When the season began the Cincinnati Reds sent Rhett Lowder to High-A Dayton. That assignment was a bit of a surprise given that he was the 7th overall pick in the 2023 Major League Baseball draft. An experience college starting pitcher who was supposed to be advanced and a quick mover through the farm system, the assignment felt like it was a level lower than many thought he was ready for.

While the time that Lowder spent in Dayton was limited to just five starts, for the most part he proved that to be correct. He posted a 2.49 ERA in 25.1 innings, allowed 18 hits with two home runs, walked just six batters, and had 29 strikeouts. Opponents hit just .192/.255/.351 against him.

Cincinnati moved Lowder up to Double-A after the first week of May. His first outing was solid, but unspectacular. He allowed three runs in 5.0 innings. But the next time out he struggled against Birmingham as he was charged with seven runs on nine hits and two walks in 4.2 innings. Six days later he gave up five runs and recorded just five outs against Mississippi.

Through his first three starts in Double-A he had an ERA of 11.91 and had given up 20 hits, walked four batters, and given up a homer. Opponents were hitting .400/.439/.620 against him. He had struck out just 12 of the 57 batters he had faced (21%).

Things started to turn around in his final start of May against Tennessee. The start only went 4.0 innings as he threw 38 pitches in the 1st inning, but only allowed one run in 4.0 innings and had one walk to go with seven strikeouts. The next time he pitched he struck out 11 batters in 6.0 innings while giving up three runs.

On Sunday he kept things going in the right direction with 5.0 shutout innings. Lowder only had one walk and one strikeout in the outing. He threw just 63 pitches in the game, with 44 strikes. Sunday’s start was the first time this season he pitched twice in the same series, which feels like it probably played a part in why his pitch limit for the day was lower than his other outings he found success in during the season.

Over the last three starts he’s held opponents to a .246/.283/.351 line while walking just two batters and striking out 19 of the 60 that he’s faced (32%). Lowder has also had a 51% groundball rate during that time. It was 43% over his first three outings with Chattanooga.

More strikeouts. Fewer walks. More groundballs. That is usually a recipe for success. And of late, that’s exactly what’s been happening when Rhett Lowder’s been on the mound.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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14 Responses

  1. GREGORY BOTT

    He just isn’t ready yet. Won’t be up this year anymore than Petty. Will start in AAA next year.

    Reply
    • Melvin

      You may by right but I’m not totally convinced yet about how far he’ll go this year. I expect at least AAA. I have a good feeling about him just like Arroyo. Better not trade either one unless an awesome return. Nobody is untradable though.

      Reply
  2. The Duke

    Seems to me like he is learning how to command the zone better and induce weak contact. Aguair is a great guy to be around when working on that as that is a huge part of his game that he excels at. I figure Lowder will spend most of the rest of this season in AA honing his craft, with maybe a couple of starts in AAA to finish the year.

    Reply
  3. BK

    Off subject, but any word on Marte beginning his “rehab” assignment?

    Reply
  4. RED THUNDER

    Reds Sign new pitcher To Minor League Deal. Sure Doug will have the details soon

    Reply
  5. MBS

    I’d be happy with Lowder and Petty staying in AA this year. Aguiar looks to be ready for AAA, and he looks like he’d be the most useful if the Reds do need to call up a young prospect to start. Phillips is lost, and Richardson is floating in mediocrity.

    Reply
  6. RedBB

    Good to see from our 2023 First Round Draft pick….also FWIW our possible First Round Draft pick in 2024 s playing tonight on ESPN at 7pm. Charlie Condon of UGA

    Reply
    • Melvin

      I watched the game. Condon 1-4 with a HR, HBP, and two Ks. Looks like a good hitter to me from what I’ve seen so far. They were saying on the broadcast that he’s probably the #1 pick which means he’s not ours if true of course. Haven’t seen Bazzana yet. Looking forward to it when I get a chance.

      Reply
      • Melvin

        Too bad his team (UGA) lost and we won’t be able to see Condon anymore this year before the draft.

      • The Duke

        Most of the draft guys at MLB Pipeline and Baseball America are saying that most of the smoke leading up to the draft has the Guardians preferring Bazanna to Condon. See him as a better pure hitter, better eye at the plate, and will still be a 25-30 HR guy. Plays 2B now and he can play there in the bigs, but if Bazanna ends up on the Reds, I move him to CF immediately and let him grow there.

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