Shuffle in the Rotations

The 2013 season is now past the all-star break and teams are now rotating prospects with many getting rewarded for strong performances by promotions. Ryan Dennick and Chad Rogers are now in the Louisville rotation for the Reds who called up Greg Reynolds for a spot start in tonight's doubleheader at San Francisco.

Louisville jumped out to a four-run lead in the first inning en route a 6-4 win to open a series at Syracuse and reach the .500 mark on the season. Their first three batters of the game loaded the bases before Mike Hessman and Felix Perez delivered a couple of two-run doubles. They were unable to hold that lead and the game-winning runs came from a two-run rally in the eighth that included a run-scoring groundout from Jason Donald and an RBI single by Henry Rodriguez.

Billy Hamilton and Denis Phipps had two hits each for the Bats. Emmanuel Burriss was a frequent flyer on the base paths by walking twice in addition to one hit and Hessman reached with a walk to go along with his double. On the mound Ryan Dennick got his first ever AAA start and finished without a decision, allowing three runs on six hits and three walks in four-plus innings. Jose Arredondo tossed a scoreless seventh inning with timing good for the win before Jose Diaz shut out the Chiefs over the last two frames for the save.

Louisville has benefitted from a good rotation this season, but as is often the case in the minor leagues good performances often lead to changes. Organizational depth is important in the rotation, along with other components of the team, in order to have personnel available in case a need arises at the MLB level. Greg Reynolds has been the most reliable starting pitcher for the Bats and the Reds saw said need arise for the second game in their doubleheader at San Francisco tonight. Another starter for the Bats, MLB veteran and minor-league free agent pickup Armando Galarraga is now with the Rockies after a trade earlier this month.

Dennick was acquired by Cincinnati in the minor league portion of the most recent Rule 5 draft after working four years in the Kansas City organization after they drafted him in the 22nd round in 2008. He was a good pickup for Pensacola where he posted a 3.35 ERA over eighteen starts which was the second lowest in their rotation behind Chad Rogers who got a call from Louisville earlier this month. The 6'0"/185# southpaw has more of a build for the bullpen from where he saw prior action with the Royals and he's already thrown more innings in 2013 than in any of his previous minor league seasons. His stats are that of a finesse pitcher, striking out only 5.7 hitters per nine innings at Pensacola, with good command that's given him a K/BB ratio of 2.54 over that time.

At 26 years of age Dennick is a little older than other prospects debuting in AAA. Aside from Rogers he'll also join Daniel Corcino and Chad Reineke in the Bats rotation. Reynolds's stay with the Reds figures to be short-lived. Since Tony Cingrani has answered the call their rotation is a tough one to crack for any other prospects and opportunities for any more starts will get even rarer when Johnny Cueto returns from the DL. Yohan Pino has also been getting starts recently with a member of the Bats opening day rotation, Pedro Villarreal, now seeing action out of the bullpen.

Carlos Contreras was promoted from Bakersfield to fill the void left from the departures of Rogers and Dennick. Another prospect, Parker Frazier will be added to Pensacola roster. He was an 8th round selection by Colorado in 2007 and was returned in the trade of Galarraga. He was used as a starter in the Rockies system prior to this season and the lean 6'5", 24 year-old right-hander has kept a 3.65 ERA across over 200 career AA innings before getting hit hard in nine AAA appearances this season.

The 31 year-old Galarraga had a sub-three ernie after sixteen starts for the Bats and was a good man to have in the organization. However, with the emergence of Reynolds there less need for him and now the Reds can give a shot to the younger Frazier. They are also high on Contreras who is a 22 year-old veteran of the Dominican League. Since a solid season closing at Dayton and Bakersfield last year they've converted him into a starter and protected him on the 40-man roster. Also in the mix for a change of venue is a couple of 25 year-olds with sub-four ERA's at Pensacola. The Reds gave one of their Arizona Fall League spots to Tim Crabbe who made the Southern League All Star team and figures to get the next call. Josh Smith has acquitted himself well at every level since breaking in at Billings in 2010.

