Cincinnati Reds start bullpen battle by signing Kevin Quackenbush

SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 19: Kevin Quackenbush
SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 19: Kevin Quackenbush /

The Cincinnati Reds signed right-hander Kevin Quackenbush to a minor league contract.

Based on the way that last year played out, it is no surprise that the Cincinnati Reds signed their first bullpen addition to a minor league deal.  They went through so many pitchers that it was tough to keep enough healthy for the second season in a row.  By signing Kevin Quackenbush to a minor league deal they can keep him in the minors in case someone goes on the sixty day disabled list.

Quackenbush was an eleventh round draft pick by the San Diego Padres in 2011.  He played college ball at South Florida.  As a hometown pitcher at USF, Quackenbush was a closer for the Bulls.

As a minor leaguer in the Padres’ system, Quackenbush continued to close games.  He successfully saved 76 of 87 minor league games.  Quackenbush only collected ten holds across seven minor league seasons.

His most successful minor league season was 2012 at Advanced-A ball.  He made 52 appearances, saving 27 games.  He had an ERA of 0.94 and a WHIP of 1.11.

Want your voice heard? Join the Blog Red Machine team!

Write for us!

Quackenbush followed that up with another successful season in 2013 at two different levels of the Padres’ minor league system.  He pitched 22 games at Double-A in San Antonio, saving thirteen with an ERA of 0.29.  Then he moved up to Tucson and saved four games in 28 appearances.

The Cincinnati Reds hope that Kevin Quackenbush is more Kevin Shackelford and less Louis Coleman.

More from Reds News

Last off-season the Reds signed Louis Coleman and  re-signed Kevin Shackelford to minor league deals.  Coleman spent much of the season in the Reds’ minor league system.  Eventually, he ended up in Arizona’s system.

Shackelford, on the other hand, pitched 26 games in the second half for the Reds after dominating Triple-A as the closer for Louisville.  Shackelford was twelve of fourteen in save attempts with an ERA  of 1.53.  He also struck out 61 in just 47 innings.

In Cincinnati he collected three holds and no saves.  He had an ERA of 4.70 and a WHIP of 1.40.  Those are the numbers of a low leverage reliever in the majors.  He could be an internal solution for the Reds’ bullpen issues.

The Reds are looking for someone to do what Shackelford did last year.  Even a reprisal of the season Ross Ohlendorf had in 2016 would add to the bullpen.  The Reds just need someone to back-up the low leverage youngsters.

Next: Who the Reds protected from the Rule 5 draft

Quackenbush could be that guy.  He has experience closing in the minors and setting up in the majors.  In 2018 the Reds just want him ready in the minors if some of the younger guys can’t take the pressure of pitching in the show.