The Cincinnati Reds made a set of roster moves prior to the start of tonight’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Left-handed reliever Alex Young has been activated from the 60-day injured list. He’ll be taking the spot on both the 26-man active roster, as well as the 40-man roster of right-handed pitcher Brett Kennedy after Kennedy was designated for assignment.

Alex Young has not pitched in the big leagues this season. The lefty reliever has been dealing with a back injury – low back disc degeneration to be precise – since spring training and led to him being shut down. Cincinnati sent him on a rehab stint to start May with the Triple-A Louisville Bats. In total he would make 11 appearances over the last four weeks for the Bats and not give up any earned runs while throwing 11.0 innings.

Over his first three outings he struck out six batters in 3.1 innings pitched and gave up just one hit. He only struck out three batters over his final 7.2 innings to go along with three hits and three walks. Young held opponents to a .114 batting average during that time and they managed just one extra-base hit during that time – a double – that left them with a .143 slugging percentage through 42 plate appearances.

Young pitched in 63 games in 2023 for the Reds. Over his 53.2 innings he posted a 3.86 ERA with 20 walks and 50 strikeouts. His splits were interesting because right-handed hitters had a batting average that was nearly 50 points worse than lefties did, but lefties didn’t hit for much power. Righties rarely walked against him, while lefties walked a lot. At least in 2023 he wasn’t exactly a lefty-on-lefty kind of pitcher.

As for Brett Kennedy, he spent time in the big leagues this past week but he never did get to pitch in a game. It’s been a tough season in 2024 for the 29-year-old. In his 40.2 innings with Triple-A Louisville this season he’s gone 1-5 with a 6.86 ERA. The home runs have been what’s hurt him the most as he has allowed 11 of them on the season.

Kennedy will now be subjected to waivers. He’s almost assuredly going to clear them, which was the entire reason he was the player called up last week. The team knew they needed to make a 40-man roster move soon and since the roster is limited on the pitching side with who does and doesn’t have options, they needed to bring up someone they felt would not be lost to another team when that player was designated for assignment. It’s a dirty, stupid business at times.

If Kennedy clears waivers and is outrighted, he will have the option to become a free agent if he wants to since he has been outrighted previously in his career.

31 Responses

  1. LDS

    Dirty, stupid, and not always logical. I’d still like to see the Reds call up guys that can actually help the team, instead of DFA candidates that no one is likely to claim.

    • DHud

      And when Santillan was lost to waivers tomorrow? What then would you be saying?

  2. Duke

    Essentially Young takes Spiers spot. Not sure how to feel about this.

  3. west larry

    I didn’t love it, but i thought it was the correct move. The reds had Kennedy for a few days as insurance if they needed a long man Monday. They didn’t, and it allowed the reds to release a guy they didn’t need, and bring in a good lefty reliever When their center fielder returns, i’m pretty sure Ford will be dfa’d.

    • RedsGettingBetter

      Once Pagán is coming back, I think Young or Moll who both have options will be sent down to triple-A again aside there are now 3 lefties in the bullpen after Young call up

      • LDS

        I’d keep Young and Moll both ahead of Pagan. Pagan is a HR machine.

      • Jason Franklin

        @LDS Do you think 3 lefties is a bit too much or am I being too old fashioned and missing something? 2 used to be a surplus but maybe that’s changed.

      • Chris

        @Jason, Young is better against righties anyway. I hated the Pagan signing, and would never let Moll or Young go in preference to Pagan. HR machine.

  4. Optimist

    This seems pretty far down the list of “dirty, stupid business” practices. MLBPA certainly had a role in creating this? I suppose there’s a slight trade off in interests involved – younger talent not used/older unwanted talent as place holders, but what’s the alternative? How about scrapping the option time limits and simply paying pro-rata for days on 26 man/40 man/MiLB? Don’t want big-$$$ teams stockpiling talent, and don’t want salary/contract gaming based on arbitrary time deadlines, so it could be much worse, correct?

    • DaveCT

      Another leftie just in time to face the LHP-averse Cards (i know, splits, humor me).

      Just the type of dirty, smart and logical move i like to see made against our nemeses downriver.

      • Jason Franklin

        @DaveCT There is nothing wrong with playing the splits and matchups, but I think you mean how Bell seems to adhere strictly no matter the matchup. Do you think the team would be better with a manager who merges cybermetrics with old-timey “guts and experience” calls?

      • DaveCT

        Jason, I’m really just saying it’s a good move to add a LHR/LHP to the staff just in time for the two more Cards games. You did bust me being snarky, though.

        As far as a manager goes, my preference is for someone who can put players in their best position to succeed, be it platoons, a full-time role, etc. That includes bullpen pitchers. How they do it doesn’t matter to me. That said, they’d be almost negligent to ignore the data that is available.

        My greatest preference for a manager is someone who can communicate effectively to the public. In today’s world, fans expect and deserve communication that doesn’t leave them wondering what the heck was just said. And, for the record, I really had this issue with Dusty, as well as Price (though with Price I was relieved he could speak in complete sentences). Unfortunately, Krall appears to have the same communication skill set.

