Wednesday had some highs and some lows in the Cincinnati Reds farm system. High-A Dayton played an afternoon game and they got a pretty big reinforcement on the day when 2021 1st round draft pick Matt McLain joined them after playing two games out in Arizona with the team at the complex level. To say that McLain announced his presence with authority would be an understatement.

In his first trip to the plate, Matt McLain lined a single into left field. In his second at-bat it was his first career home run as he unloaded on a ball and hit it over the 20-foot tall wall out in deep left-center.

In his third plate appearance of the day he lined another single into left field to move to 3-3 on the day. He capped off his debut with the Dragons in the 6th inning with a bases loaded, bases clearing double into left-center. He finished the day 4-5 with five runs batted in and was a triple short of the cycle.

Matt McLain’s performance was certainly the high point on the farm on Wednesday. The low point was actually something that didn’t take place in a game. Top prospect Hunter Greene was scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Louisville on Wednesday night, but he was scratched from his start about an hour before the game. Prior the Reds releasing an official statement I was told by a source that this was a minimal issue and nothing concerning. A few hours later the Reds released a statement noting that Greene “was scratched from his start with irritation in his right AC joint and that he is expected to make his next scheduled start.”

It’s been an outstanding return to the mound for Hunter Greene this season. The recently turned 22-year-old began the season in Double-A Chattanooga with the Lookouts, but has seen more action with the Triple-A Louisville Bats this year. In his 16 combined starts he’s posted a 2.84 ERA in 85.2 innings with 31 walks and 120 strikeouts.

Dauri Moreta and the next relief option

The next relief option for the Cincinnati Reds is probably going to be Tejay Antone. He’s currently in Triple-A on a rehab assignment and assuming he stays healthy during it, should return to the Cincinnati roster soon. If the Reds need to look to the minors to call up a reliever beyond that, though, the name Dauri Moreta may be near the top of that list – particularly among guys pitching out of the bullpen.

On Wednesday night the Bats called on Moreta to pitch the 9th inning and he got through it allowing just a single in a shutout inning. It was his 9th appearance for Louisville and he still hasn’t allowed an earned run in 10.2 innings. He also threw 26.2 innings over 18 games with Double-A Chattanooga earlier in the season. For the year he’s allowed four earned runs in 37.1 innings. That’s a 0.96 ERA for those of you keeping track at home. He’s given up just 24 hits, walked just eight batters, hit none of them, and he’s struck out 46 of the 138 hitters he’s faced (33%). And it’s not a guy going out there and getting by with smokes and mirrors, either. Moreta’s routinely hit 98 MPH in the second half this season and has been sitting 94-96 MPH all year long.

The one thing that’s working against him at this point is that he’s not on the 40-man roster. Calling him up would mean making a roster move. That’s not something the team would need to do to bring back Tony Santillan, for example, who is also throwing well in the Louisville bullpen. But the 25-year-old is having an incredible run in the upper minor leagues this season (and in 2019 he had a 2.35 ERA with 9 walks and 64 strikeouts in 57.1 innings – so it’s not exactly new that he’s dominating), and if the Reds need another reliever or two he should certainly be among the players the front office is discussing.

32 Responses

  1. Alan Horn

    Bring all of Antone, Santillian and Moreta up. We have plenty of dead weight in the BP that can be cut. Garrett, Hembree and Sims if he has options. I have seen enough of Suarez, Moose, Naquin and Akiyama. Bring up Senzel and put him in CF and see what he can do. Give AA more time in CF. Bring up Barreo and move Farmer to 3B. Bring up Lopez and Schrock and let them play off the bench. The argument we are in a pennant race doesn’t hold water against the above. The above is what is taking us out of the race. The above moves might not work but the status quo surely isn’t working. Ownership is going to have to eat some large contracts. Admit your mistakes and move on.

    • MFG

      Alan, I agree with allot of your points. Our bullpen is terrible and allot of those guys need to be replaced. AG, Doolittle, Brach need to be released. Simms needs to be a set up guy and Lorenzen might make a good closer? Suarez should not see the field and should be traded in the off season. I have always thought Moose was over-rated.

      • Alan Horn

        It is obvious to even the most casual Reds fan. If you watch something over and over and nothing changes then it is time for changes.

      • burtgummer01

        Sims is not a good pitcher .The only time he should be allowed to pitch is if the games out of hand

      • Alan Horn

        Sims looked good last(abbreviated ) season as did Garrett. I think everyone thought it would carry forward for both. It hasn’t happened.

    • Doc

      Nobody named “Barreo” on minor league rosters.

    • Danny Elliott

      Farmer has proved himself to be an elete SS with all the tools needed to excell, he only needed the opertunity to show us. To even consider moving him to another position makes no sense. He is just begining to feel secure and his bat is now also a force to be reckoned with. He has earned what he has the hard way. And to mess with him now would negatively impact the spirit and closeness the team has. They believe in Kyle, and consider him a quiet leader that speaks with his play.

