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Reds hoping Mattheus provides boost to 'pen

Right-hander claimed by Cincinnati off waivers from Angels Wednesday
MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- It's certainly been a whirlwind week for the newest member of the Reds pitching staff, reliever Ryan Mattheus. Last Saturday, Mattheus made his return to the Major Leagues with a scoreless inning of work for the Angels. By Monday, he was designated for assignment.

The Reds claimed the right-handed Mattheus off waivers on Wednesday and he arrived just before game time on Thursday evening. He was excited to have a chance in Cincinnati.

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CINCINNATI -- It's certainly been a whirlwind week for the newest member of the Reds pitching staff, reliever Ryan Mattheus. Last Saturday, Mattheus made his return to the Major Leagues with a scoreless inning of work for the Angels. By Monday, he was designated for assignment.

The Reds claimed the right-handed Mattheus off waivers on Wednesday and he arrived just before game time on Thursday evening. He was excited to have a chance in Cincinnati.

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"It was a quick turnaround, but it was a very nice phone call to find out I had a big league job coming over here to this franchise," Mattheus said on Friday afternoon. "It's a good team. I've played against a lot of these guys in the past."

Mattheus made his Reds debut in Friday night's 10-2 loss to the Giants, pitching the eighth inning and allowing a run on two hits with one strikeout.

Cincinnati's bullpen has had turbulent performances much of this season and is looking for stability.

"At this point in time, I would have no problem pitching him in almost any environment," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I would like him to get his feet wet here and introduced to our club in a less stressful situation, but this guy is a big leaguer. He's been very successful on a good team, so I don't have any apprehension bringing him in a close game late, if that's what the situation calls for."

Mattheus spent 2011-14 with the Nationals, where he had a mix of success and struggles. The stronger half of his tenure came in 2011-12, when he had a 2.84 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 101 games. In 2013-14, he had a 5.32 ERA in 44 games.

The line of demarcation was created, in part, by injuries.

"That's the biggest thing. When I'm healthy, I know I can get guys out in the big leagues," Mattheus said. "I've had just a few quirk injuries the last couple of years and then the big one, the self-inflicted injury when I slammed a glove into a locker in 2013."

The self-inflicted injury came following a poor performance against the Padres on May 19, 2013, when Mattheus sustained a fractured pitching hand.

"That one kind of has changed the path of my career a little bit," he added. "I feel like I'm back throwing the ball the way I know I can and back to the way I was when I was successful in Washington."

The Angels signed Mattheus to a Minor League contract in the offseason. He was 0-2 with 2.84 ERA in 11 appearances for Triple-A Salt Lake. He felt that he learned from hitting his locker after paying a big price, but hopes he has finally earned his way back to the big leagues long term.

"It was something where I just lost my emotions," Mattheus said. "It was a tough game that I had that day. I made a bad mistake. I definitely won't let it happen again. I'm a guy that tries to pitch with some emotion. I take this very serious. I'm passionate when I'm out there but it will never boil over to that point again."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds