The Cincinnati Reds have released 2012 1st round draft pick Nick Travieso, first reported by Mike Scherting of the Billings Gazette. The right-handed pitcher was rehabbing with the Billings Mustangs this season. He injured his shoulder and missed all of the 2017 and 2018 seasons after shoulder surgery, and didn’t pitch in a game until June of this season.

The 25-year-old made three appearances for Billings. He struggled in his debut, walking three batters in 0.2 innings at home against Great Falls on the 18th. He returned to the mound on June 22nd and pitched well, allowing just 1 hit in 2.1 innings with three strikeouts on the road against Idaho Falls. On June 25th he took the mound for the last time. Against Missoula he didn’t record an out, allowing a hit, walking a batter, and having an error committed while he was on the mound.

Prior to his shoulder injury, back in 2016, Nick Travieso was throwing 92-94 and touching higher as a starter. But the velocity didn’t quite return after the injury. In his debut he was sitting 85-87 MPH, and touched 88 once. In Idaho Falls, their broadcaster noted he was throwing 86-88 and that he touched 90 MPH once. It was in Missoula where there was some concerning numbers as their broadcasters noted that he was throwing “in the low 80’s” for the short period of time that he was on the mound. I haven’t been able to confirm the velocity description from the Missoula announcer, but within that same game, Nick Lodolo started and was throwing 94-95 according to the same announcer.

Pitching sucks because so many guys get injured. While we’ve come a very long way on fixing elbows in the last 20-25 years, shoulders are still very messy. Most guys aren’t able to return to where they were after shoulder surgery – it’s just a very different animal that is far more complicated of a fix.

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44 Responses

  1. MK

    Two of our four first round Nicks have had Avery bad season two have been good. Travieso was a nice kid, hope he invested his money wisely.

  2. Michael Smith

    Damn shame. He was progressing nicely before his shoulder exploded. Erving and Blandino are what you expect from late 1st round and supp picks. Some times you strike gold, other times you get role players. They have made it to the majors and can still contribute. This is not the NFL draft where a late 1st round pick is a likely starter early in their career. It is much closer to the NBA with a few surefire guys then a bunch of question marks depending on development.

  3. Clammy

    If I recall one of the reasons they reached for him in the 1st round was that he didn’t have a lot of milage on his arm as he only pitched for one or two seasons.

  4. Clammy

    If I recall one of the reasons they reached for him in the 1st round was that he didn’t have a lot of milage on his arm as he only pitched for one or two seasons.

    • RojoBenjy

      I can’t find it anymore, but years ago, I saw Travieso quoted in a testimonial for one of those “throw 100 mph” money-grabbing “training” websites. Apparently, using whatever system was being sold, he added 10 mph or something like that in HS, which of course made him and instant prospect.

      Dare I think that there is where he ragged his shoulder? Do the scouts and cross-checkers look for things like this before drafting? I know when I saw that testimonial it gave me a sinking feeling.

      Probably hindsight and revisionist history, I know.

  5. RedsKoolAidDrinker

    Well, maybe Tyler Jay can turn out to be a great reclamation pickup and replace what was expected from one of them.

  6. Big Ed

    This shows the downside of a high school pitcher’s decision to sign a pro contract instead of going to college.

    Sure, he had a $2 million signing bonus, but half that immediately went to taxes and agents. Since 2012, he’s made no real money from baseball, probably not even minimum wage. It would take some discipline for a guy in his shoes to still have the bulk of his signing bonus.

    Also, the opportunity cost is pretty steep. Travieso realistically is out of baseball at age 25, and needs to find a way to make a living. Maybe in some off-seasons, or while recovering from injury, he picked up some college credits, but at best he will be maybe 28 by the time he graduates from college and starts his career, so he will have needed his $1 million net bonus to stretch 10 years.

    He will then be about 6 years behind in career development from the similar guy in his high school class who went straight to college, so it will take him some time to make up that stagger in his second career. Engineers with 6 years of experience, for example, make more money than freshly minted engineers.

    I would still take the $2 million bonus, and it probably isn’t a hard decision at that amount of money. But once the bonus is much less than $1 million, and the high school pitcher is a legitimate student, then the safer and better bet is probably to go to college.

    • The Duke

      Pretty much every HS kid in the US that signs a pro contract has a provision to where if they ever want to go back to school (even if not with the team anymore) that the team will pay for it.

