The Cincinnati Reds have announced their rotation. Sort of. Manager David Bell told the media (Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer beat his fellow beat writers to the information by a matter of seconds on twitter) that the team would go with Tyler Mahle, Reiver Sanmartin, Vladimir Gutierrez, Hunter Greene, and then Tyler Mahle after the off day. Mark Sheldon of Reds.com noted that Nick Lodolo is a candidate to start the 6th game of the season.

Of course there are only five healthy and ready to go starting pitchers remaining in big league camp, so it seems almost guaranteed that it will be Nick Lodolo that makes the start following Mahle’s second start.

Cincinnati Reds top pitching prospect Hunter Greene has officially made the team. The Reds have announced that he’ll make his Major League Baseball debut on Sunday April 10th in Atlanta.

The 22-year-old was the #2 overall draft pick in 2017 when he was just 17-years-old. At the time the Reds allowed him to both pitch and be the designated hitter for a brief period of time with the Billings Mustangs. But after the season was over, so was Greene’s career at the plate. The following year he moved up to Dayton and after a bumpy start he went on to dominate over the summer. In 11 starts from May through July he posted a 2.63 ERA with 63 walks and just 13 strikeouts in 51.1 innings. Unfortunately he wound up tearing his UCL in his pitching elbow and was shut down. He initially attempted rehab and it was going well until the last week of spring training in 2019 when he re-injured the UCL and underwent Tommy John surgery.

After missing all of the 2019 season, Greene came back to spring training in 2020 with new mechanics. But then 2020 happened and the minor league season was cancelled. The right-handed pitcher did participate at the Reds alternate site and got plenty of innings in – he’s stated that during 2020 he threw about 100 innings. Last season he got back on the mound in actual games for the first time in nearly 2.5 years. He dominated in Double-A Chattanooga, posting a 1.98 ERA in seven starts. Then he was promoted to Triple-A Louisville where he made 14 more starts and posted a 4.13 ERA.

This spring he’s looked good in his limited action, not allowing a run in either of his two appearances, walking no one, and striking out three batters in his 3.0 innings. His ability to throw strikes with all of his pitches, his new confidence in throwing his change up along with his fastball, cutter, and slider – it’s given him the opportunity to pitch in the big leagues out of the gate this year.

More Reds spring training cuts

Prior to the game this afternoon the Reds announced that TJ Friedl has been optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Cincinnati also reassigned Albert Almora Jr. and Jake Bauers to minor league camp.

Those moves put the Reds at 39 players in camp, not including Tejay Antone who is on the 60-day injured list. It does, however, include Luis Castillo, Justin Dunn, Lucas Sims, Mike Minor, Jose Barrero, and Donovan Solano – all of whom are going to begin the season on the injured list. For opening day roster purposes the Reds spring training roster is down to 33 players. In April the roster size will be 28 players, so there are five more cuts to come in the next week.

44 Responses

  1. Klugo

    I think this team has potential if the pitching can come through. Hard to fake it, though, through a 162 game schedule.

    • TR

      It’s time to see what pitching guru, Derick Johnson, can do with the Red’s wealth of pitching talent during a long season.

  2. Optimist

    So – it’s Akiyama or Aquino?

    PS – you flipped Greene’s Dayton K/BB stats in your write up.

  3. JB WV

    Was hoping Friedl would stick. If Shogo continues to struggle, could see him soon.

    • JB

      I think you meant “when” instead of “if”.

      • Tomn

        Really. Was really hoping Akiyama and Aquino would be let go and they’d have Friedl start w the Reds. Too much$ blown on Akiyama though, even though it’s spent cash. Aquino does play great D (as does Akiyama) but the two of them create holes in the batting order.

  4. MBS

    So Solano is going to start on the DL, that stinks. It makes keeping Aquino’s RH bat that much more valuable. I’d say that puts him as an odds on favorite now to make the 28.

    • Bdh

      Drury for the RH infield bat. Either way Shogo should be out

      1 – Stephenson
      2 – Votto
      3 – India
      4 – Farmer
      5 – Moustakas
      6 – Pham
      7 – Senzel
      8 – Naquin
      9 – Fraley
      10 – Garcia or Knapp
      11 – Moran
      12 – Schrock
      13 – Drury

      Schrock and Drury eventually replaced by Barrero and Solano

      I think they should go 2 extra pitchers for the 28 man but if they go 14/14 then it comes down to Shogo vs Aquino. Fraley is already a LH outfielder off the bench + Aquino could DH so I’d easily take him between the 2. Whoever it is should only be on the team through April

  5. JB

    Looking at Akiyama and Aquino’s spring stats, shows me they are both in mid season form. Pham, Senzel and Naquin should never have to sit for those two disasters.

    • Jimbo44CN

      I agree Aquino is not living up to expectations, yet, but come on. Akiyama on the other hand is just not a major league player. For whatever reason he makes contact but its just little poofs or a strikeout. Friedel, sorry, don’t see it. Reminds me of Payton, and where is he now?
      Moran should go, hes slow and a terrible 3rd baseman. Remember, the Pirates didn’t even want him back. Enough said.

      • JB

        You have to let the Aquino dream go. “Yet” isn’t happening.

  6. VaRedsFan

    This is great news. I hope the 3 rookies are lights out, and make it super hard to have to send them back when Castillo and Minor return. Let’s just say i hope they give Minor “ample time” to fully heal and to maximize the amount of rehab starts he has to make.

    Any chance that with immediate success, that the Reds use a 6 man rotation? I would normally say no to this, but this could help with innings limits on the young pitchers this year. I would be against using these guys as bullpen pieces.

