The Reds announced Thursday morning that they have optioned lefthander Cody Reed to AAA Louisville and called up right handed reliever Austin Brice to take his place on the roster.

Reed’s demotion comes on the heels of his Wednesday night performance which saw him walk 4 batters and allow a 2 run home run over a 2 inning stint.

Per C. Trent Rosecrans  of  the Cincinnati Enquirer, here is what Reds manager Bryan Price said about Reed’s demotion:

“The one message we want to send to everybody in our organization is you have to be able to throw strikes. That’s the No. 1 prerequisite to coming to the major leagues,” Price said on Thursday. “You have to be able to throw strikes……. 

“I don’t know what it is specifically that’s allowed him (Reed) to struggle a bit with his command this year compared to what we see in spring training a year ago and again, this spring. But his command hasn’t been nearly as good as we saw when we initially had him in Double-A, Triple-A and spring training a year ago.”

Check out Rosecrans’ complete article about Reed’s demotion here.

This demotion is the latest setback for Reed who at this time last year appeared on a fast track to become a high impact starter for the Reds after coming to the organization from the Kansas City Royals in the Johnny Cueto deal at the 2014 trade deadline.

Reed was first brought to the major leagues by the Reds in mid June of 2016 on the heels of an impressive two and half month run at AAA Louisville to open the 2016 season. However with the Reds in 2016, Reed struggled with his command and control.  In 10 starts he compiled a 7.06 ERA (6.36 FIP) and was sent back to AAA in mid August. He was recalled to the Reds later in the 2016 season but saw no further game action.

Reed’s struggles with control continued this spring.  He found himself by passed for a regular rotation spot by rookies Amir Garrett and Rookie Davis. Reed  was working somewhat irregularly out of the major league bullpen when he was given a spot start April 22 while Davis was on the DL.  The start was a disaster for Reed and the Reds. In just two inning Reed walked 4 and surrendered 2 home runs on his way to allowing 7 earned runs. The fateful appearance Wednesday was Reed’s second relief appearance since that start.

Additional data from Fangraphs

About The Author

Jim Walker has been a Reds fan as far back as he can remember. Some of his fondest childhood memories are Reds games at Crosley Field. In mid-2015, Jim retired after 30 years working with information technology, a career that started with a database on a single PC and finished with Him being a network hardware engineer. Jim lives in the Dayton area with his wife and three dogs, one of which is Charlie, his avatar on Redleg Nation and on twitter.

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32 Responses

  1. james garrett

    I don’t know what the data says but throwing strikes is essential to success,I do wonder how others walks per inning compare to Reed’s.I would hope he becomes a starter and when he comes back up he takes a spot in the rotation.

    • Jordan Barhorst

      Cody Reed leads the team in BB% at 24.6%

      The top five (min 10 IP) are –

      Reed – 24.6%
      Finnegan – 20.5%
      Stephenson – 16.9%
      Davis – 13.2%
      Feldman & Wood – tied at 11.3%

      Bottom five (min 10 IP) are –
      Adleman – 4.6%
      Lorenzen – 5.9%
      Peralta – 6.7%
      Storen – 7.0%
      Arroyo & Garret – tied at 8.2%

      The only player not on this list with 10 IP, Raisel Iglesias, has a 9.1 BB%

      • Jordan Barhorst

        For reference, a 4.5 BB% is ‘Excellet’ according to fangraphs. 9.0% is ‘Awful’. ‘Average’ is 7.7%. The majority of Reds pitchers are ‘Awful’ or worse.

      • CI3J

        Does that tell us they aren’t getting proper instruction from pitching coaches throughout the organization? I can understand having a few players with “awful” walk rates, but when it’s endemic go almost every single pitcher, that would seem something is not right.

      • reaganspad

        What that says is that Adleman is excellent at not giving up walks and that Lorenzen should be starting right now

        no idea why he did not pitch the 9th today at 22 pitches thru 7 & 8

        He was warm and dealing. I’ll bet he would have closed the game in under 35 pitches, and Iggy would not have pitched 2 days in a row headed into a new series

  2. WVRedlegs

    As long as Reed is going into the AAA rotation, this is a good move.
    One question, why doesn’t this “have to throw strikes” message apply to Blake Wood and Robert Stephenson??
    Wood’s outing the other night was more disastrous than Reed’s.

  3. seat101

    I accidentally posted this in an old thread.

    Haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been reading a lot. But haven’t had anything interesting to say.

    But I think it’s time for me to tell you all that I have decided to join Mr. Cossack in “abject acceptance’.

    I am enjoying the wins and not busting a gut over the losses.

