3 internal options to replace injured Reds starter Ben Lively

The Cincinnati Reds will be without Ben Lively for at least two weeks.
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Levi Stoudt
Cincinnati Reds pitcher Levi Stoudt / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
2 of 3

2. Connor Phillips could replace injured Reds starter Ben Lively.

This seems to be the one everyone is clamoring for, but I got to tell you, I just don't see it. Could the Cincinnati Reds turn to Connor Phillips at this stage of the season? Absolutely. He needs to be added to the 40-man roster later this season anyway in order to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.

Furthermore, Phillips' leads the minor leagues in strikeouts. The right-hander has an outstanding 35.8-percent strikeout-rate and is striking out 13.94 batters per nine innings pitched according to FanGraphs. That's just next level stuff.

But, here's the downside that nobody wants to talk about. Phillips is walking a lot of batters. With those pre-tacked baseballs that are being used in the Southern League, Phillips' numbers weren't that bad.

At Double-A Chattanooga, the 22-year-old owned a 9.5-percent walk-rate and was allowing 3.76 batters to reach base every nine innings via the free pass. But since joining Triple-A Louisville, Phillips has a 16.4-percent walk-rate and is issuing 6.18 walks per nine innings pitched. That's not going to work in the big leagues.

Now, on the plus side, Connor Phillips is scheduled to pitch for the Louisville Bats on Sunday, so he'd easily slide right into Ben Lively's spot in the starting rotation. It's just hard to see the Cincinnati Reds making the move to Connor Phillips at this point in the season.