Photo: Doug GrayReds prospect Tyler Stephenson out to a quick AFL start Doug Gray September 25, 2019 25 Comments In his first game of the Arizona Fall League season Tyler Stephenson went 0-3 with a walk. Since then he’s gone 6-11 with two doubles. Last night he and the Glendale Desert Dogs faced off against Mexicali of the Mexican Pacific Coast League, who will be playing some official league games against the AFL teams over the next month. It was a big night for the Cincinnati Reds catching prospect. Tyler Stephenson came to the plate four times in the game and he came through with three hits. One of those hits was a double. He also scored two runs and drove in another one on the night as the Desert Dogs won 7-2. Small sample size of course, but he’s hitting .429/.467/.571 through 14 at-bats. Jonathan India’s struggles to get going continued in the game. He’s played in five games for Glendale and he’s yet to record a hit. He’s now 0-18 with three walks, an RBI, and six strikeouts. Nick Senzel has shoulder surgery It was announced prior to the Reds game yesterday that Nick Senzel had successful shoulder surgery. At least to the point that it went as planned. Rehab, of course, is still ahead and you may need to see the other side of that before calling it a success. Your mileage may vary on this one. Nick Senzel underwent surgery to repair his labrum today. Timetable remains the same. #Reds hopeful he will be ready for 2020 Opening Day. — Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) September 24, 2019 Sonny Gray joins Luis Castillo in the 200K club The Cincinnati Reds are celebrating the 150th anniversary of professional baseball. While the organization hasn’t existed for all 150 of those years in continuity, we’re still talking about 150 years. And last night saw the first time something has ever happened in franchise history. Sonny Gray was making his last start of the 2019 season last night and was sitting on 199 strikeouts. He would add six strikeouts to his season total, giving him 205 for the year. With that he joined teammate Luis Castillo above the 200 strikeout mark. With Luis Castillo sitting at 218 strikeouts and Sonny Gray at 205 strikeouts they are the first Cincinnati Reds teammates to ever record 200 or more strikeouts in the same season. Trevor Bauer has more strikeouts this season than either of them – he’s got 253. But he’s only got 68 for the Reds after being acquired at the trade deadline. That could make for an interesting “chase” for a new record next season if they all stick around. Share this:FacebookTwitterRedditPocket 25 Responses MikeD September 25, 2019 Many bash the Reds for being on the short end when it comes to dealing with the Yankees. Trading for Gray, and holding out for an extension, were all genius moves. Quietly he has completed a great season on all accounts. Having an ERA below .3 is amazing in today’s MLB, and add to that the GAB factor and you have nothing short of an awesome season. Great job by the Reds bringing him in. I for one was not a fan, but I was wrong. Wes September 25, 2019 Also grays slow start. He’s the best #3 starter in baseball for sure. And disco is 4/5 less homers away from an outstanding season! You can argue he’s the best #4 starter in baseball. On the contrary reds offense is absolutely terrible. They have been dominated all season by mediocre pitchers while puig is second on the team in homers and rbi. It will surely be an interesting offseason as reds will be ready to sell the whole farm for bats So Doug, senzel still not injury prone ?? lolz Michael Smith September 25, 2019 In what world at this time is Sonny Gray a #3 starter? Wes September 25, 2019 Not a #3 starter. The #3 start for reds. Castillo Bauer Gray Disco Wood/mahle/? Mahle imo would really be a nice bullpen piece for this team next season. He’s so good in his first inning pitched Stock September 25, 2019 I loved the Gray trade from even before the trade was made and was praising it on this site. However, to say the Reds have the best #3 SP is just being an unrealistic fan and as is placing Disco as the best #4 SP in the majors. Let’s start with the Mets who have DeGrom and Syndergaard at the top of their rotation. At #3 you have Stroman who may not be as good as Gray but is pretty close. I would much rather have Zach Wheeler at #4 than Disco. Then the Nationals who have Three aces in Scherzer, Corbin and Strasburg. All