The Cincinnati Reds have some decisions to make with regards to their bullpens and they don’t have much time to figure them out, either. Right-handed relievers Tejay Antone and Michael Feliz are both currently on rehab assignments with the Triple-A Louisville Bats. The expectation is that Antone will return on Tuesday and be activated for the series in Milwaukee against the Brewers. The decision with Antone isn’t so much about him as much as what move will be made to the roster in order to create a spot for Antone.

Tejay Antone last pitched for the Reds on June 24th. That will make it two months of time off of the big league mound. He’s been on rehab with the Bats for the last two weeks and has pitched in seven games. He’s thrown 6.2 innings with two earned runs, four hits, three walks, and 10 strikeouts on rehab.

For Michael Feliz there’s less expectation that he will be activated on Tuesday and more of a situation where he’s out of day on his rehab assignment. He began his most recent rehab assignment on July 24th (he was brought back after three appearances on his first rehab assignment when his arm wasn’t quite recovering after outings as expected). Things didn’t get out to a great start as he allowed seven runs in 5.2 innings in his first five games. But since then he’s really turned things around on his rehab stint, allowing one run on two hits in 8.0 innings without a walk and with seven strikeouts.

Michael Feliz not only would require a spot on the 26-man roster, but he would also require a spot on the 40-man roster as he’s currently on the 60-day injured list. The latter spot will be easy to find because the current 40-man roster only has 38 players on it. The tougher thing would be finding that second spot on the 26-man roster because the first one is clearly going to go to Antone.

Looking at the bullpen it’s currently got nine pitchers in it: Luis Cessa, Sean Doolittle, Amir Garrett, Mychal Givens, Jeff Hoffman, Michael Lorenzen, Tony Santillan, Lucas Sims, and Justin Wilson.

Some of those players are a lot safer than others. Some of those players are quite debatable as to whether they warrant not designating for assignment. Among that group only Tony Santillan has options.

Sean Doolittle has pitched in 15 games over the last two months and been charged with earned runs in two of them. He’s also only allowed one inherited runner to score (out of six).

Since June 9th Amir Garrett has pitched in 28 games and has a 3.06 ERA in 17.2 innings. But for the month of August he’s barely pitched, too. He hasn’t pitched in over a week, and he’s thrown just 2.1 innings on the month.

Jeff Hoffman has been very successful since his return from the injured list and transition to the bullpen. In eight games as a reliever he’s allowed two runs in 13.1 innings and struck out 17 batters.

Justin Wilson, a trade deadline acquisition along with Luis Cessa from the Yankees, has allowed just two runs in nine appearances and 8.0 innings since joining the Reds, but he’s also walked five batters in that span – an issue he also had with the Yankees.

The bench only has four players on it, so it’s highly unlikely that a bench player goes out for another reliever. Picking one player to go out for Antone probably won’t be easy. And with the options in play it might be Tony Santillan since he’s the only guy with them, even though it seems like he might be a better option to keep around than some of the others. That leaves the team looking at whether or not to keep Michael Feliz over someone else. Unless there’s an injury we don’t know about, though, someone seems like they are heading for the waiver wire before the Milwaukee series begins and it’s possible that two players will be.

97 Responses

  1. Klugo

    Probably easier to stash Feliz in AAA. He may clear waivers, if he’s out of options. I dont see them bringing him up over any of the active guys. As far as Antone, yeah, I agree, they’ll probably send Santillan down because he has options even though he has pitched as good as if not better than, Garret, Doolittle, and Hoffman out of the ‘pen.

    • Arthur

      Reds are carrying 9 relievers. Aside from Lorenzen and perhaps Givens, you would take Antone over any of the rest of them.

      Garrett has pitched 2.1 innings in 22 days, and hasn’t seen the mound in 10 days. Why are we worried about losing him??

      Doolittle has pitched 4 innings in August. Why are we worried about losing him??

      These guys aren’t being used, and when they used, they don’t do very well.

      Wouldn’t the team be better off with two position players who might actually contribute to wins, instead of two pitchers who frankly don’t do anything?

      • Klugo

        Yes. I’d rather keep Santillan and DFA Doolittle, Garrett or Hoffman, too. I just dont think the Reds will do that. Cutting two of them to bring up Lopez or Schrock? I can see that. Everyone wants to talk about expanded rosters in September, but we gotta get to September. It’s time to go for it.

