The Reds soon need to start making some tough decisions as Eugenio Suarez and David Hernandez return from the DL.

Suarez will return to the club and take over 3B where Alex Blandino has been getting the bulk of playing time the last few games. Blandino has also been on a hot streak of late putting up a .333/.407/.333/.740 line over the last week after a 1 for 11 start in the big leagues. Will Blandino, who is an ideal #2 hitter and Scooter Gennett platoon partner, return to Louisville upon Suarez return from the DL, or will the Reds keep him and cut ties with one of Chad Pennington or Phil Gosselin? The decision will most likely come down to whether the Reds feel Blandino will get enough playing time with the big league club if kept on the 25 man roster.

Hernandez will return from the DL to join the bullpen soon. The Reds will first have to determine upon his return if they plan to continue with the current 7 man bullpen or expand it to an 8 man bullpen. If they stick with a seven man bullpen it would would appear at first glance that Dylan Floro or Autin Brice might be on the bubble. But both Floro and Brice have performed well in the bullpen thus far. If the Reds add Hernandez and expand the bullpen to 8 pitchers, then a bench player will be on the bubble. This would mean either OF Phil Ervin or one of Blandino/Pennington/Gosselin, depending on which of them survives the Suarez return to action, would be removed from the 25 man roster.

We should get to see the answers to these roster decisions soon. In the mean time, let’s see what is going on down on the farm.


AAA Louisville Bats

The Bats had a 7 – 9 record and in 4th out of 4 in the International League West.

International League hitters are hitting .246/.325/.368/.693.

  • OF/IF Rossell Herrera, .333/.397/.649/1.046, has played every defensive position except P, C, and 1B for the Bats already this season. The 25 year old switch hitter has also been the teams best hitter thus far this season and is the team leader with 3 HR, 2 3B, and 5 2B.
  • RF Sebastian Elizalde, .289/.333/.533/.867, is off to another fine start at AAA. The 26 year old LH batter is tied for 2nd on the team with 2 HR and tied for the team lead with 5 2B.
  • IF/OF Brandon Dixon, .293/.341/.463/.804, has seen time in the field at 2B, RF, 1B, and LF. The 26 year old utility man is again getting it done at the plate for the Bats.
  • CF Mason Williams, .289/.333/.467/.800, has played only CF for the Louisville squad. The 26 year old left handed swinger is swinging a good bat to start the season.
  • 2B/3B Nick Senzel, .246/.333/.361/.694, looks to be dead on the International League average through his first 69 PA at AAA. The 23 year old has played 9 G at 2B and 6 G at 3B so far this year.

International League pitchers have a 3.63 ERA.

  • LH SP Justin Nicolino, 3.00 ERA, has thrown 15 IP allowing 14 H and 7 BB with 13 SO. The 26 year old has been a good pick up for the Reds thus far.
  • RH SP Bob Stephenson, 2.95 ERA, has tossed 21.1 IP allowing 14 H and 17 BB with 20 SO. The 25 year old is still struggling big time with his control. Yesterday it took him 89 pitches to get through 4 IP where he issued 8 BB.
  • LH SP Cody Reed, 3.00 ERA, went 3 IP allowing 1 H and 2 BB with 3 SO in his first start with the Bats this season.
  • RH RP Jimmy Herget, 0.00 ERA, has thrown 5.2 IP allowing 4 H and 1 BB with 5 SO.
  • RH RP Tanner Rainey, 0.00 ERA, has tossed 7 IP allowing 2 H and 2 BB with 13 SO. It’s good to see the 25 year old reliever keeping his BB totals down.


AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos

The Blue Wahoos had a 8 – 11 record and are 3rd out of 5 in the Southern League South

Southern League hitters are hitting .252/.331/.388/.719.

  • OF/IF Josh VanMeter, .333/.453/.549/1.002, has been splitting time in the field between LF and 2B. The 23 year old LH hitter leads the club with 8 2B and has 12 BB and 11 SO in 66 PA.
  • 2B Shed Long, .344/.408/.484/.893, is tied for 2nd on the team with 7 2B. The 22 year old LH hitter is positioning himself well for a promotion to AAA when Nick Senzel joins the big league club this year.
  • OF/1B Nick Longhi, .327/.367/.473/.839, is tied for the team lead with 2 HR. The 22 year old has split time between LF an 1B for the Blue Wahoos.
  • 3B Taylor Sparks, .255/.354/.473/.827, is tied for the club lead with 2 HR and leads the club with 24 SO. The 25 year old is getting his first taste of success at AA.
  • CF Gabriel Guerrero, .299/.351/.433/.784, is again hitting well at AA. The 24 year old OF has seen all of his time on defense in CF thus far.

