On Thursday Ryan Hendrix drove from Columbus where he had been playing with the Reds alternate site team in a road series down to Cincinnati. The reliever was expected to be on the taxi squad for the upcoming road trip to St. Louis and Los Angeles. But after the game ended on Thursday he was called into David Bell’s office and told that he would be getting called up to join the big league roster.
“Him (manager David Bell) and Nick (general manager Nick Krall) were sitting there and they said congrats, and went from there,” said Hendrix. “Emotions were high after that. It’s a crazy feeling. Just super excited to be a part of this good group of guys and staff. I can’t thank the coaching staff and front office enough for letting become a Red.”
Despite learning of the call up just a night before, Hendrix was expecting quite a big following to make it to St. Louis to get a chance to see him make his big league debut in the series.
“I’ve got a group of 15 coming,” Hendrix said before the game. “Everyone from my town, basically.”
The group of 15 didn’t have to wait very long to see Ryan Hendrix make his debut. The right-handed reliever entered the game in the bottom of the 6th inning against the Cardinals. And while simply getting to the mound was enough to make his friends and family proud, his performance on the night was certainly one that left them feeling like they got a cherry on top.
Facing Justin Williams to start the inning, Hendrix broke off four straight sliders with the final three of them going for swinging strikes as he picked up his first career punchout. Tyler O’Neill got to see the fastball for the first time on the night, getting two 97 MPH heaters in his at-bat before flying out on a slider for the second out of the inning. Tommy Edman got a chance to see the full arsenal of Hendrix, getting the slider, the fastball, and the lone change up of the night for the righty. The Cardinals second baseman would be the second strikeout victim of the inning as he swung through a slider on the 13th pitch of the inning.
“It was a dream come true,” said Hendrix after the game. “I felt really comfortable out there, too. I almost felt like I belong here. It’s a crazy feeling, man. Honestly, I couldn’t feel my legs the whole time, but that’s ok. The guys in the bullpen kept me comfortable as well. As soon as I got in the dugout it was all high fives and everything.”
The Pitch Breakdown
If you watched the game then you saw just how effective the slider was. He threw nine of them and got a swing and a miss on four of them. That’s long been the scouting report with Ryan Hendrix – his breaking ball is a plus offering that will put you away. Go ahead and take a look at it.
Couple strikeouts to go along with his MLB debut!
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 24, 2021
The bullpen needed arms, both for better performance than they’ve gotten to this point in the season, and simply due to the fact that the bullpen has been used a ton over the last few days. At least on Friday, the Reds got exactly what they were looking for from both Ryan Hendrix and Heath Hembree – who was also called up on Friday.