Mike Minor was acquired this spring in a trade with the Kansas City Royals that saw Amir Garrett head off to Kansas City in a swap of left-handed pitchers. Minor joined the Reds in Goodyear, but before he could pitch in a game he began to deal with some shoulder soreness and was briefly shut down. With a shortened spring training due to the lockout that meant that there simply wasn’t enough time for Minor to have enough time to get ready for the regular season and he began the year on the injured list.
After throwing some bullpen sessions and live batting practice sessions, Cincinnati sent Minor to Double-A Chattanooga on Wednesday night for his first game action of the year. The rehab start could only have gone worse if he had injured himself, and things didn’t go well right from the beginning as he hit the first batter of the game with his second pitch.
The lefty allowed six earned runs in the first inning on four hits, a walk, and a hit batter while giving up two home runs. Despite all of that damage, Minor only threw 30 pitches in the inning and came back out to pitch the second, allowing another hit but getting two outs before he reached his pitch count.
All things told, Mike Minor posted this line: 1.2 innings pitched, 5 hits, 1 hit batter, 2 home runs allowed, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 45 pitches, and 25 strikes.
It was ugly in a lot of ways. Minor, who is certainly not known for his velocity, barely registers 90 MPH on the night with most of his fastballs hitting 88 or 89. With that said, given his pitch count, this was also the equivalent to a second spring training outing. He’s still getting ready for the season. And if we all continue to say that spring training stats don’t matter, then we need to be fair and brush off this performance in the same vain. This outing was just a bit more public facing. It would have been nice if it had gone better, but the reality is that as long as Mike Minor feels normal on Thursday and Friday, then what happened on Wednesday wasn’t all that meaningful or important or worth worrying over.
Update on 4/14 at 7:55pm
C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reported that Mior felt soreness afterwards and would be re-evaluated.
Mike Minor felt shoulder soreness in his left shoulder and will be reevaluated
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 14, 2022
It’s certainly fair to wonder exactly where he fits in on the pitching staff given that he’s posted an ERA of 5.18 over the last two seasons that span 39 starts and one relief appearance. It seems Cincinnati is going to put him in the rotation and see if they can get something better out of him than Texas, Oakland, or Kansas City was able to during that stretch.