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.