When the Cincinnati Reds signed Zach Duke to a contract this spring, it signaled that he was going to be their lefty out of the bullpen. Or so that’s what we thought. The Reds also kept Amir Garrett in their bullpen, as well as Wandy Peralta – giving them three lefty options to go to.

Amir Garrett has been absolute nails this season. He’s dominated all year. His ERA sits at 1.33 and he’s struck out 21 batters in 20.1 innings. Oh, and he’s also allowed just one home run in his 25 appearances. The other two? We can’t say the same thing for them.

Zach Duke has a 6.32 ERA on the season. And while his ERA is 1.17 in May over 7.2 innings, he hasn’t inspired any confidence given that he’s walked 5 batters and struck out 5 batters in that span. For the year he’s walked more hitters than he’s struck out. And he currently finds himself on the 10-day injured list.

Wandy Peralta has a 5.94 ERA this season. He was quite good in April allowing 1 run in 8.1 innings. But May has seen him allow 4 home runs and post a 12.27 ERA on the month. He’s had three bad games during the month, but those games have been big. He allowed 4 runs in a 1-run loss to the Giants on May 3rd. Earlier today he allowed 4 more earned runs. That came in a 2-run loss to Milwaukee.

Cody Reed has been up with the Reds twice this year. He made one appearance in each trip up and was immediately sent back to Triple-A. In 4.1 innings with the Reds this season he’s allowed 1 run and struck out 7 batters. In his 18.2 innings in Triple-A this year he’s posted a 2.89 ERA with 24 strikeouts. He’s allowed 1 home run there, when everyone – including George Washington’s grandmother – is hitting home runs by the dozen.

If the Reds are going to make a bullpen addition, then they need to look at Cody Reed. And they need to do it now. What he’s doing this season is a bit of a unicorn combination. He’s missing tons of bats. Between his two stops this season he’s struck out 34% of the batters he’s faced. And he’s also generating an elite rate of ground balls, too. His 72% ground ball rate this season would rank 3rd best in baseball. Only two pitchers in Major League Baseball have a rate over 67%.

39 Responses

  1. matthew hendley

    Yes!!! However, it cannot happen for another week. Reed who was sent down yesterday (two days ago?). Is not eligible to be brought up outside of an injury for 10 days from his demotion.
    Peralta seems to be the same story as 2 years ago. A powerful april and a poor everything else. He still has options, he can be kept for next April, or he can be DFAed for another player. There are some new entrants into the DFA/FA field for LHP relief. Its posible that one of them may be of some use as well. But Reed needs to be up. His relief numbers have been high and not only this season.

    • lost11found

      Duke going on the IL would allow for his callup within 10 day or did I miss a matching move?

      • matthew hendley

        you did, Vanmeters call up was the corresponding move there.

  2. Klugo

    No doubt. My thoughts exactly as Wandy coughed up another lead in such abominable fashion.

  3. Eric

    I say send Peralta and VanMeter down tomorrow and bring up Jackson Stephens and Cody Reed and never look back.

    • RedAlert

      Totally Agree with Reed – Jackson Stephens has been brutal for 2 plus years now and has no business in big leagues . Don’t care what he has done this year in minors – he has had past opportunities last few years and has stunk it up in big leagues !

    • Northern Ky Reds

      Jackson Stevens is not mlb ready. Has nothing good to offer. He’s just a typical reds minor leaguer. Decent fastball but can locate it.

  4. KYpodman

    If he cannot get left handed hitters out, like today, then he should go!

  5. Curt

    Doug, why do I feel like I read somewhere that there was some business reason, time, service, some such thing, that was the reason for Reed’s up and down. And that after a certain date something changes and they bring him up for good. Maybe i’m confusing stories? In any event, yes bring him up!

      • Michael Kelsch

        I do seem to remember some Reds media person opining that Reed’s time needed to be played with too. Wish I could cite the article as well. Basic same baloney, as Senzel, just less dramatic.

      • Doug Gray

        Reed already had over a full year of service time entering this season. To manipulate his service time would take a whole lot of keeping him down for the next few years.

      • Curt

        Here it is!…I did read something and it was right here on RLN. From “View of the Reds Farm From The Old Recliner” by Warren Leeman post date 5-9-19 he writes…

        “..Cody Reed would almost certainly produce better results at the major league level than either Zack Duke or Wandy Peralta, so why isn’t Reed pitching for the Cincinnati Reds rather than the Louisville Bats? Reed began the season with 1.067 seasons of major league service. If the Reds can keep Reed from accumulating any significant major league service time until the all-star break, the Reds gain an additional season of control on Reed’s contract. The Reds will need to replace possibly as many as five pitchers on the major league roster in 2020. Reed would certainly be one of those replacements and the Reds could have team control of Reed’s contract through the 2025 season.”

        https://redlegnation.com/2019/05/09/review-of-the-cincinnati-reds-minor-league-farm-system-2/

  6. jreis

    Reed looked tough against the Giants and LA. Our future starting 5 is by no means settled and I would like seeing Reed getting a couple of starts this year as well as Stephenson, Lorenzen, Romano and Garret. I think all 5 of these pitchers have higher ceilings than Mahle and Disco as starters.

