Next man up seems to be a common theme in sports, but the Cincinnati Reds have taken it to an entirely different level since the start of the 2016 season with their pitching. Brandon Finnegan returned from the disabled list earlier today to take on the St. Louis Cardinals. Brandon Finnegan left the game with an injury earlier today against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Reds announced that he had a strained left triceps muscle. As is always pointed out, a strain means a tear. How much of a tear is important here, and we don’t know the severity of that yet. Either way, though, things are never good when something in your body is torn.

It would seem almost impossible that Brandon Finnegan makes his next start, or any of the next few at the very least. That brings up the question of who could step into the rotation for the Reds and fill out the rotation. Looking solely at the options that are pitching on the same day, things could work out well for the team. Tyler Mahle is currently pitching for Louisville. Austin Ross is pitching for Double-A Pensacola.

Neither of the two players are on the 40-man roster. Tyler Mahle is certainly more of a true prospect than Austin Ross is, but both guys have been very successful this year in Double-A. Ross entered the day with nine starts for Pensacola and a 1.21 ERA, though his time in Triple-A in five games didn’t go quite as well (4.91 ERA in 25.2 innings).

Tyler Mahle has been dominant for Pensacola all seasons. He posted a 1.59 ERA in 14 starts at the Double-A level this year. He has walked just 17 batters and struck out 87 in 85.0 innings. If the Reds decide to go with Mahle, despite just one start at the level, it will likely be because of the same logic that the team used when they picked Luis Castillo to start: He doesn’t walk guys.

While the Reds will be able to adjust the Triple-A rotation if they would like and choose any of the pitchers to come up and make the start, Cody Reed, Robert Stephenson and Amir Garrett have all had problems throwing strikes between Triple-A and the Major Leagues this season. Both Reed and Stephenson have been working on control related problems with Louisville over the last few weeks. Amir Garrett has yet to start for Louisville since he was sent down, though over his last nine starts in the Majors he only had two more strikeouts than walks.

The team could also choose to go with Sal Romano, who had control problems in his Major League debut, and then again on June 17th, but historically – especially over the last two seasons, he’s thrown a bunch of strikes and not walked hitters. The righty has a 3.23 ERA in eight starts for the Bats this season.

If I had to make a bet, I would put money on either Sal Romano or Tyler Mahle, but I would bet as little as possible. It’s tough to know exactly how the Reds will lean on this one. They’ve certainly got options and there’s a reason to argue for or against almost all of them. The biggest thing working against Tyler Mahle is that he’s not on the 40-man roster. The other options in Triple-A are all on the 40-man and wouldn’t require a roster move to be made. At the same time, if Finnegan’s injury is that serious, he may be moved to the 60-day DL to open up a spot.

Joey For Prime Minister T-Shirt

23 Responses

  1. Todd

    What a mess! I don’t recall a team impacted so severely with injuries to their pitchers. Just plug Stevenson or Reed in and just force them to sink/swim at the ML level – what is there to lose at this point?

    • Doug Gray

      What you lose is possibly placing them in a scenario where they can’t succeed, and in turn, erasing any improvement you’ve been working on in Triple-A. I’m not saying don’t do it, but that is something to lose.

    • MuddyCleats

      Agree 2 a pt. It’s convoluted way of doing things, but I really think the best thing 2 do is put these guys in ML and team pitch them…..Stephenson for 4-5 innings and then Garrett for 3-4. Next night it’s Reed & Lorenzen. Aldeman, Bailey and Feldman have 2 go 5 or more on the other nights. Reed has dominated in AAA; but can’t get an out in ML. Clearly he knows how to get outs in AAA; He has to learn how to pitch @ ML level. Dittos for Stephenson ect… Very much a playoff type rotation, but needed for a few of our guys to find out IF they can be ML pitchers……they’ve been babied long enough

  2. DaveCT

    Start Irribaren and pray for rain. Lots of rain.

  3. Steve

    Mahle can take the roster spot of Buchanan, Bonilla or Ogando, if he can be activated and soon DFAd. If Finnegan’s injury is severe, he will go on the 60 day DL and Mahle could take his spot.

  4. Kap

    I say Romano. He only had one chance while all the rest had more than that.

