The Cincinnati Reds announced a bunch of roster moves today prior to the start of their series against the Baltimore Orioles tonight. Coming up are right-handed relievers Jake Wong and Eduardo Salazar. Starting pitcher Levi Stoudt was optioned back to Triple-A. Randy Wynne, who made his big league debut yesterday, was designated for assignment.

Jake Wong was acquired this offseason by the Cincinnati Reds in a trade back in December. The Reds selected Blake Sabol in the Rule 5 draft for the San Francisco Giants, trading Sabol immediately to them for a player to be named later. Wong was named as that player within the week. The 26-year-old reliever began the season in Double-A Chattanooga and walked three batters with 23 strikeouts and posted a 4.60 ERA in six games. He was then promoted to Triple-A Louisville and things have gone about as poorly as you could imagine. Through 11 games he’s thrown 18.2 innings and posted a 10.13 ERA while walking 16 batters, giving up eight home runs, and he’s struck out just 10. You can see his career stats here. He was not on the 40-man roster, so the team had to designate someone for assignment to make room for him.

It turns out that the player designated for assignment was Randy Wynne. The 30-year-old pitched in Cincinnati on Sunday, allowing a run (which scored after he exited the game) in 2.1 innings of relief. If he clears waivers the team can outright him to the minor leagues.

Eduardo Salazar is also returning to the big league club. He’s pitched in six games for the Reds this season and thrown 9.1 innings and allowed six runs (5.79 ERA). After dominating in Double-A with Chattanooga (0.68 ERA in nine games) he was promoted to Louisville. His first three outings there covered 4.1 shutout frames before he was called up to Cincinnati. His outing in Boston on May 30th saw him allow five runs in 0.1 innings. He threw 6.0 shutout innings across three games after that before he was optioned to the minors. St. Paul scored nine earned runs against him in 1.2 innings after his demotion. He’s rebounded with back-to-back shutout outings covering 3.0 total innings since then.

With Salazar coming up, it’s Levi Stoudt who is going down. The starting pitcher on Sunday for the Reds, Stoudt allowed three runs in 3.0 innings against Atlanta. That will leave open a spot in the rotation, but with an off day on Thursday, it pushes the need to find a starter to July 4th for the Reds.

74 Responses

  1. IndyDoug

    Wow, why DFA Wynne for Wong. I guess because Wynne is not available for tonight?

    • Indy Red Man

      I liked Wynne because he’s an actual garbage man which hitters don’t see much anymore. Not a guy with a weak heater like Lively or Williamson that still pitches like a power pitcher. And Stoudt? Great stuff so why send him back down? I guess to lengthen him out so he can go 5. He’s a keeper if he quits walking so many

      • Ted Alfred

        I’m really surprised and disappointed about Wynne the same reasons you mentioned. I like the guy who throws a lot of strikes and it’s all off speed stuff because I think that can work well when juxtaposed against the rest of your Bullpen it’s showing heat. Plus he can eat up two or three Innings at a time when needed which can save your Bullpen so I don’t really understand it at all. I thought I did a good job yesterday against probably the best offense in Major League Baseball

      • SteveAReno

        Wynne is hopefully coming back to us some day. The Orioles are no offensive slouch. They have more doubles and triples than the Braves. Plus, they have fewer strikeouts. This is going to be strong competition.

    • BK

      This illustrates just how concerned the Reds are with usage of their best relievers. I suspect the FO is scanning the Independent leagues, unsigned MiLB free agents, and players in other teams systems who may be available for cash or a minor trade.

      • SultanofSwaff

        Agreed. I think if you look inside the numbers beyond just ‘Reds relievers are 5th in innings pitched’, you’ll see the number of appearances by our top guys aren’t severely out of whack for where we are in the season.

