The Cincinnati Reds have released 2014 1st round pick Nick Howard. The right-handed pitcher had a fine debut after the draft in 2014, jumping straight to Low-A Dayton where he split time starting and relieving, throwing 33.2 innings with a 3.74 ERA. He would go pitch in the Arizona Fall League that October, making 6 more starts and throwing 20.1 innings.
It was the next season when things began to go south for the former Virginia Cavalier. He moved up to join the Daytona Tortugas as a starter in 2014, but he couldn’t find the strikezone. Through five starts he had walked 23 batters in 18.2 innings and was shifted into the bullpen by mid-May. The move didn’t help cure the yips. Over the next 2 months he walked 27 batters with just 14 strikeouts in 19.1 innings before being placed on the disabled list in mid-July. He didn’t return that season.
In 2016 is was more of the same as Nick Howard struggled through the yips and couldn’t find the strikezone. After 20.0 innings he was placed on the disabled list and this time wound up needing shoulder surgery that would cost him the second half and all of 2017, too.
He returned to the mound in 2018, spending time in both Daytona and Pensacola. His time in Pensacola was much better than his time in Daytona. Over 18.0 innings in Double-A he posted a 3.00 ERA with 7 walked and 12 strikeouts, while allowing just one home run.
This season he only pitched in 3 games, all for Double-A Chattanooga. He made his first appearance on May 30th and his final appearance came on June 4th. On the 9th of June he was assigned to the Greeneville Reds roster, though he was never with the team and it was just a procedural move as players have to actually be assigned to rosters somewhere.