Despite last season's tough showing, Stephens will have the chance to earn another shot in the Cincinnati rotation. During the 2017 campaign he pitched seven games, four of which were starts, and logged a 4.68 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 25 innings. Should the Reds decide to open the season with a different starter in their fifth rotation spot, Stephens could still be used as a reliever.
Stephens (2-1) took the loss Saturday, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out five over four innings against the Cubs.
He failed to build on the momentum from his strong outing against Boston last week, giving up a couple run-scoring hits to Kyle Schwarber, including a homer. Stephens hides the ball pretty well with his delivery, but his stuff is mediocre. While the 23-year-old should get a chance to compete for a rotation spot in spring training, he will need to show something more before he warrants consideration in standard formats.
Stephens allowed one run on two hits and two walks across six innings in a no-decision Sunday against the Red Sox. He struck out three.
Stephens limited baserunners to great effect for most of the day, with the only real damage against him coming on a solo home run from Rafael Devers in the fifth inning. He was in line for the win upon his removal after the sixth, but a late collapse from the bullpen prevented that from happening. Stephens was coming off a rough outing earlier in the week, but this solid performance lowered his ERA down to a respectable 3.86. The 23-year-old is pitching for a spot in the 2018 rotation and will look to finish this year strong with Saturday's start against the Cubs.
Stephens gave up five runs on five hits -- including two homers -- and a walk over 3.2 innings in a no-decision against the Cardinals on Tuesday.
After a strong three-inning relief appearance against these same Redbirds last week, Stephens got shifted into the rotation to start against them, and it didn't go too well. Of course, this is a guy who posted a 4.92 ERA and 1.49 WHIP in Triple-A this season, so it was hard to expect much from him for fantasy purposes in the first place.
It sounds like Stephens' second career big-league start will come Tuesday in the series opener against St. Louis. The 23-year-old right-hander has fared well so far in the big leagues, but his numbers over a larger body of work at Triple-A Louisville leave much to be desired (4.92 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 110:51 K:BB). He works mostly fastball-curveball and profiles as a bullpen arm long term.
|10/1/2017 vs Chicago|
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|2016||AA-Pensacola Blue Wahoo||8||11||3.33||27||26||1||1||0||151.1||148||63||56||7||7||41||131|