The Cincinnati Reds just announced that they will be calling up right-handed pitcher Levi Stoudt to make his Major League Baseball debut on Wednesday and he will start the game against the Tampa Bay Rays. This move is quite unexpected as the team had previously announced that right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver would be making the start on Wednesday after completing two rehab starts in Triple-A Louisville.

Once the clubhouse opened up we found out that the move to call up Levi Stoudt for a start would just be for a spot start. Everyone will be pushed back a day according to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. This move will give Hunter Greene additional time to recover after he was hit by a hard ground ball in the leg in last night’s start that led to him exiting the game early and getting X-rays (which came back negative).

Here’s what we know about Levi Stoudt. He joined the Reds organization last summer in the Luis Castillo trade. He only threw 24.0 innings with the organization after the trade, missing several weeks with an injury after being acquired. When he returned from that IL stint he allowed just one run in 11.2 innings for Louisville.

This season he’s pitched in three games for the Bats. The first two were solid – he allowed one run in 8.1 combined innings, struck out eight batters, and gave up just three hits. But he also walked three batters in each game. His last outing, which came on April 12th, saw him give up four runs in 2.2 innings while giving up five hits – including two home runs – and once again walking three batters.

For the season in Triple-A his ERA is 4.09 with nine walks and 10 strikeouts in 11.0 innings. He’s thrown four pitches this year – a fastball (48.6% of the time), a slider (33% of the time), a change up (11.7% of the time), and a curveball (6.7% of the time). The fastball have averaged 94.9 MPH and he’s topped out at 96.6 through his three starts.

Scouts have liked the change up at times, but it’s gotten inconsistent reviews as a professional. When it’s on, it’s an above-average to plus pitch. The slider and fastball both flash above-average, and his curveball will flash average. The problem has been finding the consistency with all of his pitches. All of the pieces are there, but getting them all to work and to work together hasn’t quite come around.

In the small sample size of 11.0 innings this season with Louisville, Stoudt’s been getting a high rate of ground balls. For his career in the minor leagues, though – granted still a small sample size of just over 200 innings – he’s been a fly ball pitcher. His walk rate is much higher this year than it has been in the past, but it’s been up-and-down at times throughout his career.

You can see Levi Stoudt’s career stats here.

Lucas Sims activated

Shortly after the Reds announced that Levi Stoudt would be called up on Wednesday to start, they also announced that Lucas Sims has been activated from the 15-day injured list. He’ll be taking the spot on the roster from reliever Kevin Herget, who was optioned back to Triple-A Louisville.

Sims had back spasms during spring training that resulted in his being shut down for a short period of time. He missed most of 2022 with a herniated disc that required surgery, but the team says the two things are not related. While rehabbing in the minor leagues, Sims threw in four games. He pitched one inning in each game, allowed just two hits, walked two batters, and he picked up four strikeouts.

It’s a tough break for Kevin Herget, who allowed two runs in his four outings that covered 7.2 innings for Cincinnati out of the bullpen (2.35 ERA). For now he’ll head back to join Louisville and likely join the rotation – which was the plan for him prior to his being called up to pitch for the Reds.

24 Responses

  1. DaveCT

    Quick work, Doug! I just saw it arrive on MLTR with a 12 second arrival time

    • Doug Gray

      If the news had hit about 45 seconds later I’d have missed it until about right now. I’m sure it would have been fine for me to have posted this exact same thing at 3:15 instead of 2:35, but hey – sometimes it’s good to be fast.

  2. LDS

    Let’s hope he steps to the plate. The Reds need something in the pitching department. A visit to the 10-day IL wouldn’t surprise me on Greene, or Steer for that matter. It’s always “available off the bench” until a week or two later when they announce the player is going on the IL. And I see Newman breaks the 3-hit/sit the next day trend. Fairchild and Barrero (hitting .286 with an .819 OPS against RH) to the bench today. Newman against RH’ers? .158/.401 OPS. So, unless Barrero is injured, Bell is going for the “veteran presence” over talent. Then again, that’s hardly a new trend.

    • Doug Gray

      For pitchers it’s a 15-day IL. Position players get 10 days.

      • LDS

        Thanks. I whacked a shin in a basketball game back in high school and was laid up a couple of weeks. A batted ball is certainly more serious.

    • Chris Holbert

      SMH….Maybe he reads this and just wants to give us something to talk about. When you think he goes certain ways he reverses course, so one never knows what to think. Barrero must need a day off after running all the way to third on that double. As many continue to say he needs to play SS everyday to prove, or not, whether he is a viable MLB SS.

    • greenmtred

      LDS: have you looked for any stats that show that a multi-hit game increases the odds of a good following game?