    Try it, you’ll like it.

  4. Scotly50

    Reed needed to go somewhere. He just has not got it done. Hitters are just sitting on his fastball. He has nothing else he throw for a strike.

  5. Redgoggles

    So, it appears that Price finally has enough options to hold players accountable. Either enough options, or the GM’s support. I’m still optimistic on Reed, especially if he is put in Louisville’s rotation. It could be a sign that they are sending a message, but also stretching him out and giving him an opportunity to come back up as a starter as soon as possible. It’s really up to him. Go Cody!

    • David

      I think that’s the best spin on this. Reed does have a lot of physical talent. Starting and working innings in AAA is one way to get him straightened out. Getting intermittent work in the bullpen because the manager has lost faith in you is not going to really solve his problems. He is hardly the first promising pitcher in baseball to have a setback like this. Nolan Ryan led the league in strikeouts AND walks a lot of years. Sandy Koufax took YEARS to finally straighten out his control problems. He was really wild when he was young.


      I agree Redgoggles. I want him to do well but last night I kept shaking my head. He can’t throw strikes. Even Chris Welsh was saying he’s opening up towards 3rd base. His delivery isn’t consistent. Of course, George Grande said everything’s “great”.

  6. joshtrum

    If he is starting and there is someone who can work with him to get things right, then this is the best move. I know Reed has two great pitches, but maybe they add something to his repertoire to work on. That way if this is all mental, he can at least work something else in to take his mind off of his lack of confidence

    • Jim Walker

      Personally, I think just knowing he was going to get the ball every 5 days to go out and start a game would be a great first step in setting him straight.

      The knock on Reed last season when he was struggling at the MLB level was that his fastball had gone “flat”, i.e. it had lost its vertical movement other than predictable trajectory caused by gravity and thus was very hittable. There was talk that he was throwing it from a different “arm slot” than when he’d pitched well in the minors. Quite possibly his wildness now stems from trying to rediscover the sweet spot to release his fastball from. So, it isn’t a given that his issue is solely or even primarily “mental”.

      • lwblogger2

        I agree with this. Pitchers, especially starting pitchers, thrive on a consistent routine. They have their starting days, rest days, study days, and side-session days. They can work on things mechanically during the side-sessions too. They don’t really have the luxury to do that when working in the MLB pen. They can’t throw on the side because they may be needed that day or the next day. It’s hard to work out kinks that way. I think this will be a good thing or Reed. I love the talent that’s there and I think he can get sorted out. My only real question with him when it comes to starting is if he can get out good RH batters consistently. His fastball/slider combo and delivery suggest that he may continue to struggle against RH batters. So, I’m hoping he works first on getting his control back, then on getting his change to the point that he is confident throwing it on any count.

  7. Carl Sayre

    Reeds lack of control was criminal but if him getting sent down is like a death sentence the Bob Steve is doing at least multiple life sentences! I cannot make myself accept that his ceiling is high enough to put up with his absolute “LACK” of production! I am looking for a way to get my point across……………………….HE SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. cfd3000

    I still see plenty of potential with Reed. If he gets regular starts at AAA then that’s exactly where he needs to be right now. Confidence. Consistent mechanics. He has the ability – we’ve seen it, and even this year with 8 no hit innings in relief to start the year – but occasional mop up innings in Cincinnati won’t resolve either of those issues. Good luck Mr. Reed.

  9. Old-school

    Go back 6 weeks to the end of ST…the Reds chose to take 2 SP lynchpins for the future …Cody Reed and Robert Stephenson ….and put them in roles I believe dictated by Bryan Price….and signed off on by DW….and make them relievers ready to earn their spot out of the bullpen….right..wrong…indifferent….this failed miserably. I never understood Rookie over this 2…. I think Dick Williams stepped in said Cody Reed is a starter…send him back to AAA….. the Price plan isn’t working…

    The failed approach to the development of Reed and Stephenson will doom Price. Not that it’s his fault…but it’s his plan….Brian Price will not be the Reds manager Opening Day 2018.

    • Jim Walker

      Be interested to hear your thoughts of why Price or whomever cooked up the plan for Reed and Stephenson and what they hoped to accomplish with it.

      • old-school

        Reed seems to struggle with confidence. He was drafted out of a tiny community college and has never really pitched with a microscope on him.He did great in the minors but then couldn’t translate that to the starting mound at GABP. Price felt the bullpen was a better transition with a gradual progression to gain confidence. Except they then throw him to the Cubs for 1 start after a few nice innings in the pen and then change course and back to the pen.

