The Cincinnati Reds have recalled right-handed pitcher Tony Santillan from Triple-A Louisville. He will be taking the place on the roster of Heath Hembree who has been designated for assignment. The team also announced that reliever R.J. Alaniz was activated from the injured list and optioned to Triple-A Louisville.

Heath Hembree had a good start to his Cincinnati Reds career. In his first nine games he was charged with one unearned run and allowed just one hit in 9.2 innings while walking two batters and striking out 11. Over the next 36 games he posted an ERA of 8.27 while walking 17 batters and giving up 10 home runs in 32.2 innings pitched. Last night seemed to be the final straw for the Reds after he allowed five earned runs while recording just two outs in a game that had been 12-0 when he entered the ballgame.

Tony Santillan hasn’t spent much time in his career as a reliever. It wasn’t until after he made four straight starts for Cincinnati in June did he get moved into the bullpen with the idea that it was possible he could help out a struggling relief corp. Over two weeks in July he made six appearances in the Reds bullpen where he allowed four runs in 6.2 innings with a walk and 10 strikeouts. He was optioned back to Triple-A where he’s been for all of August. He’s made six appearances out of the Louisville bullpen and allowed a hit, no runs, walked three, and struck out four in 4.2 innings.

For R.J. Alaniz, he’s been on the injured list with a calf strain since July 24th. Last week he went on a rehab assignment with the Louisville Bats. He pitched in two games for Louisville, throwing a shutout inning with a strikeout in each appearance. Now he gets to remain with the Bats after being activated by the Reds an optioned to the minors.

48 Responses

  1. AllTheHype

    Finally, some moves foreshadowed at RLN that make sense….Barrero, Santillan, seeya to Freeman, Hembree.

    Antone for Doolittle (or Garrett) next.

    Might be a pretty good pen by end of the week.

    • AllTheHype

      I should say “finally some moves by Reds, foreshadowed by RLN, that make sense.” In other words, the Reds are finally making a couple moves that make sense.

    • Old Big Ed

      Bell has said that Antone needs first to show that he can pitch on back-to-back days, which he hasn’t done yet. Still about a week from that, which calculates to about 1 average outing by Doolittle and one awful one, plus about 4 walks issued by Garrett.

      • Chris

        This idea that Antone must be able to pitch two days in a row is ludicrous. Who in here would not take Antone every other day over Doolittle, or Garrett?

      • Jefferson Green

        They need to know that Antone is healthy – that’s what they are determining by having him pitch back to back days.

    • RedsGettingBetter

      I think Doolittle is closer to be DFAed than Garrett specially for his last appereance where he hit hard and charged with 3 runs at Philly… Garrett is a product of Reds farm system and he has had good performances last seasons as reliever even was considered the main contender to be the closer during spring training and is still under control so I think he will get another chance by 2022

      • Jefferson Green

        Garrett definitely has a lot more upside.

  2. Mark Moore

    I saw a reference on “another Reds blog” that the Senzel move is likely a precursor to him parting ways with the Reds. I found that a little hard to swallow, frankly. I think they are just being cautious with his rehab.

    • AllTheHype

      Don’t believe anything you read on a blog, where random fans write for hobby and don’t have anymore insight or perception than any other fan.

      • Mark Moore

        The site in question is pretty similar to this one. Just was a curious statement to see. Not taking any stock in it at all.

      • AllTheHype

        @Mark, that site you speak of is not in any way, shape, or form like this one, where Doug has actual knowledge, experience and some inside information. The author over there is a complete amateur fan, at best. Read that site for entertainment value only, I’d suggest.

    • Jim Walker

      He can’t go anywhere unless the Reds send him. He will still be optionable next year and not have the service time to refuse. I could see the Reds being more amenable to trading him; but, I don’t think they will let him walk free without a decent return.

