The Cincinnati Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans is reporting that Jose “Jumbo” Diaz, the closer for AAA Louisville, may be arriving in Cincinnati today. If those reports are accurate, he’ll be taking a roster spot in the bullpen.

[Update: The Reds announced Jumbo Diaz has been promoted to the Cincinnati Reds.]

That raises the question of whose spot he’ll take.

[Update: The Reds announced the demotion of Tony Cingrani to AAA Louisville.]

Much would point in the direction of Tony Cingrani, who was only recently moved out of the starting rotation. Bryan Price had said that Cingrani’s role in the bullpen was important to the major league team, which is why he wasn’t initially moved to AAA where he could continue to develop as a starter. (Mike Maffie has a good analysis on Cingrani today: What Happened to Tony Cingrani?) Cingrani earned the loss yesterday in his second inning of work after three controversial calls, a balk, hit by pitch and the final pitch of the game.

On the other hand, Cingrani’s departure would leave Bryan Price with one left-hander in the pen, Manny Parra, outside of closer Aroldis Chapman. Sean Marshall is on the disabled list.

My guess is that it’s Cingrani that gets sent down, but what we don’t know is if one of the right-handed pitchers might be headed to the DL. The timing makes sense, coming right after a 12-inning game.

The Reds will also have to make a 40-man roster move, which could involve releasing a player or moving someone from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.

[Update: The Reds placed pitchers Trevor Bell and Sean Marshall on the 60-day disabled list.]

The Skinny on Jumbo

Diaz is a 30-year-old, right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic. He joined the Los Angeles Dodgers organization in 2002 and has also spent time in the minor leagues with the Rangers, Orioles and Pirates before coming to the Reds in 2013.

Diaz has closed for the Bats this year and last. In 2014, he has pitched in 30 games over 33.1 innings. He has 18 saves in 19 opportunities and an ERA of 1.35. He’s struck out 31 and walked 10.  He last pitched on Wednesday. Diaz also closed for Louisville in 2013, with 13 saves in 14 opportunities.

Diaz had an impressive 2014 spring training with the Reds in Goodyear. He appeared in 9 games and 8.1 innings. He gave up three hits and six walks while striking out eleven.

Reports put Diaz’s fastball near the 100-mph mark. John Fay wrote last spring of a possible breakout season for Diaz. That article also has several interesting quotes, including from Bryan Price and Diaz himself, about the pitcher’s success at losing weight prior to the season. Fay quotes Price: “I knew he had velocity. Sometimes when a pitcher makes a commitment to do a significant weight-loss program, they’ll initially lose some fastball. He hasn’t. His velocity has been consistently in that 94 to 97 mph range. A lot at 96, 98. He’s got a real good split and useable breaking pitch, a slider.”

If you want a more detailed scouting report, head over to Doug Gray’s site and read this.

35 Responses

  1. Richard

    I think MLB/Reds website had it before Enquirer. Just think it’s important to give credit where due, don’t you think? Believe Enquirer gets most of its Reds stuff there.

    • preacherj

      What? Steve passed on a report from Rosecrans. He did give proper credit.

      Here’s hoping Jumbo doesn’t suck.

    • Dale Pearl

      Sheldon has a write up on it Steve but i dont think you would do that sort of thing. If anything Sheldons lack of activity would indicate that he probably got the line from you. But anyways good reporting Steve.

    • FLARed

      Why the nitpicking over who reported it first? I come to this site first, then to see what’s happening with the team. Plus, I like the commenters here much better. Better educated on the baseball then the newspaper readers.

  2. vared

    It will be interesting if it’s Cingrani headed down, and I bet that’s it. Seems like the other guys (Hoover, Ondru, Parra, LeCure) have been consistently inconsistent while Tony C. hasn’t really had much of an opportunity in that role. I just hope it’s not another Lutz type situation where he rarely sees the mound. Glad he’s coming up – I just hope they throw him out there to see what he can do.

    • Michael J Hampton

      I think Cingrani needs to go down so he can work on some things and make adjustments. Also take some of the pressure off. I agree that if they are going to bring him up they need to use him and see what he can do. It’s not like the bullpen middle relief has been super effective, so let’s see what this guy can do.

