Chris Cotillo of SB Nation is reporting that the Cincinnati Reds have signed free agent right handed pitcher Jeff Manship to a minor league deal for the 2018 season.

Jeff Manship was downright bad in his first six big league seasons. He didn’t see much time in them, but from 2009-2014 he made 72 appearances and threw 139.1 innings for three teams. In that time frame he posted a 6.46 ERA with 168 hits, 18 home runs, 58 walks and just 90 strikeouts. To be blunt, he was very, very bad at the Major League level.

Then he turned 30 and something changed. In 2015 with Cleveland he posted a 0.92 ERA in 39.1 innings, allowing just 20 hits with 10 walks and he struck out 33 batters. The next year he posted an ERA of 3.12 in 43.1 innings with 36 strikeouts. His walk rate did jump quite a bit, though, giving out 22 free passes. Still, it was a big improvement over the earlier part of his career.

Despite his success with Cleveland he took the opportunity to go play in Korea in 2017. After relieviing for the previous few seasons he moved into the rotation for the NC Dinos. The Korean Baseball Organization is a very hitter friendly league. The league ERA was 4.98 during the 2017 season. Jeff Manship threw 112.2 innings over 21 starts with a 3.67 ERA. The righty showed a good walk rate, but his strikeout rate dipped below 7.0 batters per-9-innings-pitched. His last two seasons in the Majors saw his rate at 8.8 and 7.5. Was that a side effect of his moving to starter? Possibly.

It hasn’t been noted how the Reds plan to use him. With that said, it’s tough to see him being seriously considered as a starter given all of the younger options. In the bullpen it’s easier to look at a 33-year-old as a short-term option who may not exactly be blocking someone.

14 Responses

  1. The Duke

    Filling out that AAA bullpen, then given injury possibilities and a chance to prove himself, he may get a shot. The AAA bullpen should be pretty solid with likely only 2 spots open in the MLB pen. As long as the injury monster stays away.

  2. CP

    It’s good to see Dick Williams still being creative/opportunistic to create depth even on the minor league side of things. I’m sure he will get a shot to go to ST, but if the injuries stay away he will be a nice insurance policy and voice of experience to have in Louisville.

  3. Michael B. Green

    I applaud the signing. You could get lightning in a bottle with Manship – in small doses. Otherwise, the Duke is right. AAA depth that will push others.

    Good teams are not 100% full of prospects. There is always a mixture of veterans, journeymen, good clubhouse people and talent.

    I trust the CIN Reds scouts and I’m sure they see something in Manship that warrants an invitation to camp. Looks like Williams is doing the same.

    If Manship displays the groundball rates that led to his quality seasons, Cinci will have found a nice value play.

  4. Matthew O'Neal

    Since Rookie Davis will likely start the year on the DL, who is most likely to take his 40 man spot until recovery? Will it go to a NRI who wins a job? Or will DW be scouring the waiver wire? With Spring Training right around the corner, these are exciting things to be thinking about!

    • The Duke

      That’s the type of question that spring training will answer. I doubt Rookie is the only person on the 40 man to start the regular season on the 60 day DL before all is said and done.

      • MK

        Travieso is no longer on the 40-man roster so he will continue his rehab in minor league camp.

    • Norwood Nate

      DW has said Gosselin is likely the backup SS at this point so we d expect him. Or possibly Crockett if they want a second lefty in the bullpen.

  5. Matt Bruggeman

    Doug, do you think we’ll see fewer guys opt out if they don’t make the MLB team in light of how many quality free agents look to be unsigned?

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t know who all has the opt out clauses in their contracts, so it’s tough to say who could/will.

  6. AirborneJayJay

    Doug, saw all your excitement about the Space X launch yesterday and your desire to go see a launch someday. I highly recommend it. One of the best places to see one is right there at the Kennedy Space Center. I saw 2 shuttle launches there. Will never forget them. And I highly recommend getting the ticket to view from the NASA Causeway. The roar of the engines and ground shaking is incredible. And take your best camera with a tripod. Hand held picture taking is OK, but the tripod is much better to use, even with a camera that has stabilization.

    https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/blog/03/how-to-watch-a-rocket-launch

    Don’t wish it, do it. The drawback on it are the delays, as we saw yesterday, 2 hours. But postponements also happen. Those are brutal. All the way there for nothing.
    I worked a spring training trip in with a shuttle launch. That was a good trip.

    • Doug Gray

      I’ve seen one launch before, two years ago. I was specifically looking forward to the Falcon Heavy because of it’s significance. I’m going to do my best to see the next time they launch a Heavy – though it sounds like it might happen in the summer, when baseball season could be a detriment to that plan. One day I do hope to see one from not-the-side-of-the-road.

  7. MK

    A Price type signing as he seems to value mlb experience, whether good or bad, over potential. Hopefully Manship regains form because he will get the call at some point this season.