Reed flashes brilliance in promising 1st start

Lefty posts most K's in a Reds MLB debut since Cueto, for whom he was traded

June 19th, 2016

HOUSTON -- There was a certain serendipity to Cody Reed's impressive -- but inconsistent -- Major League debut during the Reds' 5-4 loss in 11 innings to the Astros on Saturday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

Reed's nine strikeouts were the most by a Cincinnati pitcher in his big league debut since Johnny Cueto's 10-K day against Arizona on April 3, 2008.

Reed just so happened to be part of the massive haul the Reds received in return for Cueto as a result of last summer's trade with Kansas City. In fact, all three of the left-handed starters the Reds received in the trade are starting in this series, with John Lamb pitching Friday and Brandon Finnegan going Sunday.

Reed is just the latest example of the Reds' bright future, another heralded prospect making his way to the big leagues.

The No. 3 Reds prospect -- and No. 60 overall in baseball -- allowed a pair of two-run homers to bookend an otherwise brilliant debut outing, taking the no-decision in Houston.

Marwin Gonzalez took Reed deep just two batters into the game, a quick wake-up call for the lanky lefty.

"That first inning was jittery at times -- I walked the first guy, and you don't plan on that," Reed said.

"I'm sure the announcers had something to say, like, 'Welcome to the big leagues.' With these guys, you can't miss fastballs at this level. It's something to learn for next time out."

After five innings of Reed overpowering the Astros following Gonzalez's blast, Evan Gattis pulled a Reed offering into the bleachers for a go-ahead home run in the seventh. But those were a couple bad pitches in an otherwise stout debut. Reed lasted seven innings, allowing four runs and six hits to go along with those nine strikeouts and three walks across 92 pitches, 62 of them strikes.

He mostly did it with a hard slider that dives in on right-handed batters.

"My slider was really working today, and that's been working for me the last two years," Reed said. "Just getting to a count when I can throw that was big for me to get swings and misses."

The 23-year-old said he was actually more nervous in warmups than when he got on the mound, though it could have fooled Reds manager Bryan Price.

"I was impressed with him, even during the warmups," Price said. "I'm tickled to death this kid is here. He's earned it, touched every level of baseball. It's time for him to be here and learn from all the experiences he'll get this season."

Saturday was an encouraging enough start. Maybe in a park without a short porch in left field Reed's few mistakes wouldn't have been punished so harshly.

Either way, Reed said, he'd settle for a different team result in his next starts.

"You want to win," he said. "Coming out with the team and losing is kind of depressing, but Adam Duvall helped me out and cut me off the hook and let me not take the loss my first time out.

"Now it's about staying in the left side of that column and getting the W's."