The Cincinnati Reds designated Luke Weaver for assignment on Wednesday afternoon. Unsurprisingly he cleared waivers and today the Reds gave him his outright release from the organization.

Weaver made 21 starts for Cincinnati this season and posted a 6.87 ERA in 97.0 innings. Only Connor Seabold of the Colorado Rockies had a worse ERA than that has topped 80.0 innings this year.

The signing this past offseason of Luke Weaver was the only one from the organization that was for a big league contract. Coming off of a season in which he posted a 6.56 ERA – almost exclusively as a reliever – it was a questionable signing (as a big league deal) at the time and now with hindsight, it seems that those questioning the move were correct.

Injuries piled up for the rotation in Cincinnati throughout the season. At different times the Reds have been without Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo, Ben Lively, and Graham Ashcraft – three of them at the same time for a while there, if you were wondering how a low-dollar signing was allowed to take the mound every five days for nearly five months despite an ERA that was over 6.00 for almost the entire season. The depth for the organization was tested. It was tested to the point that they signed multiple pitchers out of the Atlantic League simply to provide innings in the minors, and some of those pitchers – like tonight’s starter Brett Kennedy – have even seen big league action.

Vladimir Gutierrez is back from rehab

We failed to report this on Wednesday, but the Cincinnati Reds recalled right-handed pitcher Vladimir Gutierrez from his rehab assignment. To be clear, that does not mean he was activated and called up, but that he was pulled from his rehab assignment. The team brought him back because his elbow was sore. Gutierrez is attempting to come back from Tommy John surgery that he had last summer. Gutierrez had made five appearances in the minors – two with the complex team in Arizona and three with Triple-A Louisville.

36 Responses

  1. CI3J

    It was inevitable that Weaver’s time was up in Cincinnati. Wish him luck wherever he goes.

    Bad news for Vlad. Sounds like he’s not fully healed. I’d just shut him down at this point and tat Training.

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    I had expected Vlad Gutierrez may return in september as a long-man role in the bullpen. Apparently, it won’t be achieved. Well , maybe Justin Dunn could return back soon as he stays healthy in his rehab…
    I feel no so good about Weaver since his MLB career could come to an end. Perhaps the Korean or Japanish market is an option to him…

    • Jason Franklin

      He will sign with someone who needs a arm or two in AAA and, if he’s amiable, he could actually make a good reliever or long guy.

  3. Rut

    As I noted on the article about Weaver being dfa’d, he pitched to expectations.

    The Reds mgmt bought a plus 6.50 era guy, and that is what they got in 2023.

    The real question is why the heck they thought it was a good idea in the first place, but I digress.

    Can’t do anything about this signing, but will howl at the moon and bark incessantly if the Reds FO makes a similar move to “bolster” the rotation in 2024…

    • Pete

      Why? He was cheap at $2 million. There were nearly zero starting pitchers in the pre-2023 that were any cheaper or even close to 2M. These are the closest comps in the class I could come up with (hold your nose):
      Jimmy Nelson @ 1.2M
      Drew Rucinski @ 3M
      Jose Urena @ 3.5M

      That’s it, that’s the list. I guess this is why they are building through internal development. You could get mostly garbage for anything less than $10M annually.

      • Rut

        Why to what?

        Weaver was known commodity — as you called it, “garbage”. Reds paid bottom dollar for that known commodity and got exactly what was expected from him.

        I question “why” they did that in the first place. Might as well take a chance on an unknown rather than the known “garbage”. Or pay for something better than garbage, which they easily could have done (at 10 million as you noted).

        But, even given expectations for the team as established by Phil’s infamous gathering, once the season is underway and the Reds start to contend — NOT making any move to bolster the rotation is pretty sad.

        And, per the last part of my comment above, should the Reds make a similar move for 2024 I will be incensed.

        So just not clear how “why” applies to any part of my original post, but folks will find fault with anything and anyone on a message board.

      • Pete

        “The real question is why the heck they thought it was a good idea in the first place”

        You asked a question and I gave you an answer, you just didn’t like it. Condensed version: “He was cheap at $2 million” & “I guess this is why they are building through internal development.”

    • Max BRAGG

      You must REMEMBER this ownership and GM are not Talent savvy. We needed starting pitcher at ALL Star break when Senzel was hitting and they did not try to shop him to METS.

      • Jason Franklin

        Not talent savvy? Did you miss what Krall did last trade season in 22? Yes, he didn’t do much this season (which was a mistake) but you shouldn’t just throw him under the bus for it. He’s a pretty good GM. We also don’t know if Kroger man got in the way and was too cheap to add any more dollars to the team.

  4. MBS

    The Reds should only focus on getting Gutierrez, and Dunn ready for 24. At least that’s what I’d do if I were the GM.

    • LarkinPhillips

      I agree completely. I wouldn’t trust either in a late inning critical role, neither should start with Lodolo and HG back, so why risk their health for middle relief roles? Take it easy, let them work at the complex league, and build up for a role in 2024.

      • Chrisi

        The reason why you risk their health for middle reliever roles is because their future on this team is nothing more than a spot starter or middle relief roles. Also, by using them in September if available, they lessen the load on current bullpen guys. No reason to baby guys that really aren’t very valuable to the organization.