        These journeymen on the Louisville express can sometimes be effective because the league doesn’t have a book on them and they treat these appearances like their careers depend on it, which they kinda do.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Doubt seriously he will be claimed off waivers by another team, so he will return to Louisville

  2. Optimist

    The are really using the rule book here. Yes, Stoudt and Salazar have some value, and are on the 40-man roster, so they get the option treatment. Wong and Wynne not so much, which curiously argues for their admittedly low value trade probability in advance of a claim in advance of simply remaining in the organization.

    Q. for the rules mavens – is there a limit to how long they can use this gambit? Are there limits to either options or DFAs within a season?

    Finally, is it possible they sense this as a short-term issue (a week or two) and think the more regular staff will return from IL status, so they don’t mind losing some of these DFA types?

    Finally, finally, as they’re getting to the bottom of the staff, shouldn’t they be going to some of the older AAA starters, or do they think they can get by one inning at a time with the relievers?

    • Jim Walker

      Anybody who has been previously DFA and cleared waivers in their entire career can decline outright assignment and become an immediate free agent upon being subsequently DFA and clearing waivers.

      However, if they select free agency, they void their contract. Whether outright assignment pay is the full MLB minimum rare (~$720K per year) or the reduced rate 40 man guys get paid when on option rate (~$100K per year), I don’t see a guy like Wynne risking that unless his agent has received a hard (off the record of course) offer elsewhere.

      My understanding is that last season MLB instituted a limit of 5 option/ recalls within a single season.

      • Optimist

        Thanks Jim. I vaguely recalled the 5-option rule. That’s what they’ll do with this situation, and just go thru the non-roster guys as needed. Could get interesting in the final 6-8 weeks.

  3. J

    Apparently the plan is to play musical chairs with mediocre relief pitchers rather than go get a couple starters who can make it through 6 innings on a regular basis. Once they get called up, these poor guys are all going to dread being asked to pitch an inning because they know they’ll either be sent back down or DFA’d the next day no matter how well they pitch.

    • G-man

      Wish it was that easy to just “go get a couple starters who can make it through 6 innings on a regular basis”. Keeping fingers crossed, but even getting one such starting pitcher would be a huge get! Hoping Krall can pull off some magic, without giving up any of our top prized prospects! Go Redlegs!

      • J

        The Reds gave Miley away just to dump his $10 million salary and traded Sonny Gray for Chase Petty. I simply don’t believe it’s THAT hard to acquire a pitcher of similar caliber if a team is motivated to get one. I’m not talking about a Castillo type of pitcher here…

    • Thomas Atwood

      If you run the White Sox (since Lance Lynn has gotten some mentions recently), are you trading a starter now or waiting another month when 16 teams are making phone calls in search of pitching? You say “go get a couple starters” like it happens just because Krall picks up the phone. Trading now makes no sense for sellers.

      I am also confused by this: “The Reds gave Miley away just to dump his $10 million salary and traded Sonny Gray for Chase Petty.” Are you calling acquiring Petty — a first round pick and the Reds #7 prospect — a salary dump? I hope I misunderstood that comment.

      • J

        Nope, my point is that you could potentially get two years of a Sonny Gray type of pitcher if you’re willing to trade something like your #9 prospect (which I believe is what Petty was when the Reds traded for him). And, I should add, the Reds made that deal prior to the season starting, not at the trade deadline. So I’m having a hard time understanding why the Reds wouldn’t be able to make a similar trade in reverse right now unless they’re unwilling to pay a legitimate major league player’s salary — which in fact might be the actual reason they “can’t” make a trade right now.

        As for the idea that a team wouldn’t make a trade right now because the value of each player increases as we get closer to the deadline, that just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. For starters, your guy could get injured between now and the deadline, and then he probably has no value whatsoever. Right now you know he’s healthy, so this is a good time to trade. Secondly, there are probably teams that feel like they’re in contention right now that will drop out of the market a month from now. And if you get a guy right now, he’s more valuable to your team than getting him a month from now. The Reds ought to be willing to part with a *higher* prospect right *now* than a month from now — especially if the return is a guy who’s only signed through the end of the season.

      • JayTheRed

        Miley has done a nice job for our rival. Brewers. Such a shame we don t have him now.

