The Cincinnati Reds have recalled reliever Matt Bowman from Triple-A Louisville. To make room on the 25-man roster for the right-handed reliever the team optioned outfielder Phillip Ervin to the minors, where he’ll rejoin the Louisville Bats.

For Matt Bowman, this will not be his first time in the Major Leagues in 2019. It, however, could be his first game action if he enters the game. He was recalled earlier this year but did not appear in a game. The righty was an above-average reliever for the St. Louis Cardinals in both 2016 and 2017 before his 2018 campaign with Raynaud’s Syndrome changed things up. That led to him having issues feeling the baseball, which ultimately led to surgery to correct the problem.

He joined the Reds in the offseason on a minor league contract and has spent the first two months of the season pitching in Triple-A with Louisville. In 2019 where the Major League Baseball being used in Triple-A has led to historical home run rates, Bowman has allowed just one homer in 22.2 innings for the Bats to go with a 3.18 ERA, 12 walks, and 22 strikeouts.The lower home run rate is likely due to the fact that he’s generating ground balls at a high rate – 54% this season.

He’s dominated right-handed batters, holding them to a .200/.259/.280 line in 54 plate appearances this season. Left-handed hitters, though, have had quite a bit more success. They are hitting .258/.410/.419 against him with more walks, 8, than strikeouts, 6.

For Phillip Ervin, the shuttle between the Major Leagues and Triple-A continues. His first week of the year was spent in Triple-A, but he was in the Major Leagues before the second week of April was over. The stay wasn’t long and he was back in Louisville for the April 17th game. Less than a week later he was back in Cincinnati and finished out April in the big leagues. But the first game he played in May was back in Triple-A. After 2-and-a-half weeks with the Bats, he returned to Cincinnati. Over the last three games he went 2-6 with a walk and a double against the Dodgers and Brewers. But, he’s now back to the minors. Hopefully he’s getting the best use of his frequent flier miles.

20 Responses

  1. Cguy

    Bowman was recalled from Bats on 5/1& demoted back to AAA on 5/3- he just never appeared in a game. Not a huge Ervin fan but he deserves better than this.

  2. Matthew O'Neal

    I hope that at some point Ervin gets a chance to play everyday. Whether that means Senzel back on the dirt, Puig no longer in Red, or what. I know they’re professionals, but it’s gotta hurt the psyche a little bit for him and Reed when they’re up, do well, and get sent down I-71.

    Minor side note, I think Bowman was a waiver claim, not minor league free agent.

  3. AirborneJayJay

    Looks like David Bell spent his off day yesterday in Dick Williams’ office lobbying for another reliever. He just cannot stand to be without an 8 man bullpen. Yet Wandy Peralta is still with the Reds and will be called on early by Bell when Bell goes to the pen. No Cody Reed. No Phillip Ervin. No Brian O’Grady.
    Seven games over the next 6 days. I would even guess that Bell will get a 9th reliever for the Pittsburg series beginning Monday. Four games in 3 days and all 3 days will be in the low to mid 90’s. They will get a 26th man for the double header on Monday. I am guessing it will be a reliever and then they will send Josh Vanmeter back down and keep the reliever up. Maybe that will be Reed.

    • mac

      The Reds are a clown show led by Bell and Williams. Empty promises. Looks like another broken GM and Coach for the Reds. At least we will have a high draft pick again in 2020!

      • Schottzie

        I will say the Reds still don’t appear like a franchise that understands their own personal or is rational regarding whether they have the personnel to win a championship. Ervin has shown nothing but promise yet gets bumped for the likes of Van Meter and originally Shebler. Ditto for Cody Reed opposed to Peralta and/or Duke. They’re still trying to build around a core that hasn’t won over 70 games in quite some time, and they feigned competitiveness by adding a few solid pieces to a horrible team. The Reds feel like a gimmick franchise. Running new uniforms out there and pumping up bark in the Park night instead of making the difficult choices needed in order to win consistently over the long haul. This would include actually selling a player high (Suarez) and building around your org depth (third base), opposed to acting like you’re just a winning streak here and there from “getting back into this thing.”

      • Doug Gray

        The Reds are trying to build around a core of Eugenio Suarez, Nick Senzel, and Luis Castillo. That core hasn’t been together for a month.

        Schebler has shown more promise than Ervin has – with all due respect to Ervin, who is a Major League caliber player – he’s never done what Schebler has.

      • Greenfield Red

        I guess I don’t watch other teams closely enough to know, so I’ll ask what others think. Do other teams have 3 to 4 guys, a couple of which have potential be really good major league players, that shuttle back and forth constantly and don’t get consistent playing time, and as a result, potentially stunting their major league potential?

