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Well-rested Mella makes big league debut

MLB.com @m_sheldon

CINCINNATI -- Promoted on Sept. 4 after he started and pitched Double-A Pensacola to a share of the Southern League title, Keury Mella was idle for two weeks before finally getting to make his big league debut for the Reds on Wednesday.

In Cincinnati's 9-2 loss to the Cardinals, Mella replaced starter Rookie Davis and pitched two innings. The Reds' No. 21 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, allowed two earned runs on two hits and two walks (one intentional) with one strikeout.

Full Game Coverage

CINCINNATI -- Promoted on Sept. 4 after he started and pitched Double-A Pensacola to a share of the Southern League title, Keury Mella was idle for two weeks before finally getting to make his big league debut for the Reds on Wednesday.

In Cincinnati's 9-2 loss to the Cardinals, Mella replaced starter Rookie Davis and pitched two innings. The Reds' No. 21 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, allowed two earned runs on two hits and two walks (one intentional) with one strikeout.

Full Game Coverage

"The velocity plays up coming out of the bullpen and having two weeks off," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I think he's got a nice slider, certainly, the offspeed stuff, the slower breaking pitch and the changeup are going to need to develop."

Video: Top Prospects: Keury Mella, RHP, Reds

Mella retired the side in order on 10 pitches in the fourth inning, but he ran into trouble in the fifth. The rally culminated in Yadier Molina's two-out, two-run double near the right-field line.

"We certainly like the arm," Price said. "He attacked the strike zone, they got some balls on the barrel, but he was able to make it through the two."

Mella was the prized acquisition from the Giants in the trade for pitcher Mike Leake. The deal also brought left fielder Adam Duvall to Cincinnati.

"I know I had two weeks without pitching, but in my mind, I was ready to go in there and try to do my best job," Mella said via translator Julio Morillo.

Mella, 24, was the 17th different Reds player to make his Major League debut this season, and the 29th in the last two seasons. Both are the most of any team in the league. He wasn't expecting a callup.

"I already had my ticket to fly back to the Dominican Republic," Mella said. "All of a sudden [Pensacola manager] Pat Kelly called me and said, 'You're not going to the Dominican Republic. ... You're going to the big leagues.' It was amazing for me. It's something I feel really happy about."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cincinnati Reds, Keury Mella