  4. Hanawi

    Seems like anyone they call up now isn’t in the long-term plans and they are hoping they can eat a couple of innings before going through the DFA route. Maybe they don’t want to lose the more effective starters at AAA.

  5. SlippinJimmy

    Is Jake Wong the brother of Ada Wong, by chance? Hmm… Wouldn’t that be interesting?

  6. LarkinPhillips

    Krall is shuffling the deck chairs on the titanic. He is in a tough position, he planned to be competitive next year, not this year. Now he has to make a tough decision to change his plans and risk avoiding the peaks and valleys or to stick with his plan and give away a chance at the playoffs.

    • Pete

      I think Hunter Greene being out until August made his decision a heck of a lot easier. It’s one thing to need one or maybe even two starting pitchers but quite another needing three or four. I think they stand pat unless they can get Greinke or Lynn on the cheap.

      • earmbrister

        I think you nailed it Pete. They’re not going to bring in multiple starters when they will be able to go 8 or 9 pitchers deep next year when healthy. Sure, if a bargain presents itself they might act but otherwise the injured pitchers are better than anything they’d acquire in a trade (without giving up the farm).

      • BK

        I was going to reply something similar. Approaching July, the Reds need more starting pitchers than they can reasonably acquire via trade w/out mortgaging the future–something they must avoid. Moreover, few trades have historically occurred at this point of the season until much closer to the trade deadline. The trade deadline corresponds to approximate return dates for Greene, Lodolo, and Dunn. In another 30 days, Krall will better understand how well the Reds can outslug opponents.

    • SlippinJimmy

      At this point, I see this problem being solved in 3 easy steps:

      Step 1. Clone Andrew Abbott.
      Step 2. Clone Andrew Abbott.
      Step 3. Clone Andrew Abbott.

      (4 Andrew Abbotts oughta be enough. 5 would just be silly)

      • BK

        Best plan anyone has offered to date! The Reds would move to the front of baseball innovation, too.

  7. KG

    I would hate to lose a very winnable division by bringing up below average relievers who are likely to get knocked around, instead of going out and spending a little money to get average or above average guys. Same thing goes for spot starters. The Reds have put themselves in a great spot, don’t be afraid to spend some to make more.

    • BK

      Krall has publicly stated the Reds have money to spend. I don’t think 2023 money will be an issue. But as with prospects, the Reds should be careful to avoid financial commitments to extend beyond this season. This team appears to have a good shot at winning a weak division. However, they will be vulnerable in the playoffs unless the organic pitching (currently on team or the IL) pitches better–trades and money won’t change that fact.

      • Votto4life

        If they don’t dramatically improve their pitching they won’t be any play-offs. Someone here yesterday stated that the Braves don’t want to see the Reds in the post-season. Please….does anyone really believe the Braves fear facing the likes of Luke Weaver or Ben Lively? What a Joke.

        The Reds are 3 1/2 pitchers away from a rotation.

      • cartel

        Bingo. This has always been my concern with trades this year. We are not going to get anything that wins us a worlds series and it will be costly. I would rather enjoy this year and load up for next.

      • TR

        It is what it is, but what a shame the Red’s ownership did not spend money to fully staff the starting pitching in the offseason and was content to go with a young Big Three who were still working toward pitching maturity before injuries stepped in. Apparently no one in top management anticipated this young team would surprise us all and be in 1st. place toward the end of June.

      • VaRedsFan

        @ TR…No team goes into the season with depth enough to cover the 12+ starting pitchers that they are into this year. Except maybe the Dodgers and their pitching gurus.

    • Dennis Westrick

      There’s an old adage in business that goes “You gotta spend money to make money!”

      • Melvin

        Seems like I’ve heard that before. 🙂

  8. Melvin

    The real roster move we were looking for didn’t happen….still. CES

    • BK

      I’m ready for CES, too. You’ve been opposed to players getting scheduled days off, but at this point in the season, CES would allow for one starter to sit about every eight games (I’m assuming a Fraley/Senzel platoon continues, and we stop DHing Stephenson). There is strong research that supports days off to achieve peak performance.

