A decision has been made as to who will step into the rotation for the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer was the first to report that it would be T.J. Zeuch.

The 6′ 7″ right-handed pitcher has pitched in the big leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays in parts of the previous three seasons. He’s made seven starts and six relief appearances in those three seasons, covering 49.0 innings and posting a 4.59 ERA with 24 walks and 31 strikeouts.

Zeuch began the 2022 season in Triple-A with the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He didn’t make it a full two months before he was released after posting an ERA of 11.64 in five starts where he gave up 39 hits and 11 walks in 19.1 innings. A week after he was released the Reds signed him to a minor league deal. He would spend two weeks at the Reds complex in Arizona, pitching in rookie-level games before he joined Triple-A Louisville in the first week of July.

Since then he’s made five starts for the Bats and he’s posted a 3.63 ERA in 22.1 innings. In his most recent start he fanned 12 batters. That set a career high, and it wasn’t even close. Zeuch’s previous career high in strikeouts was eight and he had done that twice in his career. He’s never really been a strikeout pitcher. But outside of his handful of innings with Memphis earlier this season, he has always been a ground ball pitcher.

“I felt great (after his last start),” Zeuch said on Monday in New York. “I finally worked out some kinks in my mechanics and adjusted my focus mentally on what I’m trying to do. I think those adjustments are what led to much better outing the last time around.”

He also noted that he found out he would be making the start in New York after the Louisville game on Saturday night. He had been the probable starter for the Bats on Sunday.

Where do the new prospects fit in?

On Monday the Cincinnati Reds Top 25 Prospects List was updated. With the draft now behind us as well as the trade deadline, the Reds in particular have added a whole lot of players to the organization in the last three weeks. Electrifying shortstop Elly De La Cruz remains the Reds top prospect, but once you move beyond him at #1 there are a lot of new additions and player movement all over the place. You can check out the entire list here and see where everyone checks in at.

18 Responses

  1. CFD3000

    Really good stuff on Doug’s Top 25 Prospects list. Everyone should check it out (and throw Doug the traffic). Assuming they stay healthy, Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft should anchor a strong rotation for four years or more, at least. But the 4 and 5 slots are a big hole right now in the Reds plans for consistent playoff contention over that time span. I’d say they need to identify or acquire at least three more dependable starters who at least give the Reds a chance every five days (meaning, not Mike Minor level innings but actual competitiveness). They can probably sign or trade for one of those guys. But at least one or two will have to come up from the system. Zeuch seems like a long shot, and Duggar is a no. Will Dunn, Williamson, Gutierrez, Overton, or maybe even a Chase Petty or Joe Boyle claim those spots? This is to me THE big challenge for the Reds organization in the next two to three years. Go Reds!

    • AllTheHype

      You are indeed correct that developing starting pitching is the big challenge in the next 2-3 years. It would help the Reds tremendously if Williamson steps up and becomes a viable ML starter. Beside that, Reds need the big 3 to be healthy next year, and hope guys like Overton/Dunn can fill in.

      • Optimist

        Overton was very impressive for a very short while. If that performance holds, and his health holds, he’s an excellent 5th starter. Almost the same goes for Dunn – it likely comes down to ability to stay on the field.

        As for developmental, they finally seem to be filling in MiLB levels with multiple promising prospects at each level. Seems like recent history has had one promising prospect per level, and a bunch of possibles or we’ll convert them to relief.

        It will be very telling if the DW/Boddy changes from a few years ago remain in place, and effectively advance prospects through the system.

  2. Jim Walker

    The lineup has dropped in Queens NYC, NY. India and Farmer are starting. No mention yet of Moose’s status. Guess the traveling secretary didn’t have enough balance in petty cash to get any fresh bodies to Queens 😉

    • old-school

      India was quoted last night as saying it was nothing. He hit the bag awkwardly and didn’t want to come out and he always makes faces and grimaces on the field but he was absolutely playing today and it was nothing. Also mentioned Farmer was likely to play today as well. Moose, on the other hand was quoted as saying he couldn’t run to 2b and it was the right thing to get him out of the game. It wouldn’t surprise me if he goes on the 10 day IL.

      • Old Big Ed

        I think that India is going to morph into a left fielder, as Trent has suggested. Guys like McLain will be ready in a year or so, and they are just quicker and more nimble than India.

        India would fit in left, because he is overall a better athlete than a lot of the lugs who play left, and effort will never be an issue with him.

      • Jim Walker

        Lopez is not in the Louisville lineup for tonight I saw on Twitter. Steer, Fairchild and Friedl are.

  3. Old Big Ed

    Count me as one who thinks Almora is a very good fit for the Reds. He is an excellent defender in all respects, and he has some speed. He needs a bit more power and more walks, but makes a very good 4th outfielder, without commanding a prohibitive salary.

    There is nothing at all wrong with outfielders who can play defense. The outfield defense of Fraley, Almore and Aquino is very good, even if AA couldn’t quite get to the ball off the wall last night in the 9th.

    • Jim Walker

      This is exactly why I think Senzel is at risk in the off season. Almora and Aquino both look like better all around OFs than NS; and, NS just isn’t bringing the offense to offset that.

      Senzel came back from COVID on 23 May, Aquino on 22 May. Since those respective dates, Senzel’s OPS/wRC+ is .658/84 and Aquino’s is .719/94. Almora is .651/75 since he came up just after May 1.

      Senzel is already paid more than either of them now; and, where is the added value? They are all just placeholders until somebody better grows into the job or is acquired via trade (since the Reds claim to have sworn off FAs).

      • AllTheHype

        I was just looking it up out of curiosity, and 2016 was a pretty pathetic draft in general. I was wondering what the Reds might have passed up on to get Senzel. Not much really. Of the top 20 picks, Gavin Lux #20 was a nice find. Braxton Garrett #7 and Cal Quantrill #8 were decent picks.

        I didn’t go beyond #20 but seems like a really pathetic draft.

      • Jim Walker

        Almora was a #6 overall himself out of high school in 2012 (vs college for Senzel in 2016). You pay your money and take your chances.

        Also in 2016, the Reds had Trammell at #35 overall who counted as a 1st rounder b/c comp pick or some such, and Okey at #43, their official 2nd rounder. To date, only Trammell of those 3 has a net positive career bWAR, 0.3. Senzel is -1.2 bWAR and Okey -0.2 bWAR.

      • AllTheHype

        Just goes to show, there are oversized expectations on the part of fans, for any given team’s 1R selections. But in 2016, 17 of the 20 teams (and fans) ended up moderately (or a lot) disappointed. Senzel still has a chance to turn it around at least.

        It’s tough to make the show and be good…….guess we should be thankful of the 1R picks we did make that are panning out….India, Greene, Lodolo, Stephenson, and add in the steal in the 6th, Ashcraft. And another one Josiah Gray got away.

    • William

      I am optimistic about the Reds future due to all the young prospects. I think the 2025-2027 Reds will be contenders. I hope they extend India and Stephenson. India might need to be moved to LF. They will need some veterans in the contending years. India is a good one to keep. I think they are more likely to keep Stephenson because of his position.

  4. William

    Nick Senzel has a year and a half to prove himself. If he does not, he has no long time future with the Reds. I do not like his power. He has not lived up to the number two pick. Hope he turns it around. The Red are giving him the chance.