The Cincinnati Reds made three roster moves today prior to their series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals. Jeff Hoffman, who pitched in last night’s game, was placed on the 15-day injured list with right forearm stiffness. Taking his place on the roster is Tyler Mahle, who will be making the start this afternoon. Justin Dunn was also activated from the injured list and then optioned to Triple-A Louisville.

Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer noted after the roster moves were announced that Jeff Hoffman said that the tightness is in the middle of his forearm and not his elbow, and that the team is hopeful he can return in 15 days. He had been one of the more reliable pitchers out of the Cincinnati bullpen, posting a 3.83 ERA in 44.2 innings this season. He has had struggles in two of his last three games, though, giving up three runs in 0.2 innings to the Yankees on the 14th and then two runs in an inning against the Cardinals on the 16th, causing his ERA to jump nearly a full point on the season.

Justin Dunn was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in The Trade this spring. He hadn’t pitched in nearly a year before beginning his rehab assignment in the minor leagues 27 days ago. His first appearance came with High-A Dayton where he allowed a run in 2.0 innings. He then moved to Triple-A Louisville where he made five more rehab starts. After a perfect 3.0 innings in his first start with Louisville he allowed nine earned runs on 15 hits and seven walks in the next three starts that covered 10.2 innings. Last night was his final start with the Bats on rehab and he allowed two earned runs in 4.1 innings with two walks and four strikeouts. He now heads to Triple-A officially, though if a starting pitcher or two does get traded in the next week-and-a-half he could be back with Cincinnati rather quickly.

23 Responses

  1. DHud

    I know they say it doesn’t feel like elbow and are optimistic, but man every time I hear “forearm tightness/soreness,” my stomach just turns over

    He’d be what, fourth reds reliever on the shelf with Tommy John? *knocks on wood

  2. Old-school

    Entering the dog days of August and dead arm period for relievers- Especially with a compressed season. The PED era focuses on Bonds and McGwire and Sosa, but many of the users were relievers with dead arms in August trying to get another contract.

    Will be a tough 2 months on arms with so many games to make up for a late starting season.

    • David

      The Reds’ relievers have made too many appearances, pitched too many innings, because the starting pitching is lousy.
      This is basically what broke TJ Antone last year, and more pitchers this year.

      And with a 13 man pitching staff, too.

      Sanmartin will be starting before this year is out. The month of September will be ugly. The Reds’ pitching staff will be exhausted.
      In my mind, Bell gets a D- for managing the pitching staff and bull pen. Too many appearances, too many short outings for relievers. And then roll them out again the next night. Ride a good reliever until he is hurt or worn down. Then we all comment that this guy is lousy.
      There is no hope of the Reds getting any better until they hire a manager who knows how to handle the talent he as on his pitching staff. And it’s not Bell.

      • Old Big Ed

        Antone pitched in 22 of the Reds’ first 73 games last year, and 33.2 innings. Only 3 times did he pitch back-to-back games. That is not overuse.

        I agree that this year’s starters have failed to pitch deep enough into games, which has put too much pressure on the bullpen. However, I don’t really think that the Reds bullpen has had any more injuries than other bullpens. The Yankees, for example, have had a rash of injuries.

  3. Jim Walker

    Eugenio Suarez 2022 OPS+ is currently 124 (career 110). Jesse Winker’s 2022 OPS+ is up to 99 (career 124). Their new team has been the hottest in MLB over the last month or so.

    As others have noted, the money “saved” by salary dumping these 2 guys is being spent on Mike Minor and Tommy Pham instead. Yes, it would have covered these 2 salaries. Surely there were 4A and aging veteran grinder starting pitchers available to fill the back of the Reds rotation in place of Minor.

    Meanwhile, the top 2 pitchers the Reds got back for them are at AAA. Depending on who does or doesn’t get traded from the Reds, Jake Fraley’s rehab probably ends just like Justin Dunn’s just did, with an option to AAA. The weight of the trade may fall squarely on the arm and shoulders of young Connor Phillips who is now pitching at A+ and at least holding his own in a league he is -2 years to the average age of players.

    If I am missing something here, brighten my day by enlightening me 😉

    • Old-school

      Reds have been moving contracts for nearly 2 years to clear future obligations as much as possible. It started with Iglesias and non-tendering Bradley and has been ongoing since the end of 2020. Mariners trade was about unloading Suarez contract thru 2024 and Winker was included to get prospects and clearly Reds weren’t committed to Winker past 2024 with his growing arbitration numbers post AS selection.

      • Jim Walker

        So, go on and sell the team, Bob, since that is what owners typically do when they eliminate forward looking commitments.