      Also, this is the first point in the season when all of our position players have been healthy at the same time. In short, I don’t see any reason that CES wouldn’t make the team better as his power would add some balance to go with the rest of our already strong offense.

      • Melvin

        With this powerful lineup I would not be opposed to rotating days off every 7-9 games. Just for the record. 🙂 As has been discussed before even recently, even the Great Eight only started together 88 (or 80 depending on which site you ask) times together from May of 75 to October of 76. It’s not a bad plan when you have the horses to do it and can compete.

      • Melvin

        Not to mention making the bench a lot stronger with that plan right BK?

      • BK

        Absolutely, stronger bench; less wear-and-tear on players. I don’t see much downside. I don’t even think it matters whether they keep Casali and option either Senzel or Newman. It seems like a move that makes the team stronger. While CES hasn’t had one of his patented killer weeks this week, his MiLB track record is strong, consistent and has shown continuous improvement.

  9. Mark A Verticchio

    We all realize with the state of the pitching staff the odds of winning anything this year are very slim. The only chance is to try and out hit everybody, like they almost did the Braves. That is all the more reason to bring up Strand right now, it would increase their slim chances just a little bit. Much more so than Newman or the three catcher plan.

  10. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I just heard Marte got promoted to AAA.

    All kinds of options from here. One, consider we have McLain and DLC already for SS. So, Marte becomes tradebait. Prospects serve 2 purposes: 1) replace those on the big team, and 2) tradebait. Well, with 2 SS’s already on the big club, why do we need a third. “Keep him at AAA just in case someone gets hurt”. I was never a fan of that, “just in case”. Then, we never get any value from the prospect. They are just relegated to playing AAA game.

    Or, another, change Marte’s position now, to one we need, like corner OF.

    • Brad

      I dont think Marte should be traded at all. They need stop DHing Stephonson.

      1st/DH – Votto and CES
      2nd – India
      3rd – Elly
      SS – McClain
      LF – Steer
      CF – Friedl
      RF – Frayley

      Bench – Benson, Senzel, Cathchers and Newman.

      Then next year or whenever Marte is ready, Votto is off the Books and you can DH Steer and CES and Move Idia to LF.

      • Andy

        Love this. Would consider CES and Marte (and maybe Phillips) off-limits for trade, they are core pieces in next 5 years. I would consider Arroyo, Collier, Petty as trade chips, as MLB call-up is 2-3 years away and might not match up to the 5 year championship window they just entered . One of them + Senzel might net quality SP with 1.5-2.5 years of service remaining. I would shoot for 1 SP like that this year to try and sneak into playoffs. This offseason I would look to make a major free agent offer to best pitcher available. They will have large free agent budget, and use that andnot trade away too much. 2024 rotation: Free Agent, Greene, 2023 trade acquisition, Abbott, Lodolo, with Ashcraft, Phillips, Williamson as depth for injuries.

        Doug loves when I bring this up: I would absolutely make an offer to Ohtani in that FA spot. Reds will not be able to compete with 10/$500M offers, but would check to see if he would consider 3/$210M (the high AAV would be hard to match for teams already in luxury tax and the short duration would allow another free agent payday. And Reds can afford to add $70M next 3 years while all these stud rookies are still making nothing. And the Reds may be able to argue they will be the most fun team next 3 years, even without him.)

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Why not move India there now, McLain to 2nd, Elly to SS, Senzel to his natural position of 3rd, or Steer at 3rd?

        For next year, it looks like you would have:
        1st – have to assume CES part-time since you also said you would have him split DH with Steer
        2nd – no one
        3rd – assume Elly
        SS – assume McLain
        LF – India
        CF – assume Friedl
        RF – assume Fraley

        Then, where is Steer besides part-time DH? Where is Marte? Steer would have to share 1st base like he would with Votto now. Marte would play 2nd, a position he’s never played.

