After the good news that Hunter Greene is back on the mound and working his way back from a shoulder strain, bad news came out that starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft is heading to the 15-day injured list with right biceps soreness. That move is retroactive to Saturday. He’s not the only player heading to the injured list, either. Utility man Matt Reynolds is also hitting the 10-day injured list as he deals with left hip pain. Reynolds move is retroactive to Monday.

The team also optioned catcher Michael Papierski to Triple-A Louisville. With three roster spots opened up, Cincinnati is calling up pitcher T.J. Zeuch, catcher Chuckie Robinson, and outfielder Stuart Fairchild.

For Graham Ashcraft the injury couldn’t come at a worse time. The big right-handed starter has been having an outstanding month of August, posting a 2.33 ERA in his four starts while holding opponents to a .611 OPS in 110 plate appearances. With his move being retroactive to Saturday the earliest he would be eligible to return would be on September 4th. That’s a Sunday afternoon game against the Rockies. The game after that would be on September 6th against the Cubs. At this point we don’t know if the stay will be short for Ashcraft or not.

Matt Reynolds hasn’t played in a few days because of the hip issue.After a good July where he hit .317/.391/.366 he’s been in a slump during August, hitting just .138/.194/.172 in 10 games played. His move was retroactive to Monday and he will be eligible to return September 1st, but that’s an off day for the team. They will begin a series at home on the 2nd against the Rockies.

T.J. Zeuch returns to the big league club after being optioned to the minors last week. He never made an appearance for Triple-A Louisville during his time in the minors and since he’s replacing an injured player he didn’t have to remain in the minors for 10 days before coming back. In two starts with Cincinnati over the last two weeks he struggled, giving up 12 runs in 8.0 innings on 17 hits, three walks, and two hit batters.

Chuckie Robinson has spent one day in the big leagues in his career and it came as the 27th player for the Field of Dreams game earlier this month. He’s coming back now and whenever he gets into a game it will be his big league debut. In the minors this season he’s split time between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Louisville, hitting .266/.320/.399 in 58 games.

Stuart Fairchild has been up-and-down a few times this year with several teams. He’s played with the Mariners, Giants, and Reds in the big leagues this season but picked up just 25 plate appearances in those 13 games. He’s gone 2-22 with 2 walks and he’s been hit by a pitch. In 34 games with Louisville he’s hit .273/.338/.512.

Michael Papierski is heading to the minors after having struggles in the big leagues. In 34 games with the Reds he’s hit .159/.242/.207 and he’s had struggles in helping control the running game.

25 Responses

  1. David

    Zeuch is pretty much of a nothing-burger, and will likely get bombed by the Phillies tomorrow night (if he is in Ashcraft’s slot in the rotation).

    No talk of bringing up Brandon Williamson? I know they would need a 40-man roster spot cleared for him, but I think I also read on this here website, that the Reds would need to add him (among others) to the 40 man to prevent losing him in the Rule 5 draft this post-season.
    I also know there are a raft of players the Reds will let go, but ….why not Williamson, now? His numbers at AAA are about the same as Zeuch (actually, Zeuch’s peripherals are probably a little better than Williamson’s).

    • SteveAreno

      Because Zeuch can do this, he has a very effective sinker ball. Keep an eye on it now.

    • Doc

      Perhaps Williamson is nearing an innings limit for the year and would not have been able to finish the season as a regular rotation piece due to that limit. Zeuch, on the other hand, would appear to be less likely on an innings limit and could finish the season, if he can’t finish the third or fourth inning in each start.

  2. Indy Red Man

    Call up Santana from Lville. Since August 12 he’s 10-30 with a double, 4 Hrs, 15 rbis, and 7 walks. Why not check him out?

    • David

      No, no, no….can’t do that! Where would he play? I mean, Kyle Farmer, perennial All Star, is at third, isn’t he?

      Stop talking crazy. Have the Reds been mathematically eliminated yet? We have to keep trying to win. The integrity of the great game of baseball is at stake here.

    • Jim Walker

      They seem to want to hold the line on the 40-man roster. Who knows why? Somebody they don’t want to expose to waivers for outright would be my guess. How is that is really going to matter 2-3 months from now when guys on the 60 day IL list and first time rule 5 eligible players they want to protect need spots?

      Maybe it is a minor league guy not on the 40 man roster they won’t have to expose to waivers if he isn’t put on the 40 man? He’d almost certainly be a guy still be susceptible to the rule 5 draft though if not on the winter 40 man.

      I’m guessing they only protect 1 MLB ready catcher aside from Stephenson over the winter. Okey has washed out. Papierski is now officially on thin ice. The spot is Robinson’s to nail down. Kolozsvary looms behind the scenes as a proven reliable receiver they have other reservations about, offense certainly for one; and, as I said here recently I suspect they are concerned about his size (or lack of it) listed as 5’8″/180 on BBRef. And there is always the chance of a juicy waiver claim award too.

  3. Melvin

    If Robinson can hit anywhere near what he did in AA/AAA it will be a definite improvement.

