The Cincinnati Reds do not have a baseball game, with a much-needed off-day after losing 6 of their last 7 games. A major reason for their lack of success is due to a pitching rotation that has been depleted due to injuries. For a team that recently traded away four starting pitchers and was already relying heavily on young players, starting the season with 4 starters on the disabled list was not ideal going into 2016. At long last, the Reds will finally get some some help in the starting rotation with Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafani, and John Lamb all set to return from the DL in the next couple of weeks. Mark Sheldon of mlb.com spoke with Bryan Price about his returning starters and, to say the least, he is counting down the days. As you all know, the Reds have a pitching staff that has been knocked around for most of the season and has struggled to go deep in games. In fact, No. 2 prospect Robert Stephenson is the only starter to make it through seven innings in a game this season. I think at this point we're all looking forward to finally having some consistency in the starting rotation.
Speaking of Mr. Stephenson, one of the main topics of conversation that has come up with his early appearances this season has been the issue of service time. Since today marks his 21st day in the minor leagues, he can not gain enough service time to be considered a full major league season. The next service-time issue that Reds' fans can watch out for is acquiring Super Two status. Super Two status, in short, applies to guys with more than two but less than three years of MLB service-time and when they are eligible for arbitration. Zach Buchanan of The Enquirer gives a good explainer on gaining Super Two status and what it means for our top prospects. At the moment, Stephenson and Jose Peraza are the only ones where this becomes an issue because they are the only ones that have spent time in the major leagues.
Continuing on the prospect theme, one pitching prospect that has Reds' fans excited is Cody Reed. Ever since coming over from the Royals in the Johnny Cueto trade, Reed has done nothing but impress pretty much every time he has taken the mound. The guys over at Baseball America have also noticed and go into detail about what has made him so successful, focusing mainly on his devastating slider. In the article he talks about what adjustments he has had to make since getting drafted and why his slider is so successful. They also have a few gifs of the pitch in action if you're into that sort of thing. It's definitely something to make us hopeful for the future of the Reds' pitching staff.
Lastly, the 2016 MLB draft is only 6 weeks away, and MLB.com has updated it's top 100 prospects for the upcoming draft. This is one draft that Reds' fans will have a little more interest in since we own the #2 pick this year. The player cards are informative and give a good idea of each player's strengths, showing us who might be the one to lead us to the 2018 World Series. One prospect to note is #4 prospect Corey Ray from the University of Louisville. Not that they should draft based on geography, but it would be pretty cool to see a local kid leading this team to a championship. Enjoy the off-day, everyone. Go Reds.