Mentioned this possibility for Mahle in the game recap last night. 

“The Reds are using a 6-man rotation, so you’d think they’d be watching closely for opportunities to remedy that. Mahle seems due for a trip to Louisville. He’s only 23 years old and made fewer than 10 starts at the AAA level. Nothing wrong with taking a little pressure off and refreshing his fundamentals. Mahle was more than solid through the month of June and still is promising.”

39 Responses

    • DHud

      Probably going into the bullpen and going back to traditional 5-man rotation

  1. Kap

    Starters now in triple A: Mahle, Stephenson, Reed, Wisler, Sims, Lopez. Pretty stacked for a minor league rotation. Someone besides Mahle needs to come up and do well in Cincy now.

  2. doofus

    Stephenson and Reed must have said something about Jocketty’s mother in the past.

    • gaffer

      I think 5 BB and HR per 9 innings spoke loud enough

      • Scott C

        I am afraid you are basing that on old data. You should look up Bob Steve’s last seven or eight starts. Particularly his last three. He has fixed the issue at least at AAA. It is time to see if he can do it it at the next level.

    • Scooter Rolen

      Yeah, he’s had some starts in AA but mostly a reliever.

  3. doofus

    They’re going to use Reyes as are reliever, long-man/spot-starter.

  4. jreis

    ok new plans for 2019 lol

    sp- Bailey, Harvey, Castillo, disco, cheap old guy free agent

    pen- Mahle, Romano, Garret, Peralta, Lorenzen, Iglesias Hughes\ Hernandez

    Just need 5 guys that can give us 5 good innings. is that so hard to ask?? lol

    • old-school

      I could see Sims and Mahle starting in AAA next year as starting pitching depth with options. Reed is either with them or in the bullpen. I think bullpen.

      Romano goes to the bullpen as well and Stephenson is the 5th guy with one of Harvey/FA/Trade being the 4th guy. Invariably, Homer will stop being a Reds starter at some point in 2019 and then Sims or Mahle or Romano moves in again. Once Homer’s contract is cleared a year from now, the pitching staff has all sorts of option.

      Dick Williams was very clear that next ST some young guys will go to the bullpen. That’s the plan to replace H&H at next years trade deadline.

      The reds are targeting 2020 but cant say they aren’t trying in 2019. So they keep fan friendly Scooter and Hamilton and cost friendly Hughes and Hernandez and churn the Homer contract clock some more and keep developing the young guys for the real NGRT- 2020.

    • Bill

      It is likely that if Harvey is in the rotation, then he was the cheap old guy free agent. Although he will not be cheap. It will be Bailey, Disco, FA, and some combo of Stephenson/Castillo/Mahle/Simms/Reed. If Stephenson is not in the starting rotation then he goes to the pen with Garrett, Lorenzen, Iglesias, Hughes, Hernandez, and whoever else gets tossed in the pen

  5. old-school

    The Reds are going to give Bailey , Harvey, and Disco as many innings as they can to see what veteran options they have in ST 2019 and FA. Bailey because he’s owed 30 million and they need that clock to keep running. Harvey is wild card lottery ticket Part 2 for FA and Disco because they need to see if he is part of the NGRT.

    Stephenson should have been up months ago- but at this point- its not worth the ringing of hands or gnashing of teeth. Stephenson’s minor league career ends 1 month from today. The Reds cant send him back down. Bryan Price cant let him rot in the bullpen anymore. He’s on the 25 man roster in a matter of weeks, permanently, unless he is traded. He will be in the mix again in ST 2019. Move Forward.

    Castillo is separating himself – again- from the other “young pitchers”. Garrett did so ,but in the bullpen. The sophomore slump is now a sophomore hiccup. He’s leading the pitching staff in innings and WAR and soon to be wins. His second half development is worth watching.

  6. streamer88

    A four man rotation has been discussed on here before, but I’d favor what I’ll call a 4.5 man rotation. Take your four best starters. I’m going to liberally guess about our off season here…

    Starters:
    -Keuchel/Corbin/Harvey (I can dream. I really love Dallas’ fit for the Reds/GABP. Strong GB pitchers, minimal HRs, lefty. 4 year deal would take him ages 31-35)
    -Homer (the new Homer)
    -Castillo (the new Castillo)
    -Disco (the old Disco)

    Bullpen: Mahle, Romano, Garret, Lorenzen, Bob Steve, Hughes, Hernandez, Iglesias.

    Now, the way the schedule has changed, most of the time your 4 man rotation goes every 5 days due to days off. When not, you simply run a scheduled bullpen day, and we are ideally positioned (more than most franchises at the moment) to run an effective bullpen day due to our talent pool. Mahle, Sal, Lorenzen, Bob Steve, even Amir all have that stretch ability.

