Guillon Coming Around

Ismael Guillon entered this season as the second highest rated lefty pitching prospect in the Reds system behind Tony Cingrani who is finishing up his rookie season with the Reds. After a slow start he's now salvaging his season at Dayton and making a case for advancement to high-A next year.

Dayton hung tough until they allowed four runs in the eighth inning in their 6-1 loss to visiting West Michigan. Zach Vincej had two hits for the Dragons and provided their only run with a solo homer in the seventh inning. Jon Matthews also had two hits in his single A debut. On the mound the Dragons got six strong innings from Ismael Guillon who was charged with the loss. He allowed two runs on four hits and walked only one while striking out three. The Whitecaps got to a couple of relievers in the eighth before Jesus Adames finished with a scoreless ninth.

It's been a tough season for Guillon, but he's starting to come around, allowing two runs or fewer in his last five starts which has given him an ERA under two over that time. Overall he's 5-8 with a 5.28 ERA on the season. Of course his biggest problem has been control as he's walked 91 batters in 109 innings. That has been a disappointment after he put together a solid season at Billings last year which ended with an impressive four-game performance at Dayton.

He's still only 21 years old and taking some time to go through a learning curve at a new level normally would not be a big problem for a young prospect with a high upside. Unfortunately some complications at the time of his signing have now reared their head. His debut was postponed by Tommy John surgery which also voided his first contract. He re-signed for less money, but since he signed a second contract with the team he was eligible for the Rule 5 draft which caused the Reds to use a spot on their 40-man roster to protect him. Also, this season has used up one of his option years and he's not been able to progress higher than low-A.

Typically players have three option years so now Guillon has two of them remaining and, assuming he starts at high-A next season, three more levels to master. If he continues to be slow developing command they may consider a move to the bullpen which could ultimately speed up his climb through the system if he responds well.

Guillon brings a low-90's fastball and a changeup that many scouts believe can be a plus pitch. He's also working on a curve, but development of a third pitch will have less urgency if he's converted into a reliever. He came into this season a consensus top-20 prospect in the Cincinnati system and now that Tony Cingrani is an MLB pitcher he's the top southpaw remaining in the organization's development levels. He certainly one the Reds want to keep around but the TJ surgery earlier makes it more difficult. It does appear he's salvaging his 2013 season at the end and it will be interesting to see his role next season which will likely begin in high-A.

Other Organizational News:

The Reds kept pace with the other two division leaders by opening up a four-game home series against Arizona with a 5-3 win. They took an early lead in the second inning when Brandon Phillips led off with a triple and scored on a sac fly. In the fourth they retook the lead when the first four batters hit safely including an RBI single by Jay Bruce, an RBI double from Ryan Ludwick and a groundout from Zach Cozart which gave him a second RBI in the contest. Todd Frazier added insurance by leading off the next inning with a home run. Phillips led his team with three hits and scored twice while Shin-soo Choo and Joey Votto sustained their league-leading on-base percentages with a hit and walk each. Bronson Arroyo got his twelfth win of the season by three runs on seven hits over six innings while striking out six without a walk. Aroldis Chapman entered in the ninth and with the help of an impressive double play held the Diamondback scoreless for the save. J.J. Hoover threw a scoreless eighth for his 23rd consecutive scoreless appearance.

Louisville fell behind early and lost a 7-0 shutout at Rochester. The Bats were limited to five hits in the game and Chad Rogers took the loss for allowing five runs in five innings.

Pensacola needed a doubleheader to make up an earlier rainout at Huntsville and finished with a sweep by winning 2-1 and 3-2. In the first contest Mike Costanzo tied the score with a solo home run in the fourth before Ryan LaMarre double in the game-winner the next frame. Jonathan Moscot got the win for allowing only one unearned run on two hits in five innings while striking out four and walking one. He also helped himself offensively by doubling and scoring the go-ahead run. Trevor Bell tossed a scoreless seventh for the save and lowered his ERA to 1.47 overall on the season.

In the second game the Wahoos rallied for three runs in the third inning and held on for the victory. New Wahoo Brandon Short led off the inning with a home run before Yorman Rodriguez drove home two with a single. Daniel Renken got the start and allowed only one run on four hits/two walks while striking out six, but he only pitched four innings and did not qualify for the win. That went to Parker Frazier who retired all five batters faced to end the game.

Bakersfield had the day off and will travel to Inland Empire to start a series on Tuesday.

Billings scored four runs in the eleventh inning in a 10-7 win at Ogden. They took an early lead from a solo home run by Aristides Aquino in the first inning. They took another lead later when Adam Matthews hit a three-run homer in the eighth. Avain Rachal added insurance that would be needed in the ninth with a solo homer. Carlos Sanchez drove home the first run in the final rally with a single before Jose Ortiz hit a three run homer to cap off the Mustang scoring. Rachal led his team with three hits while Sanchez, Matthews, Ortiz, and J.R. Reynolds added two apiece. Pedro Diaz got no decision for allowing one run on five hits/one walk over the first four innings. Scott Brattvelt tossed two scoreless innings of relief. Oswaldo Mieres did not allow a run in 1 2/3 innings for the win.

The AZL Reds were idle and will play the AZL Brewers Tuesday.

The DSL Reds tied the score with four runs in the seventh inning but allowed one in the eighth in a 6-5 loss to the AZL Twins. Hector Vargas had two of the Reds' seven hits. Junior Arias was victimized by his fielding and made a couple of errors while getting no decision for allowing four runs (one earned) on three hits/three walks in four innings pitched. Josue Castellano took the loss for allowing the game-winner.

The DSL Rojos allowed three runs in the fourth inning in a 4-2 loss to the DSL Nationals. Anthony Rubicondo had two of the Rojos' three hits in the game. John De Leon took the loss for allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits in four innings pitched while striking out six with only one walk.

Cincy Hardball Top Stories