The Cincinnati Reds added Andrew Abbott to the taxi squad this morning. If you are slightly confused by that information because you believed that the taxi squad only existed for road trips, well, you aren’t alone in that. But none of that seems to matter – Abbott is with the club in Cincinnati and he will be activated tomorrow to make a start against the Milwaukee Brewers. Hunter Greene was originally scheduled to start, but he’s dealing with stiffness in his hip and is being pushed until Sunday.

The 24-year-old is getting a slightly late birthday present from the organization after celebrating his birthday on Thursday. Abbott has been very good this season. The left-handed starter began the year in Double-A Chattanooga and was so good that he was promoted after just three starts where he struck out 36 batters with just three walks and six hits allowed in 15.2 innings pitched.

Upon his promotion to Triple-A Louisville he did slow down a little bit, but only because it was nearly impossible to be as good as he had been in the Southern League in his first three outings. With the Bats, Abbott has now made seven starts. In that time he’s posted a 3.05 ERA and thrown 38.1 innings while allowing 27 hits, walking 14 batters, and he’s picked up 54 strikeouts. After not allowing a home run while in Chattanooga he has given up eight of them in his seven starts with Louisville.

This season Andrew Abbott is throwing four pitches. His fastball has been working in the 91-94 MPH range and he’s touched 96. His change up works in the mid-80’s, while the slider and curveball both work in the 79-82 MPH range.

Manager David Bell noted this morning that Andrew Abbott will be starting on Monday and then again on Saturday, setting up a 6-man rotation. But he did note that the 6-man rotation wasn’t something that they were planning to stick with for very long according to Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Abbott will pitch Monday and be followed by Luke Weaver, Brandon Williamson, Graham Ashcraft, Ben Lively, then Abbott again, before Hunter Greene takes the mound on Sunday.

This takes us to the next question of – who is moving out of the Reds rotation? Do they send Abbott back to Triple-A? If Graham Ashcraft doesn’t pitch much better the next time out is he going to get sent to the minors to work on things? I guess we’re all going to have to wait and see how things play out.

You can see Andrew Abbott’s career stats here.

37 Responses

  1. CI3J

    Good news. Let’s see what the rookie can do against MLB hitters.

    Question: Don’t they have to take someone off the 40-man to create a spot for Abbott?

    • Doug Gray

      They will have to make a 40-man move, yes.

      • Redsvol

        Joel kuhnel I hope. No business tying up a 40 man roster spot.

      • CI3J

        Doug, any guesses what the move will be?

      • Doug Gray

        It’ll be a reliever, which one may depend on what happens in today’s game. If Herget has to go multiple innings today, it’ll probably be him. If not, I’d guess Salazar, who probably isn’t available to pitch tomorrow after throwing 3 innings yesterday.

  2. DHud

    I still think an IL announcement is coming for Ashcraft. They were mum about Lodolo through 3 disastrous starts and all of a sudden here we are with him on the 60 day. With the way Ashcraft has absolutely fallen off a cliff, would not be least bit surprised at all if it plays out similarly

    • Doug Gray

      That’s not the move for Abbott.

      • DHud

        Short term, no

        But I’d bet it’s part of the bigger conversation going on

      • Doug Gray

        They aren’t having that conversation and then also sending him out to the mound to pitch. That’s just not a thing.

      • DHud

        Doug I get what you’re saying and appreciate you’re providing objective journalism

        Because I’m just a fan though I’m trying to read tea leaves. Reds are typically pretty slow and deliberate when it comes to making IL decisions, and will let things play out a bit before making a decision (see Friedl hamstring). They also play things close to chest a lot

        So, they might be saying Ashcraft is still pitching meow, but would anyone be surprised if 3 days from now the reds said “he’s been battling some soreness and we hoped with treatment and rest he could pitch through it but that doesn’t appear to be the case now?”

    • DataDumpster

      In yesterday’s post I said about the Ashcraft situation “Time for the typical strategy of pointing to a vague “injury” to go to the IL and clear his head. Give Abbott the 3 starts to get a taste and don’t demote Ashcraft.”
      The Greene story (or distraction) leaves some room to maneuver but I’m sticking with my story and agreeing with the majority here (although Doug should know better than us amateurs).

  3. Brian

    Let’s start with the positive. The team’s hand is almost forced to bring up Abbott. If everyone were healthy, it wouldn’t have surprised me if they waited until September. Now, the negative. Was there ever really a “Big Three”? I rolled my eyes when I started hearing this. Sure, the potential was there but there were way, way, way too few innings between between the 3 for that label. Could all 3 work out and be long term studs? Yes, but it never was probable. Could only 1 work out and be a stud? Yes and I’m guessing that’s more probable. My guess was 1 stud, 1 back end starter and 1 always hurt guy. The “Big 3” was always Big Wishing. I hope I’m totally wrong but there never was enough experience between the group for that hype.

    • Kevin H

      I think they will develop into the big three, however I like how you put it. They lack experience right to have that label.

      • Brian

        It’s just not a given that 1 pitcher will have constant health, let alone 3. None of the 3 had any established history and I’m guessing that they are still working on developing some pitches. The fans were just trying to wish it into existence. I’m definitely wishing for that but I’m not gonna label something unwarranted.