    • beelicker

      I wonder if this ‘taking 72 hours to report’ (from Louisville to Louisville) is up yet? He might have made himself unavailable for call up this weekend that way because the Reds told him he wasn’t ready yet … could it be his or his agent’s way of protesting or just a sign of frustration? Might this have been an unintentional by product or the specific reason? Turn around an ask if the Reds are saying (or thinking) it was the reason he didn’t get one of these now 2 calls up inside that 72 hour period? Or did they tell him he was staying down no matter what and that’s why he took the 3 days off instead of playing Sunday like he was scheduled?

      • Jim Walker

        If he was told Sunday morning, I guess his 72 hours doesn’t expire until tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. Beyond this, we don’t know anything about what’s going on with him or between him and the Reds.

        Even if the Reds are inclined to cut bait on him (and as I said we have no way of knowing if this could be the case) there is no way they are going to release him for nothing; and, it is too late in the season to trade him. It is in the interest of all parties to try and get along as best they can until the season is over because it improves the off season options for them,

      • beelicker

        They’ve got too much rookie signing bonus tied up to just release him. Doug mentioned minor leaguers can still be traded for minor leaguers the other day, but i wasn’t thinking about trading him right away either. Alaso don’t know if that applies to guys on the 4o man or not? With the regular Bats’ Mondays off thing, i could see ‘innocently’ wanting to take advanatage and get away for a couple of days or declaring such a 72 hour hiatus for lots of reasons, nefarious or otherwise … and that having multiple possible ramifications or interpretations both ways as far as ‘message sent’ or received … or not. It’s at least possible he may have made himself unavailable (intentionally or not) for callup during the 72 hour period period? The Reds are ‘saying’ their preference was to call up Barreros first when Winker goes down, but you know how that goes …

    • JB

      I read that Mark and tossed it aside as basically garbage. He has been hurt but there isnt any sense in letting him go now. Especially if Castellanos goes. That will leave Aquino and 3 left handed hitting outfielders. Senzel is better than Naquin and Shogo. He just needs to play every day. I dont understand why they have him at short at AAA. Barrero is going to be our everyday Shortstop. Another stupid move by our front office.

      • Chris

        In fairness, I think the reason he was at SS was because Farmer had been struggling until after the All Star break, and quite frankly, I think Barrero came on so strong and so quick, that they weren’t prepared for that sort of quick improvement from the kid. I still think at this point Senzel should be playing all over the place somewhat like a Kris Bryant, because we just don’t know where he will be needed. You can put it in the bank that Senzel will be on this team and in the post season. He is talented, and it will show up soon.

      • Redsvol

        have you seen our shortstop options on the 40 man roster? Seems logical to see if Senzel could play SS in the minor leagues in event of an injury to Farmer rather than toss him in there in the majors with no recent game experience. Other than injury, he isn’t replacing someone in the starting lineup of a team that is 10 games over .500 and would easily be 15 games over .500 if not for the bullpen. Offense is not the issue.

    • Mark Moore

      Thanks all for the discussion. I’m in agreement with all these perspectives. No way you dump him now. Still too much upside.

    • Jack

      Castellanos will likely be gone so if he stays healthy that opens up a spot and even Suarez may be running out of chances so that is potentially another spot. I think they’ll hold on to him because he doesn’t have a lot of trade value at this point.

  3. MBS

    That’s some good new! Doolittle has to be the next to drop, right?

    • Alan Horn

      Tossup between him and Garrett. That would only leave one of those two and Wilson as left handers out of the pen. They will probably keep hanging onto Garrett because of the money owed him.l

      • beelicker

        Santillan has options so he could be who goes back out for Antone

      • JB

        Well with the 3 batter rule in place now does it really matter if you have 2 or 3 lefties? The bullpen should be the best 8 pitchers because bringing in a lefty only gets the other manager pinch hitting a righty.

      • Alan Horn

        Let’s hope not. We need them both in the pen.

      • Alan Horn

        You are probably right about the lefties. We need to take anyone who can get somebody out on a consistent basis.

      • MBS

        @JB, you’re right, L v R is less important than being a quality pitcher. It’s nice when you have quality pitchers from both sides, but a bad lefty is worthless.