  4. LDS

    Zeuch, Fairchild, and Chuckie Robinson? Really hard to see an upside to any of these players.

    • David

      So does LDS stand for “Little Debbie Sunshine”? 🙂
      So cheerful and upbeat…..”rimshot!”
      That’s just a joke, nothing personal.

      Yes, it is all kind of ….meh. Robinson might be interesting to watch, if he gets a chance to play. It will likely be Romine the rest of the way, if I know David Bell. Well, there are some double-headers in September to make up for rainouts.
      And play Fairchild a lot. See if he has anything at the ML level. Otherwise, wash him out of the system. You can’t tease these guys forever.

      • LDS

        Hey Dave, that’s Mr. Sunshine to you. Seriously, when Robinson is the best of the three, it’s not real motivating. Fairchild & Zeuch have shown little that leads me to suspect they are keepers. Williamson, Santana, Steer, those are guys to take a look at. Not a bunch of cast offs.

    • SteveAreno

      Romine is going to need an effective backup and spot starter and Robinson can that. So happy Austin Romine will be every day starter now. Get him in a groove and dig that swing of his.

  5. Mark A Verticchio

    Why Zuech instead of Williamson? Where is the future? I have seen enough of Zuech, he is not a major league pitcher.

  6. LeRoy

    The Reds and especially their fans seem to think next year with an additional pitcher and a little bullpen and outfield help, the Reds can perhaps compete for a playoff spot. I think the Reds 3 rookie pitchers have been over estimated. With Graham going to the IL, all 3 rookies have missed time this year. Next year is just a wish and a dream of how they will lead the Reds this coming year. I hope their health holds up and they do develop quickly next year, but for all three to be truly good next year is not very likely at all.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      I don’t think anybody is saying that, it’s just that Zuech gives them very little chance of winning.

    • Redsvol

      This is a good point and one I’ve been banging on for last 3 months. Its not so much that its unreasonable to think they’ll be good next year – they’ve shown they are very good. I do think its unreasonable to think they’ll be both good and available for 28 to 30 starts each. That is unreasonable – especially for 23-25 year olds. They haven’t proven they can compete for 6 months against MLB hitters. Availability is indeed a “tool” that is important to MLB players to show they can have.

      We need at least 1 proven free agent starter this off-season and probably 2-3 veterans who can’t get major league deals stashed on the Louisville AAA roster.

    • Jim Walker

      My thought was that I guess the bicep is better than that muscle in the forearm that is often a precursor pointer at the elbow ACL? But I am not a doctor or trainer and haven’t stayed at any hotels/motels since about a year ahead of the Covid mess 😉

      • Redsvol

        Don’t even go there. We can’t afford to lose one of the big 3 for a year. Although the odds of all 3 staying healthy their first few years in the bugs is probably quite low (see cardinals stud pitchers lately).

  7. Mark Moore

    So no more Pap … time for The Lettuce Guy to step up then.

  8. RedsGettingBetter

    Why Zeuch?? This guy has been really crushed so it doesn´t make any sense! They fall in love with some players that it’s unbilievable how keep calling them up… I remember Mike Freeman in 2021, this season have been Dugger first and now Zeuch … I rather giving a chance to Williamson…

    • Doug Gray

      It’s probably 2 fold. First, Zeuch easily outpitched the other options in Triple-A, and second, he’s on the 40-man and no other starter is.

      As for Williamson – he’s just not ready. He pitched tonight and gave up 3 runs in 5.2 innings while walking 3, hitting another one…. he’s simply struggled to throw strikes and miss bats with Louisville this year. He’s a guy the team hopes to be a part of the future. Keep him in Triple-A and let him develop there. Don’t pull a Barrero and call him up when he’s clearly not ready (though Barrero was performing much worse) just because he’s younger than the other options.

  9. David

    Is it possible the Reds are using an injury to give Ashcraft a break and keep innings down? He is up to about 125 this year and only 111 and 53 in 2021 and 2020 respectively. If he pitched thru September he would maybe get another 7 starts and let’s say average 5 innings which would put him at about 170 innings. Seems like to big of a jump from 111 last year.

  10. JayTheRed

    The injury pile on this team this season has just been inane. I can’t get over it seems almost every player has been on the IL this year. Someone comes off and 3 players go on the IL. Just been an injury year.

  11. Michael B. Green

    I honestly think that some of these DL stints are innings-controlled events. Put a guy on the DL and you add an active roster spot, all while controlling innings. Lodolo got his out of the way earlier (although his appeared to serve as a legitimate injury).

    If not, CIN needs an entirely different group in charge of strength and conditioning of their pitchers as well as their training routines. No way any normal team has this many pitching injuries – not even in today’s ridiculous pitch count apocalypse.

    Nolan Ryan faced over 1,000 in 7 of his 27 years. Ashcraft is just over 400 BF this year, Greene 441, Lodolo 273. Ryan averaged 836 BF per year and that is accounted for his season-shortened Age 46 year.

    I challenge CIN to take a new approach with its pitchers. Let them pitch.