    • DaveCT

      As an aside from a Pacific Northwesterner. Geno has really grown on fans here, as we’d expect. Winker, too, though not as quickly. Thinking he was really stung by the trade. The M’s are a fun team to watch. Julio is the real deal.

    • Alex Reds

      The Reds trade Winker at peak value, it got rid of Suarez contract adding flexibility not only this year, but in the next two years Suarez was owed. Even if you factor in Minor and Pham at similar cost for just this year (even though it was less cost at $15M vs $17.25M for Suarez and Winker), the Reds are still looking amazing on this trade. And expected even less cost since I think a team will take Pham and Minor in trades saving the Reds salary but very light on prospect return or they can be packaged with Castillo or Mahle or Drury. I also think they could get picked up on waivers after the trade deadline. If you look at it that way by adding Minor and Pham, if the Reds had kept Suarez, they wouldn’t have Drury. And Drury is worth more than Winker and Suarez alone for this year and by a lot. The Reds already won the trade then. Drury can be traded for more prospects since Drury will be a free agent, then adding even more value to this trade concept. The trade was also truly also about the prospect return which i feel was unfairly mentioned. Brandon Williamson is a legit prospect. He’s not dominating quite as much as the year prior but has gotten better through the year. He still has 6 years of control left and I don’t see any doubts about his future. Still a valuable prospect. And saying Connor Phillips, the player to be named later in the trade, is holding his own is truly laughable. He’s been one of the best pitchers in all of minor league baseball. So good in fact, he’s jumped into the top 100 overall prospects which is a very significant jump. You should rename holding your own, Phillips has thrown 75 innings, allowing 49 hits, and striking out 102 with a .191 BAA. Phillips stuff is electric with a high ceiling. Justin Dunn was another throw in and has had great stats pitching in the majors already, and Dunn still has several years of cost control in coming back from injury right now.

      • Chris

        Agree with you. I was very upset with this trade, but in all fairness, it’s been the ONE great trade by the Reds this offseason.

    • BK

      I’ll try to brighten your day a bit … the Reds were building payroll prior to the 2020 season. COVID hit and they lost a lot of money–especially after their record payroll heading into the 2020 season. Over the last two years we’ve seen payroll shedding to cover the losses.

      So, here’s the bright spot … if they still had losses to cover why make the Minor trade? If I’m right, they will have room to begin to add FA talent in 2023 and more room in 2024 when Votto’s and Moose’s contracts are done.

  4. JohnnyTV

    What I find alarming in advance of possible trades of one or both of the Reds’ top pitchers is the likelihood of Krall panicking again as when he unloaded Gray and Miley and watering down any benefits gained from trading Castillo and / or Mahle with more Minors and Dunns to fill in for the new holes in the rotation.

    “Innings eater” is one of the most overused and scary terms bounced around here and in MLB chatter. Minor and Dunn appear to be on serious diets.

    If Bull Krall is going to unload the rest of his 2021 rotation, I pray he doesn’t jive us with another Dunn or Minor (or a Fraley after giving away two AS outfielders.)

    • Old Big Ed

      The Miley release was a brilliant move. The Cubs got stuck with paying $10.5 million for an injury-prone guy who can’t get through an entire season without a big dip in performance. Miley has thrown 19 innings this year for the Cubs. The Reds were leery of Miley’s health, and the Cubs relieved the Reds of that risk. The Cubs regret the Miley deal a LOT more than the Reds do.

      The Minor trade made little sense, although Minor has said that his shoulder injury did not manifest itself until he was on the Reds.

      They didn’t “give away” Winker. The trade enabled them to dump $33 million of Suarez’s salary, and they received Connor Phillips and Brandon Williamson on top of Dunn and Fraley. Brandon Drury has outperformed Suarez this year, for less than 10% of the price. If they had kept Suarez, they wouldn’t have Drury.

      Krall also didn’t “give away” Castellanos, who elected free agency and who has greatly under-performed his contract this year, so far.

      It is certainly fair to criticize the Castellinis for their budget and operational decisions, but Krall has not done a bad job in light of the restrictions under which he has had to operate.

