Reds acquire two pitchers from Rockies in trade

Who is Robert Stephenson? Seven facts about Reds pitcher
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Who is Robert Stephenson? Seven facts about Reds pitcher

The Cincinnati Reds acquired two right-handed pitchers, Jeff Hoffman and Case Williams, from the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday for right-handed pitcher Robert Stephenson and minor-league outfielder Jameson Hannah.

Hoffman, 27, made 16 relief appearances for the Rockies last season. He had a 9.28 ERA. He was a starter in 2019 and was 2-6 with a 6.56 ERA in 15 starts.

Williams, 18, was the Rockies’ fourth-round pick (110th overall) in the 2020 draft. He’s from Douglas County High School in Castle Rock, Colo.

“For different reasons, we liked both players,” Reds President of Baseball Operations Nick Krall said. “With Jeff, we thought he’s a guy who could benefit from a change of scenery. Coming to Cincinnati, we feel he can give us multiple innings in a relief role and potentially compete for a fifth spot in the starting rotation. He’s versatile with what he does. He’s got pretty good stuff. Maybe we can figure out a way to tap it. We’re excited to get him.

“Case is a kid we were going to take in the fourth round, and Colorado picked our pockets right ahead of us. Our guys really liked him. He’s a big, strong, high school kid who has good stuff and has a chance to have three solid pitches.”

The deal ends a five-year run in Cincinnati for Stephenson, 27, the team’s first-round pick in 2011. He had a 9.90 ERA in 10 relief appearances last season and a 5.15 ERA in 104 games (22 starts) since debuting in 2016. He had his best season in 2019 with a 3.76 ERA in 57 relief appearances.

Like Hoffman, Stephenson could improve with a change in scenery, Krall said.

“Robert was really good for us two years ago,” Krall said. “He struggled a bit this year.”

Hannah, 23, was a second-round pick in 2018. The Oakland A’s drafted him and traded him to the Reds for starter Tanner Roark at the trade deadline in 2019. He hit .224 in 18 games with the Single-A Daytona Tortugas in 2019.