The Cincinnati Reds will have some help in the bullpen today as they try to salvage a game in Minnesota and end their current 5-game losing streak. Reliever Tejay Antone has been activated from the injured list today after some forearm fatigue after carrying the bullpen for the first two months of the season by himself. He’ll take the spot on the roster of Scott Heineman, who was optioned back to Triple-A Louisville to join the Bats. The Reds also announced that right-handed pitcher Jeff Hoffman would be heading to Louisville to begin a rehab assignment.

Getting back Tejay Antone is huge for the Reds and for the bullpen. He’s been the only reliable, and the only consistent performer for David Bell out of the bullpen this season. Only Lucas Sims has been even average among the rest of the crew that has been run through this season. Antone, of course, has been far better than reliable and consistent. He’s been dominant. He’s thrown 32.0 innings over 20 appearances and allowed just 12 hits, has a 1.41 ERA, and he’s struck out 40 of the 116 hitters that he’s faced this season – that’s 35% for those of you who are keeping track at home.

While there was a short time there when the bullpen stepped up in his absence, that didn’t last very long. The bullpen simply needs better options in it, and despite the words from the owner yesterday to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Paul Daugherty that “if we have an opportunity to improve the bullpen, we will”, actions speak louder than words and it’s June 22nd and the non-Tejay Antone relievers on the Cincinnati Reds have an ERA of 6.13 and last checked, the team had not acquired anyone to help the bullpen and instead continue to just bring up and send out relievers who have struggled in both Triple-A and the Major Leagues this year for the organization.

Jeff Hoffman could potentially be helpful for the bullpen in Cincinnati. He’s had some struggles at times as a starter this season, but his 4.61 ERA this year is good for a league average 100 ERA+. The first time through the lineup he’s held hitters to a .662 OPS. But the second time through the lineup he’s been crushed to the tune of .279/.416/.508 – a .924 OPS. Out of the bullpen he’s not going to be facing hitters for a second time in a game. And he’s been solid against guys the first time – though his walk rate has still been quite high in this scenario. He’ll head out for a rehab assignment today with Triple-A Louisville. As of right now how long he’ll be there has not been stated.

28 Responses

  1. Klugo

    I’d be fine if I never saw Scott Heineman again. He should never, ever, ever start over Akiyama. Ever.

  2. ohiojimwalker

    A day (actually 12 hours) late and a dollar short.

  3. JB

    Doolittle makes it for another day. Amazing. The umpires probably waved Doolittle off last night saying there is no need to check him for foreign substances.

    • Maloney63

      I thought I saw a pitch of his that actually moved 3 inches side to side, but that was probably jut an optical illusion!

      • MFG

        I saw that as well and thought it was the bourbon.

  4. TR

    It’s a surprise that Sean Doolittle is not on the list.

    • RojoB

      Really, with this organization, would not the bigger surprise have been if he was?

  5. MuddyCleats

    Good news on Antone; I hope he’s healthy! He relies on his breaking ball a lot which puts a lot of pressure on his arm. Clearly the BP needs him and we see why Reds want him there instead of the rotation. Also agree on Shogo – guy needs to play more. Again, they had a chance w/ Joey out to move one of the OFs to 1B and open an OF spot for him. Give him some bats and see if they could get him going. How nice would last season’s Shogo and this yrs India be at the top of the order now w/ Wink and Nick hitting so well?

    • Jimbo44CN

      I think the platoon should be Shogo and Aquino in CF, with Naquin filling in. He seems to have cooled off quite a bit.

      • JayTheRed

        He must have heard you …. He went 4 for 4 and won tonight’s game.

  6. MBS

    Is the idea of Miley or Mahle to the pen, when Gray comes back insane? Many people on this site will argue that Antone is our best pitcher. Those same people were upset that he’s not a starter. I think most of those people now believe that our pen needs Antone more than our rotation does.

    Which is better?

    Increasing the odds of winning games that you should win or, having more games that you should win, with a decreased chance of winning those games?

    • ohiojimwalker

      I think it is Gutierrez or Santillan along with Hoffman. As things stand now my guess would be Gutirrez in the rotation with Hoffman in the pen for sure then comes the big decision whether to put Santillan in the pen or send him back to AAA to keep him fully stretched out. This could come down to how Greene is progressing and how many innings he has left if needed as an MLB starter before the end of the season.

      • MBS

        100% agree that’s what’s going to happen, and 98% sure that’s the smart call. I was just thinking outside the box. This pen is so radically bad, it seems radical ideas might be needed to fix it. Reality is $$$ is all that’s needed, but tightwad Bob isn’t likely to spend what it takes.

  7. jctrum

    Simply put, this organization, well mainly ownership, makes me feel many negative things that cannot be summed up well and politely in a comment section.

  8. RedsMonk65

    A little off-topic, but today’s lineup:

    Jonathan India (R) 2B
    Jesse Winker (L) DH
    Nick Castellanos (R) RF
    Tyler Stephenson (R) 1B
    Tyler Naquin (L) LF
    Eugenio Suarez (R) 3B
    Shogo Akiyama (L) CF
    Kyle Farmer (R) SS
    Tucker Barnhart (L) C

    No Votto today. And Shogo finally gets a start in CF.

  9. old-school

    Gray is making a 3 inning rehab start at AAA Thursday and if ok re-enters the rotation 5 days later. I’ve only read Hoffman is going to Louisville to rehab, nothing about starting vs bullpen. Nightingale also says Sims was not available, only on schedule for 1 inning and that Antone will likely pitch today regardless of score.

    • Ohiojimwalker

      So, at least in part, Antone was probably activated for today because they couldn’t get another arm to town in time for a matinee game.

      Hopefully it works out OK

      Also they are just announcing on the TV that Votto is suspended today for his fracas in SD on Saturday or whenever that was.

  10. RedsGettingBetter

    Krall said the organization is not thinking on trade deadline but stay healthy and counting on the players returning from injured list that will get the team better…well well…
    I agree with Mr. Doug about Hoffman could be helpful coming from BP for one or two innings. He has the stuff and skills for this role i think.
    When i see Heineman in the line up I remember the case of Matt Davidson last season, though Heineman is worse…

    • Greenfield Red

      Again with the luke warm. Try to win or don’t. Either buy or sell. Staying in the middle doesn’t work.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Yeah, I remember Davidson, taking at bats away from Aquino. I don’t know, but Freeman is pretty bad too.

  11. Mark A Verticchio

    That is a major problem with Bell, it seems like everything is pre-scheduled. He doesn’t do a good job of managing by situation. If I am Votto I go in and tell him we are on a 5 game losing streak with a day off tomorrow I need to be in the line up.

    • Redsfan4life

      Votto is serving his suspension today.

  12. LDS

    So my guess is Suarez goes hitless today. It’s probably too much to expect him to hit two days in a row. Good to see Shogo in the lineup. Besides Suarez, having to start Farmer every game is not going to lead to contention. Good fill in piece. Not an everyday player.

    • RedsGettingBetter

      Yes, Farmer is not a every day player so it is a big weakness as a team looking to be a contender. But I think he is starting in the line-up due to Moustakas injury… there should be no other reason