Despite calls from the Reds fanbase, keeping Connor Phillips in the minors is correct call

A lot of Reds fans were clamoring for pitching prospect Connor Phillips to start for Cincinnati on Sunday.
Cincinnati Reds prospect Connor Phillips
Cincinnati Reds prospect Connor Phillips / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Levi Stoudt has yet to be named the starting pitcher for today's game, but according to Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the right-hander will pitch against the Atlanta Braves in Sunday's series finale.

The Cincinnati Reds could decide to run out an opener like Daniel Duarte or Ian Gibaut for an inning or two in order to get past the top of the Atlanta lineup, or Stoudt could earn his third start of the 2023 season.

But the one thing Reds fans won't see is pitching prospect Connor Phillips make the leap from Double-A to the major leagues. While some fans throughout Reds Country may disagree, that's the correct call on the part of Cincinnati's front office.

Keeping Reds prospect Connor Phillips in the minors is correct call.

Connor Phillips has electric stuff, and should be given the green light to join the Louisville Bats at Triple-A. But to jump the 22-year-old pitching prospect from Double-A to the majors is not a wise move.

Phillips has pitched very well this season at Double-A Chattanooga and leads the minor leagues in strikeouts. Phillips is 2-2 with a 3.34 ERA in 14 starts and has 111 punch outs in 64.2 innings of work.

According to FanGraphs, Phillips owns a strikeout-rate near 40-percent and his walk-rate is sitting at 9.5-percent. Phillips FIP is rather impressive as well at 3.40. But it's time for the Cincinnati Reds to hit the brakes when it comes to accelerating the rebuild.

It seems as though every week the Cincinnati faithful are screaming on social media for the Reds front office to call up yet another prospect. To date, the Reds have seen players like Elly De La Cruz, Andrew Abbott, Matt McLain, and Brandon Williamson all make their major league debuts.

But all of those players had one thing in common; they all made the ascent to the big leagues by coming up through Triple-A. That should be the next step for Connor Phillips.

It's very easy for the fanbase to overreact when, for the first time in a long time, the Cincinnati Reds have a legitimate path to the postseason. The city is starved for a winner, so the enthusiasm is warranted. But don't lose sight of the big picture.


Reds General Manager Nick Krall is trying to build a sustainable brand of winning baseball. While the Reds rebuild is yielding results quicker than anticipated, it should not cause the Cincinnati front office to take their eye off the target.

Players like Connor Phillips and Noelvi Marte should be advanced up the minor league ladder. When a spot on the Reds active roster becomes available, Christian Encarnacion-Strand should make his big league debut. But patience is essential.

The Cincinnati Reds still lead the National League Central Division and Nick Krall has already suggested that the team could be buyers at the trade deadline. It's easy to get excited with such promise on the horizon, but the fanbase needs to trust the process.

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