The Cincinnati Reds are in an on-going battle to “get the pitching”. They’ve been fairly successful in doing so this offseason, landing starters Alex Wood, Tanner Roark, and Sonny Gray via trades. On Wednesday they signed left-handed pitcher Ian Krol to a minor league contract. His contract also includes an invitation to spring training.
Ian Krol, not related to Reds General Manager Nick Krall, has pitched in the Major League every season since 2013. He’s had some success along the way, but also a few seasons where he struggled. In 2013 he posted a 3.95 ERA, and in 2016 he posted a 3.18 ERA. But in 2014, 2015, and 2017 his ERA was between 4.96 and 5.79. Last season he only made one appearance for the Angels.
When he has been able to keep his walk rate low, he’s been quite successful. He’s missed bats at a solid rate in his career. But when he’s struggled to throw strikes, understandably, his ERA jumped up. In 2018 he spent nearly all of his season in Triple-A. That came with two different organizations, pitching for both the Angels and Mets organizations. Both stops came in the Pacific Coast League where he posted a 2.72 ERA across 56.1 innings and allowed just four home runs. He did walk 26 batters and he struck out 59. The walk rate was higher than you’d like to see.
As a left-handed reliever he’s likely fighting for a spot as a potential LOOGY role in the bullpen. In his Major League career he’s been better against lefties than righties. With that said, he hasn’t exactly dominated lefties, either. Like-handed hitters have hit .278/.346/.411 against him in his career. Righties have hit .275/.349/.477 against him. The only real difference has been that he’s allowed righties to hit for more power against him. In Triple-A last season left-handed hitters had a .297/.342/.386 line against him.
Reds add another coach to the big league staff
For as much as the Reds have been trying to get the pitching, they’ve absolutely been getting the coaching. Not only have they replaced nearly every coach on the staff from last year, they’ve added multiple new coaching roles, too. On Wednesday they added another one. Cristian Perez was named as assistant bullpen/advanced scouting coach. He had previously worked for Major League Baseball in the commissioners office where he focused on international first-year player acquisitions and Asian transfers. According to Cincinnati Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale, Perez is only 23-years-old. Without looking, that has to make him the youngest coach on any staff in Major League Baseball, doesn’t it?