The Cincinnati Reds have moved right-handed reliever Derek Law’s rehab up a few levels today. Law had been with the High-A Dayton Dragons on his rehab assignment, but today he’s joining the Triple-A Louisville Bats to continue toward his return from a flexor mass strain.

Over the first six weeks of the season, Derek Law was a strong part of the Reds bullpen. He pitched in 20 games through the middle of May and had an ERA of 2.57 through his 21.0 innings pitched. But then his elbow began barking at him and the team placed him on the injured list. Law missed the next five weeks before heading to Dayton to begin his rehab assignment. On Sunday he threw a perfect inning for the Dragons with a strikeout, needing 14 pitches to complete the inning. Now he’s moving up to Triple-A where he gets to pitch against more advanced hitters and deal with the automated strikezone/challenge system.

That was not the only roster move that was made today by the club. This past week the team has designated multiple players for assignment as they have shuffled relievers back-and-forth to Triple-A in an effort to have fresh arms available with the rotation having some real struggles to get through innings. Two of those players who were designated for assignment – Silvino Bracho and Randy Wynne – cleared waivers today and were outrighted to Triple-A Louisville.

For Silvino Bracho, he does have the right to refuse the assignment as a player who has been outrighted before this. Update: He has accepted his outright to Triple-A and will remain in the organization.

In somewhat related news, the Reds have promoted two starting pitchers up to Triple-A to begin the second half. Connor Phillips (read about him here) and Christian Roa (read about his promotion here) will be joining the Bats after helping lead Double-A Chattanooga to a first half championship and playoff birth. If the club can’t start getting better starting pitching from their current rotation, and isn’t going to be willing to pay the asking price on the market, these could potentially be the next options for Cincinnati.

72 Responses

  1. Rednat

    I am high on Phillips. hopefully a right handed version of Abbot. I got a feeling we will be seeing him in a reds uniform soon

    • Doug Gray

      They are very different pitchers. Phillips has two elite level pitches, but lacks a change up. He also has a long history of iffy control, though he did seem to show better control for the last month or so until his final outing in Double-A when he walked 3 batters in the 1st inning that he couldn’t even complete because he ran his pitch count up so high they had to pull him. It will be interesting to see how things go when he’s not dealing with the pre-tacked baseball they were using in Double-A. Tough to say how that is effecting all of the guys in Double-A.

  2. Optimist

    With this news, and the Roa and Phillips summaries over on, I see the concern/confusion/bafflement about the AA pre-tack baseball. Would this affect how the Reds move players, or is it just something else for the analytics staff to account for?

  3. LDS

    Hopefully, something substantive happens with the Reds over the next few weeks. I’d still like to see them trade for upper minors prospects vs. ML veteran pitchers but moving players from the 26 like Newman and/or Senzel for pitching prospects seems advantageous. I’m not sure that moving India for ML pitching wouldn’t be a good move as well.

    • BK

      I agree. If the Reds start dealing their top prospects at the deadline it would signal a return to the impatience of the past. Also, trading a player like India when he’s at peak value and likely could be replaced by a solid AAA player would be a departure from the past. Don’t get me wrong, I like India and see the positive leadership he displays. But moving him allows EDLC to shift to SS, McLain to 2B, improving the defense, and CES can likely replicate his offensive production. If he brings back a quality starter with similar years of team control, that would be a tough deal to pass up.

      • AllTheHype

        Marlins need offense from 1b and particularly, 3b. India might be a fit for them, and of course their surplus is pitching. If there is a good trade match for Reds, Marlins could be it.

        Think Braxton Garrett maybe, who has a couple more years of control than India so that could possibly be offset in some way from Reds side.

        Reds need to figure out how to turn their infield surplus into pitching assets without depleting production or key future assets. I think it can be done.

      • LDS

        I like India as well though I prefer him leading off. He hits better. And, from the outside looking in, he’s shown more leadership than anyone else on the team. But at 26yo and with better options in the pipeline, he could bring a good return.

      • Oldtimer

        India is the only Red to play in every game so far this year.

        I’d like to see him, McLain, and EDLC rotate among 2B, SS, and DH.

      • LDS

        And I’d like to see an end to all of the rotation moves. Install McLain at 2nd, EDLC at SS, India can DH.

      • Randy

        The return for India would have to be very high. I love his leadership and toughness

      • BK

        @Randy, while I agree with you, one of the hallmarks of this ownership group has been holding on to “popular” players too long. Obviously, the return has to be worthwhile like a controllable starting pitcher.