better than the Reds #3 be it Gray or Bauer. Next in line is TB. Morton is their ace and Glasnow and Snell are right behind. Pretty hard to take Bauer or Gray ahead of any of the top three Rays SP. Then comes Houston. Miley is their #4 and is about equal to Disco. However the Astros #3 may be better than Castillo. Tough to match (Verlander, Cole and Grienke). I guess Grienke may be the #3 but whichever one of these three you choose it is difficult to say they are not the best #3 in baseball. Then we head west to LA. The Dodgers have two aces in Kershaw and Buehler. At # 3 and #4 are Hill and Ryu (both with ERA less than 2.50) Also with an ERA of less than 2.50 is Urias who I would take over any Reds SP not named Castillo and maybe I don’t exclude Castillo. Stripling is a great #6 and better than Disco. At #7 is Maeda whom I would place about equal to Disco. So the Dodgers have 5 SP better than our #3 and 6 better than our #4. Finally the Indians. I am not sure the Indians didn’t trade us their #6 SP in Bauer. Their two aces are Kluber and Carrasco. Clevinger has an ERA of about 2.25. He is clearly better than Bauer. Bieber has been great also and his ERA is about 3.25. He is probably better than Bauer/Gray but without a doubt better than Disco. #5 is Civale and his 1.80 ERA. He has been lucky because his FIP is 2.93 (but 0.50 lower than Gray and 1.50 lower than Bauer). Plesac is the Indians #6 SP and he has and ERA similar to Disco but I think I like Disco more. Wes September 25, 2019 This season like Kluber is over. Rest of those teams all have a pending FA u mentioned w Strasburg with an opt out. As far as locked in starters for 2020 is concerned Gray is best #3 today. Oldtimer September 25, 2019 I think Gray is #2 starter for Reds. Bauer had one really good season as MLB SP but the rest are far to good. Until he shows better than he did in 2019, he is Reds #3 starter. Castillo #1 and Disco #4 with #5 TBD. Stock September 26, 2019 i agree with Oldtimer. Bauer is probably #3. Lets look at what is coming back next year. TB: Snell, Morton, Glasnow. All much better than Bauer and Gray. LAD: Kershaw, Buehler, Urias. All much better than Bauer and Gray. CLE: Kluber, Carrasco, Clevinger and Bieber. All much better than Bauer and Gray. Civale could be better than Bauer and Gray. Great first couple of months. As Oldtimer said Bauer has had one good year (actually only 4 months because he spent 2 months on the DL). That puts Bauer at #4 and once the FA dust settles he may not be in the top 10. Wes September 26, 2019 Lol stock. That’s your crunchy opinion as u must be upset about trading minor league talent. You’re in a boat of your own it u think Glasgow is significantly better than gray and Bauer. Urias is not either by any standard of measurement. Since 2016 Bauer has been very good. Prior to that he spent a lot of time in majors as a potential breakout candidate to be a front line starter. Cbus September 25, 2019 Winker and Senzel need to go from Avg to above Avg bats like we all thought they’d be quick or this offense will struggle again next year. Still ? marks around Vanmeter and Aquino too. Reds are in a tough spot, offense needs upgraded bad but there’s no obvious way to do it w/o blocking the young guys that have each shown something good. I think they should go out of the box and sign Rendon, move Suarez back to SS and sign Grandal. Roll with Winker/Ervin in LF, Vanmeter at 2b and Aquino in RF. RedsKoolAidDrinker September 25, 2019 The Reds went out and did what they needed to do with the starting pitching and as a result we’re looking to be in really good shape heading into next season (Bauer will be fine). Who’s to say the FO won’t go out and do what they need to do with the hitting this offseason and some improvements with the bullpen? Does anyone really expect them to be idle after the transactions last offseason? And to those who bring up that we lost the Dodger trade it still doesn’t do too much hindering for this upcoming season’s deals. Cguy September 25, 2019 Spot on RKAD. Reds glass is more than half full. RandyW September 25, 2019 I disagree. In hindsight, if the Reds don’t do the Dodgers deal then they go into the off season with two extra top 10 prospects in Gray and Downs that they could deal in a trade. Cguy September 25, 2019 You cannot assume the Reds do the Sonny Gray deal if they hadn’t done the Dodger deal. W/o the Dodger deal