I kinda loved this quote from Reds pitcher Cody Reed, from Mark Sheldon’s report on yesterday’s spring training victory over the Giants:

“Who says I can’t be a starter? Who says I’m not one of the top five guys?” Reed said. “Whoever does, they need to re-evaluate what they’re saying. I’m think I’m good enough to pitch with the five top guys. I know I’m one of them. I’ll be the best bullpen guy there is and I’ll be the best starter I can be with those five guys. I got the opportunity today and thought I made pretty good progress.”

Reed gave up two earned runs and six hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Although he was sprayed with hits, he showed good command.

“Really, overall it was a three-pitch mix and really good sliders in on the righties, a good changeup and fastball command,” Price said. “It was really encouraging.”

For his part, Reed had an explanation at the ready for the six hits and two runs he surrendered:

“Everyone knows I throw a slider to strike guys out. I have to show I can use an out-pitch with my fastball,” said Reed, who has a 5.11 ERA in six games. “I shook [off the] slider and threw the fastball. It missed back over the plate and Buster Posey is the type of guy who doesn’t miss those. The next guy was the same thing. I got quick outs right after that and got back into the dugout. I felt good about throwing strikes.”

Reed is almost certainly going to be on the outside looking in once the regular season begins. But I’ve been kinda irrationally rooting for the guy, mostly because I’ve seen him at his best, and the guy looks like an awfully good pitcher to me. (I’ve also seen him at his worst, as have many of you.)

Here’s hoping Reed carries that attitude to Louisville, where the Reds permit him to start every five days in Triple-A rather than have him wasting away in the Cincinnati bullpen. If Reed has really put his struggles — with his command, especially — behind him, there will be opportunities to start in the big leagues this season. He can force Cincinnati’s hand.

But I’m not the one who has been saying you can’t be a starter, Cody Reed. I don’t know who started that rumor. It was probably Wick Terrell.*

*Editor’s note: It wasn’t Wick Terrell.

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! 41 Comments

  1. Why says?

  2. I really hope if he’s not in Cincinnati’s rotation that he’s in Louisville as a starter. A guy who would be a potential starting pitcher if he can find his control should not be used irregularly as a reliever. And I don’t care if we lack LH relievers– unless we’re competing for the WS, developing a starter is more important than having a matchup reliever this season.

    We need at least one of Reed or Garrett to be good in the rotation in 2019 and 2020, and the best way to find out which one is for both of them to start regularly.

  3. Reed’s stuff is too good to pass on but time is running out for him and Bob Steve. Both with great stuff but little progress. The only good news for them is that IMO Finnegan will end up in the BP and Disco seems like an injury waiting to happen (too bad, love the guy).

  4. He’s got talent. I hope that’s confidence he’s showing and not arrogance.

    • Pretty much every great athlete is “arrogant” IMO. You have to be to succeed at a high level, I think..

      • Winker and Ervin both have “attitude”. I am high on both of them. Reed’s pitches were getting pelted it’s been difficult to see it in him. Glad to see a good outing for him.

      • When a pitcher is that boastful about giving up 6 hits and 2 runs in 3 innings, is that a statement of worse past performances or of the competition he now faces?

        • That is what I was thinking also. 6 hits and 2 runs in 4 innings is not bragging rights.

  5. Wouldnt you love to see Cody be a shut down multi inning force out of the pen. I think both Cody and Robert were used incorrectly last season.

    • They have to throw, starting or relieving. If they can be a multi-inning, shutdown reliever, they can be a starter. It’s not their stuff or stamina. It’s their control.

  6. Chad writes… “mostly because I’ve seen him at his best”.

    When was this, exactly? I haven’t seen Reed be good for any extended amount of time.

    The details of 2016 and 2017, Cincinnati or Louisville, don’t show a positive WAR MLB pitcher.

    https://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=15232&position=P

    Reed, Lorenzen, Garrett…all have talked this spring about “deserving” to be in the rotation come Opening Day.

    Just pitch lights out. If you go to Louisville, pitch lights out there. The Reds are wedded to no one but Bailey, Castillo and probably DeSclafani (if he ever heals).