      • LDS

        There are no such stats. Hitting is a memory less distribution. If a younger gut gets 3 hits, he is often rested. Newman, who is hitting RH at half the rate of Barerro, is starting against the best team in baseball, record wise. Bell just isn’t the guy to bring the Reds forward.

      • greenmtred

        I haven’t looked for the stats. You may be right that the information isn’t tabulated separately, but it could be extracted from existing data. My guess is that there isn’t much effect and that it would be highly variable (who is the hitter, who is the pitcher, etc.) We all make assumptions and assumptions are curious things.

  3. Kevin H

    Herget did well while up and sure we will see him again. Interesting to see Stoudt up out of nowhere it would seem.

    Newman did well yesterday so why not two games in a row. I like Senzel at 3rd base and do wish they would keep here there, however don’t know of Steer can play another position?

    Personally I like the lineup today. Let’s go!!

  4. MuddyCleats

    Saw Stoudt n Nashville. Impressed w/ his moxie. Went right at hitters & gutted out 5? Strong Innings only to see BP give it away

    • Dennis Westrick

      He should feel right at home with the Reds BP, last night notwithstanding!

  5. Optimist

    Chances – they’re all getting their chances, which is good this early in the season. Lots of up and down to Louisville for a while, which is fine, and may well work out if the MLBers avoid injury time and one or more of the MiLBers performs well. Herget will return, and then I guess it’s Williamson or Karcher for the next spot start since Abbott is not on the 40-man roster?

    • David

      Karcher has been pretty lousy so far. Ryan Nuthof? He’s looked pretty good.

      Sending down Herget kind of ….stinks. But somebody had to go, if they activate Lucas Sims. I am not persuaded that Lucas Sims is, at this point in his career, better than Kevin Herget. I expect Sims to break down in a few weeks or a month.

      The interview of Hunter Greene on the Reds’ website seemed to indicate he felt “fine”. His lower-leg/shin muscles really stiffened up after he sat down at the end of the inning. So he really couldn’t go back out.
      Interesting plan. I think that because Stoudt is on the 40 man, and has options, this was a move of convenience. He will go back down after the Wednesday game….unless he pitches a no-hitter or something really amazing. Then Weaver will take that spot in the rotation and probably pitch on Thursday against the Pirates for the 4 game series. That’s what the Reds’ website sez.
      Ashcraft goes Friday, then Saturday and Sunday are “up in the air”, ie, TBD. Something else may happen to Cessa. A bad toenail or something that requires him to go on the DL.
      Chase Anderson is NOT on the 40 man, so to get him up here would require a roster move.

  6. SultanofSwaff

    Not to dump on Stoudt or any of the Louisville options, but I would confidently bet Abbott would give you a more respectable outing than any of them. Eventually they’ll get around to making the right decision…..and at least they’re being proactive by not letting Overton struggle any longer. I like that the runway is shorter to prove yourself this year.

    • Dennis Westrick

      Overton never made it to the end of the runway, regardless of the length!

    • David

      I think Abbott will be pretty good up here, but I would like to see him get a couple of starts in AAA first. I think Brandon Williamson is kind of lost. Maybe he should go back to AA. That would be rather humiliating, though.
      There are pitchers who skipped AAA and pitched fine with the Reds. Somebody last night mentioned Luis Castillo…we heard of him.
      Scott Williamson (1999) skipped AAA and pitched both in relief and as a starter that year.

  7. JB

    Was hoping Herget would take Cessa’s place. Oh well .

  8. Dennis Westrick

    Why is this club so reluctant to recognize sub-par pitching? Case-in-point, Cessa! If he appears on the mound anytime soon, I will be taking a walk, just not one issued by Cessa!

    • greenmtred

      They recognize it, and know it’s cheaper. Cessa wasn’t a terrible relief pitcher.

      • JayTheRed

        Like most pitchers I feel like Cessa was more aggressive in the bullpen. Yes, he had a few decent starts late last year, but I was hoping he would be just part of the bullpen the whole offseason.

  9. Melvin

    Hate to see Herget go. He was pitching like “the real deal” so far doing great. Maybe our bullpen is sooo good we don’t need him. lol It will be interesting to see what Stoudt can do. I’m betting it’s not worse than Overton or Cessa. 🙂

    • Dennis Westrick

      I, too, liked Herget! Felt like he had performed well enough to stick around in the BP! He obviously performed better than Cessa, Overton and probably Farmer! Oh well! Much like corporate America, the way to succeed is to do badly in your job!

  10. Votto4life

    Oh good I am going to the game tomorrow. I’m glad to see him and not Overton.