      • 2020ball

        I really dont get why people think position players are going to help more than relievers, all a position player might do is be part of a double switch and maybe a defensive replacement in the later innings. That doesnt sound like contributing much to me. The only thing they could do is bury moose and suarez on the bench, but we all know that isnt happening and, again, that doesnt sound like contributing much to me. I dont understand this line of thinking. I’d rather have Garrett to pitch if other relievers are overworked, but Bells been doing his best to conserve his relievers after the string of injuries to guys he was using for 2+ innings early in the year, something else people have harped on that I dont understand…but I digress. Differences in opinion, blah, blah, I know….

        Anyway, for me the only guys I’m DFA’ing are Wilson or Feliz. I’m not against optioning Santillan. Doolittle is no big loss to me, but he’s probably our top lefty in the pen so thats not happening. I think the Reds would be stupid to give up on Garrett.

      • beelicker

        I concur with nearly all of that, except it could be nice to have, say, an extra pinch switch hitting option in Lopez or another RH OF/INF platoon option like a healthy Senzel or even a 3rd Catcher with longball capability for the stretch run, since Farmer’s hernia isn’t going to be too keen on flexing behind the plate should it ever become necessary to actually back up behind the plate should Stephenson have already pinch hit. I also agree Doolittle and Garrett both have value as partial-inning finishing loogies at the very least

      • Hotto4Votto

        Would a position player get into a game more once in the last 10 days? If so then they would offer more help than at least one of our relievers. Looking at the game logs over the past 10 games, Hoffman has 3 appearances for 3.2 IP, Wilson has 2 appearances for 1.2 IP, and Doolittle has 2 appearances for 2 IP. Garrett has not appeared. 4 pitchers over the last 10 games combine for 7 appearances 7.1 IP.

        David Bell likes to use his bench. He likes to make double switches and PH based on matchups even midway through games. Multiple times this season Bell’s been reduced to sending a pitcher up in key late game situations to hit because he burned through his bench. Multiple times we’ve sent a less than 100% healthy player up to PH because there weren’t other options. We’ve been fortunate not to be burned by PH our 2nd catcher early in games.

        An extra position player gives you options on a day to day basis. A 9th reliever just makes too many options and not enough innings to keep everyone sharp and get enough work.

    • Alan Horn

      Is it only a problem prior to Sept 1st? If so, I would send Santillan down until the 1st. I would DFA Feliz which means we probably lose him because everyone in the playoff races are desperate for pitching. Feliz is not better than Garrett or Doolittle who would be the prime candidates. Plus, I don’t see Feliz making the roster next season. He was cut by the Pirates before we signed him. If someone goes on the IL then it is a moot point.

      • JayTheRed

        I think you have it figured out on what they are going to do. Your post seems like the most logical steps for the team to take without losing someone important.

  2. Magnum 44

    Wouldn’t Amir Garrett having a knee or hip issue go to the 10 day list till roster expansion be the solution?

  3. Votto4life

    Tony Santillan to Louisville. Sean Doolittle DFA?

    They would be able to bring Tony back up on September 1st correct?

    • Alan Horn

      Works for Antone but I don’t think I would DFA Doolittle or Garrett for Feliz. A question I have is if we drop AA, Akiyama, Suarez, Moose, Doolitte or Garrett for the playoffs (if we make it) does that mean we would lose them. i. e. is that the same as DFAing them where we would lose them ?

      • Votto4life

        Yeah, probably not worth losing them for Feliz, but I really don’t want to see Garret or Doolittle pitch in meaningful situation. But yeah, It would be the same for Feliz.

      • Alan Horn

        Agree. Non of the 3 need to pitch in a meaningful situation. Garrett might be ok if not for walks and digging himself a hole right out of the box.

    • 2020ball

      Guys just have to be on the 40 man before sept 1st to be playoff eligible, there isnt any requirement to be called on the 26 by that date.

      • 2020ball

        oh nvm, you mean as one of the 2 extra guys.

  4. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Don’t the big clubs still have the option of bringing up anyone from the minors after Sept 1 or after the minor league seasons are over?

    • JayTheRed

      Rosters only expand by 2 people if I understand things correctly for this season.

