The Reds announced Friday that left-hander Mike Minor has been placed on the 15-day injured list due to soreness in his left shoulder. Cincinnati also reinstated righty Connor Overton from the 60-day injured list and, in order to make room for him on the 40-man roster, transferred outfielder Nick Senzel to the 60-day IL. Senzel suffered a fractured toe earlier in the week, which was already known to be a season-ending injury, given the timing.
Minor’s placement on the injured list essentially ends his season and quite likely ends his time as a member of the Reds organization. Acquired from the Royals prior to the 2022 season, the veteran southpaw began the season on the injured list due to problems in that same left shoulder. The Reds initially suggested Minor’s shoulder issue would not keep him out long, but he suffered an April setback and wound up missing the first two months of the season. He’ll now miss the final couple weeks as well.
All told, Minor’s potentially lone season in Cincinnati lasted 19 starts and 98 innings, during which time he struggled to a 6.06 ERA with a 16.7% strikeout rate and 8.8% walk rate. Home runs have increasingly become a problem for Minor in recent years, and the move to the Great American Ball Park — one of the game’s most homer-happy venues — unsurprisingly exacerbated the issue. Minor yielded a hefty 24 home runs in those 98 innings — 15 of them coming at home — for an average of 2.20 HR/9.
The Reds technically hold a $13MM club option over Minor for the 2023 season, although given this year’s struggles, they’ll surely pay the $1MM buyout on that option. It’s always possible the two parties could seek to renegotiate a new contract, but that net $12MM price tag for the Reds seems particularly steep for Minor, given that his struggles extend well beyond the 2022 season. Minor’s last healthy, productive season came in 2019, when he tossed 208 1/3 innings of 3.59 ERA ball for the Rangers. Since that time, he’s pitched 313 1/3 innings of 5.46 ERA ball across parts of three seasons.
As for Overton, his return from a stress reaction in his lower back will give the Reds a late look at a journeyman right-hander who enjoyed solid results early in the season, albeit with questionable underlying numbers. Overton, 29, pitched 24 2/3 innings out of the Cincinnati rotation earlier this year, logging a pristine 1.82 ERA but with just an 11.2% strikeout rate against a 7.9% walk rate. Opponents recorded an average exit velocity of 91 mph against him, and 44.4% of the balls hit against him were at 95 mph or greater.
The Reds are Overton’s sixth MLB organization (to say nothing of a stint on the independent circuit) in what’s now a nine-year professional career. Selected by the Marlins in the 15th round of the 2014 draft, Overton has pitched in the minors with Miami, Washington, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Toronto and now Cincinnati. He made his big league debut in 2021, pitching to a 4.70 ERA in 15 1/3 innings between the Pirates and Blue Jays. In parts of seven minor league seasons, Overton has a 3.98 ERA with a 21.4% strikeout rate and 7.7% walk rate.