On Thursday afternoon in his daily press conference with the media, Cincinnati Reds manager noted that Tony Santillan would be heading to Triple-A Louisville and pitch out of their bullpen. Santillan has made 99 starts in his professional career and just two relief appearances. One of those relief appearances was in his professional debut as an 18-year-old in 2015. The other time was when he pitched five innings in relief of a rehabbing Tony Cingrani in Dayton.

“He’s going to be a reliever (in Triple-A),” said manager David Bell on Thursday. “We’re kind of putting together a plan right now with Seth (Etherton, Louisville’s pitching coach) down in Triple-A just to really give a little bit of structure to how it would be best to transition him to the bullpen. He will be pitching out of the bullpen there. There’s a little bit of a process there, but we think it can happen pretty quick. It just made the most sense to allow him, because he’s been a starter, just to give him a little bit of time in Triple-A of doing that, it’s a little bit different”

Tony Santillan made four starts for the Reds this season and posted a 3.78 ERA in his 16.2 innings. But he did work around a lot of jams as he allowed 18 hits, hit three batters, and walked 10 in that span. It doesn’t sound as if this move is forever, but that given the situation right now with where the rotation is, where the bullpen is, and where Santillan is, it’s the move for now.

“I think with Tony, and any of our young pitchers, the priority has to be their development.” said Bell. “But I think we can combine that with what’s best for our team, too, and make it a really good experience. Not that we would do this with every one of our guys that are breaking into the big leagues, but it’s definitely an option. And for Tony it makes sense. We can get him back here at some point, re-acclimate him as a reliever, and have a little bit more control of his innings and we really believe he can help us out of the bullpen – that’s really what it comes down to.”

Christian Roa begins a rehab assignment with the ACL Reds

The Reds made a few roster moves in the minors today. The big one was that Michael Lorenzen would be joining the ACL Reds to begin his rehab assignment. But two other players are also beginning rehab assignments with the ACL Reds – Christian Roa and Luis Lopez. For Lopez it may just be a procedural thing to have it be a “rehab” assignment. He played in Goodyear in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons and hit a combined .229/.290/.349 with nine walks and 65 strikeouts. He was on the injured list for Daytona, but never played a game there.

For Christian Roa, though, he played for Daytona this season. Barely. He started on opening day in Palm Beach against the Cardinals, but he left the game after the 1st inning and he’s been on the injured list with a flexor mass strain ever since. Reports have been good on him in his throwing sessions out of Goodyear where he’s been rehabbing at the spring training complex. His next step is to start building back up by pitching in games and that’s where we’re at now.

9 Responses

  1. Melvin

    Looking forward to Lorenzen coming back. Glad Santi is going to the bullpen….not that we need any help there. :)

  2. DaveCT

    Thankfully, there will be a transition process, vs. just demoting him to the ML pen. He’s got a very good arm, which hopefully will play up, he’s a big, strong imposing guy, and seems like he really competes. So the fit is there. Just don’t want to leave him to figure things out on his own, as has been implied with past reports of Reds’ pitching development.

  3. James Phillips

    This also seems like an acknowledgement that Bob won’t be spending any money to improve the bullpen.

  4. MK

    Since Dayton comes home next week wonder if Lorenzen will throw there next.

    • Doug Gray

      I’d be surprised to see guys rehab anywhere but Goodyear or Triple-A because of the protocols this season.

      • Doug Gray

        Just chiming back in: David Bell said in his pre-game this afternoon that the next step is Louisville for Lorenzen.

    • Doc

      If Lorenzen comes back, BC doesn’t need to spend money on that upgrade.

      If Santillan is able to convert to the pen, BC is spending money, the difference between AAA and MLB minimum salaries.

      When Hoffman returns and if either he or Vlad goes to the pen, BC doesn’t need to spend more than AAA vs MLB minimum for Vlad, nothing for Hoffman.

      If Garrett’s upward trend continues, BC doesn’t need to spend money on the pen.

      If either Sims or Antone, or both return, BC doesn’t need to spend money on the pen.

      And, there are no guarantees that anyone he bought would be any better than we have.

  5. MikeD

    Watching him and Vlad, I don’t see either one being future starters. The bullpen makes senses.

  6. MK

    I imagine he is holding a spot for Hoffman who will probably be back Monday.