    I’m not even accounting for Cody, and the new Braves.

    • greenmtred

      Disco is old, indeed. And largely unlamented. I’m still optimistic about Mahle. He’s shown that he can be an effective MLB starter, until he runs out of gas, anyway.

  7. Mason Red

    I for one have little faith that any pitcher the Reds have in the minors will ever be quality starters. Like I said in a previous post look at the history of the Reds developing pitchers in the past 50 years. It ain’t good.

  8. WVRedlegs

    I was stunned when I read that about who came up to Cincinnati. But I believe it will have more to do with Reyes being up for a few games and then sent back down. Mella won’t be available in the pen for a couple of days with his long outing last night. It might be another bullpen game when DeSclafani pitches too. If they have to use Romano out of the pen this series, then Reyes goes down and Stephenson or Reed come up to start in Romano’s spot. Mahle is the first casualty of this meat grinder series with Washington. There might be a couple more by Monday. If DeSclafani has another short outing, he may need a 10-day DL stint to re-examine his arm and give him a short rest. Dixon, Ervin and possibly PTucker could lose roster spots. Schebler will be coming back in short order and Gabby Guerrero at Louisville might be a better option in the OF than either Ervin or Dixon. And Gabby can play some CF also.
    If the mental miscues and gaffes continue this weekend, I can see a couple of changes come Monday or so. Peraza’s defense is getting worse, not better. And that is going to be worrisome. Does Peraza’s new found offense outweigh his worsening negative defense?

    • greenmtred

      Good question about Peraza, and my gut-reaction answer is that, with Scooter at 2nd and Suarez having lost ground defensively, Peraza’s mental and physical errors probably outweigh his improved hitting.

  9. Davy13

    These are either in my “keep,” “undecided” or “give away/garage sale” (via trade/waiver/demotion/not sign/bench) by position as of today before September call-ups, August trade, and offseason transactions. So this can change easily by the end of September.

    1B Votto – keep
    2B. Gennett – keep
    SS Peraza – garage sale
    3B Suarez – keep
    LF Winker – keep
    CF Hamilton – garage sale
    RF Schebler – keep

    SP Homer – keep (if improvement is sustained + bad contract to unload)
    SP Disco – keep
    SP Castillo – keep
    SP Harvey – garage sale (unless can be resigned very affordably)
    SP Romano/Mahle/BobSteve – undecided

    I really believe that if a few positions and a couple of starters are upgraded, the team can be good team. Obviously, if a few more players become All-Star or elite like Suarez, then we have a contender. If Senzel can come back from injury well next season, then he could fill one of the holes. A solid rotation pitcher needs to be signed (Gio Gonzalez maybe, etc) and difference-making position player (CF or SS). A lot of ifs with this team. That’s the problem.

  10. WVRedlegs

    The roster move in Dayton is sending some tremors through Reds Nation.

    “RHP Hunter Greene has been placed on Class A Dayton’s disabled list with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will not pitch again for Dayton this season. He will begin rehab in Goodyear immediately and will be evaluated throughout the offseason.”

    Ruh-roh Rhaggy. Not a UCL injury.

    • Jim Walker

      And will they ride out the situation with him as a pitcher or go for a quick fix and put him on a SS track? He’s young but his Rule 5 clock is ticking. After that his three option clock; and that gets him to the ripe old age of 26/27 or so.

      If they can avoid surgery, he probably stays on pitching track unless there is a reoccurrence, then the hard decision will have to be faced.

      • Bill

        He has plenty of time before the rule 5 draft is a concern. It’s a little early to be making decisions on what to do with him when he is 27 he is only 19

      • Jim Walker

        I was trying to say they can control him off the active MLB roster to that age.

  11. doofus

    All of these possible fixes proposed by my fellow commenters are plausible. However, I have NO FAITH that this front office is capable of building a competitive roster. I believe, which has been posed by others, that the front office has many factions within it, that there is not a clear leader setting and implementing personnel decisions for the ballclub. Until that happens this team’s so called “rebuild” is rudderless.

    • roger garrett

      Your right.With too many voices it becomes a vote and it should never work that way.

  12. roger garrett

    Good for Mahle at this point because as someone said last night he is just physically and mentally drained.Kid is 23 and got a taste and then hit the wall.He will be back.Reyes appears to be just an arm that may or may not get to pitch depending on how Disco and the rest do over the weekend.Davy you are right about your keeper list.Pitching needs are at the forefront but we have position holes as well.Still not sure about Peraza though but this is year 2 where he has been given a real chance to show his stuff.Lets see how he ends up cause he is only 24.