Southern League pitchers have a 3.89 ERA.

  • RH SP Keury Mella, 1.35 ERA, has thrown 20 IP allowing 16 H and 5 BB with 16 SO. The 24 year old was the key piece in the Mike Leake trade to the Giants and appears to be trying to put himself back onto the prospect map after a disappointing year last season.
  • RH SP Wyatt Strahan, 3.00 ERA, has thrown 15 IP allowing 12 H and 7 BB with 7 SO. The 25 year old is off to a decent start at the AA level.
  • LH RP Dean Kiekhefer, 0.00 ERA, has tossed 7.2 IP allowing 6 H and 1 BB with 10 SO. The 29 year old reliever is not a prospect as he has already amassed 195.1 IP with a 2.86 ERA at the AAA level.


High A Daytona Tortugas

The Tortugas had a 14 – 5 record and are 1st out of 6 in the Florida State League North.

Florida State League hitters are hitting .256/.327/.381/.708.

  • 1B Ibandel Isabel, .375/.444/.708/1.153, has 2 HR in 27 PA since being acquired by the Reds in the Ariel Hernandez trade with the Dodgers. The 23 year old has played 4 G at 1B and 2 G as the DH.
  • RF Daniel Sweet, .396/.517/.563/1.079, has played 13 G in RF and 2 G in LF. The 23 year old switch hitter is at Daytona for the 2nd straight season, he hit .270/.372/.325/.697 over 410 PA there last year.
  • 3B Mitch Nay, .309/.368/.618/.986, leads the club with 5 HR, 6 2B, and 20 RBI. The 24 year old was a AAA Phase of the Rule 5 draft selection by Reds last winter.
  • C Tyler Stephenson, .339/.425/.532/.957, is the teams primary catcher and has appeared in 4 G as the teams DH. The 21 year old is creating a tough decision for the Reds to make when Chris Okey returns from the DL. Will they send one of them to AA, and if so, which one?
  • OF Taylor Trammell, .266/.390/.484/.874, has played 12 G in CF and 6 G in LF. The 20 year old continues to put up impressive numbers in a league for which he is 2 years younger than the league average player.
  • 2B Dilson Herrera, .286/.348/.460/.808, has started 14 G at 2B and 1 G as the DH. The 24 year old is finally starting to heat up at the plate and has been playing regularly in the field. It will be interesting to see if he or Shed Long get the promotion to AAA when Nick Senzel finally gets the call to the big leagues.
  • OF/IF Malik Collymore, .273/.347/.432/.779, leads the club with 5 SB. The 23 year old has played 6 G in RF, 2 G at 2B, 1 G at LF, and 4 G at DH.
  • OF T.J. Friedl, .233/.397/.367/.764, leads the team with 14 BB. The 22 year old LH hitter has played 11 G in LF and 7 G in CF.

Florida State League pitchers have a 4.02 ERA.

  • RH SP Tony Santillan, 0.40 ERA, has thrown 22.2 IP allowing 14 H and 5 BB with 24 SO. The 21 year old has been dominate at A+ so far this season.
  • RH SP Ryan Olson, 2.35 ERA, has tossed 23 IP allowing 21 H and 7 BB with 22 SO. The 23 year old is pitching very well after making just 4 GS last year at A Dayton.
  • RH RP Joel Kuhnel, 0.87 ERA, has thrown 10.1 IP allowing 7 H and 0 BB with 14 SO. The 23 year old is off to good start in his first taste of A+.


Low A Dayton Dragons

The Dragons had a 9 – 7 record and are 3rd out of 8 in the Midwest League Eastern

Midwest League hitters are hitting .241/.330/.351/.681.

  • C Hendrik Clementina, .400/.405/.714/1.120, is tied for the club lead with 2 HR. Teh 21 year old has played 5 G at C and 5 G at DH.
  • OF Stuart Fairchild, .311/.391/.475/.867, is tied for the club lead with 2 HR. The 22 year old has played 7 G in CF, 7 G in LF, and 3 G in RF.
  • OF Narciso Crook, .257/.349/.514/.863, has played 6 G in RF, 3 G in LF, and 3 G at DH. The 22 year old is back in Dayton this year after spending some time last season in A+ Daytona.
  • 1B Montrell Marshall, .269/.377/.442/.819, leads the club with 6 2B and 21 SO. The 22 year old has spent all of his time in the field at 1B.
  • IF John Sansone, ..282/.349/.436/.785, has played 3B, 2B, 1B, and DH for the Dragons this season. The 24 year old in back in Dayton again this season after putting up a .706 OPS in 445 PA there last year.
  • SS/2B Jeter Downs, .262/.366/.393/.760, has played 8 G at 2B and 7 G at SS this season. The 19 year old middle infielder is putting up good numbers in a league for which he is 2 years younger that the league average player.

