The Cincinnati Reds have signed Nick Howard to a minor league contract. This move was first reported by Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Howard was the 1st round pick of the Reds in the 2014 draft. But after having to overcome the yips and having to undergo shoulder surgery, he struggled to develop and reach Triple-A. He was released by the Reds in June of 2019. Kansas City signed him three weeks later, but he never pitched with them during the remaining few weeks of the season. With no season in 2020 he didn’t pitch again, and he became a free agent in November.
The Reds also made their first cuts of the spring, but also made two promotions – which is something you never really see in spring training. Jonathan India and Brandon Finnegan, both of whom were in “early minor league camp” were extended big league camp invites. 11 other players were either reassigned to minor league camp or optioned to Triple-A.
Dwight Smith Jr. had played in nine games and gone 2-10 with three walks and four strikeouts. The outfielder was the only position player that was sent to minor league camp on Friday.
Pitchers Edgar García, Vladimir Gutiérrez, Ryan Hendrix, Riley O’Brien, Tony Santillan, and Jared Solomon were all optioned to Triple-A Louisville. Pitchers and non-roster invitees R.J. Alaniz, Matt Ball, Shane Carle, and Bo Takahashi were all reassigned to minor league camp. Here are the stats for each player heading into the game on Friday night.
|Jared Solomon||Tommy John surgery|
|Matt Ball||Did Not Pitch|
Among this group of pitchers it was Vladimir Gutiérrez that stood out the most from a statistical standpoint. Manager David Bell spoke about his progression and how good he has looked this spring earlier this week. Of course we also knew that he wasn’t going to make the team out of the spring given that he’s still serving a suspension and has 20 games remaining before he’s eligible to pitch again.