The Cincinnati Reds made more September call ups this afternoon. They’ve announced that they’ve called up right handed pitcher Tyler Mahle, catcher Tim Federowicz, outfielder Gabriel Guerrero (which we knew was coming), and right handed pitcher Keury Mella. Mella, though, was called up only to be placed on the 60-day disabled list. In his last start he injured his oblique for Louisville. This is simply to create a 40-man roster spot for Federowicz. The Reds must have really wanted to see what he could do, because that move is going to cost the organization roughly $160,000 in salary paid to both Mella and Federowicz the rest of the season.

For Tyler Mahle it will be interesting to see how he’s used. He seemed to hit a wall in August in the Majors and that led to his being optioned back to Louisville. While his ERA was strong, 2.73, he had 11 walks and 20 strikeouts in 29.2 innings for the Bats. Those weren’t the numbers you would have been expecting from the righty. There’s also not a rotation spot, it would seem, open right now. Does he head to the bullpen to get some innings that way? We shall see.

With Tim Federowicz it will be another trip to the Major Leagues. The 30-year-old catcher has been around. A lot. He’s seen action in the Major Leagues in parts of seven seasons – including this one with the Astros. Sometimes it’s more about luck than anything else, and that may be the case for Federowicz. The Reds picked him up when they simply didn’t have enough healthy catchers in Triple-A down the stretch. Injuries have ravaged the Bats catchers all year long. In 23 games with Louisville he hit .244/.318/.359. Between his stops in Fresno and Louisville he’s thrown out 44% of opposing base runners this season. Now, with that opportunity in Louisville that seemingly arose because injuries took their toll on others, the former Tar Heel gets back to the big leagues after taking advantage of his time with the Reds in Triple-A.

The addition of Gabriel Guerrero is, as noted above, expected. Jason Linden of Redleg Nation reported it first two days ago. The move was made official today. I wrote about what we may be able to expect from him when that was announced and rather than rehash it, I’ll just leave the link here and suggest you go read it.

These may not be the last of the September call ups. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos begin the playoffs on Wednesday. They have several players on their roster who are on the 40-man who could potentially be recalled once their playoff run ends. It’s not a guarantee that any of them will be brought up, but if they do get the call it won’t be until after the playoffs are completed.

Joey For Prime Minister T-Shirt

28 Responses

  1. Norwood Nate

    Interesting about Mahle. I would have thought the Reds would have played the service time game. As I understand it if they didn’t call him up he wouldn’t have earned a full season yet. Without an opening in the rotation and with him hitting the proverbial wall it would have been justified.

    Makes sense to bring up a 3rd catcher, just adding Trahan as backup SS made sense. I’d expect both to e put through waivers as soon as the season is over.

    • AndyBado

      Re: Mahle ‘looking’ tired. I’ve seen this posted by fans a lot lately. I’ve seen Riggleman quotes about him tinkering with his mechanics but nothing from the team about him being tired. Other than anecdotes/observations, is there any evidence that Mahle has worn down or is tired or has hit a wall? He has pitched more than 150 innings in each of the last 3 seasons and hasn’t yet hit that mark this year. I’m curious if this is something that Mahle or the team has actually said or if it’s just fans justifying a well-liked player’s poor performance.

      • Norwood Nate

        Sometimes the wall is mental. It does appear he lost some effectiveness in July after a pretty solid run in June. This is furthered by the fact that he went to AAA and was just ok overall.

        From May 20-July 6th he had a pretty good stretch over 9 starts. He went at least 5 innings in every start, posted 51 K’s in 50.2 IP. His ERA was 3.02, and he gave up only 6 HRs in that span. The BB’s weren’t ideal, with 25 during that time but everything else seemed positive.

        Then in his next four starts he failed to even get through 3 innings in 3 of those starts, totaling 10.2 IP in four starts, with 9 BB’s, 8 K’s and 5 HRs.

        Something happened, and I don’t think he suddenly became that bad so quickly. Whether the league adjusted and he failed to adjust in return, he tired, or hit a mental/physical wall. Probably some combination of all those things.

      • AndyBado

        Mahle has had an up and down season to a degree. But it seems like this justification is an attempt to brush past Mahle’s horrendous stretch of pitching. If he was actually worn down or tired, I think the Reds would give him a break or shut him down for the year. That’s not what happened.

        It can be informative to look at just a month’s worth of stats (i.e. Mahle’s hot stretch), but at the same time, yearly stats are more informative. This year, Mahle has struggled with walks, he’s struggled with home runs, and he has gotten hit hard. He has struggled with these things all year long.

        I hope the guy can do better in the future. However, given what he is struggling with, his hot stretch this year seems more like random variance than an indicator that he had something figured out. In June, he was still walking too many batters and getting hit hard even though he had a good ERA. His ERA this year seems more indicative of his overall performance.

        Mahle is a young pitcher with promise, but he isn’t a good starter yet, and he has a lot to work on. How he closes the season could change this, but that’s what we should take away from Mahle’s season moreso than “he had a really good ERA in a stretch from June to early July but wore down as the year went on.” That’s just not what’s happened.

      • Norwood Nate

        I mean, you can see it that way, I just don’t think it’s as cut and dry as people trying to make justifications. Instead of finding a justification for his performance I’m trying to look for a reason that his performance fell off a cliff. What sticks out to me is that his performance starting in July doesn’t really match what he’s done up until now, either with the Reds or in the minors. Then again, maybe we’re just working with a small sample size still, but I think there’s something more.