Midwest League pitchers have a 3.93 ERA.

  • RH SP Wendolyn Bautista, 3.77 ERA, has thrown 14.1 IP allowing 16 H and 8 BB with 14 SO. The 25 year old is back in Dayton after putting up 4.49 ERA over 19 GS at A+ Daytona last season.
  • LH SP Packy Naughton, 4.22 ERA, has thrown 21.1 IP allowing 22 H and 7 BB with 18 SO. The 22 year old 3.15 ERA in 12 GS at R Billings last year.
  • RH SP Hunter Greene, 13.50 ERA, has thrown 6 IP allowing 12 H and 4 BB with 12 SO. The 18 year old phenom has a ugly 2.67 WHIP while managing to strike out 2 batters every inning he pitches.
  • RH RP Cory Thompson, 0.00 ERA, has tossed 6.2 IP allowing 4 H and 0 BB with 6 SO. The 23 year old former middle infielder continues his quest to become a pitcher.
  • RH RP Connor Ryan, 0.00 ERA, has tossed 5.2 IP allowing 3 H and 5 BB with 5 SO. The 23 year old will need to cut down his BB to maintain his perfect ERA.
  • RH RP John Ghyzel, 0.00 ERA, has tossed 6 IP allowing 2 H and 2 BB with 9 SO. The 22 year old has also recorded 3 S for the Dragons.


9 Responses

  1. doofus

    Ebby Calvin Laloosh (aka Robert Stephenson) walked 8 in 4 innings. Ouch! Where’s “Crash” Louisville needs him?

    • Bill

      Amazingly 8 walks and 2 hits only equaled 1 run over those four innings. I haven’t watched him pitch, but maybe this is a case of being a thrower vs a pitcher? Or maybe he is destined to be a bullpen guy

  2. Shchi Cossack

    Tom, you kindly provided this information to me once before and I saved that response, but now I can’t find where I saved it and I can’t remember what it was.

    Where do you find the league averages for stats and ages?


  3. Shchi Cossack

    The issue regarding Long and Herrera goes beyond just the promotion to AAA. Herrera finally seems to be past his shoulder issue and playing regularly. Right now both players are targeted as 2B only and the Reds also have Blandino as a 2B and demonstrating the ability to play at the MLB level right now. Then the Reds have the Senzel factor possibly targeting 2B also. Having a surplus of talent at any position is a good thing, but finding a way to utilize that surplus is imperative.

    The Reds have positional needs at SS and CF, with every other position pretty well locked down or has multiple good options with prospects lined up (2B). The Reds experimented with the idea of Senzel shifting to SS, but have apparently moved past that experiment. Suarez or Peraza may end up at SS going forward. None of Blandino, Long or Herrera can play SS. Any options for CF are still playing in A & A+. With Blandino, Long and Herrera all possibly being ready for a crack at MLB in 2019, I was wondering if you thought any of those 3 2B prospects could transition to CF defensively?

  4. WVRedlegs

    Good work Tom. Thanks for the walk-thru on some tough impending decisions the Reds will have to make.
    It is great to see Shederick Long doing so well after a rough start to AA last year after his call up from A+. Good that he made whatever adjustments he had to. Being just 22, no need to rush him. Give him a solid half season at AA this year. When Senzel gets promoted, it might be more prudent to send Dilson Herrera to AAA to see what he can do. If he struggles or is just middling, then flip-flop Long and Herrera, as long as Shederick is still hitting.
    Cossack asked if any of the 2B could be moved to CF. I think Long would have the best chance at that. He might be able to make the Dee Gordon move, from 2B to CF.
    Nick Longhi was a very good pick up from Boston last season. It is paying dividends already, but I have this feeling it will pay even higher dividends in a year or two. I kept an eye out on his play last year, but I am really excited to see him excel this year. If my man Tyler Goeddel doesn’t get back into gear at Louisville, Longhi might take his spot in a month or so.

  5. Old-school

    Long is 22 and a switch hitter and seems to be making that next step at AA.
    His career numbers would seem to profile as a potential leadoff guy with OBP pushing .375 if you remove his injured 42 games at AA last year.

    Why not put him in CF now for the rest of the year?