It would seem that all of the Cincinnati Reds beat writers got the same email at the same time. C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic was able to beat everyone else to the tweet by about 15 seconds. Robert Stephenson will make his first start of the year for the Reds on Wednesday in New York against the Mets.
Robert Stephenson starting for Reds on Wednesday
— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) August 7, 2018
It’s been a strange path over the last year for Robert Stephenson. After beginning the 2017 season in the big league bullpen and being used incredibly strangely, he was sent back to Triple-A in late May. He performed well in Louisville as a starting pitcher. He then returned to the Major Leagues for the final two months of the season. Now a starter, he posted a 3.30 ERA in 60.0 innings. He allowed 48 hits in that span, but did walk 37 batters – a rate that was much higher than you would like to see. That did come with 59 strikeouts, though.
Despite having success in the Majors as a starter with the Reds in the second half of 2017, he went back to the minors to begin 2018. And that’s where he’s been all season long despite the struggles of the rotation, who has an ERA over 5.00 as a whole. Had Robert Stephenson been struggling in Louisville, it would have made sense. But as I type this he’s currently sporting a 2.87 ERA in 113.0 innings. He’s also given up 74 hits allowed and he’s struck out 135 batters. The walk rate is still higher than you would like – he’s given out 57 of them this season. Still, it’s not as if there has been roaring success with the guys ahead of him, either.
Since he was moved from the big league bullpen last May, as a starting pitcher between Triple-A and the Major Leagues he’s thrown 213.1 innings with 149 hits allowed, 107 walks (still too high), and he’s struck out 239 batters. Oh, and his ERA is 3.16 in that stretch.
Will Robert Stephenson remain in the Majors?
Updated: It appears that Robert Stephenson will indeed remain in the Major Leagues. Mark Sheldon or Reds.com just tweeted this out, from manager Jim Riggleman:
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) August 7, 2018