The Cincinnati Reds have made a virtual cornucopia of roster moves this afternoon. The team picked up right-handed pitcher Michael Feliz off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates, added right-handed pitcher Art Warren from the taxi squad, and designated right-handed pitcher Sal Romano for assignment.

Let’s start off with Michael Feliz. He’s a 27-year-old right-handed reliever who has spent parts of the last seven seasons in the big leagues. From 2016-2019 he was in the big leagues for 46+ appearances each year for Houston and Pittsburgh. In 2020 he only threw 1.2 innings for the Pirates and this season he’s thrown 7.2 innings with a 2.35 ERA, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts for Pittsburgh at the Major League level. Color this writer as confused as to why a team would designate him for assignment given his performance so far this season.

In his big league career he’s mostly struggled. Feliz has posted a 5.07 ERA for his career in 213 games and 234.1 innings. He’s missed a bunch of bats, racking up 310 strikeouts, but he’s also issued his share of walks with 101 (3.9 walks per 9-innings pitched). The righty has a three pitch mix, utilizing a fastball, slider, and a change up. His fastball works in the 92-95 MPH range and averages 93.5 and he’s thrown it 52% of the time this season. The slider works in the upper 70’s to low 80’s and he’s throwing it 43% of the time this year. The change up doesn’t come out very often, just 5% of the time this season, but works in the mid 80’s.

If there’s going to be some concern when you dive into the stats a little bit you might want to look at the fly ball rate. Michael Feliz has been an extreme fly ball pitcher throughout his career. He’s also had an above-average home run per fly ball rate. Lots of fly balls and more fly balls than average leaving the yard coming to Great American Ball Park could be a very bad recipe.

To clear a spot on the 40-man roster the Reds designated Sal Romano for assignment. The big right-hander has been the go-to option to eat innings for Cincinnati in games that haven’t been all that close – at least for the most part. He’s pitched in 14 games. Here is the lead in each game he entered: 7, 5, 11, 14, 5, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 7, 5, 13, and 9. He was brought into more games that weren’t within slam range than he appeared in games that were within a field goal. On the season he had a 5.23 ERA in 20.2 innings – with half of his earned runs coming in an 8-0 loss to the Dodgers on April 28th. Since then he has allowed one run in 5.1 innings to Cleveland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Colorado.

At least for now taking Romano’s spot on the active roster will be Art Warren. The Ohio native and former Cincinnati Bearcat joined the Reds organization in January. He last pitched in the big leagues with Seattle in 2019 when he didn’t give up a run in 5.1 innings with two walks and five strikeouts for the Mariners in six games. This season he’s been with Louisville, but with their season only beginning on May 4th and Warren being on the taxi squad with the Reds, he’s only pitched in two games. He’s struck out four of the nine hitters he’s faced for the Bats this season.

25 Responses

  1. LDS

    Wow, glad to see Romano gone, but claiming Pirate cast offs really makes one scratch their head.

  2. RojoBenjy

    “he’s also issued his share of walks”

    Well he’ll fit right in lol

    I guess Sal was the odd man out? Are Warren and Feliz really that much different than he is?

    Perez is a lefty otherwise shouldn’t he have been DFA? Maybe they see some upside in him still

  3. RedsGettingBetter

    I think Cionel Pérez is on the way to be optioned again. He is a AA pitcher right now in my opinion. Michael Feliz is another waiver-claimed lottery. Could be he a prize?

    • scotly50

      He wasn’t for the Mighty Pirates !!

  4. Tom Mitsoff

    So I am a bit confused. Warren and Feliz means two are added, but the DFA of Romano means only one is off the roster. I get that the DFA creates a spot for Feliz on the 40-man. But he has to pitch in Cincy because he is out of options. Apparently they haven’t announced the move of the second pitcher being removed from the 26-man roster?

    As for why Feliz was waived by Pittsburgh, as I mentioned in a couple of other comments elsewhere on the site, the Pirates have a pretty darn good bullpen shaping up. Maybe they tried to trade him and were unsuccessful.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I’m glad to see they are trying some new arms in the bullpen, because you absolutely cannot compete if you have Romano, Perez, Doolittle and Fulmer in roles where you need them to get people out. As currently constituted, the back end of this bullpen consists of people that no other teams really wanted. The idea is to see if Derek Johnson can work some magic and help them find some of that talent that has either faded or really never shown up. You would have to characterize Feliz and Warren in that same boat, but again, you have got to try someone else if you want to compete.

