The Cincinnati Reds are kicking off their Winter Caravan extravaganza today and one of the first things that they did to promote it was stop by the 700 WLW studios in the early afternoon. Phil Castellini, Walt Jocketty, Thom Brennaman, JJ Hoover and Cody Reed were all in studio for 15 minutes to discuss various topics.
At one point, host Bill Cunningham asked Walt Jocketty what do Reds fans have to look forward to this year. Among other things that he said, Jocketty spoke directly of Cody Reed, saying this:
Cody Reed is one of those on the cusp, he’s very close. He’ll probably start at Double-A, then go to Triple-A at some point this year. And he’s not that far from pitching here in Cincinnati.
Cody Reed was absolutely dominant in his time in Double-A in 2015. Between his stops in Northwest Arkansas and Pensacola, the left hander posted a 2.64 ERA in 78.1 innings with 24 walks and 79 strikeouts. While it was just half of a season, there seemingly wasn’t much to prove at the level.
What further complicates things, is that if Reed is indeed returning to Double-A, how does that rotation shake out? Newly acquired starter in the Aroldis Chapman trade Rookie Davis finished his 2015 season in Double-A with 33.1 innings. Sal Romano finished his 2015 season in Double-A with the Reds. Then there are starters from the Daytona squad from 2015 in Amir Garrett, Nick Travieso, Keury Mella and Jackson Stephens, all of whom performed very strongly in 2015. That leaves seven guys for five spots in the Blue Wahoos rotation.
In terms of prospect rankings, Jackson Stephens is in a different group from the other six guys in contention, which could leave him either back in Daytona despite a strong performance there, or making a move to the bullpen in Pensacola. Even that move though still leaves six legitimate starting pitching prospects with big time stuff fighting it out for five spots. Reed returning to Double-A, where he was dominant for half of a season, complicates matters a lot more than sending him to Triple-A and getting the other five guys starts at the next level of their development. It will certainly be interesting to see how things shake out in the first week of April.
You can listen to the entire 15 minutes below. There are some interesting little tidbits in there from most of the guys.