  7. Krozley

    Based on the schedule, they could go through the month of April with four starters pitching on the standard four days rest, with the exception of April 16, where they could maybe get through it with a bullpen day. If you start Lodolo for game 6, then you pretty much lock yourself into needing 5 starters and having one less bullpen guy. Figuring out how to add 4-5 players to the 40 man roster is going to be tricky (Lodolo, back-up catcher, back-up shortstop, and 1-2 bullpen guys). Dunn to the 60 day IL and then cutting Shogo, Moran, and Duarte would be my first four to be adjusted. Then maybe O’Brien.

  8. SultanofSwaff

    Why have scouts if players making big bucks automatically make the team? Anyone with eyes knows Shogo is washed and Friedl has outplayed him and Aquino and Fraley.

    They’re choosing to sort the first month of the season again. We know how that’s worked out the last two years.

    • JoshG

      Friedl playing everyday in AAA as opposed to just sitting on the bench is not a bad thing

    • DataDumpster

      SP, at least in the way it has been conducted the last 3 years by the Reds, baffles me. It has been consistent though. We have used 48 different position players and 37 pitchers in 10 games thus far. Several players have been injured , “behind schedule”, or have received limited playing time so a lot of A /A- ballers get some facetime with the MLB club. In the end, its Kabuki theatre because the players making the 40 man roster won’t yield any surprises. The only real point of contention is the Akiyama/Aquino battle and whether anyone getting more than a minimum salary would be cut.
      So, just like in the last few years, there will be a constant shuffling of players, switches and experiments for the next few months while they tried to figure out who is ready and able to be the best choice for each position. If the main purpose of SP is to best prepare the MLB team for success, does this SP “strategy” make any sense?

  9. Steve D

    I think Greene and Lodolo are going to be placeholders for Castillo and Minor until they are back. Once back I would assume Greene and Lodolo will be back in AAA. Think they could be back in September as well.

    • JoshG

      i think if they do well they’ll stick. one of the two at least,
      Sanmartin will head to the pen

      • Steve D

        Would probably be best case scenario if he could become a reliable reliever. With Santillan and Sanmartin in the bullpen, and if one more reliever could step up our pitching staff might not be half bad

  10. LDS

    I see Barry Larkin is Grand Marshall of the opening day parade. I’d like it better if he had been named manager of the Reds. He couldn’t be worse. And I see that Castellini is telling us to “have a little faith in what we’re doing”. Seriously, like he and the FO have done anything in nearly two decades to warrant that leap of faith? Maybe the problem is he hasn’t sold out opening day. So, let’s keep Greene up for a couple of weeks to give the fans what they are looking for. If it works out well, that was the plan all along. If not? Well, we tried. Sell the team Bob, preferably to someone with money and less infatuated with nepotism\.

    • realist

      Saw this tweet today,
      Castellinis have owned the team for 16 years and the Reds have:
      1,193-1,297 record
      two division titles
      four playoff appearances
      zero playoff series wins
      They need to sell the team, Castellini 3.0 and Castellini 4.0 think they deserve the benefit of the doubt. The sad thing is some reds fans don’t care about success they just don’t care if the team is a winner or not.

      • Earmbrister

        “The sad thing is some Reds fans don’t care about success they just don’t care if the team is a winner or not”.

        Really? Do tell.

      • realist

        Really do tell? I think I already did, to the savvy that is.

    • MK

      I would like better credentials than “he couldn’t be worse.” Delino DeShields has worked his way up the system. He should have gotten job before Bell the last time.

      • LDS

        I’d try DeShields. I’m largely where I’ve been for his entire tenure – anyone other than Bell.

      • JayTheRed

        Personally, I like Benavedes! Spelling sorry. I always felt like he did a good job whenever bell got kicked out of the game.

    • greenmtred

      Of course he could be worse: He could have managed the Reds to the losing record last year that many people predicted instead of keeping them in the playoff hunt for most of the season.

  11. Steve Schoenbaechler

    If Hunter is ready, I have no problem with this. I just don’t want another Homer B thing. Where everyone got anxious. So, the owners, in order to win back some fans, brought up the “golden boy” a bit too quick. I just felt he needed a bit more seasoning at AAA. He had a decent year last year, yes, but that was split between AA and AAA. I was confident we would see him up here this year, but not at the beginning.

  12. Steve Schoenbaechler

    ST stat-wise (not looking at experience, etc., only success this ST), it looks like Shrock, Santana, Fraley, Hernandez, and Solano have been playing themselves into positions on the big club. As well as Lodolo, Tony S, Diehl, Farmer, and Greene.

  13. Hunt4RedsOct

    With no Solano , who is the back up shortstop? Lopez?

    • Redsfan4life

      Honestly I don’t see a need for a true backup SS. Should Farmer get injured then call someone up.

      • Jim Walker

        But who would that even be? McClain or EDLC?

  14. The Duke

    Watched your video on Hunter Green making the team. If he pops and is a stud, he’s going to be one of the faces of the league.

    • MK

      Duke, can’t that be said for everyone? Whoever would have though Fernando would be the face of the league, but he was.

  15. Redsfan4life

    Doug. What is your projection for Greene’s innings limit in 2022?

    • citizen54

      Not Doug, but it is usually a 20-30% increase from the prior year so about 130-140 innings.

  16. MK

    Looking at the schedule with the off-days they could really get by with four fulltime starters until early May with maybe one spot start or a bullpen day in there.

  17. MK

    Who would have thought that Sanmartin would have been the last man standing in the Reds/Yankees Sonny Gray Shed Long trade.

  18. Old-school

    Over under on innings pitched by Wade Miley and Sonny gray ?

    Ill go 125 sonny gray and 80 Miley

  19. Alex Reds

    Please cut Shogo and Moran. No brainer as they clearly don’t deserve a spot on the 28 man roster. We will see if Bob will eat the money that’s sunk.