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.

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.

26 Responses

  1. Rut

    Guy couldn’t perform for Texas and KC — so sure, time for the Reds to trot him out.

    Better than 50/50 chance Minor’s career ends with the Reds, since the Reds have a penchant for paying guys who no longer belong in MLB (but only Reds mgmt thinks it’s a good idea).

    Only factor preventing Minor being a Hannahan is fact that he is a LHP and those dudes can sometimes eek out several extra years of soft tossing mediocrity

    • Bdh

      He was an all star for Texas. Didn’t work out for KC last year even though he was lights out for them in 2017 out of the bullpen.

      It’ll be interesting tracking how he does this year compared to Miley. I thought the reds cut ties with Miley at the right time even before the news of him being shut down came out.

      • AMDG

        Minor had a good start to the 2019 season, which earned him that All Star trip.

        But since the 2019 All-Star break, Minor has a 5.11 ERA.

        (Kind of like how Jack Armstrong had a great first half of 1990 in an otherwise subpar career)

  2. Votto4life

    Why the Red’s front office decided to invest money in Mike Minor and Colin Moran is just baffling.

    • LDS

      Bell has a penchant 30+ year old, mediocre players. I guess he relates to them better. And I have no doubt he influenced these acquisitions, at least if we can believe his previous comments.

      • Votto4life

        You have to think DJ was at least consulted.

      • LDS

        Perhaps, but DJ hasn’t scored with me yet. Too many pitching problems to credit him with success.

    • 2020ball

      They on paper help the teams depth which is good, but when you subtracted from the top end during the offseason they start to look very puzzling.

  3. DataDumpster

    I can’t understand when people say that “stats in SP” don’t matter. The teams W/L record is not all that important but each players individual preparation and performance is. Just like last year, certain players were deemed “not ready” or got injured and did very little work. Others, like Strickland, showed poorly in stats but apparently well enough to get Bell’s confidence to gain the opportunity to implode in a crucial outing with no regret. Now, with Minor, a performance like that in AA from someone not exactly at the top of his game mean to me “he needs stay down there for at least two more outings.”

    • DataDumpster

      Sorry, so sloppy… means to me “he needs to stay down there for at least two more outings.”

  4. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    Another retread, this management just keeps getting worse with every signing. It’s all about dumping salaries and then pretend to be trying, by signing worse than mediocre players.

    Please sell the team, nobody is going to show up to watch a team which will be down four or five runs by the third inning every night. Sonny Gray was affordable and they let him go, I don’t understand that move.

    At least with Castillo, Gray and Mahle you would have had a legit chance to be in the ball game more often than not. The younger guys could have blended in.

    Castellini is the product of a world where nobody is ever held accountable. This team deserves a better owner.

    • Ken

      Exactly. I saw his work with Oakland, and came away thinking he should think about a different avenue for his life’s pursuit.

  5. Grand Salami

    Minor is way ahead of Miley in terms of rehab progress but, as has been said, even at 100% he may not have enough left in the tank. Like poor Bronson at the end …

  6. David

    Mark Minor and Tommy Pham. That there duo will eat up about $17.5 Million and will likely not even register 1 WAR combined for their output in 2022.

    What will Phil Castellini have to say about that come September ? The world wonders.
    I think he will blame the fans. Poor fans. Cheer harder.

    • Chris

      That says everything you need to know about this management group. Think about it, that’s no more than Suarez and Winker would have cost this season. Crazy!

    • Jim Walker

      $17.5m would have been within shouting distance of paying Winker and Saurez this year. If we accept at face value the statements that the team is not going to be sold, then why was it so important to take the $12m due Suarez in 2023 (salary+ ’24 option buyout) off the books?

      There are a lot of things over the last couple of years that simply don’t make a lot of sense.

      • Old-school

        I’m going to take a shot at this.

        Suarez was traded to unload his long contract stretching out to 2025. Suarez is guaranteed $ 35 million in 2022/23 AND 24 including a 2 mil buyout of a $15 mil club option in 2025. Suarez was the only Red with a contract in 2024, if you assume Moose and Votto’s team options would be declined with a buyout after 2023. Getting roster and payroll flexibility for 2022/23/24 was the priority, particularly with my next new favorite young player after Barrero- Matt McClain looking like the future 3b. As President of the Jesse Winker Reds fan club- he was a flawed player- despite being an elite hitter against righties and I hate to see him go. He will cost $~7 million this year and ~10 mil A3 in 2023 though. Clearly the Reds had determined they weren’t signing him to an extension and he wasnt part of the team going forward after 2023.

        They will miss Winker tonight. One year ago in late April he went 3-5 with a game lead-off HR against Buehler and 2 runs and 2 rbi in an impossible 6-5 Reds win.

        Winker/Castellanos/Votto/ and Farmer went 8-17 combined with 5 RBI’s and the dominant combo of Jeff Hoffman, Jose DeLeon, Ryan Hendrix , Carson Fulmer, Heath Hembree, and Sean Doolittle held up for the 6-5 win. Baseball.

        Reds saved ~$52 million in future obligations by trading Winker and Suarez. I loved Suarez as a player until 2020 and still do as a fan of his personality, but hes in decline and has been in decline and getting out of the contract and moving forward with the reconstruction of the Reds roster was a solid move. As for the return on prospects, I have no idea and time will tell.

      • 2020ball

        That wasn’t the type of return I wanted to see for Winker, but the trade has a chance to look very shrewd in the future. What still doesnt make sense to me the most is why they spent their savings this year on minor role players and questionable depth after losing two of their top offensive pieces.

  7. Jimbo44CN


  8. greenmtred

    It’s a good thing he does have that penchant, considering what the FO supplies him with. I’d be interested to know your source for saying he influenced the trades. And do you suppose that nobody runs these things by Derek Johnson? Given that there are 29 teams not managed by Bell, I’m puzzled by your continued apparent allegiance to the Reds. Masochism?

    • Greenfield Red

      The sad thing about the late signings to me is that they make it impossible to watch. I could have been ok with losing with Friedl, Lopez, et al were playing every day. A bunch of young guys trying to make a difference while a bunch of really good young prospects work their way through the system.

      Now you have a ML roster with a bunch of guys nobody wants here signed in an attempt to save face by ownership. Not one of them will make a difference, but they will all take at bats an innings away from young guys we could all get behind.

      It’s all meh, and it’s all more of the same. Completely tone deaf ownership

      • Nick in NKY

        This is my impression as well. If the Reds are going to lose 90 games this year, I’d rather watch Max Schrock play 3rd than Colin Moran.

    • Rod Andrews

      Could it be because hes a dedicated fan?

  9. Doc4uk

    Agree with comment on Minor and Moran and I would add Strickland. The latter has been rocked in his last two outings. Even the outs have been hammered to the deepest part of the field. Minor has lost velocity and Moran bat speed. Neither will be major contributors and will end up being DFAed in favor of one the younger players

    • 2020ball

      I liked the strickland signing personally, but not sure he’d be my choice for a late inning role just yet. Haven’t really liked the way he’s been used thus far.

  10. Doc4uk

    Supposedly Minor’s shoulder is sore again following his bleak performance. So perhaps he was damaged goods and the Royals knew it. Do the Reds have any grievance with the Royals?