      • JohnnyTV

        Much of your reply is predicated on hindsight.
        Maybe…the Reds knew Miley had an injury, but he performed very very well for them last year.
        Trading away Winker to dump Suarez’s salary is not a ‘good deal’ it’s a bad deal trying to cover up a deal you don’t like.
        We’ll see what becomes of Williamson and Connor but Dunn and Fraley are less than zeros at this point.
        Same with Minor.
        That was a no pressure deal, all the information was on hand for Krall to make a good decision.
        Minor’s salary is higher than the rest of the rotation put together.
        Pham was a signing out of desperation.
        Krall hasn’t demonstrated that he can assess talent.
        Drury was plain good fortune.
        Drury was signed to a minor league contract and has performed beyond all expectations in his contract year. How he does in future years is anyone’s guess, but his career has been up and down.
        Castellanos has spoken ruefully about the Reds not contacting him about extending him. No reason not to believe him.
        Mahle has said the same thing and I highly doubt they have spoken with Castillo.
        That’s all on Krall. Clumsy behavior from any management in any field. Could they have afforded Castellanos? Instead of Pham and Minor and with Suarez’s and Winker’s salary?
        Worth a conversation with the man.
        This board has delighted in Suarez bashing after he and Winker got off to a slow start. But Suarez’s productive numbers are right about on par with Drury’s now.
        Could Krall have predicted that when he went fishing for castoffs?
        Highly unlikely. Lightening in a bottle.
        Krall sat on a bad bad bullpen last year, did little over the winter and has been shuffling around worn out players again this year. That’s not on the Castellinis. Or really on Bell.
        You can back up Krall if you want, but I’m not buying it at all.
        Inexperienced and outclassed.
        I dread any upcoming deals for Castillo and / or Mahle.

    • BK

      It’s not panic to follow the instructions of the CEO WRT budget. The Reds knew Winker’s value was at an all-time high. I agree with Old Big Ed, most of the off-season moves have worked well:

      – Winker/Suarez trade: looking like a win for the Reds
      – Miley waiver: big win for the Reds
      – Barnhart trade: Garcia has matched his performance and the minor leaguer has shown marked improvement with the Reds
      – Gray trade: both Gray and our prospect are doing well, perhaps a draw
      – Minor/Garret trade: this has clearly not worked due to the money we took on.

      While we look at these through hindsight, I think we should have some confidence that Krall did pretty well given the budget he was allocated.

  5. Jpser05

    I think some may be selling Dunn short. He is only 26, was a top 100 prospect and has had success at the major league level, albeit limited. I am optimistic that he will be more than an innings eater and will be a solid part of the rotation going forward.

  6. Chi Reds Fan

    Was pondering Mahle’s situation. What would it take to re-sign him? Looking at last year’s starting FAs, to me Steve Matz and Jon Gray were the best comps. Both got 4 yrs, Matz $11MM per, Gray $14 per. Would think Mahle could be signed for 4 years (1 remainind arb+3 more years) at say $15MM per year. I do not believe Castillo is a realistic option for the Reds and should be traded this week (unless the Reds magically decide to raise payroll to $200MM plus as Castillo will be a $200MM-$250MM contract over 6 or 7 years). Mahle though could be a vet anchor as a 2 or 3 starter to complement Greene/Lodolo/Ashcraft et al. when hopefully the Reds window to compete in 2024 opens again. Thoughts?

    • David

      I don’t think Mahle will be traded this summer before the trading deadline.

      An extension/new contract is certainly a possibility.
      I think more likely he is traded this winter. Due to most recent injury, etc., he is likely not going to be traded this summer. Too many questions for a potential trading partner. He does appear healthy and pitching well, based on Sunday’s game.
      And Luis Castillo is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday against the Marlins. He may not go this summer either, if the Reds’ don’t get what they think he might be worth.
      Sometimes the best policy is to walk away from a bad trade deal.

      But I still think Castillo gets traded by next week. I think they Reds were extra-careful with him post All Star break, and want him to have one or two more really good outings to cement his market value.

      • Chi Reds Fan

        I suspect someone will pony up enough for Castillo and would not be surprised to see Mahle go as well. My gratuitous pondering on Mahle was more to do with if the Reds actually have a strategy (not a guaranteed assumption) to compete in ’24-’26, then a guy like Mahle given his I believe attainable contract might be a nice veteran fit to go with Greene et al. At some point the Reds have to up the payroll to the $140+ level else they will just wallow in mediocrity or worse as they have for most of the past 30 years. Mahle could be the type to fit into the Reds strategy.

  7. SteveaReno

    It’s odd there is no talk here or on your Top 25 prospect list of AAA – Louisville’s relief pitcher Fernando Cruz. HIs leads the minors with 16 saves! His ERA is 3.38 and a WHIP of 1.08. Quite impressive, fans! I’m happy our bullpen seems to be putting together some good stuff. Ross Detweiler should be coming back , too.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s odd that a 32-year-old reliever isn’t on a prospect list?

      • SteveaREno

        He’s in the minors, eligible for promotion. Is the prospect list
        limited to only the youngest players in the minors? If he’s not a prospect to play for the Reds and improve our bullpen, that would be too bad.