Other Organizational News:

The Reds opened up a west coast trip with a convincing 11-0 win at San Francisco. Bronson Arroyo did not allow a walk while tossing a seven-hit shutout. Todd Frazier got the party started by clearing loaded bases with a double in the first. The Reds added on with a couple of solo home runs the next inning from Shin-soo Choo and Devin Mesoraco. They didn't quit playing longball the next inning when Jay Bruce smashed a solo homer. Two more crossed the plate in the fourth from a Brandon Phillips double that was aided by an error. Cincinnati ended up denting the plate in each of the first seven innings. Derrick Robinson had three hits and scored three times. Mesoraco added two hits while Choo and Frazier added two apiece and Bruce reached from a walk in addition to his homer.

Rain postponed the final game of Pensacola's home series against Huntsville.

Bakersfield allowed three in the third inning and fell short in their comeback in a 3-2 home loss to Lancaster. The Blaze runs came on a two-run homer by Steve Selsky in the fourth. He finished with two of his team's six hits while Juan Duran reached from a hit and a walk. Jon Moscot took the loss from a quality start, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks over six innings.

Dayton scored four runs in their last at-bat to win 10-9 at home over Wisconsin. The game-winning rally came when the first three Dragon batters in the eighth loaded the bases before a hit batsman, single, sac fly, and wild pitch. Previously they began digging themselves out of a seven-run deficit with an RBI-double by Joe Hudson in the second, two-run double by Beau Amaral in the fourth, and home run by Seth Mejias-Brean leading off the seventh. Mejias-Brean finished with two hits and a bases-loaded walk in the fourth. Hudson and Jesse Winker also reached with two hits and a walk apiece. Amaral and Daniel Pigott also had two-hit games. Sal Romano got the start, was lifted in the second inning and hammered for eight runs. Tony Amezcua relieved him with three-plus scoreless frames. Joel Bender allowed a run while tossing three innings and picked up the win before Wandy Peralta threw a scoreless ninth for the save.

Billings allowed four runs in the sixth and never caught up in a 9-5 loss to visiting Orem. Jose Ortiz had two hits and two RBI for the Mustangs while Phil Erving finished with two hits, a walk, and drove in one. Carlos Sanchez, Ronald Bueno, and Ronald Bueno added a hit and a walk apiece to the attack. Starter Ben Lively allowed one run in three innings, but it was unearned and he still has a zero ERA after eighteen innings pitched. Daniel Wright pitched the next three innings and allowed five runs for the loss.

The AZL Reds allowed three runs in the first inning and eventually lost 5-3 to the AZL Mariners. Jose Duarte finished with two hits plus a walk for the Reds, while Aristides Aquino a single and a double and Logan Uxa reached from one hit/two walks. Manual Aybar allowed four runs over the first four innings for the loss. He was relieved by Ty Boyles who tossed three scoreless frames.

The DSL Reds scored two runs in both of their last two at-bats in their 6-3 win over the DSL Twins. Jose Siri led the way for the Reds with four hits and two RBI. Francis Guerrero added three doubles to their attack and Miguel Mendez stroked a single and a triple. Starter Jose DeSousa got the win for throwing five innings of shutout ball, allowing two hits and two walks. Josue Castellano tossed a scoreless ninth for the save.

The DSL Rojos were swept in a double header against the DSL Braves. In the first game they found themselves behind by four runs after four innings in a 7-3 loss. Olvis Jimenez finished with two of the five Rojo hits. Wendolyn Bautista was victimized by three unearned runs while allowing four total over five innings for the loss.

They came back to drop a 1-0 decision to the Braves in the second game when the offense was limited to two hits. Jean Lara took the loss from a nice outing, tossing a complete, six-inning game and allowing one run on four hits and a walk.

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