Last night the Louisville Bats played a doubleheader against Toledo that they wish they hadn’t. The Bats lost both games and were outscored 26-5 on the night. In game one Connor Phillips got the start and after giving up a leadoff double he went 1-2-3 in the first inning.

The second inning, though, did not go the same way after a leadoff double. Phillips gave up a single and then a walk to load the bases. A 2-run single came next before a  fly out. Another double brought in a run, and then an RBI single followed and it was 4-0 in the blink of an eye. That would be the end of the day for Phillips – but after he exited both of the runners he had on base when he was replaced on the mound came around to score and he finished the day with six earned runs in 1.1 innings without a strikeout.

Saturday evening was the third consecutive start for Connor Phillips in which he did not get out of the 2nd inning. He had one relief appearance in the middle of that when he came into the game following a rehab start by Ben Lively and threw 2.1 hitless innings before rain came through St. Paul and ended the game while he was still on the mound. In the three starts around that relief appearance Phillips allowed 15 hits, 15 earned runs, walked eight batters, and struck out just three of the 32 hitters he faced in 4.1 innings.

If there’s any good news at all from his outing on Saturday night it’s that his velocity rebounded from his previous start. On August 19th against Iowa he averaged just 93.8 MPH on his fastball. In every other start up to that point with the Bats he had averaged at least 95.7 MPH. Saturday night, granted it was limited action, he averaged 95.7 MPH.

Chase Petty dominates again

On the opposite end of the spectrum for one of the Reds top pitching prospects, Chase Petty was outstanding once again in Dayton. While he took the loss in the game last night thanks to an unearned run, he allowed just four hits in 4.0 innings without a walk and he struck out seven batters.

Petty has been limited in how many pitches and innings he’s been allowed to throw each game after having an elbow injury in the spring. The 20-year-old hasn’t pitched beyond the 4th inning in any of his 16 starts and he’s not thrown more than 67 pitches in any start this year. But when he’s been on the mound he has been very, very good. After his performance on Saturday for the Dragons his ERA dropped to 1.95 on the season in his 60.0 innings pitched. He’s yet to allow a home run on the season, he’s walked just 14 batters, and he now has 61 strikeouts on the year. Opposing hitters have a .257/.305/.310 line against him with just 10 extra-base hits.

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12 Responses

  1. Mark

    Beyond the guys like Phillips, Richardson, Aguilar, and Petty and the guys that were drafted this year, are there any potential up and coming starting pitchers?

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    Is time to Phillips to be shut down?
    Apparently Petty is ready to be promoted to AA by 2024 so he could see his pitches limit being lift up too…

    • MK

      Petty has been more on an innings limit than pitch limit. 4-innings per appearance. Whether it is twelve pitches or sixty pitches he gets 4-innings.

  3. Erik the Red

    From what I have seen these past couple of years maybe it is best for pitchers to get at least one or two quality years in AA and AAA before we rush them up and have all the time we have seen on the IL. The only one that has not had major time on the IL is Abbott. Of course that would require some trades or free agent money spent on proven major league pitchers.

  4. DaveCT

    Stoudt, Phillips, Richardson, Roa at AAA. Reports say Stoudt needs time but has the arm and Phillips is a relatively known quantity, though both are struggling. Richardson may become the best of this group. Roa is likely bullpen material.

    Spiers, Aguiar, Benchoter and possibly Thomas Farr at AA. Spiers was good last year and has been really good the second half. Benschoter is finishing strongly. Farr has the arm but continues to struggle.

    Acuna, Petty, Rivera, Parks, possibly Chris McElvain at Hi-A. Four pretty good arms in the first four.

    Huggens, Lyons, and Cooper have had some moments at Lo-A. Jose Franco started last year but has been out this year.

    Watch for Cervantes in the DSL.

  5. MBS

    @Dave, 23 Has the infield roster crunch, which will probably finalize in the offseason with some moves.

    24 Seems destined to be an OF roster crunch with Dunn, Hurtubise, Hinds, Hopkins, Siani all likely ready before the end of the year.

    25 Rotation crunch? The 2024 AAA, and AA team will be full of guys likely needing a spot by 25.

    I hope Krall keeps giving himself good problems to sort through.

    • DaveCT

      There are some good arms coming, though not as well heralded as the Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft group, or the Abbott, Phillips, Richardson group. I’ve watched both Aguiar and Acuna both a bunch this season. I think they are very similar. Where Aguiar was projected to gain velocity in the draft reports, Acuna wasn’t known for it, so his velocity spike has been a pleasant surprise. Spiers is someone who has thrived since going back into the rotation. Lots of these guys remind me of Tyler Mahle, in being drafted with projection in m ind and developing as hoped. As you’ve discussed, having a stable full of decent arms will also lead to bullpen depth. But, what’s interesting is when comparing this rebuild to the failure of the last one. We were really counting on Garrett, Stephenson, Romano, Mahle, and Reed/Finnegan to become solid rotation pieces. With 5/6 failing, it devastated, IMO, that rebuild. This time around, we have the current rotation of Greene, Ashcraft, Abbott, Williamson and Lodolo still developing AND some good arms coming up behind to replace those injured or failing. You look at Greene/Ashcraft/Abbott/Williamson/Lodolo being followed closely by Richardson/Phillips/Stoudt/Rowder/Floyd, there is a reload in waiting, given the 2024 development timeline for both groups. It’s really why I loved this year’s draft.

  6. Luke J

    I understand the reasons for minor league teams to not let pitchers work through bad innings, but it’s also important to understand that since they don’t, their struggles appear worse than they are. If he gives up 4 hits in the majors, when they aren’t as worried about strict pitches-per-inning totals, he can be left in to fight back and get out of the inning, and go on to pitch several more scoreless innings. But when you remove a pitcher in the 2nd inning after a string of hits costs him runs, he never gets the chance to rehabilitate the outing and get the overall numbers back to respectable. So the end result seems much worse than it could have been. I’m not trying to downplay the poor outing, just put it in perspective. If they leave him in and he gets out of the inning without the 2 runs charged to him that the reliever let score, then pitches through the 6th inning with no more runs, his line looks very different. Of course, there is no guarantee he settles in and gets those scoreless innings, but as a former pitcher, it is VERY commonplace for a starter to have a rough inning and settle in with a string of good innings right after.

  7. RedBB

    Petty is a better pitching prospect than Phillips. Phillips has shown no improvement in lowering his walk rate which will only get worse at the MLB level.

  8. Mark Donahue

    Appears the Mets are willing to trade Pete Alonzo. With Votto’s departure and the available cash and the Reds depth in the minor leagues that could be a m at tech.

  9. Mike in Ottawa

    Some people here were calling for Phillips to be brought up at the deadline…..