    If these big talkers can’t pitch their way over extended regular season games on the Reds rotation in 2018, they aren’t going to make it in MLB, period.

    Quality organizations would tell them to talk (much) less about what they deserve and prove it beyond any doubt, but you know…..

    • This is exactly the point. You do not hear Mahle going on Allen iverson like rants about how good he is.

      Go where they tell u to go and pitch so well they can’t keep you there anymore. Bob Steve, Reed, even Garrett. Just get people out and quit politicking.

      By the way— the greatest hitter in the world refused to accept it when Eric Byrnes called him that during his hitting tips interview (Vottomatic). That’s the humble leadership these kids need to aspire to.

    • Ummm…until last year, Reed was uniformly brilliant in the minor leagues for the Reds. It hasn’t translated (yet) to the big league level, but to say he wasn’t great in the minors for the Reds before 2017 is just false.

      • C’mon, Chad, really?

        To quote C.P. Scott…”Opinions are free, but facts are sacred.”

        Reed was not great in the minors in 2016.

        http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=milb&player_id=642003#/gamelogs/R/pitching/2016/MINORS

        Of the 13 starts, across all of 73 innings, he did not get into the 6th inning in 5 of them. High pitch counts to get just to there. Rising ERA (for lack of a better metric) throughout majority of the season.

        Down below, David nails it regarding Reed. Legend in his own mind, until he proves otherwise.

        My copy of your book arrives tomorrow. Am hoping “brilliant” is used better in it than it was here.

        • He had two not good minor league games in 2016. Otherwise he was excellent. I saw this in person and it is also apparent in his game logs.

        • I am having trouble finding out how this link does not justify Chad’s point much less prove yours. 3.08 ERA pretty good
          73 innings 60 K, 20 BB pretty close to brilliant.
          2015 overall stats were close to “brilliant” if you are disputing that adjective

      • He wasn’t uniformly brilliant. He uniformly projected to be eventually good. Projections are not performance.

        My post was about his (and others’) rants, not his performance. It’s really only the former that he’s been any good at over the last 2+ years.

        And by the way, I’m a huge Cody Reed The Prospect fan. It’s time for him to grow up, grind, see a shrink, overcome, and morph into the pitcher he’s “projected” to be.

        • I’d love to see Tony Cingrani…..I mean Cody Reed …. develop into a solid starter or top reliever.

          • Send Reed to the Dodgers. Voila’ …wish granted.

          • Reed has two things Cingrani didn’t; a slider and a change-up. Cingrani has just gotten to the point that he’s comfortable using a 2nd pitch.

  7. Cody…go to Louisville and show us you are one of the five best. Make the hitter guess if you going to throw a slider or fast ball to finish him off…then finish him off. I’m rooting for you.

  8. I love this too. Determination and dedication matter. Add in talent and all you lack is confidence. And if Cody Reed is regaining his confidence, add to the other three and he just might succeed after all. I’m hoping he starts the season in the Bats rotation, dominates, and is ready to step in if (probably when) someone in the Reds rotation is hurt or struggling. And I too am rooting for Cody Reed to succeed, and will as he’s in the Reds system.

  9. Reed has a million dollar arm and a ten cent head.

    He is now behind Garrett and Mahle, on any mythical Reds depth chart. If he doesn’t pick it up, he will be behind Jose Lopez too. And Stephenson, if he gets his control together at AAA this year.
    He is in the situation he is in because he has NOT performed well above AA ball. It wasn’t how he was used last year. It’s him. Stop making excuses for a guy that has been handed opportunities and hasn’t delivered.

    He cannot consistently locate the ball in the zone, and then freaks out and doesn’t throw strikes. People were apologizing all over the place for him in 2016 when he got a chance to start with the Reds, and he got lit up. Repeatedly.

    I want him to succeed, but I would not bet the ranch on it.

    • Unfortunately, this is exactly how I feel as well. There were people who complained he only got one MLB start last season, but how could you possibly justify giving him more, based on what he did in the minors? Like you said, lit up.

