You just knew it was going to happen, right? The Cincinnati Reds would finally say goodbye to Luke Weaver, and he'd immediately have success elsewhere.
Well, that's exactly what happened on Wednesday. Weaver, who was designated for assignment by the Reds last week, was signed by the Seattle Mariners. It's strange how these two franchises just continue to swap players.
But, in Weaver's first appearance as a member of the Mariners, the right-hander worked two innings in relief, didn't allow a hit, and struck out five batters. Where the heck was that when he was playing in Cincinnati?
Does Luke Weaver's latest performance prove that the Reds gave up on him too quickly?
Now, before we go nuts here, let's not pretend as though 90-percent of the Cincinnati faithful didn't want to see Luke Weaver kicked out on his keister. Weaver was 2-4 in 21 starts with a 6.87 ERA and allowed 2.23 home runs per nine innings pitched.
Weaver was getting lit up like a Christmas tree on a nightly basis and could not be trusted to go much beyond the fourth or fifth inning most nights. In fact, since June 6th Weaver only got past the fifth inning once. In those 13 contests, he posted a 7.31 ERA and, according to FanGraphs, over 18-percent of his fly balls left the yard.
But, there was a contingent of Reds fans who wanted to see if Luke Weaver had anything to offer coming out of the bullpen. After all, Buck Farmer, Ian Gibaut, and others have been overworked all season. But the Reds decided they'd rather just cut bait than attempt to move Weaver into a relief role.
The Mariners, however, turned the ball over to Weaver in the seventh inning on Wednesday. He proceeded to dominate the Chicago White Sox hitters on only 26 pitches. According to Baseball Savant, Weaver induced swings and misses on 56-percent of his pitches. That's a far cry from what he did in a Reds uniform.
Ultimately, the decision to part ways with Luke Weaver came down to roster construction. The Cincinnati Reds weren't going to bring back Weaver in 2024, and with several players returning from the 60-day IL, they needed spots on the 40-man roster. At the time, the decision made sense.
And let's not overreact to Weaver's one game for the Mariners. For all we know, Weaver could go out two to three days from now and look like the same player who gave up 24 home runs this season.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but Luke Weaver was a liability in the Cincinnati Reds rotation, and moving him to the bullpen was unlikely to change that. With Tejay Antone and Justin Dunn readying for a return, the relief corps will get reinforcements soon enough.