    • BK

      As you’ve posted previously, the Red’s 40-man roster will get crowded this offseason. I don’t see the Reds keeping either Sanmartin or Overton through the start of Spring Training. Gutierrez could be a similar roster casualty if his velocity doesn’t rebound.

      • MBS

        There are several 40 man players I’d look to trade, or DFA before I’d give up on Gutierrez. On the other hand if he isn’t one of the best 40 man guys then we’re getting pretty good.

  5. Mark Moore

    And we move on. Hope the best for Weaver, but we knew some time ago it wouldn’t work out.

  6. LDS

    I think Vlad returning this year has always been a bit optimistic. I’ll be happy if he can just recover over the winter and make it back for spring training. Santillian on the other hand isn’t pitching particularly well in Louisville. Greene’s numbers pretty good and he’s back Sunday. Lodolo soon. But, I’m thinking it’s time for Krall to go dumpster diving. The Reds need arms.

    • Pete

      When you are going to independent leagues you are scrapping – I think they already combed through them and the best looks to be Kennedy. 2023 was never going to be the year unless they were willing to spend $$$. Signing Weaver signaled they were not. This is a development year, sorry to tell you.

      • LDS

        I agree not the year. But, they did pretend for a while

      • Chris

        You guys are funny. Tied for the wild card, 2 games out of the division lead, and you all are saying this isn’t the year. Whatever. Life must be fun for you glass half full guys. Never mind that the team’s two best starters at the beginning of the year are coming back. LOL

      • LDS

        Just the facts @Chris. Look around – no of the beat riders, bookies, stat trackers, etc. pick the Reds to make it. They made the decision at trade deadline- Bell and no acquisitions. That’s the priority

      • Pete

        @Chris, LDS and I don’t sharing the same vision. I think the Reds, as an organization and a team, are on the cusp of being a premier, if not the premier, franchise in MLB. LDS – thinks this team is destinated to join the Titantic at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. But this is not the year to go for it all – starting 2024 it will be. They could absolutely make the playoffs this year though…

    • LarkinPhillips

      Right on cue with that recommendation, bull added a left handed reliever that was released from the tigers. Minor league deal.

    • David

      Gutierrez will be recalled and examined to see if he has any elbow injury.

      And then rested. Maybe they give him a PHP injection to improve healing.

      Let him go out to Arizona this fall or winter and begin a throwing program, and then build up his arm strength for next Spring.

      If I were running the Reds, I would have Cruz start, and try to pitch 2 innings. Lately he has been very effective. Then bring in Brett Kennedy (is he Luke Weaver, 2.0?) and see how far he can go. 3 innings? 4 innings? He does NOT look like Cruz to a hitter.
      And if the Reds are still in the game, bring on “Lucky” Ian Gibaut, who has 8 victories to pitch one or two innings.
      The Blue Jays are not THAT much better than the Reds, and only have a few really good hitters…..and guys that hit HR’s, but don’t hit for much average.
      Ben Lively starts for Louisville tonight. Let’s hope he pitches well and is ready to return to Cincy. The Reds will need 5 starters for a couple of weeks now, at least. Maybe Lodolo returns in late August, in 10-12 days.

      • SteveAReno

        Cruz led the entire minor leagues, all levels, in SAVES last year so having him start would be really odd.

  7. Melvin

    “But, I’m thinking it’s time for Krall to go dumpster diving.”

    He’s good at that. 🙂

    • Rick

      You know that there’s a Dylan Axelrod type pitcher that he has on speed dial somewhere in Asia. Lol

      • Tar Heel Red

        Reds just signed lefty Chasen Shreve to a minor league deal. Could be a useful addition. He has a reputation as an above average reliever.

  8. AMDG

    One of those acquisitions like Mike Minor before 2022.
    It looked awful when it happened, and looked even worse as the season progressed.

    Although the timing is odd, as the Reds are now forced to start Brett Kennedy on Friday.

    As bad as Weaver is, he’s arguably no worse than Kennedy or Guiterrez.

    • Tar Heel Red

      I watched Gutierrez and Santillan pitch twice last week. The two words that best described their performances…awful and terrible. Control was erratic (that was somewhat expected) and the velocity and location of their pitches were not good at all. IMO, neither is ready to return to the majors anytime soon.

      On a good note, while I didn’t see them pitch, Antone and Lodolo reportedly threw well and are making progress. The Reds are in desperate need of a fresh arm, especially in the bullpen.

      • Rick

        Shreve, could have some usefulness if used properly. His career era isn’t all that bad, his career whip isn’t good.

      • Jason Franklin

        I think if you look at Shreve’s stats, it is a lot of smoke and mirrors. But, he could be a good third string lefty in AAA.

  9. Steelerfan

    Going back to the early days of the blog, I remember when Dusty Baker kept playing Corey Petterson in CF and you could hear the howls of outrage all the way in Cleveland. There were even rumors (that I believe Dusty actually had to deny them at one point they got so loud) that it was becasue Corey was dating Dusty’s daughter.

    Many said at the time that we did not have any ill will towards Corey. He was trying. It was the fault of the team they kept running him out there when it was obvious he should not be.

    Best wishes to Weaver going forward. He did what he could in a bad situation for him and the team.

  10. TR

    I wish Luke Weaver well. He had a few good outings in a tough situation. All the best.

  11. Jimmy Cee

    I liked Weaver. He could be dominant at times and had some good games with many K’s. I wish there had been a role for him and hope he lands somewhere.