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Reds recall reliever Bowman, option OF Ervin

@m_sheldon
May 24, 2019

CHICAGO -- With right fielder Yasiel Puig back in the Reds’ lineup Friday vs. the Cubs after he missed two games with a right shoulder injury, the club decided to option backup outfielder Phillip Ervin to Triple-A Louisville and recall right-handed reliever Matt Bowman. The move returned Cincinnati to an

CHICAGO -- With right fielder Yasiel Puig back in the Reds’ lineup Friday vs. the Cubs after he missed two games with a right shoulder injury, the club decided to option backup outfielder Phillip Ervin to Triple-A Louisville and recall right-handed reliever Matt Bowman.

The move returned Cincinnati to an eight-man bullpen.

“For the majority of the season, we’ve had that number of relievers,” Reds manager David Bell said. “We like having it that way. Now that Puig’s back, it made sense to get Bowman back. I know Matt really well. He can pitch in, really, any situation. They extended him enough times in Triple-A that we know he can go multiple innings, if needed. Then again, he’s also a guy I wouldn’t hesitate to use in a big spot.”

Bowman was previously called up May 1 but did not pitch and was sent back down on May 3. On Nov. 2, he was claimed off waivers from the Cardinals after he posted a 4.10 ERA over 156 games in three seasons. At Louisville, he is 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA, 18 hits, 12 walks and 22 strikeouts over 22 2/3 innings in 16 games.

“That’s like I’ve been throughout my whole big league career. I have some flexibility -- come in for a batter or come in for multiple innings,” said Bowman, who worked 1 1/3 perfect innings in his Reds debut in Friday's 6-5 win. “That’s typically how I’ve tried to prepare.”

Bell knows Bowman from his time as the bench coach for St. Louis and likes his familiarity of pitching against National League Central teams.

“I look at the scouting report before every series, but it certainly helps to have faced guys before and have a feel for what it’s like to actually face them in a game,” Bowman said.

Starters TBA for doubleheader
The Reds have a day-night doubleheader scheduled for Monday vs. the Pirates in Cincinnati. The 7:10 p.m. ET game is makeup for the March 30 game that was postponed due to rain. For the first time this season, Cincinnati will need a starter besides its regular five-man rotation. It remains undecided, for now.

“We’re still talking about that,” Bell said.

Both teams get a 26th man on their rosters for the doubleheader. The Reds could either call up a starter from Louisville, make one game a bullpen game or use Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo for the doubleheader and have someone else start Tuesday.

“We’re trying to decide what’s best for our bullpen and the best day for our starters to pitch,” Bell said.

Remodeled clubhouse
One of the oldest and smallest places in the Major Leagues -- Wrigley Field’s visitors’ clubhouse -- got a face lift during the offseason. It’s been slightly expanded for the players. The manager’s office was relocated to a different spot.

“It’s so much better. Having a window, I never saw that,” Bell said. “It’s great until [the fans] find out this is the manager’s office. For now, it’s nice.”

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.