Christiani receives inaugural big league callup
CINCINNATI -- Right-handed reliever Nick Christiani, who has pitched the last two seasons at Triple-A Louisville, had only been awake for 30 minutes late Thursday morning when an unexpected call came.
"It was Jimmy Mattocks, our trainer, who said to call [Bats manager Jim] Riggleman, who didn't pick up the first five times when I called him," Christiani said.
Christiani had an idea what Riggleman had to say and eventually heard it for himself. He was getting his first promotion to the Majors after the Reds placed Jonathan Broxton on the disabled list with flexor mass strain in his right forearm.
"They said they wanted me in Cincinnati as soon as possible," Christiani said after the Reds' 2-1 win over the D-backs on Thursday. "I packed my stuff up and I got here around the fifth inning and headed out to the 'pen. It almost hasn't set in yet. It was just a couple of hours ago, I was still in Triple-A and now I'm in the big leagues. It's crazy."
Christiani was 6-5 with a 4.05 ERA, 15 walks and 48 strikeouts in 47 games this season for Louisville. Over his last 17 appearances, the 26-year-old had a 2.79 ERA. Of his 23 inherited runners, only three scored.
"I changed up some things mechanically and then started throwing a couple of new pitches -- a cutter and a changeup," Christiani said. "I just feel better with my command and everything as well. I've been able to have success, and hopefully it carries over up here."
The Reds' bullpen is worn from the past few games and it needed Christiani's fresh arm. As it turned out, he was not needed on Thursday, as starter Mat Latos worked eight innings.
"They said most of the guys had been used a lot lately. I was ready," Christiani said.