The Cincinnati Reds made a roster move of sorts on Friday, returning Brandon Williamson from his rehab assignment. And to be clear – that means they are bringing him back to keep him on the injured list because something went awry while rehabbing and he needs more time to deal with that before he gets back on the mound.

That’s bad news for both Brandon Williamson and the Reds. The lefty was eligible to return from the injured list a little more than a week ago. But he missed the first seven weeks of the regular season while dealing with a shoulder strain. Cincinnati sent him out on a rehab assignment in mid-May when he joined the High-A Dayton Dragons. He made one start there before moving up to join the Triple-A Louisville Bats to continue his rehab.

He would make three starts with Louisville beginning on May 19th. In the two weeks he was with the Bats he had outings of 3.2, 3.0, and 4.0 innings with his last start coming five days ago when he allowed one hit against the Iowa Cubs. On his four rehab starts he pitched quite well, holding batters to a .159/.229/.182 line and giving up just one run in his 13.2 innings pitched while walking three and striking out 11. During his start on June 2nd his fastball had more velocity than all but two starts (average FB velo) since he reached Triple-A to begin the 2023 season. Things were looking great at the time, but apparently that’s changed and now he’s headed back to Cincinnati and will remain on the 60-day injured list.

Update: 4:21pm

Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that manager David Bell said that Williamson will be shut down for at least the next seven days and is evaluating several options, and that there is no timeline available at this point for what could be next.

This takes one option off of the table for the Reds to fill the needed starters spot on June 18th that was vacated when the team optioned Graham Ashcraft back to Triple-A yesterday. Unless there’s a pitcher with an injury, Ashcraft can not be recalled to make that start as he will not have spent enough time on his option. The Reds can skip the 5th spot in the rotation twice before then, but someone is going to have to step in on the 18th. With Ashcraft likely out of contention there, and now Williamson seemingly not being an option either, the team could turn to Nick Martinez to step in, or they could call up Carson Spiers from Triple-A to fill the spot.

33 Responses

  1. Mauired

    That’s a real bummer. Hopefully it’s just a minor setback. That’s why Reds should not trade any pitching depth.

    I could see Reds calling up Spiers for a spot start, then bringing back Ashcraft a couple days later. Gives the other guys an extra day off.

    • J

      We all realize using an ” opener ” for an inning or 2 truly has had an effect on Nick Martinez (0.76 era in non starts) and an era of 7.36 when he has to be a traditional starter !! Just use Suter inning 1 or the 1st 2 then turn it over to Martinez until idk IT DOESN’T WORK to perfection like it has lol

    • DW

      I’d go with Spiers. He has pitched quite well this year at both levels.

  2. Optimist

    I guess this is a rules issue to a large extent – did Williamson run out the clock on the rehab assignment – thus it’s either back to the 60-day IL or use an optional MiLB assignment? Or, does his 60-day IL clock run out shortly after June 18, so he may still return soon after that? Or, could it be worst case, he’ll remain on the 60-day list indefinitely and until he can begin another rehab assignment?

  3. RedsGettingBetter

    I can’t understand well this 60-day IL and rehabbing rules…What is the status of Williamson now? Should he wait more 60 days to be eligible again??

    • Jim Walker

      No, the 60 day count does *not* reset. After some period they can send him on a new rehab. I am not sure what that period is; but, as a blind guess, I’d think at least 15 days because that is the minimum stay for a pitcher on the standard IL.

      • RedsGettingBetter

        Ok thanks Jim, I think the pitchers have 30 days to rehab so if Williamson has called back to rehab that’s the time he should spend in that status again

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    I would call up Spiers to get the spot in that game at Pittsburgh but having Martínez ready for a long relief too.

    • MBS

      That stinks, I was getting excited to see Williamson pitch.

      • MBS

        Sorry @Reds, put that in the wrong spot. To your point though we have until the 18th until we need to figure out a 5th starter. With Williamson down, I agree Spiers would be my pick to pitch that game.

  5. Michael Wilson

    I kind of like the opener routine, Suter, Martinez, Spiers can give you a good game. Hopefully we have a healthy Pagan, call up Kennedy to take up some slack, minimum roster manipulation.

  6. Jim Walker

    Or as Bob Howsam liked to say, maybe it is time to “take and make a trade”.

  7. James K

    It depends. If within 15 days it seems clear that Ashcraft is ready to come back and pitch well, then go with Martinez for the one game. If it appears that Ashcraft will need more time to get his act together, put Spiers into the starting rotation.

  8. Redgoggles

    What a difference a year makes (so far)! Last year, GA was our #1 or #2 with similar numbers. This year, he is sent to AAA. Hopefully it helps, I think he’s a key to the future rotation.

    I also hope they split up Lodolo/Abbott going forward.

    • Melvin

      “What a difference a year makes (so far)! Last year, GA was our #1 or #2 with similar numbers. This year, he is sent to AAA.”

      Yeah. Was kind of thinking the same thing. lol There is no way he’d be sent down last year.

  9. Eddiek957

    I’d wait and see what kind of shape the bullpen is on the 18th. Well rested a lefty reliever and Martinez taxed call up Spiers. I liked when David used an opener last season and wish he did it more often

    • VaRedsFan

      Espinal saved a run by getting to that ball up the middle, to keep it on the dirt.

  10. VaRedsFan

    Another 0 by Lodolo, although the RLN pitch counters aren’t going to be happy that he’s over 40 thru 2. I will admit he’s wasting too many pitches when he’s been getting ahead. But no runs are the main stat y’all need to be concerned with.

  11. VaRedsFan

    0-6 for the Reds so far.
    Steele seems to have good command tonight.

  12. VaRedsFan

    Interesting that Lodolo doesn’t like resin, or any stickiness on his hand when pitching.
    Goes to the dirt only.

  13. VaRedsFan

    Brewers up 8-0 already.
    Win tonight, or lose ground it appears.

  14. VaRedsFan

    As requested by the booth…
    Steele is throwing a no-hitter….no hitter alert….perfecto in progress.

  15. VaRedsFan

    Welp, I’ve been commenting on the wrong thread the whole time.

  16. jmb

    I’d love to see the Reds get Crochet, but I’d also like to see them get Detmers, Ward, and Adell from the Angels. I’d be willing to give up Stewart, Arroyo, and Rodriguez to the Angels (perhaps Fairchild, Dunn, and Hurtubise would also have to go), and I’d be wiling to send Phillips, Allen, and Jorge for Crochet. The Reds then would have the dept to trade Candelario and Montas (and maybe Martinez), as each will be sought after at the deadline.


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