The Cincinnati Reds have signed free agent starting pitcher Kyle Dowdy to a minor league contract for the 2022 season that includes an invitation to spring training with the big league club.

The 28-year-old right-handed reliever last pitched in the big leagues back in the 2019 season with the Texas Rangers. He had some struggles, going 2-1 with a 7.25 ERA in 13 games that spanned 22.1 innings where he walked more batters, 18, than he struck out, 17.

During the 2021 season Kyle Dowdy pitched in Triple-A for the Columbus Clippers in the Cleveland organization. He made 39 relief appearances that covered 60.0 innings. Dowdy had a 4.80 ERA while picking up a save, giving up 55 hits, walking 40 batters, and striking out 63.

We don’t have much big league data to work with, but what we do have is from 2019. At that time he was throwing a fastball, slider, curve, and a change up. His fastball had a low spin rate, which tends to give it sinking action. With that said, he’s never actually been a guy who gets a lot of ground balls. He does have some velocity to work with. He’s topped out at 98.3 MPH in the big leagues and throws his slider in the mid-to-upper 80’s.

During the 2021 minor league season Dowdy struggled at the start and the end of the year. Opponents had an OPS of .839 against him in the first month of the season and an OPS of 1.206 against him in the last month. During the three months in the middle they hit just .199/.330/.308 against him. He struggled with the strikezone throughout the season, even when he was getting better results – his ERA was 3.67 through the first 30 games of the season, but then he allowed 12 runs in his final nine games as his ERA jumped more than a full run down the stretch.

Cincinnati is picking up a bit of a live arm here. But it’s a live arm on a minor league deal because there are some negatives on the resume for Kyle Dowdy. The control has been an issue throughout his career as a reliever (he threw more strikes when he was starting the first two years of his professional career – though he was quite old for the levels he was pitching at), and he’s struggled at times between the Double-A (4.70 ERA), Triple-A (4.83 ERA), and MLB (7.25 ERA) levels.

14 Responses

  1. ryan

    So his average ERA is 5.60 , pretty close to that of the guy the Dodgers signed outbidding the Reds (for a mere $8 million, isn’t “payroll” wonderful).

  2. LDS

    His minor league numbers aren’t particularly impressive either, IMO. It’s shaping up to be another season like last, sign castoffs and rejects and pretend to be improving the team. Who knows, maybe my Powerball ticket hits on Saturday. About as likely as one of these guys being a game changer.

    • PTBNL

      EVERY team does this. This is not an exclusive practice of the Reds. Many were saying the same thing when we signed pitchers like Art Warren….shoot even said the same things about Wade Miley. They turned out all right.

      • LDS

        Correct. All teams sign these types of players. Most teams don’t consider them upgrades. OTOH, can he be worse than Fulmer.

      • Doug Gray

        Where do you get the idea that the Reds think he’s an upgrade?

    • LDS

      History, nothing more. How many castoffs did they drag on the field last year? Doolittle, et al. Sorry, it’s impossible to take the Reds FO seriously. They’ve done nothing productive.

      • Doug Gray

        How many castoffs did every team drag on the field last year? Teams saw injuries up like 30% last season from where they were in 2019. Every single team in baseball was using guys last season that they never, ever would have used in the past, but simply had no choice.

      • greenmtred

        Nothing productive? Castellanos wasn’t so bad. Neither was Naquin. Neither was Miley. For that matter, India and Stephenson are on the team because of the front office.

  3. Doc

    Pessimist – can he be worse than Fulmer?
    Realist – can he be better than Fulmer?

  4. TheCoastMan

    7.25 ERA — 18 Walks — 17 Strikeouts in the bigs. Fits right in with our pen.

  5. old-school

    It seems neither the MLBPA nor the owners are motivated to negotiate as no contact between the parties in over a week.
    How does spring training work for veterans in terms of pay?
    Do the paychecks start on Opening Day?
    The Reds were awful on offense in 2020 and lack of access to coaches and facilities and trainers was a big reason. Its going to be hard to make any assumptions about player performance if this drags into February as no one knows what each player did or didnt do to prepare for 2022 in isolation.