Out of the myriad list of things that the Reds do poorly one thing really stands out. That thing is identifying talent that should be promoted to the major league roster.
Too often things like 40 man roster considerations trump performance and potential. It may not matter much when we're talking about the last man on the bench, but it surely does matter when it comes to pitching. The difference between an underperforming major league veteran and an excelling AAA player can be huge.
Chris Booker has been in the Reds organization since 2001. He's 28 years old now, long past prospect age, but he's always put up impressive K rates, usually of 10+ K per 9 IP. Booker finally seems to be putting it all together this season, ascending all the way to AAA and not missing a beat. He possesses a sterling 2.41 ERA, and he's struck out 48 batters in only 37.1 IP.
But Booker isn't on the 40 man roster, which means someone else would have to pass through waivers if he were promoted. Because of this, Booker hasn't received a shot this year, despite the Reds currently carrying 6 pitchers with ERAs north of 5, some well above (Luke Hudson: 10.18 ERA).
Booker deserves a shot. The Reds have been done for awhile now, it's time to start throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. I think Chris will stick.
From here on out, until he gets the call, I'll be updating Booker's progress from time to time, and there's also a Free Chris Booker! graphic on the left hand sidebar, under the BlogAds. That'll be updated every time Booker makes an appearance. This is a worthy cause, and hopefully it won't take too long.