The Cincinnati Reds have signed right-handed pitcher Grant Gavin to a minor league contract and assigned him to Triple-A Louisville.

The 28-year-old was originally drafted in the 29th round of the 2016 Major League Baseball draft by the Kansas City Royals out of Central Missouri. He remained in their organization through the 2021 season, reaching Triple-A. Following the 2021 season the San Diego Padres picked him up in the minor league version of the Rule 5 draft. Gavin would spend the 2022 season in Double-A and Triple-A with the Padres organization, posting a 4.82 ERA in 46 games out of the bullpen. After the season he became a free agent.

In 2023 he signed with the Kansas City Monarchs of the American Association. He performed well out of their bullpen, throwing 51.0 innings in 37 games with a 3.88 ERA (the league average ERA was 4.92). He walked 25 batters (four were intentional walks) and had 78 strikeouts.

Despite that performance he couldn’t land an affiliated contract and was back in Kansas City with the Monarchs in 2024. This time, though, he was starting. He made six starts and two relief appearances. His ERA was 4.06 for the Monarchs, but there were some improvements in other areas. He had 57 strikeouts in just 37.2 innings, but more impressive was the fact that he only walked six batters. His walk rate went from mediocre at best to outstanding from 2023 to 2024.

In two of his starts this season with Kansas City he struck out 13 batters. One of those games saw him give up 11 hits and allow three runs in 5.0 innings. Despite so many hits and so many strikeouts, he only threw 97 pitches in the game. Another fun fact is that in the 12 innings in the game from every other pitcher for both teams, they only had five strikeouts. In the other game he threw 7.0 innings of shutout baseball and allowed just four hits.

You can see the career stats for Grant Gavin here.

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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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11 Responses

  1. sultanofswaff

    Nice pickup. Looks like he is featuring a splitter…. I would think they view him as rotation depth but he seems like a guy who would do well coming out of the bullpen.

  2. MK

    Seems to me the Reds philosophy of saving you v arms from injury is not working. In the 60-70s there really was not limit. In the 89s and half the 90’s it was limiting innings per game. And since, pitch counts and seasons innings.

    It seems there were more hard throwing uninjured horses( like Carlton, Gibson, Seaver, Marichal, Maloney)in the 60’s. Today it seems even the horses have surgery histories (Ohtani, Erlanger, Scherzer, deGrom, Strassburg, Greene). Is it time to adjust the approach?

    • Doug Gray

      I think there’s a lot of bias in the uninjured horses theory because you never heard of the hard throwers who blew out their arms before they reached the big leagues and never recovered because the surgeries simply didn’t exist to help fix them.

      People that are way smarter than you or I don’t have a solution to the problem and different orgs are trying different things and none of it is working.

      Short of telling guys to stop trying to throw hard, which would result in them being worse pitchers with worse results and limiting their careers and earning potential, I just don’t know that there is a solution. Pitchers are going to keep getting hurt and surgeons are going to keep trying to fix them.

      • Doug Gray

        Can we set up a Billy Madison faux-jeopardy style test and I get to be the host?

      • Mike in Ottawa

        Stop throwing less hard? Maybe learn how to pitch….Paging Greg Maddux…

      • Doug Gray

        Funny story – Greg Maddux actually threw hard (not by today’s standards, but by the standards of when he pitched). Greg Maddux also had elite movement, elite control, and a strikezone that was probably 6 inches wider than the one today.

        Might as well tell hitters to just and be Ted Williams. It’s good in theory, but when we start wondering why those guys are inner circle HOFers maybe it’s because they could do things that others couldn’t replicate.

      • MK

        Sounds fun, as long as you get Vanna White to co-host.

    • David T

      You mention Maloney who was done at age 30. Other notable hard throwers from the 60s amd 70s for the Reds would be Gary Nolan and Wayne Simpson whose careers were ended or shortened by injury. Hard throwers. At least Nolan was able to adjust and regained success as a control pitcher. As Doug said, you don’t hear about the pitchers who flamed out. You also didn’t mention Sandy Koufax who retired early because of pain.

  3. Red Thunder

    Logan Campbell and Juan Polo are also some new editions to the pitching ranks. Got
    to search everywhere these days. Never hurts trying! Go Reds!