        It just sounds easier as well as better for the players (not moving their defense around so much, making them learn positions they aren’t use to), just trade Marte or someone off and get a corner OF.

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        I mean, you are assuming India can play LF. What if he can’t? Or, what if he gets injured out there, like Hamilton and Senzel got injured so much going from the IF to CF?

        Nope, just better to trade someone off and get a corner OF.

        Make the trade India, then, for a piece that we need. The entire point of my post was Marte this close allows us some room. Tradebait, with someone.

    • Tar Heel Red

      Marte is no longer a shortstop, he has been moved to 3B. Beginning as soon as next season the Reds will have, IMO, India at 2B, EDLC at short, Marte at 3B and McLain in the OF (which is where he actually played in college). The two prospects that could be available in trades are Arroyo and Collier, since their paths to the majors are blocked in this organization.

  11. Will the Red

    Can we please try Elly in CF? That frees up a couple of roster spots for our platoon of outfielders to be traded, which should at least get a #5 (maybe even a #4?!) starter that we can use going forward, instead of this silly game of musical mounds between AAA, GABP and DFA.

    • Melvin

      “Can we please try Elly in CF?”

      Yes we can. You have my permission. I like the idea. There are a few other people you might want to check with first though. 😉

      • Andy

        I vote no. His speed running into a wall terrifies me. And his playstyle would mean lots of crashes.

        I might be alone in voting to keep him at 3B. Leave McLain at SS. Or switch them, IDC, just keep them both in the infield and in the batting lineup.

    • Doug Gray

      I vote no. You take arguably the strongest arm in baseball and completely waste it in center. You downgrade your shortstop defense with the move, too.

      • Melvin

        Well Doug, you certainly have MUCH more clout than I do ( as if I had any). Something tells me that if we all took a vote it would mean nothing to the Reds though. lol Oh well. Just for the record I’m very happy he’s on the team no matter where he plays. 🙂 LIke Chris Welsh said, the Reds hit the lottery with De La Cruz.

      • Indy Red Man

        I vote RF for Elly. I haven’t missed more then 5 innings since Elly came up and I’ve yet to see McLain fail to make a play that I thought Elly would’ve made. Ok 1 line drive over McLains head, but line drives over 3b are more likely to hurt. On the flip side just yesterday Fraley made a bad throw home on a tag up from 3rd. A cannon in RF comes into play almost daily

      • Melvin

        Looks like we have one for SS

        two for CF

        one for RF so far.

        I’m sure the Reds are taking notice. 🙂

      • Melvin

        Wow. We’ve got five votes and four different positions.

  12. Dennis Westrick

    Great! Let’s call up a RP (Wong) who has a propensity to walk batters at the rate of one (1) per inning! He will fit in nicely with the current pen, excluding Diaz, Sims & Young!

  13. Dennis Westrick

    Where’s Mike Minor when you need him? Joking, of course!

  14. LDS

    From what I’ve read EDLC is the 3rd best defensive SS in the Reds organization, behind Barrero and Arroyo, neither of whom will be in Cincinnati again this year. Marte has played some 3rd the last two years. Maybe he shifts there. McLain ? 2B sounds right.

    • Will the Red

      If he’s the 3rd best, and we have such a logjam in the infield, someone has to move and, at least right now, I think his bat profiles the best as an outfield spot. Also, I like him VS McClain in CF/RF. As for his athleticism being dangerous, I think it’ll be far more dangerous to the opposing hitters. Did you see the rob-job that J-Rod did in center this wknd? Elly would make that commonplace, or at least, that would be my hope. And then you can move Steer to 3rd, FINALLY bring CES up to share 1st/DH with Votto (and occasionally Ty Steve) and your bench is bolsterd by having Zenzel and one of Benson, Fairchild, Friedl or Fraley for right now. And maybe even flip one or two of those guys for some pitching. Plus, when Marte gets the call next year, maybe he slots to right (don’t know about his bat) and you’ve got just about the fastest outfield east of the Mississippi, if not in all of baseball!

