Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Reds Prospect Robert Stephenson dazzles

Cincinnati Reds top pitching prospect Robert Stephenson made his 2014 debut last night for the Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos in relief of a rehabbing Jonathan Broxton. In a consistent drizzle of rain throughout the game the right hander announced his presence with authority as he completed his outing with five shutout innings of one hit, one walk baseball where he struck out 11 batters (and it should have been 12) on 74 pitches.

Last season Stephenson tired down the stretch of the season and had some struggles for the first time in the season over his last few weeks of the season with the Blue Wahoos. This season, fresh and ready to go, he dominated against the Chicago Cubs affiliate Tennessee Smokies who only made hard contact one time in the game off of Stephenson.

The right hander worked mostly with his fastball and curveball, mixing the latter in well and used both pitches to put hitters away. The change up was seldom used in this game and he really didn’t need it as the opposition had trouble even getting the bat on the ball. He challenged batters with the fastball and they had no chance. Then he would drop in a hammer curveball to leave them with even less of a chance.

To end his 4th inning of work Stephenson appeared to have dropped a curveball in for strike three right down the middle and he, the catcher, the infield and the batter all moved toward their respective dugouts thinking the inning was over, but the umpire called the pitch a ball to the surprise of everyone. The next pitch was grounded out to end the inning and taking what should have been another strikeout away from his already impressive total.

If what happened on the mound in Pensacola on Saturday night is a sign of things to come for Robert Stephenson in 2014, it is going to be very tough for the Cincinnati Reds to find a way to keep him out of the big leagues for the entire season.

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  • Ron Fulton

    This is why that moron Jocketty should have traded Bailey for Gardiner. Instead he gave a .500 pitcher all that money. The Yanks turned down the trade for Phillips, but would have traded for Bailey, I suspect. I would next go to Miami and try to get Stanton for him, although I think it’s too late now because of Homer’s salary. Jocketty is an idiot. Don’t forget he is the one that resigned Baker and over payed Broxton, Marshall, Ludwick and even Hannrahan. Get rid of him.

    • Doug Gray

      Ron, let’s keep things friendly. You don’t have to like the deal, but don’t insult people.

      • Ron Fulton

        Don’t mean to insult people but I call them as I see them and I have a lot of support. Let’s call it frustation at the ineptitude of Jocketty. Lets revue, After resigning Baker, he over paid the aforementioned players, failed to stop the trade that sent Byrd to Pittsburgh, when we could have used him for the pennant push last year and most of all failed to make the right trade to bring in a 3 hole bopper that we need to compete. But your right, I shouldn’t call him an idiot or moron. What word word be acceptable? Inadequatem inept, what?

        • Doug Gray

          Well you can call them like you see them without the insults. You can say he failed. He messed up. He made a mistake.

  • Ron Fulton

    Mr. Gray, let me ask you a question. If the Reds know they can’t sign the pitchers coming up next year because of money constraints, would it not be wise to trade one of them this year to bring in a 3 hole bopper ala Stanton, Winningham, Cruz, etc.? From the comments I am getting, there is more agreement on what I have been saying for two years, that Votto is a prototype 2 hole hitter. But we have been lacking for years on that 3 holed bopper. I firmly believe that we win the pennant with such a hitter. Simon has looked good and so has Sterphenson, so it’s not like we didn’t have a 5 starter. What’s your opinion?

    • Doug Gray

      Simon isn’t a starter. He showed that in Baltimore. The Reds want to compete this year and Jocketty built the team around pitching. They simply aren’t going to trade any of them.

      Miami has said it has no interest in trading Stanton. Which I am sure no one blames them for, he can rake. Cruz is on a one year deal, so he won’t be traded at any point soon. And I assume you meant Josh Willingham, in which case I think you need to wait and see if he rebounds from his 2013 season where he stunk up the joint.