The Cincinnati Reds have announced five more roster cuts today. Right-handed pitcher and one of the club’s top prospects, Connor Phillips has been optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Outfielder Bubba Thompson was also optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Outfielder Conner Capel, and infielders Erik Gonzalez and Mark Mathias were all reassigned to minor league camp. Being optioned means a player is on the 40-man roster, while being reassigned means the player was a non-roster invitee to big league camp and was on a minor league contract.

For Connor Phillips it probably feels like a punch in the gut. The team’s #4 rated prospect, Phillips has pitched in three games this spring. The right-handed starter has thrown 6.0 innings, allowed no runs, just three hits, walked three batters, and he’s struck out five. While the Reds have plenty of starting pitching depth at this point in the year, and Phillips was almost assuredly on the outside looking in as far as that competition goes, he did all he could to keep fighting for that job. The 22-year-old could be the first starting pitcher called up from the minors if and when the team needs someone to step in, but he’ll have to head to Triple-A and keep getting the job done there for now.

Something similar can be said for Bubba Thompson. He was probably down the depth chart in the outfield enough that he would have to force his way onto the big league roster. But the 25-year-old was having a good spring. He had gone 6-17 with two doubles and a steal while posting a line of .353/.421/.471 in his 11 games played.

Outfielder Conner Capel had shown off a little pop, with half of his hits being for extra bases. But he also only had four hits in his 17 at-bats. He didn’t draw a walk and had seven strikeouts while hitting .235/.235/.471 in his 11 games played.

Erik Gonzalez walked twice in his seven games played. But he also had gone hitless, going 0-12 with three strikeouts. Mark Mathias had even less playing time, but he also went hitless. He played in just two games, but went 0-5 with a walk and a strikeout.

With these moves the Reds are now down to 39 players in big league camp.

23 Responses

  1. Klugo

    The days of Spring Training Try-Outs are gone (for now). Thank Gawd.

  2. SultanofSwaff

    Curious to see if the walk numbers come down for Phillips because he became less stingy with the home runs as he made his way to Louisville and Cincy. Not a good combination, but I do like the way he competes.

  3. Moon

    With the amount of injuries the Reds pile up on the pitching staff I have no doubt we will see Connor Phillips sooner rather than later down in Great American. In the meantime let him get some regular work in AAA. Get ready young man…

  4. MBS

    No more Bubba is a very good sign for Fairchild. Martini could factor in, but he was less likely than Thompson.

    That likely leaves the last spot up for grabs to Harrison, or Kemp. I like both, but I think I’d rather go with the hometown kid/oldman. Maybe playing in Cincy puts a little more juice in his swing.

    • BK

      I think Martini is in the lead for the last spot. He doesn’t add versatility, but he hit well in the bigs last year–something the others must overcome.

      • 2020ball

        They have back-ups for CF and SS so that last spot could be anyone in my mind.

      • Melvin

        Now that Barrero is gone I would agree.

  5. Captain redlegs

    With david Bell still being manager its hard for any young guy to break into the lineup without him being forced….thats why joey wasn’t brought back by krall…just to take away that option…

  6. Optimist

    So the Bubba Thompson waiver wire travels resume!

    • Doug Gray

      No. Bubba Thompson has options. Two of them, actually.

      • Optimist

        Oh – so, none of the other teams assigned him to avoid the 5 times he’s been waived since last summer? This may prove valuable for the Reds.

      • 2020ball

        None wanted to give him a spot on the 40. Hes a CF depth option and nothing more.

      • Jason Franklin

        Were those two options what kept Bubba a hot commodity on the waiver wire? I can see his defense and pinchrunning as a plus, but do you think his hitting can hold up for a whole season in MLB?

  7. Doc

    I suspect that players like Phillips knew coming in that they were playing for position on the waiting list. Phillips appears to have helped himself in that regard.

  8. doofus

    I am interested to see how quickly Rhett Lowder and Chase Petty develop. I think Connor Phillips ends up as a high-end reliever.

    I am not sold on Hunter Greene.

    • SultanofSwaff

      Tend to agree on both points. With Phillips it’s the high walk rate.
      With Greene, OldSchool said it well the other day that Hunter has said a lot of stuff about diversifying the arsenal and becoming more efficient, but the pitcher I’ve watched twice in spring training is no different than the 2023 version…..multiple times he’s been in favorable counts to toy with the splitter and/or slow curve, yet he always reverts back to the fastball/slider combo that has yielded only limited success. Maybe the lack of pitchability puts his ceiling at a #4, I dunno. That would be tragic given his physical talents, but he’s on a long term deal so the Reds can give him a long runway. Sometimes adversity is the best teacher.

      • 2020ball

        I dont want him using his third or fourth best pitch to put away hitters, thats an awful idea IMO.

        This is a big year for him obviously. Mostly im hoping for better health, i think that held him back the most last year. theres starting talent there even if he never develops another pitch. Whether hes an ace or not is a different question.

      • 2020ball

        I see you said favorable counts, so slight amendment to my fist sentence. Still, i think its prudent to use your best stuff to finish an AB.

  9. JB WV

    Phillips showed growth last year and exhibited that in ST. He’s close. Great to have another live arm working in AAA, as mentioned by Moon, probably up sooner than later.

  10. doofus

    For a young talent like Marte to take a steroid this early in his career makes me think that his hamstring problem may be a chronic ailment? Otherwise why would he be so careless?

  11. doofus

    So far neither Marte, Arroyo, Levi Stoudt, or Andrew Moore have shown that they were worthy compared to Luis Castillo. Did Nick Krall get hoodwinked or is it still to soon to tell?

    • doofus

      Stoudt got cut, correct? Is Moore still with the club?

      • Doug Gray

        Stoudt was DFA’d and picked up by Seattle. Moore is still with the club. He’s on the Spring Breakout roster and could pitch tonight or Saturday.