  2. Hotto4Votto

    Hopefully just precautionary with Greene. Get him some extra rest in this odd season, too many guys getting injured to play around and risk something more severe. I agree Moreta is someone worth looking at for the pen, but probably for next season. This season they’ve already decided Santillan is going to be a reliever. With that decision made, don’t let him waste his talents in AAA when the bullpen is struggling at the ML level.

  3. Michael Spriggs

    I would also agree with all the desired fan pitching moves but…the Reds just won’t “throw” money away. That’s why Doolittle and Garrett haven’t been dfa’d and unfortunately Eugenio hasn’t been sent/sat down. For that matter Shogo too, and I love most of these guys and hope for their success. It would be be too much dead money for them to swallow. I really thought Shogo was going to have a big year and who knows how much his wife’s accident has weighed on him. He’s not Ichiro but he sure plays defense. There’s plenty of guys in the minors who play D too and might hit but we just won’t see it and he’s still guaranteed $7/8 million next year so he’s not going anywhere. Hembree and Hoffman are probably next to go somewhere when Tejay and Senzel come back.

    • Alan Horn

      Hoffman has shown some promise in middle relief. They are going to have to find a way to rid themselves of Suarez and Moose even if they have to add money or players to trade them.

      • Indy Red Man

        Thats like $100 mil for Geno/Moose. That ain’t happening. Maybe we could deal Geno, but we’d probably be forced to take on some scrub that they screwed up on….like Kemp/Homer deal.

      • Indy Red Man

        Geno $35 mil and Moose $38 mil including buyouts. Shogo gets $8 next year. I don’t know how they move any of them?

      • Alan Horn

        Then put them on the bench and Gorilla tape their mouths shut.

  4. LDS

    I read here that college draftees are more mature and polished, as one would expect. My question is what percentage of prospects like McClain go on to have successful MLB careers? It would seem likely that the percentage is rare but the Reds could use one.

    • Rednat

      i agree. especially with the position players/ seems like the guys out of college have a lower ceiling than international players and players out of high school.

    • Indy Red Man

      Its not exactly rare, but for the #17th pick its probably 25% at best. Dodgers catcher Will Smith went 32 and Dylan Carlson 33 in 2016. Of course Senzel was #2 that draft. Tyler Stephenson was #11 in 2015.

      • Indy Red Man

        2013 had some scores in the middle of the 1st round:

        Hunter Renfroe #13
        JP Crawford #16
        Tim Anderson #17
        Aaron Judge #32

      • Alan Horn

        I think Doug or someone did a piece on the percentage of higher draft choices that do well in the majors It was a few years ago. I remember it being quite low. It might have been # 1 choices. The Reds have had a dismal record with their top choices until fairly recently. You have India, Senzel, Votto(might have been #2), Stephenson, Winker and I think Mahle was fairly high. Gutierrez , Chapman and Iglesius were home grown also, so the track record has been pretty good lately(Votto not included). I think you can google Cincinnati Reds # 1 draft choices to get an overall picture over the years.

      • Doug Gray

        It’s pretty simple: Once you get beyond the top 10 overall draft picks you reach the point in which the average draft pick is no longer considered an every day average big league player/starting pitcher and start getting to the “quality bench guy/reliever” territory in terms of value. And it just gets worse with each pick.

      • Alan Horn

        There was a period(not so long ago) when most of our top picks didn’t pan out. They are doing a better job of both drafting and developing lately.

      • Jim Walker

        @Alan Horn> Mahle was a steal. He was chosen at #225 overall in the 7th round of 2013 out of high school. I am not familiar with his backstory but would not be surprised if he went so low because he looked like a lock to attend college vs signing. If not, he has already beaten the odds.

        Winker was chosen at #49 overall in 2012 but counts as a 1st rounder due to how they valued the various compensatory and supplemental choices at that time. He was also chosen out of high school. I also have no idea if he was seen as a strong possibility to attend college before signing but would doubt a team risked the #49 overall in that sort of situation.

  5. RedsGettingBetter

    McLain is not so tall but swings fast with contact. Typical .300 avg- .800+ OPS hitter and has enough pop … Pretty good prospect drafted by Reds

  6. Bet on Red

    How the mighty have fallen. Chris Davis retires today with his contract restructured into deferments that will last into the mid 30s. Jake Arrieta was released by the Cubs.

    • Indy Red Man

      The Arrieta money train is over((((((((( Lock for Over and usually the other team/Over parlay too

      • Chris Holbert

        Have the Reds claimed him yet?

  7. Chris Holbert

    Castellanos out of the lineup today?

    • Votto4life

      Yeah I am wondering why as well…have to wonder if he is really healthy

  8. Chris Holbert

    With pretty much every game being must win, not realistic, I know, but, does one of the best bats need a day off? He is just getting his timing back, but it basically is Naquin for him tonight. Unless he is hurt.

    • Jim Walker

      swollen foot for Castellanos from HBP. Bell says x-rays negative, Castellanos is available off the bench

  9. RedsGettingBetter

    Castellanos was hit twice last night it could be that affected him more than expected… This season has been very tough for Reds stay healthy…

    • beelicker

      I saw the one nailed the toe, where exactly was the other impact?

      • Bet on Red

        the other one brushed his uniform. A HBP by rule only and did not make skin contact