The Cincinnati Reds have just announced that they will call up right handed reliever Drew Hayes before the afternoon game against the Colorado Rockies. Hayes will take the spot on the roster vacated by Robert Stephenson, who has been optioned to Triple-A Louisville.
Drew Hayes is not yet on the 40-man roster and will have to be added before the game. A corresponding 40-man roster move also has not been announced. If and when the right hander appears in a game it will be his Major League debut.
The Reds kept Hayes in camp until the end this spring before sending him to the minor leagues. The former Vanderbilt pitcher posted a 0.82 ERA in 11.0 spring training innings with four walks and 15 strikeouts. Things haven’t gone as smooth to start the season in Triple-A where he’s walked five batters with just three strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched. Small sample size alerts apply, and one of those walks was intentional, but hopefully the Reds see more of the Hayes that pitched in spring training than the one that’s struggled to find the strikezone in Louisville out of the Bats bullpen.
From a stuff perspective we should expect to see the 28-year-old show two quality pitches. His fastball generally works in the 92-94 range and touches 96 at times with a high 3/4 delivery that helps him add some deception. He also throws a hard slider in the mid-80’s with good biting action on it. No one has ever questioned the stuff from Drew Hayes. Where the questions have come from is his ability to throw strikes.
For his career he’s walked 4.9 batters per 9-innings pitched at the minor league level, which is more than a batter every other inning. That’s a very high rate of walks. 2016 is his 7th minor league season and he’s yet to complete a season where his walk rate has been under 4.0 batters per 9-innings. The stuff is there, but he struggles to put it in the zone consistently. When he can, he has plenty of success, but it’s been a long battle to find that consistency.