When the Cincinnati Reds traded for Cody Reed back in 2015, it was in the middle of a breakout year for the left-handed pitcher. The former 2nd round pick had always shown the stuff, but he had struggled some with consistency in finding the strikezone. In 2013 and 2014 he posted walk rates of 7.0 and 3.9 batters per-9-innings pitched. During the 2015 season that dropped all the way down to 2.6, and his strikeout rate jumped up along with that.

In 2016 the walk rate went up a bit, but the difference wasn’t to the point that it was a big concern. His time in the Major Leagues that season, though, didn’t go well. The Reds decided that they needed to make some changes with Cody Reed’s mechanics to help him hide what was coming to the plate a little bit better.

That helped lead to a 2017 season that saw a walk rate jump way up. In the Major Leagues he walked 19 batters in 17.2 innings. In Triple-A, he had success coming in the ERA department, posting a 3.55 mark. But Cody Reed also walked 5.2 batters per-9-innings pitched. That was not going to continue to allow him to post that low of an ERA, especially if he moved up to the Major Leagues and continued to walk batters at that kind of rate.

This season has seen Cody Reed spend most of the year in Louisville, though he does have four games and 5.0 innings pitched with the Reds. Between the two stops he had thrown 53.0 innings and walked 18 batters. That’s a walk rate of just 3.1 batters per-9-innings. His ERA is still higher than you’d think given his walk and strikeout rates, both of which are strong. He’s trending back in the right direction, though.

Last night may have been his best showing of the season, even with four earned runs on his line in the box score. When he exited the game with two outs in the 8th inning he had been charged with just two runs, but two inherited runners came in to score before the inning was over. Cody Reed would strike out 11 batters and walk just one. He was working well with his fastball in the 94-95 MPH range on the night, and his slider was the best it’s been in quite a while.

The one area where Cody Reed has still seen struggles this season, though, is allowing home runs. He’s given up 10 home runs in his 53.0 innings this season between his two stops. That’s a HR/9 rate of 1.70. For context, the 2018 National League average HR/9 is 1.07.

The walk rate improvement is a big step forward for Cody Reed. Especially since he’s been able to maintain a strong strikeout rate while doing so. The next area he will need to find some consistency with is keeping the baseball in the ballpark. And maybe he has, somewhat. He’s allowed eight home runs in Triple-A, and one in the Major Leagues this season. Of those eight in Triple-A for Louisville, FOUR of them came on one day. Perhaps that day things simply weren’t working, and it’s skewing things overall.


54 Responses

  1. Kap

    Sounds like more of a command problem rather than a control problem. Need to work on keeping the ball down. Especially in the majors

  2. kevinz

    Prove me Wrong Reed do not be a Bust.
    He has all the stuff when throwing just does not have the stuff between the ears.
    Need more Pitchers that throw strikes with Movement along with mixing up Pitches.
    that reason Why a guy like Lopez could end up better than Reed Finny Etc
    Lopez can in the least mix his Pitches up.
    At this Point would take 5 number 3-4 type Pitchers to keep Reds in more games to Win.

  3. The Duke

    Never give up on arm talent until you have no other options. It might be something as small as changing a grip by a quarter of an inch or figuring out a better way to attack hitters with pitch selection and the light just goes on.

    • Hoyce

      Then someone needs to pay the electric bill. Because the lights are out when referring to reed.

  4. Colt Holt

    Cliff Lee turned 30 in 2008. Through that season, he had a career line as follows:

    ERA 4.63
    WHIP 1.375
    K/9 6.66
    BB/9 3.1

    For the rest of his career, he was

    ERA 2.93
    WHIP 1.102
    K/9 8.11
    BB/9 1.33

    Who is ready for one of these guys to put up those late career numbers in another uniform?

    • SultanofSwaff

      That’s what scares me! Romano’s start was nice, but the body of work screams bullpen. Looking into my crystal ball, hopefully BobSteve will join the rotation when Harvey gets flipped and Reed will slide in when Romano is forced back to Louisville because of nonperformance. Sadly, if I’m a betting man I would say Bailey gets the nod before either.

    • LL Cool

      Give him a different jersey , but he has no trade value. KC knew what they where doing when they gave up him and Finny.

      • CP

        If memory serves me correct, KC hated including Reed in the trade because they valued him so highly. They just had to because the Reds had the leverage with an Ace in Cueto that KC so highly coveted. It did help them get a WS ring, so it worked out for them.

        Easy to say they knew what they were doing after the fact looking at things now, but at the time Reed was having a breakout season and looked to be a potential front end of the rotation kind of guy.

    • Stock

      What is really interesting about Cliff Lee was that the winter before he won the Cy Young, Cleveland let him become a FA as opposed to offering him an arbitration figure. He went from 5-8 with a 6.29 ERA to 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA. His BB/9 went from 3.33 to 1.37.

      I am pretty sure Doug had one of his should we sign him posts when Cleveland did not offer Lee arbitration.

      • Colt Holt

        Doug, any idea? If you have a link to an old article, I would love a look back!

