Daniel Wright (IL Pitcher of the Week last week.), Josh Smith, A.J. Morris, and Dayan Diaz get their turn to pitch for the big league club this week.  Why not, nobody else can get the job done.  Let’s see what is going on down on the farm so we’ll at least know the names of the next wave of pitchers that get a turn.

 

 

AAA Louisville Bats

 

The Bats have a 23-22 record and are in 3rd place in the International League West.

 

The International League hitters are averaging .252/.320/.369/.689.  SS Juan Perez (.292/.384/.406/.790) is quietly putting together a nice season at the plate.  LF Jesse Winker (.262/.370/.338/.708) continues to struggle in May after a hot start at AAA.  OF Steve Selsky (.275/.380/.383/.764) is back in AAA after a short stint with the Reds.  SS Jose Peraza (.288/.331/.384/.715) has solid enough numbers still at AAA but his numbers have to make you wonder if he might just end up being a .270/.310/.360/.670 hitter which is a below average hitting MLB SS (.692 OPS).  Scott Schebler (.241/.276/.352/.628) is now struggling at AAA after a decent start.

 

The International League average ERA is 3.50.  Cody Reed (2.21 ERA) is establishing himself as the ace of the Bats rotation.  Robert Stephenson (3.02 ERA) is close behind, but trails Reed because he has walked more than twice the number of batters (21 BB) as Reed (9).  RH Chad Rogers has a 1.88 ERA over 24 IP in 14 G with 1 GS.  Rogers would seem to be a candidate for the next group of pitchers to get a tryout with the Reds.

 

 

AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

 

The Blue Wahoos have a 27-19 record and are in 1st place in the Southern League South.

 

The Southern League hitters are averaging .251/.329/.365/.694.  SS Calten Daal (.356/.405/.397/.802) continues to hit well since returning from the DL.  OF/1B Kyle Parker (.224/.409/.388/.797) is drawing BB at rate he has never shown in the past.  LF Phillip Ervin (.234/.349/.438/.786) is still hitting very well.  2B Alex Blandino (.216/.315/.352/.667) is hanging in there close to league average after overcoming a real bad month of April.  IF/OF Tony Renda (.281/.331/.419/.750 ) is making a case for a promotion to AAA.  Eric Jagielo (.550 OPS) continues to be very disappointing at the plate.

 

The Southern League average ERA is 3.79.  Starting pitcher Amir Garrett (1.49 ERA) continues to dominate the league.  RH SP Rookie Davis (1.59 ERA) has been placed on the DL with a strained groin.  RH SP Jackson Stephens (3.74 ERA) has come on strong as of late.   RH Sal Romano (4.74 ERA) and RH Nick Travieso (5.02 ERA) have struggled recently.  Alejandro Chacin has a 0.89 ERA over 20.1 IP and has recorded 7 S.  LH RP Nick Routt has a 0.71 ERA over 25.1 IP.  RH RP Carlos Gonzalez has a 1.64 ERA over 22.2 IP with 3 S.  RH Barrett Astin has a 3.21 ERA in 28 IP over 13 G with 2 GS.

 

 

High A Daytona Tortugas

 

The Tortugas have a 21-26 record and are in 4th place in the Florida State League North.

 

The Florida State League hitters are averaging .243/.313/.345/.658.  1B Avian Rachal (.220/.355/.380/.735), who is currently on the DL, leads the team at the plate.  RF Aristides Aquino (.237/.310/.402/.713) has cooled back off from a recent hot stretch.  2B Blake Butler (.267/.285/.393/.678) continues to hit above the FSL average.  SS Blake Trahan (.228/.305/.311/.617) is still rebounding from a very bad April.  3B Taylor Sparks (.493 OPS) continues to disappoint at the plate.

 

The Florida State League average ERA is 3.34.  Starting pitchers Keury Mella (2.58 ERA), Tyler Mahle (2.92 ERA) and Tejay Antone (2.96 ERA) lead the rotation.  LH Seth Varner has a 1.96 ERA in 36.2 IP over 12 G with 5 GS.  RH RP Jimmy Herget has a 2.05 ERA in 22 IP with 8 S.  RH RP Jacob Ehret has a 2.70 ERA in 23.1 IP with 2 S.

 

 

Low A Dayton Dragons

 

The Dragons have a 13-33 record and are in 8th place in the Midwest League Eastern.

