Robert Stephenson got the call up to the big leagues again for another spot start and turned in a very nice performance.  Stephenson was immediately sent back down to AAA Louisville to stop his service time and arbitration clocks from ticking any further.  RH RP Drew Hayes got the call up to take Stephenson’s 25 man roster spot.  Hayes (6.23 ERA in 4.1 IP) is struggling thus far at Louisville, but put up a nice 2.95 ERA in 58 IP there last season.  Keyvius Sampson was DFA to make room on the 40 man roster for Hayes.  Let’s look at some more news and notes from around the Reds minor leagues.

AAA Louisville Bats

IF Jermaine Curtis is off to a great start with a 1.171 OPS in his first 21 AB.  CF Bryson Smith has a .821 OPS over his first 27 AB.  LF Jesse Winker has a .350/.438/.375 /.813 slash line after his first 40 AB at AAA.  Winker is hitting for average and showing his great batting eye, but not yet exhibiting any power.  SS Jose Peraza is hitting .326/.354/.391/.745.  Peraza is also 0 for 3 in SB attempts.

The Bats’ have used 8 SP over their first 10 games.  RH Josh Smith has a 0.00 ERA after his first two starts.  Smith has allowed just 1 R, 0 ER, over his first 11 IP.  Robert Stephenson has a 1.50 ERA after his one AAA start.  Cody Reed put up a 3.86 ERA in his only start before landing on the DL with a cut on his finger.  RH RP Layne Somsen has allowed just one run over his first 6.2 IP.  JC Ramirez (5 IP) and Pedro Villarreal (4.2 IP) have yet to allow an earned run this season.

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

CF Beau Amaral continues to lead the Blue Wahoos at the plate with a .836 OPS.  IF/OF Tony Renda (.716 OPS) and C Chad Wallach (.729 OPS) are off to good starts as well.  Phillip Ervin (.650 OPS) has a .333 OPS that is boosted by his 4 HBP.  Ervin also has 4 SB without being caught.  Alex Blandino (.279 OPS) has struggled over his first 21 AB.

The Blue Wahoos starting rotation is stacked and starting off as expected.  Amir Garrett (2.00 ERA), Nick Travieso (1.86 ERA), Rookie Davis (0.82 ERA), Sal Romano (3.38 ERA), Jackson Stephens (3.12 ERA) are all off to great starts.  Travieso has been placed on the DL with a groin injury.  Alejandro Chacin has been unscored on over 5 IP and has recorded 2 S.

High A Daytona Tortugas

LF/DH Angelo Gumbs (.900 OPS) is off to a great start at Daytona.  It will be interesting to see if the former 2nd round pick can continue his new found success at A+.  LF Brian O’Grady (.783 OPS) and 1B Avain Rachal (.891 OPS) are still hitting well also.  Struggling to start the season at A+ are RF Aristides Aquino (.507 OPS), 3B Taylor Sparks (.490 OPS), and SS Blake Trahan (.318 OPS).

The Tortuga’s starting rotation is off to a pretty good start.  Keury Mella (3.68 ERA), Tyler Mahle (2.87 ERA), Wyatt Strahan (4.08 ERA), and Tejay Antone (2.70 ERA) lead the way.  RH RP Jacob Ehret has a 2.08 ERA over 8.2 IP with 2 S.

Low A Dayton Dragons

OF Ed Charlton (.769 OPS) is off to a good start after joining the Dragons a week into the season. 1B James Vasquez (.820 OPS) continues to hit at A.   SS Luis Gonzalez is has a .800 OPS after joining the Dragons from the DL.  2B Shed Long (.768 OPS) has cooled off just a bit from a very hot start to the season.  C Tyler Stephenson (.475 OPS) continues to struggle at the plate in full season ball.

The Dragon’s starting rotation continues to struggle as RH Franderlyn Romero leads the staff with a 4.50 ERA.  RH RP Jeremy Kivel has a 1.93 ERA over 4.2 IP with 1 S.  RH RP Austin Orewiler has put up a 1.00 ERA in 9 IP out of the bullpen.


17 Responses

  1. cfd3000

    Great update Tom. I wish there were more bats on the Bats but I’m looking forward to Winker in Cincinnati and love that AAA and AA are both stacked with starting pitching. That bodes very well for the next few years!

  2. ohiojimw

    The sample is still small but sad to see the same old same old struggling on offense out of Ervin and Blandino after see flashes of something more in spring training.

    What if anything are the chances Curtis and B.Smith at Louisville are any more than organizational depth? They both are certainly on the wrong side of the age curve (28, almost 29 for Curtis) to be long term prospects.

    • Tom Diesman

      I’d say the chances on Curtis and B. Smith being more than organizational depth are pretty close to sim and none.

