We knew Luis Castillo was getting close to his innings limit, and now we know that Wednesday will be his last start of the 2017 season:

The Reds’ rotation will undergo another revision later this week, manager Bryan Price revealed on Tuesday. Exactly how it will change is unclear, for now, but Luis Castillo will be moved out and Amir Garrett will be moving in. Tyler Mahle could also be shut down after a couple of more starts and Sal Romano might get pushed back a day or two.

“We have a general idea, but it’s free-flowing,” Price said. “I don’t want to get too far into it because we haven’t talked to all the guys. It’s not a big deal. It’s just reshuffling the deck.”

Go read the entire piece.

If that’s the end of Castillo’s season, then everyone should be thrilled. What an incredible rookie campaign for a guy the Reds received in exchange for Dan Straily. The ceiling is the roof for Castillo.

The flip side of that equation is that Amir Garrett now has an opportunity to salvage something positive out of his own rookie season. Fingers crossed.

Of equal interest is this comment by Price:

“There’s a good chance you can see three of the four guys in the rotation at some point,” Price said. “How many starts we can get them, I don’t know. I can’t make a great commitment until we actually get them slotted in. When we get Castillo out and Mahle out, it will become a little bit clearer.”

Combine that, with this nugget from Price’s pre-game comments on Tuesday:

Then throw in the fact that Reed’s last two outings for Triple-A Louisville this year were short outings of three innings each. He started both games, but was removed after three innings, having allowed just one hit and no walks each time (his most effective outings in weeks).

The Reds haven’t stated anything definitively, as far as I can tell, but it certainly seems like Cody Reed — who was perhaps the Reds top pitching prospect as 2017 dawned — is thisclose to being cast into the bullpen, never to be heard from again.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 43 Comments

  1. So if a starter struggled with command or injury, he goes to the bullpen… never to return.

    Darth Price strikes again.

  2. Reed’s stuff is better then Garrett’s or Rookie’s.All 3 have struggled throwing strikes but Reed has struggled more.

  3. Price already set back Stephenson’s development by keeping him in the bp for the first two months and now Reed is going to get the Chapman treatment. Meanwhile Rookie Davis gets another shot a starting. Ya giving Price one more year: not a wise move.

    • Really? His command was worse then it is now. Sending him down to Louisville to work on it was his turning point.

      • Thanks for proving my point. He wasn’t able to work on command coming out of the bull pen for one two innings a week. And the turning point was him working on his slider, not his command. He even said as much in an interview. He’s still walking a lot of guys.

        • Maybe it was time with the big league club, getting straight talk from veteran pitchers. Maybe it was getting beat around when his command was poor. Whatever it was, Bob Stephenson went back to AAA and finally showed some improved command. I was skeptical about Stephenson overall, as well as how the Reds had handled, developed him, but the fact that he went to Louisville and finally improved his command was critical progress. Maybe something they did worked.

        • Improving his command won’t do much good unless he learns to quit tipping his pitches.

          • Are you sure he’s tipping or is this just a hunch? Whenever I see a pitcher get banged around like that and struggle with control, I look for signs of injury or signs of tipping. I don’t have the luxury that MLB teams have in studying hours of video on these guys but didn’t see anything. If you’re sure you’re seeing something, you may want to pass it on to the Reds.

        • The larger point is that Stephenson is showing some serious progress. It’s easy to be critical of all decisions made by Price and/or the FO, but something has worked. With Reed, it certainly seems possible that they’ve come to understand that they can’t rush him, that progress will be incremental and small increments, at that. There probably are some things you wouldn’t work on coming out of the pen, such as new pitches, but why do you say that working on command is precluded?

          • I answered your question in the comment you replied to. If you are only facing 3 batters every week you aren’t really getting a large enough body of work to see if your command, or anything else is improving.

          • What @Citizen54 said and I’ll add that working out of the pen, you never really know when you are going to get called upon to pitch. That makes nearly impossible to get in regular side sessions like you do on a starter’s routine.

    • You realize that Price doesn’t have final say over the roster, right?

      • Where did I say anything about the roster? I was talking about usage. And I’m sure Price has some input into the roster.

    • Maybe, just maybe, sending Stephenson down was what woke him up from a 2 year slumber. Maybe that was the impetus for his resurgence. Blaming Price for Stephenson’s inability to throw strikes is ludicrous.

      • What’s up with all these strawman arguments? Where did I blame Price for Stephenson not being able to throw strikes? Maybe, just maybe, Stephenson was able to throw more strikes after being given a regular opportunity.

  4. Hey now there is a LOOGY

  5. Should’ve known it was Innings Limit. You know, I think I read right here on Redlegnation once, how this innings limit practice is inconclusive at best as to whether or not they work. If so, then why does it continue to be practiced? I don’t think I believe in this practice. Not sure though.

    • A set innings limit is absolutely bunk, however, they have to(hopefully) have the ability to measure biomechanics and tell if a pitcher is fatiguing. To me, the worst thing a person can do, is play exhausted as it destroys there performance, then again Duvall….

