Early on Wednesday morning, just after 12:40am, Héctor Gómez of Z101 Digital in the Dominican Republic reported that the Cincinnati Reds had called up right-handed reliever Dauri Moreta from Triple-A Louisville. Update: The move is now official. The team has designated reliever R.J. Alaniz for assignment.
If you’ve been following here for the last few months you have probably seen him mentioned a few times. When the season began this year Dauri Moreta was in Double-A Chattanooga, but it wasn’t long before he was in Triple-A pitching with the Louisville Bats. The reliever was promoted after dominating the Double-A South for the Lookouts and when he arrived in Triple-A it just continued.
It’s been perplexing to watch the Cincinnati Reds bullpen blow game after game, lead after lead, nearly all season long while Dauri Moreta has been in the minor leagues pitching like Steve Nebraska. The reliever currently has a 1.02 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A with just 9 walks and 58 strikeouts in 53.0 innings pitched. One of the more incredible stats this year is the fact that he’s had more infield pop ups – 20 – than line drives allowed – 15.
Why the Cincinnati Reds waited until there were just 10 games remaining in the season to make the move to bring in a pitcher who has been as dominant when it comes to not allowing runs in the upper minor leagues as anyone in recent memory – well, your guess is as good as mine because there’s seemingly no logical reason for it. The Reds bullpen hasn’t been good. And it’s not like Dauri Moreta has been in the minors tricking guys with slop/junk. No, Moreta throws 95-97 MPH and touches 99 while showing a good breaking ball and a solid change up. And he throws plenty of strikes.
Cincinnati was going to need to put Moreta on the 40-man roster after the season to protect him from being selected in the Rule 5 draft. Now he’s just going to get there a bit sooner, which will get him a nice bump in pay as well as big league action and service time.