        It is more than a “hot stretch” in June though. Look at his April 2nd-May15th stats:
        9 GS, only 2 of those nine games lasted shorter than 5 innings and one of those was 4.2 IP. During those 9 games he threw 47.2 IP, with 16 BB’s, 46 K’s and a 4.34 ERA. He did allow 10 HRs during that stretch. He had a .297 BABIP against him in that stretch, which is about average. Those numbers aren’t bad. The walks are actually better than his “hot” stretch, though the HRs are worse. The K’s are pretty consistent.

        Then look at the numbers from May 20th-July 6th that I posted above. His BABIP against was .313, which is slightly up but still not too far off from league average. Even with a raised BABIP his overall numbers improved (except the walks).

        Neither of those stretches, his short stretch last September, or his previous minor league numbers resemble anything close to what he did in those four starts in July. He went from average in April/May to pretty good in May/June to flat out awful in July/August. I don’t think it’s as easy as saying he’s struggled all year except a hot streak, because he hasn’t. He really struggled in 4 starts starting in July.

      • AndyBado

        Mahle has had decent results at some points this year in spite of strong indicators that he isn’t pitching well. His BB%, HR/9, and hard hit percentage have been high pretty much all year long. He has outperformed his FIP all year, and His WARP is one of the worst among starting pitchers. His last 4 starts have certainly not made things better, but he has struggled overall this year. He’s smart, knows how to pitch, and is a fighter, and so had a couple of decent months in spite of bad advanced stats.

    • AllTheHype

      Mahle will get 1 year of ML service credited in 2018, but it doesn’t matter because he will still likely only have 1 year of service credit at the end of 2019 in either scenario (recall him now or don’t recall him). That is because if he spends at least 2-3 weeks in the minors next year (likely), he will NOT get credit for 2019, but he would get credit for 2019 if he DID NOT get credit for 2018 and carried over the service days.

  2. Ribeye Medium Rare

    The Notorious B. O.G.rady wasn’t called up. Criminal.

  3. Cguy

    I wonder how much of that $160K the Reds got from the Braves for returning Tucker? I’m not clear on the Federowicz promotion. Of course now they can see Casali in a pinchhit role more easily, but I wish they’d keep a roster spot open.

    • Doug Gray

      I doubt the Reds got more than something like $15K.

      As for Federowicz – I think that he’s hitting waivers once the season is over. I can’t imagine him taking up a 40-man spot in the offseason.

  4. MK

    I would say $160K is a little low that doesn’t include pension payments, road per diem plus travel and room expenses as well as uniforms and some equipment, etc.

    • Doug Gray

      I’m simply talking salary. League minimum is just over $20,000 per week. Not accounting per diem, which pushes things closer to $21,000.

  5. Fish

    I’m confused by the move to bring up Mahle. Did they leave him down EXACTLY long enough to gain an extra year of control?

    • Bill

      He’s been down for 32 days. He started the year with 36 days of service time. So he’s on track to end the year with about 18 more than he’ll need to have a full year of service time.

  6. Joe

    I don’t think the extra year matters much other than your big time guys. I jus hope he’s good enough to make it thru 6years and still be relevant enough to get that 2nd payday

  7. MikeD

    I like Tyler a lot, but my fear is that his style of pitching will not be effective at GAB. He likes to throw up in the zone and that pretty much means fly balls. Not a good thing for a small ball park where fly balls fly out. I am hoping that he figures out things and improves his change up and his control. As Joe said, I don’t think the service time is a big deal. If he succeeds, I will happily accept the consequences.

  8. Bill

    I’m a little surprised Brice and Rainey weren’t recalled. Their AAA performances have been solid, their major league performances not so much.

    • RedsKoolAidDrinker

      I for one would like to see Brice be let go. Rainey Ithink you bring up to see if he can lose the nerves.

      • Bill

        Given that Brice didn’t earn a September call-up, you will likely get your wish. According to Roster Resource, he’s out of options next year. Given his up-and-down performance at the highest level, I anticipate he will be removed from the 40-man over the offseason.

  9. MikeD

    If you have a subscription to the Athletic, C Trent wrote a awesome piece on his trip to the Dominican Republic and the Reds training complex. Worth the price of a years subscription. I was quite impressed with hearing that Barry Larkin is there and doing some great work with the young players. He gets a lot of negative comments, but he certainly is out working at helping the Reds.!

  10. MK

    Sebastian Elizalde had a pretty good year in Mexico with a .322 average. I think he is still Reds property and might deserve a promotion as well.

    • Doug Gray

      Still technically could be brought back by the Reds. The odds that it happens are slim-and-none.

  11. Kinsm

    Lesson in math, let’s check Doug’s:

    League minimum (the amount Tim & Keury are being paid) = 545,000$ / 27 weeks = ~20K$ per week

    4 weeks left x 2 players (Mella & Federowicz) = 160,000$

    I approve of this math, lol.

    The bigger effect is that Mella will receive 4 weeks of additional major league service time while on the 60-day DL (Service time that he would not have accrued while on optional assignment/minor league DL).

  12. redlegs4ever

    I’m glad to see Gabby get a chance, his plate discipline I think will be his downfall and it was evident in his AB yesterday but I’m willing to chalk it up to nerves. Hopefully he gets several more chances in the next month including a string of starts somewhere along the line.

    Also glad to see Mahle back and likely working out of the pen, I believe he could have a decent future there. As for the offseason if Mahle wants a continued chance to start he better work on different changeup grips to find something that might make a big league hitter stay off that fastball. If the long term plan is to be a middle reliever he can do that with fastball/slider though the slider also needs a little more refining. As for the service time there’s a far greater chance he never even makes it to 6 years than the Reds somehow regretting these 30 days down the line.

  13. Krozley

    I noticed Joe Hudson was called up by the Angels. Since they picked him up, he has been knocking the cover off the ball in AA/AAA with an .883 OPS in 116 ABs. Good for him.