Francis called up, makes debut in nightcap
CINCINNATI -- Ahead of Thursday's rescheduled doubleheader vs. the Padres, the Reds made a couple of roster moves to add a starting pitcher.
Left-handed starter Jeff Francis had his contract selected from Triple-A Louisville, and he was scheduled to pitch Game 2 on Thursday night. To make room on the 25-man roster for Francis, reliever Nick Christiani was optioned to Louisville. Francis took the 40-man roster spot of starter Mat Latos, who was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
Teams are allowed to add a 26th man on their rosters for the second game of a doubleheader. By rule, a player has to be on the 40-man roster to be the 26th man. Following Game 1, Christiani was formally recalled to take the extra roster spot, as the 10-day rule to return from the Minors was not applicable because of the doubleheader.
Francis, who was originally scheduled to start Thursday for Louisville, worked five innings and allowed three runs on five hits with four strikeouts in the Reds' 6-1 loss in the nightcap. The southpaw, who did not walk a batter, took the loss and is now 70-79 lifetime in the Majors.
"It's for these situations that you really need to have depth," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "In many ways, this is a stroke of good luck that he was lined up to pitch today. We certainly couldn't have known this would have happened."
The Reds originally had Johnny Cueto slated to pitch on Wednesday and Alfredo Simon for Thursday vs. San Diego. Cueto was given Game 1 on Wednesday afternoon, but everyone else in the Cincinnati rotation was pushed back a day.
Simon will start on Friday in Philadelphia and Homer Bailey will pitch Saturday. Had the Reds used both Cueto and Simon in the doubleheader, it would have left them a starter short later, and no one was going to be brought back on short rest at Washington next week.
"I preferred to do it the way we're doing it as opposed to getting out on the road and try to get somebody from Triple-A lined up to pitch that open day," Price said. "This, to me, works better for us."
Cincinnati planned to announce its 26th man prior to the start of Game 2.
Christiani, who earned a spot on the big league roster out of Spring Training, entered Thursday with a 5.54 ERA in 10 games over 13 innings this season.