      • Thomas Atwood

        @AllTheHype – There aren’t many names that would get my attention in exchange for India, but Braxton Garrett would. He has 2 pre-arb years left and could be a candidate for a Greene-style early investment contract. Gotta be something like that — or an established arm that tells the team he will sign an extension — to get me to consider moving India. No way for a 2 month rental or even a guy who walks after 2024.

        That said, I have concerns over what moving India would do in the locker room. He seems like a core guy. Losing him could be like losing a wing flap on the season.

    • Timothy Estridge

      It would be crazy to trade India. He is the glue to this year’s squad. I say trade Stephenson and Senzel.

      • AllTheHype

        If you trade lesser impact players, the return will be less impactful.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Agree wholeheartedly. EVERY team is looking for pitching. It would be absolute insanity to give up anyone worthwhile for some mediocre has been. Havent we seen enough of those. Pluse they are going to want a bloody fortune for anyone half decent.
        KEEP this team together, it’s something special. Bring the kids up but for Gods sake no trades of INdia, Stephenson or Senzel.

    • Redsvol

      Typically the trades for decent MLB pitching prospects go for multiple prospects – like 3 to 4. Its rare for a team to give up established starting positions players – or pitchers – for other established MLB players. It happens – as in the Harrison Bader for Jordan Montgomery trade last year – but it is very rare. Teams in the hunt need their starters to stay in the hunt.

      In addition, the team selling the starting pitcher will require, and get, more offensive player talent or years of control in the deal. It will be painful in terms of prospects to get decent MLB pitching via trade this year. Its also much less expensive to get relievers in these trade deadline deals.

      I like the idea of trading prospects for established pitchers. I also like the idea of getting 2 established relievers with control beyond this year.

  4. Melvin

    If they get off to a good start bring them up. Just about have to.

  5. Rick

    Lineup is out:

    • Melvin

      Who’s that Friendly guy? Did we pick him up off waivers? Is he really that nice? 😉

      • Rick

        He’s the fun guy that you see at parties!! Lol

      • Melvin

        I hope he’s as good as Friedl. JB will be upset if not. 🙂

      • DaveCT

        Is it Officer Friendly from school?

    • J

      One of Bell’s weirdest traits is his apparent belief that certain guys should hit in certain spot no matter who’s pitching and no matter how poorly they’ve been hitting. Last year it was Pham hitting #3 no matter what. Once he settled on McLain-India-EDLC, there’s just changing his mind. Meanwhile, some other guys will get shifted around on a daily basis no matter how consistently they’ve been hitting. I’m sure this all makes perfect sense in his mind, but from an outsider’s perspective it looks like he’s got a screw loose.

      • Redgoggles

        I’m not a Bell-defender per se, but I think he – and many players – have referenced predictability and routine as valuable. Moreso than batting order in this case. I think he does adapt over time – see Stephenson/Votto’s drop in the order, and I think he will eventually with India as well (which I’m ready to see.)

        Yanking them around in the order probably would be frustrating, could get in their heads, and cause more harm than good, imo.

        It’s funny to me how if Bell tinkers too much he gets flack, if he doesn’t tinker enough he gets flack. Meanwhile we are in first place with a patchwork pitching staff to put it kindly. He’s making plenty of good moves if you ask me. Talented options definitely helps.

        Perhaps it’s time to recognize that a great majority of “his” issues over the past several years really belong to the ownership group that left him with putting lipstick on the proverbial pig. I mean, where else was he going to go?

      • J

        Sorry, Bell can’t have this both ways. If he’s leaving the 2-4 hitters in the same spots every night because players benefit from consistency, then why is Friedl being moved around from 1st to 8th based on the pitcher, and why is Steer moving up and down the order and being asked to play a different position every other day? I can think of no explanation that can make his contradictory behavior make sense. I think he’s just not that sharp when it comes to decisions like this, and that’s the best explanation. Why is it so hard to believe he’s just making mistakes?

        I can’t speak for everyone, but I think I criticize Bell when he deserves it. Sometimes he’s too rigid and predictable (such as leaving India at #3 and yanking relievers after one inning when they’ve thrown 8 pitches), and sometimes he seems to be making crazy rash decisions that defy any explanation other than a random hunch that came to him in a dream (such as sticking Newman at first base when he has better options, failing to pinch hit in obvious pinch hit situations, etc.). I don’t blame him when he does things that can actually be justified in some rational way even if they don’t always work out (such as having Newman lead off against lefties — I’ve defended this decision many times because there’s aftusl data to support it).

        Nobody is perfect. Every manager makes mistakes. He makes fewer mistakes than he used to, and I’m glad about that. But he still makes a LOT of mistakes, including some really dumb ones. I think he’s somewhat irrational, but for some reason this simple explanation seems hard for a lot of people to accept, so they invent stories to make his behavior appear to make more sense than it does.