      • Big Ed

        Yes, that is certainly a good benefit. But he doesn’t get back the lost career-development years. He’s still a rookie engineer at age 28 instead of age 22, in my example.

        I don’t know the extent of that contract obligation, but I doubt it is open-ended, where the Reds would be required to pay tuition for Vanderbilt or Southern Cal, for example, assuming he was admitted in the class.

      • Randy in Chatt

        And he was given a chance to make it to the big leagues like many of us wish we had, at least, a shot. He lived his dream and has little regret.

      • Michael Smith

        Last I read Duke it is all high school contracts from one of the previous CBA’s.

        Big ED. Based on him starting at Arizona he would have kept roughly 53% of that money. Using your theoretical situation are you implying that the 6 years difference in career start in your field would be worth more than 1,060,000 dollars?

      • Big Ed

        No, I am saying that there is a distinct opportunity cost to foregoing college, an element of which is the late start to the second career. I specifically wrote that it was likely still the right move for him at $2 million.

        Walker Buehler was in much the same position coming out of high school, but maybe more in the $1 million range. He made it clear that he was going to Vanderbilt, and was drafted accordingly. Both likely made good decisions. I am not even talking about Travieso himself, but instead the high school pitcher in general. As far as I know, the Travieso family owns a good business and he’s worked there in every off-season.

        This theoretical HS pitcher would have about $1 million after taxes/agent, but very little other income the next 7 years while in baseball, plus he will now have an adjustment period (college and/or training) to whatever he does next. I think a good student who signs out of high school for $400k or so is probably making a financial mistake.

        If he has been disciplined and wise with his money, he will be fine, but not wealthy. And maybe not as far ahead of where he would have been, had he gone to college, as it would appear at first blush.

        Travieso had his chance, which I am sure he is thankful for. Good luck to him.

      • MK

        Ed, if I had a $2 million signing bonus and ended with $1.3 after expenses, invested well and even spent a little stupid I would still be wealthy. I’ve met his wife and she seems fairly grounded as well.

  7. Norwood Nate

    It’s why I’m generally against drafting pitchers early. Too many opportunities for injuries before they’re ready to contribute, and pitcher injuries tend to be of the more career ending kind compared to position players.

  8. William

    Hey any word on Rece Hinds ? I see he is not in the lineup last few games .

  9. Robert M.

    It appears the Reds have also DFA’d or traded Cody Reed. He’s missing from the 40-man roster on the Reds’ website, thus opening a spot for Scooter Gennett.

      • RojoBenjy

        He’s listed on the Louisville Bats roster as being on the 7 day IL.

    • Robert M.

      I later saw that on the Bats’ site. So, if you’re on a minor league IL, you can come off the major league 40-man? Jose Lopez and Blake Trahan are also listed on the Bats’ IL, but are still on the Reds’ 40-man.

      • Doc

        Didn’t Reed still have an option? Wouldn’t that mean he doesn’t need to be on the 40 man?

    • Doc

      Looks as though Barnhart going to IL opened spot for Gennett, and opportunity for Casali and Farmer.

      I, too, am curious what is wrong with Reed. IL May 28; not a word seen about him since.

      • Robert M

        Barnhart to the 10-day IL opened a spot for Gennett on the 25-man, not the 40-man. Gennett was on the 60-day IL, meaning he didn’t count on the 40-man. Someone needed to come off the 40-man to put Gennett back on. 10-day guys like Barnhart stay on the 40-man, so it needed to be someone else. That’s why I got curious about Reed.

    • Cguy

      The Reds MiL pitching system is in disarray. No other way to describe it. No particular reason things should get better before they continue to completely unravel.

  10. MK

    After 12 seasons, which includes adding 2 partials together for one, Imight have thought he would have more.

  11. Redsvol

    Man, 2 absolutely huge mistakes by previous draft & development guys. I absolutely hate taking pitchers in first round.

  12. Charlie

    Add Hunter Greene as the next big mistake. While McKay makes his MLB debut for the Rays today, we have a 19 year old rehabbing from TJ surgery that was in low-A ball last season. Probably IF he recovers nicely from the surgery and gets back on track, the earliest he would see the majors is 2023. Drafting a HS pitcher in the 1st round is a repeat mistake the Reds just do not seem to learn from.

    • Michael Smith

      Charlie you take the guy who has the highest upside. Taking any pitcher is taking a chance. Judging a draft two years after it happens is a fools errand. Lets talk about this in 10 years.

