The Cincinnati Reds have acquired right-handed pitcher Frank German from the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox designated him for assignment last week and the Reds claimed him and have optioned him to Triple-A Louisville. After Cincinnati designated Matt Reynolds for assignment last week they had an open spot on the 40-man roster, so they do not need to create a roster spot for German.

A former starter, Frank German switched to relieving in 2022 after struggling in 2021 when he was acquired by the Red Sox from the New York Yankees. The switch to a relief role went well as German posted a 2.72 ERA between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Worcester. In his 49.2 innings he allowed just 26 hits, walked 19 batters, and he picked up 64 strikeouts. German would also reach the big leagues with Boston, pitching in five games. Things didn’t go well as he allowed eight runs in 4.0 innings on seven hits and four walks.

Just before the start of spring training this year he was traded from Boston to Chicago for a minor leaguer. The White Sox have had German pitching in Triple-A this season and he’s struggled. In his nine outings he’s posted a 7.15 ERA and allowed 19 hits in 11.1 innings – including four home runs (after allowing just two all of last season in 49.2 minor league innings), walked nine batters, and he’s struck out 16.

Quick Scouting Report on Frank German

German throws a 4-seam fastball, a slider, a split-fingered fastball, and a curveball. The fastball has some velocity to it – he averaged 98 MPH with it last year in his limited big league time, but it’s down to 97.0 MPH so far this season in Triple-A. The slider and split-fingered fastball both work in the mid-to-upper 80’s, while his curveball works in the low 80’s. Historically he hasn’t struggled to throw strikes, but that has been a big issue for him this season with Charlotte in Triple-A.

You can see the career stats for Frank German here.

47 Responses

  1. Jimbo44CN

    Just what we need. Another struggling retread from someone’s dump heap. Great.

  2. docproc

    So he gets the 40-man spot that should have gone to McLain?
    Great.

    • Hunt4RedsOct

      Very easy to designate him for assignment to open up the spot if it’s needed. Then if no one claims him he stays in the organization. No risk in this. I do however agree that McLean belongs in the majors maybe trade Newman to the Dodgers for free agent money

  3. Votto4life

    More of the same from this organization. It would be so nice to see the Reds make a trade that is an upgrade to the major league roster.

    • Little Earl

      Actually it will be nice even if he only helps the AAA team. Their pitching stinks, so despite some good hitters, they have a losing record. They can simply designate for reassignment if needed.

  4. Indy Red Man

    Have him change his name to Herman and you have a theme for one of these summer nights.

  5. Old-school

    Red sox minor league pitcher of the year in 2022 with upper echelon velocity. Good pick up. Beats Kuhnel and Strickland.

    • MK

      Looking at the Special K boys Kuhnel and Karcher it looks like both have decided adding more girth is the key to success.

    • David

      Yeah, why do we have a 35 year old reliever on the AAA roster that has this YUGE era?

      Strickland…I mean, why not? And he’s on the 40 man, too.

      I have no real problem with getting “Frank German”, but if he’s Turrible!…then he goes too.
      Kuhnel, Strickland, Karcher…yeah, who are these guys?

      • Old Big Ed

        Strickland is not on the 40-man.

  6. LDS

    Simply a testimony to how weak the Reds pitching actually is. DFAs from 12-23 teams are the perfect answer for the Reds. Of course, sometimes the Reds will trade for cast offs from last place teams, like Newman from Pittsburgh. Moreta, BTW, has a 2.81 ERA, and 161 ERA+ over 14 games. Seems like the Reds could use that.

    • David

      Yeah, I did not like the idea of giving up a promising young reliever (Moreta) for Newman. I don’t think the Reds got “value” in return. There were likely other guys that could have filled the roll that “Newman” fills for the Reds, and would have cost less.
      Newman.

  7. CI3J

    I mean, sure, he has decent stuff and has had some success in the past. Plus, still relatively young (25 years old)

    Doesn’t hurt to take a flyer and see if they can straighten him out.

    • Redsvol

      I’ll take over Karcher or Kuhnel – any day and twice on Sunday. Tired of those 2 taking up 40 man roster spots. Kuhnel has had plenty of chances and Karcher can’t throw strikes even worse than this guy.

  8. MK

    As Jackie Gleason said in Smokey and the Bandit : “What the He** do the German’s have to do with it?”

  9. Harold

    Sometimes you can get lucky and find a diamond in the rough. Maybe he can find himself in Louisville.

  10. Optimist

    .01 movement on the Big-Deal-O-Meter. May work, may not, no harm. Trade Newman for A-AA prospects when ready to add McLain – likely before July.

  11. Mikey

    Yeah matt mclain, elly de la cruz, encarnacion/strand, and abbott should all be seeing some time in the majors right now

  12. Dean

    Anyone wondering why McLain is not in Cincy failed Baseball Economics 101.
    It’s all about the Arbitration clock.

    • MK

      As a fan turning 70 this Summer I would like to see a winner before I hit the big Free Agency. The Devil with six years. I want to still be able to stay up for the late games, or any games for that matter.

    • TR

      I never took Baseball Economics 101 but the Arbitration clock explains the numerous comments about young players waiting at the door to move the Reds forward. Needed organization and personnel changes will eventually happen based on long-established Cincinnati tradition.