      • RedsFaninVA

        JayTheRed, you are correct. Rosters can only expand to 28 players on September 1st.

      • jb

        I believe in the addition of two players on Sept 1 one must be a pitcher and one a non pitcher. I believe the rule was that you couldn’t bring up to pitchers.

  5. Old-school

    DFA Feliz

    Id hate to see Santillan optioned but Krall will

    Santillan is one of the best 26.

    • Alan Horn

      Agree 100%. Gets Antone back in the mix who will be as good or better than Santillan. Bring Santillan back on Sept 1st. Santillan doesn’t deserve to go back down but it is the only way to keep from losing a good reliever to someone else other than an injury.

      • Alan Horn

        If we don’t lose the players left off the playoff roster then I would carry Lopez and Schrock versus 2 of Suarez, Moose, AA and Akiyama. That is with the assumption that we already have Barreo. Those 4 all have a BA of near .200 or less. It would give us more punch off the bench but less power(you have to hit the ball for power to play). Senzel could also be back in play by then.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree. They are trying to get into the playoffs and Satillan is one of the 3 or 4 pen guys who can be counted on to not implode. It makes no sense to send him down for a crucial week. There has to be some issue among the non achievers that would merit an IL trip

      • Alan Horn

        That would be the best solution but it has to be legit(which is hard to disprove).

  6. David

    I think the ML rules now preclude bringing up a raft of player from AAA, even if they are on the 40 man roster.
    I think the Reds still need a couple of Lefthanders.

    Hoffman (lefthander) has done pretty well since he was recalled (after injury). He’s not a starter, but can be a long reliever.
    Doolittle was the “big” (heh) off-season acquisition, also a lefthander. Can they trust him in high-leverage situations (or Garrett, for that matter)? He’s kind of been a bust. I would release him, if they chose not to send down Tony Santillan.
    Tony could also pitch a “long” (multi-innings) relief appearance.
    Cessa hasn’t been that great, but they are not going to give up on him

    • Alex Reds

      Cessa 1-1 record, 2 saves, 2.08 ERA with Reds. Cessa had a 2.82 ERA with the Yankees this year. Cessa has been GREAT! Cessa, Givens, and Lorenzen have stabilized the bullpen that was awful and now is solid.

    • Alan Horn

      Hoffman is not a lefthander but I agree he is a keeper for long relief(at least for now).

    • paul olbert

      you can bring up numerous players, but have to declare 27 or 28 game eligible for a particular day

  7. Old-school

    Per Joel luckhaupt

    Sean Doolittle has pitched once in 8 days

    Amir Garrett hasnt in 10 days

    The Reds just finished 20 games in 20 days

    • Votto4life

      Yeah, obviously David Bell has lost confidence in Amir and Sean. Rightly so in my opinion.

  8. Redsvol

    Doug – can’t Amir Garrett be sent down? I see on Cots he has 1 option remaining and 3.1 years of service time. That’s not enough to refuse an option is it. I think a union member has to have 5 years minimum of service time before they can refuse an option. And then you bring him back September 1st – if you still think he’s one of the best 10 pitchers in the system. Personally I don’t but there is a lot to managing a Scott Boras client that isn’t as straight forward as it appears.

    • Jim Walker

      Here is how Garrett’s Fangraphs page and, it says zero options

      This is the fifth different season he has had time on the active MLB roster despite having less than 4 years in time when 2021 started; and, he has never been outrighted; so, I do not see how he can have an option left.

      The talk from all corners of the media world has also been all year has been that he does not have any remaining options left.

    • Doug Gray

      No. He does not have an option.

      Amir was one of the few players who qualified for a 4th option year….. but that 4th option year only applies in the year it’s granted. It doesn’t just carry forward forever.

  9. Rob

    I thought I understood this out of options stuff but apparently I am missing something. To me you release an out of options guy because you don’t see him as one of your top 26 and/or you don’t see much of a future for this guy on this team. How does Garrett not fit into this category? Are we saying we need him in September and that we are going to resign him over the winter? What is the difference between adios today and adios in December? If you are not going to use him in a playoff chase, and not resign him, then release him and let Santillan stick around. Makes no sense to me to keep him around if we do not trust him.

