Cincinnati Reds: Keury Mella shows his stuff in relief


Keury Mella, one of the Cincinnati Reds’ top prospects, pitched 4 1/3 innings in relief against the Nationals on Thursday. The Dominican-born hurler displayed his skills in his first Major League action of the season.

Cincinnati Reds starter Tyler Mahle was rocked by Washington Nationals’ hitting on Thursday night. The rookie gave up 4 hits, 6 runs, and 3 walks through 1.2 innings during Thursday’s loss at Nationals Park. Mahle was replaced by Keury Mella, the Reds’ No. 12 prospect according to Mella, a starter in all his minor league appearances this season, pitched very well in relief.

Mella went 4.1 innings against the Nationals and allowed only 1 earned run in his first action with the Reds this season. Mella was an international free agent who signed with the San Francisco Giants back in 2011. He was part of the deadline deal in 2015 that brought him and the recently traded Adam Duvall to Cincinnati in exchange for Mike Leake.

Mella made his Major League debut last September for the Reds, and yesterday’s relief appearance against the Nats was his first of this season. He’d been at Triple-A Louisville for three games this season. All three games were starts. He was 2-1 this season with the Bats. He worked a total of 17 innings with a 3.18 ERA. He struck out 10 batters and only allowed only 1 home run during his stint with the Reds’ triple-A affiliate.

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Keury Mella started the season at Double-A Pensacola where he went 7-3 in 16 starts with the Blue Wahoos. Mella’s ERA in Pensacola was even lower than that of his ERA with Louisville. He had nearly a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio with the Blue Wahoos as well.

Mella has been a fast riser in the in the Reds’ farm system. He started the season ranked No. 22 and has leaped all the way up to No. 12. Mella’s fastball is his go-to pitch and consistently has it in the mid-to-upper 90’s.

One of the biggest flaws in Mella’s game is pitching to left-handed batters. That was no different last night, as Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton, who both bat from the left side, and Matt Wieters who’s a switch hitter, were the only players to get hits off of Mella.

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Mella did walk four batters as well, so he is far from a finished product, but the Reds have to like what they saw on Thursday night. Though he’s started every game he’s played in the minor leagues this season, Mella could be a nice weapon out of the Cincinnati bullpen.