  13. Capt. Phreddie Pizazz

    If Mahle remains in Louisville until the September call ups, will that amount of time give the Reds an additional year of team control on the 23 year old hurler?

    • Shchi Cossack

      Mahle has less than 130 days accumulated MLB service time, in 2018 and began the season with 36 accumulated MLB service time in 2017, leaving him just below the 170 day threshold for a full year of accumulated MLB service time, but just barely, if he is NOT recalled after roster expand in September.

  14. Shchi Cossack

    I like this move, a lot. Yes, Reyes converted for a starter to reliever after the 2017 season. He’s found his niche as a MLB pitcher, especially pitching at GABP. Reyes is a ground ball pitcher capable of pitching multiple innings. I know we are all focus on starting pitching, but the relievers must still be sorted. Hughes and Hernandez may survive the off season as Reds, same as Iggy, but they may also be involved in off season trades and the reds need to beginning lining up the next relief rotation even if Hughes, Hernandez and Iggy survive the off season with the Reds.

  15. Shchi Cossack

    Big5ed has an interesting response regarding Stephenson in the game recap from Wednesday, “The Reds…used AAA to gain a potential All-Star season from Stephenson in 2023 at the expense of a struggling 2018.” I didn’t agree with the perspective on the Reds motivation for sequestering Stephenson at AAA this season, but it certainly deserved some consideration, so I did some digging.

    Stephenson has 167 days of accumulated MLB service time. If Stephenson pitches at the MLB level at all during the 2018 season, he will exceed 1.0 years of service time, leaving just 5 seasons of team control after the 2018 season, making him a FA after the 2023 season. If Stephenson doesn’t pitch at the MLB level at all, including when rosters expand in September, then the Reds will maintain 6 seasons of team control after the 2018 season, making Stephenson a FA after the 2024 season. Stephenson will be out of options after the 2018 season and must stick on the 25-man roster of be lost on waivers. Interestingly, Cody Reed is in the same situation with 166 days of accumulated MLB service time.

    Keury Mella began the season with 20 days of accumulated MLB service time. If Mella stays on the 25-man roster for the remainder of the 2018 season, will still be well below 1.0 years of MLB service time and also well below a super-2 cutoff date. Sal Romano began the season with 80 days of accumulated MLB service time and has already exceeded 1.0 years MLB service time this season, but remains well below a super-2 cutoff date. Mella will have 6 years of team control and 1 option remaining after the 2018 season. Romano will have 5 years of team control remaining after the 2018 season and if he remains on the 25-man roster for the remainder of the 2018 season, he will have 2 options remaining after the 2018 season.

    Could DW and NK actually be managing the roster with a long-term game? This would be a 180 degree shift from the WJ roster management. Could this be the game plan DW referenced? I doubt it and DW’s assertion that Stephenson would pitch at the MLB level in 2018 seems to support that doubt. But what if?

    With Mahle optioned to AAA, what if Romano and Mella switch roles, moving Romano to the bullpen and Mella to the 5-man starting rotation for the remainder of the 2018 season? The Reds would get a pretty good initial look at Mella as a MLB starter and a pretty good look at Romano as a MLB reliever. Would Mella’s improved minor league performance in 2018 at AA and AAA translate to MLB? Would Romano’s 2-pitch combination and fast dominance translate to a superior MLB bullpen performance? Could DW and NK keep Stephenson and Reed at AAA without a MLB callup after rosters expand in September? Could DW and NK intend to insert Stephenson and Reed into the MLB starting rotation for the 2019 season, ahead of both Mahle and Romano, as their last shot as a starter for the Reds?

    The Old Cossack could be full on board with that plan. I still doubt that DW and NK have such a plan in place with BC and WJ still running the show, but that would certainly signal a distinct shift in control of Baseball Ops for the Cincinnati Reds and that would be a good thing in and of itself.

    • WVRedlegs

      Interesting take. Very. You should do a guest column on this and explore it out further if you can. No one has really presented that point of view. It would suggest then that someone in the front office is being very astute. I, like you, am skeptical. The evidence is circumstantial but if more concrete evidence could be found I could be swayed.

    • roger garrett

      I like it but it kind of reminds me when my wife asks me what I am thinking about and when I tell her nothing she doesn’t believe me.I always tell her she is giving me more credit then I deserve which is what we would have to do regarding DW.I just don’t think so.

      • Shchi Cossack

        Very nice analogy and the Old Cossack can certainly relate!

    • greenmtred

      You’re speculation would certainly explain an otherwise puzzling situation, Cossack.

    • RedInIND

      Heard some talk (maybe Mo Egger?) on WLW a couple days ago speculating on Stephenson. The speculation was that the Reds are going to leave him shining in Louisville, thus making him a high-level prospect trade chip.