    • Alan Horn

      What are the ramifications of not including someone on the playoff roster versus DFAing them in the regular season(if they don’t have options in both cases). I know in the DFA case in the regular season they are put through waivers and we likely lose them. Does not adding the same guys to the playoff roster do the same?

      • Jim Walker

        Being off a playoff roster does not impact a player’s MLB 40 man roster status. It does not burn an option if a player has options remaining. It is not the same as being DFA. The player is not exposed to waivers.

      • Alan Horn

        Thanks Jim. So we could leave any of Suarez, Moose, AA or Akiyama off the the playoff roster with no risk of losing them to waivers as opposed to DFAing them during the regular season..

    • Mark Moore

      I read that he doesn’t have an option left other than one on his contract.

      • Mark Moore

        That was for the previous comment.

        I believe the ramifications are about him getting paid no matter what.

      • Alan Horn

        I agree they get paid but if we leave them off the playoff roster would they be subject to waivers. I don’t know if I would care other than AA. The others make a lot of money and I think someone could claim them for the minimum with the Reds paying the difference(most of the money) while they play for another team. I know that is true for the regular season but is it true for the playoffs and World Series? i.e. we pay all of Moose’s $17 million per year except the ML minimum while he plays for another team.

      • Alan Horn

        if we leave Moose off the playoff roster.

      • Alan Horn

        He wouldn’t be optioned. Just left off the playoff roster.

      • Jim Walker

        I just looked at Cot’s. Their salary spreadsheet does say Garrett has 1/4 options left but there is an “*” at the top of the column that says 2020 not counted unless ruled otherwise by an arbitrator. I’m guessing he was one of those who “lost” the extra option year in those ruling this past spring but the sheet was never updated.

        BTW, Cot’s also says Garrett is on a straight 1 year deal with no option for next year.

      • Jim Walker

        Here is a link to playoff eligibility and playoff roster rules from

        To the best of my understanding, the wild card game counts as part of the same round as the Divisional Series which immediately follow it. So, the roster the Reds would name for a Wild Card game would also be their Divisional Series roster if they won the WC game and advanced.

        The Divisional Series is best of 5 with the winners permitted to adjust their rosters prior to the LCS. Teams generally shorten their pitching staff to load up on position player alternative. Even with a pitcher crazy team like the Reds, it seems unlikely they would carry more than 11 pitchers at the most on a wild card/ Divisional Series roster.

      • beelicker

        Thanks for that link, Jim. So on the 26 by 9/1 + 6oday list like i thought is not the limiting factor for PS eligibility, but the expanded “any player who is on the *40-man roster* or *60-day injured list* as of 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 31 is eligible for the postseason”

      • Jim Walker

        @bee> Yes on the 40 man or MLB 60 day IL by midnight 8/31 into 9/1 is how I read it. That is definitely a change from how it had been for years previously. Not sure when they changed it since as a Reds fan, it hasn’t been that much of an issue for me for 7 years or so.

        Looks like guys still on either IL (10 day or 60 day) can be subbed out by petition and replaced guys in the organization by the same date but not on the 40 man roster (Moreta, Greene, Lodolo, Sanmartin et al as pitchers and perhaps Feidl, Inciarte and Freeman as position guys for example).

  10. Michael Spriggs

    Playing this like the Rays would is the way to go. DFA Feliz if/when he’s back. DFA Doolittle and Amir, bring up Teejay and Hunter and when you get the two extra spots choose two of Sanmartin/Lodolo/Senzel (if healthy ) or Schrock and one goes back when Winker comes back. I’d rather see the Reds have the extra bats during this last month and why keep pitchers that you won’t use. Look at the up and down and sideways moves the Brewers have been making. I don’t believe the Reds will eat all that money and if you’re looking at a wild card one and done then Suarez or Moose can hit a 3 run bomb and strike out 2/3 times and it’s okay. You usually only use three starters so that’s two extra pitchers right there. Who knows if the team can replicate this year? Next year is the real issue. Moustakas signed through ’23. Suarez ’24. Naquin ARB3. Shogo one more year. Nick probably gone. Lorenzen FA. Tucker club option? Amir ARB2. Luos ARB2. Wade/Sonny signed next year.Miley has $1 mil. buyout but if you won’t eat Doolittle/Amir money would you cut Wade when he’s been their best pitcher this year? So not much line-up change and teams just never seem to play as well or catch fire again. 2012 Anyone? Please go for it.

