The Reds shut down rookie right-hander Tyler Mahle for the rest of the 2017 season, per a report from the Cincinnati Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans. There’s nothing sinister here, just a rookie who hit his innings limit for the season. Mahle finished a brief run in the big leagues with a 2.70 ERA, 5.0 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 in his first 20 innings, ending on a high note after tossing five scoreless innings against the Cardinals on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old righty contracted a mild case of the jitters after making the jump to the majors, but the control issues that plagued him in September don’t appear to be a chronic problem. Prior to his call-up, Mahle touted a 2.73, 2.0 BB/9 and 7.7 SO/9 with Triple-A Louisville, and his numbers were even better in Double-A. He accumulated 164 1/3 innings across all three levels, which likely made the decision to shut him down an easy one for the Reds. Given his poise and results on the mound, however, there’s no reason to think he won’t be in the mix for a rotation spot next spring.
In the meantime, the club will roll with a rotation featuring Sal Romano, Robert Stephenson, Jackson Stephens, Rookie Davis and Homer Bailey. Heading into Saturday’s set against the Pirates, Reds’ starters rank second-to-last in the league with a collective 5.67 ERA and 1.9 fWAR. They’ll go for their 65th win of the season at 4:10 ET.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.