The Cincinnati Reds have made several roster moves today. Justin Dunn, who started the game last night in Milwaukee, has been placed on the injured list. Taking his place on the roster is right-handed pitcher Raynel Espinal. The team also announced that Albert Almora Jr. has been released after being designated for assignment last week.
Justin Dunn is heading to the injured list with no specified injury. Last night he was said to be feeling under the weather but pitched through it while he could. Now he’s seemingly been placed on the COVID injured list. As we always specify here – a player does not have to test positive to be placed on this list. The player merely has to show symptoms that could also be COVID-related to be placed on this list until they are cleared to return.
Raynel Espinal has not been with the Cincinnati organization for very long. He signed as a minor league free agent on August 18th with the Reds and was assigned to Triple-A Louisville. Since joining the Bats he’s made three starts and one relief appearance (he threw 4.0 innings of relief after Hunter Greene started the game as a part of a rehab assignment). Espinal, a 30-year-old right-hander has thrown 15.2 innings and allowed nine runs (5.17 ERA) on 16 hits (three home runs), three walks, has 17 strikeouts, and he’s hit four batters.
He last pitched on September 6th. With Cincinnati having a day/night doubleheader tomorrow it seems very likely that Espinal will be utilized in one of those games either as a starter or as a long reliever as the team’s starting pitching is being held together by some bubblegum found stuck underneath the seats in the bullpen and a lot of hope. If and when he enters a game it will be just his second big league appearance. He allowed two runs in 2.0 innings for the Boston Red Sox on August 30th last season against the Tampa Bay Rays.