The Cincinnati Reds have traded right-handed reliever Joel Kuhnel to the Houston Astros for “cash considerations”. Why they call that a trade instead of selling his rights/contract, I have no idea, but sure.
Cincinnati designated Joel Kuhnel for assignment on Tuesday when the team needed to add Daniel Duarte to the 40-man roster. It came just a few days after he threw 1.1 shutout innings for the Reds against St. Louis in just his second appearance of the year for Cincinnati.
It had been a tough season for Kuhnel. He made one appearance to begin the season with Cincinnati and gave up three runs in 2.0 innings against the Chicago Cubs and was then optioned to Triple-A. He remained there for the next two months and posted a 7.13 ERA in 24.0 innings where he walked 11, struck out 15, and allowed 31 hits for Louisville.
This season has seen Kuhnel’s velocity dip quite a bit. In 2022 he averaged 96.3 MPH with his fastball. This season that dropped by 1.5 MPH down to 94.8 MPH. His slider and splitter also saw a decline in velocity. The results followed that decline in velocity.
Houston saw something that they felt was worth taking a look at. Maybe they believe they can help him get back some of that velocity and he can return to form. We’ll all find out together.