    • matthew hendley

      Garrett wants to be a relief pitcher, there is some benefit to trying him out in the closer spot and making Iglesias expendable. Romano is getting knocked around, in triple A. There is no way he is getting a callup as a starter real soon.
      Of the two remaining individuals I would try lorenzen first. He has finally added a Change up and can use it as an out pitch. Would not be adverse to the idea if he can go the 5-6 IP every 5 days.
      Likewise, Stephenson possibly could garner another look.

    • burtgummer

      Romano is borderline awful if he ever returns to to the majors I pray it’s with another team

  7. Joey

    Cody Reed has looked impressive but what’s most impressive is George Washington’s grandmother hitting home runs. She would have been born in like the 1600’s. Why isn’t anyone else talking about this?

    • matthew hendley

      Agreed, quite an accomplishment for a decomposing corpse

      • greenmtred

        It would be, but she’s well past that stage, I expect. Even more impressive that a pile of dust is hitting homers.

    • Doug Gray

      They are scared of Zombie Washington, which is understandable. But I’ve learned that she’s slow and I can outrun her.

    • TR

      Are we sure that the extended family of George Washington’s grandmother were and are Reds fans?

      • doofus

        I confirm that G Washington and his relatives ARE Reds fans. General Washington actually owned large tracts of land in the Miami River area. part of the “Western” territories prior to the Revolutionary War.

        This is true. No B.S. from Doofus.

    • citizen54

      Kind of curious where she would rank on Doug’s list of prospects assuming she still has eligibility.

      • ToBeDetermined

        Well there are service time issues that need to be address.

        Also, I heard she switched agents from Thomas Paine to Samuel Adams.

  8. Roger Garrett

    Its really just silly for the Reds to have Duke and Peralta on the big league roster.The data says it and the eye test confirms it.Reed needs to be here and now because well the data says he is better and the eye test confirms it.Not sure why the Reds kept either one of them so lets move on.Its these little things like keeping players like this that I look at to see if all you hear about wanting to win is actually true.I understand the last 2 guys in a major league pen are usually just mop up guys.They usually are at a minimum cost and aren’t used in any high leverage situations unless its necessary and you don’t have anybody else that’s better.Reed is better and I would say others at Louisville are better so lets bring em up.

  9. CFD3000

    Agree Doug. Cody Reed has a higher floor and a higher ceiling than both Duke and Peralta. This is an easy call. I had hoped he would be groomed to start in case of injury or ineffectiveness but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards, at least for now. But he’s clearly a better option right now, and clearly offers a lot more in the long run. Free Cody Reed!

  10. jbonireland

    Here are my corresponding moves when Reed can be called up. 1)Reed up Peralta to the minors. 2) Sign Johnny Venters (DFA by Braves) release Zach Duke. I just think Venters would be better then Duke although he is pitching better recently. An outfielder to minors to put Venters on 25 man roster.

  11. doofus

    Sir Doug,

    Great observations.

    Can you speculate why the Reds FO is treating Reed like a yo-yo?

    Thanks!

    • King Chuck IV

      Cody Reed is a Yo Yo. The F/O knows what we don’t know. He thinks he is to good for mop up situations and thinks he should be a starter. Get tough skin Cody because you’re not a starter and you can’t really break the pen line up of Hernandez, Hughes, Stevenson, Garrett, Iggy and the rest are mop up pitchers and that takes a certain mentality and that’s why there is Duke. The Reds need to promote Jackson to mop up duties he can handle it mentally. Trade Cody Reed now while you can get a low level minor leaguer. That’s my take. I’ve been wrong before

  12. doofus

    I feel that if this team makes a few tweaks and or trades they can compete this year. It might also mean that Mr. Votto sits for awhile. He is not helping this ball club.

    • matthew hendley

      I refuse to believe it. will they actually let him pitch this time. Another Poor move from the FO. Ervin batted well for the time he was up here, While I do want to see what bowman has to offer, there were other people that could have been sent down. On both sides (pitchers v Position players)

      • Pete Blowers

        I feel bad for Ervin, the team and the fans. He deserves better. We need another pitcher after having 2 off days in 4 days? I’m scratching my head.

        This is the very first occasion where I have a big problem with a David Bell move but I’m aware I don’t have the background on this. Ervin looks like he has potential to be a difference maker, last hit ball had an EV of 111.7 mph -tied with DD for the teams best.

      • matthew hendley

        On correction if I may, this would not be a move by bell, but by Dick Williams. But yea, I agree with you.