As mentioned in today’s Morning Report, Cincinnati Reds right-hander Robert Stephenson is having an intriguing season for Triple-A Louisville: 86 innings over 16 starts, 3.35 ERA, 109 strikeouts, 45 walks, just 64 hits and a .203 average-against.
Stephenson is in that nebulous career area: he’s not a prospect, having exceeded rookie limits with 121.2 MLB innings on his resume, but he has yet to establish himself in the majors and seems something of a forgotten man at this point. His Triple-A numbers this season fit in well with his general career profile: an impressive K/IP and H/IP ratio, but too many walks.
That said, he’s been quite dominant in many outings this year including his 12 strikeout-one-walk game yesterday and a similar 11-strikeout-3 walk game on June 25th. He has a 2.77 ERA over his last 10 starts and has, at times, shown signs of putting his command together. He has a 29/5 K/BB in his last three outings.
So, let’s talk about Robert Stephenson. Key questions for the community:
A) If you were the Reds, would you give him another chance, and if so, how soon?
B) If you were the Reds, would he be available in trade talks?
C) If you were another team, would you be interested?
D) Do you think that Stephenson will end up being a good or better pitcher in the long run?
My own answers are A) Yes, now or soon B) Yes, but I would not give him away; C) Certainly; D) yes.
What do you think?
BONUS QUESTION: Would a Robert Stephenson/Byron Buxton trade between the Reds and the Twins, straight up, be a fair exchange of talent for both teams? If not, how would you change the trade to make it balanced?