When the Cincinnati Reds drafted Jeremy Kivel in the 2012 draft they took a guy with big time arm strength, but rather limited time on the mound. He didn’t pitch in 2012, but took the mound as a starter in the Arizona League, throwing 50.2 innings over 12 starts (and 1 relief appearance).
Last season with the Billings Mustangs the 20-year-old began the year in the rotation and his first two starts went well, allowing just two earned runs over 8.1 innings, but he really struggled in the next five, posting an ERA of 9.33 with 12 walks in 18.1 innings.
The right hander didn’t pitch for two weeks after that stretch and when he came back he was pitching out of the bullpen for his next three appearances and things looked very good. So good that he re-joined the rotation and made two starts before making his final appearance of the year out of the bullpen.
All 31 appearances in 2015 have come out of the Dayton Dragons bullpen for Kivel. It seemed that the move to the bullpen would be one that was for the long haul, but last night against Cedar Rapids the right hander threw 4.1 innings out of the bullpen. That’s easily his longest outing of the season, having never gone more than two innings in another outing all year.
He hadn’t pitched in several days, last throwing on August 2nd, so he had a decent amount of rest between outings. While it’s likely just a blip on the radar in terms of his usage moving forward, the Dragons needed a long outing after the starter threw just 3.2 innings, it warrants keeping an eye on as there aren’t too many arms in the system that have the kind of velocity that Kivel brings with him each time out.