 

The Midwest League hitters are averaging .242/.315/.338/.654.  2B Shed Long (.257/.337/.444/.782) continues to lead the Dragons at the plate.  1B James Vasquez (.238/.325/.435/.761) has heated back up after a cold spell.  LF Kevin Garcia (333/.412/.333/.745) has joined the club and is off to a good start in his first 17 PA.  OF Zack Shields (.267/.321/.387/.708) is hitting will since joining the club.  CF Narciso Crook (.244/.311/.402/.714) is out for the season with a shoulder injury.  C Tyler Stephenson (.569 OPS) has upped his OPS over 100 points in the last week.

 

The Midwest League average ERA is 3.39.  The Dragon’s traded their best SP Franderlyn Romero (2.87 ERA) to Baltimore for International Draft slot money.  RH Austin Orewiler has a 2.87 ERA in 37.2 IP over 10 G with 5 GS.  Relief pitchers Ariel Hernandez (1.11 ERA), Manuel Aybar (1.40 ERA), Juan Martinez (2.22 ERA), Conor Krauss (2.61 ERA) and Michael Sullivan (3.12 ERA) are all pitching well out of the bullpen.

 

Join the conversation! 24 Comments

  1. Tired of the same old story lines from front office😭😭 Why would any smart business put all of their eggs in one basket????? This story about service time with the big team begins to smell after awhile, not to mention giving one of their pitchers a contract who has’ nt pitched in almost 2 yrs. I have been a Reds fan since early ’50’s but this is probably the worst that I have ever seen. One last thing for the front office, they always have this sad story about small market area! You may want to think about moving your business, why continue to invest money into a business that YOU say your not making any money 🙍👎👎👎

    • As a Reds fan since the end of WWII, I’ve experienced a lot of so-so Reds teams and this is one of them. But in those seventy years I’ve never seen such a plethora of pitching coming up for the Reds. That makes me optimistic in the long run. And the offense will eventually be strengthened with the trade of a couple young pitchers. Rebuilds happen; hang in there.

      • Price said “We just don’t have a lot a guys on base.” We’re not walking a lot. We’re still in the .280s in on-base as a team [.281, 29th in the Majors]. That’s extremely low. That just isn’t going to create a lot of run-scoring opportunities for us outside of the home run.”

        Its taken this putrid performance for Price to realize the importance of OBP. Why did he not notice this as a problem when he was batting low OBP guys at the top of the order?

        • Aside from Votto, it’s not like he has a lot of other choices for high OBP players at the top of the lineup. It’s a problem that parallels the bullpen issues. There’s a dearth of talent, not an inability to utilize talent.

  2. It does beg the question where will the next wave of Reds hitters come from? Even the two guys who are most promising at the plate, Winker and Peraza, aren’t exactly scorching AAA. Drafting stud bats may help eventually, but that’s a long way down the road. Pitching prospects for hitting prospects (possible) and the free agency market (historically not a Reds strong point) are theoretically possible but I’m not encouraged. I suppose it’s easy to be pessimistic in the middle of a long losing streak but, dang.

    • I haven’t followed the Reds farm system as closely as the guys who write about it here; but, it seems to me that in large measure in drafting and signing they strongly favor tools, overall athleticism and ceiling projection over demonstrated prior successful playing of baseball in game conditions.

      I’d guess such an approach tends to work more reliably with pitching because if a guy throws 95+ and has even a rudimentary beginning of a breaking ball or off speed pitch, at the worst you’ve at least got a reliever if he can be taught a bit of command and control,

      On the position side maybe they need to look more closely at whether a guy has demonstrated an ability to be a top all around player at a high level of competition such as NCAA D1 or one of the summer wooden bat leagues, not to mention paying closer attention to OBP, particularly the components of it which do not derive from BABIP.

      And finally, most of those powerhouse guys with the big 95+MPH arms were legit two way players in high school and a number of them even in college. Don’t be so quick to default them all into pitching over position play.

      • I agree. We need to stop dreaming on tools quite as much and take more guys with present skills as well. Hoping an athlete learns to hit seems a lot more of a gamble than taking a guy who can rake and trying to coach up his defense.

        • And it is almost frightening they have so much to spend in the upcoming international pool because it is so much even more about tools and the Reds hit/ miss rate hasn’t been real good with position guys there either.

      • Good points, Jim.