    • Jim Walker

      I believe they cannot have over 14 pitchers on the active regular season roster after the September call ups but they are permitted to have fewer than 14.

      • Jim Walker

        Oh well, they seem to just be making up rules as they go then saying it is due to COVID impact. I don’t have the link at my fingertips but I know I read (somewhere I considered credible) within the last week that only 1 of the 2 September callups could be a pitcher and that pitchers were limited to 14.

        I guess we will find out on Sept 1 which rules rule on that day!

  11. Reds4ever

    Amir has struggled this year. But giving up on him because of a bad year in my opinion would be dumb. The other 2 lefties in our own don’t get lefties out half as good as garrett. I was looking at Garrett’s splits. This is the only year he’s really hadtrouble with right handed hitters. In my opinion they shouldn’t cut him because if he turns back to form next year front office will be kicking themselves in the butt. Plus you have no established LHp on the roster. You can’t expect rookies to show up and be elite right away.

  12. Tim Sprano

    I thought as long as someone is on the 40 man roster, they are eligible for the playoff roster. Assuming that, I send Santillan down since he has options and then DFA Doolittle. He isn’t helping now and isn’t (shouldn’t be) in the plans for the future. The others might not be that good this year, and won’t be on the playoff roster, but might be worth something in the future.

  13. SteveLV

    DFAing Doolittle seems like a pretty easy choice to me. He’s not pitching now, you probably don’t want him pitching in September or the playoffs, and you probably won’t want to offer him a contract next year. He’s done. Just recognize it now. That handles Antone.

    Then it’s a choice between Santillan being able to pitch in the playoffs or risking, and probably losing, Feliz. That’s a tough one. Risking Garrett would not be an option for me if I were making this decision. And I say risk, but it’s really not a risk. It’s a certainty the Reds would lose him.

    Circling back, I’d probably DFA Feliz and live with the consequences.

  14. LGR

    All this DFA Garrett talk is absurd. Awful year or not, Garrett still holds value. He could be part of a package to send with Moose or Suarez in the offseason. Another team could legitimately think they can fix Garrett. I can see it now. Mahle, Garrett, and Moose to the Rays, A’s, or Giants for cash in the offseason.

    • Reaganspad

      We thought we could fix Hoffman and Perez.

      Garrett holds value but right now his roster spot is more valuable, which is why we are having this conversation. Garrett has a great slider. Mahle has a great fastball. Blend those 2 and you get a Castillo. Vlad has passed Mahle and next year you will have to be even better to earn a roster spot when Lodolo and Greene beat down the walls for a job

      • LGR

        I wouldn’t say Vlad has passed Mahle. Vlad is mediocre at home and very good on the road. Mahle is bad at home and a Cy Young on the road. They’re very comparable. If Mahle can learn to pitch at the bottom of the zone more, specifically at home, he could be the ace for a long time.

      • LGR

        I’d DFA Hoffman way before Garrett. If the Reds make the post season, they’re NEVER gonna use Hoffman. He wouldn’t even sniff a inning. Garrett could be brought in for a one time lefty matchup occasionally. They don’t need a longman at that point.

      • Indy Red Man

        Mahle comes out throwing 92 half the time? Thats not a great fastball although he can do alot more with 94-95 then most guys. When he’s at 95-97 and half their lineup are lefties then he can be pretty dominant, but he needs to reinvent himself vs righties

      • redsfan4040

        On Cionel Perez: after he was optioned in the beginning of June, between AAA and MLB he’s posted a 2.74 ERA, 14 k/9, 3.9 BB/9, and a .664 OPS against. Only 2 homers allowed over 24 games in that stretch.

    • Indy Red Man

      Garrett will be 30 next spring. I realize lefties can last forever, but not ones that walk half the park and can’t throw offspeed for a strike. Eliminating the loogy rule works against guys like AG as well. I have more faith in Art Warren despite being a righty. I have more faith that they can groom C Perez at some point.

      Cut AG & Doolittle and bring up another position player with Antone. They’re not going to need them to win the wildcard and they definitely wouldn’t need them in a playoff series.

