The Cincinnati Reds made six different roster moves today. The first one was one that we knew was coming as of last night – the team officially placed Michael Lorenzen on the 10-day injured list with a hamstring strain. David Bell said that this would be happening today during his post-game comments yesterday. But the team also called up pitchers R.J. Alaniz and Edgar García to join the bullpen. And they optioned left-handed pitcher Cionel Pérez back to Triple-A Louisville.
Both Alaniz and García were not on the 40-man roster and required spots to be called up. To clear spots on the roster the team designated for assignment reliever José De León and outfielder Mark Payton.
Let’s start by talking about the two guys that are coming up from Triple-A Louisville. R.J. Alaniz has pitched in 21 games and thrown 28.0 innings with a 2.25 ERA, 28 hits allowed, no home runs, 8 walks – 2 intentional – and he’s struck out 36 batters. The 30-year-old pitched for the Reds back in 2019 when he threw 11.2 innings with a 5.40 ERA. He also pitched for the Mariners that season, giving up nine earned runs in 4.0 innings. Alaniz has dominated right-handed hitters this season, holding them to a .217/.270/.246 line. Lefties have hit .371/.410/.400 against him. He’s only given up two extra-base hits all season – one double and one triple. He’s had a 53% ground ball rate with Louisville this season.
Edgar García has a 3.38 ERA in 24 games with Louisville and has covered 24.0 innings with 13 walks, 29 strikeouts, no home runs allowed among his 17 hits, and he’s hit two batters. That’s a solid enough line on it’s own, but it doesn’t tell the story, either. García allowed eight earned runs in 7.1 innings in May and had a 9.82 ERA while batters hit .321/.472/.500 against him. Since June began he’s allowed one run in 16.2 innings while holding batters to a .145/.242/.164 line that includes just one double out of the eight hits he’s allowed. His ground ball rate this year in Louisville is an absurd 70%. He has thrown 42.1 innings in the big leagues, but the 24-year-old hasn’t pitched in the Majors this season.
Cionel Pérez was a logical choice to head back down. He pitched two innings yesterday and was going to be unavailable to pitch tonight. And he’s not exactly performed as well as you would hope this season with Cincinnati, either, posting a 6.95 ERA with 20 walks and 22 strikeouts in 22.0 innings.
José De León last pitched in Triple-A on July 1st when he exited the game with an injury. He was never placed on the injured list, but he’s been missing in action for three weeks now. With the Bats he had a 4.63 ERA and 19 strikeouts to go with 7 walks in 11.2 innings. In his 18.1 innings with the Reds this season he posted an 8.35 ERA.
Mark Payton spent some time on the bench with the Reds this year, but struggled as a pinch hitter, hitting just .182 with no extra-base hits in 24 plate appearances. With Louisville he had been better, hitting .281/.331/.446 in 35 games.