        We can agree that Bell hasn’t had the kind of talent that can consistently win, which isn’t his fault, but it’s also quite possible that the same teams could have won more games under a different manager. Both of these things can be true. Remember, Bell is the manager because *ownership* wants him. He is their choice. As we know, the owners of this team haven’t always had a “win at all cost” approach, and I believe Bell is one of the most obvious examples.

      • Rick

        Agreed. Player managers pretty well know they can move around without facing a backlash. I would breakup the back to back lefties of Fraley and Votto and put the guy(Steer) who’s 2nd in rbi’s batting 6th. That’ll likely mean 2 straight right-handed pinch hittesomething. point.

      • BhamRedsFan

        For the life of me I can’t figure out why some of these guys on here aren’t managing an MLB team! I mean they are experts!

        For the life of me I can’t figure out why some of these guys can’t figure out Bell isn’t yanking people around but that he has a LH lineup and a RH lineup. It doesn’t seem that difficult.

        But it’s a lot easier to hate Bell and manage from the couch.

  6. J

    Maybe in another lifetime I’ll understand why it makes more sense to have Weaver starting for the Reds right now rather than giving Phillips a shot, but I certainly won’t understand it in this lifetime.

    • J

      Spellcheck will eventually accept “Friedl” if he keeps hitting the way he’s hitting.

      • Rick

        I hope that if he can stay healthy enough that his high floor will serve us and spell check well! Lol

  7. Rick

    I was glad to hear Welsh mention about the pitching injuries over the last 4 years, and that needs looked(I took the inferred hint) into, paraphrasing. Spin rate & guru anyone??
    Also that the pitch count has shown zero evidence of it’s intent working. Paraphrasing again.

    • J

      I heard him say there’s no evidence that throwing over 100 pitches in a game causes injuries. I suspect there’s also no evidence that throwing over a certain number of innings in any given season causes injuries, but I didn’t hear him address that.

      • Rick

        I pitched when I was young, & alot of Wayne Granger & Scott Sullivan side winding. I wasn’t very good at all. But, the arm has so many bullets on a giving day and period of days, but long innings & overthrowing hurt me more than quantity.
        Personally, I think that the guys aren’t conditioned enough to find out each particular pitchers tolerance level. Too much of a cookie cutter approach with a top out number. Emphasis on spin rate I believe to be a major issue.
        Before all the science came into play back in the old days – sliders hurt arms way before the increased spin rate. Jimo

      • DaveCT

        To be clear, Welsh was referencing Abbott going over 100 but not going to 120, 125 etc.

        There’ve been recent comments related to another club practice of being strict with pitch counts within innings, ie no more than 35 pitches per inning. This may/may not be stricter in the minors.

    • GPod

      I heard Welsh commenting on the pitching injuries and was surprised by his candid straight talk. Usually he just stays neutral and & jaws the company line….calling out the Reds on this issue is a real departure from the usual

      • Rick

        I agree with you 100%. I was cheering him on by my lonesome.

    • greenmtred

      I don’t know whether pitch counts and innings limits are necessary, either, but I do know that injuries to pitchers are unsustainably common on the Reds and throughout MLB with–I repeat, with–pitch counts and innings limits. Do we think injuries would decrease if those were done away with? There might be something to velocity/spin rate being the culprit and I suppose off-season conditioning might need a look. Then again, I assume that such injuries are more common now than they used to be, but I don’t actually know.

      • Melvin

        “There might be something to velocity/spin rate being the culprit”.

        Most likely that is correct. Teams are trying to balance that out with less pitches/innings. Not working too well.

  8. Votto4life

    With Hunter Greene and Nick Lodolo both out until at least August, The Reds front office will either have to step up and trade quality for quality or punt. I suspect they will punt.

    Such a shame, there is no guarantee the Reds will be in The race next season. Had they only spent a little more last winter for a starting pitcher, instead of wasting $7.5 million dollars on Wil Meyers.

    • Redgoggles

      It would also be a shame to waste prospects like Steer/CES for a Tyler Mahle type pitcher. Or Marte/Arroyo/Stoudt for a LC type pitcher.

      How deep did the Twins/Mariners go last year with those types of moves? Think they regret it this year as well as the next 5-6? Even if we got 2 quality SP arms, we are still shaky. We literally have 0 dependable arms for a playoff run (considering injuries, and AA’s likely innings limit.)

      Let’s not do that to maybe squeak into the playoffs this year for the privelege to face the much deeper and talented squads from Atlanta/LA, etc.