      • Doug Gray

        There’s a few years where months of posts are missing at a time that got lost/deleted when the site moved from one server to another a few different hosts ago. If may have been on there. Honestly, though, I don’t remember writing one on the subject. Doesn’t mean it didn’t happen – I just don’t recall it.

    • Jonathan Linn

      @ Colt – agree 100%. We are giving up way too soon. Roy Holliday would fit in this category as well

  5. LL Cool

    It’s between his ears. He wanted to be a starter and said how can he not be in the conversation to be a starter during Spring training. Well I wonder if he see’s why now. Should have took the role as a reliever with the Reds.

    • The Rage

      Nope. Not between the ears. Weak fastball weak stamina.

  6. Klugo

    Forgot about Reed. Sounds like he’s keeping his mouth shut and doing his work. Good on him.

  7. Mjc

    When the reds traded Cueto to K.C. The reds took back in trade Finnegan,Lamb and Reed. Passing on Sean m. Now with the A`s. who traded Ben Zorb+ for him 3 days later.another front office snafu . This guy has been a very good starter with the A`s including a no- hitter . Sean m. Would look pretty good in our rotation now.

    • Steve

      I feel like as a fan base we have to stop doing this about every move/non-move made. The game is remarkably tough and projecting what young guys may do moving forward is also remarkably tough. Every team has trade hits and trade misses…great bargain finds and missed opportunities. Yes this front office has had misfires but it also acquired Scooter, Suarez, and Castillo for basically nothing. Cody Reed is still young and talented and I hope he can continue to develop and find his way back into the Reds rotation.

      • James Phillips

        I get the general sentiment here, and I support it when it’s applied to say a 12th round draft choice. But it’s important to look at trades and how they turn out. The Reds run the risk of losing Cueto, Leake, Chapman, Frazier, Bruce, Phillips, Mesoraco, and Cozart and in return ending up with only Scott Schebler as an average or better player. A lot of those trades came to late to get good value, but the Reds also picked a lot of players that turned out to be busts. They need to figure out what happened and correct it. Were they too enamored of a certain skill? Is the scouting poor? Was MLB ready factored so much that talent was sacrificed?

        They’re, hopefully, about to make a few trades that could bring back top quality prospects. They can’t afford to do what they did with the last round of veteran trades.

      • Steve

        James, that type of thinking I can get behind. I absolutely agree that the timing of some trades has been off (in some cases way off) and the front office needs to be more aware of a peak value with their guys. Additionally, the front office made mistakes by not fully diving into a rebuild which hopefully isn’t a problem anymore. Those type of criticisms I understand and am fully behind, but when it is just “see this other player turned out better than our guy so the front office isn’t any good,” I feel like that is too simplistic and unfair.

  8. kevinz

    Give me some Pitchers with a 92-93 MPH with movement that goes down.
    Pound the strike Zone Mix pitches up with the Launch Angle thing Pitching Down with Location is key since most Players wanna lift the ball.

  9. CP

    I had forgotten about Reed as well to be honest. Seems so long since we’ve heard any buzz about him. I really to hope one of him and/or Stephenson can figure things out and help the MLB rotation. Both of them figuring things out would make all the difference for the big league club. And they both have great stuff!

    I could live with a second half rotation of:


    Romano did have a great game last night so maybe he hangs onto the 5th spot. But he or Reed can be in AAA ready to fill in as needed. Let Finny keep figuring things out there too. Bailey to the bullpen or AAA rotation. Hopefully they flip Harvey for piece that can contribute in some way in the future. This rotation at least will give them an opportunity to learn more about who is ready and who isn’t. They are going to have to do that to know what they need to go after before next year to start competing.

  10. AirborneJayJay

    That is certainly some good news regarding Reed. I think those HR numbers are a little skewed. His problem has been the fastball belt high out over the plate. He needs to pitch at the top of the strike zone better. The low fastball at the knees is getting crushed in MLB due to the launch angle phenomenon. It has to be located on the paint now. Or come in off the plate where it looks like a ball and then movement brings it back over the edge of the plate. Just pitching at the knees doesn’t work much anymore.
    MLB hitters just sat on Reed’s fastball knowing he would put one out over the plate. And they punished him. Having that slider working for Reed is good. But having a better 3rd and 4th pitch will do him some wonders.

  11. Stock

    Cody Reed has three starts in a row where he has 6+ IP and 2- BB. Stephenson has 2 all year. Cody Reed deserves to be the next man up.

    • The Rage

      Nope, fastball gets slammed. Your not getting it.

  12. kevinz

    Off Topic but really dislike the new format for MILB site no more easy scores at once for all teams. SMH why why i loved that set up lol

      • kevinz

        lol made you look Doug wonder how many i got on that one.

      • kevinz

        lol Wait i can get Banned for playing my 8 year olds made you look game? say it is not so lol

      • Doug Gray

        No. But also don’t play games that 8-year-olds would play.

        Time is precious. Don’t waste it. Or mine. I’m busy enough. Crying wolf winds up with you being ignored when you actually do need help.

