Ex-Dragon Mahle ready for a run at Reds rotation


Former Dayton Dragons pitcher Tyler Mahle hopes to continue his fast rise to the majors this spring.

Reds manager Bryan Price has identified the 23-year-old right-hander as one of four who will compete for the fifth spot in the starting rotation.

»RELATED: Reds changing plans for top prospect?

»RELATED: Reds open spring training with hope for solid rotation

»RELATED: Reds give Castillo rotation spot, now it’s up to him

Mahle started the 2017 season at Double-A Penscola and finished it in Cincinnati. He made his Reds debut in August and finished 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in four big-league starts.

“This year I have a chance to make the team out of spring training,” Mahle said. “My change-up and breaking ball are getting better with repetition. … I’m not working on anything in particular. If I had to pick one thing it would be my off-speed pitches.”

Price just wants to see him pitch well and see how things shake out.

“He did very well in his four starts,” Price said. “We challenged Tyler to improve his slider and change-up. At some point this season he will help us. If it is at the start of the season, that’s even better.”

Mahle, a seventh-round draft pick in 2013 out of Wesminster High School in California, caught the eye of Price during his first invitation to spring training last year.

Mahle made his first appearance in an early Cactus League game against the Arizona Diamondbacks and gave up a three-run homer. Price talked to him after the inning and knew then that Mahle was a major-league pitcher.

“Tyler gives up a ground ball base hit. There is a pop up that we don’t catch, then a three-run homer,” Price said that day. “I looked at him, the body, the composure, the delivery, the stuff, he looks like a big leaguer. I know he would have liked to have different results.”

The Reds sent him to minor league camp and Mahle made a prophet out of Price.

Mahle started the season at Pensacola and made 14 starts. He was 7-3 with a 1.59 ERA, including a perfect game against Mobile on April 22. Two months later he was promoted to Louisville and went 3-4 at Triple A with a 2.73 ERA.

In his Reds debut Aug. 27, Mahle pitched five innings in a 5-2 loss to Pittsburgh. He made three more starts and earned a win by pitching the first five innings of a 6-0 shutout of St. Louis.

Mahle led the Reds’ farm system in ERA. He was fourth in strikeouts and tied for third with 10 wins.

This spring Mahle fully intends to win a spot on the team against tough competition.

“(The rotation is) pretty packed but I think I have a better shot,” he said. “I’m going to go about it the same way I did last year. All I can control is doing my thing on the mound.”

Mahle was 13-8 with a 2.43 ERA in 26 starts with the Dragons in 2015. He was a Midwest League All-Star that season and won the Chief Bender Award as the Reds’ minor league player of the year.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Michigan’s defense can be as scary good as it wants to be
Michigan’s defense can be as scary good as it wants to be

During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Wolverines answer questions on the minds of Michigan fans. Submit a question or suggest a topic by sending a tweet  here to Rachel Lenzi or here to Kevin Goheen. Check back Monday through Friday as we answer the Michigan Question of the Day....
Past Iowa sporting events that would have broken Twitter
Past Iowa sporting events that would have broken Twitter

Former Oregon Ducks Jenna Prandini, Devon Allen win gold at USATF Championships
Former Oregon Ducks Jenna Prandini, Devon Allen win gold at USATF Championships

A rain delay didn’t impede former Oregon Ducks Jenna Prandini and Devon Allen at the 2018 USATF Championships on Sunday. Inclement weather suspended competition for nearly three hours on Sunday in Des Moines, Iowa. When competition resumed, Prandini and Allen performed well in their individual events, respectively...
Saquon Barkley appears in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue
Saquon Barkley appears in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue

Saquon Barkley has the top-selling jersey in the NFL. But he didn’t need it for his latest photo shoot. In fact, Barkley didn’t need  any clothing. The former Penn State star was one of the athletes who bared it all for the 2018 edition of ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue, which was released...
Former Sun Devils athletes Shelby Houlihan, Maggie Ewen shine at USATF Championships
Former Sun Devils athletes Shelby Houlihan, Maggie Ewen shine at USATF Championships

Former Arizona State track and field athletes Shelby Houlihan and Maggie Ewen left Des Moines, Iowa with championship hardware. Houlihan and Ewen both shined at the USATF Championships. Houlihan, the former Sun Devils distance runner, won the 1,500 meters on Saturday and then followed that performance up by winning the...
More Stories