C.J. McElroy has been hitting the ball extremely well since the month of April ended. In the 33 games he’s played in since May began, the center fielder has hit .307/.377/.446 for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. He’s stolen eight bases and walked 10 times in 117 plate appearances over that time frame. On Wednesday night though, he left the game in Pensacola in the 1st inning after making an incredible catch. The outfielder caught the ball, but slammed into the wall – almost diving/falling into the wall as he caught it. After about four minutes he was able to get up after being checked on by the trainer and the entire team that was on the field. He walked off of the field under his own power.

Seth Varner is cruising for Pensacola on the mound

Last night saw left-handed pitcher Seth Varner get the start for the Blue Wahoos. He allowed a run in 6.2 innings with one walk and with nine strikeouts. That was more of the same for the Ohio native. He dropped his ERA on the year to 2.42 in 13 games. That’s been split between the bullpen and the rotation. He made one start in Daytona to begin the year, but his other 12 games have all come with Double-A Pensacola. The most recent four of those were starts.

The 26-year-old lefty has walked just nine batters all season, and one of those was intentional. He’s also struck out 46 this year between his two stops. Control and pounding the strikezone has long been the calling card for Seth Varner. In 2015 he set a record for best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the Reds organization going back at least 30 years when he had just 11 walks to go with 134 strikeouts.

Coming Stateside for rookie ball?

One of the most interesting things each June is seeing which players make the trip to the United States from the Dominican Summer League Reds, or even some guys who have never played before but are coming stateside to start their careers. While the rosters aren’t out for any of the three rookie league teams, some roster moves are being made – at least on paper, that give us a hint as to who could be in Goodyear.

There was one name on the roster transactions yesterday that jumped out. Claudio Finol was transferred from the AZL Reds to the Greeneville Reds. Now, that does not mean that he will be in Greeneville when their season begins next week. It also doesn’t mean that he won’t be. It’s just a move made on paper right now, perhaps for roster management purposes. But, after playing last season in the Dominican Summer League, he’s now having his spot on the rosters here in the US. And with how he performed last season as a 17-year-old, it’s not surprising that he would come over. He hit .300/.380/.405 with more walks, 23, than strikeouts, 19, in 232 plate appearances.

For now, that’s the only name that was in the Dominican Summer League last year. But, there are several notable players that have not been playing in the Dominican this year that did last season. It’s likely that they will be in Goodyear for when the AZL Reds season begins. Cristian Olivo, Debby Santana, Carlos Reina (who was in Goodyear for spring training), Jeison Rijo, Peterson Plaz, Jean Graterol, Carlos Carreno, Eduardo Salazar, Jose Tello (in Goodyear for spring training), and Jose Valenzuela. Some of these guys could be injured and just haven’t played yet. But I’d guess that many of them will be with the Reds out in Arizona next week.

Reds sign free agent Jerry D’Andrea

The Cincinnati Reds have signed left handed pitcher Jerry D’Andrea out of Ramapo College. As an undrafted college senior he was eligible to sign as a free agent and the Reds picked him up. He went to the same school as Cory Heitler, who was taken by the organization in the 34th round. The Reds also took PJ Cerreto out of Ramapo College in 2013.

Jerry D’Andrea spent all four years of his college career at Ramapo. The first two years mostly came out of the bullpen. The final two seasons were spent in the rotation. Perhaps the wildest stat he posted was that he allowed just one home run in 188.1 innings pitched.

15 Responses

    • RandyW

      And one of the biggest ballparks. Those warning track fly balls would’ve been easy home runs at GABP.

      Reply
  1. SteveLV

    In his last 7 starts, Stephenson has thrown 40.1 innings, has 51 strikeouts, 15 walks, given up 25 hits, has 5 quality starts, and only 1 start that would be considered bad.
    Developing starting pitching for the future is the Reds highest priority. Rehabilitating Matt Harvey to enable a trade for a marginal prospect wouldn’t be on a priority list regardless of its length.
    I can see the Reds taking the time to see if it’s Romano or Harvey who Stephenson replaces – and to make sure Stephenson put together a string of solid starts – but Romano’s last start buys him additional opportunities and Stephenson should get another shot while he’s in a groove. Time to do this.

    Reply
    • MK

      The assumption is Harvey was acquired to be traded. But maybe just maybe he was acquired to develop into a future Reds stud.

      Reply
  2. sultanofswaff

    Mahle showed a nice changeup last night. His strikeout to walk numbers are starting to normalize more closely to his minor league numbers. Very encouraging.

    I like Casali as a backup catcher. Smart pickup.

    Reply
  3. Joe

    FWIW bleacher report has us no12 in minor league rankings post draft.. Losing 2 top 100 in Mahle n Winker and still in top half guess that’s not bad

    Reply
  4. Krozley

    When it comes to DSL players coming stateside, I noted the following players in occasional reports from the “Better off Red” website that were playing in extended ST that weren’t in the states last year. I’m guessing some of these won’t make the cut, but there were quite a number of players on top of the ones mentioned.

    Jeison Rijo IF
    Claudio Finol SS
    Leonardo Seminati 1B
    Elvis Gomez C
    Jose Tello C
    Leonardo Ortiz C
    Carlos Reina C
    Peterson Plaz OF
    Cristian Olivo OF
    Felix Abreu OF

    Daniel De La Fuente P
    Omar Conoropo P
    Juan Gonzalez P
    Ruben Nunez P
    Oliver Rijo P
    Eduardo Salazar P
    Manuel Cachutt P
    Carlos Carreno P
    Miguel Medrano P
    Marvin Mateo P
    Jorge Mallen P
    Moises Severino P
    Juan Manuel Abril P
    Ariel Mojica P
    Frainger Aranguren P
    Orlando Noriega P

    Reply
  5. Keith

    I bet that one HR must really bother him. One pitch away from giving up no HRs in college

    Reply
  6. Steve

    Friedl? Trammell? to Pensacola? Sweet just got sent down to Daytona as Aquino came off the DL, so he’s the most likely to go to Pensacola if McElroy goes to the DL. Interesting to see what promotions will be given as Pensacola, Daytona and Dayton will have AllStar games in their respective leagues soon. Would like to see the organization as a whole be pretty aggressive in promoting players.

    Reply
    • Craig

      Agree. I would love to see Trammel and Friedl get to AA which would open a spot for Fairchild in Daytona. Given his age, I am guessing the organization will want Trammel to spend a full year at HiA, but they should be more aggressive with the college bats in Friedl and Fairchild.

      Reply
  7. Little Earl

    Any idea how may grand slams Reds have this season? National league record is 12 in a season. American league is 14.

    Reply

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