The Cincinnati Enquirer reports today that Bubba Nelson has opened the season in AA Chattanooga as the team’s closer:

Bubba Nelson, a 23-year-old right-hander, is being used as the closer at Double-A Chattanooga.

He has taken to the role.

Nelson threw a perfect ninth inning Tuesday in Chattanooga’s 2-1 win over Mobile. He is 3-for-3 in save opportunities and has pitched four shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out four.

Coming into this season, 97 of Nelson’s 119 appearances were as a starter, and he had no saves.

So far so good, he has yet to be scored on in 5 IP in 4 G and recording a save in each appearance. He has only allowed 5 baserunners (2BB), while striking out 6. Complete Reds AA stats here. Good to see him off to a nice start in his new role.


2 Responses

  1. Greg

    Atlanta moved him to the bullpen in mid-2003. 13 of his 22 relief appearance came in his last 13 games in the Atlanta organization. Reds moved him back to the rotation after the Reitsma trade hoping to have another starting prospect. It will be interesting to see how he develops as a reliever.

    Since he handled AA very well his first time through as a 21-yr old in 2003, I would expect him to excel on his 2nd trip through at an older age. If he cannot handle AA now as a reliever, then he is no longer much of a prospect, IMO.

  2. Greg

    Atlanta’s minor league pitching situation looked pretty good in 2003 AA Greenville, however they traded all 3 of these guys who have not yet made a significant splash in the majors:
    Wainwright, age 21, 27 starts, 3.37 ERA
    Nelson, age 21, 20 starts, 3.18 ERA (with 11 AAA relief appearance and 1.88 ERA)
    Belisle, age 22, 21 starts, 3.52 ERA (with 7 AAA starts between Atl/Cin and 3.13 ERA)