The Cincinnati Reds have sent left-handed pitcher Brandon Williamson on a rehab assignment today. He will be joining the High-A Dayton Dragons tonight as he gets back on the mound after suffering a shoulder strain during spring training that kept him off of the mound for the first month and a half of the season.

The spring didn’t go well for the lefty as he allowed eight runs in 11.0 innings in his four outings. His last outing came on March 17th – nearly two full months ago – and he exited the game early with shoulder soreness after just two innings. The next day it was reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic that he was “feeling better”, but apparently that didn’t hold true for the long haul as he didn’t get back on the mound.

In 2023 as a rookie, Brandon Williamson made 23 starts for the Reds and had a 4.46 ERA in 117.0 innings while walking 39 batters and striking out 98 of them. But that doesn’t tell the full story. His season got out to a tough start, posting a 5.82 ERA in his first eight starts with the Reds. Then July began and he started to turn things around. Over his 15 starts from the start of July through the end of the season he threw 78.1 innings with a 3.79 ERA, 22 walks, and he struck out 69 batters.

The Reds rotation is performing well as I type this. Frankie Montas has the worst ERA of the bunch and he’s still been above-average this year. With Williamson not having pitched in games in nearly two months, he’s likely going to need plenty of time to ramp up to being ready to throw five to six innings. Pitchers can utilize up to 30 days on a rehab assignment before a decision must be made by a club. In that time things could change with the rotation, but right now there likely isn’t room for Williamson in there unless Cincinnati is going to go to a 6-man rotation.

24 Responses

  1. Jason T.

    Always nice to have competition. Williamson did pitch much better down the stretch last year. I think he’s got potential. Hoping for no setbacks and that he does well.

  2. Mark A Verticchio

    By August, when the Reds are long out = Memorial Day, I would look to dump Montez at the deadline and put Ashcraft into the bull pen. My starters would be Lodolo, Greene, Abbott, Williamson and Lowder.

    • Mauired

      I also have recently started to think about what the Reds can get for Montas. Hopefully Reds can get a top 100 prospect. If not maybe holdout for the draft pick. My hope/fantasy is he is dominant for the next month and Baltimore gives up Basallo for a run at the World Series. Hopefully Reds finally get paid back for the Frank Robinson blunder. Lol.

    • VaRedsFan

      By that time Lowder will most likely be running up to his innings limit.

      • Ksdavis

        Probably not. He threw between 120 and 130 innings last year in college. So he should have a full workload if the Refs desire.

  3. Jeremiah

    Williamson showed a lot of competitive fight last year, I was impressed with him. Even if he stays in Triple A he’s a nice guy to have for depth and maybe potential trade piece to package for a starting outfielder in the future should the Reds make such a move.

  4. Optimist

    He’s much better than a AAAA pitcher, so take as long as needed. Still very early, but the problems are not on the pitching staff, which is a dramatic departure from the past 10 or so years.

    With the current playoff structure it’s really a bench coaching/front office issue for the rest of this season. Doubtful that Montas (or anyone else) could return much at the deadline, but who knows – that’s when the squeeze will be on.

  5. MBS

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Williamson in the pen as a long man. He’s a major league starter in my opinion, but as noted in the article the rotation is doing pretty well.

    Martinez / Williamson going 3 innings
    Farmer / Suter going 2 innings
    Diaz / Moll / Santillan / Pagan going 1 inning

    Game 1 Martinez (3IP), Game 2 Suter (2IP), Game 3 Willaimson (3IP), Game 4 Farmer (2IP) Rinse, and Repete.

    This would also keep Martinez, and Williamson stretched out enough to easily step in to the rotation if need be.

  6. Mauired

    Williamson was the best pitcher on the Reds second half of 2023. Last time he pitched. I think he’s pretty underrated. Kind of reminds me of Jordan Montgomery. Not much strikeout stuff but an extremely effective groundball machine.

  7. LarkinPhillips

    Any chance we can send Joel mc Keith an and Terry Bradshaw on a rehab assignment?

    • Redsvol

      Ha! At least one of us got it @larkin.

      But I’m not sure I would even bother with a rehab assignment. I’m thinking just plain designate for assignment.

  8. Mike W

    Our season is now 25% over.
    I think we’ve lost ~12 of our last 15.
    And what is our owner, GM and manager doing about it?
    Owner won’t fire himself or GM Krall.
    Can’t fire or replace the 30 players .
    Obvious thing is fire the manager who has made all the decisions for every game (who starts, where they play, where they bat, taking or bunting pitches, what pitchers relieve, how long they pitch).
    Come on Reds, man up!

    • Optimist

      Here’s my comment from last October –

      “3 obvious, oft repeated goals for the off season –
      1 – get a good to great starter (Sonny?!?!), likely only via FA.?
      2 – get a proven MLB power-hitting outfielder (may be available via trade)?
      3 – get a new managing partner”

      1 – Montas may be good.
      2 – Candelario looks to be coming into form, and while not an OFer and not a big power bat, he may still prove very useful.
      3 – Not gonna happen mid-season, and a surprise if they make any bench coach/FO moves either.

    • Harry Stoner

      In 2023 the Reds struck out far too often.
      Hitters went into a deep funk following the big win streak.
      They regularly displayed a lack of fundamentals.
      Bullpen use was mysterious at best.
      The pitchers walked far too many hitters.

      In spite of this they signed the manager (mid season) to a 3-year extension.

      No one is going to fire Bell anytime soon.

      Reds’ fans are stuck with him.

      “This is who we are.”

  9. Jason Franklin

    I am so confused that Bell is actually starting Hurtubise tonight. Is Bell sick or something?

  10. Mike W

    Optimist, great calls 7 months ago!
    Great stuff one and all.
    Thank you.

  11. RedsGettingBetter

    I think Williamson should use a complete 30-day rehab on the minors , so if there is not setbacks, he should stay at triple-A up to be call up to replace somebody who needs a rest or a time out for the season. Abbott could be one guy who will need rest or a time out, Lodolo who has no pitched in a 11-month stretch maybe could be experiencing some fatigue going forward so Williamson will be there…

  12. Mark A Verticchio

    The line up tonight is so so but why in the world is a .191 hitters who leads the world in strikeouts batting first?

    • Pharmer85

      I had to laugh when I saw this. It’s a good indication of how bad things are right now. Even worse, there aren’t a lot of good alternatives

      • Mark A Verticchio

        Not good alternatives but anybody would be a better alternative.

      • Rcsodak

        What’s funny is people last year were calling for Benson to move up from batting 8th

  13. 50thyearRedsfan

    India clearly should lead off, he does well there and his average is up into the 230’s! Also he has less than half the strikeouts of Benson and almost twice as many walks in the same number of pa’s.

    • 50thyearRedsfan

      Oops I was looking at the wrong walks numbers. Benson has 17 walks and India 20.


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