      • Cguy

        Wow, am I the only one who’s a little surprised Doug’s core didn’t include Raisel iglesias or Joey Votto?

      • wes

        Doug, you quoting someone or just drawing your own conclusion?

        Castillo is the best trade chip ever in the history of me following the reds for past decade and there’s no one close to him in that discussion. Castillo’s return is greater than rest of reds combined on trade market. If reds are out of it- it’s poor management to not dangle the carrot and see what return may be. You could maybe get all of Franco, Honeywell and McKay from rays for him….

        Also if reds removed schebler from their 40- he’d 100% pass through waivers and going back to Louisville. If they did that with Ervin it’s 50/50. Both are 4th outfielders at best that reds seemed to have passed on and neither seem mlb caliber unless being the 5th outfielder counts. That being said- give Ervin another 1100 MLB at bats and it won’t be that hard to be less terrible than Scott Scheblers career line.

      • Doug Gray

        It’s my own conclusion, but it’s based in reality. Who else would they be building around? Votto’s in his mid 30’s. You aren’t building around him. Raisel Iglesias is a guy who throws 60-70 innings a year. You aren’t building around that. You build around cornerstone types. That’s Castillo. That’s Suarez. And the Reds hope that’s Senzel. No one else fits that mold. Scooter/Dietrich aren’t here long term. Neither is Iglesias. Winker’s a corner outfielder who’s value is tied up entirely in his bat, and while I think he’s a better hitter than he’s been this season, he’s not an elite hitter. Puig’s gone after this year. Sonny Gray has to be better than he has been to this point to be a cornerstone, build around kind of guy.

      • Schottzie

        Schebler has over 1200 career ABs compared to Ervin’s 250 or so — granted their tools grade out similar, but I don’t think we’ve seen enough of Ervin. At the very least, it’s curious that he seems to be getting passed over to guys who the franchise hasn’t already invested a lot in (i.e. not first round picks).

        And three cornerstone players — one of which is a fringe all-star with a good contract, another who has never had a consistent year, and another great prospect learning his fifth position — is still likely not near enough, particularly in a division like the Reds find themselves where each team (outside of the Pirates) have 2-3 MVP candidates. The Reds are about 2-3 players away IMO, and their record reflects that. They can hope for a more promising future or actually make a trade while a player is at full value — something they haven’t done in maybe a decade — and push themselves closer towards actually being championship contenders. Assuming that is the goal.

      • kevinz

        So it looks like to me. The reds need to make another trade for a International player. Both Suarez and Castillo look like good Gets. If the Reds so behind in signing them. Trade for them. Who could it be? Could it be a player Blocked like Suarez was? I would try doing that.
        Found 2 hopefully Franchise type players that way.

  4. RobL

    There is plenty to complain about with the Reds, but the Louisville shuttle isn’t one of them. These guys know that more than 25 guys are needed to run the roster. So the guys with options are the ones who are going to be the ones shuffling between Cincy and Louisville. Bell needs a 9 man bullpen because of the way he blows through relievers (a point you can complain about), but they also need position players for the double switches. So they use 8 until they have worn them out, and then send for Reed to bail them out. Ervin came up when Kemp got hurt. He went back down when they decided to use the extremely hot Vanmeter that everyone wanted them to bring up. Ervin came back up to cover for Puig hurting his arm on the wall. Puig is back and Ervin is down.

    Now, why bring up Bowman instead of Reed? I figure they want another right hander to deal with the Cubs lineup.

    This isn’t a case of not knowing what they’re doing. They are trying to maximize the use of their 40 man roster. I know people are frustrated, but it seems as though everyone wants to complain no matter what is going on.

    • Cguy

      I was just about to post a long-winded comment and then read yours RobL. Now I believe “ditto” covers it!

    • Pokey Reese's Red Hot Bat

      I don’t think Reed is eligible to return yet (except in the case of injuries or doubleheaders)

    • Norwood Nate

      I agree with your overall point. The shuttle isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and as you said it maximizes the roster. In Ervin’s case, I’d personally like to see him up, but not if he’s not going to play regularly. I think the way they’re using him is fine so long as Winker/Senzel/Puig are your regular guys. VanMeter is better suited for a bench/platoon role because he has more positional flexibility.
      I think there’s a valid discussion to be had on whether Reed is a better option than Duke or Peralta. Peralta even has options, if I recall correctly, if they don’t want to eat Duke’s salary. I think Reed’s been better than him for the last year +, but I was never that high on Peralta to begin with.

  5. Hunt4redsoct

    I believe Reed was sent down within the last ten days.