  5. Patrick

    Hey let Hunter Greene start
    No one seems to want to let our guys to develop

  6. Seadog

    I say start mahle. Why not bring him up? The Red’s brought up Castillo. So what if he needs a spot on the 40 man. Plenty of room.

    Trade all of these players, or release them. Get what you can get. All of these players are cast-offs/players you can get next spring. As the Red’s did this spring.
    1. Feldman–he may not bring Straley return..He might. Trade him
    2. Adleman–Same.
    3. Storen–Eh
    4. Wood–Eh
    5. Kivlehan–Why is he even here. I have no idea.
    6. All of the rest are just WHY/WHY on 40 man–Astin/Brice/Bucannan/Bonilla/Turner/Alcantera. Are any of these players really going to help the Reds?

    And bring up Herget. Why not?

    Make your starting five in Louisville..
    1. Rooke Davis
    2. Amir Garrett
    3. Cody Reed
    4. Sal Ramono
    5. Robert Stephenson

    They are all a year away. Make them pitch every fifth day.

    Make your starting five in Cincy.
    1. Bailey
    2. Feldman
    3. Adelman
    4. Castillo
    5. Mahle

    If you trade Feldman or Adelman–bring up another of the five in Louisville.

    • MK

      Not really sure I have seen any improvements in pitching staff, especially health wise under Mack Jenkins as compared to Mark Riggins, who was fired. Maybe it is time to elevate Ted Power to top spot to see what happens. I would really like to see Tom Browning in that spot. He had an outstanding approach with the pitchers in Dayton until some family issues forced him out of the day-to-day job.

  7. icehole3

    Doug of the pitchers who followed Finnegan which one would you think the Reds may give a shot at starting?

  8. MK

    Seems if you are going to start Finnegan, who you have been telling fans , just wait til the injured starters get back, you want to make it as easy on him as possible. So his first start you start Kivlehan in center. I think he has done a descent job as a pinch hitter and bench player but the guy is barely a corner outfielder defensively who is getting better but not a center fielder and it showed early on. I notice Price typically starts a B team defense when a young pitcher debuts as well. It had nothing to do with Finnegan’s injury, though it did force him to throw a few extra pitches under stress, but help the guy out for goodness sake.

  9. The Duke

    I’d go with Cody Reed and hope you get Dr Jekyll when it comes to walks and not Mr Hyde.

    • Matthew O'Neal

      It couldn’t hurt. A plethora of plausible starters in the system, and it would give CIN the opportunity to shop Cingrani (2+ years of control left) to free up a roster spot. Peralta has been solid out of the pen, and with Finnegan’s history as a reliever, there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t find success.
      I think Lorenzen would be happy to trade spots with Finnegan.

      • DaveCT

        Editing note: Recommend “plethora of plausible pitchers” vs. “starters” (even though more accurate).

    • DaveCT

      My opinion is not yet. He made steady improvement last year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if, once healthy, he continues as a starter. He may never be a 200 inning stalwart, though he may be a Kazmir, good for 175 solid innings. He reminds me, also, of Leake in that he competes on every single pitch. However, with so many live arms behind him with high athleticism (Garrett, Reed, Stephenson, Castillo, Gutierez, etc) he may not have the chance to stick.

  10. Cguy

    It’s hard to believe some fans advocating the trade of Adleman or Feldman at this point. If not for those 2 the entire Reds pitching staff plus the Louisville staff would be in disarray. The chances of ML success by Castillo, Garrett, or any other prospect is lessened without some reliability from the other starters & the bullpen. I’d like to see Williams acquire a useful prospect or 2 for Feldman, but only if several Reds sp can “step up” in these next 4 weeks & provide some Feldman/Adleman type results. By the way, Stephenson & Reed are not ready to face ML lineups for 5 or 6 innings. If either was ready- they’d be in the rotation right now.

    • The Duke

      If need by we can sign guys like Fister or Lincecum off the street to eat some innings. If you can get something you see as a valuable piece for the future in trading Feldman or Adleman, do it. Don’t trade them for peanuts or org filler, i’ll agree with that much. Losing this year only gets us a higher draft pick next year, although at some point, you need to stop the losing. 3 straight brutal years didn’t sink the Astros. Quite the opposite in fact as they now have the best record in baseball.