By Hal McCoy
It was raining more than moisture on the Cincinnati Reds Friday. It was raining bad news.
First of all, the scheduled Reds-Washington Nationals game Friday night in Nationals Park was postponed due to rain. Instead, the Reds and Nationals will play a day-night doubleheader Saturday — 1:05 and 7:05.
The most ominous news emanated from Fifth Third Field in Dayton. Hunter Greene, the Reds No. 1 draft pick in 2017, has been shut down for the season with the dreaded UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) strain.
More often than not, that eventually lead to Tommy John surgery. For the time being, though, the Reds have sent him to their Arizona spring training camp in Goodyear for rehab — an attempt to heal the problem before surgery is necessary.
Also, after another bad outing in Washington Thursday night — six runs in 1 2/3 innings, starting pitcher Tyler Mahle was optioned to Class AAA Louisville to work out the kinks.
To take his place, the Reds called up relief pitcher Jesus Reyes, who will make his major league debut when he appears for the Reds.
That, for now, solves the six-man rotation problems with the extraction of Mahle. That leaves the rotation at Homer Bailey, Matt Harvey, Anthony DeSclafani, Luis Castillo and Sal Romano.
However, at Class AAA Louisville, Robert Stephenson and Cody Reed are clamoring for another chance in the Reds rotation. Reed pitched eight shutout innings at Columbus Thursday night. Stephenson, on a twp-month successful roll, was scheduled to pitch against Columbus Friday night.
In another negative news, outfielder Scott Schebler was called back from rehab at Louisville, but was not activated because his shoulder continues to bother him. Schebler is able to hit, but can’t throw.