Cincinnati Reds add another piece to the minor league pitching staff

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

After signing a righty in Kevin Quackenbush, the Cincinnati Reds have added a lefty.

The Cincinnati Reds have begun the off-season in a slow manner.  They have moved some players off of their forty man roster, losing several bench players.  They have added several prospects to the forty man roster, protecting them from the Rule 5 draft.

The highest profile signing to date has been Kevin Quackenbush, formerly of the San Diego Padres.  They signed him to a minor league contract.  He will get a chance to do what Kevin Shackelford did last season.

Shackelford re-signed as a minor league free agent and worked his way onto the roster.  He closed twelve of fourteen games in Triple-A Louisville.  Then the Reds called him up and he finished the season as a low leverage reliever for the big league club.

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Quackenbush  was a closer in college and the minors.  In the big leagues he became a middle reliever.  It isn’t like the Padres had that many saves to go around anyway with their sad teams of late.

The Reds followed that up with the signing of Joe Mantiply.  Mantiply is a lefty from the New York Yankees’ organization.  The Detroit Tigers drafted Mantiply in 2013.

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The Cincinnati Reds are looking for depth that can be held in the minors without costing a roster spot.

The Reds signed Mantiply to a minor league deal after the lefty spent an entire season in the minors with the Yankees in 2017.  He pitched four years for the Virginia Tech Hokies in college as a starting pitcher.  Mantiply, however, only went 20-16 with an ERA of 3.99 over four seasons in college.

The Tigers let Manitply begin his professional career as a starter, but he averaged less than three innings per start his first season as a pro.  From that point on the Tigers treated him as a multi-inning reliever.  As Mantiply continued his march to the majors, he continued to strike out more than a batter per inning and pitch more than an inning per appearance.

In 2016 Mantiply made his debut with the Tigers.  It wasn’t pretty.  He pitched in five games, covering 2 2/3 innings, with an ERA of 16.88 and a WHIP of 3.38.

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The Reds are looking far and wide for talent to augment a ridiculously young bullpen, but they will fill it with starting pitchers in 2018 if they don’t get talent elsewhere.  The team realizes that the starting pitching is more likely scary awful than scary good.  So,the best thing is to load up on whatever talent they can get.