The Cincinnati Reds have called up right handed pitcher Tanner Rainey from Triple-A Louisville. To make room for him on the 40-man, and 25-man roster the team has cut Yovani Gallardo.

There’s a bit to unfold here, but let’s start by talking about what’s coming in. Tanner Rainey was with the Reds in spring training almost until the end. He pitched in seven games out of the bullpen and allowed two runs in 8.1 innings. The big right hander also struck out 13 batters. But, he did show some control problems, walking six along the way.

It’s the control that is a question when it comes to how quickly Tanner Rainey can find success in the Major Leagues. In Daytona during the 2017 season he struck out 77 batters in 45.0 innings, but he walked 22. That’s a batter every other inning. For a reliever that’s not terrible, but it’s far from good. When he was promoted to Double-A Pensacola, his ERA improved – it was just 1.59 in 17.0 innings. But, he walked 11 batters in that span with 27 strikeouts. This season with Triple-A Louisville he’s walked one batter in 2.0 innings, and he’s struck out five of the six hitters he’s faced.

When Tanner Rainey is on, he’s got some of the best stuff you’re going to see out of the bullpen. He sits in the upper 90’s, touches triple digits, and he’s topped out at 102 MPH. The fastball might not even be his best offering, though. His slider is a plus pitch, too. It’s got hard, late biting action and is a real put away pitch. If he’s capable of finding the strikezone, he’s going to be a real difference maker. But, it may be beneficial to use him in the early in the Majors in situations where a walk won’t necessarily hurt you as much and try to ease him into things given his control concerns.

The Yovani Gallardo experiment didn’t last long

Now, when it comes to Yovani Gallardo, the question is basically this: How did this happen? When the Reds signed him at the start of the season, he was coming off of a spring where he was just cut by the Brewers, and was leaving behind the previous two seasons with a high walk rate, a low strikeout rate, and an ERA over 5.50. The move made no sense in the beginning, and there was not much of a reason to think that there was something left in the tank. Less than two weeks later, after somehow being used in close games at the Major League level, that experiment is now over. It’s great that the Reds decided quickly that it wasn’t going to work. But, how they decided to give it a shot in the first place remains confusing.

40 Responses

  1. Steve

    Congrats Tanner Rainey! Herget next in line. Corresponding move? Hernandez promoted to Louisville? Interesting to see what will happen when Hernandez, Lorenzen and Shackelford come off of the DL.

    • MK

      Tanner just sprinted right by Herget. Guess it is still all about the radar gunas Heget has had the numbers longer.

      • Jim H.

        Herget is a ROOGY right now. Until he figures out how to pitch to lefties, he’s more limited than those around him.

  2. Stock

    The Reds management surprises me. So very stupid.

    By my count 20 Days in April. 30 in June and September
    31 in May, July and August. 20 + 30 x 2 + 31 x 3 = 273 days on the roster if he sticks.

    I thought that less than 272 gives you an extra year of control. That is why the Cubs kept Bryant down for 2 weeks in his rookie year. That is why the Braves will not call up Acuna until the end of the week. This move could not wait until the weekend? Very disappointed.

    • Fish

      They could send him back down when lorenzen comes off the DL. It’s a long season & he’s a reliever.

      • stock

        They could. He could be lights out and be unable to send him down. They could lose a year of control for 1 or 2 days. I am willing to bet Acuna doesn’t get called up today. The timing is very poorly thought out.

        It is not like this makes the difference between making the playoffs and not making the playoffs

    • Colt Holt

      A year of control for most players doesn’t add any material value. For Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Senzel, Acuna, sure. For Tanner Rainey, the only way they would regret bringing him up would be that he outperformed expectations and became a star. If that were the case, just be grateful for six great years and move on. Not every player should be service time gamed.

  3. Tom B.

    It’s not that confusing at all to me why the Reds took a change with Gallardo. It fits perfectly with their business model — sign scrap-heap players and hope for lightning in a bottle.

    • Simon Cowell

      Yup the have at least one retread every year hoping they make a comeback. The Reds have a long histoey of doing this. Kevin Mitchell Ron Gant scott rolen come to mind. Weve never seen it work with much success with pitchers though. Well at least he is out of there early in April.