      Yeah, we may not have as good of an opportunity in the NLC next year, but I’d rather have more ML pieces to use in the playoffs even if we have to earn it via the wild card (for the next 5 years). Trading them now isn’t a good idea.

  9. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I took an entirely unscientific analysis recently. And, I counted 5 youngster major leaguers and 5 prospects, 10 total players, for 2nd/SS/3rd base. 10 players for 3 positions. That’s a glut. And, people are afraid we are going to trade our future? I believe we will still have plenty of future. Trade someone while we can get some value for him.

    “We should keep them in the minors just in case a major leaguer gets injured.” I was never a fan of “what if” and “just in case”. For, what if the minor leaguer gets injured. Then, we will get no value for him. Trade him for something we need.

    Now, what can come into question is what is the other team asking for? For, initially, we may be saying no, that we aren’t going to trade certain pieces. But, if we don’t trade at all, then we still have the glut.

    Or. . .

    Have these prospects change positions now, while in the minors, so they can ease into the new positions, making a lot longer transition rather than pressing it after they get up here.

    But, what I do know is. . .10 players for 3 positions is wrong. “A couple of those players are in Single A.” I know. But, that only means they are a couple of years away still. They aren’t like 6 years away where you can still be playing the major leaguer through their prime. They are going to be knocking on the door very soon.

    • Old Big Ed

      Every position is the same. The player puts a glove on his non-throwing hand, and catches the ball when it comes to him. Anybody who has the reaction time and hand-eye coordination to play as a middle infielder in A-ball can be taught to play any other position in fair territory. If they are fast and have good arms, they can be taught to play CF and RF; if they are a bit slower or have mediocre arms, they are moved to first base or left field.

      Billy Hamilton and Eric Davis were shortstops at age 18. Joey Votto was a catcher in high school and played 3B and LF in his age 18 season. Henry Aaron was a 2B in his lone MiLB year. Pete Rose certainly never cared what position that he played.

      Reds fans obsess over Nick Senzel’s change of position. Senzel just can’t hit, especially right-handed pitching. If he had never left 3B, he still couldn’t have hit RH pitching. These kids are not so fragile that they forget how to hit, when they are not playing the position that they wanted to play as a teenager.

      • Oldtimer

        Senzel fits best at 3B, maybe 2B. Moving him to OF really hurt his career because her got injured playing CF.

      • Old Big Ed

        Senzel’s original injury occurred while he was playing 3B in the minors, diving for a ball and busting his hand. Right before his rookie season, he got hurt running the bases, and he ended up being activated at AAA rather than at Cincinnati.

        Senzel didn’t hurt his career by moving to CF. He just objectively can’t hit right-handed pitching well enough to play everyday. That is not a moral flaw; I’m sure he is a good family man, etc. There is no reason to believe that his wearing a glove at 3B, instead of CF, would have improved his ability to hit, or even his ability to stay healthy.

        Contrary to Senzelian mythology, third basemen have to dive in all directions to make plays; they have to make tag plays; and they have to chase foul flies around dugouts, tarps and the stands. CF is not more inherently injury-causing that 3B is. Anthony Rendon of the Angels, for example, has pretty much been a permanent presence on the IL since being 3rd in MVP voting for the Nationals in 2019. Josh Donaldson hasn’t been on the field much for the Yankees, either.

      • VaRedsFan

        I love your post OBE…excellent!!

      • VaRedsFan

        @Oldtimer – Senzel missed the 2nd half of 2018 in AAA due to a fractured finger he got while diving for a grounder playing 2B. He then later missed most all of the 2021 season with the Reds recovering from a knee injury after being moved from CF to 2B and 3B and became a regular starter in the infield before his injury. So no, contrary to popular opinion, he does not just get injured playing in the OF.

        His knee injury was a non-contact play.

      • greenmtred

        Thank you thank you thank you, OBE

      • Melvin

        I think Senzel, for whatever reasons, just gets injured/sick period infield or outfield.

      • Harry Stoner

        Just to be clear and thorough….Senzel’s recent toe / foot injury was from running into the CF wall.

    • Redsvol

      I think Nick Krall knows what he is doing. Give it another year and many of these players will start moving positions or be traded.

      Everyone who has played baseball knows that shortstops and center fielders are the most athletic kids on the team. They can adapt to play other positions very easily usually. However, not all will be able to hit a baseball. Being able to consistently hit a baseball that is thrown with malicious intent is a very rare skill. There should always be room and/or positions on the field for those guys.

      • Jimbo44CN

        Are you saying that centerfielders and shortstops can catch? Come on, That is the most active and skilled position on the team, hands down.

