The Cincinnati Reds have signed right-handed reliever Shane Carle to a minor league contract for the 2021 season and extended him an invitation to big league spring training.

The 29-year-old reliever has pitched in parts of three seasons in the Majors, seeing action with the Rockies and Braves from 2017-2019. A large majority of his time came in 2018 with Atlanta when he made 53 appearances and threw 63.0 innings with a 2.86 ERA. In 2017 with Colorado he only made three appearances, and in 2019 with the Braves he made just six appearances. For his career he has a 3.89 ERA in 76.1 innings with 36 walks (9 intentional) and 53 strikeouts. He did not pitch in the majors in 2020.

Like many other pitchers, Shane Carle struggled in Triple-A with a juiced baseball that was wreaking havoc on home run and scoring records between the International and Pacific Coasts Leagues. Between Gwinnett with the Braves and Nashville with the Rangers the righty reliever posted a 5.63 ERA in 40.0 innings where he allowed 52 hits, 17 walks, and had 35 strikeouts.

Nothing really jumps out at you from a stuff perspective with Shane Carle. His fastball averaged around 95 MPH. He will mix in a change up and slider that both work in the upper 80’s, and a curveball that works around 80 MPH. When it comes to his batted ball profile, he’s about an average pitcher when it comes to his ground ball rate, maybe slightly better but he doesn’t stick out as a ground ball pitcher.

Without knowing how he pitched in 2020 or any strides he has made since he was last seen on the mound, we can only discuss what he’s done in the past. Shane Carle doesn’t miss many bats – he has a 6.4 strikeout per 9-innings pitched rate in the minors and it’s just a tad lower than that in the majors. His walk rate in the majors is high, coming in at 4.2 walks per 9-innings pitched. In the minors, though, it’s been half of that – which is a very good rate.

It’s not impossible to be a quality pitcher in the big leagues these days without a lot of strikeouts. But it is rare, and the guys that can do it tend to still miss more bats than Carle has to this point in his career. And they also tend to be either big ground ball guys, or elite control guys, and he’s not shown that he’s either of those types. Of course this is simply a minor league signing and is more than likely a move made for depth rather than a plan built around having Carle pitch meaningful innings at the big league level (unless he’s changed since he was last on the mound and we just don’t know it yet).

You can see Shane Carle’s career stats here at Baseball Reference.

42 Responses

  1. Bred

    Wow! Another stellar move. The FO is doing its best to build championship team and excitement for the ensuing season.

    • redspot

      Reds sign bottom fish hurlers. They need to try Greene at s/s

  2. CI3J

    So, yet another AAAA player?

    I’d be all in favor of moves like this if it meant they were trading Castillo or Gray for some blue chip prospects. But as it stands, I’m still completely baffled by the Reds’ offseason. Can anyone offer an explanation of what they’re trying to do?

    • Votto4life

      Teams aren’t trading blue chip prospects for arb eligible established players anymore. It may have been a thing 5 years ago, but no more. That is why some of the returns, we have been seeing, for established stars, has been so baffling.

      • CI3J

        Disagree. There was a trade made this offseason which almost exactly mirrors what the Reds could do:

        They took another step in that direction on Tuesday, finalizing a trade that sent 2020 Opening Day starter Joe Musgrove to his hometown Padres in a three-way deal that netted Pittsburgh five prospects: outfielder Hudson Head (the Padres’ No. 7 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline), left-hander Omar Cruz (No. 17 in San Diego’s system), right-hander David Bednar and right-hander Drake Fellows, along with catcher/outfielder Endy Rodriguez, the Mets’ No. 14 prospect.

        This is exactly the kind of trade I want to see the Reds make, especially since Castillo and Gray are already much better than Musgrove. I know trading someone like Geno or Castellanos wouldn’t bring in much, but don’t undervalue Castillo and Gray. They are two of the better pitchers in all of baseball and would be no worse than a #2 starter in most teams’ rotations.