  4. Champ Summers

    What was the financial cost in DFA’ing Gallardo

    • ohiojim

      He was on the 25 man roster after opening day; so, whatever the base was, they are on the hook for it, right? Be interesting to see whether they outright him versus releasing him because if they outright him and he refuses the assignement I believe that voids the contract

      • ohiojim

        I saw the figure $750K plus incentives somewhere on line but I have no idea how accurate that was

  5. Scott C

    So the question remains, does anyone in the front office know what they are doing? At least now there seems to be some light. Perhaps we are seeing the end of Price’s managing career in Cincinnati. One can only hope.

  6. Dave the Red

    This Gallardo signing was a joke and a very bad reflection on the Reds’ brain trust. A real confidence shaker for Reds’ fans. Tanner can flat out bring it. I wish him success with the big club.

  7. Two Trains

    OK, I hate Price but GEEZ! Why would you put a guy with a straight as an arrow batting practice fast ball (although I think I saw his breaking pitch drop a quarter of an inch once – could be wrong about that) into tight ball games? I guess it’s because Price is the same guy that can’t seem to understand that when your pitcher gives up three straight line shot bullets, regardless if some are caught for an out, that it MAY be time to get somebody up in the bullpen. I think that we all owe Dusty Baker an apology. We wrongly accuse him of being the doofus that didn’t understand pitching – it was his pitching coach that didn’t know anything.

    • Cinvenfan

      We don’t owe neither one anything. Both are not the Managers I want for my team.

    • Bubba Woo

      I’m not normally one for piling on managers. That being said, Price also just spent the last 6 weeks in ST and came to the conclusion that Cody Reed was more ready to be a Starting Pitcher than Amir Garrett. So maybe one can question his judgement…

  8. Michael B. Green

    Hope people don’t get upset if/when Rainey goes back down. Players with options may dictate this when some of our hurlers come off the DL.

    Rainey takes Gallardo’s spot.
    Herget will likely take Quackenbush’s spot.
    Senzel will likely take Gosselin’s spot.

    Am I missing anyone else?

    Very excited about Rainey making his debut! If he can locate his FB and stay ahead in the count, he’ll shine.

  9. RedsinWashSt

    When he was signed for I believe 750k there was a number of people on this site who said it was worth a shot for no money. It was not the GM’s fault that Price used him in high leverage situations. He was almost solely used before as a starter. When used as a reliever the results were good (small sample size). It was worth a shot, I admire the fact that they got out so early. If a player is a veteran Price will use him over a younger player every time. Do we need to complain about everything.

  10. Optimist

    There’s likely a bit we don’t know about the Gallardo business. Among other things, he had no spring training – why wasn’t he sent to AAA for a week or three? Was that his demand or did the FO want to throw him right into action?

    If he makes it thru the DFA (and who else would claim him at this point) will he take an assignment to AAA?

    There just seemed too much of a disconnect between the potential (limited, and requiring patience) and the actual field use.

    I thought the FO was wise to have an old veteran on hand in AAA as they did for several years there – the problems occurred when they started out on the 25 man. That’s not hiding them at all, nor gaining any mid-season trade value if another team will take them from AAA.

  11. Michael B. Green

    This is very early dialogue, but can we expect Alfredo Rodriguez in CIN this year? He is hitting early on but his defense is ready now and a good defense helps make pitching better (and vice versa).

    If Peraza was hurt today, I assume that Trahan gets the call but there is a possibility that A-Rod gets the call. Either one warrants a 40MR move.

    Interested in Doug and the commentators’ thoughts.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Interesting idea. AlfRod, like Billy Hamilton, would provide a lot of surplus value with his glove that Peraza simply cannot. The offense would likely be a wash. So in that sense, why not?

      That said, there are better alternatives. I think the Reds know Senzel is their SS. He showed he could make all the plays in spring training, and the bat will more than make up for an average-ish glove.

