The Cincinnati Reds used a lot of pitchers in last night’s blowout loss to the Chicago Cubs. Today they needed a fresh arm and it’s led to several roster moves. The team called up Kevin Herget from Triple-A Louisville, optioned Joel Kuhnel to Triple-A, and designated Bennett Sousa for assignment.

Kevin Herget was not on the 40-man roster, so the team added him this morning and called him up from Triple-A. He had not pitched yet this season for the Bats. He was tonight’s scheduled starting pitcher in Louisville, but now he’s going to find himself in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen – at least for the time being. This spring with the Reds the 32-year-old righty pitched in four games, walked no one, struck out five batters, and posted a 4.76 ERA in 5.2 innings pitched. Last season was the only year in which he pitched in Major League Baseball, throwing 7.0 innings with the Tampa Bay Rays, giving up six runs on nine hits, no walks, and he picked up four strikeouts.

Joel Kuhnel made his season debut last night and gave up three runs on five hits and a walk in 2.0 innings against the Cubs. As the pitcher who wasn’t going to be available today out of the bullpen, and one who hasn’t quite established himself in the bullpen, he drew the short straw of the guy who got to head to the minor leagues due to the need for an additional bullpen arm for this afternoon’s game.

Bennett Sousa was the roster casualty of all of this. The left-handed reliever pitched well in the spring for the Reds, posting a 2.45 ERA with a walk and eight strikeouts in 7.1 innings. That wasn’t enough for him to make the big league club and he was sent to the minors where he joined Louisville. Out of their bullpen this season he’s pitched in just one game so far and he allowed a solo home run while striking out the only other batter he faced. For his birthday tomorrow he may wind up with a new employer if someone makes a roster claim on him.

21 Responses

  1. Mark A Verticchio

    Sounds like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Why not bring up a younger arm?

  2. CI3J

    Any idea why Sousa is not being given a shot? He pitched pretty well in Spring Training and is about to turn 28. Why does it seem like the team doesn’t like him?

    • David

      Well, David Bell already has two left handed relievers. What would he do with three?

      I mean, that’s just crazy.

      I thought Herget did not get a long enough look in Spring Training, and as he has not pitched in a while, he will probably struggle with his control, and look lousy if he comes in today.
      I would have sent down SanMartin and brought up Sousa, as SanMartin pretty much stunk it up last night. And DFA’d Kuhnel, and brought up some BODY. Herget is about as good as anyone else.
      The Reds are, after all, 3 and 2, so it’s hardly the Titanic yet. If they lose 4 or 5 in a row and their bullpen continually stinks it up, then it might be the time to get upset.
      They are now going to play the Phillies, who are 1 – 4, after winning their first game last night.

      Let’s hope that Greene can give the Reds at least 6 good innings today, so the bullpen isn’t burned down again.

      • JayTheRed

        Unless Green starts challenging hitters and not nit picking after he has 2 strikes on them it will be helpful to the bullpen today.

        My prediction 5 innings max.

    • BK

      Honestly, I think this is all your doing ๐Ÿ™‚

      Seriously, in the previous post, you talked about Bell burning through the bullpen with so many one-inning relief appearances. Well, Sousa’s track record is one-inning or less relief appearances. Herget was starting last year. He’s capable of going multiple innings, something the Reds could really use right now. Anyway, take credit–someone in the Front Office thought you made a great point!

      • CI3J

        When does the check from Big Bob arrive in my mailbox?

      • Melvin

        Probably just too cheap to put a stamp on it.?

      • BK

        No, I think they send all proceeds from our great ideas to Doug. He’s getting filthy rich off of us ๐Ÿ™‚

    • JB

      I’m not sure why they love Kuhnel so much. I just don’t see what they see. I would have dropped him from the 40.

      • Melvin

        He didn’t look too good last night. That’s for sure.

      • JB

        Even last year I just didnt see it. Joel has a Career 6.32 ERA , .340 BABIP, .811 OPS. To name a few. Not good across the board.

    • JayTheRed

      this statement is way to generalized. The bullpen as a whole has done a decent job thus far. A few guys have not had good success thus far. Of the guys really only
      Sanmartin
      Farmer
      Kuhnel
      These guys have not looked good even in limited opportunities. The rest of the pen has been at least ok or good to this point.

  3. Andy

    This is Krallโ€™s atonement for giving up on Jimmy Hergert

    He is doomed to walk the earth in search of another Hergert

  4. RedsGettingBetter

    Just simple, They want a pitcher who can throw in a long relief if it is necessary today just in case Greene can’t go thru 6 or 7 frames. That pitcher is Herget so he was going to start tonight at Louisville. Sousa or somebody else from AAA does not seem to be able to give 3 or 4 innings in relieving to this game right now…

  5. LDS

    The real question for me is why did Kuhnel make the team in the first place? He wasn’t used in the first 4 games. Arguably, not any worse than the rest of the bullpen last night. And as with others here, Sousa seemed like he deserved a shot. Alas, the order guy gets the call. If he goes more than an inning or winds up starting, that’s one thing. IF he’s just another one and done, then it really is just the deck chairs on the Titanic. As for Greene not getting to the 6th inning or later, if that’s the case again today, I’m guessing the Reds have bigger problems than Herget/Sousa/Kuhnel.

    • greenmtred

      The MLB average for innings pitched by starters has been under six innings for some years now. And this will be just his second start of the season. And he throws more 100mph fastballs than any other pitcher in baseball. If the bullpen is the one that pitched last night instead of the pen of the preceding games, then the Reds are in the trouble we all thought they’d be in this year. If Greene goes 52/3 innings, I won’t cancel my MLBtv subscription.

      • LDS

        I’ll take 5 2/3. Prefer 6-7. But, yeah, I suspect that it could be as we all expected.

      • JayTheRed

        I think 5 innings from his early in the season is going to be the norm, unless he starts going after hitters more then he has them 0-2 or 1-2.

        Both Lodolo and Green had way too many 3-2 counts in their first games.

        Ashcraft did a nice job going after hitters and hence he was able to go much deeper into the game.

  6. Eddiek957

    I believe the Reds have ten days before waiving Sousa. Sure hope he passes through waivers