    • Moon

      You have Hunter Greene who has pitched pretty well but cannot seem to get a lot of run support. Lodolo is the best of the three but is frequently injured. It seems like you only are going to get half a year out of him. Ashcraft is a mystery. He was so good and now so bad. I have to think there is some injury issue with him. But I have been pleasantly surprised by the guys they are using now. Lively, Weaver, Williamson have done a credible job. If Abbot proves to be as good as he seems the Reds could have a pretty good starting rotation with depth. We really need to get Ashcraft back on track.

    • RedBB

      Yup….there is a reason why they extend Greene. And at the time I think he had the worst tats for the year.

    • The Duke

      Sign Ohtani 5 years, $250 million, boom, DH and rotation spot solved.

  4. SlippinJimmy

    Well, if he can get through 2 or 3 innings without giving up 9 runs, that is at least an “upgrade.”

    Ashcraft hasn’t just fallen off a cliff, he was on the plane that Bane hijacked where the wings got ripped off when they towed it with the bigger plane. He’s been hopelessly DE-STROYED. Maybe he should wear a mask like Bane.

    • Redsvol

      That’s a good way to put it. A pitcher who throws 96 and can’t get that feeble lineup of the brewers out us something more than injury going on.

      Between the ears, not listening to his catcher , not listening to his pitching coach, whatever it is it needs to get solved in AAA. Too many short outings by Ashcraft to keep running him out there to only burn up the pen.

      I was amazed at how much throwing he did before the game even started. I counted 40 long throws in the outfield before the game and then quit counting. If you’re in game results stink, you might want to think about changing your pregame routine.

      • oklared

        That pitiful batting crew is in first place by the way.

    • Doug Gray

      He’s staying in the rotation this week, so that’s not the move.

  5. Votto4life

    Interesting that I couldn’t reply to your question but that’s OK I will reply here. Yes I read the article and the very last sentence reads “I guess we’re all going to have to wait and see how it plays out”

    I am suggesting it will play out with Ashcraft going on the IL.

    • Mark Moore

      Ashcraft to the 15-day IL still means we need a 40-man move. He battled and may go down to AAA, but I seriously doubt he’s headed to the 60-day. I’m thinking Kuhnel’s number is up, but that’s just speculating.

  6. LDS

    Kind of a long stretch between starts for Greene. Undisclosed problem?

    • Doug Gray

      It’s disclosed in the first paragraph on the article in which you are commenting.

      • LDS

        Thanks. Sorry, I was too focused on Abbott.

  7. Optimist

    I’ll read the tea leaves a little – given the unkonwns or SanMartin’s return (and effectiveness), and the interesting usage of Young, I wonder if Abbott gets the two starts and then the situation is reviewed. Namely, Lodolo is gone for a while, Greene has “stiffness in his hip” (whatever that means) and Ashcraft has who knows what is going on. They obviously need LH help in the bullpen, and both Abbott and Williamson are in the rotation for the next 10-14 days. If that works well, less pressure on the pen which limits Young’s use. If it doesn’t, you have an obvious LH long-reliever for a spell.

    I expect one of Williamson/Abbott to succeed this season as a starter, and if both do – great. If not, keep them around and you’re nicely set for next spring.

    • TR

      I’m encouraged by Williamson. He’s got a good variety of pitches. Look forward to Abbotts debut and hope it’s a good one.

      • jmb

        Amen, brother! With Stout on the IL at AAA, Greene’s hip stiff, and Ashcroft struggling, if Abbott doesn’t do well they’ll be in a bad way. Trading India for a starter may then make perfect sense.

  8. Pete

    Every cloud has a silver lining they say. The glass half full indicates the Reds have a great opportunity to weed through all the secondary starters. I’m actually OK with that as I still think this is certainly a rebuilding season and have no expectations of playoffs.

    I’m also of the mind that something is going on with Ashcraft, whether it’s between his ears or something otherwise. Would really like to see a statistical breakdown of his performances since his grandmother passed away. Obviously, the guy was greatly shook up, and she had a large role in his life and success. Much less bulldog than we saw before hand. Wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he is shelved for a short period of time.

  9. Melvin

    I’m looking forward to seeing Abbott pitch. I think he will be a good one. Someone mentioned Ashcraft going down hill after he pitched shortly after his grandmother dying. I don’t know of course but I do know everyone handles grief differently. I also know that if you don’t really deal with it then it could mess up a person in a lot of ways. Maybe that’s his problem. I doubt very seriously his potential has decreased. He’s still one of the Big Three in my view. Just a young pitcher struggling with different things. Getting back to Abbott. I like to see him become one of the “Big Four”.

  10. Michael E

    I hope they DON’T send him back down IF he has two solid starts this week. Tampa did that with Taj Bradley back in early May and then he proceeded to stink in AAA and lose his edge. I am sure he was over-thinking and getting shelled, trying to do even more because obviously being great wasn’t good enough to stay in Tampa.

    I think demoting a player, even if told ahead of time, after they come up and excel is just criminally stupid. Now, Taj may be fine in another month, but I really don’t see how telling someone “great job, now get lost” is helpful in their development. I am sure its worked out well in some cases, but how many players have been broken with something so trivial?

    I’d be steaming, wondering why am I bothering if great play leads to no where.

  11. RedsGettingBetter

    I know Abbott deserves this shot because he’s been outstanding so far. However, I have understood that the Reds have a overworked BP recently so adding another starter sacrifying one reliever doesn’t seem be helping, but Greene won’t hit the IL in this case for nothing in this world. It’s really another way to play with a man down, again.