Big news out of Reds camp today, as the club made a number of cuts:
Today the Reds optioned to Class AAA Louisville RHP Jackson Stephens and RHP Robert Stephenson; reassigned to minor league camp RHP Dylan Floro, RHP Tanner Rainey, C Joe Hudson, IF/OF Rosell Herrera, OF Ben Revere and OF Mason Williams; released lHP Oliver Pérez. #RedsST
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) March 22, 2018
Not a lot surprising there, but it is certainly interesting. First, Ben Revere has been reassigned, and he’ll have to decide whether to accept the demotion or not. I’d be shocked if he reported to the minor league camp, but we’ll know soon.
Price wasn’t sure in Revere would report to Triple-A or not. #reds
— John Fay (@johnfayman) March 22, 2018
In addition, LOOGY Oliver Pérez was released. Again, it isn’t particularly surprising, but I thought the veteran lefty had a chance to make the bullpen. He may or may not latch on with another team.
Perhaps the biggest — though not unexpected — news is that Robert Stephenson didn’t make the big league rotation. Unlike last season, the Reds aren’t going to fool around with putting him in the Cincinnati bullpen to begin the campaign. It is expected that Stephenson will go down and anchor the rotation at Triple-A Louisville, and presumably Jackson Stephens will also be in that group.
So…the Cincinnati starting staff is beginning to take shape:
Looks as if the rotation is pretty much set: Bailey, Castillo, Mahle, Romano… with Garrett/Finnegan as the fifth when needed
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) March 22, 2018
At this point, it really appears that the Opening Day rotation will be Homer Bailey, Luis Castillo, Tyler Mahle, and Sal Romano. Once the Reds need a fifth starter, it will be Amir Garrett or Brandon Finnegan, presuming Finnegan is every healthy again in his entire life. (He’s having some Mesoraco-level bad luck.)
I’m pretty nervous about the Reds starting corps, since the Reds don’t have a single pitcher who has both (a) demonstrated an ability to stay healthy, and (b) pitched a full big league season. That’s a lot of uncertainty, and I could see that turning into just as big a mess as last year.
But there is reason for optimism. Castillo, Mahle, Romano, Garrett, and Finnegan are all young and talented. It’s going to be fun to watch them get better and better at the big league level (fingers crossed and hoping for the best). More than anything, I’m happy to see Mahle win a spot. All that guy does is get hitters out. And if Garrett can pitch like he has in spring training, he’ll be in the full-time rotation sooner rather than later.
Finally, we have a full-on Rebuild Rotation. Let’s see what we’ve got, shall we?
Oh yeah, and here’s one more reminder:
The Reds play real baseball in one week. pic.twitter.com/p6nYU8CSad
— Redleg Nation (@redlegnation) March 22, 2018
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.