      • Jim Walker

        Eliminating the loogy rule works against guys like AG as well…

        So true; and, the Reds at least are still struggling to come to terms with the LOOGY being effectively eliminated by the 3 man rule. The Reds carry 3 lefties but seem averse to risking 2 of them facing a RH batter even when there are 2 outs and the opposition is locked into sending a LH batter to the plate.

        It is going to get even more interesting if they ever get around to enforcing the 13 man pitcher limit which has been held in abeyance supposedly due to the COVID crisis.

  15. James Muzzini

    send down garrett and sean. bullpen bums. keep the rest. you made trades before the deadline, keep them.

  16. Jim t

    Very nice breakdown. Of the nine pitchers on the staff Bell can’t and won’t use 3 in high leverage situations, Garett, Doolittle and Hoffman. In Hoffman’s case he is used as a long man when the starter has been pulled. That leaves him 6 pieces. Look at the 6, Cesa, Givens and Wilson were pitching for other teams until the trade deadline. Santilan was in the minors and Lorenzen was available for more then half the season. Sims was injured like Lorenzen. To be were we are with this kind of bullpen is a testament to the fine job this coaching staff has done. I won’t even mention the injuries to the position players he has had to overcome.

    The make up of this pen should give you a insight to why Bell only uses guys for one inning. Only 6 are capable. The other 3 pitch in blowouts. He has to preserve the few resources he has to get him through the season. To this point to be in playoffs and 12 games over 500 should put him in the running for MOY. Hope he can continue his magic it’s been fun to this point

  17. Max BRAGG

    Reds fans we over analyze sometimes the truth is Antone can pitch an Feliz well not so good. Garrett can pitch when he isn’t acting up an just throws the ball. The last MONTHS “DOOLITTLE ” has not pitched well so now we have Wilson. No doubt what to do GM!

  18. Redgoggles

    Amazing how much “better” Bell seems to manage the bullpen with well, actual major league arms (plural) at his disposal. Hopefully, they can stay healthy the rest of the way, but he should be manager of the year right now considering what he had to balance in the bullpen to get to this point.

    • Alan Horn

      Agree that he had very little to work with in the pen for much of the season.

  19. Fanman

    Bell has done a nice job with this team. He is a player’s manager. Drives me crazy though, how Reds are not aggressive on the bases. Even with a limited amount of speed, Akiyama should be stealing bases. Same with India, Naquin. Where is hit and run? I guess with shifts it isn’t as prevalent. So happy when Reds put suicide squeeze on last week. It didn’t work out because bunt was right to pitcher…even more frustrating than Bell not sending runners is the third base coach stopping runners at third base. J.R. (stop by and see me) House. Larkin doesn’t throw Bell under the bus on telecasts. He does point out, however, that it is necessary to put pressure on defenses.

    • Westfester

      This team doesn’t struggle to score runs so whatever they’re doing seems to be working. Hitting a lot of doubles also puts pressure on the defense.

    • Rednat

      i agree, we have a good offense but we could be elite if the base running can improve. that is my one major criticism of Bell. not enough creativity on the offensive play calling side. hopefully it is something they work on during the offseason.

    • VaRedsFan

      That was a safety squeeze…not suicide. Suicide would have been successful

  20. Hotto4Votto

    I don’t see any way that Feliz is added back to the roster. He’s not better than the guys in the back end of the bullpen that aren’t getting innings. I’m guessing a DFA in his near future. With Garrett not pitching in the last 10 games, I don’t see it as a stretch to say he has some sort of nagging injury that would lead to a DL stint. That would allow the Reds to add Antone back into the mix.

    • MBS

      I agree with this, if I were the GM that’s how I’d play it. Why don’t we just have like buttons on here? Also a DL stint for Garrett, would afford him a rehab assignment where he could try to work on some things. Only pitching 2.1 innings in a month is going to make you rusty.

    • Jim Walker

      RE: Felix: or if his health is still borderline and he agrees just leave him on the 60 day IL as an already sunken cost to be used as a replaceable cutout to get somebody else onto a playoff roster that would not otherwise be eligible if the Reds get in.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I would think it would be a difficult case to make for Feliz being left on IL. As Doug noted in the article he’s recently pitched 8 innings of 1 run ball w/o a walk. On RML it appears he pitched another perfect inning last night as well. None of that, to me, suggests he’s not healthy or ready to pitch. Now, whether any of that suggests he’s ready to return to ML bullpen is another story.

