Espn reports that the Reds have signed Grant Balfour and designated Josh Hancock for assignment. They also signed infielder Frank Menechino and catchers Ryan Hanigan and Steve Torrealba to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training.

Balfour pitched decent out of the Minnesota pen in 2004, but missed all of 2005 rahabbing from two surgeries as reported on CBS Sportsline. If I understand correctly, he had elbow ligament replacement in the May of 2005, and rotator cuff surgery on his shoulder September of 2005. They are expecting that he won’t be ready to pitch until mid season. Sounds like a small gamble on damaged goods. Healthy, he’s got a lot more upside than Hancock, but that’s a big if. Hancock looked like he might have a shot at a long man/spot starter role this spring.

Your guess is as good as mine on why they might want Menechino. Definitely no room on the big league roster, must be looking for veteran leadership at AAA, but it’s getting crowded there too. Torrealba, I would suspect, will back up Sardinha at AAA, and Hanigan will probably share catching duties with Perez at AA Chattanooga.

Later,
Tom

7 Responses

  1. Brian

    Seth Etherton, Jeff Austin or Luke Prokopec all fit the rehab bill.

    Which begs the question, aside from Merker when was the last time the Reds rehabbed a pitcher and caught his injury rebound year?

  2. Matt

    Sounds like Menechino is insurance in case they decide that Freel’s injuries and off-the-field problems aren’t worth the hassle.

  3. Blue

    Anyone remember when Austin started a game and failed to record an out?

  4. EricTW

    Well, hopefully Hancock clears waivers and we get him back. He looked very good at the end of least year (and yes, I know it was September).

    That being said, if DanO calculated this correctly, and we can get Balfour midseason and keep Hancock, that won’t be a bad maneuver…

  5. Glenn

    I realize that Hancock is not the savior of this staff but he has pitched fairly well for the Reds. I can only imagine how he must have felt being put on waivers for a guy that won’t even be able to compete for a job in spring training. The roster move is probably a wash, as far as wins and losses go but I can’t imagine it plays well with the players.

  6. Glenn

    By the way, has any other team jumped on the Don Gullett is the greatest pitching coach around band wagon. I didn’t think so.