    • DataDumpster

      It’s hard to see the logic on any of these moves. Romano wasn’t good by any means but he did serve a purpose as one of the few pitchers that Bell would allow to pitch more than one inning per outing. With the quality of this bullpen, the percentages aren’t too kind to using 3 or 4 relievers per game. I guess none of the pitchers know how to bunt either.
      However, the real lesson is that even with Derek Johnson in charge, when you picked up a dozen or so guys that nobody else wanted, there is not a reasonable chance or enough time for rehabilitation.

  5. Bred

    More AAA/A pitchers to round out the big league roster. It is getting late early for the Reds. Do they spin it, but can’t get outs? The FO/ownership from the start of this year has their sites on the 2022 season. Why not 2021? The strike shortened season will cost money as they quibble over the new CBA. Yeah, I’m miffed that they refuse to field a competitive team. It’s the height of insanity that I still watch and care when they IMO disrespect the fans.

  6. Chris

    Wal Romano has pitched more innings than Tejay Antone and Lucas Sims this year. I’m worried about who’s going to get those innings. It’s definitely not going to be Sims and Antone – they are on a 1-batter-per-month limit right now. Maybe we’ll get to see some more of that Blandino knuckler!

    • Doug Gray

      I’m trying to imagine the reaction to the Reds using Lucas Sims and Tejay Antone in games where the score is separated by 5+ runs, and it’s a bunch of people with pitch forks and torches.

      • Chris

        I agree with you… but surely the Reds have played more than 4 meaningful innings in the last 10 days. Sims and Antone have combined to pitch 8 total innings in May. That’s. Full season pace of about 50 IP apiece. That’s unacceptable. They need to pitch much, much more- either more often or more length. Bell’s management of Antone is akin to deciding to bench Jesse Winker so he can pinch hit in a big spot once a game. It’s a long grind of a season, and it never, ever, ever makes sense not to play your beat guys. We’ve got a guy who could easily be the next Jake Arrieta or Corey Kluber (late-20’s breakout), but instead, the one outing he gets this week is the 5th inning against the Pirates. Now give me back my pitchfork!

      • Doug Gray

        Antone should be starting. I’ve been on that train since February.

        But I’m not going to get worked up about Sal Romano throwing what equates to tons of absolute “out of the game” innings compared to the high leverage innings given to Sims or Antone. We might as well be comparing lugnuts and applesauce because at almost no point was the option Romano or one of those two guys.

      • Chris

        I don’t mean to harp on Romano. And we have had a ton of blowouts and a PPD during this stretch. I get all that. As a fan. – especially one watches every game and spends significant time scrounging the interwebs for Reds-related content, it’s frustrating to wallow around .500 since 2019 when it feels like we have bullets in the chamber.

      • RojoBenjy

        The only game I think Sal was in where it really wasn’t garbage time was the loss to LA, right?

    • Shawn

      That’s why I think Antone should be a starter. You don’t know if you can get him in a game that isn’t a blowout one way or another.

      • RojoBenjy

        I think most of us agree. It’s the best way to benefit from his talent.

        And maximizing talent while hiding lack thereof is not the Reds’ strong suit

  7. SultanofSwaff

    Big Sally showed enough in my opinion to get a look with another team. Hopefully he does. I remember watching Garrett pitch in A ball sitting near Sal (he was charting pitches) while he snacked on some nachos lol.

    • TR

      It didn’t quite work out, but we wish Big Sal well.

    • Jimbo44CN

      I hope so too. Seems like a decent guy and he did eat a lot of innings.

  8. doofus

    Jose Garcia has a good start at Chattanooga.

  9. James

    I feel like Micheal Feliz can probably pitch better than Perez. I mean like we didn’t know if Carson Fulmer was going to be great, and he turned out pretty decent. No one knew Naquin was going to be this good, so hopefully Feliz has some kind of chance.

  10. Melvin

    “Question: If Romano is only good enough to pitch in mop up situations then why is he on the ML roster”? – I guess the move today kind of answered my question from last night.

  11. Indy Red Man

    Thank you! Thank you! I acknowledge that I’m going to have to watch a few scrubs play for the Reds every year, but mix it up please? Scrubs don’t get longevity! The guy never did anything positive on the mound. Even guys like BobSteve had a few decent months here and there.