      • MBS

        I think it’s too soon to trade Gray, or especially Castillo. Castillo has a value that is so high, that teams are unwilling to part with what it takes to get him. You can get good value for him with 1 + years of control. Depending on the direction of the team after this season, it might be prudent to once again look at the returns you could get for either Gray or Castillo.

    • Doug Gray

      Guys need to pitch in Triple-A, too.

      • greenmtred

        That’s true, Doug. As a fan, though, I wish they’d pay as much attention to building the major league team as they are to building the minor league team (with guys who aren’t, properly speaking, high-upside prospects).

      • Doug Gray

        It’s a lot more expensive to build the big league team.

  3. Optimist

    This actually seems like a good move – there might be enough there for the pitching staff to work with, and it’s a stockpiling/MiLB move. I don’t see any injury history, and there’s MLB experience, though the underlying numbers devalue the one good year. You cannot have enough SPs, but they’re adding multi-inning relievers which helps marginally.

    Now, about the defensive/hitting side of the team . . .

    • Votto4Life

      CI3J with all due respect, you cite an example to prove my statement wrong and then good on to say Castillo and Gray are better than Musgrove and should bring in a bigger haul. That’s my point..teams are not going to give you equal value in prospects. A return like Yu Darvish type of return is the rule these days. Teams are just not giving up blue chip prospects for veterans. I believe the plan this winter was to clear payroll to sign a SS. I believe Krall tried to move Sonny Gray but was likely underwhelmed by the offers. Believe me I am not undervaluing Gray and Castillo, but I think the market is, I I sure don’t want to see Gray or Castillo traded for what this market will provide in return. But it’s an interesting debate and I appreciate your comments my friend.

      • CI3J

        Yu Darvish is 34. Castillo is 29. Gray is 31. Darvish, realistically speaking, only has a few good years left. Gray and Castillo could both go another half decade before they start to really decline. Castillo and Gray are also cheaper. Stats-wise, all 3 pitchers are very similar. Therefore, Castillo and Gray are more valuable than Yu Darvish, and I think the return for someone like Musgrove, who is also young, proves that age is a big factor in deciding on returns for a player.

        That said, I absolutely understand what you mean about the market not being there, and I appreciate the Reds not selling low. I think given the Musgrove return, Castillo should bring back a team’s #3-#5 prospect, PLUS their #10-#13 prospect, PLUS another top 20, PLUS another prospect or MLB bench player. Gray should probably net slightly less, actually probably about the same as Musgrove, given his age. Gray is a much better pitcher than Musgrove, but he is 3 years older, so value in return should be comparable.

        Still think about that: Trading Castillo and Gray, and the Reds end up with:

        (List shows which trade they were part of, followed by the Reds prospect of the same ranking to get an idea of talent level, according to FanGraphs)

        Another team’s #4 (Castillo; Nick Lodolo)
        Another team’s #7 (Gray; Jonathan India)
        Another team’s #11 (Castillo; Christian Rosa)
        Another team’s #14 (Gray; Tony Santillan)
        Two team’s #16s (Castillo and Gray; Jose De Leon)
        A few decent MLB ready relievers or bench players

        That would completely reset the Reds’ future. The way I see it, right now, the Reds’ Opening Day lineup in 2024 should be (with their ages):

        1B Winker (30)
        2B ???
        SS Garcia (25)
        3B India (27)
        C Stephenson (27)
        RF Aquino (but could use an upgrade) (29)
        CF Senzel (28)
        LF ???

        SP Greene (24)
        SP Lodolo (26)
        SP Mahle (29)
        SP ???
        SP ???

        Bullpen and bench can be filled pretty easily, so won’t bother with them. But that’s a pretty solid group of players in their prime years, if everyone develops properly. Then supplement that with more young-ish players brought in from trading Castillo and Gray, and the Reds could really be cookin’.

