The Cincinnati Reds announced earlier today that they have sent six players back to minor league camp in their first set of cuts this spring. The team optioned outfielder Jose Siri, and pitchers Jackson Stephens, Keury Mella, and Jimmy Herget to the minors. Cincinnati also re-assigned pitchers Alex Powers and Felix Jorge to minor league camp. The difference between the wording of the moves is that players on the 40-man must be optioned. Players simply in camp on a minor league invite are re-assigned.
When it comes to a performance in spring training standpoint, one of these guys is not like the others. Jimmy Herget has allowed one run on three hits and no walks in his 5.0 innings pitched this spring. He’s also struck out seven batters. He’s been rather successful. And it’s not as if his minor league career has been anything but successful, either. Last season was the worst of his career and he posted a 3.47 ERA in Triple-A with more strikeouts than innings pitched. His option back to minor league camp in the first set of roster moves is a bit of a surprise.
Felix Jorge is on the opposite end of the spectrum. The right-handed pitcher didn’t make it into a game on the spring. He was also never listed on an injury report. As a non-roster invitee, he’ll head back to the minors and get ready to start his season – likely in Double-A or Triple-A.
Jackson Stephens had a 6.00 ERA in his 6.0 innings pitched with a walk and four strikeouts – all out of the bullpen in five games. Keury Mella struggled, allowing six earned runs in his three appearances that spanned 3.2 innings. He walked more batters, three, than he struck out, two. Alex Powers pitched well in his two games. The righty didn’t give up a hit and walked a batter in two otherwise perfect innings.
Jose Siri was the only position player that was sent to the backfields today. He had struggled at the plate this spring, going 2-21 (.095) with five strikeouts and no walks in his 10 games played. With as many outfielders as the team has to make decisions on, the move this early makes some sense. It’s actually a bit surprising he was the only one sent back with 15 outfielders left in big league camp – though some of those guys play on the dirt, too.