      • kevinz

        Well Doug that is what happens when you have kids you get a Sense a humor instead of a Single wall for a Personality lol

      • Doug Gray

        I’m hilarious. I don’t need kids to be funny. Claiming that some website isn’t working isn’t funny.

    • Randy in Chatt

      Kevin, I’m having the same problem on my older iPad. I can get the “see all scores” from my laptop.

      • Doug Gray

        It’s a known issue with some iOS devices. MLBAM just doesn’t care to fix it.

      • kevinz

        Yea mine was doing it earlier when mentioned but worked afterwords so figured mess with Doug.

  13. kevinz

    wow the reds and state of ohio going to court over bobble heads lol

    • Doug Gray

      They are going to court over taxes. And you are about 6 months late on this one.

      • kevinz

        I know behind just was brough back up in a article about being sued on espn

  14. The Rage

    Reed lacks stamina. It is not consistency. Castillo has the same issues. If they push out to much to fast, they are spent by the 5th inning. If they hold back, they are rocked. In that regard, at least Sal Romano is stronger(despite ho hum stuff) in that department.

    • kevinz

      Not sure why Reeds lacks the stamina but Castillo this only his 2nd season Ever starting i believe mayb 3rd? including the Minors

      • The Rage

        His performance declined 2nd/3rd time through after good starts…..as a clear trend.

  15. Cguy

    Reed, Stephenson, & Finnegan are doing just fine in Louisville- where they belong. Bailey is out of the way so the 5 best (currently) starters get the nod. Garrett is a special case because of his shoulder- or the lack of being honest with the Reds about the condition of his shoulder- which appears to be the same thing as far as the Reds are concerned. Even if DeSclafani remains healthy (& that’s a big if), a spot in the rotation should open up within 6 weeks (Harvey). Who gets the promotion? A) Stephenson: B) Finnegan: C) Reed: & D) none of the above. I’m going with D. I believe the Reds acquire a sp prospect by the trading deadline (for Scooter) who slides into the rotation & doesn’t relinquish his slot.

    • DB32

      Cguy, it wasn’t Garrett’s shoulder it was his hip and what I find strange is ,Bryan Price was an ex pitching coach and he wasn’t able to see that there was a problem? Garrett goes from pitching mid 90’s to low 90’s and Price doesn’t have a clue why. Price has seen a lot of pitchers over the years and never had a clue. That’s the problem with this organization and seems pitcher and position player do better when they leave Cincy

      • Cguy

        Right about the hip. It’s hard to keep all these pitchers injuries straight. No sense in beating on a dead horse- Price is gone. Nobody is keeping Garrett in the bullpen because of what Price thought. As for your second premise- Meseraco not so much. Frazier & Bruce about the same. Cozart not so much, Cingrani- a little better. Cueto some good & some not too good. Leake likewise. On the other hand, Gennett seems to be doing so much better here in Cincy. Hughes doing very well. D. Hernandez & Floro- pretty good too.

      • Stock

        Who did better when they left Cincinnati:

        Cueto – no
        Leake – no
        Latos – no
        Phillips – no
        Cozart – no
        Frazier – no
        Chapman – close but no
        Jay Bruce – close but no

        Am I missing something? Most of these are not even remotely close.

      • Colt Holt

        To be fair, there is certainly a list that did excel, some extraordinarily (hat tip to JT)

        Justin Turner
        Didi gregorious
        Yonder Alonso
        Edwin encarnacion
        Matt belisle
        Brad boxberger

  16. Colorado Red

    I am just wondering if it is the pitching coaches at the lower levels.
    We seem to have no clue how to develop most pitchers.
    This is what scares me about Hunter.

  17. Steve

    Great starting pitching at every level of the organization today. Best I’ve ever seen on any particular day.

  18. kevinz

    Nice good games again for Senzel Trammell Beltre keep it going Boysss

  19. Dave455

    Touché Cguy but you didn’t mention Didi and talking about beating a dead horse , wasn’t Garrett injury last year?

    • Cguy

      Sure was, But his “demotion” to the bullpen was this year, supposedly by Price who now is gone. Touche’ to Colt Holt with Encarcion, & Belisle, but Didi, Alonso, & Boxberger were just prospects. I believe Justin Turner was still a prospect when he left the Cincy organization also, but I’m not sure.

      • Colt Holt

        I will challenge back on Alonso and didi. They were young, but in their entire careers, they never showed any semblance of power. Something struck a cord after they both left. Maybe they would have developed in Cincinnati, but they had not shown any progress in that skill. Not any different than jake arrieta coming from the orioles versus the cubs. If we traded Stephenson and Reed to the braves and they developed consistency and control, would it be fair to say they were just prospects?

  20. Mike in Ottawa

    So imo, part of the stamina problem is the Reds draft college relief pitchers and try to make the starters or overworked HS pitches who they have to baby for three years thus needing to rebuild their stamina. That is why I think no matter the results, we won’t see Hunter in the majors before his 23rd birthday. They are “taking care” of his arm.