The Cincinnati Reds have been making moves left and right over the past few days in the organization. The Reds promoted Nick Krall earlier today from Assistant General Manager to General Manager. About three hours later the team made another move, that while wasn’t as surprising, was still quite surprising. The Reds optioned Brandon Finnegan to Triple-A Louisville and will start Matt Harvey tomorrow in Los Angeles. This was first reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.

That Matt Harvey is taking over the spot in the rotation for Brandon Finnegan isn’t a surprise. It seemed that everyone had a feeling that was coming. What was surprising, at least to me, is that the Reds are sending Finnegan to Triple-A. It seemed the many believed that he would be slid on over into the bullpen. The Reds seem to believe in him as a starter, though. And I’m not against that idea, either.

Maybe the injury last season led to something for Brandon Finnegan that means he’s going to need to move to the bullpen to be effective in the future. And he’s not really looked like “himself” this year. Perhaps because of the first sentence of this paragraph. But maybe there’s other reasons for that, and it’s something that he can work on in Triple-A and come back and be much more like the Brandon Finnegan in the second half of 2016 instead of the guy he’s been here in 2018.

Who slides out of the Louisville rotation will be interesting. Currently the rotation is Justin Nicolino, Jose Lopez, Robert Stephenson, Jackson Stephens, and Cody Reed. Nicolino is the only player among that group that isn’t on the 40-man roster. If you had to make a bet, he’s the guy I’d advise you to bet on being the odd man out. But, it’s possible that another plan could be in place to slide someone to the relief role, too, and keep Nicolino starting.

23 Responses

    • Doug Gray

      Brain fart on my part.

      It’s been a rough week, guys.

  1. Bill

    Finnegan didn’t seem ready when he was recalled from his rehab assignment. Starting or relieving he needs some work to get on track.

  2. Brad

    How does this demotion affect Finnegan’s service time? I believe this is his final year of team control (if he meets 3 full years of service time requirement). Could delay arbitration by a year.

    • David

      I am not sure exactly what you mean by ‘final year of team control’. The Reds have him for three more years after 2018. They will likely be arbitration years, but the team will still have control of him. The earliest that he can possibly be a free agent is 2022.

      • Brad

        Players with less than 3 years of service time are considered “Team Control” contracts. Years 4-6 are arbitration.

  3. Bill

    Likely little impact. Finnegan sits at 2 years and 150 days right now. So he just needs a little over 3 weeks to complete his third year of major league service.

  4. Simon Cowell

    Brandon Finnegan…. where do I begin? He has so much potential. Am I the only one who feels as he has been more rope than others to prove himself? Is this because he is a lefty or for some other nefarious reason? Brandon has shown himself to be both injury prone and subject to mechanic issues. He needs to go down to AAA and prove that for 1 entire year that he can be consistent. Consistency is what we need more than wins.

    • Klugo

      I think it’s because of what we gave up to get him.

  5. Jonathan

    Do you think Robert Stephenson is going to be given a chance to get 20+ starts at the Major League Level this year? It seems to be a wasted year IMO for him to stay in AAA this year. Sometimes people learn better on the job or in the heat of things…

    • Colorado Red

      As long as he keeps walking everybody and there brother, no I doubt he is called up

      • Jim T

        He has shown much improvement in his last two starts. He is going again tonight.

      • jonathan

        What about Randy Johnson? He walked a ton of people too and the Expo’s gave up on him. Not saying Robert Stephenson = Randy Johnson, just saying some people learn better on the job.

  6. Jim T

    Bull Pen is getting crowded in Cincy. They are throwing very well at this time. Could be why they sent Finnegan down. After a slow start the pen is really pitching well.

  7. Cguy

    Homer Bailey (age 32) 66W & 68L with a 4.46 ERA over 1167.2 IP. Mike Leake (age 30) 87W & 80L with a 4.04 ERA over 1492 IP. Matt Harvey (age 29) 34W & 37L with a 3.66 ERA in 639.1 IP. Brandon Finnegan (age 25) 16W & 18L with a 4.11 era in 260.2 IP. Comeon guys, we don’t know yet what kind of sp Brandon Finnegan may turn out to be. I remember Mike Leake just getting shelled the 3rd time through the batting order when he was young. BF may yet have a better career than the other 3 starters listed above. The demotion is probably in Finnegan’s best interest. I just hope he works on his issues & is promoted back in a couple months.

  8. greg niemeyer

    I think this is the best possible move for Finnegan.
    I don;t think he was ready to start the year and should have started the year in Louisville’s rotation.
    He was out most of last year – had a set back in ST and then was, in my opinion, rushed back to the ML starting 5.
    This is not an indictment nor an endorsement on his long term capability as a starter – he is just not ready now.
    Let him start 5 or 10 or 20 game sin Louisville – and if he becomes more efficient and his performance demands call-up – then promote him.
    Otherwise – let the others try.

  9. jim t

    Finnegan is back in Louisville because he can not get out of the 3rd inning. He is gong to kill the bull pen. With Romano, Mahle and Castillo and Bailey rarely giving the team more then 6 innings it is impossible to carry a guy who is a early exit every start. Send him out and see if he can find himself again without destroying the bull pen in Cincinnati. The bull pen in Cincy is on a roll right now.

  10. jim t

    As for Mastt Harvey:
    I wouldn’t be so sure he will be dealt at deadline or if that was the plan. . He is familiar with the area after playing with Midland. The smaller market may just suit him. Unless he is absolutely lights out this year he has no chance of being moved at the deadline. He has had multiple surgeries. A contender is not likely to risk their season on a guy who has been injured and ineffective for at least 2 years. can’t believe contenders wouldn’t target better options. If he steps forward this year he can sign a one year deal and add to his resume. Would you sign a guy longterm with this kind of medical history??? If he works well with Darwin and regains some of his form he may just sign a short term deal and be back next year. He ain’t getting flipped at the deadline

    • MK

      Boras is his agent and his guys always test Free Agency.

    • IndyRedsFan

      Jim T….I disagree.

      First, if he has any value at the deadline and the Reds don’t trade him it will be as foolish as it was for them not to get anything for Cozart. Harvey isn’t likely to sign a 1 year “re-establish my value” contract with the Reds when that means pitching in GABP.

      Even if there is some chance he might, there is no reason the Reds can’t trade him, then attempt to resign him as a FA at the end of the season.

      If he continues to pitch as he did last night…..I will be extremely surprised (and dissappointed) if he isn’t traded.

  11. wes

    First thing you do as GM before you even set up your new office- send down Finnegan- I would have done the exact same thing! Good move! He needed 50 innings in AAA starting in April.

    • Ryan

      Agree 100%. Almost like the Reds forgot he didn’t pitch for almost an entire season. The Reds did the right thing grabbing Harvey, Stephenson and Reed need more time in AAA and he Finnegan needed to. E sent down. Needed a body

  12. Jim Delaney

    Hopefully they are able to help Finnegan with his conditioning and training along with finding the strike zone. He appears to be carrying a lot more weight than he was a couple years ago when he had a pretty solid season. I am wondering if the injuries impacted his conditioning.