In a move that we all felt like we knew was coming, starting pitchers Luis Castillo and Mike Minor will begin the year on the injured list. Manager David Bell confirmed this with the media in Goodyear this afternoon, with Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer beating the others to the punch with reporting it first.

Both Luis Castillo and Mike Minor dealt with a sore shoulder earlier this month, setting each of them back. With a shortened spring training there simply wasn’t enough time for either of them to build up in enough time to be ready for the start of the season.

It’s not a great look for the Cincinnati Reds, who jettisoned lefty Wade Miley by placing him on waivers instead of paying his salary or trying to trade him later in the offseason and traded away Sonny Gray. Now the Reds are about a week away from Opening Day and only know what two-fifths of their rotation looks like.

There are still a lot of options for the Reds to look at and ultimately go with. Jeff Hoffman, Tony Santillan, and Reiver Sanmartin all have at least a few big league starts under their belts. You’ve also got Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo who have no big league experience, but dominated Double-A last season and in Greene’s case, pitched quite well in Triple-A outside of two starts. While Graham Ashcraft is still in big league camp as a non-roster invitee, after throwing 3.0 innings on March 21st he hasn’t pitched since and he’s also not among the scheduled pitchers (starters or relievers) through Thursday. The team hasn’t said anything about his status, but given the information we do have, it seems like he probably isn’t going to be fighting for a spot on the team at this point.

While the rotation isn’t set just yet, Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that David Bell did say that both Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo would remain starting pitchers – but that the level they begin their season at has not yet been determined. For them it seems that it’s either making the rotation in the big leaguers or heading to Triple-A Louisville to continue starting. That may not be the case for a guy like Reiver Sanmartin or Tony Santillan, both of whom has some relief pitching experience. Santillan had never pitched out of the bullpen before until last year with the big league club. Sanmartin has some limited time in the bullpen in the minor leagues where he’s pitched in 20 games as a reliever and made 75 starts.

22 Responses

  1. Optimist

    The longer Cueto remains available, the better a $4m guaranteed/$1 per 50ip looks, pending a physical of course.

    • 2020ball

      Why the Reds didnt just do that instead of that mind boggling trade for minor is beyond me

  2. realist

    What day will the reds be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs this year? I say September 3rd, or is that the day Minor makes his first start. As i write this i see Jesse Winker getting interviewed on the Seattle Mariners network. There is hope Reds fans, good baseball is being played on the MLB network, pick a winner to follow.

  3. Melvin

    If Greene and Lodolo are on innings limts and pitching well why even think about using up those innings in AAA given the Reds current situation?

  4. LDS

    Brilliant front office moves, acquiring Minor and Dunn. I’m so impressed.

    • DaveCT

      It occurs to me that Dunn in the Suarez deal is a swap of problems

  5. Magnum 44

    I think Greene should be capable of 170 to 175 innings someone can correct me but didn’t he pitch almost 150 innings last year Lodolo on should be on a much shorter leash. I haven’t been paying to much attention, but complaining about Bob C. I thought with the new CBA there is no more super 2 so I don’t see why they don’t make the team and worry about the innings later.

    • Optimist

      I expect they’re on pitch limits rather than innings limits, but the overall trend is the same – basically, starters will approach 150 ip/year, translates to 30 5ip starts, which is great for rookies unseen by the league – only 2 times thru the lineup.

    • MBS

      I didn’t know he pitched that much. That changes things a bit in my calculus. I still prefer Greene and Lodolo to start in AAA, but makes me more comfortable if they have to go with Greene.

  6. Old-school

    Jerry Dipoto Pres Baseball Ops Mariners was quoted today as saying there’s one more PTBNL in the Suarez/Winker trade and “its going to be a painful one to lose but thats the price of business”

    • LDS

      I’m still hoping for Julio Rodriguez. That would really boost the fans’ perceptions of the FO.

      • DaveCT

        No way. However, Kelenic is a very appropriate return for Winker plus Dunn.

        Then Williamson and Fraley for Geno.

    • Jim Walker

      There was some chatter about this on Twitter tonight. As best as could be determined, a PTBNL cannot have been on the team’s active MLB list at the time of the original trade or when the announcement of the PTBNL is made.

      https://www.mlb.com/glossary/transactions/player-to-be-named-later

      Not sure how the trade happening in the offseason impacts who on the 40 man roster is considered active. However, pretty clearly the guy can’t be on the active roster when the announcement is made which is expected to be after the season starts

  7. SteveO

    Mahle, Gutierrez, Lodolo and Greene for the Braves series and we only need a 5th starter or bullpen day on the 16th against the Dodgers because of off day on the 11th. Castillo can return from the IL in the Cards series and we can go from there with Castillo, Mahle, Gutierrez, Lodolo and Greene until Minor is ready.

  8. realist

    Reds owner Bob Castellini and GM Nick Krall were asked, poignantly, “Can you assure the fans that you don’t have the three stooges running this operation?”

    • realist

      Not really but they do need a moment like that

      • realist

        Maybe David Bell? or us for following them? It was a famous question asked of the Browns ownership group when they were losing every game for two years straight.

  9. Steve Schoenbaechler

    “With a shortened spring training there simply wasn’t enough time for either of them to build up in enough time”

    I just don’t take this excuse. They could have been building up on their own the entire time at home.

    • Doug Gray

      They were. But an “setback” the first week of spring training in a normal year means you still have a month plus to build back up before the opener. This year it means you have two weeks.