Since I last wrote an overarching column, the Reds blew up everything, sending down Amir Garrett, Cody Reed, and Rookie Davis. That undoubtedly makes the Louisville rotation much better, but things are a little more confusing in Cincinnati. The most interesting demotion is Garrett, which has to be about service time (no matter what the official word is). That demotion tells us the Reds are still dedicated to The Plan, so I thought it would be a good idea to see where the plan is likely to take us by the end of the year.
Blah blah injuries blah. Given the nature of their injuries, I’m going to assume that it’s unlikely Anthony DeSclafani and Homer Bailey are both pitching at the end of the year. Brandon Finnegan probably will. And then it’s the kids. Here’s what I think the depth chart is in the second half:
Let’s start at the bottom. It tells you something that they haven’t sent Stephenson down and they haven’t tapped him to start any games yet. He may have entered sink-or-swim territory for the Reds. I’d bet he doesn’t get any chances to start until the Reds see he’s able to consistently throw strikes and control his pitch counts.
Tyler Mahle is coming along fast and probably needs to enter this column. I’d wager he’s in Louisville soon, but we’ll see. Davis probably wasn’t quite ready, but that doesn’t mean he can’t get there.
Adleman has shown, if nothing else, that he will not blow up. He’s reliable. He won’t be a world beater, but he’s providing solid innings, and that matters.
Cody Reed is in Louisville working as a starter. This tells us that the Reds still see him that way. He’ll get a chance before the year is over.
Amir Garrett is good. He’s not entirely polished yet, but he’s getting there. Once he does his two weeks in Louisville, I doubt he’ll see the minors again.
There are two places right now where the Reds have more starters than they need – the middle infield and the outfield. They also have important infield and outfield prospects in the lower minors. Someone is getting traded eventually. Probably more than someone.
Cozart is easily the most likely to go, but Peraza or Herrera can’t finally hit in a consistent manner, there’s maybe at least some chance Cozart sticks around, but it’s unlikely.
In the outfield, I don’t know what’s going to happen Scott Schebler and Adam Duvall have hit very well. Jesse Winker has also hit well in Louisville. He’s much younger and also a completely different player than either Schebler or Duvall.
In the outfield, at least, this is a good problem to have, but something has to give. Many of these players are at peak value, but who knows. The Reds are generally deep enough that they may stick with what they have. Let’s just say that by the end of the year I think Cozart will be gone and there will be a real and clear pecking order in the outfield.
It’s still early, but it won’t be for much longer. June is on the horizon. Soon, roles will start to be doled out. Decisions are going to be made, and the team in September isn’t going to look like it looks now.