    • AllTheHype

      You can be sure that is NOT the case. The Reds don’t play clock games. Otherwise, they’d have kept Lodolo and Greene in Louisville for 2 weeks to start last season and gained an extra year of control. Same with India two years ago.

  13. Melvin

    This is like a whatever. It does get tiring for us Reds fans when we hear of all these type of signings.

  14. greenmtred

    This trade makes me so mad that my hair has spontaneously gone up in flames. Tells us everything we need to know about the Reds.

    • AllTheHype

      why? just trying to pick up someone to compete with the rest of the reliever group.

    • Luke J

      This isn’t a trade, nor should it even move the needle on one’s feelings for the Reds organization. It’s a pickup of a minor league reliever with literally zero downside. Why must everyone be so dramatic around here? Every single organization is constantly shuffling around minor leaguers, filling out roster slots, and trying to find decent value at lower levels. The fact that people get upset when the Reds do it just shows they don’t understand how organizational baseball works.

      • MBS

        I’m not mad, but I get why @green is, it used a 40 man spot, when we have several players we want to get the call up that would require a 40 man spot.

      • Luke J

        If the Reds want to call up one of the young guys, this signing is absolutely not standing in the way. It’s just as easy to DFA him to open up the spot as it would be to add one of them to the 40 man. There is ZERO reason to be upset with this. This does nothing to prevent a callup.

    • old-school

      I think this was sarcasm and poking fun at RLN reactionaries.

    • greenmtred

      That was my poor attempt at sarcasm. I have no problem with it and suspect that most or all teams do this sort of thing. The Reds’ pen is looking better lately, but they’d be foolish not to shore it up.

      • LarkinPhillips

        I thought that was sarcasm when I read it. But I think that is because I was really familiar with your comments and knew you normally had a very level head on things. I did think it was funny to see what the reactions would be to it though.

  15. SultanofSwaff

    Kinda funny how the Reds don’t have roster space for CES and McClain. Yet the Cubs, with veterans making real money at every position, benched those vets in favor of their AAA studs Mervis and Morel.

    • LarkinPhillips

      I believe, both of those got called up after having massive weeks against the bats. Kind of ironic.

    • greenmtred

      On the face of it it seems odd. And it may be, but AAA players aren’t interchangeable and the Cubs’ guys may be ready in all aspects of their development. I’ve gotten the impression that the Reds’ top guys may need more work on defense. Or maybe the Reds’ organizational philosophy leads them to be cautious with prospects, though it’s worth noting that Greene, Lodolo and Ashcraft didn’t languish in the minors for long.

      • David

        I think last year, there was a mandate to move Mahle and Castillo, and Minor was known to be lousy. So Lodolo, Ashcraft and Greene HAD to come up to fill rotation spots. As you may recall, Luis Castillo was out for the month of April, 2022.
        There are 3-4 guys that have spots on the 40 man that could be removed to make room for McClain, Abbott and CES. Will the Reds pull the trigger and …DO IT?
        Magic 8 Ball says….ask again later.

      • greenmtred

        Good point, David. I do remember that. A related thought is that calling up McClain and EDLC would either be the end of the Barrero at short experiment or cut the new guys’ playing time a lot. No vacancy at 2nd, either, unless they trade India or move him immediately to another position.

  16. SlippinJimmy

    I guess when you’re getting destroyed by giving up 17 runs to one of the worst teams in baseball… whatever, right?

    • David

      I don’t know how bad the White Sox are, but I doubt that they are in the “bottom 5” in baseball, regardless of their record right now. Ditto the St, Louis Cardinals.

      Come back in July and look at records and then we can talk about who is “one of the worst teams in baseball”.

      One of Sparky Anderson’s famous “Stengelese” euphemisms was “The cream always rises to the top. If you don’t rise to the top, maybe you ain’t got no cream anymore”.

      • SlippinJimmy

        I think maybe he stole a little there from the Macho Man–not only the greatest Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion in the history of the World Wrestling Federation, but also a career .291 hitter in minor league baseball. I guess he’s what some might call, “the cream of the crop!”

  17. Max BRAGG

    Just another minor league pitcher This is GM favorite and only move. Fire owners and GM.

    • greenmtred

      There’d be lots of GM’s fired around baseball, then, because this is a very common sort of transaction. As others have pointed out articulately, this is a move virtually without risk and some possible upside. Firing the owners might make much more sense, were it possible.

    • PTBNL

      What an incredibly myopic view. Nothing to BRAGG about.

  18. Michael E

    He throws four pitches. I am always intrigued by a split-finger pitcher as we never seem to have those types. He throws hard, above average, even if nothing eye opening in todays game.

    Its a cheap, low-risk, moderate reward flier.

    IF the pitching coach thinks he just needs a few tweaks to get back to a sub 3.00 ERA reliever, he can fetch a nice prospect at the trade deadline. If he fails, he gets released, not a big deal.

    As for taking up a spot for McClain or others, do you REALLY think McClain or CES would actually get more than one start a week under Bell? The worst possible move right now is to bring up a hot hitting player from AAA/AA and have him rot on the bench, accruing service time. I fully expect NEXT year we have 3 or 4 of those guys starting full time next year and I HOPE Bell is gone in favor of a manger that will play the uncomfortable rookie over the comfy, stinky vet. Find that manager, the one that pats the rookie on the head and says keep going after it, you have a long runway with me.