In a bit of a surprising move, the Cincinnati Reds are optioning right-handed reliever Tony Santillan to Triple-A Louisville. Taking his place on the big league roster for now is right-handed pitcher Michael Mariot. Mariot was not on the 40-man roster, so the team designated outfielder Henry Ramos for assignment to clear a roster spot.

There’s a lot going on here, but let’s start with Michael Mariot. When the 2023 season began he was pitching for the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association. He made five starts with them before he signed with the Reds to help fill out their depth issues in the rotation in Triple-A in June. After making four starts with the Bats – posting a 2.59 ERA in 24.1 innings with four walks and 14 strikeouts, he’s going to be back in the big leagues for the first time since 2016 when he pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies. The 34-year-old spent part of 2022 in Triple-A with the Phillies and Tigers organizations, but also pitched in China for some time as well. You can check out his career stats here.

If you’re wondering what his stuff looks like, he’s bringing five offerings to the plate. He throws both a 4-seam and a 2-seam fastball in the 88-91 MPH range. He mixes in a slider and change up in the low 80’s, and a slow curveball in the low-to-mid 70’s.

Cincinnati does not have a starting pitcher listed for Sunday. There was some speculation that Ben Lively would return from the injured list to make that start. It’s still possible that he could do that – we have not heard one way or the other at this point – but it’s also possible that Lively isn’t going to be able to make that start and the Reds are going to have Michael Mariot step in to make the start to end the first half of the season.

As for Tony Santillan being optioned to the minor leagues, that’s a big surprise. He had missed the previous 13 months with a back, knee, and hamstring injury (not all at the same time) before returning this week. He has pitched in two games with the Reds, throwing a shutout inning in each appearance. Last night he walked two batters in his inning of work, though one of those walks was intentional.

Henry Ramos was the roster casualty in this set of moves. The 31-year-old outfielder saw action with the Reds earlier this year for a month between late April and late May before hitting the injured list. Once healthy he was optioned to Triple-A where he’s been ever since, and he’s been crushing the ball ever since. In 25 games with the Bats since he joined them on June 3rd he’s hit .320/.405/.598 with 15 extra-base hits. His age and how far down the outfield depth chart he is currently likely made the decision for the Reds to expose him to waivers despite just how well he’s been hitting in the minors.

37 Responses

  1. DHud

    Something something pitched two days in a row fresh arm needed??

  2. SteveAReno

    Henry Ramos will do very well. His batting skills are very good and his outfield range is way better than average. He needs to be in majors NOW!

  3. BK

    This could also be fallout from the seven innings the bullpen had to cover Thursday. Santillan pitched both Thursday and Friday. Perhaps that left him vulnerable to being optioned.

  4. Optmist

    Tom M replied to my comment on yesterday’s thread – I forgot Lively is still on the IL. A question about Santillan is if they saw something he needed to tune up – or, are they just taking advantage of the break to minimize the lost games before he’s recalled. That seems like a non-issue. They still need to pick up a quality rental reliever the next few weeks.

    Also think they could package some of the non-roster/DFAs for AAAA relief help (Karcher/Ramos/etc.)

    • Tom Mitsoff

      My guess on Santillan is that the Louisville stop is just temporary — an opportunity to improve his location, which has been an issue throughout his major-league appearances (IMO). He can pitch every day or two for the Bats to try to get into a groove, and then be ready for recall to Cincinnati after the all-star break. He almost certainly wasn’t going to pitch today after two consecutive appearances.

  5. Melvin

    It was just a matter of time before they called up Mariot to give him a try. He hasn’t pitched that bad in AAA. Considering all of the other options what have they got to lose?

    • Rob

      Mariot is just another example of an endless line of pitchers we have called up from Louisville. A lot of the time being because we don’t have enough bullpen arms to cover 4-5 innings. Wong, Wynn’s, Bushnitz, Braco, Santillan, Solomon, whoever, whoever. Point being there still exist folks out there who say we don’t need trades for starting pitchers. ??? Isn’t the real discussion how much pitching do we need and who we should trade to acquire such.

    • Optimist

      He moves fast. So does his agent.

    • gregmlb

      They better lock him in for the next 10 years. 10 got $30

  6. SR

    Bullpen needs a lefty. They added Law and Santillian and both are taking innings as seasoned pitchers. Better arms now mean gibault Sims Farmer and hopefully Diaz arent overworked. Santillian goes down today because they need a fresh arm that can go three of four innings in case one or both starters fail. He will be back. Thursday. If he were hurt they would have placed him on IL. Sunday is “everybody is available day”except AA. Don’t be surprised if Reds go to six man rotation as starters lodolo and hunter get healthy. The big three plus AA, Williamson and Kennedy/Lively. Mid August Weaver goes DFA and we finally break the chains of 3 catchers to make room for extra pitcher.

  7. RedsGettingBetter

    I don’t like exposing Henry Ramos on waivers, it’s a high risk another team picks him up but apparently there is no other choice…It’s obvious that Mariot after be used as a starter or reliver is going to be DFA’d too …

    • J

      There is always another choice. For example, go with two catchers on the active roster the way most teams do. Some teams have even managed to win a World Series with only two catchers playing an entire season. I can come up with other options but those might take me about 30 seconds, so I’m not going to bother.

  8. SR

    Bell will be lost without all the extra permutations of 3 catchers but 9/1 he can get his DFAed catcher back, or pick up one from Louisville, both of whom are hitting .300 BTW.

  9. SR

    I wonder if ELDC has ever pitched before? He would go to the top of my position player list of pitchers in blowout Games. If he has the fundamental capability to pitch from the stretch, I would turn him loose once anyway. That would be entertaining.