      Also under this logic you are passing on Snell, Verlander, Syndergaard, Hamels as a few examples of some of the best starters in baseball because you do not want to draft a high school pitcher in the first round. If you want to look at guys on the downside who were really good you missed out on Bumgarner, Kershaw (guess he is not quite on the downslide), Greinke. Also you have up and comers like Lucas Giolito,Mike Soroka. These are some of the examples on why you take the best player you can in the first round.

  13. Chris

    From time to time I read about the Reds including the minor leagues. I once posted a comment on this website. My comment was edited and I received a warning to watch my language or I would be banned because I used the term sucks in my comment. Now months later I am back on the website and I read this article where the author himself uses the term sucks in the same manner i did. Perhaps you should remind yourself to watch your language sir!

    • Greenfield Red

      This is a fine website, and Doug does a wonderful job. It’s not perfect, but nothing is. Personally, I get really tired of all the foul language in our society.

      I try to teach my kids that cussing, mocking, and name calling says more about the person speaking than it does about the subject of your attack. It tells me that you are attacking from a weak position. If you have a point it will be made stronger by explaining it without the aforementioned cheap shots.

      Chris, you may or may not have a point about the term you used vs what Doug used in his piece. Not singling you out. I don’t recall your comment from the past, but I know Doug runs a pretty tight ship, and I for one appreciate it.

    • Doug Gray

      I can promise you that I didn’t edit your comment and threaten to ban you because you used the word sucks. Maybe you used it to describe someone and I just wasn’t in the mood to deal with that kind of stuff that day. Or maybe I edited out another word you used in your post. Either way, that comment is not exactly findable right now. Doesn’t matter.

      But I’ll also just say that coming in to make comments like this isn’t going to do you any favors for having the ability to make a next comment.

  14. Dv

    I remember that 2012 draft. I was surprised to see Wacha fall to them, and excited for them to draft him.

    But they screwed that up by reaching for Travieso who didn’t even have a first round grade.

    After the bad pick, the Reds were questioned about passing on Wacha for Travieso. The reason they gave was as bad as the pick itself – they felt Wacha would be major league ready very soon after being drafted, and they didn’t want to try to find a spot for him in the rotation. So they opted for a lesser talent with a longer path to the majors.

    • Doug Gray

      Michael Wacha couldn’t pass a physical. That’s why he fell.

  15. Dv

    Of the last 20 pitchers that the Reds have drafted in the first round, only 2 of them have a career WAR of 2.0 or higher.

    And almost half of them failed to reach the majors.

    So Howard and Travieso are par for the course. At least the Reds finally recognized their bad picks and are moving on.

    • Doug Gray

      I really wish people would stop confusing “bad picks” and “guys got hurt and it didn’t work out”. There’s a very big difference between the two things.

      • dv


        Travieso & Howard both qualify as “bad picks”. They were not good values for where the Reds selected them, and weren’t very special as prospects. They were minor league fodder when healthy, and then they got hurt.

        Now, somebody like Chris Gruler was actually a very good prospect who had a future ahead of him. But got hurt (shoulder), which wrecked a promising career.

        Just because a bad pick ends up getting hurt, doesn’t mean it’s no longer a bad pick. It’s still a bad pick – just one with a shorter career toiling in the minor leagues.

      • Doug Gray

        Yeah, you’re very wrong on this one. Neither was “minor league fodder” until their health issues kicked in.

      • Bill

        DV, you would think the #3 overall pick (Gruler) would be a much, much better prospect than ones picked in the mid to late teens (Howard and Travieso). Players develop at different rates so it’s impossible to know how any would have turned out if they had remained injury free. At the end of the day, injuries and the fact that none made it to the majors are what all three have in common … something every team deals with.

      • Gilbert Keith Chesterton

        The problem with injuries is just that you’ll never know.

        Both Howard and Travieso were questionable picks when selected in their respective drafts. Neither one was considered a “great” pick when made.

        Both were decent players while healthy in the minors. But neither was anything special. Recall, the more Travieso pitched, his prospect ranking became more dependent on production and less on his draft status, which is why he dropped each year in the Reds top 30 from #3 to #9 to #10 to #17 – before injuries. Howard too a similar drop.

        Could they have continued to develop to a point of becoming replacement level major league players? Possibly. The Reds track record for drafting & developing pitchers emphatically says no, but it was theoretically possible.