Last night saw the Cincinnati Reds make a trade with the New York Yankees to acquire relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson. Today they’ve gone out and acquired another reliever, this time trading for Mychal Givens who has been with the Colorado Rockies this season. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was the first to report that the deal was close to completion and he also was the first to report that Noah Davis was the second prospect in the deal. Thomas Harding of MLB.com is reporting that prospect Case Williams is going back to Colorado in the deal. Update: The Reds have designated Josh Osich for assignment to make room for Givens on the 40-man roster.
Mychal Givens has a 2.73 ERA this season in 31 games for the Rockies. He has thrown 29.2 innings, allowed 25 hits – 5 home runs – while walking 14 batters and striking out 34.
His profile this season has been one of extremes. A right-handed pitcher with big reverse splits. Right-handed batters have hit .288/.348/.542 against him this season, though they’ve only had four walks and struck out 22 times in 66 plate appearances against him. Left-handed batters have hit just .167/.310/.271 against him, but they have 10 walks and 12 strikeouts in 58 plate appearances against him.
Pitching in Colorado you would expect to see some solid home and road splits, but they are to the extreme with Givens. In 80 plate appearances in Coors Field opponents are hitting .268/.350/.535 against him this season. In 44 plate appearances against Givens on the road opponents are hitting just .167/.295/.194 against him with just one extra-base hit – a double.
When looking at some of the underlying data one thing really stands out: Opponents are crushing his slider this season. It’s his least thrown pitch, throwing it just 14% of the time, but he’s struck out just one batter with it this season and players are hitting .545 and slugging 1.182 on it. That’s not a typo. Last season he threw the slider at the same rate – 14% of the time, and opponents hit just .250 and slugged just .375 against it. Perhaps there’s something here to be corrected with the slider. Maybe it’s the Coors Field breaking ball issue at play (he did spend half of 2020 with the Orioles). Or maybe the Reds could just tell him to stop throwing it and to focus on his fastball and change up combination.
Noah Davis was just ranked as the 16th best prospect in the organization earlier this week. He’s had a quality season with the High-A Dayton Dragons this year, posting a 3.60 ERA in 65.0 innings where he’s allowed just 44 hits and he’s struck out 77. His control has been inconsistent and he’s walked 35 batters and hit 12 more. But he does have two above-average offerings with a fastball and slider, and two solid pitches with a change up and a curveball.
Case Williams life has to be interesting. Last summer he was the 4th round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies. In the offseason, before ever throwing a single pitch for the Rockies organization, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. The reports were that the Reds were looking to draft him, but he didn’t make it back around to them at the time. Now, after making 11 starts and one relief appearance as a 19-year-old in Low-A Daytona where he posted a 5.55 ERA with 33 walks and 34 strikeouts, he’s reportedly being traded back to the Colorado Rockies. Williams was not one of the Reds Top 25 prospects in the just updated earlier this week prospect list.