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This non-roster invitee has the raw ability to be a weapon out of Reds the bullpen

San Diego Padres pitcher Trey Wingenter (58) at Yankee Stadium.
San Diego Padres pitcher Trey Wingenter (58) at Yankee Stadium. / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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The Cincinnati Reds need bullpen help and Trey Wingenter might be able to assist in that department. The 27-year-old was signed to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. Can the Cincinnati coaching staff harness Wingenter's raw ability?

With virtually no action for the last month-plus, baseball fans have hit the snooze button on the sport and are patiently waiting for MLB and the Player's Association to get their acts together can come to an agreement on a new deal.

Trey Wingenter could be a sneaky-good addition to the Reds roster.

Lost in the shuffle were some of Cincinnati's minor-league contracts that were handed out prior to the MLB lockout, with one of the most interesting being that of Wingenter. The former Padres pitching prospect has struggled in his two major league seasons (5.14 ERA), but the talent is there.

The Huntsville, Alabama native appeared in 73 games during his first two major league seasons, but Tommy John surgery kept Wingenter out of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Wingenter spent last season on the Padres' 60-day injured list while still recovering from elbow surgery and was non-tendered prior to the work stoppage.

Wingenter was healthy enough to throw in three innings while at the Padres' Arizona Complex during August of last season. In that brief showing, the right-hander allowed one hit, walked one batter, and punched out six.

In 2019, Trey Wingenter pitched 51 innings for the Padres and struck out 72 batters. That's an impressive 12.71 K/9. Unfortunately, Wingenter also walked 28 batters over those 51 innings which pushed his BB/9 to 4.94. A 33% strikeout-rate is very nice. But a 12.8% walk-rate? Not so much.

Next. Don't be so quick to anoint the Reds backup catcher. dark

The 6-foot-7 Wingenter misses bats, but he also misses the strike zone. If Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson is able to help Wingenter gain a measure of control, the Auburn University product could find his way onto the Opening Day roster.

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