Rookie's stint in Majors could be short, but he may help spell injury-depleted rotation
By Nick Patch
Special to MLB.com |
TORONTO -- Reds right-hander Jackson Stephens' first stint in the Majors could be a short one, though a wave of injuries to Cincinnati's pitching staff has created an opportunity for someone to step up.
Reds manager Bryan Price said the 23-year-old Stephens, called up Tuesday when right-handed reliever Robert Stephenson was optioned to Triple-A Louisville, arrived "bright-eyed and bushy-tailed" overnight before Cincinnati's matinee in Toronto on Wednesday. With a 5.79 ERA over 10 starts for Louisville, Stephens could prove valuable by eating up innings for the Reds' injury-depleted rotation.
Price said he was clear with the rookie that this could be a short stay with the Reds, who see Stephens as a starter.
"I'd much prefer to be bringing him to the big leagues as a starting pitcher because he's really throwing great," Price said. "I'd like to see Jackson get on a nice roll in Louisville and have him force his way into the rotation. I think that would be the best way for him to break in."
• Out since May 23 with right hip inflammation, Garrett was scheduled to throw a side session Thursday. The club's No. 2 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, Garrett showed flashes of potential in posting a 6.00 ERA over eight starts. He could return to the rotation during the Reds' seven-game homestand, Price said.
• Bailey, DeSclafani and Finnegan are all "making good strides," and all three could wrap up their rehab in June.
"It could be a good month for us to be able to strengthen our rotation with some really good internal candidates," Price said.
"Right now, it's still kind of a mixed bag," Price said. "[Lisalverto] Bonilla's been so-so in the rotation, Asher has one start, [Jake] Buchanan is a guy that we grabbed on a waiver claim. It's hard to define who's the best of the bunch unless we give them opportunities, but right now, as it stands, I would anticipate Asher in the rotation."
Nick Patch is a contributor to MLB.com based in Toronto who covered the Reds on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.