  15. SR

    We have what we have for pitching in the minor leagues. It’s not top shelf choices either. What we pick up before the trade deadline won’t be much better unless we give up a lot for a rental player, or get lucky on a retread who surges in the second half.
    There is a good chance that MLB pitchers didn’t suddenly lose their control and ability to locate pitches in a 2 or 3 inch square every time they let go of the ball when they make it to the show.
    It gets tougher with each level. Better hitters with more patience and an ability to fight off or take offerings that were swinging strikes in “A” ball or college. Lousy umpires with inconsistent strike zones don’t help either. And the rite of passage for rookies with veteran umps and marginal calls factors in too.
    I am 100% certain that none of the guys who suited up and went to the mound for the Reds this year are trying to walk batters intentionally.
    The real question is how does Atlanta, and Tampa Bay, and St. Louis (excluding this year) and LA home grow good arms with good location skills? They’re scout doesn’t quit watching after the guy hits 98 on their gun and strikes out 10 guys in 5 innings.They take low to mid 90’s and three pitch pitchers, draft them and build them out.
    We need to find more Abbots. They’re not unicorns, but we need to change how we find them.
    I also agree with others that the Reds blow through a lot of arms, seemingly more than the average team, although I acknowledge I don’t have hard facts to support this.

  16. Indy Red Man


    Randy went out and did what he to do. Go out and attack and believe in yourself”

    immediately DFA….lol. Go ahead and believe in yourself because we don’t

    • Melvin

      I’m a little puzzled by that too because I though he pitched pretty well. Maybe I missed something.

  17. SR

    One other thread. I am less and less convinced about our pitching coach being the “pitcher whisperer” that he was touted as when he came on board. We are drafting and trading for positional players much more successfully the last several years. Our pitching selections do not have the same sort of success. The lack of prospects for starting pitching in the minors is certainly impacted by injuries but the folks we have traded for (Dunn, Stoudt) or signed (Minor) have underperformed. We have done better with relievers but we go through a boatload to find keepers.
    I think walks are more acceptable to the current pitching coach who is also the director of pitching for the Reds. I see this as a systemic developmental issue. By switching to pitching to more contact, we lower pitch counts and save bullpen wear and tear too.

  18. Redgoggles

    This is all about the 40 man roster management, imo. And, who not to lose when Santillan and Law are ready (hopefully sooner rather than later.)

  19. Ron S

    Mariot and Kennedy from Louisville next up both have pitched in the big’s before and can throw more than two pitches and should be available this weekend.The next Weaver start should be his last.

  20. Redgoggles

    As much as I would like to see Weaver in the rear-view mirror, I’m not sure they should be dropping any starters anytime soon.

    • J

      What’s the risk, exactly? Is it a fear that this team can’t win unless it’s behind by several runs early, and Weaver provides that opportunity almost every time he starts?

      • Melvin

        You know. That’s a good point. I never though of that. lol 😀

    • Pete

      Look if the guy can fog a mitt he can’t be sent anywhere. In other words, he’s a keeper until further notice.

  21. GMan88

    I couldn’t help but notice that Sonny Gray has the third best AL ERA at 2.56, Castillo the sixth best at 2.89. Castillo was off in ’21 but was still a workhorse and an ERA under 4.00 despite the 8-16 record. I personally think this rotation is dangerous to any reliever within a country mile of it. That being said, GO REDS!

  22. Mark A Verticchio

    I get the feeling that most Reds fans are realizing how much trouble they are in. If they only needed one, or even two, starters between now and mid August, at least, it might work but they need three and maybe four. I think to sell off any major pieces now would not be wise. The best thing this team can do is hope they can out hit their opponents for at least a couple of months along with praying that a bunch of AAA pitchers pitch beyond their skill sets. But, hey you never know.

    • SteveAReno

      Are there any “middle relievers” that can take a shot as a starter?