Robert Stephenson has been the top pitching prospect in the Cincinnati Reds system since he was taken in the 1st round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of high school, and the fireballer has continually developed over the last four years into a near-majors ready talent. He finally reached AAA Louisville earlier this summer, and had pitched to a rather stellar 3.15 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in his first seven starts in the International League.
Start number eight, though, appears to have not quite gone to plan.
Robert Stephenson leaves the game with an apparent injury in the T3. His partial line is 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, and 1 SO.— Louisville Bats (@LouisvilleBats) August 12, 2015
There's been no word on what exactly was injured, though it's obvious he was fighting control issues in his brief time on the mound.
The Reds/Bats had moved Stephenson up a day to make Wednesday's start following the trade of Matt Buschmann earlier this week, and that had even prompted idle speculation that Stephenson may be on track to take a spot in the Reds rotation from the struggling Michael Lorenzen. Based on this news, I think that can effectively be put to rest.
More as it develops, of course. Cross your fingers.
According to the sleuthy Doug Gray of RedsMinorLeagues.com, it was a wrist issue that forced Stephenson to exit his start on Wednesday night.
Now, I'm no doctor, but I do know the wrist connects to the forearm that connects to the elbow that connects to the triceps that connect to to the shoulder which connects to the collar bone which connects to the neck which connects to the skull which has skin on it that has hair, so this very well could be a case of a really, really painfully bad haircut.