    • ohiojimw

      Hopefully Broxton is not going to the DL because have Diaz to go with Chapman and a healthy Broxton should be the beginnings of needed depth for the Reds. However on the other hand Diaz might drop into Broxton’s spot very seamlessly and necessitate very little other juggling in the pen (such as it is).

  3. Greg Dafler

    In 2 weeks, the Reds will have a stretch of 11 games in 10 days (doubleheader with the Cubs). They’ll need a 6th starter. Maybe it won’t be Cingrani, but they need to keep him stretched out and working on his stuff in AAA to either let him fill that role in 2 weeks or at least make him a viable option again if someone else gets injured.

  4. al

    It’s Cingrani going down per the Reds. Also, Marshall and Bell placed on the 60-day DL. I’m pretty surprised about Marshall, he may be done for the season I guess.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Marshall’s scheduled for surgery, so he is almost certainly done for the season. I have to think his career is grinding down ever so slowly, very similar to Massett. He has to be omitted from any future plans for the Reds as they pay off his remaining contract.

  5. Paul

    I imagine if this happens they’ll move Trevor Bell to the 60-day DL?

  6. brmreturns

    So the Reds have an open spot on the 40-man now…… interesting

    • Shchi Cossack

      Brett Marshall was also activated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Louisville, so that’s 2 added and 2 removed from the 40-man roster. I didn’t realize the Brett marshall had options still available. Those things are so hard to track. That might help explain why the Reds were so anxious to keep him signed.

      • brmreturns

        AHH… makes sense now. I didn’t catch that either (options available).

  7. hof13

    Sheldon says Sean Marshall will have surgery on Tuesday to debride his left shoulder. He’s done for this year.

    • Drew

      At this point isn’t his career pretty much done…

  8. Shchi Cossack

    I would relish seeing Jumbo in the 7th or 8th inning tonight, if Latos can not go that far. I guess if I’m feeling really hopeful and optimistic, Latos will go 8 innings tonight and Jumbo will pick up his 1st save by pitching the 9th. I know that’s not the proper protocol or modus operandi for the Reds after calling someone up, but the man has waited very patiently for a very long time and has earned the opportunity to strut his stuff in a meaningful role.

    • Shchi Cossack

      I seem to recall someone saying something about accountability not too long ago…

  9. Redgamer

    While clearly this was a belated necessary move, just remember how most AAA relievers fair. Hope for a few outings before scouting reports come!

  10. Drew

    Does anyone have any info or insight on this Cuban relief pitcher the Reds are about to sign?

  11. Dale Pearl

    Is it true that Jumbo was nearly 400 pounds last year? If that is true i can understand why the guy wasnt called up until a massive weight loss. Not sure what the track record is for big guys in the majors but probably not that good.

    • i71_Exile

      Bartolo Colon , CC Sabathia, David Wells haven’t missed too many meals. 🙂

  12. ToddAlmighty

    Oh hey, only two months late!

    • ToddAlmighty

      Sure glad Sean Marshall and Trevor Bell were the reasons Walt couldn’t take action in improving the bullpen. If it were bad pitchers keeping Walt from making the move, I would be awfully confused.

  13. ohiojimw

    In his blog Mark Sheldon says S,Marshall will have shoulder debridement surgery on Tuesday. I Googled that up to see for myself what it entailed and maybe get a concise link to post here. I didn’t find anything really concise but suffice to say I also didn’t find anything to indicate reasons to be optimistic about Marshall’s prognosis as a MLB pitcher.

  14. VaRedsFan

    I saw Jumbo pitch when he came through Norfolk last year. For those who haven’t seen him, he has a very unique delivery.

    As for his usage, I have no doubt that Logan JJ, Parra, and Sam will see all of the high leverage situations. So basically I predict more of the same. Jumbo will be used in low pressure games until he proves he can do it.

    I don’t believe he will jump right into the “7th inning guy”

    • preacherj

      I’m actually fine with that. Many of our high pressure games weren’t that until after the low pressure guys were finished with them. If he can keep low pressure games at low pressure levels, I’m satisfied.