Shortly the Reds organization is going to need to make some roster room throughout for a number of pitchers who are approaching activation from the DL. In addition to big leaguers Eddie Guardado, Bill Bray, and Eric Milton, minor leaguers Homer Bailey, Sam Lecure, Travis Wood, and Brock Till should be back soon. Add in a few draftees who should arrive in a month or so and there simply needs to be a purge of some pitching to create some roster spots. With 7 guys coming back, I’ve identified my top 7 candidates for release from the organization.
1. Brian Shackelford - Shack is 30, buried in AAA and has an ERA of 7.07. His ERA has only been 2.79 in his last 10 games, but he simply needs to go. Perhaps he can be sold off or traded for future considerations to some team hungry for a lefty, but the Reds should be writing him out of their plans.
2. Steve Kelly - Kelly is 27 and right-handed. He didn’t get a shot when he had a couple decent years and the Reds were more desperate than now. Now he’s a spare part at AAA who isn’t really a reliever and can’t crack the AAA rotation. His ERA is 7.07 and his future is elsewhere. This is the kind of guy who Billy Beane or some one like that grabs and turns into a big league 11th man for cheap. But it won’t happen in Cincy and the Reds need the roster spots for guys with hopefully more upside.
3. Eric Milton - He’d be number 1 w/o the contract. I’m guessing he’ll be given a couple more starts with a rested arm and a rested knee to see if a team looking for answers will pay some of the bill, but he won’t last a lot longer IMO.
4. Mike Flannery - A 27 year old right-hander with an 8.27 ERA in AA. He’s kind of in the same situation as Kelly except a level down. There are better uses of the roster spot and his career might be better off in another organization.
5. Victor Santos - A career journeyman who hasn’t been a very good starter in the big leagues but has done well in a mop-up role in Cincy. The Reds aren’t going to eat Stanton’s deal and can’t send out Burton. When they all come back there will simply be no room. If he’d accept a spot in AAA he could stay in the organization, but some team will give him a big league job. Hopefully the Reds can get a little cash or a PTBNL for him.
6. Luke Lockwood - He’ll be 26 in July and is a lefty with a 5.91 ERA in AA. He gets ground balls at the rate of 1.76 to 1 fly ball right now and being a lefty who could be tried in the pen, maybe he’ll stick. But being 26 in AA and not really having success isn’t a good sign and there are a number of better younger guys passing him on the depth chart. The Reds probably need the roster spot more than they need to hang on to the long shot hope.
7. Bo Lanier - Lanier is only 24, but he’s a smallish RH in high A ball with an ERA of 7.50 (6.75 in his last 10 games). With 17 Walks and only 8 Ks and 2 HR allowed in 12 innings, it’s probably time to make room for some one else. Maybe he goes back to extended spring, but not sure why.
Honorable mention: These guys are doing ok, but probably don’t fit due to age and where they are on the depth chart: Ricky Stone, Wes Wilkerson, Tom Shearn.