The Cincinnati Reds have optioned right handed pitcher Tyler Mahle to Triple-A Louisville. This is the other side of the move, at least for now, that has Jesus Reyes called up with the Reds that was reported an hour ago.

Tyler Mahle had pitched very well this season, though he did battle some inconsistencies. That’s not unexpected for a 23-year-old in the Major Leagues. In his first 18 starts this season he posted a 3.66 ERA in 98.1 innings pitched with 41 walks and 97 strikeouts. He also allowed 16 home runs. The ERA was strong, as were the strikeouts, but the walk rate was a tad higher than you would have expected from Mahle given his history. The home run rate was very high. But, he made it all work.

But, over his last four starts things have gone downhill, and quickly. In three of those starts he didn’t make it beyond the 3rd inning. From July 11th through his start last night, Tyler Mahle posted a 16.88 ERA in four starts that spanned just 10.2 innings. He allowed 24 hits, walked nine batters, gave up five home runs, 20 earned runs, and had just eight strikeouts. Aside from being injured, things couldn’t have possibly have gone worse for the young righty.

He will head back to Triple-A Louisville where he would presumably join the Bats rotation. That leaves the Reds with a current 5-man rotation that includes Matt Harvey, Homer Bailey, Sal Romano, Luis Castillo, and Anthony DeSclafani. It also leaves Louisville with a rotation that seems to now include more than five guys – though that could, and likely will change with Mahle joining the mix.

Will the Reds go back to a 5-man rotation?

It didn’t sound like the Reds were going to keep a 6-man rotation moving forward. Manager Jim Riggleman noted last week that he was going to talk with Nick Krall and Dick Williams about getting back to a 5-man rotation soon. They are currently there. But Robert Stephenson and of late, Cody Reed, have both been pitching very well in Triple-A. Whether or not one of them comes up remains to be seen, but it seems like it would make a ton of sense to see what at least one of them can do moving forward and not leave that decision up to 18 innings next spring in Goodyear.

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