Reynolds on Louisville Roster

With bigger names in the Louisville rotation it's easy to overlook Greg Reynolds who arrived on a minor league contract. One thing he has in common with teammate Mark Prior is that they were both #2 overall draft selections. Unfortunately, like the former Cub all-star, Reynolds's shoulder is no stranger to a surgical knife. The Reds are his third employer and he's out to shed the bust label.

Opening day rosters have been announced and the Louisville Bats find themselves deep in starting pitchers. Tony Cingrani and Daniel Corcino are two of the top prospects in the Cincinnati organization. Mark Prior is continuing his long road back from shoulder surgery after a brief period as one of the elite pitchers in the game and holdovers Chad Reineke and Pedro Villarreal also return. MLB veteran Armando Galarraga has been added who has the dubious distinction of losing a perfect game from a blown call on what should have been the last batter. Greg Reynolds is another pitcher on the roster with experience starting games at the MLB level.

Cincinnati picked up Reynolds after he was granted free agency by Texas making the Reds the third organization for the 27 year-old. Though he is not a highly regarded prospect, it has not always been that way. He spent his first five seasons in the Colorado system after they selected him with the second overall pick in the 2006 draft out of Stanford. The 6'7" right-hander came out of college with good command and a plus change-up that raised his stock to the top of that year's class.

The Rockies fast-tracked him, starting that fall at the high-A level. He fared ok initially in limited action before a 2008 MLB debut. That jump was too early and he's been getting hit hard since. The past two years he's put up ERA's over five in the AAA Pacific Coast League. It didn't help things when he underwent a couple of shoulder surgeries and another one on his elbow along the way that robbed some of his velocity.

Reynolds's fastball sits around high-80's/low 90's. If he ever experiences success it will be from his ability to induce ground balls which is over 50%. He's been able to keep his walk rate low, but generally speaking for pitchers to enjoy sustained success they normally have at least a fair strikeout rate, something that he's never been able to accomplish. In his 27 MLB appearances his K/BB ratio is barely over one.

First impression was that the 06 draft might have been shallow in talent. The top overall selection, Luke Hochevar, has had a very forgettable career thus far with the Royals. Then again the Rays picked up Evan Longoria with the number three pick, Clayton Kershaw was waiting for the Dodgers at number seven, and number ten Tim Lincecum has won a couple of Cy Youngs for the Giants. At the time Reynolds was considered more of a safe, low ceiling/high floor college player projected as a mid-rotation pitcher. Now he's out to prove that floor was not an overestimation.

There's not a lot on the resume to get excited about outside of the lofty draft selection. He never gained velocity as some expected to come with his big frame and perhaps past injuries will prevent that from ever happening. However, he's still young and the Reds aren't counting on him to be an impact player. Once upon a time there was something that made Reynolds a highly-coveted prospect and the Reds have invested a minor league contract to see if any part of it remains.

Other News:

The Reds won their first game of the season last night 4-3 over the Angels on an RBI single by Joey Votto in the bottom of the ninth. Three runs were provided by a three-run homer by Brandon Phillips who returned to cleanup replacing injured Ryan Ludwick. Mat Latos allowed three runs on a couple of homers when he was replaced after 6 2/3 innings. An unearned run in the eighth took the decision away from him and Aroldis Chapman got the win after throwing a scoreless ninth.

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