For the second day in a row the Cincinnati Reds have designated a player a day after calling him up and having him make his Major League Baseball debut. Cincinnati announced that they have designated right-handed reliever Jake Wong and called up right-handed pitcher Alec Mills from Triple-A.

Cincinnati signed Alec Mills in the middle of May to a minor league contract. He wouldn’t take the mound for three weeks before showing up in Arizona with the complex league team on June 8th. Mills would pitch in two games there, allowing two runs in 5.0 innings before he would join the Louisville Bats on June 18th. The 31-year-old then pitched in two games for the Bats. His first outing was a struggle as he allowed three runs on four hits and two walks in 2.0 innings. On June 23rd he made his second appearance, starting the game and throwing 4.0 innings of 1-hit baseball that included a walk. He gave up no runs and struck out no one.

Now he’s back in the big leagues for the first time in nearly a year. His last outing came on July 2nd of 2022 with the Chicago Cubs. He was placed on the injured list following that outing and would miss the rest of the season. In September he underwent surgery to have a part of a disc removed.

Mills was not on the Reds 40-man roster. That meant the team needed to clear a spot and that spot came at the expense of Jake Wong. Like Randy Wynne the day before, Wong made his big league debut on the day in which he was called up and then designated for assignment the day after. Wong threw 3.0 innings against Baltimore last night after the rain delay ended, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks.

23 Responses

  1. Mark A Verticchio

    If there ever was an example of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic this current situation with the Reds pitching staff is it.

    • Thomas Atwood

      Not exactly shocking with 60% of the rotation on the IL, Weaver being the disaster we expected him to be as a SP, and an overworked bullpen.

  2. J

    “It’s a good news/bad news situation, Alec. The good news is you’re heading back to the majors! Congrats! The bad news is that you’ll almost certainly be DFA’d as soon as Bell finds a situation for you to pitch an inning or two, which will probably be today or tomorrow. Best case scenario: you’ll be allowed to sit in the bullpen doing nothing for a week and then you’ll be DFA’d to make room for a real major leaguer. But hey, it’s a free trip to Baltimore! Enjoy!”

    • Chris

      LOL…That’s pretty much saying it like it is.

  3. Soto

    Besides Alec Mills, Wong, and their families, I doubt anyone really cares. Good luck Mr. Mills. I hope you pitch well. The Reds need all the help they can get on the mound.

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    So …on the meantime, how many pitchers are available from the Louisville Bats?

  5. Tom Diesman

    Mills has a 4.61 ERA over 39 GS in his MLB career. His biggest sample of being a starter was 20 GS in 2021 with a 4.80 ERA. If he’s healthy and returns to form, he could be a decent back end of the rotation filler until the young guys return in August. Chris Flexen was DFA’s by Seattle today also, and he could be an interesting pickup for a team looking for a SP.

    • Optimist

      Correct. There may be the slightest ray of hope here – at least he has MLB experience, recently, as a starter. It remains very much a “throw something out there and see if it works” rotation. One of these may work, and the quality is ever slightly ticking upward.

      Remain alert! Trades incoming.

    • DW

      They should grab Flexen if they can. Much better than what currently is being rolled out there for most games.

    • cartel

      honestly we just need middling starting pitching with this offense. If we could just get 6 ip and 4 runs each start we would be pretty good to go. that is an era of over 5.

  6. MK

    Why go through this everyday. Why not just Rickey Karcher who is already on 40-man.

    • Redgoggles

      We only have 3 catchers. That may not be enough to get Karcher through multiple innings.

    • DaveCT

      Same question for Ryan Hendrix, Joel Kuhlnel, and now Solomon and Karcher. The radar gun hypnotizes management. At least we traded Tanner Rainey to the Bats for a #5 starter.

    • Roger Garrett

      I like WILD THING and if Casali is ok with it then bring him up.

  7. Tim

    Saw this coming along about the seventh inning yesterday. The beat goes on. This may be the first time in history that a minor leaguer doesn’t want to be called up.

  8. Lid

    I’d hate to do payroll for the Reds having to calculate all these 1 day prorated MLB minimum salary paychecks (should be direct deposit).


    • Old Big Ed

      Lid, I think the collectively-bargained rule is that the team has to pay the player for X more days after sending him down. I think that X = 3 days, but I am about 50.3% confident in that.

      Not that it changes the payroll hassle, but if I am correct and the player is on the MLB roster for a day like Wynne was, the player gets 4 days of MLB money for his 1 day on the roster, or about $16k. Minimum wage in MLB is about $4k/day, so even getting a month in is pretty good work if you can get it.

      • Lid

        16K would be great! .. anything to help out the fringe players .. they get paid less than minimum wage in the minors.

  9. Doc

    Someone posted a day or two ago that in olden golden days, Reds relievers were throwing 90-120 innings over 60 to 80 appearances, roughly speaking. Now it looks as though we are trying to get 90-120 innings out of 60-80 pitchers!

    What is surprising is that there is no second chance for a number of these guys. One appearance, bomb, gone. I’m sure the Reds have reasoning for the strategy. It would be interesting to know what it is.

    • Mike Adams

      “…trying to get 90-120 innings out of 60-80 pitchers” har har made me laugh Doc.
      Strategy of the desperate.

  10. RedlegScott

    It’s a revolving door until someone demonstrates they can actually perform well.

    • Mike Adams

      All they gotta do is show they belong in the show.
      They are getting their chance.
      Reds are following the Strategy of the Desperate.