  4. Ghostrunner_onthird

    I wonder what the likeliness is that Senzel + Moose or Geno + half of the Moose/Geno salary get packaged in an off-season move?

    • Alan Horn

      It would at least be a starting point. We have to free ourselves of whatever portion of the Moose and Suarez money owed that we can.

      • Ghostrunner_onthird

        +500. Already looking forward to the Winter Meetings.

    • BZ

      I am a big believer of Senzel but I hope he is traded. He has changed positions time after time for the good of the team and they just toss him to the side. Not to mention the fan base would rather play 5th OFers over him. He’ll be appreciated somewhere else, become an All-Star, and the Reds will continue to have gaping holes in the lineup and no CFer.

      • Roger Garrett

        I tend to agree.This guy has been thrown under the bus so many times he has tire marks on his back.Injury prone for sure but if anybody thinks Shogo or Naquin,both over 30, is the answer every day in center then they must work in the front office.Glad to see Tony back.We just got better.

  5. Ghostrunner_onthird

    Hope the Friars pick up Hembree.

  6. Reds4ever

    People calling for garrett to be dfa’d is rediculous. He hasn’t pitched good this year correct, but what he hs been for us the last 3 years means something to the reds I’m assuming. Lefties like his don’t grow on trees. I’d be surprised if reds let him go. He will absolutely be picked up right away, and if someone gets him right again. We will all be sitting here once again blaming the front office.

    • Chris

      How long are you planning on waiting for Garrett to get back to his old self? I wish he had options, because the only way I see him getting fixe is in AAA. Too tough to fix him in the big leagues at this point.

      • Redsvol

        Garrett had 3.1 years of service time at beginning of year and has 1 option remaining. He absolutely can be optioned to the minors this year. I don’t think he will but technically he can be.

    • AllTheHype

      He is arb2 next year & most likely will be non-tendered anyway.

  7. beelicker

    Is Santillan further proof of that 538 article approach to the pitching philosophy? Don’t take it 1oo% literally, but Santillan and Hoffman both fit this profile now and both could also still throw 2 or more innings in long relief at this stage. Or move back to being starters at some point … i wonder if Santillan has picked up much velocity since doing this? Also explains the committment to 9 relievers.

    “You might call these pitchers OMGs: One-inning Max-effort Guys. They can be incredibly, game-changingly effective, but they aren’t necessarily all that skilled.

    In fact, the whole problem is that OMGs are a renewable resource, with no real constraints on supply. Teams can take failed (or marginal -b.) starters with two decent pitches and, after some weeding out, turn them into OMGs who will strike out 25 or 30 percent of the batters they face, provided they only have to throw one inning every second or third day. It also yields rosters that are grossly imbalanced relative to the amount of value that these relievers generate. According to FanGraphs, relief pitchers accounted for only about 9 percent of the value (in wins above replacement) that all position players and pitchers created last year. And yet, they occupy about 25 percent of roster slots.”

  8. Brian Rutherford

    I hope he turns it around with someone else. I always hate to see someone lose their job. He certainly gave his best effort here which is why I think they tried so hard to let him get right. Good luck HH.

    • Chris

      Agree. I think my biggest problem with him is that he works too darn slow.

      • centerfield

        HH is the human rain delay of 2021.

    • Kevin Patrick

      I like nice comments like this. Not only do I agree, but value the good outings he provided when the Reds were desperate. May the Reds find it in their power to award him with a World Series ring…? Lol

    • Redsvol

      I agree. He’s one of the good guys. Hard to believe Hembree and Brach were our best relievers for about 6 weeks in late June and July and we are still in the playoff hunt.

  9. LDS

    About time. Now add a few more guys – soon.

  10. TR

    I also like the comments about HH. Heath Hembree got it done for a period when the Red’s relief pitching was in terrible shape. I wish him well.

    • Roger Garrett

      He closed some 1 run wins for us at a time we had nobody and I mean nobody.I wish him well and his stuff plays.