  10. J

    It’s amazing how willing this team is to lose players and/or send players to the minors — including guys who are performing well — just to get two or three (or MAYBE four or five) innings of mediocre pitching from some new temporary bandaid, while stubbornly clinging to guys like Weaver and Casali as if they’re precious gems who can’t be lost under any circumstances. Meanwhile, they can’t trade for one halfway decent pitcher until five seconds before the trade deadline because it’s just impossible (unless you’re Texas).

  11. Soto

    I was really hoping the Reds would use an opener today. What do they have to lose. Weaver has been horrendous in the first inning. To me it’s worth a try to see if letting him start vs 5,6,7, in the second, or 7,8,9 in the 3rd might be a better way to go. Almost any pitcher they have can do better in the first inning than Weaver has. Small market teams with a cheap owner need to think a little outside of the box. Weaver has been serviceable outside of the first inning.

    • Optimist

      Perhaps, but the 2nd inning would still be his first inning. I suspect that’s the problem.

      • J

        The problem is that we’re left to “suspect” what his problem is instead of finding out what would actually happen if he were used in long relief rather than starting. Bell apparently “suspects” India should be hitting third every day while Steer and Benson should be in the lower third, but I think most managers would be curious to find out what would actually happen with a different batting order. We can’t find these things out if Bell never tries them.

      • Soto

        That’s not a very “optimistic” attitude. Lol!

      • Optimist

        It’s sarcasm – the problem is Weaver is on the roster. They bottomed out a few years ago with 15+ AAAA players on the 26 man. It’s now down to 5 or 6, but a starter stands out due to the exposure – you can hide the others (defensive replacement, middle inning reliever, etc.)

        Next spring will be the first in a long while when they actually have difficult decisions involving which MLB players to keep.

  12. GreatRedLegsFan

    Why Ramos? Reds are not particularly deep in OF, better off Lopez or Reynolds.

    • Redsvol

      Those 2 are not on the 40 man roster. They needed to clear a 40 man spot. It was either him, Siani or busenitz.

      But they could have sent legumina to the 60 day dL. Which he is already close to 30 days and likely out for the year with shoulder issue.

      • J

        Or Casali. I also don’t really understand why they’re so excited about Salazar, but of course Legumina to the 60-day would be the least problematic. Do they imagine he’s going to be the difference-maker on the major league team in two or three weeks? Is that really the plan?

      • Optimist

        I understand the desire to keep Salazar – he’s young and has that one ++ pitch – there’s still room and time for him to improve.

        I doubt the 3-catcher situation lasts past the deadline. Chuckie will do fine for a short spell, and they’re past the recovery stage with TySTeve.

        I have no answer for the Legumina decision – even on the 60-day he returns next month. He cannot have an effect on how the rest of the season plays out. It’s possible they’re still looking at age and development potential, and thinking they’ll clear space with trades, but still . . .

    • Rob

      Good question. But to be fair, we have already DFAd Lopez once this year already. Nobody wanted him. We have several guys like that but they keep coming back. Like a bad cold.

      • Melvin

        Lopez is hitting and fielding well this year. 🙂

  13. LDS

    Obviously, the Reds need to make a couple of trades. Cut a catcher, etc. The continuous roster shuffling isn’t going to win the playoffs.

  14. Steve Schoenbaechler

    I thought Weaver was starting today. I wouldn’t be surprised that would make Mariot the starter tomorrow, or at least a long reliever if needed.

    We are taking a chance on Ramos. But, that’s the chance the FO takes. It was either take a chance on losing a minor leaguer like Ramos, or try to swing a deal with another team to definitely lose Ramos to bring in a starter for us.

    • J

      Or DFA Casali. Or, as suggested by Redsvol above, move Legumina to the 60-day injured list and “risk” having him miss a few games he might not have to miss.

  15. CI3J

    It’s pretty amazing to see that the Reds, who came into the season with varying degrees of uncertainty at all outfield positions, have now cut one outfielder (Myers) and are willing to risk losing an actual productive outfielder for nothing (Ramos).

    I’m surprised they haven’t tried to trade Ramos yet, either straight up or as part of a package. He would be a very nice 4th outfielder on a lot of teams and could be the kind of throw-in piece to get a deal over the line for a pitcher.

  16. GreatRedLegsFan

    Correct, now it’s very unlikely that Ramos will return to the organization. Talking about Siani, I guess the time to improve his hitting is running out.

  17. Indy Red Man

    I was hoping they’d rollout Ashcraft tomorrow for atleast 3 innings. He’s on 3 days rest. Go all-out these next 2 days! Why throw out some vagabond like this guy in a big game? Kennedy was popping 94-95 and had decent stuff. Idk why they got rid of him so quickly

  18. Kevin H

    Interesting the comments regarding Ramos when he was up and started to struggle people wanted him gone.

    Now surprised he was dfa. They have plenty of outfielders, Hopkins, Siani, Barrero, Hinds,

    • Harry Stoner

      That’s rewriting the past.

      And one of the now classic RLN style straw man complaints.

      “Oh, I remember when so and so was loved / hated and now he’s hated / loved.”

      I’m going to challenge you to produce those comments and comp them with those posting today about Ramos.

      My general sense has been that folks have been pretty consistently positive about HR here.

      There’s always a few bellyachers but is calling out imaginary straw men really how you want to make your bones here?

      • Kevin H

        Harry, I don’t need to produce anything, and with all due respect I have been here for most games and when he played and slumping a few people did say that.

        Also as we have discussed we all have opinions and full of hot air. 😀

  19. Rob

    Depressing personnel management. DFA Ramos so you can have Mariot to pitch in 1-2 games before a 4 day AS break. Not showing much value for Ramos and shows tremendous need for starting pitching trades. Keep running Weaver and Williamson out there for 4 inning starts. What failure level do we need to see from the bullpen before we obtain a starting pitcher?