Tony Santillan has one of the best arms in the Cincinnati Reds organization. However, he’s battled with consistency since he was drafted. At times, he’s been flat out dominant. But he’s also had times where he’s battled control and struggled. On Monday night, Tony Santillan was dominant.

The 20-year-old right hander took the mound on Monday against Cedar Rapids and started the game with back-to-back strikeouts in the 1st. Both strikeouts were of the swinging variety. The second inning saw two more strikeouts, but this time they were looking.

In the third inning he allowed his first hit of the game, but picked the runner off to end the inning. In the fourth inning Jermaine Palacios homered to lead off the inning. That would be the last hit, and run, that Tony Santillan would allow. He struck out two more Kernels batters in the inning. He did the same thing in the fifth and the sixth inning.

Ten strikeouts. No walks. Dominant. The righty lowered his ERA to 3.55 on the season, throwing 94 pitches in the game with 61 strikes. For the year he now has thrown 33.0 innings on the year with 35 strikeouts. That’s also come along with 18 walks.

Between the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Tony Santillan has started 13 games with the Dayton Dragons. Last night was his third 10 strikeout game. On August 17th and September 2nd of last year he also struck out 10 batters.

Great American Dream Podcast

Part Two of the Great American Dream Podcast is now available. The podcast is by C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer and focuses on Shed Long’s journey through the minor leagues. Both episodes so far have been outstanding. If you aren’t listening to it, you’re missing out. So, go check it out and subscribe to it via whatever you use to listen to podcasts.

Cody Reed struggles in his return to Louisville

Control problems had plagued Cody Reed in the big leagues and they followed him back to Triple-A on Monday night. He would give up three runs over 2.2 innings with two walks and three strikeouts. Reed needed 54 pitches and only threw 32 strikes in the game.

23 Responses

    • Greenfield Red

      He just turned 24. I don’t think he’s done.

    • Mr. French Tickler

      Didn’t he just throw 8 perfect innings from the pen like 3 weeks ago? Gotta let him work this out. If we establish this season that he is a bullpen piece than at least we know that. I would have liked to have seen him make some starts up here against a lineup other than the Cubs.

      • Jonathan

        Looks like Jack Arrieta was 27-28 when he finally put it together. I’m pretty sure Baltimore wished they hadn’t gave up on him. Just saying…

    • MK

      Got to hope last years debut was not a rush that has broken his confidence. Every Spring interview with him I heard the main discussion was about forgetting last year, meaning he could not forget last year.

      He needs to go somewhere he can be dominate again and regain some confidence, even if that is lower than Louisville.

      • Simon Cowell

        Apparently there are plenty of Reds looking for their safe place and it isn’t on the mound.

  1. The Duke

    All the raw tools are there for Santillan. The fastball is plus, the slider is plus, and when he’s on, the control is there. The question remains is how long until he can consistently be on, and/or learn to pitch more effectively when he doesn’t have his best stuff. It’s all about getting consistent right now.

    What is the state of his changeup nowadays? I know it was pretty raw when he was drafted, and that’s a pretty big piece of the picture if he is to remain a starter long term.

    • Doug Gray

      It’s improving, for sure. I think the biggest thing he needs to work on with the change up is the control with the pitch. I believe the movement and arm action are there. But, he leaves the pitch up in the zone a bit too often still.

  2. Jonathan

    I really like what I’m hearing from Dick Williams as GM. The nutrition thing is huge. I like his analogy of “putting bad gas in a Ferrari.”

    As someone who has reworked his eating habits, I fully understand the different good nutrition and supplements can do for a person.

    • MK

      The nutrition guidelines are great and the food they are getting in the clubhouse follows those guidelines, but especially in the lower minors they are not making enough money to eat that way, especially on the road. $25 a day is not going very far. In Dayton 99% of the players live with a host family who are providing the food. Can they really expect the people to provide thing like only grass fed beef, or free range chicken, or eggs from free range chickens, only whole grain breads or pastas. If they really want to improve their diets they need to start paying them a little better.

      • Jonathan

        Yes. I would agree with you. The teams should be able to pay the players more money. I am not sure what “fair” would be….$150-200/game? plus a progressive slide as a person goes up the MiLB ladder?

