The Reds made some acquisitions to restock the upper part of the farm this week.  Let’s take a look at the new players and other happenings down on the farm.

AAA Louisville Bats

The Reds brought in some reinforcements for Bats starting pitching staff after the departure of Chien-Ming Wang last week.  Wang is one of eighteen pitchers to make a start for the Bats this season and leads the Bats in GS with 19.  To help fill the void the Reds acquired both Scott Diamond and Dylan Axelrod.  LHP Scott Diamond is 27 years old and has 58 Major League starts under his belt over the last three seasons with Minnesota.  In 2012 he put up a 3.54 ERA in 173 IP over 27 starts for the Twins.  He struggled last season with a 5.43 ERA over 131 IP over 24 starts.  This season in AAA he’s recorded a 6.52 ERA in 80 IP over 15 starts before being released by the Twins.  He’s made one start so far for the Reds and gave up 2 R over 6 IP.  RHP Dylan Axelrod is a 28 years old and has 30 starts in 48 games with the White Sox over the last three seasons.  He has 5.36 ERA over 198 IP in the Majors thus far.  This season in AAA he put up a 4.50 ERA 88 IP over 16 starts before being purchased by the Reds.  In one start since coming to the Reds he allowed one run over 7.1 IP.  The Reds also signed 31 year old IF Donnie Murphy after he was released by the Texas Rangers.  The RH batter has saw time at 3B, 2B, and SS with 6 different Major League clubs since 2004.  He’s put up a .212/.279/.395/.674 line over 931 PA in the majors.  He’s struggled thus far with a .167/.211/.333/.544 line over his first 19 PA with the Bats.

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Jesse Winker (.208/.326/.351/.677) and Seth Mejias-Brean (.235/.348/.296/.644) are both still trying to make adjustments at the AA level.  It is nice to see them both still drawing BB at a good rate in AA though.  Ben Lively (3.82) is holding his own after 6 GS, but oddly enough has recorded 25 BB over 30.2 IP after only 16 BB over 79 IP at A+ this season.

High A Bakersfield Blaze

Sebastian Elizalde (.301/.377/.496/.872) is hitting really well again in 130 PA at A+ after putting up a .311/.439/.503/.941 line in 229 PA at A Dayton.

Low A Dayton Dragons

Phil Ervin, who showed signs of life in June (.870 OPS) after a horrendous April (.561) and May (.593), has turned his July (.836) numbers around.  First round 2014 draft pick Nick Howard has made two relief appearances since being assigned to Dayton and has yet to allow a base runner while recording 3 SO over 2 IP.

Rookie Billings Mustangs

Second round 2014 draft pick 3B Taylor Sparks (.304/.437/.609/1.045) continues to hit well after 87 PA.  RF Aristides Aquino (.957 OPS), SS Alex Blandino (.958), and CF Brian O’Grady (.929) are all hitting well above the Pioneer League average of .788 as well.

Rookie AZL Reds

3B Gavin LaValley (.295/.376/.453/.829) continues to hit well.  2B Hector Vargas (.324/.324/.485/.809) is off to a good start as well, despite drawing 0 BB in his first 68 PA.


Join the conversation! 19 Comments

  1. No mention of teh Winker injury?

  2. Jesse winker has a torn tendon in wrist out at least 4 weeks so probably done for the AAA year

    • Thanks for the update, they hadn’t posted him to the DL as of yet so it didn’t cross my radar until now. Nice catch.

  3. Found a blurb on the Pensacola web site stating that the wrist tendon is strained and he expected to only be out 2-4 weeks. If that’s the case and he comes back on the short end of that scale, he might be able to get in a few more weeks at the end of Pensacola’s season.

    • I hope it is only a strain. I heard tear on the Wahoos radio, but getting complete and accurate injury reports from the minors is a crap shoot at best.

      • Doug also reported a torn tendon on the 23rd also. I am from Pensacola so I will call some friends back home and see if they can find out the real story there

      • The following is from the Notes section at the bottom of last nights game recap article posted at 11:30 PM last night on the Pensacola web site. So hopefully it is updated information and just a sprain.

        WINKER OUT WITH WRIST INJURY Pensacola Blue Wahoos outfielder prospect Jesse Winker strained a tendon in his right wrist and will miss two to four weeks. Winker, the Cincinnati Reds No. 3 prospect according to, has the wrist wrapped and immobolized.

        • Winker should be a good candidate for Arizona Fall League. May be best to let him heal up for that season.

  4. The acquisitions look like dumpster diving. Might find a pearl but not likely…

    • Yeah, they are all organizational depth signings for the most part to back fill the recent losses in the AAA starting rotaion (Wang and Jurgens) and call ups due to Phillips injury. LHP Diamond is the most interesting. He had that one good season with the Twins, but not sure if he just lost it or if injuries played a part in his dropoff in performance since then.

  5. Any chance Taylor Sparks moves to Dayton this year?

    He is tearing up Billings after a great college season

    • I think he should too. We need to see him against higher level pitching as his big buggaboo is strikeouts. Power is great, but need to hit the ball first.

    • Tearing up Billings with his bat, but man.. 5 errors in 17 games at third. Ouch.

  6. That wrist injury to Philip Ervin sure has impeded his progress. Nice to hear that he may finally be over the hump on it. I’d like to see him close out 2014 on a tear.
    The way Doug Gray describes the ball flying out of left field at Pensacola, I hope Ervin and Sparks work their way to start next season at Pensacola.

    • Yeah, after his 2013 start, I was expecting him to crush the minors this year and maybe compete in spring 2015 for the LF job since he was a college player. Injury stopping that is pretty much the theme for the Reds these days.

  7. The other minors news is the return of Jack Hannahan! He is 1-18 at AAA.

  8. Diamond pickup seems interesting. Not sure if that was smoke and mirrors, but I would sure rather have a 27-year-old with the potential for a turnaround than another 30-something career minor league player who will never help the major league team. Might as well when he cost them nothing.

    What’s up with Reds minor league OFers and their wrists? Ervin last season, Winker this season. No bueno. I hope Winker recovers from his faster than Ervin. We’re just now seeing Ervin’s power returning.

    At the very least, looks like Winker won’t be there in September. A shame.

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