  3. ohiojimw

    Curious that Sampson was optioned then DFAed when it appeared the Reds had the opportunity to send one of a couple of different guys to the 60 day DL to clear a 40 man spot for Hayes instead. Perhaps there was something going on with Sampson aside from performance issues. If he clears waivers, it will be interesting to see whether he is outrighted to the minors or released.

    • Tom Diesman

      Yeah, I just can’t understand why the likes of Skipworth has been left taking up a spot on the 40 this long. I quit trying to understand, since I know it the reasoning would have absolutely nothing to do with common sense.

  4. Shchi Cossack

    The promotion of Drew Hayes sure looks like a gesture and recognition for his time spent in the Reds minor league system rather than a reward for superior performance. Everyone seems to acknowledge a great attitude and commitment, but the results are not and have never been there. While he’s kept the ball in the yard, his >4 BB/9 is exactly would the Reds do NOT need on the major league bullpen and being 28 years old and getting his 1st call up after very mediocre results throughout his minor league career looks like a ‘we appreciate your service’ gesture when the team and bullpen is really not competing for a playoff this season. There are younger, more talented relievers available for a call up if the Reds were serious about upgrading tjhe bullpen right now. When the Reds need a 40-man roster spot, I expect Hayes will be DFA’d after at least getting a taste of the show.

  5. Shchi Cossack

    There are 3 players on the Bats roster that really need to turn around their performances this season and make a positive impression or they risk being permanently lost in the suffle. Unfortunately all of them are off to horrendously poor starts.

    Steve Selsky, age 26, is slashing .237/.293/.263 in 38 AB 10 SO.
    Seth Mejias-Brean, age 25, is slashing .133/.212/.167 in 30 AB w/ 11 SO.
    Kyle Waldrop, age 24, is slashing .229/.289/.314 in 35 AB w/ 13 SO.

    • WVRedlegs

      I hate to see this. Seth Mejias-Brean was the Reds 2012 minor league hitter of the year. Waldrop was the Reds 2014 minor league hitter of the year. Both have seen hard times at the plate since their awards. They just cannot make the adjustments against the better competition at AAA.

    • Big56dog

      Selsky probably would have been called up last season with the numbers he was putting before he got hurt
      Would be nice for all these guys to turn it around quickly as there is always plenty of help needed from the bench and outside of the Philly series Schebler is marginal and not much from the others. Although Dejesus finally got a hit

  6. Shchi Cossack

    The Reds are really lacking LH RP on the major league roster and there are no LH RP on the Bats roster at all. There are some prospects below AAA to keep an eye on for future internal possibilities.

    Nick Routt, age 25, 0.60 WHIP & 1.65 ERA in 6.2 IP
    Wandy Peralta, age 24, 0.72 WHIP & 1.08 ERA in 8.1 IP

    DAYTONA (A+)
    Ismael Guillon, age 24, 0.95 WHIP & 3.68 ERA in 7.1 IP
    Seth Varner, age 24, 1.27 WHIP & 2.08 ERA in 8.2 IP

    These are historically starting pitchers who have begun relieving with at least reasonable early success this season.

    • WVRedlegs

      This really lays the groundwork for a trade for a LH reliever. Even if Lamb were to go to the pen, the Reds would need another LH, I would think.

      • David

        If you read the Yankees fan sites, I think Aroldis Chapmen might be available (heh).

      • Tom Diesman

        Could realistically end up being Lamb and Finnegan both down in the pen. Would leave a rotation of Bailey, Iglesias, DeSclafani, Reed, and Stephenson.

  7. redsfan06

    I thought Somsen did pretty as a RP for Louisville last year. He’s 27 years old, so no worry about starting his service clock. Why not call him up instead of Hayes?

    • ohiojimw

      My guess, and that’s all it is, would be that they see the opening Hayes filled as a short term opening because of the guys coming off injuries. As suggested above they will DFA Hayes, pass him through waivers and hope, to ultimately maintain control of him on an outright. On the other hand Somsen is two years younger and appears be optionable which could pose an issue passing him through waivers should they need to clear the 40 man spot because another team could claim then option him.

      • David

        Pretty reasonable. Drew Hayes had a good year last year, and was very good in Spring training. Early pitching could skew the stats, with maybe one bad appearance. He was one of the last cuts, as they wanted to carry some younger guys and Jumbo Diaz (thud). I would not be surprise to see Layne Somsen up sometime in June, when they are tired of Tim Melville and his substandard stuff. I see Straily going into the long relief role when Homer and Desclafani are back, and Lamb too.
        I’m surprised they didn’t keep Cody O’Grady (rule 5 pick from the Angels) as he was a lefty too, and I thought did reasonably well in Spring Training.

      • ohiojimw

        Agree Somsen could eventually be up. Also given the dearth of lefties in the entire org, it is a bit of a head scratcher that they didn’t hang onto O’Grady at least into to the season a bit to take an extended look at him under live fire. Surely they didn’t really believe the pen was so good that it was going to hurt them to have such an extended look at O’Grady.