Hunter Greene threw a bullpen session over the weekend in Pittsburgh and things went well. He’s scheduled to throw another bullpen session on Wednesday in Philadelphia. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that if things go well on Wednesday that Greene will then throw living batting practice on Saturday. That would seem to then line him up to start a rehab stint afterwards – again, assuming all things go well.

Getting Hunter Greene back on the mound before the season comes to an end and showing that he’s healthy could go a long way towards the confidence of the fanbase to buy into the offseason moves that may or may not happen as they look forward to 2023. Having Greene show he’s healthy would at least provide some belief that the rotation doesn’t need as much depth added to it. With Greene, Nick Lodolo, and Graham Ashcraft, three fifths of the rotation should be accounted for next season.

There’s still plenty of work to do to round it out, though. Justin Dunn needs to start showing some improvements between now and the end of the season if he wants to be considered as anything more than a guy who has to go out and win a job in March. And after that, it’s just a bunch of prospects that are looking to win a spot in the spring. Free agency, or perhaps trades could help fill out the rotation with some more certainty.

Tejay Antone back on the mound

Last year was going great for Tejay Antone….. until it wasn’t. The reliever had a 2.48 ERA for his career, spanning the 2020 and 2021 seasons and 69.0 innings. Things were going well for Antone until late August when he injured his elbow and required Tommy John surgery. He’s almost at a full year since undergoing surgery and this past week he got back on the mound for the first time. Antone isn’t going to return to the Reds this season, but he’s well on target to be fully ready to go next season. After watching the bullpen in 2022, sans Alexis Diaz, getting Antone back could be huge if he can return to anything remotely close to the pitcher he was.

Cam Collier’s hot start to his pro career

When the Cincinnati Reds were able to draft Cam Collier with the 18th overall pick it was viewed as the steal of the draft as long as the team could sign him. Collier was rated as highly as the #2 talent in the draft by Keith Law of The Athletic, and was a consensus top 10 talent everywhere. The Reds had to pay significantly more than the slot value of the 18th pick to sign Collier, but they got the deal done.

With the timing of the draft being so late in the summer now (it used to take place 5-6 weeks earlier than it does now), playing time is limited for draft picks these days. As a result, the 17-year-old Collier has only played in eight games this season out in Goodyear for the Arizona Complex League reds, but he’s made those eight games really count. Last night he homered and walked, giving him a .391/.548/.696 line in 31 plate appearances to go along with seven walks and just five strikeouts.

Here’s the video of his home run (ignore than walk and strikeout rates from the tweet – they are off by one):

11 Responses

  1. VaRedsFan

    @ Doug – Will Cam Collier be playing somewhere after Arizona this year? Rookie league, or maybe Daytona?

    • Doug Gray

      There is no other rookie league (I mean, technically the Dominican Summer League – but they aren’t sending him there, and their season is over, too). It’s possible he could go to Daytona, but we’ll have to wait and see how that plays out. The ACL Reds begin the playoffs on Thursday. If they win that game they’ll move on to a best-of-three championship series.

      There are some players from the ACL moving up to Daytona later today. I don’t have names yet, but it’s a handful of guys. I would guess it’s mostly pitchers given the state of the roster in Daytona right now. Once the ACL season is complete – whether that’s on Friday because they lost or on Sunday or Monday because the league is complete – maybe we’ll see some other moves made.

  2. Mark Moore

    Good report on Greene. Having him get even a couple starts for the big club in September is a good thing. I completely agree with you that our three rookies should anchor the rotation in 2023. I’m also hoping Dunn can step it up a bit. Maybe Overton gets righted around and has his shot. A young staff is fine by me.

    • Doug Gray

      I don’t get the Overton thing. He’s a 29-year-old with 40 innings in the big leagues who had 7 walks and 10 strikeouts for the Reds this season, and the stuff that backs up those kinds of numbers. If he’s in the plan for the Reds as anything more than Triple-A depth then the plan has gone horribly awry.

      • Optimist

        I was a bit guilty of this, but he may be the all time leader in small sample size – only 400 ip in 10 years going back into college. Hope he’s more than AAA depth and a very late developer, but yeah, a good 6-8 starts for the Bats next year seems to be required.

  3. DataDumpster

    I certainly appreciate this information at a level appropo for a team that seems to be “all in” on the Draft & Develop strategy. I can’t understand though how the Reds got Collier with the 18th pick even though “he was rated as highly as the #2 talent in the draft by Keith Law…, and was a consensus top 10 talent everywhere.”
    If indeed he is as good as they say, wouldn’t it be a blast to see some “really” young guys make a serious MLB impact like Don Gullett, Johnny Bench, and several others did at their 20th birthday back in the day.

  4. Tim

    I’ve said this before in other posts, but Aquino could learn something from this setup and approach. Cam is set and ready to hit. Response time is quick without a lot of extra movement. Extra, pre-swing movement, as we see in Aquino, delays reaction time and makes the head move, which makes it harder to track the ball. It allows for power but makes it hard to adjust.

    • Doc

      I could be remembering wrongly, but wasn’t it when Aquino went to this wide open stanch that he began to hit in AAA and then had his monster month in MLB? I don’t recall that he was setting the world on fire when he was in a more conventional batting stance prior.

      • Tim

        Worked for 6 weeks until he couldn’t adjust to offspeed.

  5. paulrichjr

    Aquino couldn’t adjust to off-speed before his open stance and couldn’t do it after. (saw him play some in the minors) The same pitches that he has struck out on since his awesome six weeks are the same ones that he struck out on before debuting the open stance.

    • MuddyCleats

      Agree, he’s a big swing & miss guy regardless, but I do feel he needs to adjust his mechanics. To me, it makes sense to start open and extended and then square up and bring everything back to a load position. AA seems to close his stance too much and then get’s himself out w/ inside pitches all the time …?