        Imagine graduating from college with $50k+ of debit and trying to pursue your baseball dream. paying for college debit is hard enough with a full-time regular job (like myself).

      • The Duke

        Most draftable players out of college were on scholarship, they don’t come out with 50k of debt, not to mention it’s pretty standard that the team that drafts them pays for school should they go back.

        I’ve been a proponent of a base $40k minor league salary, but that’s not likely to happen any time soon. If they want them to eat healthy (and they really should) then they need to either start providing lunch and dinner for their teams at the facility prepared by a chef, or increase the per diem for food to something like $100/day.

      • Brad

        One of Dick Williams changes is with minor league nutrition. He upped the team spend from $150/day/team in 2016 to $1000/day/team in 2017. While I understand $1000/day for 30 players is not perfect, it is a big step in the right direction. The Reds are also not having minor league players pay clubhouse dues, or at least the food portion.

        I am a proponent of paying minor league players more and have spent a good amount of time generating options and pitching them around baseball. The constant rebuttal is in regards to a law/rule that limits what major league teams can do. Even if teams wanted to pay players more, they cannot. That is why cutting dues, covering more food, covering housing, etc are ways to circumvent that ruling. By my math, it will cost major league teams $4M/year more to pay all minor leaguers.

        RK: $24,000
        A: $28,000
        A+: $32,000
        AA: $36,000
        AAA: $40,000

        This does not take into account minor league free agents.

      • Arnold Ziffle

        That is brutal, only $25 a day. The minor league players at least ought to get what the IRS/GSA per diem rate is for each city they play in or travel to.
        Dayton, OH is $59 as is Eastlake, OH; Lansing, MI; and South Bend, IN.
        Bowling Green, KY is $51. Ft. Wayne, IN and Midland, MI are $54.
        Those are just a few examples of Midwest League cities, which Dayton is in.
        More than twice what they are currently receiving.

      • Simon Cowell

        Just give them all 1 million dollar signing bonuses yup that would solve everything and we would still have highly motivated prospects to boot.

      • Doug Gray

        While most guys drafted out of college are on scholarship, we need to remember that the baseball team has 11 scholarships that get divided up. It’s insanely rare that a single player gets 1 entire scholarship. Depending on where you went to school, even if you only went for 3 years and had a baseball scholarship, you could be leaving with a whole bunch of debt.

      • Dan

        750 a month is plenty to eat well if you’re cooking. The hard part would be getting enough good calories on the road if they have to eat out every day.

      • Doug Gray

        The problem is you don’t get meal money for home games/off days. You only get meal money on the road. When you can’t cook. And usually don’t have good options to eat when you can find a place open at 11pm after the game.

      • Hingle McCringleberry

        “While the minimum salary in Major League Baseball is $500,000, many minor league players earn less than the federal poverty level, which is $11,490 for a single person and $23,550 for a family of four…. The three players suing baseball also stress that minor league salaries have effectively declined in recent decades”. Mar 6, 2014

        This is and was unacceptable.

      • victor vollhardt

        I agree with MK—if you want them to eat these politically correct foods–then the club needs to kick more money—-BUT they could all do better than a “fast food” breakfasts with chicken and eggs NOT from free range chickens and usda grade a beef that maybe is not grass fed but is lean and lots of vegetables that maybe are not organically grown but are fresh. The person who made those menu lists does not live in the real world.

    • Wes

      All reds really need to do is provide the financial means- not host or pay more but offer Kroger charge cards and let em buy their own food based on organization expectations And nutrition education.

  3. MK

    Santillan and Cassidy Brown really worked well together last night. The umpire was set up over Brown’s left shoulder and he was calling the pitch maybe a few inches inside to righties a strike all night. Cassidy kept setting up there and Tony kept hitting the spot. One of the Kernals was ejected for complaining about the strike zone and their Manager should have gotten it too.

  4. sultanofswaff

    The strikeouts are nice, but his command within the zone was lacking. Pretty smooth delivery though. You have to believe the command will come. I’m confident he’ll stick as a starter.

    I really like what I’m seeing from Stephenson in this video–quiet, gets pretty low for a big guy, soft receiving skills.