    • GM Nep O'Tism

      Rodriguez’s BABIP right now is .385, compared to his career of .255, so I would take his batting average of .313 in the sample size of 18 PA so far with an even larger grain of salt than one normally needs for a sample size that small. (Remember Hamilton’s .368/.429/.474 in 2013 in 22 PA?)

      If Peraza did get hurt, while I would like to believe that they’d call on the young guys for the sake of the rebuild, my gut tells me that we’d see an infield with both Pennington and Gosselin starting in it. The FO hasn’t really done much lately to make me believe otherwise. (Arroyo/Feldman/Gallardo/etc)

  12. William Kubas


    Shout out to the Bank Street Bank of Nova Scotia Cincinnati Reds’ hot stove

  13. SultanofSwaff

    Really glad to see this move. Maybe the Reds brass know how fragile this team, this season, is already. If they truly believe that, then they need to stop piecemealing things and send down Peraza and bench Hamilton. With Senzel playing 3B today it might portend another callup this weekend. That would be very welcome as well. Honestly,

    Even after 3 years I can handle the losing, so long as you learn something about the players who will be on the next good team in the process. Rainey and Herget should be prioritized over Quackenbush/Brice.

  14. GM Nep O'Tism

    Gallardo 2 close games/$750k too late.

    – – – – – –

    I really don’t understand Blandino not playing yesterday. You sent him down to presumably get every day playing time rather than be a bench player. So when Suarez gets hurt, you call him up not to get every day playing time, but be a bench player?

    I’ll just file it with Hamilton leading off against LHP, and Amir Garrett being used as only a mop-up reliever, in the Folder of Unfathomable.

  15. Patrick

    This offseason one guy that I thought the Reds should have tried to get was Boxberger. I really wanted him to be part of getting Archer.

    I wanted him because the Rays made him available he had high upside low salary. it turned out the Rays traded him for very little. So far he is the Diamondbacks closer and doing well.

  16. RedsKoolAidDrinker

    How much did we end up paying for Gallardo?

  17. JPete

    Good move!!! Now keep Cody and move Garrett back to AAA. Believe it or not Garrett is no where to being a good SP. Cody is ready he just needs the FO to back him and give him the time just like the rest of the rotation. I bet his next start he will be lights out.

    • GM Nep O'Tism

      Am I missing the sarcasm?

      Reed has made 12 starts in the majors with a 8.37 ERA/1.899 WHIP, including allowing 16 HRs in just 52.2 IP. He has averaged 4.1 IP per start and 19.5 pitches per inning in those starts.

      I would argue his biggest problem is his slider and changeup only average 6mph slower than his FB. That said, he has had some success in the bullpen in a small sample size. 1.72 ERA/1.340 WHIP, just 1 HR in 15.2 IP. So maybe that’s his future.

  18. LeRoy

    I’ve been in a wait and see mode every since Price became manager. I think its time to make a decision on Price. I thought Price would eventually become a very good manager but it hasn’t happened. The only thought that bugs me is that Price may only be using the players in the way upper levels are telling him. The bad decisions he makes, especially with the use of personnel, may very well be dictated to him by upper management. I’m dissatisfied with Price, but it may not all be his fault.

  19. Cguy

    I remain excited about the Reds “future” bullpen. Adding Weiss & Rainey are steps forward as is utilizing Garrett in the bullpen. PLEASE! I never said I was an advocate of Amir being a reliever, but his presence in the bullpen makes that bullpen stronger. Still to come (off the DL are D. Hernandez, M Lorenzen, & K. Shackleford)plus Herget & A. Hernandez waiting in the minors. It’s been some time since the Reds had this much talent from which to build a bullpen. Question is, do the Reds have the management & coaches to put those pieces together?

  20. Jim Delaney

    Will we ever know who was behind the signing of Gallardo and why? Total head scratching move and doesnt leave a lot of confidence with the Reds braintrust…

  21. Hoyce

    Doug- the answer is easy. And quite a common mistake
    Dick Williams thought he hit the button to buy a lambougini gallardo. And some pitcher showed up.

  22. Mike from Ottawa

    Don’t have to worry about Rainey being lights out from the beginning. He got lit up last night….