    • Maybe the innings limit is more of an issue with young pitchers? I imagine that very few rookies have ever come close to 200ip in a season in high school, college or the minors, so the issue would be conditioning the body for the increased work load. Working out, while important , probably can’t accomplish that by itself.

  6. How has Garrett pitched any better to deserve the starts over Reed? Reed has had his issues with mechanics and command, but Garrett has struggled to find the strike zone himself. Seems a bit foolish to pigeonhole Reed into the bullpen. Maybe the next topic of debate will be #FreeReed.

    • Garrett can change speeds. His starts in April were better then anything Reed has ever done. Of course it doesn’t help that Reed seems to face the Cubs every time he starts for the Reds? Bottom line…Reed is just too wild and lacks command. I’m thinking his role might be Tony Cingrani II? Just come out throwing 97 versus lefties preferably, and maybe a walk or 2 won’t hurt.

  7. I’m glad they’re shutting down Castillo after today. Maybe had they shut down Finnegan sooner last year …………… Anyway, looking forward to seeing Garrett & Davis in the rotation. Perhaps the plot thickens for the 2018 rotation.

    • The violent, full-effort delivery by Finnegan is probably more of an issue than IP as related to Finnegan’s health. Finnegan really needs to takes some Cueto lessons. Maybe Bronson can work some magic in communicating with Finnegan how to pitch effectively as a starter at the major league level.

      • I still like Finnegan! 2.97 era in the 2nd half last year. I think he picked up something on his changeup from Dan Straily and made some strides.

        • I like Finnegan too. I hope he can come back healthy in 2018 and competes for the starting rotation. Yes, Straily did help him refine his changeup last season with excellent results.

      • I share your thinking, Cossack. Finnegan’s delivery puts me in mind of cars I have owned: when is the next thing going to fall off? Because something has to.

      • I’m in the put Finnegan in the bullpen camp.
        Less stress and strain on a guy with arm troubles.
        Peralta is the only lefty down there now (not counting Reed).
        He can use his max effort pitching for 2 high leverage innings against the stupid Cubs lefty-heavy lineup

  8. If Reed isn’t one of those guys going to the rotation, then who are the three or four guys? Garrett obviously. Rookie Davis? Jackson Stephens? Neither inspired much confidence at AAA. Maybe they are just trying to fill some innings.

    I like both Davis and Stephens, but they are probably bullpen guys long term.

  9. Cody Reed will likely be traded and get it together with another team.

    • When it comes to stuff between he, Garrett, and Davis, Reed’s is definitely the best. I hope he doesn’t end up being permanently relegated to the pen. It would really make the return on the Cueto trade thin.

  10. No issue with Garrett getting the 1st available opportunity to break into the starting rotation this month. The real issue will be who gets the 2nd opportunity when Mahle reaches his innings limit for the season. Stephens is still a year or two from being ready to compete at the major league level and Rookie may never be ready to compete at the major league level, at least as a starter. I thought Reed would get the 1st opportunity rather than Garrett, but if Reed gets the 2nd opportunity and pitches from the bullpen in extended appearances until his chance arrives, I won’t quibble over the arrangement. Now if Reed is relegated to the bullpen…period…and Wojo or Adelman or Rookie or Stephens takes the next opportunity in the starting rotation, then another brick in the foundation of confidence in DW and BP crumbles to dust and that dust pile is already becoming hazardous.

    • I am afraid that Reeds’ fate has been sealed. He isn’t one of he top 5 pitchers for the rotation. But he is one of the 12 best pitchers the Reds have. I don’t think Louisville is in his future for 2018, unless he falters badly in the pen.
      I think this gives a bullpen reprieve to Finnegan for the time being as he’ll be given every opportunity to win his rotation spot back in the spring.
      Finnegan and DeSclafani will be the wild cards in the rotation mix come next spring. There might end up being 12 players vying for those 5 rotation spots in the spring. In a weird turn of events, the Reds might be starter selling at the end of spring training.
      What has happened to Ariel Hernandez? He couldn’t find the plate with a map, a flashlight, and a GPS navigation system.

      • Hernandez has never had good control, just good stuff, irrespective of his miniscule sample size of success during his early exposure to MLB. If he learns to harness his potential, command the strike zone and locate his fastball, he will have a lot of success and make a lot of money as a back-end reliever. If not…well his ceiling will be a career minor league filler until he is cut and goes unclaimed.

    • Based upon Price’s comments regarding Reed, it looks like Davis and Stephens are going to be given chances before Reed, which is what I have been griping about. It just seems odd that they want to develop Davis and Stephens ahead of Reed.

      Like you I also have no problem with the top brass wanting to give Garrett the first shot since he is older than Reed and has a higher ceiling than Davis and Stephens.

  11. Cody Reed’s looks big and ungainly with that big sweeping motion, got to figure keeping all that straight and release point right is not easy to do. Every once in a while he gets into a groove and it’s all working, but it seems hard to repeat.

Comments are closed.

About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.


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