  21. Alan Hornt

    It is getting hard to reply to an individual post but here is what I think is the situation. A player who is under contract with a team can be dropped from the roster for the playoffs without being exposed to waivers through the DFA rule. i. e. we would retain control of Suarez, Moose, AA, Akiyama, Garrett or anyone else who is under contract for next season should they be dropped from the 26 man roster for the playoffs. If so, that would free up adding Lopez, Schrock or anyone similar to the playoff roster and also allow the Reds to retain control of the above mentioned players if they wanted to trade them in the off season thus saving the Reds some money.

  22. Jim t

    Another thing Bell has done is if the opposition has the meat of the order coming up in the 7 th or 8th inning why save hour best arm and closer for the 9th. If fans remember this is a issue he had with Iglesias last year. Personally I like Bell’s thinking here. Iglesias only wanted to pitch the 9th inning.

  23. deafmix3

    All I know is that when I see Lorenzen, Givens and Cessa enter from the pen, I feel a whole lot better than I did when Hembree or or Doolittle or Garrett trotted out. And opposing batters feel a whole lot worse. Garrett’s and Doolittle’s stats are misleading if they suggest competence. Is there ANYONE in Reds country who feels good (or felt in the case of Hembree) when one of that latter group entered a game with runners on base? I got to the point where I was guessing which pitch would be tagged for the bases-clearing dinger. Under 5 was a safe bet for all three. With Antone back, and Santillan and Wilson and (to a significantly lesser extent) Sims, the bullpen is solid enough. Keep Hoffman for long relief down the stretch so’s not to burn out the bullpen in dud games. Just cut Doolittle and Garrett. Why have guys on a roster who no one has confidence in, including themselves? Both seem like good dudes and nothing personal, but I really, really would like to see a playoff run before I croak…

  24. BK

    The Reds should return to an 8-man bullpen/5-man bench tomorrow. Antone should be activated from the IL and Schrock should be recalled from AAA for the bench role.

    Bullpen pecking order:
    1a. Lorenzen
    1b. Antone
    3. Givens
    4. Cessa
    5. Sims
    6. Hoffman
    7. Santillan (has options)
    8. Doolittle (best #s of the LH relievers, best #s against LH batters–his likely role)
    9a. Wilson (good since he joined the team)
    9b. Perez (good before injury, a bit of an unknown at this point)
    11. Garrett (worst WHIP of the group–key metric for relievers, second best against LH batters)

    – Quality innings should trump handedness. The 3-batter rule mostly negates the concept of a LOOGY.
    – We have a significant dropoff after our top 7 relievers. The next 4 have been very inconsistent and each is vulnerable
    – With the rash of injuries, it’s probably prudent to option Santillan and then recall him after Sept 1. As inconsistent as #s 7 to 11 have been, we actually have seen worse. Warren was effective, but is on the IL and hasn’t started his rehab. Moreta is likely the next call-up, if needed.

    I’d DFA Garrett (very likely non-tender candidate even if retained). To me he’s been the most inconsistent due to the walks. Next, I’d also DFA either Perez or Wilson (which one is kept will be determined by internal analysis of Perez status as his rehab concludes). Lastly, I option Santillan. Hoffman is doing well covering the early, long relief role and Santillan can be back in 10 days.

    • Rednat

      i agree with your ranking but i would move Santillan ahead of hoffman and Sims. the guy knows how to throw strikes and has good mound presence. i hope they don”t send him dowm

      • BK

        Sims stock is down in my opinion, but he’s been hurt. I love what I see from Santillan, especially in relief. The numbers didn’t support ranking him ahead of Hoffman or Sims at this point, but I think he has the potential to surpass both into the high leverage relief role. Hoffman’s relief numbers have been excellent–long relief could be the optimal role for him.

        As for optioning Santillan, I could see keeping him if Warren is closer to coming back off the IL or if they believe Moreta is ready. He’s certainly one of the best 26.