the Reds still have Bailey, Castillo, DeSclafani, Mahle, & Roark. They don’t have Wood, Puig, Kemp, or Farmer. Odds are they look for a lhsp or a bat, not another rhsp. Again, w/o the Sonny Gray trade, Reds are probably no better than the 2016-2918 versions. Cguy September 25, 2019 2018 not 2918, sorry. Stock September 25, 2019 The Reds were crushed in the Dodger deal and to say that has no impact on 2020 is being blind. Bailey > Puig. Bailey is a selfish player so since he is in a contract year it makes sense he would have a good season so he can get another contract. I think Bauer will be fine but really the Reds traded Gray/Downs/Trammell for Bauer. This leaves them few trading chips in the minors for this off-season and as a result hinders their ability to make trades. The talent really drops off after the Reds top 3 prospects. I really only see 5 prospects (Greene, Lodolo, Stephenson, Siani and Garcia) with any value. India is over rated but he may have some value. I don’t trade any of my top 5 if I am the Reds because I think all 5 will be undervalued in the trade market. The Reds need a big bat or two and some bullpen arms and an ace (Cole would be nice) to contend. Wes September 25, 2019 Their current window is 12 months. If reds aren’t certain they have a producer locked into a spot than anyone should be replaceable regardless of age, prospect status or Salary. That being said they are not a realistic option for top free agents and not due to lack of effort. No way rendon considers reds and Grandal is doubtful. Reds could offer Grandal a 1/25 mill contract- he might take that! Moose is a clear upgrade over any second base option and trevor story is better than any short option and is currently on a team w a surplus of short stops. Puig is better than corner outfield option as well. Yuge free agent crop this year should make an exciting offseason ! wizeman September 25, 2019 let me say first and foremost that i loathe the pirates. however i would not mind seeing marte in centerfield the next two years. would package mahle and something for him. move senzel to second SteveLV September 25, 2019 Realize 4 AFL games aren’t an indication of anything, but seems like Stephenson could well be up early next year – as soon as one of Barnhart or Casali gets dinged up? Stock September 25, 2019 I agree. But I could also see the Reds continue to slow play it. I do feel he is our best option though. MK September 25, 2019 I think Tyler might see an opportunity now to replace one of the two you mentioned. The FO did not hide their efforts to acquire Realmuto over last off season and I’m not sure Tucker has done anything in ’19 to solidify his standing So I think it possible Tyler could come out of Spring Training the starter. He just might be trying to seize the moment. Too bad they didn’t do the surgery on Senzel a month ago when the injury occurred. There could have been an extra month of rehab then. Sounds like Hunter Greene 2.0, slowing down the process. I would love to see them give Packy a legitimate shot as the #5 starter spot as a non roster player in Spring Training. DaveCT September 25, 2019 Seems his shot might come when they feel he’s ready to catch at the ML level and be able to execute Derek Johnson’s game plans. But he has to start somewhere. It can’t ever be easy to start a rookie catcher. Senzel’s injury is a concern as shoulders always are, but also because there’s so much public opinion about his injury history. I hope he has a good recovery and has a quick start next year. Doc September 25, 2019 Anybody else concerned about India, Jonathon, not the sub-continent? I only see box scores, but his don’t seem to be too impressive since starting in the Reds system. After a couple of years, I’m beginning to fear he shot his wad in his final college season. PUSHERMAN September 26, 2019 He’s been a major disappointment no matter what anybody else says. He’s got great plate discipline but that only gets you so far. You’ve gotta be able to hit. You won’t walk on the bigs if you aren’t a threat to hit the ball consistently. He was 0-5 last night, 0-23 now. In a vacuum that’s not a problem, but for a guy drafted out of college and hit 250 in high A and AA, it’s troubling. Oldtimer September 26, 2019 So far, the country of India and the player India have about the same # of hits in AFL games. I expect the player to have more hits than the country at AFL EOY.