The big picture

Not surprising, many fans were irate when it became known that the Reds sent Robert Stephenson back to Triple-A Louisville after his nice start on Tuesday.

7 ip, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 105 pitches/60 strikes.

The basic theme I got was “why send him down when he had one of the best starts of anyone on the team this season?”

Answer and a reminder: The Reds are looking at beyond 2016 with players like Stephenson. Not every decision is based doing whatever it takes to win, if it wrecks the long term plan in the big picture.

First — Stephenson only needs a little more than another week in the Minors to stave off free agency for an added year.

Second — Stephenson can return on Sunday without waiting the requisite 10 days in Louisville, if Alfredo Simon isn’t ready to go because of his biceps tendinitis and has to go on the DL. This way, the club can get a seventh reliever back in the bullpen in the meantime.

Third — The Reds feel that despite his early results, Stephenson still isn’t a finished product at the big league level.

“It’s a small sample size,” Reds manager Bryan Price said on Wednesday. “We have a lot more history with Robert – old past history than recent history. Our recent history is he’s had two nice games, one particularly nice game against the Rockies, which was yesterday. That being said, he doesn’t have a large sample size of Major League games, he’s got a couple. Coming into this year, our goal was to increase his overall strike percentage, increase his ability to command the zone with his breaking ball and change-up and improve his fastball command. I don’t want to be critical of his game yesterday, because he pitched beautifully. But he does have areas of his game to work on.

“I remember – I might have been pitching in Triple-A at the time when the Dodgers called up Ramon Martinez to make a start. I think it was his first major league start, he threw a shutout and was then returned to Albuquerque. The same with Mike Remlinger with Pittsburgh. The guy came up, pitched a shutout against the Giants, sent back down to the minor leagues. It’s not unprecedented. We’re going to have guys coming off the DL here pretty soon. I think it’s going to be more challenge for a guy like Robert to stay in this rotation long term at this point in time of the season. I’d rather him pitching regularly in Triple-A.”


Announced during game, Bailey to throw rehab game in Louisville tomorrow followed by Lamb Fri and DeSclafani pitching Sat in Fla.

Whew – the “B” team came thru: BP, Bruce & Barnhart!

If the service time is a factor then I nothing more is needed. I had read that he had already reached the minimum needed to extend service another year.

Hi Mark..I read your comments and also what Price said. If I understood the statement Price made, he didn’t make a lot of sense. Please correct me if I misunderstood. .his statement that there wasn’t a history about Stephenson being in the majors for him to go over what Stephenson had done in the majors.. of course there isn’t. Stephenson has been buried in the minors but yet still staying Reds #1 prospect and he has done good work wherever he has been. What else does he have to work on? He made most of the Rockies hitters look bad on a lot of pitches, he had great mound presence stay cool, calm and exceptional pitches. He looks far more advanced than some that have been on the.mound. It’s a good thing that Detroit didn’t have the Reds attitude toward Kaline, or the Dodgers with Koufax and others. It stands to reason that with the Reds sending Stephenson back down it might affect his confidence, has anyone thought of this or does anyone really care? And of course all of the Reds organization is thinking of staying in control and saving the almighty dollar. Perhaps in the case of Stephenson his mind and body are ready for the majors right now. If I was the owner and I had a pitcher to come up and pitch a game a whole lot better than any of my other pitchers he would stay and some one else would go. And I would bet that all of the other teams’ GMs’ would feel as I do. My goodness if the Reds want to move some one, how about sending HOOVER down and see if he can throw something besides a home run pitch, or even Olendorf who at best is ok for one inning, Simon looks like he has lost that extra zip in his arm and a couple of others should be looked at very carefully. Getting back to Hoover. J J is not closer material. In the past he has been used to try to close games but couldn’t, plus to come out and throw the home run pitch every time should raise some eye brows. Why not send Hoover to the BATS and see if Power can get him on the right track. AND FOR GOODNESS SALES BRING UP CODY REED. Reed just like Peraza and Ervin had a good spring but it seems like the powers to be couldn’t wait to send all 3 down. And I thought that’s what spring training is all about, the player/s have a good spring you stay with the big club, but unlike other teams the Reds send them down, just doesn’t make sense. And quickly the Reds need hitters. Put Duvall in the lineup in every game as he is a HR and RBI threat leave him in the lineup until he falls flat on his face OR has a great year. I’m still saying the Reds need much more hitting. Also the baseball experts keep saying PERAZA IS MAJOR LEAGUE READY. It’s high time Reds call Peraza up, he can play anywhere in the infield AND a real good CF, and he can hit so he doesn’t need to hit 9th…So GM get the team help, these are my suggestions and seem very possible.

Not how I took it. Meant that the command and pitch quality he demonstrated in last two games in big leagues is recent history compared to the longer history where he had command problems and lacked with his secondary stuff. He’s certainly moving forward and buttoning up where he needs to improve.

I agree with Marty. Their all a bunch of pansies. They ruined the best play ( at the plate.) Arguing with umpires is great stuff. Replays and alot of umpires suck. And on and on. God for bid a pitcher throws over 90 pitches or goes over 200 innings in a year. Lets ask Nolan Ryan.

we will never be able to explain old movies like Major League when they show plate collisions. haha…

I still can’t explain the movie baseketball.

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