        But, like you said, it takes two to tango. Maybe this year, the Reds will be out of it and a contender will come calling who will take Castillo and Moose off our hands in return for an almost MLB-ready 2B and some prospects. The Rays seem like a strong choice of trading partner, just off the top of my head.

        But we’ll see. I just desperately hope the Reds cash in on what talent they have now, before they are left with nothing.

  4. Bill J

    Regression was swift in 2019, as Carle allowed more home runs (three) in 9 1/3 innings than he did throughout the entire 2018 season. He was tagged for 10 runs in those 9 1/3 frames while walking more hitters than he struck out. Carle’s Triple-A work wasn’t much better (5.13 ERA), and he eventually was bounced from Atlanta’s 40-man roster, landing with the Rangers, where his Triple-A struggles continued

  5. LDS

    A collection of used-to-be’s, might have been’s, and never were’s. Maybe the Reds should hold open tryouts and possibly snag a former high school or college shortstop or round out the team. We may be looking at one of the worst off season performances in recent memory.

    • Gonzo Reds

      Maybe open tryouts for the GM and Owner spots instead.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I could get behind this idea! I bet there’s a minor league owner out there just waiting for his chance to make it in the big leagues. Can’t do worse than what we got.

  6. KetteringRedsFan

    One wonders (half seriously).

    Is there something in Driveline/Boddy’s contract with the Reds that requires/demands a certain minimum level of business annually? We seem to be adding a lot of candidates for that service……..

    • 2020ball

      If you’re going to go through the trouble of implementing a company such as driveline into your organization, why wouldn’t you try and have it do what it intends to do and try to maximize the full potential of middling pitchers?

      I’m with others on here: obviously the Reds haven’t made any major acquisitions and I realize everyone is upset about it, but why transfer that anger to the depth acquisitions that every team ought to do with their remaining spots? Something that I think is prudent for any organization with either lack of capital or lack of options.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Agree, I’m not upset when they make depth signings. It happens every year to every team. Part of the offseason shuffle. It’s a little more questionable/frustrating when they make depth signings at positions where they don’t have the frontline guy. For instance, when they acquired Holder and signed Strange-Gordon, at that point you’re putting the cart before the horse.
        But again, these minor, fringe signings aren’t cause for angst. I think some of the expressed frustration is that’s all the Reds have done is make minor/fringe signings (outside of Doolittle, but even relievers in general are sort of fringy guys most of the time). It’s getting close to ST with nothing to really show for the offseason but subtraction for a team that needed to add to compete.

      • KetteringRedsFan

        As I said — only half-seriously
        Not -really- seriously.

        Given the limitations that Krall has been forced to operate under, I understand the motivation that is probably driving this latest run of fill-in signings. Since the opportunity cost is absurdly low, there is no reason -not- to pursue this line – what is the worst case (Answer: roster depth at Louisville – where there are day-to-day gaps that probably will need to be regularly filled between the demands of rotating call-ups and the need to protect the presence and development of prospects at AA and below. )

        The one concern falls in the nature of a double-edged sword. I wonder what template Krall et. al. are using or following in identifying “recovery prospects”. There seems to be, for lack of better terminology, a sort of stereotyping of what we shop for.

        No disrespect intended for Boddy’s body of work (ouch) or, in this specific case, Reds management over this – but Driveline is going to be a -very- crowded place .

  7. Doc

    The responses are so predictable, from the same suspects, and so consistently negative, that reading the site is no longer enjoyable. There is no analysis by any respondents. It’s almost as if the replies are defined so the same reply can be posted by a few quick key strokes no matter who the acquisition.

    I’ll be back once there is actually news from the camp. Until then, bye for now.

    • doofus

      Gee Doc, While I can agree with your assessment of the “Moriarty’s” on this forum, they do have that Right to proclaim their feelings here, for they are just as passionate a Red’s fan as you or I.

      As for you feeling the need to make known your dissatisfaction with comments in such a way that make it seem that said comments are beneath you; and, to demonstrate that dissatisfaction by proclaiming your moratorium from this site, with respect, I paraphrase this old saying: “Put your finger in a bucket of water, pull it out, the hole that remains will be a measure of how much you will be missed.”

