The Cincinnati Reds have a pitching staff that's put them in quite a pickle thanks to injuries, and it appears they'll turn to one of their most touted prospects to help get them through the lean times.
RHP Homer Bailey disabled, retroactive to 3/25, and RHP Robert Stephenson (#55) recalled from Class AAA Louisville.— Reds Media Relations (@RedsPR) April 4, 2016
Robert Stephenson will likely make his big league debut this week with a probable start on Thursday, something friend of the blog Doug Gray broke yesterday afternoon shortly after the Opening Day roster was announced.
Stephenson, the Reds' 1st round pick from the 2011 draft, reached AAA in 2015, a season that saw him go 8-11 with a 3.83 ERA, 9.4 K/9, and 4.7 BB/9 split between Louisville and AA Pensacola. That paired with the kind of talent that's had him ranked among the Top 50 prospects in all of baseball since being drafted has him in line to make his debut at age 23, though it's obviously worth noting that injuries to Homer Bailey, John Lamb, Michael Lorenzen, Jon Moscot, and Anthony DeSclafani certainly helped pave the way.
Yes, this means that his service clock will start, but with DeSclafani and Moscot close to returning - Disco's even being whispered to be back as early as April 10th - odds are that Stephenson will make one appearance before heading back to refine his craft in Louisville once again, where his clock will then pause.
Either way, it's a significant achievement, one that I'm dang excited to watch play out. Congrats, Bob Steve, and welcome to The Show.