By HAL McCOY
CINCINNATI — The pitching Merry-Go-Round with the Cincinnati Reds continues and this time it was not due to lack of productivity in the majors nor was it because it was due to super productivity in the minors.
But necessary, mostly because Reds starter Tyler Mahle lasted only one inning Thursday night against the Philadelphia Phillies and manager Jim Riggleman had to ravage his bullpen by covering eight innings.
So shock troops were needed.
With that in mind, the Reds promoted a pair of left handed relief pitchers from Class AAA Louisville, Wandy Peralta and Keury Mella. To make room, right handed pitcher Austin Brice was optioned to Louisville and left handed pitcher Kyle Crockett was designated for assignment.
Peralta began the season with the Reds and posted a 6.14 ERA in 37 relief appearances before he was optioned to Louisville on June 2. Mella made two relief appearances for the Reds last season.
“The changes we made are not really based on anybody’s pitching performances as it is how much they’ve pitched,” said manager Jim Riggleman. “A couple of guys threw a lot of pitches (Michael Lorenzen and Austin Brice), so we needed to get some guys here to give us innings tonight or tomorrow night if we get into a tough situation.
“We brought up a couple of arms to cover us. Wandy Peralta has been here before and was doing a good job down below We hope he not only can pitch in leveraged big situations but also give us multiple innings. And the same thing with Keury Mella.”
Mella, a 24-year-old Dominican, was obtained along with Adam Duvall in the deal that sent pitcher Mike Leake to the San Francisco Giants. He is a starting pitcher but right now is a stop gap out of the bullpen.
“Mella is another young guy with a big arm and has been down there (in the minors) refining his pitches and is doing a good job,” said Riggleman. “We actually targeted him when we made the deal with San Francisco for Duvall. He is a quality young starter who may have to make his way here through the bullpen.”
Peralta, a huge success out of the bullpen last season, sputtered and stuttered this year, mainly with command and control, forcing the Reds to dispatch him to Louisville for some repair work.
“Initially, when Wandy went down he didn’t seem to be making progress (on his control) for a while,” said Riggleman. “The last couple of weeks, though, have been very promising and that’s what we hope he brings here.”
AFTER EUGENIO SUAREZ homered for the fourth straight game Thursday night, it gave the Reds three players this season who have hit home run in four straight games — Suarez, Scooter Gennett and Joey Votto. Not even the Big Red Machine or those big boppers of the mid 1950’s led by Ted Kluszewski ever had three players have four-game home run streaks in one season.
“That does surprise me and not even because of The Big Red Machine but some of the great hitting teams they had before that,” said Riggleman. “I’m sure they had guys who hit home runs four days in a row, but not three different guys in one year. It is kind of where we are in today’s game. People are hitting homers. Pitchers have to figure out to stop them from hitting them.”
HUNTER GREENE, the Reds No. 1 draft pick two years ago, had them oohing and aahing Wednesday night for the Dayton Dragons in Fifth Third Field. He threw a pitch against the Fort Wayne Tin Caps clocked at 102 miles an hour, the fastest pitch ever recorded at Fifth Third.
“Did he really? 102? Did he have a good night? I haven’t checked,” said Riggleman. When told that Greene threw the 102 miles an hour pitch with a stomach virus that forced him out of the game after two innings and four strikeouts, Riggleman said, “Oh, yeah he seems to be making progress.”
WITH THE NON-WAIVER trade deadline just days away, there is no gossip out there about Scooter Gennett, which should make most Reds fans ecstatic. And while the Reds desire to move pitcher Matt Harvey, interest is light. There have been inquiries from the Seattle Mariners and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Would the Reds trade Harvey to a National League Central rival this year? Why not? Harvey, a free agent after the season, would be a rental for the Brewers. He can’t hurt the last place Reds this season and he probably would be gone from the Brewers after this season.
CHIPPER JONES WILL BE inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame with a career slash line of more than .300 (batting average)/.400 (on-base percentage/, .500 (slugging percentage).
Only two active players have career slash lines above .300/.400/.500 — Mike Trout and Joey Votto.
WHAT DOES IT SAY, if anything, when fans wear Reds jerseys with more names from the past than from the present? During a 15-minute session in a rocking chair inside Great American Ball Park’s main gate, I observed fans wearing jerseys from Scott Rolen, Jay Bruce, Zack Cozart, Ken Griffey Jr. and Eric Davis. There were five fans wearing current Reds jerseys, all with the name Joey Votto on the back. Nobody else.
AND WHAT DOES IT SAY, if anything when the Reds drew 17.036 on Monday night against the St. Louis Cardinals in Great American Ball Park while right next door at U.S. Bank Arena at the same time as the baseball game the WWE Raw wrestling even drew more than 17,750.
QUOTES OF THE DAY:
Reds relief pitcher Jared Hughes keeps a daily journal in which he records a myriad of things, including what he considers funny quotes from his teammates. He offered an example of what pitcher Austin Brice said to him recently: “Y’know, I woke up this morning and I was awake.”
Hughes asked fellow relief pitcher David Hernandez if he had any major league hits and Hernandez said, “Yeah, one, and a small village left on base.”