        Stephenson didn’t really pitch well at AAA, had the very public episode with DeShields and his development clock was running late. Being a starter at AAA wasn’t working. Price probably felt the bullpen at the ML level would give Stephenson the day to day accountability and also have direct oversight with him and his pitching coaches. Why he wasn’t in the rotation over Rookie Davis to start the season was a mistake. But, Price wanted to send a message to him- I got other young guys. You are going to have to outpitch them from the bullpen and work your way up.

        Reed was confidence, Stephenson was a kick in the pants- get him out of AAA, but don’t hand him anything. Nonetheless, Price by trade is a pitching coach with the expectation he is the guy to develop these crown jewels when they arrive in MLB. For these 2, its not working.

      • Jim Walker

        I certainly agree with your final two sentences. Otherwise I guess we will never know. I’ve been crunching some numbers on possible service time implications in regard to the exact timing of this move but so far nothing is jumping out at me.

      • lwblogger2

        Interesting theory. We will probably never know the exact reasons but this theory is as plausible as any I’ve heard so far.

    • Simon Cowell

      It’s just one month in folks…. Nothing is a disaster and we are actually playing better than expected

      • lwblogger2

        I have them at a whopping 69 wins. You’re right, .500 ball, even after only one month in, was a little better than I was thinking. I’m not changing my projection but this hasn’t been a complete disaster so far. I think the bats and pen (for the most part) are carrying them. This even with the struggles of Peraza and Hamilton.

    • Michael W.

      Once again, people want to point the finger at the manager and say it is his fault that Reed is failing up here. The dude can’t throw strikes, plain and simple. That is not Brian Price’s fault. I am not a Price defender, but do get tired of everyone blaming the manager for this team’s lack of production.

      It is on the players on the field, period. Our pitching staff was mediocre at best until Brian Price came around. The guy knows how to handle pitchers. If he was challenging both Reed and Stephenson, so be it. It is them who are failing when being challenged. If you are not getting better while playing, then you are getting worse. These 2 guys don’t seem to do anything different, thus keeping getting the same results of walk after walk after walk. They are wasting their opportunity and talent big time by not growing up and becoming a real pitcher who is willing to change their approach and work on their craft.

      • lwblogger2

        I don’t know if we know how hard they are working on their craft. We’re not seeing results but that doesn’t mean they aren’t putting forth effort… Stephenson in the Jim Day piece during spring training, seemed like a very organized person. He seemed almost too organized. Maybe he’s not taking to the coaching or maybe it’s something else entirely but I don’t think he’s not making some sort of effort. Maybe it’s not in the areas that the coaching staff want but I doubt he’s just saying “oh well” and being happy with where he is right now.

    • Playtowin

      Price is not the problem. The organization signed off on the handling of Reed, Stephenson, Garrett, Lorenzen, and all the others. Redd and Stephenson have not earned anything. Stephenson will sent down if he does not show something soon.

  10. CaliforniaRed

    I believe Reed will be a very good MLB starting pitcher, hopefully in the near future. I am tired of Bryan Price on many levels and a new skipper can’t come soon enough. On another note, why isn’t Ariel Hernandez in the bigs?

    • lwblogger2

      Reds seem to be rotating fresh arms up to MLB and sending more tired arms down to MiLB. So far, it’s working. I think Hernandez will be up again soon.

  11. ScottyA

    Sending Bailey back to AAA eventually did work after a few trips back and forth. Let’s hope he can get his head on straight and gain some confidence. He looked dominating in one spring training game against the Angels. Looked the same in a few of his 2 inning bullpen outings and then the wheels fell off. It does appear similar to Bailey’s first few years.

    BTW Bailey is headed back by end of June (if there are no setbacks).

  12. james garrett

    You can’t give up on Reed and as Disco did two year agos and Finny did last year and Garrett appears to be doing so far this year learning to pitch at the big league level can at times be very humbling.Reed and Stephensen have not got the same chances so we get to see the warm bodies go out there while we discuss what little bit we see them pitch out of the pen and how bad their control is.Give them 20 or 25 starts the rest of the year and let them show they can or can’t.

    • Playtowin

      They have not done anything to earn 25 big league starts. This is not neighborhood little league ball.

  13. james garrett

    Disco,Finny or Garrett did anything to earn their starts either.In fact Finny was a reliever when he came over in the trade with the RoyalsDisco had just started a few games for the Marlins and nobody though Garrett would make the team out of spring training since he hadn’t pitched but a handful of games at AAA.I believe Finny also lead the league last year in walks or was close to leading.All 3 were just threw into the fire and still have good games and bad games just like any first or second year pitcher will do.Reed/Stephensen need to be given the same chance.