    • Indy Red Man

      I’d make Givens the primary closer because he’s always been a 1 inning guy where Lorenzen & Antone can get you 4-6 outs on any given night. Actually unless we sweep Milw then I feel like Bell can almost experiment as much as he wants because we’ll pull away in the 2nd wildcard race. You never know, but it feels like it could be a strange situation without as much pressure as you would expect in a playoff chase.

      Also of course the team always comes first, but the Reds also owe players a chance to play regularly elsewhere if the Reds aren’t using them. Garrett could pitch 3 times a week with the Orioles or Rangers! Or Cubs/Pirates because I love leadoff walks))). Seriously though if he’s buried in our pen (2 innings in August) then give the guy a chance to restart his career elsewhere. AG/Senzel both need fresh starts

    • Red

      I largely agree with your rankings, and it’s crazy to reflect that we now have 7 bullpen options better than our best just a few weeks ago! How folks raged at Bell for bullpen usage earlier in the year is beyond me.

      The current bullpen may not even be to the “good” level yet, but it’s elite compared to what he had to work with for several MONTHS of the season!

      I think the upgrades may get us into the playoffs, but I’m still not real comfortable with most of these guys in high pressure/leverage situations as there is very little playoff experience and lineups will likely be more geared to driving starters pitch counts up. (Maybe that is a reason to keep Doolittle over AG?) But outside of an injury, I think I take AG over Doolittle as his ceiling – however infrequently reached – is higher plus the potential to return to “normal” next year would play into the decision making. Also, I would consider which arm would be most likely to hurt the Reds the rest of the year (ala Heath Hembree as a Met.) That’s probably AG.

      Regardless, the quality/depth of the bullpen after these moves is going to be lightyears ahead of where it’s been most of the year so I really don’t think it matters who goes at this point.

    • Old Big Ed

      Feliz will get claimed and traded.

      As I note below, I would DFA Justin Wilson to make room for Antone.

      • TR

        Without Wilson, the Reds will have lefty relief with Doolittle and Garrett in a 2 of 3 wild card series.

  25. Old Big Ed

    Another option for the Reds is to trade somebody like Garrett or Hoffman today or tomorrow, before having to DFA them. Some team would give up a prospect for them, although certainly not a top prospect. I doubt that they want a potential NL playoff opponent to claim Garrett, and an early trade gives them some say-so in where the reliever goes. (Garrett, though, may be a good LH for the Reds to face in the playoffs. All you have to do is refuse to swing, and it is a 5-pitch walk.)

    If the Reds DFA somebody, I suspect that it will be Justin Wilson. Assuming that they decide to keep Feliz, they will likely option Santillan and then pretend for the playoffs that some other pitcher got hurt, and use Santillan.

    • Doug Gray

      The trade deadline is long gone.

      • Old Big Ed

        The old rule was that trades after the deadline made the “tradee” ineligible for the playoffs, and I now have a vague memory of its being changed.

        Does that also change how DFA rules work?

      • Jim Walker

        ED> it means the trade option during the DFA 10 day period is gone. They’ll have to waive him in time for him to clear by the 10th day. If he clears then they can outright or release him.

        If they outright him and he has sufficient service time he or has been previously outrighted, he can refuse that assignment and become an immediate FA but then loses the remaining salary on his contract. So his agent will be sniffing around for somebody who might ante up more money over the next 6+weeks than his Reds salary would bring.

    • Jim Walker

      And I just recounted on the website and if Senzel is on the 60 IL, the 40 man count is 37 and not 38. Here’s the curiosity, on the website 40 man page, Senzel is (still) shown as “minors” which is how they list guys on option as opposed to IL which are designated by 60 day IL or 10 day IL.

  26. Jack

    I am not too concerned with what they do. Adding Antone is a big plus and anyone they dfa or option is nothing more than a marginal move with someone who wasn’t going to see anything other than mop up duty the rest of the way and would never get off the bench in a wildcard playoff game.

  27. Harold

    I would keep Wilson over Garrett or Dolittle. I think most fans have seen enough of Garrett and Dolittle. If the organization wants to keep Garrett and trade him over the Winter, I can see he has value then I think they could send down Santillian until Sept. 1st and then bring him back up. Question is does Garrett or Dolittle offer any help in Sept. or would a Louisville call up be more dependable to have on the roster. My choice is to get rid of Garrett and Dolittle before Sept 1 callups.