      I would love for him to prove me wrong this season.

      • What are you talking about? His minor league numbers, while not great weren’t horrible. 3.55 ERA, 4.28 FIP 4.31 xFIP. Not much worse than Garrett. 5.72 ERA 4.03 FIP, 3.94xFIP. I can see Garrett getting the nod over Reed right now due to age but I wouldn’t be surprised if Reed went on to have the better career.

  10. he will win 12-13 games in the majors this year.

  11. Cody Reed has what i call a Todd Coffey fastball. The hitter picks it up early and it’s as straight as an arrow.

    It’s interesting to see, as a former (lefty) pitcher I’ll tell you messing with mechanics, namely arm slot and the lead shoulder and glove arm is dangerous. So if Reed lacks deception that’s not really his fault.

    But what is his (and Todd Coffey’s) fault, is the straight fastball. You can practice grip variance, two seam, cut, even split if your hands are big enough, and create the deception with movement. Cueto learned it on the fly AFTER arriving to the bigs. If you go back and watch his debut start (legendary) – he had a straight fastball.

    Anyway, to wrap up my stance on Reed: he needs to be trying to create some movement on that fastball, and doing less self-congralutory interviews at this point.

    • Or master the change-up. Dan Straily helped Finnegan with it and he was making progress before he got hurt. Reed seems to throw everything hard and they not only pickup his straight fastball, but the slider is often so far inside that they just take it and he falls behind in the count. If he ever added a decent changeup then it makes the fastball that much better, but I’m not holding my breath.

      If Mahle is held down, then the 5th spot is between Reed, Lorenzen, and Stephenson. I’d go with Lorenzen but it will be interesting? If they keep Mahle then who moves to the pen and who starts in Lville? They did Stephenson a disservice last year by leaving him in the Reds pen but only using him 2 innings a week. All 3 of those guys have the stuff but no command so they need steady work!

    • I have only seen Reed pitch a handful of times. Other than his slider, it seems he has trouble getting hitters to swing at balls outside of the strike zone. It’s either due to his pitches not being deceptive enough or due to his lack of command which allows the hitters to sit and wait on good pitches. Could be a combination of both. His comment about working on the fastball to try to make it another out pitch shows recognition that he needs to make changes.

  12. It’s not that Reed can’t be a starter. But as of now he is not a starter. I agree with the hint of direction in Old-School’s comment above. Follow the path that Tony Cingrani chose when he was beaten out for a rotation slot by another young gun who arrived at the same time, Johnny Cueto: Become a solid reliever, a major league contributor and a solid teammate!

    • Cueto arrived with the Reds in April 2008, almost 5 years before Cingrani. Cingrani wasn’t even drafted until 2011. He made it to the Bigs in Sept of 2012. He had a great live, fastball but could not master anything else. And he was always in the doghouse with Price, because…get this….he was stubborn about learning. Just like Reed.

      He has done alright with the Dodgers, but he is still a difficult to manage pitcher.

      I would bet that unless Reed undergoes some fabulous transformation that this is his last season with Cincinnati.

      • My bad. You are right. I meant to say Sam LeCure not Tony Cingrani_. Cingrani came up with the Reds in 2010 as a starter–but switched to the bullpen when Cueto returned if my memory is correct). Some mornings I just need more coffee.

  13. Correction… SAM LeCure (not Tony Cingrani).

  14. There’s something going on in that clubhouse that hasn’t surfaced yet. Usually you can expect one youngster upset, but Price has several young pitchers voicing their concern/displeasure, whatever you want to call it, on how they see there rotation chances, etc. It seems to me that there may be a “Mutiny on the Bounty” thing happening. Is it Price, is it Mac Jenkins?

  15. Reed, Max Fried and other young LHP’s are working through “growing” pains. I don’t think this is anything new. Time and patience. I do not believe that Red’s management has a stable, coherent plan for their young pitchers. For example sitting Stephenson in the bullpen in the 1st half of LY when he could have been working as a starter in L-Ville.

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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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