The Cincinnati Reds were awfully busy this afternoon. Right-handed reliever Robert Stephenson was placed on the 10-day injured list with a cervical strain. That move is retroactive to Wednesday. The Reds recalled left-handed reliever Wandy Peralta from Triple-A. They also activated left-handed reliever Zach Duke from the injured list. Yesterday they optioned right-handed pitcher Lucas Sims back to Triple-A after making a spot start on Tuesday against Pittsburgh.
That set of moves certainly changes the look of the bullpen. With the move of Robert Stephenson being retroactive to Wednesday, it’s likely a sign that they don’t think he’ll need much time to get back on the field. That’s a good thing as he’s been one of the better relievers on the team thus far. Both Wandy Peralta and Zach Duke have struggled – Peralta more recently, while Duke has had problems since the beginning of the year in his role.
The Reds also picked up right-handed pitcher R.J. Alaniz from the Seattle Mariners off of waivers. To make room for him on the 40-man roster the team placed Alex Wood on the 60-day injured list. Alaniz, after being claimed, was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.
What do we know about RJ Alaniz?
The 27-year-old reliever made his Major League debut this season with Seattle on April 12th. He pitched in 4 games for the Mariners over a 9-day span, and he struggled in 3 of those 4 games. Against Houston in his debut he allowed 4 earned in 2.0 innings. Against the Angels on the 18th he allowed 4 runs while recording just 1 out. Three days later he allowed another run to the Angels in an inning of work. In his 4.0 innings he allowed 11 hits, 3 walks, 3 home runs, and 10 earned runs (20.25 ERA).
While he’s been better than that in Triple-A, it’s not by much. He’s been very hittable this season, giving up 18 hits (and 7 walks) in just 12.2 innings for Tacoma. His ERA sits at 6.39. He’s been much better than that in the past (see his career stats). And he’s probably been a bit better than that this season, too – he’s struck out 23 batters in 12.2 innings. Essentially, he’s either giving up hits or striking guys out. That’s a weird combination to see.
He’s a 2-pitch guy, throwing a fastball and a slider – and he does so at about a 55-45 split. His 4-seamer works in the 93-96 range. The slider will come in around 85 MPH, but has been as high as 89 MPH this season in the Majors.