The trade that sent Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker from the Cincinnati Reds to the Seattle Mariners was widely panned at the time it was announced, the Reds having sent a pair of controllable hitters off power-producing seasons for precious little of the emerging young talent in the Seattle system.
As the trade has evolved, though, it’s looking better and better. Jake Fraley has already outshone Winker’s production in the two years since the deal, while Brandon Williamson seemingly was getting better by the start before COVID sent him to the shelf. Of course, the deal at the time didn’t technically even include Connor Phillips, seeing as he was the PTBNL who was announced much later.
Getting Phillips as part of that deal made it seem all the better then, and given how well he has pitched across the minors in 2023, it makes it seem a hell of a lot better now, too.
Phillips boasted an impressive 13.2 K/9 across AA-AAA in 105 IP this season, and that alone had him on the Reds radar for a late-season call up. Given the decimation in the team’s pitching staff around him, though, Phillips is now getting much more than a cameo.
He’ll start tonight in his big league debut against the Seattle Mariners, and will do so with both clubs fighting for their playoff lives. He’ll share the mound with Bryce Miller, too - one of those other tantalizing young arms from the Seattle system that the Reds didn’t manage to pry away in either the Suarez/Winker deal or the one that sent ace Luis Castillo to the Mariners. Miller owns a 3.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 3.76 FIP across 107.2 IP in this, his impressive rookie season, and the Reds will be tasked with getting to him to help bolster their own beleaguered pitching staff.
First pitch is once again set for 6:40 PM ET.