Robert Stephenson allowed a pair of earned runs in 2 IP in Monday’s exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves, and while doing so we largely wondered if it would be the final time we saw the former 1st round pick in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. The righty is out of options, meaning if he didn’t win the battle for the final spot in the bullpen, he’d be forced through the waiver process, at which point any team out there could claim him.
As it stands today, that won’t be the case, as Bob has apparently won that final roster spot over fellow out-of-options pitcher Matt Wisler, The Enquirer’s Bobby Nightengale relayed today.
#Reds set their 25-man roster. Robert Stephenson and Wandy Peralta in bullpen. Matt Wisler is out of minor league options, so he will he placed on waivers.— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) March 26, 2019
Here’s to hoping Stephenson can find a niche as the long man in the bullpen, since he has struggled mightily to adapt to pitching at the big league level since first earning a call-up three years ago. We’ll find out in a handful of days whether or not Matt Wisler clears waivers and stays in the system, though it’s easy to see the former top prospect being plucked away by a team given how any decently valuable arm is in such great demand these days.
In other pertinent Reds roster news, it looks as if it will be quite hard to see top prospect Nick Senzel recalled the moment his service time has been effectively manipulated. Senzel injured his ankle sliding into 2B in minor league camp yesterday, and today the Reds revealed he’s got a sprain and a walking boot.
OF Nick Senzel left yesterday’s minor league game in Goodyear with a right ankle sprain and will be in a boot for 7-14 days. #Reds— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) March 26, 2019
Considering Senzel was reassigned to minor league camp to work on his CF defense and that the necessary amount of time he needs to spend in AAA for the Reds to effectively earn control over him for a seventh season is 16 days, it will be very, very interesting to see how much longer he’ll now stay down after getting his leg back in fully-functioning order. My best guess is that this will bump his call-up down the road until at least the end of April, but at that point he’ll be near enough to the Super Two cutoff that you wonder if the Reds will simply decide to keep him down until he clears that hurdle, too.
That would only set his future earning potential back by millions and millions of dollars, but since they’ve already seemingly ticked-off his agent, why stop there? Shucks, what a yucky, sucky way for this entire would-be glorious Reds-revival of a season to get started.