        A lot of the work done by Chris Mitchell at FG revolves around projecting young players based on what they’ve done and where they’ve done it, rather than their tools. His prospect lists, at times, differ greatly from the prospect lists of national guys who just look at everyone’s 20-80 tool set.

        I really like looking at his stuff. Maybe because he gave us a glimmer of hope regarding Peraza…

        Here’s his Reds write-up from February: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/katoh-projects-cincinnati-reds-prospects/

        • To be fair, they traded their top 2 high pick drafted hitting prospects for Latos and also traded Frazier with 2 years of service left. Things would have looked different without those trades. Also, they drafted very low when they were winning 90plus games a year. One of these was a pitcher (Stephenson) but the other (Phil Irvin) was simply not the caliber of a top 15 pick so there is a reason why.

  3. Kyle Parker is someone certainly worth keeping our eyes on, was actually a smart low-risk and high-reward move by the Reds FO. Who knows, maybe he gets back in the groove of things and regains what made him a top prospect in the beginning of his career?

  4. I’ve heard Chris Welch opine more than once that he believes if a guy can pitch at AA then he can pitch in the major leagues. It is just a matter of putting in the work to learn the nuances required for him to be a major league pitcher. This makes what’s going on with the pitching at AA scary good..

  5. Jesse Winker has tanked from an .827 OPS to a put up a .442 OPS with a .200 BAbip over the last 12 games. This includes a SO% of 10.3% & a BB% of 15.8% tanking to a SO% of 18.0% & BB% of 12.0% during the last 12 games. That’s a serious qualitative slump, but its only 12 games.

    Although not serious prospects, Jermaine Curtis (age 28 / .880 OPS) & Hernan Iribarren (age 31 / .890 OPS) are having a fabulous start to the 2016 AAA season, but the season looks like a serious outlier with both players producing more than .140 above their career minor league OPS. Both players are utility IF options as their only possible role at the major league level, pretty much the identical role Pacheco is filling on the major league roster with his stunning .426 OPS.

    • The 12 game sample is just too small. I’m not that worried about Winker Even “slumping” he’s still striking out less than 1 in 5 ABs and his walk rate is still way above the league average rate. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in Curtis or Iribarren. I think their past seasons say who they really are. They are just off to nice starts this year. Certainly possible that one or both could help the Reds, especially this year, but don’t see either of them as regulars in MLB.

    • Well, I think we are stunned that Pacheco made the roster, let along is still with the major league club. Stunned, I tell ya. Another promising young athlete, Yorman Rodriquez, is also a disapointment as a hitter, not to mention Juan Duran, which I won’t.

  6. The Calten Daal bubble is about to burst. Coming off the DL, Dall carried a 14 game hitting streak with an .886 OPS fueld by a .525 BAbip. That’s totally unsustainable. In the 6 games since the streak ended, Daal has put up a .579 OPS with a .200 BAbip. I hope he can improve on his prior seasons’ performances (.685 OPS in A & .597 in A+), but such improvement will probably look more like a .700-.720 OPS after everything shakes out. I would be very OK with those numbers from Daal in AA this season, but no one figured Cozart to put up an .800 OPS this season.

  7. SSS acknowledged, Phil Ervin and Alex Blandino represent the flip side from Daal and Winker.

    Ervin started the 1st 2+ weeks with a .560 OPS & .270 BAbip before he cranked things into gear, putting up a .913 OPS with a .254 BAbip over the last month (22 games). More of that please Mr. Ervin. Ervin’s very low BAbip combined with his OBP of .374 & ISO of .276 over the last month are particularly encouraging. He just needs to put up solid, consistent offensive numbers over a longer period of time.

    Alex Blandino started his 1st 3 weeks (16 games) with a .420 OPS & .209 BAbip before he cranked things into gear, putting up an .873 OPS with a .356 BAbip over the last 3 weeks (18 games). Blandino’s elevated BAbip tempers his .407 OBP & .192 ISO over the last 3 weeks. His performance certainly puts him back in the prospect discussion, but still leaves questions that need to be answered over the rest of the AA season.

    • I’m with you on Ervin. His OBP coupled with the low AVG points to him staying patient and swinging at good pitches. Couple that with is slugging in a league and park that tends to limit power numbers and he is putting together a strong case for AAA later in the year if Winker is called up.

    • A few rays of sunshine glimmering through the dark clouds. I’ll hold off on the 50 spf though.

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