No. 14 Reds prospect Stoudt struggles in MLB debut

April 19th, 2023

CINCINNATI -- Right-hander admitted that the first inning of his debut left him a bit shell-shocked.

"Kind of a haze, especially that first inning," he said. "I came out of it like, 'What happened?' Game sped up on me a little bit. It was a lot of emotions."

Stoudt allowed six runs on seven hits, including a run-scoring balk, in the the first inning of the Reds' 8-0 loss to the Rays Wednesday afternoon to wrap up the seven-game homestand at Great American Ball Park.

Reds manager David Bell saw how Stoudt felt in the first inning.

"He was very excited to be out there," Bell said. "Emotional. It's a dream come true for any player to get to the Major Leagues. The first inning, I don't care who you are, how good you are, you don't know what to expect.

"It's a lot to deal with, just the emotions of being on a Major League mound for the first time. That's what I saw. He was a little bit over-amped. He was unable to get his breaking ball down. He was up everything. Then when he came in, he got hit hard."

Stoudt calmed down after the first, allowing one run over his final three innings while recording the first three strikeouts of his career.

The 25-year-old was called up and inserted into the rotation to give Hunter Greene an extra day of rest after he took a ball off the shin in his last start.

Stoudt was obtained in the Luis Castillo deal with Seattle at last year's Trade Deadline. He was ranked the No. 15 prospect in the Reds' system by MLB Pipeline at the time and moved up to No. 14 this season.

Prior to his callup, Stoudt was was 0-1 with a 4.09 ERA in three outings with Triple-A Louisville. He had walked nine and struck out 10 in 11 innings. He lasted only 2 2/3 innings and allowed five runs in his last outing.

Stoudt split time between Double-A and Triple-A in the Reds' and Mariners' organizations last year, going a combined 7-8 with a 4.70 ERA.

Yandy Díaz hit Stoudt's third pitch of the game out to left-center field for his sixth home run. Five of the next six hitters reached via base hits. When Stoudt balked Manuel Margot in from third, it was 6-0.

"Just executing pitches, making good pitches," he said. "If I don't make a good pitch at this level, it's not going to go well. Just making good pitches and trying to stick to the game plan as best as I can."

Stoudt settled down and ended up going four innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits. He walked one and struck out three.

"I think the biggest thing is, I just came back and fought through those last three innings," Stoudt said. "That was my takeaway. I'm going to look at the positives in that sense."

The short start meant the Reds' bullpen would have to cover five innings for the third time in five games and cover at least four innings for the third game in a row.

The Reds were also shut out on back-to-back days. They had a combined nine hits on Tuesday and Wednesday after beating the Rays 8-1 Monday.

"We don't take [the shutouts] lightly," Bell said. "Our guys are continuing to work. You do give credit -- we faced good pitching. But, as hitters and competitors, you don't really see it that way. You're just figuring out what you can do to get on the board.

"Thankfully, we have a lot of games. We've got some success to build on. We've got to find ways to win again."