Dayton? I know they want to push him a little, but they may want to limit his innings by keeping him in short season (Billings). Greenfield Red September 5, 2017 My bad. I didn’t see you brought him to Dayton in June. wes September 5, 2017 Nice lists Duke Matthew O'Neal September 5, 2017 Where would Mella fit in? Bullpen in LOU? Or starting somewhere? DaveCT September 5, 2017 It’s worth a wager Lopez will start in AAA, in my opinion, with one of the lower ceiling guys moving to the pen. At Daytona, I still haven’t given up on Armstrong but he’ll have to prove he’s healthy. I’m guessing Crawford’s candidacy for a rotation spot will thoroughly depend on what he shows in the spring. He entered Nick Howard territory this year. Steve September 5, 2017 I think Packy, Olson or Webb over DeJesus and Alexis in Dayton. Greenfield Red September 5, 2017 I have Greene, Olson, Romero, Webb, Alicis, and DeJesus in Dayton (with Greene coming after the season starts), and Packy in AZL (again, the late start helps limit innings.). Just my opinion. Cguy September 5, 2017 Hanson, Heatherly, Wotell ? I know 2 are injured, but none make Dayton rotation? wes September 5, 2017 I think hansen and wotell will be on the Greene schedule. Very slow start and get them innings as season progresses Doug Gray September 5, 2017 I doubt that any of them make the team out of the gate. Greenfield Red September 5, 2017 I have Hanson and Wotell in AZL and Heatherly in Billings. In the case of Hanson and Wotell would benefit from both the late start (June) and the short season to limit innings. Heatherly simply benefits by short season innings. Probably be in Dayton in 2019. While I’ve been critical of some of the rebuild effort, and will remain so, I don’t think the Reds have ever had so much quality pitching up and down the system. The Duke September 5, 2017 I expect all 3 of them to be in Billings if all are healthy. MK September 5, 2017 My guess would be Romero who is still a teenager will return to Dayton next year. He has really struggled since late May. I also believe the organization is a little more optimistic on Travieso than you seem to be. I must say I am a little more pessimistic on Disco than you are. After a year he still can not throw downhill without elbow pain. That typically means surgery which they should have done in Spring Training. He might have the service time to be a free agent before he pitches in a game again. HavaKlu September 6, 2017 I’m with you MK—-at this point Disco has to be a long shot for next year. Also think Lopez who is 24 moves up to start at Louisville next year—no reason for him to go back to Pensacola. David September 5, 2017 Strahan in, Varner out.