      • LDS

        Remember, some of us “Moriarty’s” have been Reds fans for more than 50 years. We remember when the Reds were a serious and successful franchise. That hasn’t been true for a while. The actions of the Reds management/FO this winter has done little to earn the respect of the fans. And it’s not limited to us “Moriarty’s” here on Redleg. Any number of regular writers, e.g. Dotson have been equally critical. Kudos to Doug for mostly staying positive and finding something to write about.

      • greenmtred

        In fairness, Doc wasn’t saying that we (I’m one of the guilty) don’t have the right to be negative and unanalytical, he was just saying that he’s tired of reading it. I’m tired of writing it, so I understand his point. And I will miss his comments.

    • jbonireland

      Doc I have to agree with you, they could trade Senzel for Buehler and Kershaw and people would still complain. Like someone else said someone has to pitch in Louisville.

      • Chris Holbert

        I doubt there would be any complaints about that trade…

  8. RedsGettingBetter

    I wonder if this strategy they are applying came from the ownership, FO or perhaps was an advice from some emissary sent by cubs-cardinals-brewers

  9. TR

    Except for Doolittle to the Reds, Bauer to the Dodgers, Arenado to the Cards and Lindor to the Mets, this offseason has been underwhelming.

    • Rednat

      i think the owners are seeing the writing on the wall. fan attendance will be capped for the foreseeable future. what is the point of “going for it” if there will be no reward with increased ticket sales. it stinks for the fans but i understand it.

      • Mark Moore

        Yep. That and the pending collective bargaining agreement. It’s a very weird year brewing.

  10. doofus

    I think the Reds will surprise major league baseball in 2021. Book-it Danno!

    • doofus

      “Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!”

  11. doofus

    A lot of folks are researching Eugenio Suarez on Fangraphs. Presently, he is the #8 searched player on that site. Anyone read what may be brewing, rumors?

    • Mark Moore

      I’m OK with shopping Geno. We’ve got depth at that position, so I’d love to see what we could get in return. I read the Mets are still looking at Bryant. Geno would be a much better deal for them.

    • JB

      Who knows with Suarez. The Reds need to do something because India will be 25 this year and he is blocked by Suarez and Moustakas. Suarez is signed through 2024 with a option for 25 and Mousetakas I believe is signed through 2023. India will be 28 or 29 by the end of those contracts. The Reds need to come up with something there.

  12. Mark Moore

    No BHam in Goodyear … oh, wait … yes he will be. Because we share a facility with his new team the Cleveland Indians (MiLB deal).

  13. DataDumpster

    Its ironic that “doolittle” seems the only acquisition that has a decent chance of being impactful on the REDS. The rest of what happened is over my head. I either need to follow minor league strategy or David Bell needs to step up, take his hat off and explain. Is there a plan at all?

  14. Alex

    Haha. What an interesting situation the private equity ownership era has created. Because so few teams have been trying, it’s created an extreme talent gap with the 3 or 4 teams actually willing to spend money having become super teams. This development has created even more disincentive for the other teams to try, thus concentrating even more talent to to the top 400. Especially because those teams are willing to take bad contracts from the penny pinchers to stock cheap talent down the road (see reds dodgers homer bailey). It’s fascinating to watch money become a market inefficiency that 4 or 5 teams are willing to exploit (see arenado trade) to grab the best players for low talent expense.

    My question to the teams so concerned with their bottom line….. Are you properly calculating how devasting complete fan indifference is to your bottom line? If you aren’t a fan of the cards, dodgers, padres or yankees etc. What’s the actual point of this exercise?
    Much like the stock market, the teams have exposed the fugazzi they are playing.

    This is not so much a shot at the reds as more an observation of the league as a whole. I have much more ire for teams like the cubs and red sox playing cheap because they rake in so much money and their owners are stacked.