Reds rookie is adoring his Majors moment

May 3rd, 2023

This story was excerpted from Mark Sheldon’s Reds Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

SAN DIEGO -- Reds rookie reliever is savoring the special moments he's had this season, especially since a couple of strong ones came when his family was around.

On Saturday at Oakland, Legumina pitched a scoreless eighth inning before the Reds rallied with two runs in the ninth for a 3-2 victory that had extended their winning streak to five games. For Legumina, he picked up his first Major League win and his family was at Oakland Coliseum to witness the moment, too.

“Any first is always cool, especially for a rookie, especially because you get the lineup card and all the cool things that come with it. It was good for my family too, not just me. My family was really excited," Legumina said. "I’m happy it got to be during a good streak of games for us, too. Coming into the clubhouse after, it was a huge win in a game that was tough fought. It made it even more special and more memorable. There was good energy and good vibes with the guys.”

Entering Wednesday, Legumina, 25, had a 1.23 ERA in four appearances in two stints with the Reds this season, including two scoreless innings Monday vs. the Padres.

Cincinnati acquired Legumina from the Twins for shortstop Kyle Farmer in a trade on Nov. 18. Manager David Bell liked what he saw from Legumina during Spring Training.

"He stood out. He was impressive," Bell said. "He’s still very young and early in his process. There’s some things he does that makes him tough to hit."

Legumina's fastball averages close to 95 mph, and it jumps on hitters pretty quickly. The right-hander is also developing his slider.

"His fastball is one of those pitches that because of how he throws it, it’s a really tough pitch to hit," Bell said. "It’s kind of an Alexis Díaz-type of fastball where it has great life. It’s tough to stay on top of it.”

Legumina opened this season with Triple-A Louisville before receiving his first big league promotion on April 15.

The call came a day before the Bats played at Toledo, and Legumina had 15 members of his family come down from Michigan to see him. He didn't end up pitching in the game, however.

"I didn’t get into the game, but I got to tell my dad after the game I was going up and it was a real special moment to be able to have that with my dad in the parking lot after the game and give him that hug," Legumina said.

Legumina's father, Gary, was a Minor League left-handed pitcher from 1982-86 for the Tigers and Dodgers organizations. The two made the drive from Toledo to Cincinnati together and used the time on Interstate 75 to reminisce.

“It was a dream of his," Legumina said. "We just talked about wishing his dad, my grandpa, was here. Driving down, we got to talking and talked about where we came from together, all the baseball time we spent together. The long hours driving to any tournament I played in growing up.”

Legumina rolled up his sleeve and showed off a tattoo on his left forearm. It was a perfect facsimile of one of his father's baseball cards from playing for the 1985 Vero Beach Dodgers. He got it done during this past offseason.

Cincinnati Reds

"My dad is a huge part of my life, and my baseball life," Legumina said. "I wanted to get that just in case anything ever happened to the baseball cards. We only have a few of them. I had to get it on me, just in case.”