The Reds will call up pitching prospect Brandon Williamson for his major league debut tomorrow, tweets Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Cincinnati is still deciding whether to start him or deploy him following an opener, but he’ll make his major league debut in Colorado.
Williamson is already on the 40-man roster. Cincinnati selected his contract last offseason to keep him out of the Rule 5 draft. He’s spent the 2023 campaign on optional assignment to Triple-A Louisville. He joined the taxi squad earlier today and will formally get his first major league call tomorrow. Cincinnati will need to make a 26-man roster move to accommodate his promotion.
The 6’6″ southpaw entered the professional ranks in 2019. The Mariners selected him in the second round out of TCU. Williamson showed intriguing stuff and racked up huge strikeout tallies up through Double-A over his first couple pro seasons. Heading into 2022, Baseball America named him the sport’s #83 overall minor league talent and called him a potential mid-rotation arm. Coming out of the lockout, the Reds acquired him as the top prospect in their return for Jesse Winker in the trade that saw Seattle absorb the final three years of the Eugenio Suárez contract.
Since landing with the Reds, Williamson has seen his prospect stock back up a little bit. He’s struggled to throw strikes and seen his swing-and-miss numbers dip against upper minors hitters. Williamson combined for a 4.11 ERA in 122 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A last year. He dropped off BA’s top 100, falling to tenth in the Cincinnati farm system in their estimation. The outlet suggested he looked more like a back-of-the-rotation type as his fastball velocity dipped into the lower 90s.
He’s had a tough beginning to the season in Louisville. Over eight starts, Williamson has allowed a 6.62 ERA in 34 innings. His 16.4% strikeout rate is the lowest of his professional career, while he’s still walking batters at an elevated 12.1% clip. He’s allowed just four runs in a combined 11 2/3 frames over his last two appearances, however. That’s enough for Cincinnati to give him a look at the back of a beleaguered major league rotation.
The Reds are expected to be without Nick Lodolo for a month due to a calf injury. They also recently designated struggling starter Luis Cessa for assignment, subtracting two members from their starting five. Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft and Luke Weaver are the only three pitchers with guaranteed rotation spots. Williamson should have a path to carving out a role if he performs well.
Cincinnati promoted another of its better prospects, middle infielder Matt McLain, for tonight’s game against the Rockies. Reds’ fans will get to see successive major league debuts on consecutive days as the front office starts to get looks at players it hopes can be pieces of a more competitive future. Cincinnati’s 18-22 start is enough to keep them within range of a weak NL Central thus far, but they’re not likely to hang in the divisional picture for a full season with their current rotation.
This one belongs to the Reds
Good luck. I still would rather see Abbott having watched both pitch.
Agree. Abbott is certainly more deserving. I wonder if Abbott’s service time might be the reason. Williamson has done little to deserve the call up.
Aweee since I ain’t reply to the dumb ass.
Looks like you were wrong as usual.
So long.. Newman..
Are you sure? Not Lodolo to the 60? Legitimate question, I really don’t know…
It’s going to be a pitcher right, not Newman? Teams can only carry 13 on the roster.
Williamson is already on the 40-man roster. The Reds will just option one of their bullpen arms to make room for Williamson.
a rookie debut in Coors? how kind of you Cincinnati
The last time a rookie debuted at Coors, he shut down the Rox. I don’t remember exactly who it was, but think it was a Mariner. The point is that the unknown pitcher has an advantage no matter what stadium they pitch in.
Bring up Elly to make it 3 in 3 days!! He’s ready too
Rebuild is gathering momentum. Giddy up!
I hope whoever I’m playing in fantasy this week picks him up
Did the Mariners get taken for fools in that trade ?? Winker was a bit of a stinker. But M’s fans are pleased with Eugenio, solidifying the 3B job after many years with Kyle Seager. Reds were just shedding his albatross contract at the time.
Not a terrible trade, judging it at this point imo. Even without Williamson panning out, the salaries make me lean that the Reds are winning rn. If Eugenio/Winker have a big year or Williamson/Fraley take the next step then that will swing it
This one belongs to the Reds
Williamson definitely looks better than he did this spring and earlier this season. Maybe the kid figured some things out. I sure hope so because he has a lively arm and good potential.
If he has and Abbott comes up, that will be a great rotation eventually.
How was his contract an “albatross”
Or do people just always use words they don’t actually know?
Tied in with ancient mariner I suppose.
Hey BigBalls , it was an albatross for the Reds at the time because they wanted to shed salary. It was a long term contract they wanted to offload. They would have liked to have done the same with Votto but no takers.
Oh yeah? When they did they try to the same with Votto with the no takers? Or did your dumb ass not know he has a no trade clause and has already said he wouldn’t waive it? Derp derp.
And no, that wasn’t an “albatross” contract considering it was extremely team friendly. But go off with your ignorance
Okay I think I see the issue. I meant it was an albatross contract & salary dump in regards to Cincinnati’s payroll situation at that time. They were shedding as many long term contracts & trading veterans as part of another rebuild. In regards to the Mariners payroll, you’re right, the Suarez contract is not onerous and is easily absorbed. I’m sure the Reds would have been happy to jettison Votto”s contract as well…but due to his injury there were no teams busting down their door with trade offers, regardless of his no-trade clause. Sorry I didn’t mean the conversation to get snippy.
Again, Votto has said time and time again, he’s NOT waiving his no trade clause. That’s why there there’s not offers. Stop talking about things you clearly know nothing about.