  10. GJF

    Flexor mass strain seems to not uncommonly progress to UCL sprain and Tommy John surgery. Hopefully Law not rushing things….

  11. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I will put it this way. If we don’t make a trade now, which I can understand, again, the FO needs to answer some questions during the off season. Because, like I stated, 10 players for 3 spots simply doesn’t make sense. Either trade some off or have players change positions.

    I myself have never been a fan of changing positions. But, as long as the players are for it, fine.

    Also, with so much in available money coming off the books for next season, we should have plenty of money to go around. Is the FO actually interested in winning? Or, are they interested in building the “Rays 2.0”, which is still winning baseball, just with the lowest payroll in the league.

    • VaRedsFan

      I agree with letting the minors guys that are outfield worthy to give it a shot now while they are in the minors.

      Which 10 guys are you naming and what level of minors are they at as of now?

      • Steve Schoenbaechler

        Entirely unscientific. Only my own judgement

        Prospects – going by what MLB has on their Draft Tracker for the Reds top prospects – (not including Cruz, who is still on the list), Marte, Arroyo, Collier, CES (not unrealistic; he’s played 3rd much more than 1st), and Sal Stewart.

        Major League roster (using the Reds online roster as is) – Cruz, India, McLain, Barrero, Steer, Senzel.

        Actually 11. They tried switching positions on Senzel. How injured was he from doing that? Did Barrero ever learn to hit up here? Plan for CES for 1st only next season? Then, maybe he should be playing it more down at AAA, also. Even if you take them out of the picture, that’s still 8 for 3 positions. Still too many.

    • AllTheHype

      Rather have Rays 2.0 than Padres 2.0

    • redfanorbust

      Agreed. IMO next year is key if the Reds spend serious money on free agent SP’s. Not Mets kind of money ($40+M on a single pitcher such a waste) but enough for 2 above average SP and or RP. By then we should really know much more if our “big three” are indeed big or just flash in the pans.

  12. Will

    It takes two to make a trade. According to Krall, teams are asking for A LOT right now. Trying to trade guys you don’t like, (Senzel/Newman),will not get top flight pitching

    • Frankie Tomatoes

      Didn’t the Reds also basically try to ridiculously low ball Luis Castillo in extension talks before trading him away? And then he signed what looks like a team friendly below market deal with Seattle?

      Maybe it’s not the asking price but maybe it is the expectations of the GM.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Agreed. As well as, the fans better be ready to lose some favorites, also. For, the Reds will never be able to keep all of these players when their contracts come up.

  13. capnhook33

    I’d really like to see the lineup shaken back up. India has not been good in the 3 hole and he was very good atop the order. I know Friedl has also been good, but I think it makes everyone better when we get guys in the right spot. Meanwhile Steer is rocking an .870 OPS from the 3-hole. I think maybe Friedl, McClain, Steer is the best bet. atop the order. India has hit well in the 5 and 6 hole in his career and very good atop the order. You could flip him from leadoff to 5th or something depending on pitcher handedness. But we need a different approach at 3.

    • MBS

      I’m just a big fan of putting EDLC in the leadoff. The more AB’s we can get him the better. EDLC, McLain,Friedl would be my 1 – 3.

  14. Mike V

    Please Reds .. Stay the course and DON’T DO the quick fix and overpay to acquire a pitcher as a Rental either for the rotation or the pen . This team has made great strides forward building from within .. Let’s stay the course ..

  15. Jeremiah

    I think the Reds need to be patient. Where’s Luis Cessa when you need him! In hindsight they made a mistake not trying to sign a Wade Miley type of SP in the off-season. I’m still hopeful Weaver can give a few good starts. Tonight’s maybe one of his last chances I think. I hope he can turn it around.
    India is tricky…if he wasn’t considered one of the leaders of this current group I think he’d be a good player to trade for potential pitching. But probably in the off-season. Will be interesting to see what happens. Stephenson has had a tough year, but maybe he’s not adjusting well to the clock changes and things.

  16. Rob

    I don’t know about trading Stephenson. I say that from the standpoint of a perceived regression in his value and trade value. We also seemingly now need a full time catcher. This from a guy who finished fourth in last year’s all star voting. We are close to needing a Contreas or Salvatore Perez. Both can probably be had. If you haven’t noticed Stephenson is now a part time starter as his DH days are over. So if you want to move Stephenson and a youngster to the Royals for Perez and a pitcher, I am fully onboard. Means taking on more salary but addresses a current and future issue not a lot of folks are talking about. Perez can catch 5 games per week and would fit nicely in our lineup!