        I’ve been a broken record stating it is not the job of the broadcasters to promote the club’s PR. Their job is to call the game, report on the clubhouse and question management. The non-stop, pro-organization PR blather from the broadcast teams has become insufferable. If the manager and the President/GM can’t do this, hire someone who can.

    • Jim Walker

      The best deal for the players might be if all 40 man roster time counted as MLB service time. Then replace arbitration with a restricted free agent status under which the original team can match any offer and gets compensation for guys if they do not match an RFA offer.

      Also, change the rules so a guy can refuse his first outright for unrestricted FA status or be granted the same status at the end of the season if accepts an outright assignment. Along the same lines, a guy who already has RFA status would be elevated to UFA status the next off season if he accepted an outright.

      Finally, make the CBT ceiling a floater based on some fixed % above the average salary the previous year AND set a floor the same % below the previous year’s average salary. The penalties for going over the ceiling or under the floor would be the same.

      • AllTheHype

        It would be good for the players for sure, but that would devastate small market teams like the Reds. Most young players would reach UFA one to three years earlier than they do today. Elly would be an UFA 1 yr earlier, Marte 2 yrs earlier. Although Elly would never make it to UFA as a Red. The Reds would lose him after ’26, three years earlier, when he reaches RFA. They would never be able to afford him at that point.

        Reds might as well just be a MiL team that feeds the Dodgers and Yankees at that point.

  5. DW

    Glad to see Young back healthy again. He has pitched well at Louisville. There was a period of time last year that he was the most reliable reliever on the team. Hopefully he is back to that kind of performance.

  6. RedsGettingBetter

    How many days should be waited to call up again a player who has been optioned as that was the Spiers’ case recently?

  7. LarkinPhillips

    This leaves us with Cruz, Diaz, Farmer, Martinez, Moll, Sims, Suter, and Young. Having three lefties is a nice touch right now verse the devilbirds and their struggles verse left handers. Let’s hope this winning streak continues with Abbott tonight!

    • DaveCT

      Wasn’t this the most likely projected bullpen pre-season?

      It’s the end of May — do we finally have the ‘starting’ group out there?

      • MBS

        @Dave, I guess it matters who you ask, but to me these were the locks.

        Diaz, Moll, Pagan, Suter, Martinez, Farmer, Sims, Gibaut

      • DaveCT

        MBS, we are have low brain functions here in the grey PNW. Of course Pagan and Gibeault. Thanks.

        Bright skies ahead, though — Pearl Jam in Seattle Thursday night with the kids. Last show of the N. American tour, also being broadcast live on SiriusXM (three month free trial in case you were wondering).

    • JB

      Pagan was in there . No way they were going to pay him good money at AAA. People were saying Cruz was going to be in AAA which I couldn’t understand.

      • MBS

        Sorry JB, I didn’t see your response before I posted above, yes Pagan, but also Gibaut were considered locks.

  8. LarkinPhillips

    I think Pagan was part of that projection earlier this year. Wilson is also out there, but I don’t know the severity of his injury. I would assume Young goes back to AAA if Pagan is able to return soon. I don’t necessarily agree with it performance wise, but that is the business. The likelihood of an injury (or two) occurring is high and having Young, Santillan, Spiers, and Williamson in AAA is a nice change of pace from the last few years though.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Posted in the wrong spot. That was in response to DaveCT.

    • Jason Franklin

      Kind of have the feeling that Pagan and Wilson were bad signings. Maybe they will turn it around, but Pagan has always been apt to giving up homers and GABP is not the best pitcher there. I really thought he was the worse logical signing by the team (without looking at contract size).

      • Optimist

        These may be good, bad deals all things considered. Wilson, 1 year deal, very good when healthy, low downside. Next injury may end his career.

        Pagan more questionable both for the HR% and length, but still not a one-sided bad deal. It may work out fine or better, and again, less downside considering the role as a bullpen piece – not a starter or closer.

        Neither has risk comparable to, say, a Moustakos or Homer deal – big $$$, long term. They could walk away, or trade away, from either of these with minimal impact.

      • DaveCT

        And it’s not even summer yet (re: Pagan). He isn’t likely to fare any better in Milwaukee, either. Can’t imagine him in Houston.

        I do think there is enough demand for relievers that we can flip him to a club with a stadium more suited to his strengths, ie Seattle, if it doesn’t work out. Straight up for Julio would be fine by me.

  9. TJ

    Just throwing this out there. Friend of mine is a Dodger’s fan and we always wonder if Kershaw and possibly other pitchers get placed on the IL to keep their innings down or possibly giving them some rest. Lodolo missed a few starts, but pitched well after coming back. I know teams could get in trouble if there were phantom IL stints. Besides the Reds implementing a 6 man rotation, I’m just wondering how they will deal with innings limits. Also, keep an eye out for IL stints as the minor leagues get stretched out .